SaaS content marketing is an effective way to increase leads and sales for your business.
The reason is that it allows you to establish trust through education. People are more likely to buy after receiving education about a product or service. Content marketing provides an opportunity for you to do just that.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how you can use content marketing successfully to generate more leads and revenue for your SaaS company.
What is a SaaS Marketing Strategy?
Your SaaS marketing strategy is everything you do to create awareness in the market about your brand and product.
It includes a digital presence that supports the entire customer journey. Typically, you’ll use a combination of content marketing, landing pages for email subscriptions, and in-app messaging with prospects who downloaded a trial or customers using the paid version.
It all begins with a solid content marketing strategy to attract best-fit customers into the sales funnel.
How to Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
There are a few key elements you should include in your digital content strategy.
Planning the content to include within your marketing funnel.
Determining the types of content to use within the overall plan.
Creating high-quality content.
Staying up-to-date on industry trends.
The persona of the customer and why they will need your product.
How to show customers that your solution is better than the competition’s product.
The channels you will use to distribute your content, such as social media or blogging platforms.
Identify Your Goals
You need to identify your goals before embarking on a SaaS content marketing strategy. Ask yourself why you’re going to go through all the work to push out consistent content.
Here are some goals that you might include when creating content:
Create brand awareness with current and future audiences.
Build your email list of prospective customers.
Get your content in front of a larger audience.
Generate qualified leads for sales teams to target and convert into paying customers.
Foster customer loyalty and uncover brand ambassadors.
Establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry, which can help you attract the best talent down the line.
Of course, the most important goal is using a SaaS content marketing strategy to continuously increase customer sales month by month.
Plan Your Funnel’s Content Strategy
It’s a good idea to plan out content based on how it fits within the three main elements of a sales funnel. These three areas help to take each prospect through the proper customer journey.
Top of the funnel (TOF)
Middle of the funnel (MOF)
Bottom of the funnel (BOF)
Top of the funnel content includes getting your audience interested in your product. An example of this type of content is a blog post that broadly educates a prospect through “ultimate guide” style content.
Middle of the funnel is where you try to convince a customer that they have a problem and need help solving it with your software. Examples of middle of the funnel content are a webinar or a video.
Bottom-of-the-funnel content convinces customers to purchase from you as opposed to competitors, or upgrade their account if they’re in a trial phase or purchased a lower-tier option of your product.
An example of bottom-of-the-funnel content includes a case study to illustrate how other customers experienced value from purchasing the software.
Map out the content you’ll use within these three sales funnel stages. Use your content document to provide direction and specificity when it comes to pushing out new content.
Content Strategy Ideas
There are many types of content to use within the three sales funnel stages as you work on your SaaS marketing goals.
Blog posts – Blog posts should take the form of educational pieces, success stories from other customers who have used your product successfully, and reviews of competitors.
Videos – Video content can reveal new features in a release.
Or, it can give an overview of how the software works for various personas within your target market (e.g., IT managers or marketing directors).
Whitepapers and eBooks – If you have any research that supports your solution’s superiority, or tips and tricks that customers can use to get the most out of their purchase, then you should create a downloadable resource for customers.
Webinars – A webinar is a great way to drive awareness of your brand while providing value in the form of new features or best practices.
Podcasts – Podcasts are another way to build your email list through content marketing and gather valuable insights from industry leaders in your space.
SlideShares – SlideShares are great resources for showcasing customer success stories. They also work to add a human element to the features of what you’re selling.
Landing Pages for Email Subscriptions
Your SaaS company should have a landing page for every piece of content it puts out. These pages are where you can capture email addresses from people who express interest in your company’s product or service.
Funnel posts on your blog, for example, over to these landing pages so you can build a subscriber list. An email list provides an opportunity to convert subscribers into customers at a later time.
For each blog post, link visitors to an accompanying landing page that encourages them to sign-up for your email list. The same goes for any videos, whitepapers, podcasts, and SlideShares you produce.
Here are a few examples of this in action.
Write a blog post about how to choose the best SaaS app for a customer’s needs. Link to a landing page with a call-to-action (CTA) that drives readers to enter their contact information in exchange for a free ebook on this topic.
Create a video about how your SaaS product’s features work. Include a clickable CTA at the end to drive viewers to sign-up to watch all future videos and receive email updates.
Prepare a whitepaper with research data behind why your SaaS product is the best option on the market. The whitepaper can use a link to encourage readers to subscribe to download future white papers or receive email updates about your company’s latest findings.
Record a podcast interviewing an industry expert on current trends happening in their space. Tell listeners about a landing page that includes a CTA to drive them to enter their contact information in exchange for a free bonus.
Create a SlideShare with a new feature announcement. The SlideShare landing page should use a CTA that drives viewers to sign-up and download future resources from your company’s blog.
Questions to Ask When Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Before you start creating all sorts of content, it’s important to ask yourself what content to include in blog posts, whitepapers, or videos.
What topics are you going to cover?
How will this content tie back into your company’s overall marketing strategy?
Are there any gaps in the available industry resources that would benefit your customers (or potential leads)?
As well, use an editorial calendar. It’s essential when it comes to creating, sharing, and measuring content. A calendar will help you create your various types of content and understand where to share them.
Focus on High-Quality Content
If you’re going to spend time crafting blog posts, videos, and other types of content, it’s important to make sure they’re high in quality. Your target audience must get value with each touchpoint.
You don’t want to seem spammy or come across as a shill trying to sell something that readers don’t care about. Your content should always bring useful, educational, and interesting ideas to prospects and customers. Otherwise, you will damage your brand’s image.
If you’re unsure about your ability to create excellent content, one way to ensure that all content remains valuable across the board is to hire a content marketing agency or consultant.
Choose an expert who specializes in creating this type of material for SaaS companies regularly. Outsourcing in this area can help you produce more resources, engage more effectively with readers, and increase the number of leads and sales you generate over time.
Stay Up-to-Date with Industry Trends
Your SaaS content marketing strategy will prove most effective if you’re constantly keeping your ear to the ground about what’s happening inside your industry. Industry trends change frequently. It’s important to not only track them but also do something with this information on a regular basis.
For example, let’s say that competitors are doing better at using content marketing on social media networks like Twitter. You may need to change up your own efforts on this platform or figure out how to make it work better for you.
Don’t wait to look into what’s happening throughout the industry. You want initiatives in place that help you identify how the market shifts at all times. Remain consciously aware of anything you need to update or improve upon.
Staying up on industry trends is another reason to potentially hire a content marketing agency. An agency will typically have the resources to remain up to date as it helps to create SaaS content for your specific target audience.
Content Strategy Starts and Ends with Best-Fit Customers
It’s great to plan out your next blog post or whitepaper to bring brand awareness. However, your SaaS content marketing strategy efforts will fall flat if you aren’t creating content that hits home with your target audience.
Define Best-Fit Customers
Start by identifying customers who likely already use or would benefit from your product. You can do this with simple Google Analytics reports that show which pages receive high traffic, as well as what keywords most effectively attract these people.
Then, determine how prospects within your clearly defined audience could become leads for your SaaS company’s products at each stage of the sales funnel. For instance, customers learning about your product for the first time may need a blog post or video that teaches them how it can benefit them in one way or another.
Meanwhile, prospects further down the buying cycle might look to whitepapers with deeper dives into specific features and benefits before deciding on whether or not to buy your software.
As you brainstorm content ideas, think about what type of information could prove most useful for each stage in the sales funnel. Then, determine how many resources are necessary and when they’re needed throughout this process.
Define Your Offer
Next, it’s time to figure out exactly how to position your sales offer. Strategize the ways to include features and benefits of your product as you create content. Many SaaS companies make a mistake when it comes to describing the sales offer. Your marketing content needs to use a nice mix of describing both features and benefits.
However, don’t focus too much on the features. Your target audience cares far more about the benefits than the features. They want to know how your product will save them time or money, for example, more than they care about the customer dashboard.
Your features become important after they’ve become a customer. You must focus on customer pain points and how your product solves those issues if you want your SaaS business to create content that sells.
Structure your internal document with the following items.
Definition of what the product is and how it helps customers
Features and benefits
Use that document to help you include helpful content as you’re writing blog posts, creating videos, or putting together interesting lead magnets to attract leads.
Define Your Product Vision
Include a product vision in your SaaS content marketing campaign. Write out how proud you are in one year, five years, and ten years with how well your product solves customer pain points.
Include a vision statement that talks about how each paying customer tells you about the amazing difference the product makes.
Getting organic referrals from happy customers is one of the most important key performance indicators to track. Your overall marketing efforts will improve if a well-defined product vision drives your content development plan.
Here’s an example of a product vision.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our [insert product name], to see a larger number of case studies and testimonials coming in, and seeing the lives that we’re helping to transform. We love seeing how we’re not only impacting the lives of our customers but also the lives they, in turn, impact as they [insert the biggest benefit your product provides for your SaaS customers]. Continued product improvement and success create a cycle of more referrals.”
How Does Search Engine Optimization Fit Into the Mix?
SEO is a key part of any content marketing strategy. The search engines are where many prospects begin their buying process. Your content marketing efforts will fall flat if you don’t optimize your website’s pages for Google and the other search engines.
Most SaaS companies that you compete with don’t put enough emphasis on a content marketing strategy that mixes in SEO correctly. Your marketing team should focus on the following search engine optimization strategies to power past your competitors.
The best SEO content strategy starts with a little marketing research. Your goal is to discover SEO keywords that identify the pain points of your customers.
Uncovering the proper keywords helps make your content creation process effective. Target keywords that help prospective customers find you precisely when they’re searching for interesting content about your product’s solution.
For example, if your software helps businesses with their customer service, you could use keywords like “customer service software” or even more specific terms like “live chat for websites.”
Use these SEO keyword phrases in the headlines of blog posts and articles. Make sure to weave them into the content itself so Google knows to include your content in organic search results.
Use On-Page, Off-Page, and Technical SEO Strategies
Once you know which keywords will help you best target the pain points your audience wants to solve, it’s time to employ three SEO strategies that will round out your SaaS content marketing campaign.
On-page SEO consists primarily of building out your website with keywords in mind.
You’ll want to include these terms within the title tag, meta description, and heading tags on each blog post created. The content itself should also include keyword phrases so that Google understands what your blog post is all about.
Optimize your internal linking structure. You want to link from relevant pages on one part of the site to related information elsewhere in the website. Additionally, you should have a blog post that includes an HTML sitemap. The sitemap helps Google understand how you’ve organized the website so it can crawl most of the pages efficiently.
Your content marketing strategy needs to include off-page SEO tactics as well. These are the strategies that involve getting other websites and blogs to link back to you. Doing this helps to build up more integrity with Google as the search engine sees other websites voicing how much your content matters in the industry.
The best way to successfully market with off-page SEO is through building backlinks from other websites related to your product area. For example, if you’re selling CRM software for businesses, look at which industry associations allow for guest blogging opportunities.
You could also reach out to the company’s sales team to ask them for a testimonial that links back to your website.
Technical SEO is another important part of a SaaS content marketing campaign that most companies in the SaaS industry neglect to implement correctly.
You need a properly formatted, mobile-responsive site with the proper URL structure for keyword phrases. Doing this well helps Google understand what each page represents as it works to index the site.
Focus on website speed. Google uses this as a ranking factor because a slow site lowers the user experience and reduces traffic.
Another important technical SEO method to include is an SSL certificate. It lets Google know that your website is secure and helps to rank it higher in search results.
By following on-page, off-page, and technical SEO strategies, you’ll ensure that all of your efforts at marketing content take hold.
We mentioned link building in the off-page SEO discussion. Let’s look at it in a bit more detail because it’s such a critical part of your SaaS content marketing plan.
Tracking links from relevant, high-quality sources can help you dominate the world of SaaS brand identity marketing.
For example, if you sell customer service software and write an article about how to manage customer service, you might want to get a link from an article about managing social media. The two topics are related, and many prospective customers will find value in seeing how both work together as part of their content research process.
SaaS Companies Need the Best Content Marketing Tools
Several SaaS marketing tools exist to help you develop content campaigns that generate leads interested in your SaaS solution.
Use Ahrefs to research the best keywords for your SaaS content marketing plan. It also helps you track backlinks from high-quality websites that mention your brand or software.
Use Buzzsumo to find influencers who are popular in your space and who can help you get more exposure on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
If you want to learn about technical SEO, Moz Pro is the way to go. It provides you with all of the tools and information needed for a successful SEO campaign without breaking the bank.
If you want to focus on paid search, Wordstream can help you figure out the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns. It provides targeted keywords, ad copy recommendations, and more.
Quora can help you find answers to questions that potential customers have about your products. Use these questions to create valuable content and generate leads from people who find it on your blog.
Email Service Provider
You need an email service provider for your lead generation and marketing automation needs while pointing a potential customer from your long-form content pieces into your marketing funnel.
Mailchimp is a good choice for most SaaS businesses. ActiveCampaign, AWeber, HubSpot Marketing Hub, GetResponse, and Keap are other solid choices to research.
Buffer will help with your distribution strategy. Use it to schedule posts across all social media platforms simultaneously. Hootsuite is another good choice for this, as well as Sprout Social and Oktopost.
Use Google Analytics to track your content’s performance over time so you know which pieces are providing the most value and where potential customers are coming from. You can also measure how your content marketing efforts impact other aspects of the business, like sales.
Use WordPress to power your website so you can easily update it and add new pages whenever necessary. Squarespace is another good option for SaaS companies looking to build their websites without a need for much technical website-building knowledge. Wix also makes life easier for non-technical users.
SEO plugin by Yoast
Install an SEO plugin on your website to help with technical SEO optimization. Yoast is one of the most popular options for this. It provides you with detailed explanations about how each element can affect Google’s perception of your site. The Yoast SEO plugin also gives advice on what steps to take next if something doesn’t look right from an SEO perspective.
Evernote can help you stay organized and track your progress over time. Use it to take notes about ideas, content pieces that need writing, or the results of social media campaigns.
Use Dropbox to backup important files in case anything happens to your computer or website hosting account. It works for distributing valuable content, such as lead magnets. Dropbox is also a good place to store previous versions of content that you might want to use as a reference point.
Trello and Basecamp are other good options for this purpose if Dropbox isn’t ideal for your needs.
GTmetrix Website Speed Tester
GTmetrix is an excellent way to see how optimized your website’s speed is. Pingdom Website Speed Test and Google PageSpeed Insights are other tools you can use for this purpose.
Use Grammarly to keep an eye on grammar or spelling mistakes on any of your content pieces, including blog posts, social media posts, and landing pages.
Copyscape is an easy-to-use web service that can help you double-check content for duplicates and plagiarism.
Are you excited about putting your SaaS content marketing campaign into place?
If you get good with your ability to identify pain points suffered by customers, do the proper market research, work hard on your SaaS content, and provide interesting insights with your content. You’re on your way to developing an online presence that converts prospects to SaaS product sales.
You can become one of the dominant content marketers in your industry by focusing on building one of the best SaaS blogs possible. Once you do, you’ll discover that a well-structured SaaS content marketing campaign can reduce the current pressure you’re feeling about finding best-fit customers.
Original Article by: Ron Sela / Last updated: November 26, 2021