SaaS Content Marketing Guide
The Ultimate Guide on How to Succeed in Content Marketing as a SaaS Company
Over the years, content has become a mass-produced, low-quality commodity.
The internet is filled with content that is nothing more than fluff, designed to attract clicks and generate ad revenue.
With the internet becoming bombarded with clickbait that has no real substance, it’s becoming hellish to break through the noise and get your voice heard.
Since, as you know, practical, hard-hitting content remains the key to success for SaaS companies. Building your SaaS company’s brand identity and creating a voice for your company starts with a solid content marketing strategy.
However, many SaaS entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that any blasé content will suffice.
They tend to not see beyond the slow burn at the long-term benefits that result from executing a content marketing strategy flawlessly.
To leave a mark on your target market and stand head and shoulders above your competitors, you must produce high-quality content consistently.
Investing wisely into a clever content marketing strategy will help you get in front of the right people, at the right time.
Table of contents:
- Why Is Content Marketing Important for SaaS?
- How To Set Up and Track B2B SaaS Content Marketing Goals
- How To Build a B2B SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
- How To Generate Content Ideas
- How To Write SaaS Content That Engages and Converts
- 3 Best SaaS Content Marketing Examples
- Powerful Steps Towards SaaS Content Marketing Success
Why Is Content Marketing Important for SaaS?
There’s a reason why the popular adage, content is king, outlives any other marketing saying.
It’s because content marketing holds the power in shaping your SaaS business’ success- if done correctly.
For a SaaS business, content marketing is one of the most efficient and effective lead generation and traffic boosting tactics that can turn into paying customers.
Here are four reasons why content marketing should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy:
Position You as a Thought Leader in Your Industry
If your SaaS brand is leading the charge and disrupting your industry, you need content to demonstrate. You can use your blog and digital channels to establish yourself as a credible source of information in your industry. By producing high-quality, informative content regularly, you will become known as a thought leader in your field. When people see you as an expert, they are more likely to do business with you. A study by Edelman shows that 63 percent of people are more likely to purchase from a company if it’s considered a thought leader in its industry. Not to mention, becoming known as an expert will help you attract high-quality talent to your team.
Nurture Your Leads and Convert Them Into Customers
Reach out, connect, and nurture your leads with valuable content. With every SaaS company vying for attention and customers, you will have difficulty building a personal connection with each lead. A powerful content marketing strategy will extend your reach and help you build relationships with more leads in less time. Customers enjoy feeling that they are top priority in your eyes. Use content to show your leads that you value them. You can do this by sending them personalized emails, providing gated content that’s only available to leads, or even just responding to their comments on your blog. By nurturing your leads with content, you will be able to build trust and credibility, which are essential for converting leads into customers.
Generate Inbound Traffic That Costs You Nothing but Time
To get noticed, your SaaS business needs traffic. The best way to generate organic traffic is through inbound marketing, which relies heavily on content. Content creation is the fuel that powers inbound marketing. By creating and distributing valuable content, you will be able to attract more visitors to your website and generate leads. The best part is, that it won’t cost you a dime in advertising. Inbound marketing is all about publishing content to attract organic search traffic from people who are already interested in what you have to offer. All you need is time and a ton of creativity.
Differentiate Your Brand from the Competition
With your competition offering similar products or services, what makes your SaaS company different from them? Your content should be able to answer that question. By creating unique and original content, you will be able to distinguish your brand from the competition and make it more memorable. People are bombarded with content every day, so it’s important to make yours stand out. One way to do this is by writing in your voice and creating visuals that are in line with your brand identity. Make sure that your content is something that people will want to read, watch, or listen to. If it’s not, they will quickly move on to something else.
How To Set Up and Track B2B SaaS Content Marketing Goals
Goals give your efforts meaning. Every marketing strategy should have clearly defined metrics for success. They are guideposts that not only guide you in the right direction but also help track your overall progress. Without goals, your content marketing strategy is nothing more than a guessing game. So before you leap from the starting line, define and outline your SMART content marketing goals. It takes time but it’s worth the investment. Here’s how you can go about it:
Define Strategic Content Marketing Goals
What does success look like for your business? Your SaaS marketing goals should be perfectly aligned with your overall business objectives. That way, you can ensure that your content is driving results. Start by asking yourself what you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy. Some common goals that B2B SaaS businesses want to achieve with their content marketing strategy include:
- Generate more leads
- Nurture existing leads
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost website traffic
- Engage with a clearly defined audience
Once you have a general idea of what you want to achieve, you can start setting up performance metrics to track your progress.
Determine Performance Metrics
Gauging your progress over time will determine if your strategies are performing well and if you are on track to achieve your goals. If not, you’ll lose sight of your overarching goal and waste time and valuable resource on strategies that aren’t working Common snags for most B2B SaaS companies that you should steer clear of are:
- Tracking too many metrics at once
- Measuring irrelevant vanity metrics
- Failing to align content marketing metrics to business goals
- Neglecting their key performance metrics (KPIs)
As a starting point, consider tracking the following metrics:
- Website traffic
- Number of downloads
- Social media engagement
- Time spent on page
- Bounce rate
- New vs. returning visitors
- Blog comments
- Number of leads generated
- Lead conversion rate
- Cost per lead (CPL)
- Customer acquisition costs (CAC)
To get the most accurate data, you’ll want to make sure that you:
- Set up UTM parameters for tracking links
- Install Google Analytics and other tracking tools
- Create goals and funnels in Google Analytics
- Install heat mapping and session recording tools
- Regularly review your data and optimize your strategy for peak performance
How To Build a B2B SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
You have crafted the blueprint and defined your KPIs, now it’s time to start filling in the missing pieces of the puzzle. A clever well-thought-out strategy will elevate your B2B SaaS brand on a platform that adds volume to your brand voice. To make sure that your strategy is as close to perfect as possible, we have put together a foolproof guide that covers all the bases, from ideation to execution. Here’s what you need to do:
- Find Your Target Audience
- Understand What Your Audience Wants
- Map Your Marketing & Sales Funnel
- Do Keyword Research
- Conduct a Competitive Analysis
- Create Editorial Calendar
- Design Content Distribution Strategy
Find Your Target Audience
The crux of marketing is that you can’t appeal to everyone, and that’s okay. Rather than trying to write content for everyone, it’s better to have a clear idea of who would benefit most from your product. Identifying and understanding the needs wants, fears, and aspirations of your niche SaaS market will help with creating content that resonates and persuades. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when trying to identify your target audience:
- Who is your ideal potential customer?
- What is their title or role within their organization?
- What are their responsibilities?
- What challenges do they face in life?
- What would make their lives or jobs easier?
- What does success look like for them?
- What content are they already consuming?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What kind of language do they use?
- What devices are they using when they consume content?
- What brands are they already loyal to?
Bring your buyer persona to life by giving them characteristics, personality traits, apprehensions, and desires. The more detailed and realistic you can make them, the easier it will be to understand their content needs. If you find yourself struggling to form a picture of your buyer persona, consider conducting surveys or interviews with past or existing customers. You can also look at your website’s Google Analytics or social media analytics tools to see who is already engaging with your content. Once you have a buyer persona in mind, you can start thinking about what kind of content will speak to them.
Understand What Your Audience Wants
Your target audience’s desires and pain points are closely intertwined. If you understand your audience’s challenges, you can finally pinpoint what drives them to overcome these challenges. These strong emotional motivators should be your key focus as it is the propelling force that pushes them through your buyer’s journey and towards making a purchasing decision. Therefore, identifying what pushes your target audience is the next step to fleshing out an actionable SaaS content marketing strategy. Start by walking in your customer’s shoes. Try to put yourself in their position and walk through the customer’s journey from discovery to consideration to making a decision.
- How did they discover your SaaS product?
- What was their experience with using your website?
- What made them want to consider your product?
- What questions did they have along the way?
- What was their experience with a free trial?
- What finally convinced them to purchase your SaaS product?
- Where there any customer service issues?
If you understand their journey, you will be able to anticipate the content needs of your target audience and map out a strategy that addresses these needs. Your answers to these questions will give you a good starting point for the kind of content you need to be creating.
Map Your Marketing & Sales Funnel
Acknowledging the pain points of your target audience along their customer journey is one thing, but you also need to think about how your content will guide them through each stage of the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the process your target market undergoes when they go from being unaware of their pain points to becoming a satisfied and loyal paying customer. The buyer’s journey has five distinct stages:
The first stage is where the buyer becomes aware of their problem or challenge. During this stage, they are actively seeking information to help them understand their problem better. Your content during this stage should focus on helping the buyer understand their problem and the different solutions available to them.
In the second stage, the buyer becomes interested in a particular SaaS solution to their problem. Here, they are looking for more information about the product or service that piques their interest. Content that centers on the features and benefits of your product or service and how it can help solve their problem will be most effective during this stage.
In the third stage, the buyer narrows down their options and starts to compare different solutions. At this point, they are looking for more in-depth content about the products or services they are interested in. Here, you should focus on the unique selling points of your product or service and how it compares to the competition.
At the bottom of the funnel, the buyer is ready to make a purchasing decision. At this point, they are looking for any final information that will help them make their decision. Your content should focus on customer testimonials, case studies, free trials, or demos.
In the fifth and final stage, the buyer uses the product or service and may also become a brand ambassador. Customer success stories and product updates will do wonders at this stage As you can see, each step carries its pitfalls that your target market may fall into. By creating content that is geared toward each stage, you can help guide your target audience through their buyer’s journey and increase the chances of customer loyalty.
Do Keyword Research
At the root of SaaS SEO or search engine optimization is keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that prospective customers are using to search for your product or service using search engines.
Like it or not, it’s the foundation that your entire SEO strategy will be built on, so it’s important to take your time and do it right. To start, create a list of all the keywords and phrases you can think of that are related to your product. Also, you should recognize that the right keywords to use for your strategy vary from one stage to the other along the buyer’s journey.
For example, a person in the awareness stage is likely to use keywords that are more general and broad, such as “local SEO.” On the other hand, a person in the consideration stage is likely to use more specific keywords, such as “SEMrush local SEO features”
By targeting the right keywords at each stage, you can ensure that your content is appearing on search results for people who are interested in what you have to offer. If you’re looking to brush up on your Content Marketing skills, turn to these helpful posts for some tips and tricks to get you started:
- 20 Saas Content Marketing Statistics
- How To Measure Content Marketing Strategy
- Why Your Small Business Needs A Content Marketing Plan
- How Content Marketing Helps Your Business Increase Sales
Keyword research will be a daunting long-winded process without the different keyword research tools available. Here are a few of the essential tools that you should have in your arsenal:
- Google Ads Keyword Planner: This is a free tool from Google that allows you to see how often certain keywords are used on search engines.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is a comprehensive tool that goes beyond keyword and marketing research to provide interesting insights into your competitor’s SEO strategies.
- Moz Keyword Explorer: Here’s another paid tool that helps you find the right keywords to target for your SEO strategy.
Master these keyword research tools and build a list of target keywords to steer your content marketing efforts.
Conduct a Competitor Analysis
There’s a lot you can learn from your condition. Your competitors offer inspiration, motivation, and a clear path to follow as you build your SaaS content marketing strategy. Where they falter is where you can excel. Learn what they’re doing right, and think of ways to make it even better. Conducting a competitive analysis gives you a sneak peek into the strategies and tactics your competitors are using to reach their audience. It also helps you identify any gaps in their strategy that you can improve upon and capitalize on, such as:
- Not targeting certain keywords
- Not ranking for certain keyword phrases
- Underutilizing certain marketing channels
- Lacking certain types of content
- Not solving their market’s pain points
To start your competitive analysis, create a list of your main competitors. Once you have your list, you can begin to research their SEO and SaaS content marketing strategies. Using your keyword research tool, you can delve into the keywords their targeting, their backlinks, and their social media engagement. Peeking behind the curtain of your competitors’ content marketing strategy highlights how they target and solve the problems of your potential customers. Investing the time in conducting a competitive analysis is an essential step in building an effective SaaS content marketing strategy.
Create Editorial Calendar
Your editorial calendar is the backbone of your content marketing strategy. It’s a system for planning, organizing, and tracking all of your content so you can ensure that it is aligned with your business goals.
An editorial calendar also allows you to see at a glance what kind of content you have planned for each stage of the buyer’s journey. This is important because it ensures that you are providing the right type of content to your audience at each stage.
There are a few different ways you can go about creating an editorial calendar that varies depending on the price. The simplest way is to create a spreadsheet in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
Your content calendar builds upon the extensive keyword, target audience, and competitor analysis that you conducted prior. It helps you create content to rank for your target keywords and reach your potential customers at each stage of their customer journey.
Humans learn and interact with a brand with a range of senses. However, they tend to gravitate toward one more than the others. Appealing to everyone’s preferred senses can be a little challenging but beneficial.
Try to create an ideal blend of visuals, auditory, and/or kinesthetic experiences in your content. That means creating content of varying formats such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and podcasts. Make sure to maintain the high-quality standards of each piece of content to keep your audience engaged.
Consistency is central when trying to appeal to multiple senses while growing and engaging with your audience.
Design Content Distribution Strategy
Your content distribution strategy is how you will get your content in front of your target audience. It focuses on where and how you will distribute your content to engage with your target market. There are a few different channels you can use to distribute your content. The most common are social media, email marketing, and partnership.
Reach millions of potential customers by sharing your content on social media. The most popular platforms for businesses are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also use forums like Quora and Reddit to drive traffic to your website. The key to success on social media is to be active and engaging. Post regularly, respond to comments, and spur on conversations. Soon you will build up a community of engaged followers who are interested in what you have to say.
There’s a reason why email marketing is still considered one of the most effective SaaS marketing strategies out there. Boasting a conversion rate of 15.22% in 2021, despite being an age-old strategy, email marketing is here to stay. The first step to email marketing success is building up a database of subscribers. You can do this by placing forms on your website or blog that allows people to sign up for your email list. Once you have a list of subscribers, segment them to make sure you are sending relevant and targeted content to each group. Then you can delve into creating visually appealing and persuasive email campaigns that are engaging and informative.
Joining forces with another business in an affiliated SaaS industry is an excellent way to reach a new audience. You can do this by guest blogging, co-hosting webinars, or participating in interviews. When partnering with another business, make sure that you choose one that compliments yours. For example, if you are a B2B SaaS company that provides project management software, you could partner with a business that provides time-tracking software. By teaming up, you can sow the returns of your partnership by introducing each other to your audiences while growing your reach.
For a SaaS marketing team, getting your creative juices flowing can prove to be more of a challenge than expected. It’s natural to feel stuck, uninspired, or uncertain of the best way to approach a project. There are, however, some tried and tested methods you can use to get those ideas flowing again and kickstart your brainstorming process.
Ask Your Audience on Social Media or in the Email
Who knows what your audience wants to see better than your audience themselves? Asking your followers or email list subscribers directly is an excellent way of generating content ideas that are relevant and interesting to them. You can do this by conducting polls, surveys, or simply asking questions in your captions or email subject lines. This method is also a great way of gauging the interest in certain topics so that you know whether it’s worth pursuing as a full piece of content.
Ask Your Sales Team and Customer Success Team
If you failed to ask your audience directly, your next best bet is to ask your sales and customer success teams. Your sales team is the ones who are constantly interacting with your potential customers and getting to the heart of their pain points. Meanwhile, your customer success team is in charge of maintaining relationships with your current customers. They will know exactly what type of content will help them succeed. Both teams are a reliable source of information when it comes to understanding your audience and the content they desire.
Utilize Your Unique Data
As a B2B SaaS company, you recognize the value behind data. In fact, you may use data to direct your entire business. This data can also be used to write consistent content that is unique to your company. You can do this by analyzing your data to discern any emerging patterns. This could be anything from customer trends to popular features on your website. Once you have this information, you can create content that is relevant and interesting to your audience. This data-driven approach not only guarantees that your content will be well-received but also sets you apart from your competition.
Run a Series of Interviews
Well-conducted interviews illuminate different perspectives on a topic. You can interview anyone from industry experts to customers, partners, or employees. They act as a wellspring of insightful information offering industry knowledge on a wide range of topics. Taking this approach gives you a start to craft a wealth of topical and evergreen content creation ideas that are both informative and engaging. You can use the information gathered from your interviews to create SaaS content such as blog posts, infographics, or even videos.
Repurpose Existing Content
Working smarter not harder is the name of the game. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by repurposing your existing content. This could be anything from an old blog post to a social media graphic. Give your content new life by turning them into different content formats. Reenergize your blog posts into an infographic or convert an old video into a podcast episode. You can also break down your content into smaller pieces and share them across social media or use them as blog post fodder. This is a reliable process to extend the shelf-life of your content and get the most out of the effort you’ve already put in.
Watch Webinars and Write Down the Main Takeaways
Take some time to educate yourself on the latest industry news and trends. Attend webinars or listen to podcasts that are relevant to your industry. Make a list of the main takeaways from each one and use them as inspiration for your next blog post or article. Staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends not only gives you content ideas but also allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in your field. By sharing your insights on the latest industry trends, you’ll be able to show your audience that you’re an expert in your field while building trust with your audience.
Play the Devil’s Advocate
Sometimes, it pays to be the villain. “Devil’s advocate” content takes the polar opposite approach of a popular topic and argues against it. This type of content is bound to get attention and spark some heated debates. Just be sure to back up your claims with data and research. While this approach may be controversial, it’s an effective way to get people talking about your brand.
How To Write SaaS Content That Engages and Converts
Remember in a world of content overload and short attention spans, it’s not enough to write something standard and boilerplate. You need to give your audience something different, something valuable, something worth talking about, something that will make them pay attention to you. But before you start typing away or recording your podcast episodes, there are a few tactics you need to keep in mind if you want your content to be successful.
1. Add Contextual Illustration
A blank wall of text isn’t going to capture anyone’s hearts or minds. In today’s digital world, 80% of internet users are used to skimming content for the main points. That’s why it’s important to add a contextual illustration to your content like images, infographics, charts, and graphs. Not only will this help break up the monotony of a long-form article, but it will also help drive home your main points.
2. Highlight Important Areas in the Picture
It’s one thing to add images to your content, but it’s another thing entirely to make sure those images are helping your cause. When adding images, be sure to highlight the important areas with arrows or circles. This will help guide your readers’ eyes to the most important parts of the image. You can also use text boxes to call out key takeaways or quotes from the accompanying article.
3. Insert GIFs & Memes
Add some light humor and personality to your content by inserting GIFs and memes. Not only will this make your content more lighthearted and easier to consume, but it will also help you connect with your audience on a more personal level. Just be sure to use GIFs and memes sparingly, as too many can be distracting and detract from the overall message of your content. You can easily embed GIFs and memes from sites like Giphy and Imgur.
4. Add Short Video Demos and Tutorials
Incorporate short video demos into your content to help break down complex concepts. Short video tutorials offer a more engaging and visually appealing way to consume information in a short amount of time. Plus, they’re a great way to add an extra layer of depth to your content. When adding video tutorials, be sure to keep them short, sweet, and to the point. The last thing you want is for your audience to get bored and click away.
3 Best SaaS Content Marketing Examples
Avoid common stumbling blocks and set your SaaS company up for success by learning from those that came before you. If you analyze what’s working for other businesses, you can adapt and improve upon those strategies to create a content strategy that works for your business.
Userpilot’s content strategy is all about personalization. They use a variety of tactics to collect data on their professional users and then use that data to personalize the content they serve. Userpilot also does a great job of mixing up its content types. In addition to traditional blog posts, they also produce ebooks and webinars.
Ahrefs is a suite of tools for SEO and marketing, most known for their backlink analysis tool. They have an extensive blog that covers a wide range of topics related to SEO and link building. But what sets Ahrefs’ content strategy apart is the depth and detail of their articles. They go above and beyond to provide their readers with everything they need to know on a given topic.
CoSchedule’s content strategy is all about helping its readers get more done in less time. They produce a variety of content types, including blog posts, infographics, and ebooks. However, to distinguish itself from its competitors, CoSchedule puts a heavy emphasis on its blog posts. Each article is packed with actionable tips and advice that their readers can implement right away.