Software marketing teams frequently—and unintentionally—target the bulk of their content to the bottom of the funnel. Targeting those bottom funnel prospects is easy, right? You get to share all of those everyday facts, stats, acronyms and logistics you celebrate on a regular basis. It's easy to forget that most people don't have a clue about the ins-and-outs of your product.
The majority of your prospects aren't software experts. They need to learn much, much more about your products/services before they get anywhere near "buy now" status in their buying cycle. Until then, it's all nurture, nurture, nurture. Visitors and prospects should be taken in hand and led along a well-charted inbound marketing adventure.
Charting that inbound marketing adventure requires removing your expert and biased brain from the equation.
Don't Be a Know-it-All When it Comes to Marketing Content
No matter how you slice it, you are biased. It's that simple. It's virtually impossible to intuit what the "beginner" or "intermediate" user experience is like because you can't erase your own perspective.
Failure to acknowledge that, and to find other ways to get into your prospects' heads and hearts, compromises inbound marketing success. The reality is that you are not your best customer, so your know-it-all approach can hurt more than help in the long-run.
Here's how to use inbound software marketing to your advantage, and with a tangible "insider" approach.
It's Time for User Focus Groups
Start assembling user focus groups. These are the most legitimate means of getting insight into what your market truly wants from you. The key, however, is to make sure you know what you're doing. If you only need a single answer as to whether certain titles work better than others or what you could do better to design landing pages, we recommend using A/B testing and other metrics-based data to get answers.
Focus groups should be used to glean multi-faceted information you can't learn from content tests or via one-on-one conversations. Many SaaS companies are humbled to find out they knew virtually nothing about their "ideal buyer" when it comes right down to it.
User focus groups may lead you back to the drawing board in terms of buyer personas and content brainstorms, but that's okay. Your new content and campaigns will be markedly more successful.
Enjoy Unbiased Feedback
Here's another opportunity to be humbled. Listening to unbiased feedback isn't always easy, but it can be incredibly fruitful for a dedicated software marketing team. While one-on-one conversations may give the allusion of honesty, they aren't the same. Most people tend to err on the side of "nice" rather than "true" when asked things point-blank.
Most people feel very uncomfortable criticizing others to their face, especially if they've been led into a room with free coffee and donuts. Put them in a group, however, and they feel more supported. One person saying, "I don't really understand how your software is supposed to (fill in the blank)..." inspires another to say, "Yeah. I liked the idea of feature X, but we don't really understand how to use it," or, "we were thinking about using your product but Company X's website/emails/eBook did a better job of explaining it all..."
Honest feedback is key to understanding how newbies "see" your product in the big picture and the individual steps you can take to connect all the dots—both small and large—to improve their user experience.
User focus groups give you a direct tap into the minds of your market so that you can identify and fix anything that impedes their desire to convert and become loyal customers.