As SaaS businesses crop up left right and center, standing out has become tougher. In this SaaS content marketing ultimate guide, we hold your hand and take you through all the steps that’ll get you started!
From target audience selection to content creation for various stages of the funnel to content distribution, we have got it all covered. So sit back and join us in this mini-course on getting started with SaaS content marketing.
What Is SaaS Marketing?
Let’s start from the basics. Software as a service or SaaS marketing as we know it has a more product-centered approach to create awareness around a product. With this aim, SaaS marketers generate relevant content in the form of ebooks, interactive experiences, whitepapers, infographics that aid in creating a resource hub around their product.
This helps build a repository of content for different stages of the buyer’s journey. Just like in any other business, customers are more likely to purchase a SaaS product if they have been acquainted with the brand or have used its resources in the past.
Thus, SaaS content marketing is aimed at attracting the relevant audience with an aim to convert them into paying customers.
What Is B2B SaaS Marketing?
B2B SaaS marketing as the name suggests involves marketing products that are meant for use by businesses. B2B Saas marketing tries to appeal to SMBs as well as bigger accounts using different SaaS content marketing strategies. The key difference is the end-user. Since businesses are the end-users here, the content marketing platforms are chosen carefully with the end-user in mind.
SaaS Marketing v/s Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing involved selling either a product or a service. The differentiations were clear. And there were models like the 4Ps and the 5Cs, Porter’s 5 forces, etc. that clearly laid down the rules that could be taken as Gospel truths.
However, as times changed, the line started to blur. Selling software as a service meant that you needed to provide access to a product through an interface and yet control its backend. And so, SaaS marketers had to focus a lot on trust, continuous communication, and most of all, a kickass product that takes care of all the good and bad (read: bizarre) needs of their clients.
Hence, SaaS marketing got far removed from the cliché ideas of traditional marketing. We started adopting growth-oriented marketing that hinges on the core purpose behind the marketing efforts – an increase in the bottom line.
Periodic improvements and upgrades in the product opened doors for novel marketing opportunities even as it increased the workload of marketers (sigh!).
But as they say, you gotta do what you gotta do!
And so, here we’re helping you solve your SaaS content marketing bugbears one blog at a time!
Saas Content Marketing – The Strategy
This section lays out the steps involved in SaaS content marketing.
1. Content Marketing Essentials
To see any success in your SaaS content marketing efforts you need to have your basics taken care of. This involves one very important aspect, search engine optimization. You need to have your SEO steps in place.
There is no way to sugarcoat this. Think about SEO like the structure that’s going to help you build a beautiful house. We understand there are multiple components of SEO, like technical SEO, keyword research, link building, PPC, competitor analysis, and so on. But we would suggest using canonical pieces on SEO to understand the nitty-gritty of it. One such guide is that of Backlinko.
2. Target Audience
Next up, is identifying your target audience and creating a buyer persona. Your target audience is the people of a certain demographic, working in a certain role, or interested in certain activities that are suited to your product.
To give you an example, Outgrow is a B2B SaaS company that offers quizzes, calculators, chatbots, and other interactive content experiences. Our target audience not only includes businesses but also professionals like teachers, lawyers, tax officials, etc.
A lawyer can have a legal fees calculator on their website. Or a teacher could use Outgrow quizzes to make engaging class tests for their students.
The scope is endless and so, it is really important to have a clear understanding of your product’s use case for different audiences.
3. Types of Content
This step of your content marketing efforts is completely under your control. Types of content involve the content for various stages of the buyer’s journey. Let’s deep dive into it.
A. Top of the Funnel
The top of the funnel content is to attract a relevant audience for your product. The idea is to educate your audience and aid them. Some of the top-of-the-funnel content includes blogs, ebooks, industry reports, content calendar templates, or any free tool that they can use to grow their business or move up the ladder in their jobs.
These are a great way to get your target audience interested. If they like what you have to offer, they are most likely to come back for more. Top of the funnel content can also include starting a YouTube channel where you talk about your industry and niche. Neil Patel’s YouTube videos are a fantastic example of how videos can act as a top-of-the-funnel content marketing strategy.
B. Middle of the Funnel
Middle-of-the-funnel strategies are aimed at nurturing the folks that got interested in your content in the previous stage. Here, the content should not only help the prospect but also give a hint of your company. It is essentially a bridge between acquaintances and acquisition. Middle-of-the-funnel content ideas include webinars, email newsletters, case studies, interactive content.
Your middle-of-the-funnel audience may not just be your leads but also the existing clients that you want to nurture and ensure repeat purchases.
Take a look at this small poll we shared in our newsletter this week.
The responses were huge and suggested but divided. Some were interested in infographics and a lot in listicles. This, for example, is a great way to use interactive content types like surveys, polls, and quizzes for your middle-of-the-funnel audience.
In fact, SaaS marketers are increasingly adopting interactive content for their content marketing needs. So, why don’t you get started? Start your free trial today!
C. Bottom of the Funnel
Last, and probably the most crucial stage for your SaaS content marketing strategy is the bottom of the funnel. At this stage, the content types that you can bank upon include case studies, recommendation quizzes, how to use videos, etc.
The bottom of the funnel is the stage where your prospects might turn into paying customers if you give the right kind of nudge and assurance.
Well, the frequency can be a tough nut to crack. But, if you have a well-laid out content plan, this might be taken care of. The idea is to find a sweet spot between churning volumes of low-quality content and offering too few high-quality blogs. You don’t want either of the ends.
Focus on your content plan and decide on a frequency that works best for you. This can be dependent on the number of writers in your team and the content goal you want to target each month.
While content creation is an important and creative part of the SaaS content marketing journey, distribution is the real deal. If you are creating good quality content but it doesn’t reach your audience the whole process will not yield the kind of results you are expecting.
So, promote your content at the right places. Pick and choose social media platforms where a certain type of content performs better than the other. Say suppose a quick marketing tips carousel works in Instagram, stick to such top-of-the-funnel topics in that platform.
However, if you see that your LinkedIn community responds better to case studies or product pages then stick that on LinkedIn. Experiment, and find the right platform for the right content type.
In fact, you can also look to promote your SaaS content on the emerging social audio platforms and also your podcasts. Have an interesting update to share? Talk about it in the first few minutes of your podcast and then continue with the conversion as usual.
Additionally, creating courses can also be a great way to distribute content around your product and in your industry. Most SaaS businesses today, like HubSpot, MailerLite, Asana, offer courses around their product. Courses can additionally be a great bottom-of-the-funnel strategy for your SaaS content marketing.
Your work doesn’t end at distribution. Analyzing and tracking the results of your content marketing efforts is as important as the other steps we took so far. So have your metrics in place. Some of the metrics that you can look into to monitor your SaaS performance include the following –
7. SaaS Content Marketing Examples
The following examples may be a good place to start if you’re looking for some inspiration.
This content marketing strategy page on CoSchedule’s website is a fantastic example to take inspiration from. It is an in-depth resource and a beginner’s heaven!
Wistia’s Wistia studio is a place where they offer fun conversations, podcasts, and interviews around video production, marketing, successful brand, and what not! If you are in the business of video production, AI in videos, interactive videos, and the likes, this is a place you need to begin with.
Ahrefs’ academy is also a great place to start if you’re looking to build a course around your product. They offer an in-depth guide on using their tool as well as some lessons on getting started with blogging for your business!
If you’re a founder, you must check out Groove’s Founder’s Journey page on their website. Groove’s founder, Alex Turnball, shares insights from his journey that are a must-read for any founder. This is a fantastic content marketing technique for not just SaaS business owners but all founders and owners looking to help others from their experience.
Moz’s SEO guide acts as a one-stop destination for all your SEO needs. To make canonical content like that takes a lot of effort, for sure. But that’s a kind of effort that bears fruit.
SaaS content marketing is an inevitable part of your SaaS business. Refer to the blog and get started today with your content marketing journey. And while you’re at it, how about you make use of interactive content for your SaaS business?