In today's era, getting your SaaS in front of your customers has become tough, and you need a robust content marketing strategy for the same.
But not every content strategy is robust; even the most seasoned marketers can make mistakes that hinder your success.
In this article, we'll discuss 16 common SaaS content marketing pitfalls that can negatively impact your marketing efforts and provide actionable insights to help you steer clear of these errors.
Most marketers or content marketing agencies think just having an SEO strategy at the back of your mind is enough, and that's their biggest mistake. Not many know the meaning of having an efficient strategy.
To have an effective strategy, it needs to be documented. If you only have it in your hand, then it's not a strategy and isn't sustainable.
What will happen if you're gone? 🤔
The person who's going to take over should know the strategy, and for that to happen, it needs to be documented.
From my experience, most SaaS marketers don't document their strategy. They do a bunch of things, like writing blog posts, doing keyword research, and publishing content on LinkedIn and Twitter. Apparently, they call this a strategy!
But this is not a strategy. These are just tactics.
If you want to have sustainable growth on the organic side of things, you need to have a strategy because if you don't document what is what, you’d never know what’s working for you and what experiments are a failure.
The mistake that a lot of marketers make in their content strategy process is that they start their research from tools or competitors like Ahrefs or Semrush.
They type their seed keywords in and then start creating a strategy or go to their competitors' domains and just copy-paste their strategy.
But that’s not the right way to do your research!
It's wrong because how do you know your competitors are doing the right thing?
Here’s the right way to do it 👇
Interview your customers and try to understand their problems, how they search for them and achieve their goals.
It's no rocket science 🚀; all you have to do is talk with 10 to 12 people using your product or your competitor's product.
But for some reason, SaaS marketers often skip this process.
Going down the route of using tools for research isn’t exactly wrong, but what that will do is your content would rank well on search engines, but it might not convert because it's simply what your target audience isn’t looking for.
And that’s why you can’t afford to skip customer research.
This content marketing mistake is specifically important to avoid for early-stage SaaS companies because when you're a brand new company, the thing that you need the most is to drive the business. Meaning you need to bring in revenue ASAP!
The mistake companies make here is that most of them look at the likes of Airbnb or other big tech companies, and then they try to mimic their strategy. Let me tell you, this isn’t the right approach.
These giants can do top-of-the-funnel content because they're already too big. And if you're an early-stage SaaS company, you need to start building your marketing funnel from the bottom and then make your way up.
If you focus too much on top of the funnel, what will happen is that you're going to have great traffic that you can brag about at a cocktail party.
But you will not drive business because you will have low internet traffic visiting your website, and that isn't going to take your business to the next level.
Building a topical authority around your core offering is crucial for early-stage SaaS companies.
Let's say you own a project management tool, and HR project management is one of your core product features.
It's essential for you to build a topical authority around HR project management so that whenever people are searching for something related to it, you're always there at every step of their journey. This is a benefit from the user's perspective.
Then there's another benefit from Google's perspective. If you become a topical authority in your niche, Google will rank you higher and faster, which is better for you because you'll get more eyeballs to your content as soon as possible.
Building a topical authority is also crucial if you're not considering building links to your content. That's why for an early-stage startup, it's essential to cover topics from all angles.
💡 Pro Tip: Ensure you're not jumping from topic to topic before fully exhausting the one in hand.
Several SaaS marketers and marketing departments make the mistake of putting seed keywords into an SEO tool, filtering out keywords by high volume and less keyword difficulty, and calling it a strategy.
If you filter out the keywords by volume, what will happen is you're going to miss out on some keyword ideas that are highly relevant to your business. If someone is searching for such zero-volume keywords, they could be your customer.
And the reason that happens is that the keyword research tools are not 100% reliable. That's because they use third-party data and are sometimes updated late.
Consider this as a rule of thumb, if a topic has high relevance for your business, you need to cover it regardless of the volume or difficulty.
The benefit of targeting low search volume and zero search volume keywords is that your competitors cannot copy what is working for you.
They will visit your domain, copy the keywords, and filter them out according to search volume. They won't be able to see your zero search volume keywords that are actually driving business revenue.
From my experience, marketers prefer doing content gap analysis wherein they compare their domain to either three or five competitors. Based on that, they’ll come up with the total addressable market (TAM).
I, too, do the same, but with additional steps. Only relying on content gap analysis is a common marketing mistake. If you do so, it means you're assuming that your competitors are 100% efficient with their content game and are covering every single topic in your niche.
But in most cases, this is not correct. And so, when doing your TAM research, it's better to start from seed keyword research to understand the whole market size instead of limiting yourself to competitors.
As mentioned earlier, what most content marketers do is filter keywords by volume, and then they start targeting the high-volume and low keyword difficulty keywords and call this a great strategy.
The reason that it's wrong is - just because something has a high volume doesn't mean that it will drive business for you. The ultimate goal of any content marketing strategy is to drive revenue. And the keywords with high volume are not necessarily the ones that will drive the business results for you.
If you're using volume as your leading indicator, you might get good traffic if you can rank there, but you're not going to get good business results.
What you need to do is instead of using volume as your leading indicator, you can use something like a business relevancy score as your leading indicator.
You can score your keywords from 1 to 3 based on the business relevance. 3 being the highest and 1 being the lowest relevance score.
If you score the keyword 3, it means your product is the ultimate solution for that use case, and you must promote your product in the content.
If you give a score of 1, that means the topic is not completely relevant to my business, and you cannot insert your product in the content and do marketing.
If you're not clustering your keywords, you might miss out on many opportunities. That's because you will not be able to know the main keyword you need to use on the page and its variants.
When you do clustering, all such problems become much clearer, and you also understand how many pages you need to create for each cluster and how much it will cost you.
But most people don't do this; they just randomly create content without ideation or budget estimation.
All-in-all, clustering helps with speed and organizing everything in a better way to get optimal content marketing results.
The information gain score is all about how much new information people gain from your page compared to others. It tells you how much new information is on your page compared to others.
With the rise of AI tools, there is more of what I call "copy-pasta" content, not copy-paste but copy-and-pasta content. That's because everyone is now using the likes of Clearscope or Frase or some other AI tool to write and optimize content.
It's not that I am against it; I love these tools. But this has made marketers lazy as they look at the top two results, copy them, edit them, and optimize them to be better than the top results. It's not the way I'd do content marketing.
You should look at top results in Google searches and study them, as they're there for a reason. But you need to look at them and then think about what else you can include on this page to add value and give your readers more information.
👉 Is there a question they're not covering on the existing page?
👉 Can I add a cheat sheet in my content piece to help readers?
👉 Can I add a PDF?
Whatever you do, you need to understand how you can improve that page for your readers.
This is a very common SaaS SEO mistake. Marketers don't want to create comprehensive long-form content. Instead, they just want to create 50 short pieces of content of about 500-700 words and hope they can convert.
They think that nailing the content velocity aspect of content strategy is enough and forget about the content depth and quality. This leads to thin content.
If you're not covering the topic in-depth, and you're expecting to rank, it's tough because you won't help your users, and Google wouldn't like to rank thin content.
Having 500-700 words of content, where your competitors are writing 2300 words comprehensive guides, won't work for you.
Most marketers think that external links are what matters. So they'll focus on getting backlinks and completely ignore the internal linking, which is quite bad for a SaaS company.
We talked about building a topical authority earlier, and if you want to be able to build it, you need to have a great internal linking structure so that Google will be able to crawl your pages and understand your authority on a certain niche.
And from the user's perspective, internal linking also helps to guide them down the funnel.
With the right internal links, you can take someone from the awareness stage and then move on to the solution stage, and finally take them to the bottom of the funnel, where they might consider signing up for your product.
If you're a brand new domain trying to do content marketing, I think you need to have a high publishing velocity if you want to be successful. Meaning that if you want Google to take you seriously, you need to create good content at scale, and you need to do this fast.
If you're just publishing one or two blog posts per month, it's very hard for Google to take you seriously on that topic.
This is a mistake a lot of SaaS startups make.
They think one or two blogs a month will magically get them the expected results. If you want to win in this game, speed is your friend. Publish as fast as possible without sacrificing quality so that Google takes you seriously.
Let's face it; product lead content marketing is essential for showing your product to your readers and educating them on how your product can help them to solve the problem or how it can help them to reach the desired outcome.
The mistake that most SaaS companies make is that they don't mention their product in the content they write, even though the topic is highly relevant to them. They think mentioning their product in content is too 'salesy.'
Tell me this - Why are you doing content marketing if you won't mention your product?
If you’re not writing about your product to educate your readers, you’re simply doing content publishing and not content marketing because there's no marketing element to it.
You need to identify the topics from the keywords that have a high business relevancy and then try to show your readers how your tool or services can help them achieve that desired outcome.
You can do this using step-by-step instructions, screenshots, interactive demos and GIFs, whatever makes it easy for your ideal customers to understand your product better.
To date, I've seen thousands of blogs, and most of them have one or two CTAs - start a free trial or book a free demo.
The thing is, you shouldn’t use the same call to action in every single content piece you’re writing.
Every content on your blog will appeal to users at different stages of awareness level.
Someone who is very early in the journey might not want to book a demo or free trial; they might just want to have that cheat sheet and take their time to make a decision.
If all of your CTAs are dull, like 'Get started with a free trial,' it becomes boring and monotonous. I'd rather prefer that you contextualize your call to action.
Instead of saying, 'Get started now,' say, 'Start reducing churn by using [tool name].' The latter makes it more actionable.
Repurposing content is super important, especially if you have a small marketing team and limited resources. But what most companies do is create content for one platform. And that's it. They never want to touch another platform for repurposing the content.
If you're creating content for a platform, you must think of ways to make the most of your content piece. So take a blog post, turn it into a Twitter thread and share it or make a video that's relevant to the blog and publish it on YouTube.
If you do this, you will get more eyeballs to your content, you're going to increase the lifecycle of your content, and you're going to reduce the cost of creating new content.
But what most companies do is they create one blog, and then they create a separate post for LinkedIn and something else for Twitter. This is expensive, and you'd burn through your funds quickly.
Many companies think they can create one content piece for a specific platform and then copy-paste it to another platform. A good example is someone publishing a blog and posting on Linked - Hey guys, here's a blog post I wrote on X topic and embeds the link.
In my opinion, it’s better to create fresh content on similar topics as per what works on each platform. In other words, treat every platform differently.
For example, if you write a blog post on How to improve the productivity of product managers, go ahead and make a Linkedin post about it. Include 5-6 sub-headers and write brief descriptions about them and post them on Linkedin.
Link your blog post in the comment section so people can read more later.
Want to avoid these content marketing mistakes and get ahead of your competition?
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