You just launched your shiny new SaaS product — congrats! Now that you have it up and running, it’s time to get the word out.
Your SaaS product isn’t going to market itself. Unless you do something to raise awareness, your product will remain in the shadows. Luckily, content marketing is here to save the day.
Content marketing has quickly become the go-to strategy for SaaS products. And by that, we’re not talking about a few random blog posts here and there, but a well-thought-out and comprehensive content marketing strategy targeting your core customer base at every stage of their customer journey.
When executed correctly, content marketing can help you build brand awareness, establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry, showcase your product’s features and benefits to potential customers, and even help convert a good chunk of those leads into buyers.
But don’t worry — you don’t have to figure out how to do this alone. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything there’s to know about SaaS content marketing and what it takes to create an effective content marketing strategy for a SaaS project, from researching what topics your target audience is interested in, to creating and optimising your content.
We’ll even throw in some tips on how to write copy that appeals to your target market. So, let’s hop straight in and get started:
What’s SaaS Content Marketing?
SaaS content marketing is content marketing but for software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. It involves creating content that speaks to the needs of your target audience and helps them understand how your SaaS product can help them achieve their goals.
When done right, content marketing can help B2B companies organically grow their user base, create brand loyalty, and drive more sales.
A SaaS content marketing strategy focuses on building awareness, trust, and loyalty with your ideal customer. By creating relevant content that solves their problems, you can position yourself as an industry leader and a trusted source of information.
What’s Different About SaaS Content Marketing?
SaaS content marketing is a complex approach that requires more than just creating content. You need to be strategic in your content creation process, from the topics you choose to write about and how you distribute it.
Here are the reasons:
- SaaS services require a certain level of commitment from the customer, and content is a great way to help them understand why they should commit.
- You need to be thoughtful about who you’re writing for – are you targeting prospects or existing customers? What topics will they find valuable?
- SaaS transactions often involve more than one decision-makers, so your content should be tailored to meet the needs of all stakeholders.
- SaaS products involve technology and can be quite difficult to understand initially — especially when it’s truly innovative and unprecedented. Your content should explain the technology and make it digestible to your readers.
- Finally, there’s a lot of competition in the SaaS world and you need to differentiate yourself from others to stand out.
Does Every SaaS Product Need Content Marketing?
Your company needs content marketing to grow organically. That explains why almost every successful SaaS company you know is heavy on content.
Remember, people don’t just buy products. They need to be informed, educated, and convinced of the value they’re getting. Content is a great way to do that.
Content marketing also helps you establish trust, build relationships with key influencers, and differentiate yourself from other SaaS companies in the industry.
Think of it this way:
Content marketing will help your customers upgrade their skills, understand your product better, and get more value from using it. It’s a way of offering them an exceptional customer experience and providing educational resources that will ultimately benefit your bottom line.
Your website or blog should serve as an information hub for your SaaS product. You should use this platform to share stories, how-tos, tips and tricks, and behind-the-scenes details to help your readers get the most out of your product.
Content marketing is also a great way to showcase your team’s knowledge and experience in the industry. Don’t be afraid to write about topics outside your specific product.
A Real-life Example of SaaS Content Marketing in Action
Uberflip’s content strategy has been lauded for its ability to engage customers and push them through the sales cycle. It’s a great example of how SaaS content marketing should be done.
As of 13 August 2023, Uberflip attracts 5.8K organic monthly visitors to its blog. Most of the content is related to content marketing, but sometimes the company shares content that isn’t directly related to its product.
Uberflip has also tapped into the power of influencer marketing, collaborating with popular bloggers and industry leaders to drive more awareness and visibility for their product.
Content Formats You Can Use for Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is about more than just writing articles. It’s about creating content in different formats and using a variety of distribution channels to reach your target audience. Here are some content formats you can use for your SaaS business:
- Blog Posts: Blog posts are the most popular content format. They’re great for SEO and can be used to both inform and attract visitors.
You have different types of blog posts to choose from, such as how-tos, product reviews, comparison posts, case studies, and more.
- White Papers: White papers are in-depth reports that provide a comprehensive overview of a specific topic. They’re great for educating your audience and helping them make informed decisions.
- Videos: Videos have become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more SaaS businesses creating video content for their marketing efforts. Video content can be used to give customers an inside look at your product, explain complex concepts, and more.
- Infographics: Infographics are visually appealing content pieces that make it easy for readers to understand complex data and metrics. They are great for boosting engagement and getting other websites to link to your content.
- eBooks: eBooks are great for providing your audience with in-depth information and knowledge. They can be used to attract new leads, provide valuable content and build trust with your readers.
SaaS Content Marketing Performance: Stats
In SEMrush’s State of Content Marketing report, they asked SaaS companies about their content marketing strategies and how it was playing out.
Here are the key takeaways:
- 70% of SaaS companies have a somewhat developed or advanced content marketing strategy
- 97% of SaaS companies report that they have seen positive, tangible results from their content efforts
- 75% of SaaS companies are spending more on content marketing than they did a year ago
- 65% of SaaS companies spend more than $3,000 per month on content marketing
How to Create a Powerful SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
Now that we know how important content marketing is for SaaS companies, let’s explore the steps you can take to create a powerful content marketing strategy.
Step #1: Start by Laying a Foundation for Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content alone isn’t enough to drive success. It helps to have a solid content marketing strategy laced up with SEO, social media, email marketing, etc.
Every content marketing strategy should be built with a few core elements in mind. There should be a solid understanding of the buyer journey, an idea of what content should be created, and an outline of how you will measure success.
Here’s the thing: you don’t just wake up and decide you want to create content. Before you even think about creating content, you’ll want to ensure you have all the necessary tools, processes, and resources you’ll need.
So, what items should you include in your foundation?
Get Your Product or Brand Story Right
The first step to creating a successful content strategy for your SaaS product is figuring out your product or brand story. You must get your story straight, develop value propositions, and determine the right messaging.
Creating content randomly without a solid business and product strategy often leads to wasted time and resources.
According to Vivek Shankar, founder of the consultancy agency Vivek Shankar Consulting, many SaaS companies centre their content marketing around SEO and then work out the rest later. Instead of focusing on their products and sales, they seem to have it all backwards.
Your product and sales are the foundation of your content marketing strategy, so make sure to get that story right before you move on to anything else. That will ensure that all your other efforts won’t be in vain, as they will be firmly rooted in a strong base.
You want to begin by preparing a few documents:
Prepare your overall segmentation and targeting strategy:
Knowing who you’re creating content for is the first step in building a successful SaaS content marketing strategy. When developing your segmentation and targeting strategy, consider the types of customers you want to target and tailor your content to them.
Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition):
What makes you stand out from the competition? Building a unique and creative USP will help you differentiate yourself from other SaaS companies. For example, you can offer a unique feature, an innovative pricing model or exceptional customer service.
Your Core Messaging:
What is the main message you want to convey about your company and product? Aligning your content with this core messaging will help ensure that everyone who reads it gets the same overall impression. Example core messaging can include things like “We make it easy for customers to do X” or “We help customers save time and money”.
Your Brand Story:
Every company has a story, so why not use content marketing to tell yours? A great brand story resonates with your target audience, leaving them yearning for more. It should be relatable, emotionally appealing, and inspiring. It highlights your background, mission, values, and impact on the world.
Prepare Your Marketing Assets
Writing articles and blog posts before you have all website pages, landing pages, workflow, opt-in forms, etc., is an investment into ‘nothing’.
You want to make sure you have the following assets ready:
- A website that presents your product in the best light should be optimised for search engines and user experience. Everything, from its structure, UX, page speed, interlinking, and content, should be carefully crafted with your target audience in mind.
- Email marketing campaigns: Prepare a series of emails that will help you to nurture leads and convert them into customers. Also, you want to ensure you have an automated email sequence for new subscribers.
- A content marketing team: If you don’t have an in-house team, consider hiring freelance writers or content agencies specialising in B2B SaaS.
- Content marketing tools: Content marketing requires more than just writing. Your team needs to be equipped with the right tools, such as a content calendar, an analytics tool, social listening and management tool, etc.
- Landing pages and opt-in forms: Optimise all your pages to maximise conversions. A well-crafted landing page can be an effective lead-generation tool.
Define Your Content Marketing Goals
How do you plan to evaluate your progress and set realistic expectations?
For instance, if you plan to increase website traffic, measure the number of visitors and pageviews. If you plan to boost conversions, measure your campaigns’ results by tracking new leads and customers. You can also track the number of social media followers, newsletter subscribers, etc.
There are two main levels for which you can set your goals:
The Overall Content Marketing Goal: The revenue or Marketing Qualified Leads generated through content marketing this year should be 20% higher than last year. Be sure to use a multitouch attribution model to evaluate the content’s impact on your bottom line.
The Specific Content Goals: The goal might be to increase blog traffic by 25%, increase newsletter subscribers by 10%, or double the number of video views on YouTube.
It involves setting up intermediary KPIs that, when reached, will help you reach the overall goal.
For example, if your overall goal is to get 1000 leads by the end of the year, you may set up a goal to increase your blog traffic by 25%, email subscribers by 10%, and social media followers by 5%.
Step #2: Go the Extra Mile Researching Your Audience
Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to get to know your audience and what they are looking for.
It helps to understand their goals, pain points, challenges, questions, doubts, and preferences.
Customer analysis in SaaS marketing is even more involved than in other sectors, requiring too much resources, time, and effort.
The buying process isn’t straightforward. It involves multiple steps, numerous stakeholders, and longer decision cycles.
As a result, you must understand who you’re talking to and the different stages of the customer journey before you can successfully launch any kind of SaaS content marketing initiative.
The idea is to work on an effective conversion workflow that educates, and nurtures leads until they are ready to purchase.
For example, let’s imagine you’re an ad-tech company.
You have several customer segments: small businesses, medium enterprises, and global giants. Each segment has several personas, like the CMO, CFO, or digital marketing manager.
Your content must appeal to each of these personas and segments.
Here’s what your conversion workflow might look like:
- Create a free online course on performance marketing to attract small business owners, build trust with them, and showcase your knowledge and experience.
- Get some small business owners to sign up for a free trial of your product or share their contact information.
- Send personalised emails to the leads that signed up for your free trial, offering more resources and supporting content.
- Use webinars to educate and onboard users who have shown an interest in your product or service.
- Offer discounts, special deals, and exclusive offers to the most engaged customers.
- Host Q&A sessions with experts from your team to give them more insights into your product.
- Finally, track the progress of your leads and identify which ones are ready to purchase.
As you can see, a successful SaaS content marketing strategy takes a lot of planning, research, and customer engagement. But once you get the ball rolling, it can be a powerful tool for generating more leads and boosting your sales.
Here’s a real-life example:
ClickUp is a popular project management software targeting diverse customer segments (DevOps, HR teams, marketing, etc). They created various types of content (e.g., blog posts, ebooks, online courses) that appeal to each segment and persona.
They also target different companies (startups, mid-sized businesses, and large enterprises). As a result, they have differentiated approaches to content creation and distribution.
For example, when you land on their blog page, you’ll be made to choose content based on your job type and the challenges you’re facing.
How to Deeply Understand Your Audience
There are quite a few techniques you can use to understand your target audience better.
- Interview different types of customers, from users to prospects and decision-makers. Ask them about their pain points, needs, behind-the-scenes processes, and goals.
- Actively participate in online communities and forums to see what conversations occur. That includes platforms such as Growth Hackers, Growth Mentor, and Reddit.
- Build relationships with the experts and thought leaders in your industry to understand the industry landscape better.
- Monitor conversations and trends on social media to see what topics resonate with your target audience.
- Tap into customer feedback by collecting and analysing ratings, reviews, and surveys. It will give you insight into what customers like or dislike about your product/service.
- Collaborate with your sales, customer success, and customer service teams to gain in-depth knowledge about your target audience.
Using these techniques will help you improve your understanding of your target audience and tailor your content accordingly.
Step #3. Become an Expert in Your Niche
Expertise is the key to successful SaaS content marketing.
Your customers trust you more when you know your stuff. They will look to you for advice and solutions, so it’s important to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.
Many SaaS companies have achieved success with content marketing by creating high-quality and authoritative content that educates their audience. To become an expert in your niche, create blog posts, white papers, ebooks, case studies, and webinars that showcase your knowledge and expertise.
You want to familiarise yourself with the industry by doing the following:
- Research your customer and sales processes: Where possible, join and conduct interviews, analyse customer support requests, participate in demo calls, and observe sales demos.
- Follow industry influencers: Keep up with industry leaders by following them on social media and reading their content.
- Build relationships with your internal subject matter: Learn to leverage the collective intelligence of your organisation — from product managers, engineering teams, and customer service representatives to sales and marketing teams.
- Set Up Google Alerts: Set up alerts for your company, competitors, and industry trends to stay abreast of changes and opportunities.
- Use SEMrush’s Topic Research Tool to Keep Track of Trending Topics: Track popular topics in your industry to keep up with the competition.
The more research and data you can gather, the better equipped you’ll be to create content that resonates with your audience. So do your homework and start honing your expert status today.
Step #4. Forget About Problem-Solving and Think Big
Problem-solving refers to addressing a specific problem with your product or solution. It’s a short-sighted approach to content marketing as it limits your vision and focus.
The goal should be to think “bigger” than problem-solving and consider the larger context in which your customers operate.
For example, if you run a SaaS product that helps teams collaborate more effectively, don’t just discuss how it solves collaboration issues. Talk about how it helps teams succeed in today’s digital world.
As Luke O’Neil, a B2B Fintech writer (and founder of Genuine Communications, puts it, the problem SaaS marketers do is only talk about the product they’re promoting.
But their ideal customer isn’t buying widgets. They’re chasing big, scary goals, like delivering internal and external projects, getting promoted to a CXO position, securing more funding, or winning a big project.
Focus on these goals and highlight why your solution is the best way to get there. Don’t just talk about features — talk about how those features serve a purpose for your customer’s larger goal.
Step #5: Get Creative with Your Thought Leadership
You want to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This means talking about your product and its features and sharing insights from a broader perspective on the topics that matter to your customers.
Ideally, you want to brand yourself as the main source of education. For instance, a hypothetical ad tech company can share marketing content on topics you’d never cover in universities, such as targeting strategies for eCommerce retargeting campaigns.
It’s important to note here that thought leadership doesn’t necessarily mean creating content around “sterile” topics. You can also leverage your creative side and get a bit more personal with the audience. That could be like sharing funny stories about how you started in the industry. The key here is to be genuine and honest with your content.
This kind of content can help demonstrate your expertise in a more relatable way, making you stand out from competitors who might just be viewed as another “faceless” corporation.