How Influencer Marketing Can Help Your Software Company Grow

Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing tool that can connect your business goals with thought leaders in your industry. In this article, we’ll share some important tips on how to use influencer marketing to grow your software company.

How Influencer Marketing Can Help Your Software Company Grow

It's no longer a secret that influencer marketing outperforms other traditional forms of marketing in terms of ROI. A study by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions revealed that content promoted by an influencer typically results in an 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

With this significant impact on business growth, it is crucial that influencer marketing becomes an integral part of your company’s overall marketing strategy.

In this article, we’ll explain what influencer marketing is and the way you can leverage it to grow into your software company. We’ll also share some examples that will inspire you as you create an influencer marketing campaign for your SaaS company.

Table of contents

  1. What is influencer marketing?
  2. Why you should use influencer marketing for your SaaS company
  3. How to use influencer marketing to promote your SaaS business
  4. Examples of influencer marketing for SaaS companies
  5. Wrapping up

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing for SaaS involves the collaboration with an influencer to promote or recommend your products, increase your business's credibility, and ultimately drive sales.

In this case, the influencer uses social media to introduce your brand to an audience that’s more likely to be interested in your SaaS product in exchange for compensation. The influencer’s compensation can be freemium access to your software, or commission-based.

Influencers are essentially thought leaders or public figures on social media. Most of them are popular on Instagram but are also active across other social media platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, and Twitter.

There are different types of influencers, they include:

  • Nano-influencers
  • Micro-influencers
  • Mid-level influencers
  • Macro-influencers
  • Mega-influencers

Each type of influencer has its specific marketing function. For instance, macro and mega influencers are ideal for promoting your products to a large audience while nano and micro-influencers are suitable for brand awareness and authenticity for your brand.

Why you should use influencer marketing for your SaaS company

The influencer marketing industry has grown exponentially in recent years. In fact, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, the industry is set to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021!

Influencer Marketing Hub: Estimated Influencer Marketing Growth. (Source)

When it comes to consumer trust, 38% who engage with influencers trust their sponsored endorsements more than brands that self-promote.

It's no surprise that many SaaS businesses are looking toward influencer marketing to get their fair share of their fast-growing market value.

In the next section, we’ll throw light on important strategies you need to leverage influencer marketing effectively.

How to use influencer marketing to promote your SaaS business

Below, you’d find six strategies that will help you get started on influencer marketing on the right track.

1. Set your goals

Like every marketing strategy or plan, you should always set clear goals before taking any action. The same goes for influencer marketing, you need to figure out what to plan to achieve by using influencers to promote your brand and products.

Do you want to build brand awareness? Or do you want to boost website traffic? Whatever your goal is, you need to figure it out before you proceed.  

Typical goals include:

  • Brand awareness—in this case, you’d have to find popular influencers and ask them to mention your product on their social media platforms. The influencer can do a short review of your product or promote a giveaway contest.
  • Sales and lead generationto achieve this goal, you need to reach out to influencers whose audience has an interest in your product offering. For example, the influencer can write an in-depth article and include an affiliate marketing discount code to help you achieve this goal
  • Trafficyou can use influencers that can write an article about your product. The influencers can write a guest post on a high authoritative website to generate links
  • Authorityno matter what you say about your brand, people will always prefer the opinion of their friends, family, and colleagues. To achieve this goal, you need to build a strong and meaningful relationship with influencers. You can send them gifts and invite them to your events for free

2. Identify influencers with the right audience

Finding the right influencer to promote your brand or product, whether B2B or B2C, is the most challenging task. A study found that this was the biggest difficulty for marketers.

An example of a study that shows the biggest challenge in managing influencer campaigns. (Source)

A reason for this is that large influencers fall under a large audience so you might end up paying for many uninterested and irrelevant views, especially when you’re a startup with minimal recognition.

In this case, you can begin by using micro-influencers especially if you have a tight budget.

That being said, here are some basic traits you should look out for when reaching out to influencers:

  • Your influencers should know your industry
  • Your influencers’ follower base should match your target audience
  • Your influencers should have authentic content

3. Contacting influencers

In this part, you need to reach out to influences in a thoughtful way. You can pitch influencers via emails, highlighting what you need and the details of their compensation.

The key to sending a successful email is to be personal and don’t write in a generalized way. Avoid starting your email with “dear blogger” or “dear influencer.” Do the research and find out key details of the influencer you intend to collaborate with.

4. Choose the right social media channels for promotion

According to influencer marketing, Instagram is the most-used channel for influencer marketing by far and SaaS companies are no exception.

An example of channels predominantly tapped into for influencer marketing.

However, the type of platform you choose still boils down to the type of audience you have and the ways you intend to promote your product and brand.

Think about the types of content your audience prefers to consume and the values they look out for. The most important thing is that your message is conveyed in a valuable and clear way.

5. Always measure the ROI of your SaaS influencer marketing

Like any marketing strategy, you need to define key performance indicators right from the start unless it will be hard to figure out if your campaign is effective or not. Determine what success means to you and set the right metrics.

As a SaaS company, you leverage many channels to promote your brand and product. If you reach out to an influencer on a specific channel, one metric to track is referral traffic. You can use Google Analytics to measure the source of your web traffic and attribute the data to influencer campaigns.

Other metrics to track include, brand mentions across social media platforms, and engagement rates in terms of likes, comments, shares, and conversion rates.

Examples of influencer marketing for SaaS companies

So far, we’ve highlighted some important strategies that can help your influencer marketing campaigns be successful. Now, let's go through some examples that will inspire you as you work on your influencer marketing strategy.

1. Buffer

Buffer is known for its social media management but it's also popular for its in-depth blog posts and visually appealing images.

However, the company experienced a challenge. They realized that their blog posts related to social media weren’t getting the results they wanted and this problem made them decide to use influencer marketing uniquely.

They didn’t apply the typical way of inviting influencers as guest post writers but decided to write content that would appeal directly to influencers and rely on the influencers to promote the content themselves.

The result? This strategy significantly boosted Buffer’s blog numbers. Even more, once the company’s blog numbers increased, so did its subscriber base—up to 100,000 new users in just one year.

Buffer: A significant boost in blog numbers. (Source)

This example shows that the right use of the right influencers can significantly boost your company’s brand and products.

2. SalesForce

We’ve shown you how Buffer leveraged its blog and influencers in its influencer marketing campaign. Another great example is SalesForce. This company shows us that the CEO is another influencer a company can leverage.

Marc Benioff, the CEO, and founder of SalesForce is quite popular in his industry with over 970k followers on Twitter.

Twitter - Salesforce: An example showing that the CEO is another influencer a company can leverage. (Source)

As the CEO and founder, you might expect him to just find him promoting SalesForce on Twitter but that is far from the case. Instead, his content is centered around equality and leadership. This unique brand-building tactic has helped him to become the most valuable influencer for SalesForce.

What can you learn from this example? If a CEO can invest in personal brand building on social media, the efforts can pay off in the long term. It can become a powerful influencer marketing strategy for your SaaS company.

Wrapping up

Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can use to promote your brand and products. These days, B2B buyers want to know what they're buying. They prefer someone they can trust and someone that will recommend the best product for their needs.

In this case, you need to contact the right influencers that can suggest your brand to an audience with the need for your product value. Remember to make your message value-based.

At Engage, we have provided the right tools to help you get the best out of your influencer marketing strategy. With our email automation tool, you can send timely emails to your influencers. Engage also lets you track the results of your emails and run multi-variate tests.