In B2B SaaS marketing, identifying and categorizing leads is crucial for the overall sales process.
Two common categories used to classify leads are Marketing Leads and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). These categories will help you understand the level of awareness and readiness of potential buyers, enabling you to tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.
However, there’s a difference between the two, which we’ll address here since your content marketing strategy must be different for either.
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B2B SaaS Marketing Leads (Unaware)
B2B SaaS Marketing Leads, or Unaware leads, are individuals or companies who have shown some level of interest or engagement within your marketing activities but are not yet fully aware of the SaaS products or services you offer.
These leads are typically at the top of the sales funnel and require further nurturing and education before they can be considered qualified leads. You must use a specific content segmentation strategy to attract and nurture these leads at the top of the funnel since they are still in the awareness stage.
You can attract Marketing Leads in various ways, but first, let’s see their main characteristics.
Characteristics of Marketing Leads (Unaware)
Some of the crucial characteristics of Marketing Leads you have to know to address their pain points include the following:
- Limited Awareness: Marketing Leads may have encountered your SaaS company’s brand, content, or advertisements but may not fully understand your SaaS products or services.
- Minimal Engagement: These leads may have taken some initial actions, such as visiting your website or subscribing to your newsletter, but have not exhibited strong indicators of purchase intent.
- Need for Nurturing: Marketing Leads require adequate nurturing through awareness content types since you must educate them and build awareness about your SaaS offerings.
Since they belong at the top of the funnel and aren’t yet fully aware of your SaaS products or services, you must use educational content to provide value and help them toward your SaaS website.
Some of the primary content types you need to use for B2B SaaS Marketing Leads include the following:
- Blog Posts
- Educational Landing Pages
- Introductory eBooks
- “How-to” Guides
- Interviews with Industry Leaders
These content types are perfect for SaaS Marketing Leads (Unaware) because they will help your potential SaaS buyer understand they have a problem that needs to be solved quickly and show them you are an expert in this niche.
B2B SaaS Marketing Qualified Leads (Aware)
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) represent higher readiness and engagement than Marketing Leads.
These leads have progressed further in the sales funnel and have demonstrated specific behaviors or characteristics that indicate a higher likelihood of becoming a customer. MQLs are considered more qualified prospects that are much closer to conversion.
You can attract MQLs through different content, but first, let’s see their main characteristics.
Characteristics of Marketing Qualified Leads (Aware)
Some of the crucial characteristics of Marketing Qualified Leads you have to know to address their pain points include the following:
- Higher Awareness: MQLs have a deeper understanding of your SaaS company’s products, services, and value proposition. They may have actively researched or engaged with your company’s content or attended webinars and events.
- Increased Engagement: These leads have exhibited more robust indicators of purchase intent, such as repeated website visits, requesting product demos, or engaging in conversations with your sales team.
- Sales Readiness: MQLs meet predefined criteria set by your marketing and sales teams, indicating they are more likely to convert into paying customers. These criteria can vary depending on lead scoring, demographic information, behavior patterns, and specific actions taken.
Since MQLs are aware of their problem and are considering various options to solve their issues, they mainly belong in the middle of the funnel and consideration stage. Therefore, you have to push them toward making a decision and finally purchase your SaaS service or product.
Some of the primary consideration content types you need to use for B2B SaaS Marketing Qualified Leads include the following:
- Free Samples
- Case Studies
- Advanced eBooks
- Customer Testimonials
- Expert Reviews
These content types are excellent for SaaS Marketing Qualified Leads because they will help your MQLs understand your SaaS business is the best choice for their problems and needs.
They are undoubtedly aware they have a problem and research various SaaS solutions, so the goal is to show and convince them you are the perfect SaaS solution.
The ultimate goal is to nurture B2B SaaS Marketing Leads toward becoming MQLs, and then to convert MQLs to SQLs via content marketing, in essence, to trigger them to purchase your SaaS solutions.
The Importance of Differentiating B2B SaaS Marketing Leads and MQLs
Differentiating B2B SaaS Marketing Leads and Marketing Qualified Leads allows your marketing teams to allocate their resources efficiently.
Marketing Leads require nurturing campaigns and educational content to move them along the buyer’s journey. Marketing Qualified Leads can be prioritized for direct sales engagement and conversion efforts.
By understanding the distinction between these two categories, you can implement targeted content strategies to guide leads from the unaware stage to the aware stage, ultimately increasing the chances of conversion.
If you don’t segment your content accordingly, no matter how fantastic you think it is, it won’t make a difference since you will target everyone without success. The ultimate goal is to target potential customers precisely according to their awareness level and nurture them toward a purchase.
Marketing Leads vs MQLs Conclusion
It’s simple – why would someone read content about the pricing of your SaaS services if they aren’t even aware they have a problem? Therefore, it’s crucial to properly utilize content segmentation and target Marketing Leads and MQLs.
There you have it, the difference between the two, the importance of knowing how to differentiate them, and the best ways to target B2B SaaS Marketing Leads vs MQLs. Feel free to contact us if you need any help!