Mastering content marketing for software companies can seem like a complex concept.
There are various points to consider, from what kind of content you need to produce to engage your audience, to how frequently you should be publishing new content. However, coming up with the correct content strategy could be one of the most effective ways to boost your company’s growth.
According to research, around 98% of the top-performing SaaS companies have their own blogs. What’s more, high quality content marketing can generate a massive ROI of 488% for SaaS brands. Studies also tell us content marketing for SaaS companies costs around 62% less than traditional marketing, but it generates up to 3 times as many leads.
The challenge for companies in the SaaS space is figuring out how to develop a content marketing plan which not only engages customers, but generates measurable results. Here’s what you need to know about building an impactful content marketing strategy.
What is Content Marketing? An Introduction
Before companies can master content marketing for SaaS brands, they first need to understand what “content marketing” actually is. Essentially, content marketing is a strategic form of inbound marketing, which involves the production of engaging, relevant, and valuable content.
Using materials like content writing, videos, blogs, social media posts, and podcasts, SaaS brands can connect with their target audience, demonstrate thought leadership, and improve their positions in the search engine result pages. The statistics on content marketing speak for themselves. Year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is up to 7.8 times higher for content market leaders.
With content, you can achieve a number of critical advertising goals, including:
Thought leadership: Content marketing allows SaaS companies and other brands to demonstrate their knowledge of critical topics, and build credibility. It’s an opportunity to share what you know with your customers, and gain their trust.
SEO: With content marketing assets like blogs and articles, companies can target specific keywords and phrases they want their //SaaS business to rank for. Content is one of the core components of an effective search engine marketing strategy.
Customer relationships: Content marketing helps you to generate more meaningful relationships with your audience through an exchange of value. You give your audience relevant and insightful, and engaging content, they reward you with more website visits, consistent interactions, and even brand loyalty.
Why is Content Marketing Different for SaaS Companies?
Content marketing can be unique for every industry and brand. In the SaaS business landscape, your content marketing strategy is likely to be a little different to the campaigns you might use for another kind of business. The SaaS model requires a long-term customer relationship, as you want companies to “subscribe” to a long-term service.
This means you can’t focus exclusively on generating conversions, you need a strategy which generates brand awareness. Content marketing for SaaS companies needs to balance focus on both user acquisition and customer retention. You’ll need to create content for the entire purchasing funnel, so you’re not only educating and engaging new buyers, but helping existing customers to thrive too.
SaaS content marketing is also regularly focused on the “B2B” landscape. This means there’s a greater demand to educate and inform your target audience, with statistics, data, and clear insights they can share with their stakeholders. Some other key points to remember with SaaS content marketing strategies include:
Educate, don’t just sell: Customers may need more information and guidance to understand the benefits of your service or solution in the SaaS landscape. This means you need to infuse your content marketing with a lot of insightful information.
Master SEO: Because most prospects in the SaaS landscape will research products and solutions through Google and other search engines, you need a good SEO strategy. Ensure you understand what your audience is actually looking for online.
Demonstrate authority: Customers want to know they’re working with knowledgeable and insightful SaaS brands. With this in mind, be prepared to demonstrate your authority and industry expertise through case studies, reports, and research.
Why your current content marketing isn’t working
One of the most important things any business needs to remember when implementing a content marketing plan, is that results aren’t always instant. It can take time to build and deliver an effective content marketing plan. If you don’t see results straight away, this doesn’t necessarily mean your content strategy isn’t working.
However, there are some common pitfalls which might prevent you from seeing an impact straight away. The most common pitfalls of content marketing for SaaS companies are relatively consistent. Some of the most frequent problems brands face include:
1. Choosing a Keyword with No Volume
One of the core components of building an effective content marketing strategy for SaaS companies is creating the right content. It’s not enough to simply write about your service or products. You need to ensure you’re targeting the keywords and phrases your customers are looking for.
To do this, you need a clear understanding of your target audience, their pain points, and the solutions they seek out. Examining your buyer personas, checking out the content created by your competitors, and using keyword research tools can help you find content ideas with high volume.
Ideally, your chosen keywords should have a strong search volume, and relatively low competition, so you can knock other market leaders out of the water with your valuable content.
2. Not Going In-Depth with Content
While short articles, blog posts, and other forms of content can have a good impact on business growth in some cases, they often lack the depth required for SaaS companies. Remember, you’re targeting companies and consumers who want to build a long and enduring relationship with your brand. In order to build these relationships, you need to create a lot of in-depth, quality content.
Think about how you can use each piece of content to answer every question your customers might have. Don’t just introduce basic ideas. Provide your customers with plenty of educational content with actionable advice and takeaways.
3. Using the Wrong Types of Content
The last issue is having the wrong type of content. Just like the previous tip, check out what’s currently ranking for that keyword or phrase. Is it long-form blogs or product pages?
That will show you the type of content that’s ranking. Your goal isn’t to copy them, but to see what’s working and decide how you can put your own spin on it and make it better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to create a blog post or article. You can also experiment with different kinds of content, like videos and podcasts, to engage a wider audience.
Find out which keywords have the most volume, then see what’s currently ranking, and do a better job than them. According to a study by Ahrefs, quality content is said to drive demand and leads. One of the most common issues we see with SaaS companies is that they have lots of blog posts with almost no traffic.
How to Enhance Content Marketing for SaaS Companies
In a competitive marketplace like SaaS, the right content marketing strategy can make a world of difference to your results. Although many companies are aware of the value content marketing can deliver, studies show only around 42% of B2B marketers think they’re effective at content marketing.
Here’s how you can avoid common content marketing mistakes, and create campaigns that really work for your SaaS brand:
1. Set Goals for your Content
It’s hard to develop a strategic content marketing plan if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve. Failing to plan means planning to fail, so think about what you want to accomplish with each piece of content you produce. Some of your content pieces might be designed to accelerate brand awareness and attract attention at the top of the marketing funnel.
Other content solutions might be intended to help customers compare your products with other solutions, or decide which software subscription they need. Set SMART measurable goals with a high focus on specificity. For instance, don’t just say you want to boost engagement and conversions, decide you want to achieve 5,000 free trial sign-ups within 6 months.
Defining your goals will also help you to establish which metrics you’re going to track to monitor the success of your content marketing campaigns. For instance, if you’re trying to boost brand awareness, you might focus on monthly traffic, organic rankings, backlinks from other leading brands, and customer acquisition costs. If you’re looking at boosting engagement, you might focus on social media shares, brand mentions, demo sign-ups, and conversion rates.
2. Find Your Target Audience
To master content marketing for SaaS companies, you need to ensure you have a clear understanding of who you’re creating content for. Start by building buyer personas which offer an insight into all of the key demographic and behavioral information you have about your customers. Think about your target customer’s age, gender, income level, industry, and market preferences.
You can start defining your target audience in a number of ways. One option is to examine the kind of customers competitors in your industry are targeting. The chances are they want to reach a similar audience as you, so it’s helpful to use their insights as a launching point.
It’s also possible to use insights from your sales and marketing teams to define the kind of customers most likely to be drawn to your products and services. As you implement your content marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to use tools like Google analytics, and Facebook analytics to learn more about which clients are actually engaging with your content.
3. Define Customer Pain Points
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can begin to think about the pain points they want to address with your software solution. A good way to do this is to step into the shoes of your potential customer, and try to map out their market experience. What kind of problems do you think your client will need to solve when choosing the right technology for their team?
Are they looking for something that helps them to save time or money? Do they need to improve the efficiency and productivity of their team, or unlock new opportunities with their own target market? Are they currently dealing with software and tools that are too complex and restrictive?
Using your knowledge of your customer pain points, you can create a content marketing funnel which supports and educates your audience through every stage of the buyer journey. For instance:
Awareness: Content which addresses the key issues your customers face and showcases your knowledge and understanding of the market.
Interest: Pieces which highlight the unique benefits of your product or subscription, and demonstrates how it can solve client pain points.
Consideration: Content that helps your customer to decide what kind of solution or subscription they need to tackle their problems, and helps them compare your solution to the other options on the market.
Purchase: During the purchasing phase, you can create content which helps your customers convert, such as landing pages with access to free trial demonstrations and downloads.
Loyalty: Pieces which continue to help your customers get the most out of their software subscription, such as educational how-to guides, webinars, and learning resources.
4. Conduct Effective Keyword Research
About 68% of online experiences start with a search engine. For SaaS companies, there’s a good chance your customers will begin their journey with your brand by looking for a specific set of keywords, or doing a Google search. This means you need to build a strong SaaS SEO strategy, with the right keywords to rank for.
Before you dive into keyword research, ask yourself:
Your keyword strategy should allow you to connect with audience members with different levels of purchasing intent, at various points of the buyer sales funnel. Start with your knowledge of your target audience and their pain points, and research keywords using available SEO tools. Once you know the kind of terms you want to rank for, think about how you can build them into your content.
For blogs, this means adding keywords to titles, meta descriptions, and body content. For videos and podcasts, you can add keywords to descriptions, URLs, and tags.
5. Determine Your Content Creation Logistics
Without a well-documented strategy, you don’t know who’s going to be responsible for writing and editing your content, where you’re going to publish each piece, or even what kind of cadence you’re going to follow with your plan.
Your content creation plan for your SaaS company should outline all of the following steps:
Why is Content Marketing for SaaS Companies Important?
With so much planning to consider, and a range of problems to overcome, content marketing can seem like a complex process for SaaS companies. However, it’s also a necessary part of building an effective brand. Virtually every leading SaaS company, both in the B2B and B2C world, uses content as part of its marketing campaigns.
Content marketing helps to establish you as a thought leader and authority in your industry, so you can gain the trust and respect of your target audience. It also helps to generate leads and traffic to your website, and boost your chances of strong search engine positions.
Content marketing also helps you to provide your customers with the educational content they need to make intelligent purchasing decisions. Around 48% of B2B SaaS buyers engage with 3-5 pieces of content before they begin a conversation with a salesperson. Some buyers even interact with up to 13 pieces of content before making a purchase.
According to studies, SaaS companies that use content marketing achieve 30% higher growth rates, and 5-10% better retention rates.
Master Content Marketing for SaaS Companies
Learning how to master content marketing for SaaS companies means you can better engage your audience, boost brand awareness, and generate more leads for your business. It sets you apart from your competition, cultivates brand loyalty, and paves the way for phenomenal growth.
However, successful content marketing requires consistent planning and work. For some brands, the best option may even be to reach out to a third-party content marketing professional, to take advantage of their specialist skills and knowledge for growth opportunities.
If you need help making the most of your content marketing for software companies strategy, reach out to Amplifyed today for expertise and support.
Hey! I live in San Diego and have been involved with SEO since 2010. Our amazing team at Amplifyed specializes in helping SaaS and tech companies dominate the search rankings. We serve as an extension of your team to make sure your content ranks and drives the right people to your website. Let’s connect on LinkedIn and schedule a chat.