Marketing your B2B SaaS company can be challenging in today's competitive environment. From creating a website and landing pages to crafting an effective email campaign, there are so many things to consider that it can be overwhelming.
Naturally, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for marketing B2B SaaS products. What works for someone else might not work for you, and what worked for you three years ago might not work today. But some mistakes always should be avoided.
In this blog post, we will therefore discuss 13 of the most common marketing mistakes B2B SaaS companies make—and how to keep from making them yourself.
Let's get started!
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Your Customer Lifetime Value
Your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the measure of how much revenue a customer will generate over the course of their relationship with your company. If you don't know your CLV, you'll have a hard time making informed marketing decisions.
Let's illustrate this with an example.
Let's say you want to run a targeted ad campaign on LinkedIn. You have two different audiences in mind, and you're not sure which one to choose. After some research, you find that the cost per acquisition is the same for both audiences.
But when you look at the CLV for each target group, you find that the CLV of one group is twice as high as the other. In this case, it would make more sense to target the group with the higher CLV, even if the cost per acquisition is the same.
Calculating your CLV can be challenging. If you need help, there are a number of CLV calculators available online, such as this one from HubSpot.
Mistake #2: Focusing On Features Instead Of Benefits
When you're developing a cool product, it's normal to focus on the features of the product. However, when you're ready to market the product, it's time to turn your focus to the benefits for the customer.
Let's illustrate this with an example. You're building an AI-driven tool to personalize cold emails. While it's cool and revolutionary that you're using AI, that's not the first thing your potential customers care about. They care about the benefits of your product, like getting more responses to their promotional emails.
To make sure you're focused on benefits and not features, try this simple exercise: for each feature of your product, ask yourself "so what?" until you get to a benefit.
In our example, the wrong landing page headline would be: "The first AI-driven cold email personalization tool!" A better example would be the one shown in the screenshot above: "Generate 1000s of Personalised Emails that get you 8x more replies within minutes using AI."
Mistake #3: Not Clearly Defining Your Target Market
This seems obvious if you're an experienced marketer. But, especially if you're still in the early stages of your B2B SaaS startup, it's easy to get caught up in trying to be everything to everyone.
Why? Because it can be mentally challenging for a startup founder or marketer to exclude groups from your target market. Your product is new, and you're afraid you'll miss a good opportunity if you leave out potential customers.
The truth is, if you try to be everything to everyone, you will end up being nothing to no one. As you have limited resources and time, we recommend you focus on a single target market to begin with. Then, land and expand from there.
Mistake #4: Not Highlighting Your SaaS UI on the website
If you're developing a B2B SaaS product, it's important to show the UI on your website. Why? Because it's one of the most important selling points for a SaaS product!
When people are thinking about whether or not to buy your product, they want to see what the user interface looks like. They want to know if it's easy to use and if it provides a good user experience.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but 35% of SaaS websites fail to do so.
If you want to make sure your website is not one of them, here are a few things you can do (including examples from Airtable):
- Use high-quality screenshots that show your product in the best light possible.
- Use animated GIFs to show how your product works.
- Make a video that shows the key features of your product
Mistake #5: Missing the Mark With Content
A common marketing mistake that B2B SaaS companies make is failing to produce content that resonates with their target audience. It's essential to understand who your ideal customer is and what information they’re looking for before you start creating content.
When creating content for your B2B SaaS product, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don't just create content about your product. Create content that solves the problems of your target audience. For this, you can use pain-point SEO.
- When you create content to solve problems, you can include your product in the solution. A good example is this Beginner's Guide to Keyword Research from Ahrefs. In this blog post, they don't just promote their product, they actually show you how to do SEO keyword research and what tools you need to do it (spoiler alert: one of those tools is Ahrefs).
- Distribute your content through the right channels. There's no point in creating great content if no one sees it. That's why you need to make sure you're using the right channels to distribute your content to your target audience. For B2B SaaS, you can think of channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, Quora or other niche relevant communities or forums.
- Experiment with different types of content. Text, audio, video, infographics, photography: anything goes. Try different content formats and find out what works best for you and your audience.
Mistake #6: Not Measuring Results (or Choosing the Wrong Metrics)
In a fast-moving B2B SaaS company, it's easy to get lost in the day-to-day and forget to measure your results. But if you don't measure your results, you can't improve them.
There are two common mistakes B2B SaaS companies make when it comes to measuring results:
- Not measuring results at all. If you don't measure your marketing efforts, how will you know if they're successful? You need to set up some metrics and track them over time.
- You're choosing the wrong metrics. Vanity metrics like followers, likes, and shares may provide you with some insights on brand awareness, but they're not necessarily meaningful when it comes to your bottom line.
Mistake #7: Not Having a Clear Understanding of the Sales Process
If you're reading this as a founder of your business, you probably won't recognize this problem. But if you're a marketer in a B2B SaaS company, it's important to develop a clear understanding of the sales process.
When you know both buyers' and sellers' experiences better, you can create content that better supports their decision-making.
Here are a few things a marketer should know about the sales process:
- What's the typical deal size?
- How long does it take to close a deal?
- What are the steps in the sales process from start to finish?
- Who are the key decision makers?
- What kind of information or resources are needed for each step?
Once you know these things, you can create content that's tailored to each stage of the buyer's journey and aligned with the sales process.
Mistake #8: Not Using Existing Resources
When you're starting out, it's easy to get caught up in trying to do everything yourself. In a survey conducted by Foundation, 57.1% of marketers admitted that they have tried to reinvent the wheel for a marketing campaign. But in most cases, that's simply not necessary.
This B2B SaaS marketing mistake can happen because you don't know the tools available. For example, you create an infographic from scratch—when you could have created it faster and easier with Canva. Or you spend hours manually entering data into a spreadsheet for your content calendar–when you could've used a tool like CoSchedule.
Another reason why this can happen is that you aren't using existing templates for new marketing campaigns. For example, if you're doing keyword research for SEO, you can use a free keyword research template. If you want to start planning your PR, you can also use a PR plan template. Not sure what you're looking for? Hubspot offers many marketing templates that you can use, and they're all free.
The bottom line is: when it comes to marketing, don't try to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of resources available that can help you save time and get the job done right.
Mistake #9: Forgetting To Market To Existing Users
As much as you want to focus on attracting new users, it's important not to forget your existing users. After all, they're the ones who already use (and hopefully love) your product. But there's a danger lurking: if you don't focus on marketing to your existing users, they may lose interest in your product and stop using it altogether.
To avoid this mistake, make sure you have a solid customer retention strategy. This includes, but isn't limited to:
- Regular communication with your users (via email, in-app messages, etc.)
- Regular updates about new features or products
- Offering exclusive offers or discounts
- Providing helpful resources (e.g., guides, blog posts, etc.)
- Loyalty rewards
- Exclusive content or insider information
Mistake #10: Not Investing in Search Presence
If you're part of a fast-growing B2B SaaS company, you may be focused on short-term marketing goals and neglecting long-term strategies like search engine optimization (SEO). But if you want to maintain a steady growth trajectory, you need to invest in your search presence from the start.
SEO should be a key part of your marketing strategy because it helps you improve your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs), which can lead to more website traffic, leads and customers.
There are many factors that contribute to a strong SEO strategy, but some of the most important include:
- Creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience
- Optimizing your website for key search terms
- Building backlinks from other websites
If you're not sure where to start, we've written some blog posts about SEO to help you get started:
- A Beginner's Guide To Creating SEO-Friendly Content
- 9 Quick Tips For Beginners To Improve Keyword Research
- How To Grow Your Business Using Pain-Point SEO: A Full Guide
- 18 Essential Elements To Check During An SEO Audit
- 9 Killer Keyword Strategies To Drive More Traffic To Your Blog
Mistake #11: Confusing CTAs On Your Website
Do you want potential customers to start with a free trial or with a demo?
One thing you should be careful with is having multiple CTAs on your website that confuse potential customers and make it unclear what they should do. Remember the paradox of choice: too many choices can lead to people not making a choice at all.
So, which one to pick?
Free Trial / Freemium
The advantages of using a free trial as a CTA over a demo are that you'll learn more about your users' behavior, you'll get immediate growth, and users will discover the added value for themselves. Also, more people will try your product.
The downside of a free trial is that users may not stick around if your product isn't easy to use and understand. Also, free trials can be abused—for example, by signing up with a fake email address.
The best time to choose a free trial is either when your product is intuitive enough to sell itself, or when your main goal is to learn more about user behavior.
A demo is a more personal way to introduce your product. It has the advantage that you can directly address a potential customer's possible objections and get real-time feedback.
The downside is that it takes more time to schedule a demo than to launch a free trial. This will result in fewer signups.
The best time to do a demo is when your product is still in development and you're looking for feedback, or when you're selling a higher-priced or less-intuitive product.
In some cases, it may make sense to include both options in your CTA—such as when you serve different markets (e.g., enterprises and SMEs). We recommend you do this only if your B2B SaaS is very mature and well-known, as in the case of HubSpot (see screenshot).
If you want to do both without having to add a confusing CTA to your website, you can easily solve this by having a CTA for a free trial on your website and later emailing an invite to the demo. Or you can start with a demo and offer a free trial during the demo.
Mistake #12: Inactive Customer Support
What? Customer support in a marketing mistakes list?
Yes, your customer service team can have a big impact on your marketing efforts.
If you have a team that consistently goes out of their way for your customers, your customers will be more likely to sing your praises to others. On the other hand, if your customer support team is inactive or unresponsive, it reflects poorly on your brand and could discourage people from doing business with you.
Too many B2B SaaS companies make the mistake of treating customer support as a secondary priority. They hire unqualified staff, have long wait times, and offer little to no self-service options. This leaves their customers frustrated and angry. Don't make this mistake, invest in your customer support team from the start.
Mistake #13: Neglecting the Importance of brand trust
In a world where there's so much choice and so many companies, customers will always gravitate toward the brands they trust. Building brand trust should be one of your top marketing priorities. Unfortunately, too many B2B SaaS companies prioritize brand awareness over brand trust.
You can build brand trust by being transparent, authentic and consistent in your messaging. You can also use social proof like customer testimonials to show that other people have been successful with your product. When you focus on building brand trust, you'll find that your customers are more loyal and less likely to churn.
So, there you have it! 13 mistakes that B2B SaaS companies make when it comes to their marketing. If you can avoid these pitfalls, you’ll be well on your way to success.
Keep in mind that making mistakes is part of the learning process, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Just keep trying, and you’ll eventually find what works for you and your business.