How To Leverage Influencer Marketing: A Guide for Software Providers

Sept 14, 2022
Contributor: Shubham Gupta

Expand audience reach, build credibility, boost brand awareness and increase sales with SaaS influencer marketing.

To break through the noise and get your software in front of target audiences, you need to adopt new and effective marketing strategies. Influencer marketing is one strategy that is gaining traction among today’s consumers. As per a recent Gartner survey[1], more than three-fourths of customers follow influencer content, indicating this marketing strategy can significantly impact your target audience.

If you are a software marketer who understands the benefits of influencer marketing yet struggles to leverage it to market your software products, getting started can be overwhelming. Proceeding without a clear strategy could tarnish your brand image.

The key to successful SaaS influencer marketing is to treat it like any other marketing strategy with clearly defined objectives, the right mix of influencers and a robust execution plan. This guide explains how to create a powerful SaaS influencer marketing strategy that can help you target the right audience, build customer trust and credibility, boost brand awareness and increase sales.

What is SaaS influencer marketing?

SaaS influencer marketing is about identifying, researching, engaging and working with online influencers to promote a software product among target audiences to build brand awareness and generate leads. These influencers are typically industry experts who are seen as authority figures, so when they recommend a product, people are more likely to try it. 

The key to successful SaaS influencer marketing is identifying the right influencer for your brand: micro-influencers with a niche following or macro-influencers with a wider reach. As long as they influence your target audience, they can be valuable in promoting your software offerings.

6 steps to create an effective SaaS influencer marketing strategy

1. Determine your target audience and their interests

Creating buyer personas by considering factors such as age, gender, location, interests, needs and pain points can help you understand your target audience better and identify a relevant influencer for your SaaS brand. For example, if you want to target small business owners for promoting your project management software, contact influencers who create content on small business productivity or project management trends and tools.

To get started, follow these steps:
  • Conduct surveys and interviews to get to know your target audience better; this will also give you insights into their interests.
  • Research your competitors to understand their target audience and the type of influencers they collaborate with.
  • Check out social media platforms to identify the types of social media content your target audience engages with in order to get an idea of their interests.
  • Use Google AdWords or similar keyword research tools to find the keywords your target audience is searching for.

Pro tip: Use social media listening tools to track relevant conversations around your SaaS brand, product and industry. You will gain valuable insights into what people are saying about your offerings or industry. Use these insights to adjust or optimize your SaaS marketing strategy.

2. Identify influencers relevant to your industry

Now that you know who your target audience is and what their interests are, the next step is identifying the right influencers. Influencers are of two main types: micro-influencers with a niche following or macro-influencers with a wider reach. Considering your budget and marketing goals, you can choose to work with one or both types of influencers. However, remember that it is not all about numbers — quality matters more than quantity when it comes to influencers.

Prioritize influencers by reach, relevance and resonance (the three R’s):
  • Reach: The size of an influencer’s following. When evaluating reach, consider the quality of the following because a small, engaged following is worth more than a large, unengaged one.
  • Relevance: How well an influencer aligns with your target audience and industry. When evaluating relevance, consider the topics the influencer covers and whether their audience is a good match for your target market.
  • Resonance: The level of engagement an influencer generates. When evaluating resonance, consider factors such as likes, comments and shares to get an idea of how engaged the influencer’s followers are.

Pro tip: Use Google's advanced search operators — which are special commands that modify searches and require additional parameters — and Twitter’s advanced search function to discover influencers with the reach you want and that are relevant to your brand. Keep an eye out for industry-specific hashtags that can make it easier to identify relevant influencers by topic.

3. Decide the type of content you want to produce and distribute

The type of content you produce and distribute will depend on the influencer you are working with. For instance, if you collaborate with a micro-influencer who creates blog content, you can consider publishing guest posts or sponsoring a post on their blog. But if you are working with a social media influencer, you can create engaging social media content such as short videos. Remember that your content must be relevant and exciting to the influencer's audience.

Consider these best practices when creating content:
  • Keep the content native to the platform. The content you create should be designed specifically for the platform it will be published on.
  • Make sure the content is share-worthy. People should want to share the content you create with their friends and followers.
  • Keep it short and sweet. People have short attention spans and are more likely to engage with content that is concise and to the point.

Pro tip: Use content marketing tools to plan, produce, distribute and measure the performance of your content. These tools offer valuable insights into what is working and what is not, so you can adjust your content strategy accordingly to maximize results.

4. Define the type of relationship you want to build with influencers

Before you start reaching out to influencers, it is important to define the type of relationship you want to build with them. Decide whether you want to sponsor one of their posts, collaborate with them on a project or have them endorse your SaaS business. Once decided, reach out to them and pitch your idea. This will give you a better chance of forming a long-term, successful relationship with them.

Keep these points in mind when approaching an influencer:
  • Be clear about your goals. To produce content that aligns with your marketing goals, the influencer should clearly understand what you hope to achieve through the collaboration.
  • Be upfront about your budget. The influencer should know how much you are willing to spend on the collaboration so they can determine whether it is worth their time and effort.
  • Be respectful of their time. Influencers are busy people, so respect their time by being concise and to the point in your communication.

Pro tip: If you are not sure about the type of relationship you want to build with an influencer, start with a simple collaboration or endorsement. This will help you gauge the influencer's interest in working with you and whether they are a good fit for your brand.

5. Set a budget for influencer marketing activities

It is always better to set a budget for influencer marketing activities and be clear about how much you are willing to spend. When setting a budget, consider the type of content you want to create, the number of influencers you want to work with and the platforms you want to use. This will help you narrow down your options, avoid overspending and get the most out of your influencer marketing strategy.

Pro tip: Micro-influencers drive higher levels of engagement than influencers with larger followers (see the graph below). They also charge a lower fee than celebrity or mega influencers which will help you stay within budget. Consider using innovative influencer tools to automate your outreach and tracking so you can save time and money.

Influencer breakdown by engagement

6. Measure campaign effectiveness and make necessary adjustments

Measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns to determine whether they are successful and if you need to make any adjustments. Choose metrics such as the number of leads generated, website traffic and social media engagement that are important to your business and track them over time. 

Pro tip: Use marketing analytics tools to track relevant metrics and make necessary adjustments to improve your influencer campaign's performance. Additionally, ensure your tracking method is accurate and reliable by validating the data periodically. This will help you make more data-driven decisions to boost your influencer marketing ROI.

Tying influencer activity to metrics

Put your plan into action and win more customers

There is no time like the present, so don't wait any longer to make influencer marketing a critical part of your SaaS marketing mix. Put all the topics we have covered into action, and start seeing the results. The right influencer marketing strategy will help you reach your desired goals, bring in more customers and drive higher ROI. Also, don't forget to track, measure and analyze your progress along the way.

Shubham Gupta

Shubham Gupta is a Content Writer at Gartner Digital Markets who ideates and creates purpose-driven content to help modern technology businesses achieve their goals. Outside of work, he enjoys reading thriller novels and Urdu poetry, as well as spending time with his dog. Connect with Shubham on LinkedIn.



1. Build an Influencer Social Marketing Program That Delivers Results, Gartner

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