Did you know that content is becoming even more important to B2B buyers? A recent survey of B2B organizations asked if they rely more or less now on content (e.g., blog posts, infographics, videos) to research and make B2B purchase decisions. A whopping 62% of respondents checked the "more" box. Meanwhile, buyers are steadily using Google for research during the awareness stage. (Google has 71.98% of the search engine market share.)
Wondering how to reach the right audience in a crowded market? We created this guide based on our industry experience guiding SaaS clients like you to success.
What does that mean for your SaaS business?
If you want to get in front of prospects early on in the purchasing path, capture their attention, build trust, and turn them into customers — you must produce high-quality content and make sure that it can be found in relevant search engine results.
Sounds simple, right? However, content marketing for SaaS is more than just throwing a few blogs on your website and hoping for the best.
With 91% of B2B companies using content marketing to promote their products or services, customers are becoming increasingly savvy. You need to invest the time and money to produce high-quality content that will strategically attract your ideal customers and drive conversion. As such, you must make sure that the investment is paying off.
The key to generating high ROI is to implement a SaaS content marketing strategy that can guide your efforts and maximize results. Here are a few steps you can take that will help to set you apart.
Create Content Based on Your Buyer's Journey
Content marketing for SaaS companies needs to address customers' challenges and concerns at each stage of the buyer's journey — from awareness and consideration to decision and advocacy.
Put yourself in your customers' shoes and consider the information they need to move to the next stage in the buyer's journey. Aside from building awareness and generating leads, content marketing for SaaS companies also needs to address stages such as free-trial sign-up and converting free-trial users into paid plan customers.
To effectively progress your audience down the purchasing path, don't forget to include a call-to-action (CTA) in each piece of content. The CTA should be relevant to the information and the corresponding customer lifecycle stage. For example, it could be signing up to download a white paper for readers in the awareness stage and watching a demo for prospects who are further down the sales funnel.
Assign Goals and Set KPIs
For any marketing strategy to succeed, you need to identify objectives and track meaningful metrics. This will allow you to see what works and what doesn't for your specific audience, evolve your content to meet customer expectations, and improve your results.
Set yourself up for success by identifying goals and the associated KPIs for each stage of the customer journey in your SaaS content marketing strategy. For example, use traffic and click-based goals for top-of-funnel content, engagement, and lead generation KPIs for mid-funnel activities, and sales metrics for bottom-of-funnel pieces.
Focus On Educational Content
B2B customers seek content that can help them stay up-to-date with the latest industry news, do their jobs better, and advance their careers. Content marketing for SaaS companies should focus on sharing information that solves your audience's challenges, answers their burning questions, and/or helps them achieve results.
In fact, educational content generates 14% more organic traffic compared to PR-focused blogs (e.g., company news, product launches.) Meanwhile, it can help you build credibility and establish your brand's authority status. This allows you to foster trust with the audience, stay top of mind, and increase conversion.
Consider User Intent
While keywords aren't the be-all-end-all for today's SEO, it still plays an essential role in getting your content in front of the right people at the right time. High-volume short-tail keywords are competitive and may not be the best bet if you want to focus your resources on attracting traffic that is most likely to convert.
Instead, develop your content strategy with user intent in mind. Target long-tail keywords or phrases that prospects would use when looking for the exact products or features you offer. If your business is relatively new, consider incorporating product or brand names of established rivals in the keywords you're targeting (e.g., "alternatives" or "vs." in a comparison post) since they're more likely to be used by searchers with high purchase intent.
Many SaaS companies make the mistake of focusing on content for audiences in the awareness and consideration stages but ignore their existing customers. Yet, the longer a paying customer stays subscribed to your services, the more profitable the relationship. Therefore, it's important to include customer loyalty, advocacy, and retention as your content marketing objective.
Offering customer-only high-value content allows you to deepen customer relationships over time. Such exclusive content can be in the form of a resource library, how-to training, webinars on the latest industry best practice, and in-person events for VIP customers.
For example, by sharing in-depth training on how users can apply your product to execute the latest industry best practices, you can encourage adoption so subscribers will be more likely to keep using your application.
Content Promotion and Syndication
The most successful content marketers spend 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time promoting it. A well-designed content promotion strategy helps you distribute your content and get in front of the right people at the right time to optimize ROI.
Content marketing for SaaS companies should include promotional tactics such as sharing the content via email blasts and social media posts, working with influencers to build backlinks and drive traffic back to your website, as well as repurposing the content for webinars, conferences, videos, podcasts, and more to increase your reach.
Managing the Moving Pieces in Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing for SaaS companies involves more than just hitting the publish button and hoping for the best. To effectively handle the many moving pieces, you need access to expertise in many areas, such as customer journey mapping, keyword research, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and more.
Working with a SaaS content marketing agency is a great way to gain access to all the knowledge you need and build traction for your brand while responding swiftly to customer expectations. Schedule a time to chat with us and see how we can help you design and implement a SaaS marketing strategy that works for your business.