Complete guide about SaaS Content Marketing
Do you have a Software as Service (Saas) company and haven't developed any marketing strategies yet? We have some news for you, you may fall far behind your competitors. SaaS content marketing is an important part of conquering visibility and showing the importance of your service.
When we are talking about SaaS, sometimes understanding how the product works and the benefits it presents can be difficult. That's exactly where content marketing enters, helping you to communicate with other companies, considering what the B2B (Business to Business) model needs.
The importance of SaaS Content Marketing?
Many SaaS B2B products require a how-to or a tutorial, for example. The client needs to understand what the software is going to offer, but another crucial part is customer assistance.
In that matter, SaaS content marketing has to focus not only on presenting the software, but also showing how the client is going to count on a team that is ready to provide any necessary help. Product and support quality are the basis to be able to sell in the SaaS area.
Another crucial thing to SaaS content marketing is the need to invest in SEO, whether in house or via an SEO consultant. Since we are talking about a digital product, usually people look for it online, and appearing on Google's search results pages is going to be very useful.
Customers reviews also have a huge weight for convincing customers to acquire a SaaS product. You probably have seen in some websites from that sector that they insert the name of some companies that use their services and the testimonials of CEOs or heads of departments from their clients’ businesses.
What is Content Marketing?
Content Marketing is a term that has been plentifully used, but to apply it effectively in SaaS industries, it's necessary to really understand what it is. The definition given by the Content Marketing Institute is:
"Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."
Useful information is the core of that type of marketing, which matches perfectly with SaaS companies’ needs to sell their products.
Producing high-quality content makes it easier for your potential customer to understand what your product can do for their company, and also simplify the sales process since the client already knows your software.
10 Saas Content Marketing strategies to implement
1. Identify who your target audience is
The first step to start implementing SaaS content marketing is doing deep research about who your target audience is. You need to know who you are going to be talking to when producing content such as LinkedIn posts, Youtube videos, or articles on your website.
Knowing their main characteristics and needs allows you to think of ways to catch their attention, and to decide which subjects you should approach. When mapping your audience, try to answer the following questions:
- Is your customer a business or a consumer buyer?
- Who is the person in charge of deciding to buy your product?
- What are your potential customers’ main locations?
- What is their main age range?
- What is their gender?
- What is their income level?
- What industry sector are they in?
- Which brands do they buy from?
- Which social media do they use?
- Which profiles on social media are they interested in?
- Which websites do they visit?
Ok, you get how having this information is important, but how to have access to them? Your current basis of clients can be very helpful on this. Analyze the data you already have about them, and ask about what they want.
For example, you could create a survey and send an email to them, but it's important to make it appealing. If not a survey, send a message asking about their feedback.
Show how your brand is worried about constantly improving your services to meet their needs in the best way possible and how their opinion is crucial. This will help to guide you on producing content for your potential customers and to show the ones you already have that you care about them.
Using the analytics tools that Google, Facebook, and other platforms provide is also going to give directions on building the profile of your target audience.
Analyze the metrics they provide, for example, where the accesses of your website come from or which are the content on your Instagram that have the biggest engagement rates.
After you have reunited all the information, create what is called persona: a fictional character based on the main characteristics of your real potential customers, it's the ideal buyer profile.
Having a persona serves to help you to define which subjects would be interesting for them and what tone of voice you should use.
In your research, it's possible to detect that you have more than one target audience. In this case, you should create one persona for each of them and develop different content focusing on each one.
2. Understand which are your potential customers’ demands
Now that you have mapped who your audience is, it's time to identify what are their pain points. Determine what their demands are, then highlight the ways your product can solve them. Also, try to comprehend their consumer behavior.
What motivates them to complete a purchase? Remember that when we talk about the B2B market, the process is going to be different, it's necessary to build strategies considering that.
Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. When you’re going to buy a SaaS product for your company, which steps are taken until the decision is made? Develop a customer journey map, based on the information acquired about your potential customers, to define content to be created focused on each step.
Then, you will have a SaaS sales funnel to help you comprehend what's the path taken from being a prospect to becoming your customer. It usually can be divided into:
- Being aware of your product or brand;
- Visit your website or social media;
- Develop an interest and search more about what you have to offer;
- Sign up for a free trial or request a demo;
- Get in contact with your sales team;
- Decide to buy;
- Your team offers assistance after the purchase.
SaaS content marketing can help to improve all of those steps. For example, your potential customers may get to know your company not because they are looking for a product similar to what you have to offer, but because they found an article from your website that pointed out a need they hadn't have even realized yet they had.
When visiting your website or any other communication channel of yours, it needs to be easy to navigate, and constructed in a way that grabs your prospects’ attention. Quality content is going to be fundamental to achieve that, including instigating the interest to know more about your product.
Offering a free trial is an amazing strategy to help in the decision process, but, needless to say, you have to ensure the experience with the software will be great, aligned with your team watching closely to help. Then, it will be up to the sales team to get in contact and close the deal.
After this, the journey doesn't end, on the contrary, it's important to provide assistance, to be always available to offer support. This can make a huge difference in conquering a loyal customer that can recommend your company to others, and, in the future, sign up for upgrades.
3. Study your competitors
The planning part of creating SaaS Content Marketing should include a deep analysis of what your competitors are doing to sell more. You need to understand their strategies in order not to be outdated and to develop ideas that can outstand you from them.
- Who are your main competitors?
- What communication channels are they using?
- What types of content are they creating?
- What keywords are they focusing on?
If you are able to answer these questions, that's going to give you a better understanding of how the SaaS content marketing strategy has been implemented by them. It can be very useful to have more insights.
4. Choose the online channels your company wiil be in
Your SaaS content marketing strategies should be focused on where your target audience is. The research part of identifying the main social media they use is going to help you now. Because it's in those channels, along with your website, that you must invest in producing content and conquering visibility.
Nowadays the amount of social media that we have is immense, and some companies feel the urge to create a profile in all of them. But, many times, that isn't the right strategy, if you are going to have a profile, it has to be always updated, otherwise, it can give a bad impression of your company.
Imagine the work it will generate to update more than 5 social media accounts, with high-quality content. Will your company actually be able to do that? You would be putting effort and dedicating time to be present in social media networks where your target audience isn't even present. Mainly when we talk about B2B strategies.
It's better to focus on where your audience is, and put time into producing valuable content, which is going to call their attention. Keep that in mind when defining online channels you are going to be present, and remember that posting regularly is a must.
Social media apart, having a website is indispensable to B2B, Google is the main way to find your product and company. Don't leave developing an SEO-optimized website outside of your list.
5. Define which are your goals
The final goal of a marketing plan is to develop actions that will lead to selling more and increase revenue. But, it's important to determine which are the objectives of each campaign and action. For example:
- A sequence of posts on LinkedIn that aims to expand your brand's visibility on this social media.
- The production of an ebook to conquer leads.
- A series of videos on the company Youtube's channel with the purpose to raise brand awareness.
- An article that has the goal to convince potential customers to sign up for a free trial.
- A tutorial to help your current customers to understand the software updates.
When you define the goal for each action, it's easier to think about what needs to be done to conquer that objective. Appear on Google's first search results page, educate your audience, generate leads, customer retention, increase brand awareness: those are all examples of what could be your goals.
6. Determine the main metrics
After defining your goals for each action, it's time to set the metrics that are going to be used to evaluate their success and to help analyze what needs to be changed.
There are some key performance indicators (KPIs) that are standard in Digital Marketing, such as:
- Website visitors
- Social media engagement
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Customer retention
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Lifetime Value of a Customer (LTV)
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
For each marketing action implemented you will need to evaluate what are the most important metrics to measure since the purpose differs from one another.
7. Produce content for every stage of the sales funnel
It's necessary to produce oriented content to each stage of the sales funnel, in all the channels you defined your company is going to be present. How can your customers move on in the buyer's journey, if they only find content related to one stage?
After understanding what their problem is, there is the need to offer content that explains ways to solve their demands, then present your product and it goes on, as we have mentioned in mapping the buyer's journey.
The stages of a conversion funnel are:
- Awareness: the potential buyers are discovering what their problems are.
- Evaluation: the stage of looking for solutions, and deciding which is the best.
- Purchase: when the customer decides to acquire the product.
- Retain: create strategies to gain loyal customers.
8. Have a posting schedule
Now that you know your target audience, have identified their pain points, established where you are going to produce content, you need to develop a calendar. Consistency and posting regularly are key factors to determine if you are going to have success with your SaaS content marketing strategies.
Google algorithm takes into account if your blog is updated regularly, you need to post at least 3 times a week to have a chance to appear on your followers’ timeline on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, for example.
Make a calendar for each platform, set the dates the posts are going to be published, define the themes and which stage of the conversion funnel each one is focusing on.
9. Pay attention to SEO
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is a fundamental part of deciding the subjects you are going to approach on your content. Nowadays, Google has become one of the most used tools to look for any topic, to buy a product, or to find a service.
You probably have already realized that, and also use the search engine daily. SaaS is something completely related to the digital world, so people are going to look for it online. What's the best way to be found? Appearing on the first search results page on Google and in other search engines as well.
How to achieve that? Focusing on applying SEO techniques to your SaaS Content Marketing production. Certify that your website is mobile-friendly, has a fast load speed, and has a user-friendly interface.
When it comes to producing content, search for related keywords to your area to help you define the themes for each post, and develop texts delivering high-quality information regarding the subjects. Using tools like Google Trends, and Ahrefs can help you.
10 . Follow up the metrics and results
Once you start putting into practice the SaaS content marketing strategies you have planned, watch them closely. Follow the metrics you have set, analyze the performance of each content, and try to identify what made one content perform better than the one.
This will be very useful to think of the following content, defining tactics and types of approach that you should keep investing in, and what you should avoid. Keep in mind that content marketing strategies also include testing different formats, which enables you to improve constantly.
By following up on the metrics, you can have new insights and perfect your SaaS content marketing plan. And, as you evolve, your knowledge about your target audience will also be more accurate, which leads to even better strategies.
Reminder: SaaS content marketing is in constant evolution
As part of the SaaS industry, you know well how things change fast in the technology area, which isn't different regarding SaaS content marketing. Instagram and Google's algorithms, for example, are always being updated, and the content produced need to be updated to meet the new criteria too.
Work with your marketing team in order to always keep track of the new trends in the SaaS content marketing area, and make changes when needed. You will see that investing in marketing can have a very positive impact on increasing revenue and building a brand that has credibility and authority in the market.
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