What You Need to Succeed
Research shows that the SaaS industry is expected to have grown over the five-year period from 2018–2022 at an annual rate of 12%. As a thriving industry, many players are jumping in to get a piece of the pie. The result? The competition is getting stiffer.
To succeed, you need an effective marketing strategy that will help you stand out from the crowd.
For SaaS businesses, content marketing has proven to be one of the most effective channels for drumming up business. That’s why SaaS content marketing has become a staple for many marketers.
What is SaaS content marketing? It’s the creation and promotion of content related to your SaaS product. It serves to:
We’ll touch on how content marketing helps you achieve all this below.
The SaaS industry is one of the fastest-growing at the moment. Here’s a visual look at the growth trend from Statista:
And with many SaaS brands competing for the same customers, you need an edge over your competition.
But you might be wondering: Does content marketing still work?
Consider these statistics from a 2018 study conducted by Profit Well:
The question is not whether it still works, but rather are you doing what’s working? In 2021 and beyond, content marketing for SaaS companies will continue to evolve. B2B content marketing will likely remain a critical part of SaaS marketing strategies, because it forms the foundation of inbound marketing.
What is inbound content marketing?
Inbound content marketing is the practice of creating content to attract the right audience to your brand. It’s the opposite of outbound marketing, where you initiate conversations with your audience by reaching out to them.
So why does content marketing work as a SaaS marketing strategy? Here are a few reasons:
One of the most important uses of content marketing for SaaS brands is to drive brand awareness. Content marketing can be a great form of PR because it puts your brand in front of many people. It’s also useful for brand recall: The more people interact with your brand, the more they remember it.
B2B buyers are very picky about the brands they work with. They want brands they can trust. And the best way to gain trust is by building authority—content marketing helps you do just that. Executed well, your B2B content marketing strategy will help you attract a lot of backlinks, helping you build your website’s domain authority, an important factor in boosting search engine optimization (SEO).
Part of the buying journey involves educating your customers about your product and the problems it solves. Content plays a huge role at the research stage, with 49% of buyers saying they prefer to use content when researching their next purchase.
Your website is a lead generation machine. For those leads to come through, you need to lure and hook them with valuable content. This can be content you publish on your website, or guest posts on other sites.
Now that you’ve seen the value of SaaS content marketing, let’s dive into how you can pull it off.
63% of brands don’t have a documented content marketing strategy.
Shocking as it may be, this is good news for you.
Being among the 37% of businesses that do have a documented strategy gives you a leg up over your competition.
There’s more to B2B content marketing than just writing blog posts.
So, what is included in content marketing?
These are just some of the elements that make up a successful content marketing strategy. And, of course, you’ll need to document everything.
The first step in developing an effective B2B content marketing strategy is the research stage. Here’s what you should know before you even start creating content:
Audience research is the foundation of your content marketing strategy. It involves:
Knowing your target audience empowers you to create personalized content.
Competitor analysis is the practice of researching your competitors and, in this case, their content marketing strategy. It involves knowing:
Everything your competitors do that results in positive results is worth emulating. However, you must also note what doesn’t work so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
With the research stage sorted, you can now move on to the next phase of your SaaS content marketing strategy: content development.
This is the stage where you plan and produce your content. Here’s what’s involved:
The first step in content development is to establish an editorial mission. This is the blueprint that will direct your entire content creation team. An editorial mission answers questions such as:
An editorial mission ensures that the entire team is working to achieve the same objectives, no matter where they are on your content value chain. It also helps you identify which type of content should be prioritized.
Content created just for the sake of filling an editorial calendar hardly produces results. You have to set goals for every piece of content you produce for each stage of your marketing funnel.
Here are some examples of content goals:
Having a concrete roadmap for your content goals will result in content that helps you meet your brand’s overall goals.
Most businesses miss the mark when it comes to keyword research. They don’t match their keywords to their audience’s pain points, goals, and intent.
Keywords that don’t match user intent may drive a lot of traffic to your website, but in most cases, that traffic will be irrelevant.
To attract the right kind of traffic, you have to ensure that your audience research directs your keyword research.
And when it comes to keyword research, you need to know that there are two main types of keywords:
Overall, your choice of keywords must be informed by your audience, your brand identity, and their relevance to your content marketing goals.
Creating optimized headlines and subheadings is another crucial aspect of content development that you must pay close attention to. This is because your headline is the first part of your content readers see when scrolling through the search engine results pages (SERPs).
And when they do click on your headline, 73% of people admit to skimming through content. They mostly want to see if your content is relevant to what they’re looking for. That’s why you must optimize your subheadings to meet searcher intent. It results in readers digging deeper into your content.
Content frameworks are a part of information architecture and are influenced in part by your editorial mission.
Common content frameworks you can employ to structure your blog include:
The content framework you use has an impact on user experience (UX). A positive UX results in visitors staying longer on your website and encourages them to visit again.
A content marketing strategy involves a lot of pieces that must work together cohesively. And one such element is SEO—driving organic traffic to your content.
Let’s quickly look at some important SEO techniques you need to master to give your content a better chance of ranking.
Links are an important factor search engines consider when ranking content. There are three types of links that you must include in your linking strategy:
Technical SEO refers to the optimization of your website’s technical aspects to improve its SEO. Some important aspects to consider are:
Another effective SEO technique you can use to boost your content marketing is to refresh your old content. This involves:
In some cases, this technique has increased traffic to a post by 106% or more.
So you’ve hit the publish button on your SEO-optimized blog post.
However, publishing a blog post does not guarantee its visibility—you have to promote it.
A few ways you can do that are:
Promoting your content ensures that it reaches the right audience. It can also boost your SEO, as social signals are another indicator to search engines that your content is valuable.
Read more: How to Promote an Article: 9 Low-Lift Tips
For your SaaS content marketing strategy to be effective, you must stick to a clear publication schedule. This helps you build momentum with consistency.
But the question is: How often should you publish new content?
This will depend on your blogging goals and your business model, but here’s a template that you can use (or build on) to get started:
The more content you publish, the better your chances of reaching your content marketing goals, with all other things equal.
Read more: Hiring a Content Agency vs. Your Own Writer
With all the moving pieces involved in developing and executing a SaaS content strategy, it may seem like a daunting task to even get started with one.
The good news is there are many tools that you can use to streamline the entire process.
Used well, these tools can streamline your entire content marketing strategy, helping you run everything smoothly.
Content marketing isn’t a race; it’s a long game. To attract and retain customers, you need to take the time to nurture them through every step of their buying journey—and one of those steps is content marketing.
To cultivate your customer relationships effectively, you’ll need a robust SaaS content marketing strategy. If you need help producing winning content, consider making SaaSpirin part of your strategy—we specialize in creating content for SaaS brands. Get in touch with us today.