5 Steps to Success in Content Marketing For SaaS
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
When implemented successfully, content marketing can be a powerful tool to attract new customers, generate leads, and increase the revenue of any SaaS business.
Even with the many benefits that content marketing offers, very few SaaS businesses have invested in marketing strategy. In fact, studies show that only 11% of SaaS companies invest in content marketing.
The few SaaS companies that create some form of content fail to align it with their business goals. Only 39% of B2B marketers say that they have a documented content marketing strategy.
When you don’t have a documented strategy or align your content with your business goals, it would be difficult to determine the return on investment of your content marketing efforts.
Whether your goal is lead generation or increasing brand awareness, you would need to invest in proper content marketing for your SaaS business.
In this article, we would see a breakdown of steps to success in content marketing for SaaS companies.
Let’s get started.
1. Create Content for Each Phase of the Sales Funnel
The goal of content marketing for SaaS companies is to turn prospects (leads) into contracted customers. To attract a prospect and convert them into paying customers, you need to create content that targets each phase of the sales funnel.
The point of creating content as a SaaS business is to push a client further down the sales funnel. Many marketers make the mistake of using content as just a traffic generation tool.
Getting traffic is the first step. If you are generating a ton of traffic but your content isn’t converting (i.e, getting them to take the desired action; whether it is signing up for a demo version of a software or subscribing to a newsletter), then you are just wasting time and resources.
A successful content marketing plan should target each stage of your sales funnel.
The stages in your funnel would include the following:
- Lead Generation
- Trial Sign-Ups
- Conversion to Paid Customers
- Customer Retention
Picture 1. Sales funnel stages
So how do you create content for each stage of the funnel?
Let’s look at how you can create a unique digital content strategy to target each stage in the buyer’s journey. From the first touch-point (when the prospect first comes in contact with your business) to when they become loyal returning customers.
Stage #1: Awareness
The goal in this stage is certainly to attract people to your content. At this phase, you would help potential customers discover your software. Moreover, you should show them how this software can help solve their problems.
You would need to create content that targets keywords that are related to your industry or the product you want to attract attention to. This content would need to be engaging, educational, and entertaining to get the attention of customers.
Stage #2: Lead Generation
Now that the prospect has a basic understanding of your business and your value proposition, you would need to nurture those leads. This would help you to build better customer relationships.
When creating marketing content for this stage, the content should do the following:
Educate: Create evergreen content that delivers a ton of value. Your content should answer any questions that the lead might have.
Value proposition: Your content should have an identifiable value proposition. It must show how your product would help solve a specific problem
Unique selling proposition: Your content should show the prospect why they should do business with you instead of your competitors. It should show them what differentiates and makes you better.
Personalization: Personalize your content to meet the prospects of unique needs. Including personal touches like the prospect’s name or location can go a long way in increasing conversions.
Include a call-to-action: Include a call-to-action to guide the prospect further down the sales funnel. This strategy would lead us to the next stage of the funnel.
Stage #3: Trial Sign-Ups
At this stage, you would create bottom-of-the-funnel content to persuade a prospect to purchase from your company. The content you use here would highlight your products and/or services more directly, versus high-level content used to build trust.
You would also offer free trial sign-ups in this stage. Why? So that the prospect can have hands-on experience with your product.
Stage #4: Conversion to Paid Customers
After the customer has signed up for your trial version, you should deliver content that focuses on helping them use the tools better. You would deliver content that would convince them to become paying customers.
Stage #5: Customer Retention
After a customer has purchased your product, your next goal should be retaining the customer. Statistics show that it is five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. You would create content that educates them on how they can get the most out of your product or service.
2. Develop a Traffic Generation Strategy
If you create amazing content that no one reads, then your content efforts would go to waste. When planning your content, you should have a strategy in place to distribute and promote the content.
These are a few ways you can distribute your content:
Social media distribution: First, you need to carry our customer research to find out the places your target audience spends their time. Share your content in those social media channels and interact with your audience there. This would help build awareness for your brand and also increase traffic to your content.
Paid promotion: While organic search results bring in a higher ROI, you can use targeted paid promotion to generate traffic and leads. This strategy is helpful for SaaS companies that are just starting out. Since it might be difficult to compete with bigger brands in the search engine result pages, you can use paid promotion to bring awareness to your brand.
Search engine optimization (SEO): It is important that you optimize your articles for search engines. Properly optimizing your content would ensure that the right people see it.
When optimizing your content, note to go after long-tail high intent keywords. Long-tail keywords with higher buyer intent beat out high-volume keywords with no buyer intent.
Picture 2. Search Engine Optimization
3. Diversify Your Content
It is important that you diversify your content strategy. Some prospects would prefer to watch videos than reading blog articles. Diversifying your content would give your business new ways to engage prospects and build sales.
Here is a list of high performing content types:
Blog: Blogging is one of the most popular content marketing types for most businesses. It’s great for generating organic traffic from search engines.
Video: Consumers spend a lot of time watching videos today. In fact, one-third of all online activity is spent watching videos. It is important that you develop a content marketing strategy to take advantage of video. Video tutorials are a great way to help your users understand your product.
Infographics: Infographics are great for educating your audience. The visual content helps prospects better visualize data and understand how your product works.
Podcasts: If you’re a business in an industry that has a high customer value, then a podcast may be one of your most effective education and marketing tools. Podcasts are great for demonstrating your credibility and showing your expertise to your audience. It is important that you invest in a good podcast hosting service when starting out. The best part of a podcast is that it is very cheap to get started. All you need is good recording equipment and a podcast host.
A unique way to improve your content marketing is by collaborating with other SaaS businesses. Especially with those that offer complementary products or share a similar approach to business.
There is no rule to co-marketing with other businesses. You can both create content such as ebooks, webinars, and case studies. Both parties involved would leverage each other’s audiences. Why? To help each other potentially get their service in front of a wider audience.
By collaborating with other companies, you can create highly desirable content. This approach is also very effective since you both would be sharing the marketing cost.
Tip: Ensure that both parties understand their expectations of the process from the start. You need to determine how the marketing cost and leads generated would be shared by both parties.
This is an example of a co-marketing campaign between Hubspot and LinkedIn.
Picture 3. HubSpot & LinkedIn marketing campaign
5. Automate With Content Marketing Tools
Research from Content Marketing Institute explains that a key factor that differentiates successful content marketers from the less successful ones is content tech proficiency.
Your mastery of content marketing tools goes a long way to determine how successful your content marketing strategy would be.
This is a list of the best content marketing tools.
Blogging And CMS Tools – Percussion, Tumblr, WordPress, Livejournal, Drupal, ScribbleLive, Contentful.
SEO Analytics Tools – Raven Tools, SEM Rush, Moz, BrightEdge, MarketMuse, SerpStat.
Marketing Automation Tools – Pardot, Genius, Marketo, Eloqua, HubSpot, Act-on, Autopilot, Route.
Email Marketing Tools – Constant Contact, iContact, Campaign Monitor, Vertical Response, Sales Panda, GetResponse.
Sales Enablement Tools – Seismic, Savo, Postwire, Qvidan, Docurated, SalesFusion.
Social Media Management And Listening Tools – Sprinklr, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Buffer, Keyhole, Sprout Social, Social Bro.
In conclusion, when used effectively, content marketing is very effective in growing a SaaS business. The key is to understand your audience, find out the kind of content they would love to see. And to figure out how you would fit your content into the sales funnel for maximum return on investment.
It is important to realize that content marketing is a continuous process. You need to regularly access your strategy to see what is working and the areas where you should optimize for better performance.
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