Insights, Marketing, Web

How to identify your target audience in the SaaS market

by Ryan James

If you’re not already using buyer personas in your SaaS marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a seriously effective trick to attract more high-value customers to your business and boost ROI. Here’s why. Targeting too broad an audience results in lower conversion rates and wasted marketing budget – because it’s a strategy based on guesswork, not facts.

The most effective SaaS marketing strategies target the right people with the right message at the right time. And buyer personas are how you achieve that. The more you understand your audience, the more targeted your SaaS marketing strategy will be to entice, engage, and convert them. So, how do you create buyer personas? Keep reading to find out!

How to create buyer personas in 5 easy steps

Buyer personas are essentially a “profile” of your ideal SaaS customers. You will create them based on real data about your current customers and market research to define who you target, why, and how. Remember; the more specific you are, the better. Follow these steps to identify your target audiences and craft those all-important buyer personas.

Step 1: Understand your current audience

By first knowing who your real customers and leads are, you can stop relying on gut feelings to form the foundation of your buyer personas. Dive into your data and pull out as many strategic insights as possible to create a profile of every audience segment.

Look at data from leads who have engaged with your website or social media profiles and current/past customers for this information and analyse the following criteria:

  • Basic demographics: What’s their occupation, gender, age, and income?
  • Engagement levels: What actions did they take with your SaaS website?
  • Purchase behaviour: What do they buy, how often, and when?

Once you’ve gathered as much information as possible, see what insights you can pull from the data to identify your most high-value customers. Maybe your younger audience buys from you the most, for example, or you notice that when customers download your SaaS pricing list, they convert within three months. Use these insights to form your ideal buyer personas.

Step 2: Identify your target audience’s problems

Now that you’ve learned as much about your current, past, and potential customers as you can, get to grips with the problems they have that your SaaS product can help with. These problems could be wasting time on overly complex technology, losing money on time-consuming tasks, or dealing with unhappy customers.

By gaining clarity on what issues your target audiences are dealing with, you can craft messaging that resonates with them and present your SaaS product or service as the solution. So, how do you find out these pain points?

Don’t just assume; do the research. Surveys of current customers, market research, competitor analysis, focus groups, and more can help you figure out your customers’ most significant problems.

Step 3: Outline how you solve those problems

Okay, so you’ve done your digging and have a clear idea of the problems your buyer personas are struggling with. Now for the juicy stuff: figure out how your product can solve each buyer persona’s problems. Let’s say one buyer persona’s biggest problem is adoption of new technology taking too long and causing disruption.

In that case, your SaaS product might solve their problem because it’s super user-friendly and only takes a few minutes to integrate. Do you get the idea? Now do that for every buyer persona, listing out the benefits of your SaaS solution and how they positively impact the lives of your target customers. Is it saving money? Time? Stress? Do your research and write everything down.

Step 4: Explore your target audience’s conversion path

A core part of any SaaS marketing strategy is understanding your audience’s journey towards conversion. When you know what touchpoints they hit before they convert, you can tailor your marketing campaigns and landing pages to appeal to them at every stage of the buyer journey. For example, you wouldn’t show the same ads to first-time website visitors as you would to returning visitors, would you? Probably not.

It’s essential to understand what channels your audiences use to do their research and eventually land on your website. So head into your analytics and explore where traffic is coming from. What sources bring people to your website? What search queries are they typing in to find you? What Social Media sites are they coming from? This traffic data will tell you where and when to target each audience segment online.

Step 5: See who your target audience engages with

Now it’s time to see where your audience goes to do their research for SaaS purchase decisions and gain an understanding of the thought leaders they trust for advice. So take a look at your top competitors, popular blogs, SaaS review websites, social media channels, featured speakers at webinars, and influencers in your industry.

Seeing where your audience “hang out” online will be incremental in your SaaS marketing strategy. You’ll be able to connect with these trusted sources through guest articles that will link back to your website, by featuring your product on popular review websites, and inviting your target audience’s favourite thought leaders on your own social media channels or blog.

Ready to create your own SaaS buyer personas?

We hope you can now see the power of buyer personas for SaaS companies and have the skills you need to start identifying your target audiences for more effective marketing campaigns. Not sure where to start? Here’s a top tip: Take a look at the key benefits of your SaaS product or service and work backwards to see what people these benefits help the most. Go from there and you’ll be just fine!

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