The market for software-as-a-service (SaaS) is booming. The global industry is at $106 billion, as more and more software vendors offer their applications via the Web. Since the barriers to entry are relatively low, there is fierce competition among providers. Unlike other industries, the SaaS business model is largely driven by recurring revenues. SaaS companies must take a different approach in delivering content. A few early content missteps can really sink your ship if you’re not careful!
1. Failing to create a good strategy.
You’ve got someone in charge of content writing. That’s their thing. You don’t interfere. You don’t write it down because you know it’s taken care of. Someone’s on it. Simply cruising along is no substitute for a smart content strategy based on results. Kissmetrics recently shared the story of Sherpa Software, which began investing heavily in content creation and thought leadership.
They brainstormed topics, ran the topics through keyword research tools and created a full year editorial calendar (which allowed room for product updates and industry trade shows). Individual pieces were assigned to product team members and updated in the editorial calendar. These pieces of content included blogs, whitepapers, videos, guest posts, infographics and other types of content. Once they created the content, they analyzed the performance to refine future content efforts.
The end result was a 67% increase in new users and a 135% increase in conversions!
2. Falling short on content.
SaaS users are people who tend to do a lot of reading… people who care about competitive analysis and making sound, informed decisions. As such, your website should contain a glut of rich, helpful content. If site visitors can get through all your copy in five minutes, they’re not sticking around long enough to buy.
At minimum, you want a tour or demo of your solution for newcomers. Also, you’ll want a comprehensive knowledge base to help current users get the most out of your system. Your web copy should include a clear breakdown of pricing information. Besides blog content, you want videos, white papers, infographics, charts and more.
As Kapost so aptly put it: “Specifically, the best content marketing operations cover these five areas: centricity (buyer-focused), journey (mapped to personas and sales stages), engagement (drives action), diversity (variety of channels and content types), and freshness (new and original).”
3. Making all content all about you.
Yes, a list of features should be stashed somewhere on your SaaS website. However, no one wants to read boring blog after boring blog about various features that excite you… and you alone. Heck, even the search engines are likely to pass you by!
Instead, focus on how your company brings real value and solutions to organizations. No more than 20% of your content should be comprised of shameless self-promotion, company updates and product announcements. The other 80% should consist of friendly and helpful storytelling. Instead: Educate. Entertain. Illustrate.
Remember, you want to always be answering the quintessential question: Why should I care?
4. Getting lost in the jargon jungle.
The term “SaaS” even has some people scratching their heads these days, so you want to use natural language that is easy to comprehend. Avoid using overly academic words like “incentivize,” “contextualize” and “optimize” when “encourage,” “explain” and “improve” will do.
Keep in mind that 95% of B2B buyers want language that is short, simple and direct.
5. Failing to consider the Buyer’s Journey.
Is all your content geared toward getting prospects to sign up for your free trial? While having a call-to-action is mostly a good thing in content marketing, it’s a huge mistake to put all your eggs in one basket.
Some potential users are only first becoming aware of your product and need more details before they’re warmed up to give the trial a whirl. These potential buyers need blog articles, industry reports, infographics, webinars, videos, podcasts and charts to help them gather all the information they need to develop a first impression.
Other prospects are in the consideration phase, but are weighing your prices, competitor offerings and are still embroiled in the process of prioritizing their needs. These potential buyers need product reviews, testimonials, case studies live demos and competitive analysis pages.
To reach those prospects who are furthest along the sales pipeline, the free trial, discounts or a special targeted promotion can be enough of a final nudge to convert.
6. Not acknowledging the competition.
Comparison shopping is big among SaaS buyers. Instead of putting your head in the sand like an ostrich and leaving it up to prospects to go elsewhere and do their research, why not break it down plainly on your site and save them the trouble? Control the conversation and make the differences easy to spot, while saving yourself valuable time in the process.
Take HappyFox, for instance. They used to spend a lot of time addressing questions about switching to their software from other competitors and fielding queries about what unique features they offered. When the company created a comparison page between themselves and their three largest competitors (Zendesk, Desk and Kayako), it became one of the top 10 most-visited pages on their website.
On average, people spend over four minutes considering the information presented. Viewers rarely bounce off the site after visiting the comparison page. “It’s also one of the top 10 converting pages on the site,” HappyFox Founder Shalin Jain added. Now instead of being inundated with the same questions over and over, they can leave it to the comparison page to do the explaining and spend more time converting sales.
Mod Girl Marketing Helps SaaS Companies Gain Competitive Advantage
We don’t claim to be a “jack-of-all-trades” because we don’t recommend “one-size-fits-all” marketing. Our consultants see some of the best results in our work with Technology, SaaS and B2B clients. Contact us to discuss how we can assist with improving the quality of your content marketing to produce better quantity and quality leads.Tags: content mistakes, saas content marketing