SaaS Differentiation Marketing Strategies

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5 SaaS Marketing Strategies For Optimum Positioning

Hundreds of Learning Management System (LMS) suppliers are still waiting in the wings with their appealing brands, easy-to-navigate platforms, and similar pricing points to yours. They boast an equally impressive range of training options and a multitude of interchangeable add-on services. How do you compete?

Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Here, we present five impactful SaaS marketing differentiation tips to help your company truly distinguish your offering from similar platforms.

1. One Of A Kind (I Did It My Way)

Organizations first need to identify, and then highlight, ways in which they differ from competitors, using SaaS differentiation marketing (Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistance is invaluable here). Their unique proposition may center around specific functional features or, perhaps, more intangible elements such as brand image, performance, or customer service.

For example, prior to deciding its business proposition, company “A” researched product weaknesses within competitor offerings (e.g.. pricing per user, lack of project overview, multitask management limitations, etc.). They addressed these gaps to offer a cost-effective, customizable product. Company “B” simplified its User Interface (UI), integrating bright, quirky illustrations and adopting a conversational copy tone. It thereby distinguished its visual imagery and brand personality from competitors. Company “C” used its voice and values to promote social change, imbuing the brand with a sense of ethical responsibility. How can you avoid being just another “cover version” and make the song your own?

  • Research impartial review sites and speak to existing/potential customers to understand their current pain points and aim to address these in your solution.
  • Consider both tangible and intangible elements when creating a unique value proposition (e.g., can your LMS offer a more cost-effective pricing plan through a no-frills version, more granular analytics, customizations, easier integrations, improved customer experience, or unique brand voice, etc.)
  • Pinpoint a range of your strengths/competencies/differentiators and emphasize these in SEO-optimized communications (e.g., expertise within specific sectors, geographical regions, onboarding training ease, freemium plans, self-service elements etc.)
  • Promote teaser demos highlighting key features/benefits and snippets, outlining competitor gaps.

2. Come Closer, Come Closer And Listen

Organizations can get ahead of the competition by forging deeper connections through a more personalized content strategy. Targeted transactional content with a narrower focus can supplement generic informational content, thereby educating potential users about tailored, customized offerings. Companies need to identify the customer’s stage in the decision-making process. Are they still at the initial evaluation stage (where they might wish to consider a service offering in greater detail), or do they need additional information to help them decide between competing offers?

Buyers tend to search for more specific information the closer they are to the purchase stage. Transactional content should aim to directly answer users’ questions and highlight an organization’s competitive strengths. For example, organizations can have specific landing pages optimized for “CRM features for remote sales teams.” Other companies might emphasize niche capabilities for “email for reengagement sales teams” in their PPC and content strategies. FAQ pages feature strongly on most SaaS websites, and are another aspect of SaaS differentiation marketing.

  • Your content and promotional strategy should aim to integrate some of the commonly used search terms aligned with particular stages in the decision-making process, covering both informational and transactional queries.
  • Consider common buyer questions (e.g., interpreting learning analytics, customer education programs, AI-embedded learning capabilities etc.,) and produce relevant, up-to-date content to address specific queries.
  • Emphasize the unique features of your LMS platform for relevant niches,
  • Attempt to build more regular engagement through drip-feeding emails, newsletters, blog, and social media links (with personalized messaging to engage high-intent and high LTV prospects)

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3. Nothing Compares To You

The easiest method to shine the spotlight on an organization’s competitive advantages using SaaS differentiation marketing? Straight-up comparisons! These might be within a blog, social media posts, or Q&A landing pages, where competitors’ flaws or gaps are highlighted (ideally alongside your unique strengths).

Company “B” highlights this information within their “How We Compare” section in FAQs (considering a range of competitors). Alternatively, you could try company “D”‘s straight-to-the-point approach of favorably comparing yourself with your nearest competitor on its landing page, or company “A”‘s blog post humbly entitled “No-brainer reasons to choose [A] as your [company Z] alternative.”

  • Create a landing page showing, in detail, how your offer differs from (and exceeds) competitor offerings. This can be presented in an easy-to-scan format such as an infographic, tick chart, or emoji faces.
  • Provide additional detail considering specific functional competencies in a blog or social media post (underlining your confidence in your product offer)
  • Comparing yourself with a leading competitor can also help with SEO as recognized players in your sector rank highly in SERPs (“How we differ from market leader brand X”)

4. Knowing Me, Knowing You

But what if it’s still a particularly close call between an organization and its nearest competitor? What if they both seem equally capable of providing the exact service the buyer requires? Time to get personal.

Social media (especially LinkedIn) features highly in most buyers’ initial searches as they seek clues about an organization’s size, status, and popularity through social proof. But buyers not only want to know an organization in a professional sense (e.g., check credentials), they want to get beneath the surface– to know its brand values, trustworthiness, and the people (clients, as well as employees) behind the brand. Social channels, enter stage left.

Popular SaaS accounts show a fun, creative, social side, with behind-the-scenes “reveals” and challenges, often putting employees and clients front and center (e.g., you could create a TikTok series, “Day in the Life of” where employees create “shorts” showing “cool” office activities or being interviewed by cute kids at their annual conference, like a leading organization does). Meanwhile, user-generated client stories could be highlighted through a dedicated Instagram hashtag.

  • Create humorous employee short videos with witty captions (e.g., featuring employees with interesting hobbies (these can range from pole dancers and circus tricks to climbing Everest!) or perhaps those who have overcome significant challenges)
  • Encourage (or incentivize) user-generated content from satisfied clients or users. This could range from “how our LMS transformed our business” to “ways in which this training changed my career/life/outlook”, highlighting personal “hero” journeys.
  • Live streaming with influencers, employees, or brand partners presenting demos or product “teasers” (complete with mistakes and bloopers)

The aim is to display authenticity, empathy, and emotion, putting a smile on viewers’ faces. Be brave, allow potential customers to see you as you really are. warts ‘n’ all. People connect more with “imperfect” humans than professional clones.

5. Let’s Get This Party Started

Having built trust and credibility through initial interactions, potential customers are now ready to talk directly to organizations. This is usually done virtually in the first instance through live chat or live demo links. Consider this your personal stage audition. Some clients, however, may also be a little starstruck, even at this late stage. They may need further reassurance and want to see your product “in action” or be able to ask questions in a “no sales pressure: environment.

For this scenario, a market leader provides a range of sector-customized demos (SMB, sales, services, etc.) and invitations to join a specific community. A prominent CTA at the top of their home page also encourages connection, while the chat pop-up and a section dedicated to “talking to an expert” provides additional prompts for those closer to starting the buying process.

  • Design semi-customized, relevant self-service demos (segmented by industry, company size, etc.) referencing to main pain points, goals, and challenges.
  • Enable options to schedule more specific, tailored demos for higher-value clients (the “talking to an expert” route)
  • Remember, “experts” can also take the form of your customer advocates, informing and guiding clients within your community forum.
  • Ensure personalized pathways through AI-enabled live chat to maximize enquiry efficiency and match audience profiles (provide recommendations)
  • Offer free trial periods for “starter” packages.

We Are The Champions

So there you have it, from street busker to international superstardom, with an ever-growing fan base. Take a bow. You’ve not only been noticed, remembered, and built respect, but you’ve successfully positioned yourself as the best and (hopefully) won yourself a new LMS client, using SaaS differentiation marketing! Now, just remember to send them your referral code…

Editor’s Note: This article follows two previous installments: Launch Your LMS With A Touch Of SaaS (And A Hint Of Ed Sheeran) and SaaS Marketing Tips To Launch Your LMS Into The Stratosphere.

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