More than 800% growth in Sales
400% + growth in website traffic
3,000+ keywords ranked in the Top Ten
Numbers like these show how effective content marketing is for a SaaS content marketing strategy.
And we are proud that we have achieved these as part of the SaaS content marketing strategy for our customers.
To begin with, What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) uses cloud technology to allow its users to access the software remotely from any device connected to the internet. HubSpot is a SaaS company.
With SaaS, there is no need for IT hardware (such as servers). Applications are web-based, and users can access these applications from anywhere and at any time.
Scalability – Since SaaS solutions are web-based, they can be easily scaled up or down. For instance, If a business experiences a sudden surge in users for the software, a simple subscription upgrade is all they need.
Ease of Use – SaaS applications are usually built keeping the end-user in mind, and hence, are simple to navigate and use. This eliminates the need for on-site IT support staff.
Setting the Stage for Success with a Smart SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
When it comes to B2B content marketing, striking a balance between marketing strategy and its results often becomes a challenge. This is primarily because businesses tend to overlook a very critical aspect of the marketing plan – The Content.
A successful and sustainable content marketing strategy for SaaS companies requires thorough planning. It is not something that can be done in a jiffy. This article will talk about the different strategies that we have used for our SaaS clients.
But first, it is important to understand why content marketing for SaaS is so different from other industries.
There are a couple of things to remember here.
- Although SaaS software is technically a product, it also includes its technology and service. And you need to sell all three as a package. So, your marketing strategy needs to focus on all three aspects – the product, the technology, and the service.
- Your SaaS content strategy also needs to educate your prospective customers. SaaS customers rely on research heavily before deciding which product to invest in. This makes SEO a critical component of effective SaaS marketing. Hence, your content marketing will need to include whitepapers, reviews, feedback, etc. So, continuously reaffirming your market positioning by offering helpful and insightful resources to your audience is imperative.
It is hard to ignore statistics like that when drafting your content marketing strategy – even for SaaS companies.
What makes for an Effective SaaS Content Marketing Strategy?
As mentioned earlier, a winning SaaS B2B content marketing strategy starts with research, leading to content production, development, publishing, and ultimately, performance tracking. This entire cycle can be spread across the following stages:
- Identify the Strategic Goals of your SaaS Content Marketing
- Define Your Target Audience and their pain points.
- Define Your Metrics
- Analyse Competition
- Develop a Sound Keyword Strategy
- Define Your Outreach Strategy
- Monitor marketing performance and adjust
1. Identify the Strategic Goals of your SaaS Content Marketing
No company will turn down a staggering increase of 400% in organic traffic brought about by the top 10 SaaS blogs. We know because we have done it for our clients.
All we are saying is, that’s not enough!
Having a concrete goal in place is the first step that will help you optimize your content for the search engines at the right time.
While goals can vary with every company, they are broadly similar.
So, what can some of the strategic goals for your SaaS content marketing strategy be? Your goals can be one or more of the following:
- Consistent and cumulative stream of monthly leads
- Brand Awareness
- Educate your customers with eBooks, whitepapers, blogs, stories, podcasts, etc.
- Build credibility, and much more
Educating your prospective customers is key to getting them interested in your software. This is why content is such a great tool for marketing SaaS. Tweet This!
One thing to remember in Content marketing for SaaS is it should focus on cumulative growth. This typically means that you invest the same amount every month to gain a greater outreach each month.
This is in contrast to non-cumulative growth methods where your growth can either grow, remain constant, or fall over a period of time. Cumulative growth will enable you to grow your email and phone list, allowing you to speak to a larger number of prospects every month.
2. Define your Target Audience and their pain points.
Once you have zeroed in on the strategic goals, the next most important step is to identify and define your target audience. A well-defined target audience means you can have a focused SaaS content marketing campaign. A big part of writing and publishing good, impactful, and educative content is to understand your audience, their challenges, and also their resistance.
You are not writing or publishing content for Google. You are writing your content for your target audience. Tweet This!
Let’s not forget that different approaches appeal to different kinds of audiences. So, in order to make sure that your message makes sense to the right people, you will need to know who they are.
Let’s look at the different ways to go about it, and you can adopt any or all of them, depending on your requirement.
- Look at historical data from surveys that your company would have collected with respect to the audience.
- Conduct Market research
- Talk to your trusted customers
- Trade Shows.
Answering questions like the following can help you narrow down your target audience:
- Will you be selling to small businesses or large corporations?
- How much are they willing to pay for your software?
- What is the pain area for your target audience?
- Is there a particular industry you want to target?
- Which social media platforms are they on?
- Which trade shows do they frequent?
You can create your own list of questions because it’s your product. Once you have the target audience defined, your sales team can be used to make a note of all the questions your target audience is asking. These will provide a good starting point for deciding the kind of content you need for your SaaS content marketing strategy.
The next thing to understand about your target audience is their pain points and what motivates their buying decisions. This will help you steer your SaaS content marketing strategy in the direction of your audience’s needs.
Chalking out your customer journey right from their interest in a product to making a purchase is a good way to identify their pain points. In other words, a customer journey map lays out their entire buyer experience as they move up your SaaS sales funnel – from prospects to customers.
At each step in the customer journey, from their being aware of your product, all the way to the point where they decide to purchase it, your customer can face a number of challenges that can hinder their progress to the next step. These could be any of the following:
- Failing to bridge the gap between what they need and what you are offering.
- Difficulty navigating your website
- A poor demo or free trial experience.
- Poor customer support
- Frustrating user experience
- Lack of information about how to use the product.
The list can be endless, and it will depend on the industry your SaaS product caters to.
Once you have the pain points listed down, you can then build your audience’s pain points into your marketing content creation and your sales marketing strategy. This will also dictate the type of content you will need to publish.
3. Define your Metrics
While some Key Performance Indicators such as unique visitors, bounce rate, and session duration are constant for all kinds of content marketing, there are a few unique KPIs particularly crucial to SaaS companies. These are:
- Free trial registrations – These requests could be coming in from specific pages on your websites, such as Blogs or Resources.
- Software Demo Requests.
- Percentage of new and returning visitors – A high percentage of new visitors signifies an influx of fresh traffic and more returning visitors imply loyalty.
- Increase in subscribers per dollar invested
- Lead Conversion Rate (LCR) – This metric will measure your conversions per visit to your site, opt-in to your email list, or registration for a trial or a demo request. This is your ROI.
- Month on Month organic traffic growth
- Total keyword Rankings – Keyword rankings are a great indicator of future traffic.
- Target Keyword Rankings – For most parts, the top 3 articles attract the maximum traffic on search engines like Google. So, it’s important to track each article’s performance for its target keyword.
As a B2B SaaS Content Marketing Agency, we have ranked 3,000 Keywords for our clients in the top 10 on Google.
4. Analyse Competition
Ideally, this should have been done before developing your SaaS product because only then would you be able to identify your USP which sets your product apart from the rest of your competition.
But, for content marketing purposes, you will need to analyze your competition in a different light.
Some of these things could be:
- Analyzing the backlinks of your direct competitors to see where they have been mentioned.
- Analysing their content for keywords.
- Looking at the social media platforms they target.
- Getting a broad overview of the content marketing strategy they have adopted, and most importantly, identify gaps that you can fill in with your marketing strategy.
When you have all this data, you will be in a better position to develop a strong USP for your SaaS content marketing. Research is key.
With our research, we were able to help Start-Ups get listed among the fastest-growing companies in the world.
Depending on what your SaaS product is capable of, it also may be worth exploring niche industries that your competitors haven’t reached. This will not only open up a whole new target audience for you but may also help you come up with new content spheres, hitherto not explored.
Once you have identified and analysed your competition, you can now use these analytics to develop an immersive and sound content strategy revolving around the problem of your potential customer.
This brings us to the next logical step.
5. Develop a Sound Keyword Strategy
We spoke about the customer journey earlier. It’s important to remember that at each step in the journey, customers may use different keywords to look for the information they need. Let’s look at some examples:
- Before becoming aware of your product, they may be searching for information on “how to” solve a “pain point”.
- Upon discovering your product, they may look for product reviews.
- Once they start using their product, they could be looking for information on how to complete the installation process.
- When they need support, they will be looking for solutions or customer service.
And so on, and so forth.
By identifying these different keywords or phrases typical to every step of the journey, you can decide whether to write a blog post or go for ebooks or white papers. Remember, that your focus is to improve their user experience, regardless of whether they are in the middle of the funnel or at the bottom of the funnel. And the best way to do that is to identify those search terms. Hence, keyword research is critical.
There are a number of online tools like the Google Keyword Planner that can help you with keyword research.
Although it may sound rather simple, search engines like Google are quite effective and intuitive when it comes to reading user intent. For instance, when a user searches “buy SaaS”, Google will not redirect them to your blog post on “How to buy SaaS”. Therefore, it is important to focus on keywords that indicate a desire for something if your goal is to build a subscriber base. Something that is more exhaustive than blogs. Consider ebooks, white papers, or case studies.
Make sure your keywords reflect relevance, competition, and the number of searches.
Search engines are smart. For best results, work with a SaaS content marketing agency.
We have ranked more than 3,000 keywords for our clients in the Top 10.
6. Define Your Outreach Strategy
One of the primary challenges with SaaS content marketing strategy is that your content doesn’t reach the right people at the right time on the right platforms. And although this might sound like a cliché, it isn’t.
Your outreach should be two-fold:
- Publication of content – Where you post or publish your content and drive traffic to your website.
- Promotion of content – Where you redirect your audience to your content.
Outreach strategies should be tailored to individual pieces of content. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to content distribution strategies.
There is a diverse range of channels – including phone, email, social media, and different marketing campaigns which your marketing team can use to reach your target audience.
The rule of thumb – Irrespective of whether you’re writing a case study, drafting an eBook, or a whitepaper, sending out a survey, conducting webinars, or writing a how-to guide, etc., you need to ensure it has a purpose for your audience and aligns with your overall content marketing strategy.
Contrary to the popular belief, publishing too much is a dangerous mistake. It is more important to write something that your audience will love vis-à-vis putting excessive content out there and having no one to read. Another flip side of publishing too much content without context often compromises on quality. The key is to publish as often as you can without making a hole in the quality of your content.
Honestly, there’s no use publishing content that won’t get read!
And no, we are not overlooking your budget here. So, depending on your content marketing budget, you can use the following publishing schedule.
Low – 1 eBook/quarter and 1-2 articles per week
Medium – 1 eBook/month and 2-4 articles per week
High – 2 eBooks/month and 4-6 articles per week
7. Monitor marketing performance and adjust
Content Marketing doesn’t come to a full circle unless it is measured, monitored, and adjusted.
By measuring the different KPIs that you would have set for your content marketing early on in the process, you create a feedback loop for yourself and your marketing team that tells you what is working and what isn’t.
These KPIs could be any or all of the following:
- Keyword rankings,
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Conversions generated by your content, and more.
Hence, monitoring your content marketing strategy is important from time to time.
It’s also important to remember here that no KPI will perform consistently every time. And that can be because of a variety of reasons. When you measure the above-mentioned KPIs, you might want to look at what it’s trying to show you over a period of time, like:
- Month on month traffic growth – both organic and otherwise.
- Number of backlinks
- Total Keyword Rankings
- Target Keyword Rankings
Best Practices of SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
1. Holistic B2B SaaS content marketing strategy
- Your Company Goals and Mission: Your content should be aligned with your company’s overall goals and mission.
- Customer Personas: Your content should be aligned to a particular customer persona/ potential customer to ensure you are catering to who you want to.
- Funnel Content: Typically, your content should serve a different purpose at each stage of the funnel in the customer journey (e.g. awareness, consideration, decision, and retention). This will accelerate lead generation.
- Types of Content: Consider different content formats to support your marketing strategy and your sales funnel.
- SEO and Keyword Research: Use SEO and keyword research to create content.
- Topic Clusters: These are topic categories, which will come out of your SEO research. Using topic clusters helps you to establish an information hierarchy for your website and boosts your rankings for those key terms.
- USP: Utilize your company’s unique value propositions when developing content. This will ensure the delivery of consistent messaging to your audience.
- Timelines: This will include deciding which content to create, their due dates, and publish dates.
- KPIs: Your content should always be tied to your key performance indicators to allow easy evaluation.
- Call-to-Actions: Add CTAs to your content so you can engage and nurture your audience further.
2. Goals vs Metrics
To give you a little more perspective of what kind of metrics you should be evaluating based on your goals, here’s a snapshot.
3. Content Type Vs. Sales Funnel
Let’s now look at the different content formats that work best with prospects in the different stages of the Funnel. But first, let’s look at some content attributes at each phase of the funnel.
To explain this table in a little more detail, bottom of the funnel content will focus on search terms with lower search volume but a higher buying intent, and will see the highest conversion rates.
Middle of the funnel content will focus on search terms with medium search volume and buying intent and will have fewer conversions. And top of the funnel content will focus on search terms with the highest search volume but the lowest buying intent and will have the lowest number of conversions.
Now let’s look at the content types we would want B2B SaaS companies should focus on at different stages of the funnel.
Top of Funnel: Use keyword research to publish high-level topics and introduce new readers to your brand.
Middle of Funnel: Use keyword research in addition to sales and support feedback to tie pain points to your specific solution.
Bottom of Funnel: Use sales and support feedback to publish content directly about your product.
3. Email Marketing
Email Marketing is the lifeline of SaaS content marketing efforts. Hence, a robust list-building strategy is the way to go.
List-building strategies must focus on moving the prospect from reading a blog post to downloading a resource by signing up. This resource is typically known as a “lead magnet” and can be any of the following:
- 30-Day Challenge
- Training courses
- Original research (surveys, case studies, proprietary data)
The most important part here is to ensure a natural connection between your lead magnets, blog posts, CTA, and the SaaS itself. For example, a signup form placed directly within your blog can be a good place to pick up a conversion.
A good SaaS content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. By simply understanding how to prioritize the different content pieces, you can ensure the highest chance to generate meaningful revenue.
And by mapping the different types of content to your sales funnel like we do for our customers, you can ensure you’re reaching the right people with the right type of content at the right time.
Let us know what you think and if you are facing any challenges with your SaaS Content marketing strategy.