There is no doubt that SaaS can be a great business model.
Like all businesses, you must know that acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones is crucial to your long-term success.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through content marketing. Good content can help you nurture existing customer relationships, but it can also be a great way to generate leads organically.
A successful SaaS content marketing strategy often correlates with other vital metrics e.g. customer lifetime value, and sales.
What is SaaS Content Marketing?
Content marketing refers to the entire process of creating and distributing all forms of valuable, relevant, and consistent content. The goal is to specifically attract and retain a clearly defined audience. The only difference for SaaS businesses is the ideal customer profile.
However, with a SaaS content marketing strategy, it is still essential to drive profitable customer actions, a good example of this is either a free trial signup or an email newsletter subscription.
Why is SaaS Content Marketing Important?
Content marketing for SaaS businesses isn’t just about trying to increase profits – although, of course, that is the end goal. Fortunately, there is also a myriad of other benefits associated with content marketing.
Build Brand Awareness
Great content drives positive brand awareness. People love to share and repurpose content that offers value. In turn, this will help you to reach a wider audience.
This wider audience will also be very relevant to your SaaS business.
For example, if you were a SaaS business that offered invoicing software and you published a really informative video on client invoicing etiquette and this video was reshared across Twitter the people who end up engaging with your video will likely be very interested in your service offerings.
By consistently producing relevant content that resonates with people, you will be in a pole position to establish and present yourself as a thought leader in your respective industry.
SaaS businesses that succeed recognize the value of search engine optimization (SEO). Businesses that prioritize SEO and treat it as a lead acquisition channel will realize long-term organic traffic benefits.
When you can attract potential customers to your website organically with SEO you will see a huge increase in content engagement that also drives signups and sales.
Effective SaaS content marketing doesn’t just help to attract new people to your business, it can also help you nurture leads, helping them to move further down the sales funnel with the end goal of converting them to customers.
This is because by creating relatable content that addresses the pain points and challenges of your target audience, you can build trust and credibility! Two of the most important components of sales.
Boost Customer Retention
Creating helpful content isn’t just about “new sales” – good content marketing can also help SaaS companies to better retain existing customers.
By improving customer satisfaction, happy customers are returning customers, so great content can also be a key way to limit customer churn.
How to Create a Successful SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
So, by now, the benefits of having a successful SaaS content marketing strategy are hopefully obvious. But, what other than “create quality content” should you do to get there?
Define Your Audience
Having A clear understanding of your audience and the current clientele is the foundation of any successful SaaS content marketing strategy.
The quality of your content is subjective in the eyes of the reader.
Even if you write the best blog post the world has ever seen about rock music it won’t be effective at engaging people if you only reach customers interested in lizards.
Relevance to the reader is everything in terms of content marketing. Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to help you define your audience.
Start by creating a profile of your ideal customer. A typical profile simply consists of demographics like age, gender, location, job title, income level, and level of education. This isn’t about excluding people, it’s about hyper-focusing on specific groups of people who are more likely to be interested in your offerings.
Next, we would recommend analyzing your current customers. By taking a look at your current customer base and analyzing their attitudes and behavior you will be able to build a schema of what your target audience is looking for.
- What are their pain points and challenges?
- What are their goals and motivations?
- What information are they looking for?
- How can I help them achieve their personal goals?
By asking these questions (and others) you will be able to form a typical buyer persona. All this is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. It will be a combination of your target demographics, social behaviors, goals, challenges, and motivations.
When you understand that you are trying to target this fictional persona, you will be able to produce more targeted content, better capable of converting.
Finally, you may also consider conducting market research as this can help you gain a deeper understanding of your target audience from other people directly. Surveys, focus groups, and social listening workshops are all effective ways to gather additional insights about your audience.
Developing a Content Strategy
If you want to do content marketing then the concept of a content strategy should not sound foreign.
Why is having a well-planned content strategy important?
Because it gives you direction.
Having a direction of the way in which you want to produce content will help you create and distribute content that both resonates with leads and supports your wider business objectives.
Before you start filming or writing your content you need to decide what you want to achieve, perhaps it’s simply more sales, or maybe it’s more complicated.
Either way, the goal of your content should be treated as a priority in the creation phase. For example, if you are looking to increase organic lead generation, then your content goal might be to produce more informational, top-of-funnel content that attracts new visitors and helps you build an impression of knowledge and authority.
When most people think of content marketing, the first thing that they usually think of is blog posts. However, content marketing is much broader than this, and utilizing different forms of content is also typically less competitive and can still be equally effective.
Ebooks, webinars, infographics, videos, and podcasts, are all good ways to engage people and get them talking about your business. Creating content like infographics is also a great SaaS link-building strategy.
Consider the preferences of your target customer.
Do they prefer visual content? If yes, then focus on publishing more infographics and videos and use visual social media like Pinterest and Instagram. These are the questions you should be answering.
Answer the pain points and challenges affecting people in your market. Conduct surveys with existing customers, perform social media listening, and do thorough keyword research (you can use Quora here too).
This will help you to answer the questions people are asking. Don’t just focus on answering high search volume queries, try and answer what hasn’t been discussed yet too!
Consistency is king in content marketing. You need to remain consistent and make content a continuous priority. Thus, having a content calendar or content schedule in place which outlines when you will publish each piece of content and the distribution channels you will use is a great way to stay organized.
Understand Search Intent
Content isn’t just about writing and sharing knowledge. Of course, this is important, but you also need to consider the “search intent” behind each piece of content.
Search intent is about why someone is searching for a particular keyword.
For example, a person querying ‘best project management tools’ is looking to immediately compare and purchase a project management tool.
Whereas someone that is searching for “how to use project management tools.” is looking for educational content and they likely already have a project management tool.
While this may sound obvious (and it is) this is often neglected. Don’t go off-topic mid-article. Instead, create a clear plan for each piece of content you produce and stick to it.
This will help you stay aligned with the user’s search intent. We will quickly run through the main types of search intent.
Informational: This type of content exists for educational purposes only. Informational intent-focused queries often have a higher search volume and seek to answer common questions How-to guides and step-by-step blog posts are the main form of informational content.
Although, it may seem like there is less profit in educational content you shouldn’t neglect this. Informational content builds brand awareness and helps you establish expertise. Therefore, educational content is the ultimate long-term play.
Commercial: Commercial content exists to promote a particular product or service. In the world of SaaS services, commercial content can be used to highlight the unique features and benefits of your products. Product pages and landing pages are key ways of attracting “ready-to-buy” people.
Transactional: Transactional-based content should contain clear call-to-actions and directions for the reader to follow. Whether that’s signing up for a free trial, subscribing to a newsletter, or scheduling a product walkthrough with a team member. Lead magnets and email campaigns are both useful transactional content types that can be leveraged in a wider SaaS content marketing strategy.
Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is an essential step in terms of your wider content marketing strategy.
Your role here is to identify the specific keywords that your target audience is searching for when they are searching for solutions (or general information) related to your SaaS product or service.
SaaS keyword research doesn’t have to be complicated. We have an awesome guide about it!
The key is to begin by brainstorming a comprehensive list of topics that are highly relevant to your business. For example, a company that sold recruitment software would identify keywords related to this, such as recruitment trends and recruitment outsourcing.
Ideation is the first step.
Once you have a few solid ideas, you can verify their popularity, and competition level in a tool like SEMrush, or Ahrefs.
Keyword research isn’t just about search volume and competition level. While high search volume keywords may be desirable, they often are very difficult (near impossible) to rank for.
This can lead to your business wasting resources… not good.
Additionally, low-competition keywords may be easier to rank for, but they may not have significant search volume. However, unless your goal is to just make money through adverts this is less of an issue.
After all, less targeted traffic is much better than lots of people reading your content and never returning to your website!
Optimize Your Content for SEO
Content marketing drives sales for SaaS businesses, you know that already.
But, only if you have a good traffic source.
While social media, email marketing, and paid ads can all be effective. None beat SEO.
Organic traffic from search engines will always be the best way to drive targeted clicks to your content.
We have mentioned strategic keyword research and building topical authority through cluster content. But, what else can you do to rank organically with SEO?
On-Page optimization is also important.
You can use a tool like SurferSEO or RankIQ for this. These tools will help you include semantic keywords in your headlines, subheadings, and throughout your content. Additionally, you can add alt-tags to all your images on the page and use meta descriptions and title tags to provide context for search engines.
Finally, for on-page SEO you should have a tight internal linking structure across your website that provides context to the pages so that everything is structured in a logical and easy-to-read way.
Next up, off-page optimization.
The priority here is building uber-relevant backlinks to your content from other high-authority websites. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your content and home page, the more authoritative your website will be seen by search engines.
It’s simplistic, but when you think of link-building. A good approach to take is better links, which means higher rankings, and therefore more traffic. Specifically building backlinks to content that is stuck on the second or third page of the SERPs. Just make sure that you avoid the biggest link-building mistakes.
SEO is an ongoing process, but getting it right over an extended period of time will enable you to experience much better results in terms of organic traffic and finding new leads for your SaaS business.
Promote Your Content
Creating great content is only half the battle. SEO takes time.
However, I’m going to assume that you want to see some results in the near future.
To truly succeed with SaaS content marketing, you need to get your content in front of targeted people from day 1 of publishing.
There are a few ways to go about this…
Firstly, social media marketing. While your success with social media marketing will depend on your ability to reach people who are actually interested in your business offerings, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a useful tool.
Social media is used by virtually everyone nowadays, so it can be a powerful platform for promoting your content. To succeed with social media you will need to identify the specific social networks where your target audience is most active and then create a presence on those channels.
Engaging with followers on social media will help you to build a brand community, this can be incredibly helpful for driving returning sales.
While we are on the topic of social media, influencer marketing can also be a good way to increase sales. This process will involve partnering up with influential people in your industry who will promote your brand in exchange for payment or free use of your product.
This sort of collaboration will be way more effective when combined with using paid ads on social media. Why?
Because this will dramatically increase the exposure that interested people have to your brand.
Paid advertising and email marketing can also be great ways to enhance your SaaS content marketing strategy. If you have highly commercial pages this can be a good way to generate new sales.
Your individual promotion strategy should align with your specific content goals and budget. As such, you should consider testing various different tactics to see what works best for your business. Then you can adjust your strategy where necessary to drive better results in terms of brand awareness, leads, and overall revenue for your SaaS business.
Measure Your Results
Once you have implemented your SaaS content marketing strategy, it is important to measure its results.
If you can’t find a good way to track the outcomes of your content marketing strategy then you won’t be able to determine whether the strategy has been effective or not.
What defines a positive metric to track is up to you. But, there are a few common details people look out for.
Firstly, website traffic. Regularly monitoring your Google Analytics to determine how many visitors are coming to your website, where they are coming from, and what pages they are visiting will help you determine which marketing channels are driving the most traffic to your website.
This can give you better insights into where you should focus your attention moving forward.
The thing is though, traffic by itself is what we call a vanity metric.
People need to actually be engaging and interacting with your content in order for it to be successful. New backlinks to pages, comments, social shares, higher dwell times, and lower bounce rates can all be good indicators of this.
Ultimately, the goal of your SaaS content marketing strategy is to generate leads for your business (which hopefully adds revenue to this business). You can track how well the lead-gen side of your business is going by looking at the number of people who are downloading your lead magnets or filling out forms on your website.
What matters more than leads? Arguably conversions. Implementing various conversion rate optimization strategies is the way to go if you want to move website visitors from “content marketing readers” to “buyers”. Your goal is to grow the business and conversions are the element of this that truly moves the needle.
Content marketing shouldn’t be a “publish and pray” method. Instead, your job will be taking existing content and presenting it in a new format or through a different channel. This is the primary goal of content repurposing.
Repurposing and reusing content can save you large amounts of time and resources. Not only that, repurposing content across new channels e.g. Instagram and YouTube will also give you access to a new audience and therefore be able to reinforce key messages.
The likelihood is that over time you have (and will continue to) publish lots of content. As such, it’s important to have a genuine strategy in place.
The first step of content repurposing is to identify pieces that have performed well in the past, whether that’s blog posts, social media updates, infographics, or videos. It doesn’t matter.
The point is that content that has previously performed well will have signals associated with it that make it desirable. Therefore, this content will likely experience similarly high levels of engagement or sharing once it is repurposed.
The format of your repurposing is also an interesting challenge. You have many options here. For example, you could turn a blog post into an infographic, a podcast episode, or a series of social media updates, or you could choose to turn a series of related blog posts into an ebook, or a webinar. The flexibility you have to repurpose content marketing is awesome!
Repurposing your content marketing pieces on a new channel means that you will need to optimize everything accordingly. The process of repurposing content involves adding visuals and multimedia elements, repositioning the tone or language, and being willing to adapt the length or structure to suit the new medium.
Finally, get the word out! Share your repurposed content everywhere using the strategies we have already discussed! This will be a game-changer for your SaaS content marketing strategy.