5 Steps To Create A SaaS Influencer Marketing Strategy

Influencer marketing is somewhat untapped in the SaaS industry. However, it is something you should try when promoting your SaaS business. Even in the world of B2B SaaS, influencers have excellent leverage, and it’s an effective form of marketing with a potentially incredible ROI.

By utilizing influencers as affiliate marketers, you can grow your SaaS brand by generating more leads and building trust with potential clients.

However, you should know that influencer marketing for SaaS products is slightly different from other industries. Here is the step-by-step guide to SaaS influencer promotion that you need to know so you don’t need to hire a new marketing agency. 

How is SaaS Marketing Different?

SaaS marketing is notably challenging. The differences in marketing style often shock owners of B2B SaaS startups, but it makes sense that it is unique.

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Image credit: Best Writing

First of all, the purposes of a SaaS business are entirely different. Whereas B2C and PaaS businesses have something tangible they can offer consumers, SaaS companies are uniquely positioned as software providers.

Not only does the lack of physical products make it difficult to market, but software can also be exceptionally niche. How can you meet sales targets when your target audience is so small?

The marketing goals of SaaS businesses are thus quite different. The target market is not the average consumer but other businesses seeking solutions to specific problems.

Moreover, multiple people are usually involved in the decision-making process; you don’t need to convince just one person but a team. The marketing strategy is also different since the sales cycle is very short, and your target consumers seek education. The greatest asset of a SaaS marketer is information.

The idiosyncrasies of the industry thus make influencer marketing for SaaS slightly different from other industries. Nevertheless, plenty of exciting reasons exist to include it in your marketing campaigns.

Related: 10 content marketing strategies to grow your SaaS business

How does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing refers to leveraging the opinions of influential people to promote and present your product or service. It builds on the concept of celebrity endorsement — an age-old marketing technique and modernizes it using social media and content creation. 

Influencers and celebrities are slightly different. Influencers usually have an entire online brand, the ability to influence their audience’s purchasing decisions, and a following in a distinct niche.

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Image credit: Orderhive

In this form of marketing, brands and influencers collaborate to create content. The marketing is not entirely down to the SaaS company but is also created independently by the influencer. They have more free reign than with other forms of marketing.

Influencer marketing has several benefits, including vastly increasing brand awareness and generating leads. It has a tremendous ROI of $5.78 for every $1 spent, and the return is also excellent when judging it based on Earned Media Value. 

Lauren Sommer, co-founder of Moi Moi Fine Jewellery has this to say after recently implementing an influencer marketing program,  “When we first brought influencers onboard, it was a very transactional relationship, and we noticed that they would really only post and tag our products when we pushed for it. However, after we started our affiliate program, it incentivized influencers to include our rings throughout their daily lifestyle posts, and both our goals would be aligned.”

Another benefit of this method is that brands can span their campaign over numerous marketing platforms, from social media sites to blogs. 

Related: How to grow your Instagram following and user engagement

Which Industry uses Influencer Marketing the Most?

Influencer marketing can benefit all businesses, especially in the modern content economy where digital marketing is king. Fashion and beauty brands utilize Instagram influencers as a core section of their campaigns. 

Any industry focusing on visual marketing can benefit enormously from influencer promotion, so it becomes difficult for software and service companies to leverage influencers similarly.

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Image credit: Oberlo

This is not to say that SaaS businesses cannot use influencers. A SaaS influencer can benefit your business significantly; it means finding one that fits your brand and using the correct content to engage your audience.

There are plenty of successful examples of influencer marketing in the SaaS industry, namely from marketing influencers and influencers-turned-CEOs who are highly skilled at creating paid social media content.

Related: The ultimate guide to buying a social media account

Which Platform is Best for Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing can vary significantly between brands. Remember, the primary strategy is to create branded content that generates leads within your target audience. As such, you need to choose a platform that best suits your ideal consumer.

You can connect with influencers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Influencers can also use all of these platforms to promote their content. Platforms like LinkedIn can be even better within the SaaS industry because they specifically target professionals.

Another option for finding the right people is to use an influencer marketing platform. Options include GRIN, Creator.co, CreatorIQ, and others. Regarding influencer platforms for SaaS brands, IZEA is ideal because it operates as a SaaS business. IZEA has paid bloggers to produce content for brands since 2006, making it an old hand in the industry. 

Onalytica is another SaaS option that charges a monthly subscription fee for influencer discovery tools, talent management capabilities, access to support, and more.

Related: 7 ways to build up social proof to boost eCommerce conversions

What are the KPIs in Influencer Marketing?

There are several KPIs in influencer marketing, all of which are relevant in some way. Part of your influencer marketing strategy should involve measuring the key performance indicators of your campaigns so that you can adapt future strategies and grow your business. To do that, you need to know what to look out for.

Viewing a social media platform in terms of vanity metrics, such as followers, likes, and engagement, is tempting. However, these numbers do not necessarily tell you how good a social media user is at ‘influencing’ purchases.

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Image credit: Gitnux

Influencer marketing’s main goal is to drive sales for your business. So, the most important KPI is conversions. Track sales before, during, and after a campaign and compare any changes. Alternatively, utilize affiliate links and promo codes to monitor performance.

Conversions are one of many important metrics because monitoring leads generated is equally crucial in SaaS influencer marketing. You also need to track referral website traffic, partly because it helps you figure out the conversion rate and partly because it helps you monitor interest in your product. You can do this using Google Analytics or other marketing software.

Audience growth and engagement are other valuable insights you should track as a part of lead generation and nurturing. Alongside driving conversions, a SaaS influencer marketing campaign can grow your audience and expose more people to your business. This is an essential sales funnel part, so don’t underestimate it.

Related: How to build an online community for your SaaS business

How do SaaS Companies Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy?

Whereas cosmetics companies can easily track relevant influencers and market to their target audience through Instagram, SaaS businesses must approach an influencer campaign differently. As mentioned above, influencer content in this niche is a lot more specific, which can make SaaS marketing a tad more complex. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you market your SaaS product using influencers.

1. Find an influencer that represents your brand

The first step is tracking your ideal influencer. This is easier said than done for SaaS brands because the type of influencers that work for B2B brands is a smaller pool; you need to identify influencers with a sizeable audience with similar interests to your customer base.

You can locate relevant people using an influencer marketing agency or by looking at the social media platforms you wish to promote. It’s vital to start in the places where you know your audience is looking, which is why LinkedIn is an excellent tool for finding B2B clients

However, don’t underestimate the power of other social networks like Instagram and TikTok. You can make conversions if the influencer’s following matches your target audience.

There are pros and cons to using social platforms or influencer platforms. Both allow you to find a potential influencer and contact influencers you want to work with. However, a marketing platform is better if you want to track metrics and nurture relationships.

Related: 5 ways to tell your brand story on social media

2. Consider your audience

While developing a content plan, consider your target market. This is vital throughout the entire process, from tracking down influencers with similar target audiences to developing content that sells.

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Image credit: Later

Utilize social listening techniques to see what conversations are happening about your SaaS brand or niche. You can also leverage the social media insights of a relevant influencer and take on board their expertise to learn more about your audience. 

Influencers tend to be experts in social media marketing, so don’t be afraid to let them take the lead in some content planning phases. They know exactly who is following their social media channel and what their audiences want to see; ask them for expert insights when negotiating a contract. 

Related: The rise of the SaaS business model

3. Nurture relationships

All forms of influencer marketing require relationship management. To get people to work with you, you already need to market yourself to the influencer. This requires a personal touch, so ensure you are familiar with the influencer before contacting them. You can invite influencers to collaborate once you have a good handle on their interests, expertise, and communication styles.

It takes time to nurture influencer relationships, but the payoff is enormous. Influencer marketing for SaaS involves collaboration between your brand and the influencer. The influencer has freedom when creating content that goes on their own channels, so it’s vital to maintain a positive relationship with them.

Influencer relationship management goes beyond keeping them happy and collaborating on projects. You also need to have a clear plan for the campaign so that both parties emerge with what they want from the collaboration. Ensure the influencer knows their role, whether sharing links to your product, creating engaging social content or collaborating on a case study.

Related: How to sell a SaaS company: The complete guide

4. Consider a budget

As with all marketing campaigns, you must consider a budget and be upfront about it when contacting an influencer. There’s a fine line between investing lots of money to reach your target audience and being able to afford the campaign. Don’t go straight for the top influencer because you feel it will increase sales the most.

Micro-influencers (with smaller followings) tend to have higher engagement than those with enormous audiences. Plus, they can be better influencers for your SaaS business because they charge lower rates.

There is a delicate balance between paying the best influencers and getting the best ROI. Nonetheless, investing in influencer marketing is bound to be worth it if you find an influencer with the right target audience and plenty of sway.

Related: Saas pricing pages: Design strategies that boost conversions

5. Produce relevant content

Next, it’s time to encourage influencers to promote your brand on social. Influencer marketing is a subsection of content marketing in which the influencer produces content that incorporates your brand material. Then, they use their platforms as a form of content amplification to spread the word. 

You can use many content types, from social media posts to blog articles. Blogging is a great option because it’s similar to guest posts and can help build hyperlinks to your brand’s website. You can also utilize the guest blogging technique to incorporate affiliate links, helping you track conversions. 

You can use a project management platform to create a content calendar. It’s essential to have a content plan that drives users through the sales funnel instead of posting random content that doesn’t convert.

Related: How to buy a SaaS business: The complete guide

Summing up

The key to successfully marketing your SaaS startup using influencers is considering what your audience wants to see. Influencer marketing works because audiences trust what they say and enjoy their content. As such, when leveraging influencer marketing, you need to find a charismatic influencer relevant to your niche and let them create fun and educational content that they know works.

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