Over the last decade, content marketing efforts have increased dramatically.
Every single day, 60% of marketers create at least a single piece of content. That’s millions of blog posts that appear online every day. Around 24% of marketers are planning to increase investment in content marketing efforts.
What are B2C and B2B SaaS marketing?
How to create an effective SaaS marketing plan?
How do I make my efforts to bring results?
These are the questions that companies from all over the world are asking themselves as they see the increasing need to invest in SaaS content marketing.
In this article, we are going to cover the main points of SaaS marketing strategies:
- What is SaaS content marketing?
- Key types of SaaS content for 2021
- Seven steps to create a SaaS marketing strategy
Let’s dive right into our article explaining SaaS marketing strategy and how to turn it into the main source of income.
What is SaaS Content Marketing?
SaaS content marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on the use of different types of content, such as blog posts, white papers, case studies, videos, infographics, and so on. The main idea is to engage potential customers, provide them with valuable information with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers.
B2C and B2B SaaS marketing are the most powerful tools that allow companies to attract the audience, engage with it, educate it, and convert it into happy customers.
Why is Content Marketing for SaaS Companies Different?
You’ve probably noticed that there is content marketing and SaaS content marketing.
So, what is the difference between the two, and how does content marketing for SaaS differ?
SaaS content marketing means trying to sell something with no physical presence. You are marketing to customers something that is constantly changing. Even though software is a product, it can be called so only at first glance:
- You’re selling both technology and services. In fact, while SaaS content marketing revolves around selling a product, the product itself is not the only thing that customers consider. They factor in the provided support and its quality. Whether you are working on B2C or B2B SaaS marketing, you are dealing with both selling products and support services.
- SEO is a critical component of effective SaaS content marketing. The emphasis on SEO content will place it in front of a higher number of potential customers.
- Your content must educate prospects not only about your product but also about the industry they are working in. You should not just sell a product with it but provide real value to your readers.
- Customer reviews directly influence your sales. Make sure to use custom software development to create a great product and combine it with outstanding support to get the best results.
7 SaaS Content Types to Create a Strategy
SaaS content marketing is a broad notion that covers the use of different types of content. Content marketing for SaaS includes the use of the following types of content:
- Articles – blog posts are a great tool to show your expertise, leadership, and SEO efforts.
- Webinars – a useful addition to the efforts, especially when dealing with B2B SaaS marketing. Webinars help to show your expertise, build a strong brand and generate more leads. When you partner with another company for a webinar, you increase the value of content for your potential customers.
- Infographics – visual explanations are popular on social media and in blog posts to highlight the main idea and to provide useful information in an easily digestible format.
- Email newsletters – emails are a great way to build a long relationship with your audience. They are also a powerful tool to get warm leads that are more likely to buy your product.
- eBooks and White Papers – these are often used to get new emails into the email newsletters subscribers lists. eBooks and white papers provide valuable information, show your expertise and warm up your audience for more sales.
- Videos – great if you want to build a strong brand by sharing your experience and expertise with your audience. Video content marketing is great for creating a loyal audience, telling your story, and driving more leads.
7-Step Process to Build a Plan for SaaS Content Marketing
SaaS marketing strategies involve multiple processes running alongside each other. The main goal of the SaaS strategy is to sell cloud-based products by using various types of marketing materials.
1. Define your target audience
You can hire a software development company to create a digital product. But will the results be sufficient if you don’t know your audience?
Highly targeted and thus effective B2C and B2B SaaS marketing starts with defining the target audience. Before creating the first piece of content, you need to find out the answers to some key questions. Below, you can see an example of such questions list:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What is their gender and age?
- What are their interests?
- What social media do they frequent, and which profiles do they follow?
- What other digital products do they buy?
To start the research, come up with your own customized list of questions. After you have all the needed answers, you can create your ideal customer profile. If your company is targeting multiple markets, you might need to create customer profiles for each of the markets since the interests and other specifics of your customers will differ.
2. Evaluate your competitors
Starting SaaS content marketing without knowing your competition is like letting the money go down the drain.
Before you started SaaS development, you’ve probably identified your future competitors. But the news is that your competitors in SaaS content marketing might be different from your product’s competition.
Start with an analysis of competitor’s backlinks to see from which resources they are getting traffic. Analyze the semantics of the published content, such as keywords and topics they have covered. The research will help you identify their main strengths, weaknesses, and probably some gaps that you can fill in with your content.
3. Identify your strategic goals & pain points
Now that you know your competition and buyers, you can move on to the next step of SaaS content marketing. You need to identify the pain points that your customers have that motivate them to buy your product. This will help you create more precise strategic goals and aim your content to address the specific needs of your audience.
One of the ways to identify the audience’s pain points is to step into the shoes of your customers and create a customer journey map.
A customer journey map should cover all the steps that buyers make and that lead them to buy your product. Some main steps in a customer journey may include:
- Becoming aware of your product
- Visiting your website
- Having an interest in your product
- Signing up for a free trial or product demo
- Turning into a long-time free user or payment customer
- Active use of your product
- The decision to renew or drop a subscription
The most important part of the customer journey for SaaS content marketing is the first contact with your brand.
You need to understand their points and explain in your content how your product can address them and make their life easier. Intertwine the answer to the questions they have in your marketing and sales materials.
4. Search and define keywords
Your potential customers are using specific keywords at each step of the customer journey to find the information that solves their pain points. Successful identification of such keywords will help you create a comprehensive SaaS content marketing strategy. For example:
- They may search for “how to” guides when they first have a pain point.
- After they find your brand, they may start looking for more information about your company and user reviews.
- After they start using your product, they may search for answers on how to set up and use your software.
You need to identify keywords that relate to each step of the customer journey. After that, you need to create content to address pain points at each of the stages.
There are various tools and solutions that you can use for an effective keyword search, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, BuzzSumo, and many others.
5. Campaign goal setting and tracking
Once you have everything covered when it comes to the previous stages, you can move on to identify how you will track your success in SaaS content marketing. There are a number of metrics that you can use to get insights into the results:
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – to identify this metric, you can use the formula CAC = MC / CA, where MC stands for your SaaS content marketing cost and CA stands for the number of acquired customers. You can calculate the CAC from total costs or from costs spent on a specific campaign or content promotion stage. Identification of CAC helps to identify the most effective marketing activities to better allocate your budget.
- Lead Conversion Rate (LCR) – the formula for this metric is LCR = C / L. C is the number of conversions, and L is lead opportunities. For conversion, you might define the number of free trial registration or even the number of visitors that signed up for the email newsletter. For an opportunity, you might define the number of visitors to your website or to a specific article or a page on the website.
These are two of the main metrics that you will need to deal with to measure the success of your SaaS content marketing efforts. Knowing the data, you will be able to identify the areas for improvements and activities bringing the highest number of conversions or leads. The data can be used to understand how you need to focus your investment in SaaS content marketing and which channels you need to explore further.
6. Define your sales funnel flow
Using the collected data, you can further fine-tune content marketing efforts by identifying different stages of the funnel, the goals that you pursue at each stage and what content to serve to customers at each of such stages.
Usually, the conversion funnel includes the following stages:
For example, for the awareness stage, you may identify your goal as generation traffic and brand awareness. SaaS content marketing tactics for this stage may include blog posts creation, email marketing, social media, and so on depending on your specific strategy, goals and your audience.
You can both optimize your existing funnels and simultaneously expand to new markets and new phases of the funnel. Otherwise, you risk losing an opportunity to explore channels and strategies that can bring you some tremendous results.
7. Earn your traffic
Creating content that no one will see is a waste of time and resources. You need to take care of generating enough traffic to your website and blog posts.
Organic search should be your number-one priority from the day one after you start working on your SaaS marketing strategy. A combination of a few tactics will provide enough traffic and increase the number of conversions:
- Internal and external linking – linking your content together and getting links from reputable resources will increase your ranking positions in search engines.
- Technical SEO – websites structure, navigation, and meta information – all impact your ranking.
- Content optimization – if you see that some pieces of content don’t get enough traffic and don’t perform the required task, consider updating it.
- Content length and depth – publishing a huge number of small blog posts won’t do you a favor. You need to produce high-quality in-depth content that covers the topic from different perspectives.
Further Reading: How SEO and Content Marketing are Linked
Email marketing is a medium that you have full control over. While it might take some time to turn it into an effective SaaS content marketing channel, email still brings the best results. There are a number of email types that a SaaS company can use:
- Weekly or biweekly newsletters – creating a habit among subscribers to see your email regularly in their inbox.
- Regular product updates – tell the audience about the latest changes happening to your product.
- New subscribers email welcome series – educate new subscribers on your product, what it does and how it can help them.
- Onboarding series – a series of emails sent after users sign up for your product with user guide, useful articles, and other educational materials.
- Recurring emails – regular emails sending useful content to users.
- Retention email series – highly targeted emails with useful content and user guides for users that you might lose.
- Outreach strategy is also one of the ways to generate more traffic to your website. The strategy usually can take two forms:
- Publication – you can get in touch with a platform or website where you want to place your content with links to your website.
- Promotion – pointing your audience to the content published on your own websites, e.g., you can send an outreach email to email subscribers.
Further Reading: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Build an Email Marketing Strategy
Outreach is a significant part of SaaS content marketing that may involve working with influencers for content creations, mentioning influencers in your content and asking them to share it across their social media, get your content into newsletters sent out by influencers, and so on. The main goal of an outreach campaign is to make sure that a wider audience knows about your company and the products you are offering.
Further Reading: 12 Subject Lines for Better Blogger Outreach Campaigns
8. SaaS content production
Once you have identified your audience, know keywords they are using and their pain points, you can set up a content production process. Steps in a traditional content production process are:
- Search of topics relevant to the target audience and customer journey stages
- Content calendar creation
- Hiring content specialists
- Content creation and editing
- Content publications scheduling
The creation of documents for each of the stages streamlines the processes, as your content creation team can rely on them in their work. You can define the best days of time to publish your content, describe the tools needed for each stage, how each step should be approached, and so on.
Further Reading: 12 Free Tools For Creating an Effective Editorial Calendar
9. SaaS content distribution
SaaS content marketing is useless without a well-set distribution strategy. You need to know how frequently you will publish your content and how you will promote it. Below are listed a few aspects of content distribution that you need to consider:
- Where you will place your content: blog, user guides, etc.
- Availability of your content: publicly available or gated for premium users only
- Websites to distribute content
- Social media groups and profiles where you will distribute and promote content (both owned and third-party)
10. SaaS content marketing: Monitor results & adjust them
Ensuring that your SaaS content marketing is delivering the results you need, it’s important to monitor the performance of all your campaigns.
You need to identify the key performance indicators (KPI), track these metrics to understand how to reinforce your content marketing efforts. Various analytics tools can help you with the task.
Further Reading: 31 Useful Content Marketing Tools for All of Your Content Needs
SaaS Content Marketing Strategy: Summing Things Up
Building a software solution is just the first step in the journey. Marketing is required to take your product to the masses.
Today, SaaS content marketing plays an important role in building brand awareness, customer engagement, acquisition, and retention. By sharing your knowledge and unique expertise of your company, you build trust and credibility among your target audience.
When building a SaaS content marketing strategy, come up with ideas on how to turn your expertise into useful content that will attract the attention of potential users. Don’t be shy to share your knowledge, and users will return the care back by signing up for your product, created by the company they trust.
This is a post contributed from one of my marketing partners.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash