3 SaaS Marketing Mistakes (& How to Reach the Right Audience)
We’ve worked with enough SaaS companies to learn that they really know their stuff.
Internal stakeholders know the business and the software inside and out. Executives can often tell you all about the latest product update, the most impactful features, integrations, channel partners, and so much more.
Don’t get me wrong—as marketers, we love having this information at our fingertips. However, without a strong internal or external marketing team, your message can get lost in an information overload.
Is your SaaS content marketing really reaching your target audience? Here’s what you should avoid (and how to fix your marketing mistakes).
Mistake #1: Letting product lead your marketing
SaaS company stakeholders are close to the product—but maybe a little too close to form an effective marketing message.
Your business was built around both a product and a common business challenge. And your prospects care more about how you can solve that challenge than the specifics of your product, especially in the earliest stages.
Your website and other marketing materials should help your audience address their most pressing issues. Otherwise, you’re letting product lead your marketing. Here are some product-led mistakes to avoid:
- Emphasizing features over benefits – Do you like drinking coffee because it’s a dark liquid? Or do you enjoy a moment of relaxation and comfort in the morning followed by a burst of energy? The former is a feature of coffee; the latter is a benefit. While features will become important at some point in the buyer’s journey, focus on the benefits first and foremost to win over new prospects.
- Using proprietary language – Talk the way a buyer would talk. The proprietary terms you use to describe product features may be helpful to current customers but can be a stumbling block for buyers who just want to quickly grasp what your product can solve for them.
- Focusing on product/company goals over customer goals – You built your company with a purpose behind it. You knew you could solve a specific problem. But has your audience (and your product) evolved since then? It’s important to be aligned with your customers in terms of goals. Thorough persona and product research can give you a stronger go-to-market strategy for your product and your messaging.
Mistake #2: Making your message and your content too broad
When SaaS stakeholders are too close to their product, they often struggle to find the key messages most relevant for an audience with a fairly short attention span.
As your buyers explore their options, they need a quick intro to your product before they dig in. You have to hook their attention fast so that they’ll want to learn more about your product and features—and that’s difficult to do if you have a dozen product points or benefits you always want to hit on.
As a strategy-led marketing consulting firm, we prefer to bucket these benefits into a few key messaging points. Prospects are new to your product, so we want to give them a handful of memorable benefits and phrases they can recall when thinking about your brand.
Your first step with new prospects is to build awareness. From there, you can take advantage of marketing automation to deliver more complex messages that speak to specific pain points.
Mistake #3: Focusing on bottom-of-funnel content
It’s never surprising when we scroll through a young SaaS company’s blog feed or resources page and see either very little content or content targeted towards specific technology challenges.
There may not be a treasure trove of resources for companies just starting to figure out how to solve a widespread challenge.
While it’s not true for every company, we do see a lot of SaaS organizations devote marketing resources to developing content primarily for sales leads. This may include:
- Case studies
- Product specs
- Competitive comparisons
We call this content “bottom-of-funnel” because it reaches those leads who have moved past awareness in the marketing funnel, as illustrated below.
When you have a wealth of SaaS content marketing resources for top-of-funnel prospects—those just becoming aware of a business challenge—your sales team won’t have to push so hard. Your website and ad/social channels can do the initial selling for you. Focus on content formats and topics that address problems your prospects are just now becoming aware of.
Building an effective SaaS content marketing strategy
Getting your messaging on-point is the first step in developing a SaaS marketing strategy that actually reaches your prospects (and not just your customers).
Then, you can decide what content your top-of-funnel prospects are most likely to care about.
Often, it takes someone with enough distance from the business to do thorough, unbiased research and make a decision about which messaging points are most relevant to your target personas.