There are probably hundreds of SaaS firms that have made it big.
But have you ever wondered how many have failed over the years?
Research suggests that 90% of all SaaS startups fail within the first three years of their existence. Also, this is despite the growth and funding that they receive.
Not the fact you wanted to hear, was it?
While you may spend years developing a disruptive solution, there’s no point if you don’t have anyone to sign up for it. Ultimately, it all boils down to having an intricate SaaS marketing strategy that builds you up for success.
So, while applying the right formulas is paramount, you also need to pay heed to the subtle SaaS content marketing mistakes that hold you back.
To help you along the way, we’ve listed the things to not do if you want to get your SaaS marketing right.
As a SaaS platform, you need to understand that your product can be easily replicated, but your branding? Not so much. The idea isn’t to disregard sales, but you equally need to connect with customers and invest efforts in building a memorable brand.
For example, to become one of the biggest team communication tools, Slack relied extensively on brand building to generate organic views to its website. Slack designers were aware that the tool won’t work if it isn’t addictive to use. They instead focused on connecting with the customers and opted for a lively, funny, and distinct brand voice that is reflected in its copies and social media. Take a look at this tweet highlighting the empathetic tone that they go for, in copies.
There’s really no shortcut to SEO if you want consistent traffic and exponential organic growth. 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. So unless you’re a household name, search engines are the only way your customers will reach out to you. Yet only 44% of businesses have an SEO strategy in place.
To ensure visibility on search engine platforms, you need to follow all the hygiene SEO practices. These include optimizing your images/videos, building a well-balanced linking strategy, using keyword implementation, and building content that prioritizes SEO.
Did you know that 64 percent of marketing leaders believe that data-driven strategies are vital in today’s economy? Marketing efforts can be very misguided if they’re not backed with concrete data. Data-driven marketing helps you design personalized, people-based messaging marketing campaigns that help with brand recognition.
Data helps you have an in-depth understanding of your intended audience and existing customers and gives you the right direction for your SaaS marketing efforts. This can further help you define your buyer’s persona, SEO, content, and social media.
Just having a marketing strategy isn’t enough. The strategy needs to be driven toward a specific audience. A one-size-fits-all approach is bound to fail because it lacks a pinpoint focus. Ask yourself, if you don’t know your buyer, how will you build your brand?
Research suggests that 82% of companies leveraging buyers’ persona improved their value proposition.
You need to define who is your exact audience. Find out how they perceive your service, who takes the major decisions, what are their pain points, and how will they benefit from your product. Leverage interviews, surveys, and customer feedback to improve your understanding of a buyer’s persona.
The whole point of defining your buyer’s persona is to pitch personalized content. Even though your target is both a female in her 40s and a male in his 20s, you cannot use the same tone and message for them. The golden rule for your content to work is it has to resonate with your audience.
Fortunately, you have numerous personalization tools like Proof and Segment that help you design targeted marketing campaigns based on your buyer persona. You can leverage them to publish relevant content for each persona.
Imagine sharing a post on Facebook that has a quirky and an informal tone but then sending an extremely formal email. High chances that your subscribers may not recognize your brand from the post and vice-versa. This lack of consistency can only ruin your brand recall.
Hence, you need to have a content style guide specifically for yourcompany that sets the ground rules for developing content. This instruction manual needs to clearly lay down your brand’s preferences, messaging, and voice. And you need to ensure that it is followed rigorously for your blog articles, social media posts, webpages, emails, eBooks, etc. For example, MailChimp has nailed its tone and voice that is inclined towards collaborative cheerleading, contributing to its success as an email marketing tool. Their voice emphasizes clarity and encouragement.
Here’s the deal — content brief saves time. But if it doesn’t have any depth, it may do the opposite. To ace your content strategy, you’ll have to go beyond the basics of including the title, target audience, topics, and defining pointers. An important skill for a SaaS content marketer is preparing a detailed content brief that can be a reference document for every strategy.
Add other parameters to the brief such as the emotional outcome of the piece, the CTA, or include a competitive analysis. You need to define the big picture and performance expectations before the content teamwork on the piece. This will save ample time on reviews and reworks.
Most companies disregard the funnels while creating PPC campaigns and end up targeting only a single funnel. You need to have a clear distinction between TOFU (Top of the Funnel), MOFU (Middle of the Funnel), and BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel). The differences between these funnels lie in the prospects’ level of awareness.
At the top of the funnel, you’re still driving the awareness of your brand. At the middle of the funnel, you showcase why you’re the best bet amongst your competitors, and at the bottom of the funnel is finally where the key conversions happen. If you don’t identify these nuances, your marketing efforts won’t bear any results.
Now that you know what the funnel creation stages are, you need to format your content accordingly. For example, you cannot pitch an actionable blog to someone at the top of the funnel nor can you cannot pitch a brand awareness ad to prospects that already know your service offering. The best way to go about this is to categorize the type of content suitable for each stage. For example,
TOFU: Whitepapers, ebooks, brand awareness blogs, infographics, ads, videos, social media posts, How-To Videos
MOFU: Product Comparison Guide, Case Study
BOFU: Free Trial or Live Demo, actionable blogs, and content
You cannot just create content and call it a day, expecting your target audience to magically find the content. It’s easy to get confused with choosing the right distribution channel considering there are so many. But your goal in content distribution is to publish your content to people who genuinely want to see it.
These channels can range from Content Sharing/Distribution, and social media channels, to image and video content sharing sites. To choose the right channel, you need to research your ideal audience and determine where they spend their time instead of blindly distributing your content everywhere.
Strategic goal-setting is especially crucial for finding long-term success. So ask yourself, what are the things you want to achieve? How are you going to measure your goals? What are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? It isn’t wise to proceed with your marketing before drafting these points. Research suggests that one of the top things that top-performing SaaS companies do differently is set realistic goals.
When it comes to setting goals for your marketing team, you’ll want to focus specifically on five objectives: brand awareness, thought leadership, loyalty and customer retention, customer engagement, and lead generation. Your metrics and KPIs may overlap but a comprehensive marketing strategy should consider all these goals.
You must’ve heard that link building considerably helps with uplifting your SaaS SEO. But then, a higher number of backlinks doesn’t always guarantee traffic. Most brands waste a significant percentage of their budgets on totally useless and outdated link-building tactics.
If you want to get link building right, you need to follow organic methods such as investing in creating link-worthy content, getting links from high authority sites, linking internally, and investing in networking and influencer relationships.
SaaS startups often fall into the trap of running multiple campaigns together. It’s because they want to do everything at once and prove their worth to the customers.
But here’s the thing: It will backfire.
Since you’re juggling multiple tasks, you’re likely compromising on quality as well and not focusing on a single goal. This can often result in putting in too much effort but not getting enough ROI. So avoid taking too many things at once. Pick a timeframe and work towards only a single goal in that timeframe.
Content is at the core of a marketing strategy in SaaS. 67% of SaaS buyers rely on content research to make informed decisions. But it’s challenging to live up to the standards of the audience and continuously publish engaging and relevant content.
Regardless, you cannot resort to publishing content for the sake of it. You need to develop engaging content that resonates with the target audience. Ensure that the content isn’t too promotional, doesn’t ignore the SEO parameters, has a target audience, has proper formatting, and is backed with data, images, and graphics.
Let’s say you’re investing in the SEO efforts but the organic traffic is still minimum. Content is being found but not read, inaccurate keywords are being targeted, and the content experience is inconsistent. Even though you’re publishing content, it isn’t working wonders for your business as it should.
To publish relevant content that your prospects will search for, your SEO research needs to be more thorough. Determining the content relevance isn’t just limited to doing keyword research. Conduct in-depth intent research. What stage of the buying process are your prospects in? What is the language they’re using to search? You need to find answers and match up your content with your users’ demands.
Yes, we did cover goals. But many times departmental plans for many companies end up getting made independently. So if you’re even defining KPIs, you need to check if the campaigns will do a greater good to the company instead of just for the marketing department.
For example, a lot of marketing campaigns end up solely narrowing down on lead generation. It won’t help your company’s vision if they don’t turn into paying customers. So pick meaningful metrics that align with the overall vision and ensure that marketing is involved in the operational planning process from the beginning.
Most companies misinterpret content to be just limited to blogs. But that’s barely the surface. It’s a common SaaS content marketing mistake that firms make. But if you want to stand out, you have to do more than the bare minimum. Visual content has also become an indispensable tool for content marketers. More than 70% of marketers feel visual marketing is essential to their overall marketing strategy.
This form of content has a higher chance of consumer engagement as videos are more appealing, easy to comprehend, and easy to share. A well-rounded visual content strategy with the right CTA can prove to be effective in triggering an action from your prospects.
Achieving consistency in content comes with its own set of challenges. Sometimes, you or your team don’t find the time to publish blogs or you don’t have the right ideas. But overcoming these challenges and streamlining your content calendar is crucial. Because inconsistent content results in inconsistent leads and hampers your organic traffic and referrals. Keeping a regular strategy helps in building credibility, reputation, and brand trust.
You can leverage content calendars like Trello and Coscedule to improve your content consistency. These calendars help you schedule upcoming pieces, status updates, planned promotional activities, and updates to existing content.
As we mentioned in the previous point, finding high-value content at scale can be a constant challenge. But you don’t always have to necessarily scratch your head every time you think of a new topic. This is when you turn your head towards the existing content resources at your disposal.
Fetch content from your testimonials, case studies, podcast episodes, webinars, and likewise. You can also pick a popular topic that you already worked upon and repurpose it to increase its outreach. For example, taking a blog post and converting it into an infographic.
One of the top SaaS content marketing mistakes to avoid is expecting things will change overnight. You’re focusing on building trust and looking at forging long-term relationships with customers. Your content will only gradually get viewership, your ranking will gradually improve, and your leads will gradually increase.
For many businesses, it takes six months even for the first customer to close or years to see a positive ROI. The real growth hack is to not give up after a few months or years. Consistency, strategy, and patience can be a driving force for success.
It’s a common practice to keep an eye on the competition — To check what features they’re launching or where do they stand on the SEO. However, a problem arises when you let these metrics define the course of your business. It drains all your efforts of building a unique brand identity.
The goal of beating the competition shouldn’t crowd out all other goals as it turns out to be a very short-sighted approach. Know when to draw the line between competitive analysis and competitive rivalry and motivate yourself to chase your brand’s metrics.
A lot of SaaS companies make the mistake of not going beyond tracking their monthly recurring revenue. And this isn’t enough. You don’t need to track every metric there is, but pick a few that matter for your business.
How else would you know if your marketing efforts are even working? Or which strategies to keep and which to drop? This data will eventually decide the future of your marketing efforts. Some of the metrics that you cannot miss out on are: monthly signups, conversion rates, churn rate, Customer lifetime value, Annual Growth Rate, and Customer Acquisition Costs.
Despite the immense popularity of marketing automation, it isn’t used at the rate that it should. Marketing automation is a cost-effective way of distributing marketing campaigns and it can make all the difference in achieving scale.
Be it generating leads, designing landing pages, pop-ups, or scheduling social media posts, and content, you have a tool for everything — leverage it. It doesn’t just make your tasks easier but also better.
It also fetches your data from campaigns and increases your conversion rates. In fact, marketing automation results in a 14.5% sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.
Maybe a single marketing angle has helped you achieve your marketing objectives before. It has proved to be the best way to interact with your consumers, and influence and convince them. But you need to understand that your audiences are evolving. Your product is evolving. And what worked yesterday might not work today.
Your target audience, goals, budget, and advertising types will keep on fluctuating. If you embrace the idea of adopting a new marketing angle, it will help you be more flexible in your marketing strategies and benefit you in the long run.
It’s easy to like viral marketing. Who doesn’t want their product or content to be everywhere, shared extensively, and be all over social media and review platforms? But you shouldn’t actively invest your time in making your product or content viral.
Going viral means that people appreciate what you do. It’s a combination of hard work and luck. People will only actually talk about it if you deliver value. Say in case a piece of your content has something new to say, or if your product bore exceptional results for a client. So naturally, these are the areas where your focus should be if you want to go viral.
Okay, hear us out. Paid ads are great. They get traction, they’re targeted, and they generate awareness. But if you’re solely relying on ads for traffic, you need to reconsider your marketing strategy. Because you don’t want the influx of leads to drop off as soon as you quit paying.
Relying too much on paid marketing is a critical SaaS marketing mistake you need to avoid. Instead, build a strategy that is a mix of organic SEO and PPC ads.
According to research, 53% of all trackable website traffic comes from organic search. So invest your time in developing a well-rounded content marketing strategy to reach your goals without breaking the bank. Unlike PPC, you won’t immediately see the benefits, but gradually, it’ll be worth it.
Even though Conversion Rate Optimization is one of the most important metrics to track, more than half of the businesses don’t pay enough attention to it. And you don’t want to be a part of this half. The number of visits to your website means nothing if the visitors don’t interact with the website.
This can mean anything from so much so leaving contact information or even making a purchase. The conversion rate will help you understand if you need to improve your page copies, CTAs, add lead generation tools on your page, do a/b testing, etc.
Every time to publish a piece of content, ask yourself, how does the content uplift your brand and builds trust amongst your audience? A lot of businesses leverage content to reach their goals of creating brand awareness and building credibility.
It’s because useful and informative content facilitates you to attract your readers to your brand and forge connections with them. Some tips to build credible content are: ensuring that your content is backed with relevant statistics, contains quotes from experts, recounts personal experiences, and includes examples, and images.
By now you must’ve realized that SaaS marketing is a big fish to fry. And often SaaS firms hand over the reins to marketing agencies to do their job for them. If you hit the mark right with hiring your SaaS marketing agency, your business can reach soar high on success. But what if you don’t?
It will likely have a reverse impact.
The right SaaS marketing agency will consider your goals, understand your brand values, and will be clear about your business needs. So to shortlist them, consider some important parameters.
Check their experience level and their success stories in the past, read reviews and pick one that suits your budget. Also, take your time in doing the research. This decision can change the course of your business.
For a SaaS brand, consider your website as your store. You cannot make the mistake of ignoring the design elements. It has to be appealing and provide an exhilarating user experience if you want your visitors to stay and check out your product.
Besides, you just have 15 seconds to capture their attention and urge them to stay on your website. Your website design needs to enable a clear purchasing path for your users.
Optimize your site to create meaningful leads. Some elements to optimize are call-to-action, headlines, font color, text size, testimonials, and social proof. Ensure that you have an excellent user experience for mobile users too.
If you’ve made these mistakes in the past, or are making them even now, not to worry. It’s never too late to reflect on them and steer clear of them. You just need to account for these common pitfalls and get your SaaS business on the fast track to organic success.
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