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Your Guide to Building an Effective SaaS Content Strategy

Toni Koraza
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May 8, 2023
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Your Guide to Building an Effective SaaS Content Strategy

In the dynamic SaaS world, you can’t beat the competition if you don’t develop a solid content marketing strategy and produce high-quality content aimed at conversions. 

SaaS content marketing helps you attract leads, position yourself as the authority leader in the niche, educate the audience about your solution, and push them toward conversion. It’s not just a means of increasing your trial signups and revenue; it’s a way to build trust and credibility in your brand. 

As a SaaS SEO agency that provides content marketing services, we know the ins and outs of how content marketing works. In this guide, we’ll share everything to help you create a successful SaaS content strategy. 

What We'll Cover:

What is SaaS Content Marketing? 

SaaS content marketing is the strategy behind consistently creating and distributing valuable, unique content to attract, convert and retain the target audience.  

This is not limited to blog content; it extends to ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, social media content, emails, landing pages and advertisements. 

In most cases, a SaaS content marketing strategy aims to educate the audience about different problems in your niche and how your product can help solve them. For example, if you have a social media management tool, you’ll want to discuss the challenges of managing social media, like getting more engagement, creating posts that attract, etc., and how your tool can help solve these problems. 

What Makes SaaS Content Marketing Different? 

Here are three key reasons why SaaS content marketing is different and more complex when compared to content marketing for other business types:  

  • SaaS products often have longer sales cycles, so you need compelling content at different stages in the funnel to attract and convert customers. For example, focusing on MOFU (Middle Of The Funnel) content is as vital as on BOFU (Bottom Of The Funnel) content.
  • Subscribing to a SaaS tool requires a lot of commitment, especially on the B2B side, so you need to establish trust and credibility via your content strategy.
  • For SaaS businesses, customer retention is essential to maintaining a healthy monthly revenue, so your content strategy should include valuable content for your existing customers.

Why is SaaS Content Marketing Important? 

All businesses require content marketing to grow organically and get ahead of the competition on SERPs. 

When it comes to SaaS businesses, your audience is constantly looking for ways to improve and grow professionally. 

Producing content that educates your audience and helps them solve problems is a great way to build a loyal community that looks up to your brand as an authority leader and increases trust. For example, we helped Postalytics, a direct mail automation platform, to grow their organic traffic 28X in a year with the help of content marketing. 

A snippet of how MADX organic traffic went up

direct mail automation

This involved creating landing pages and blogs, optimizing the SEO strategy, planning social media content, etc. 

The brand now gets over 80K monthly visitors and has 4200 new top positions on Google. 

What is the SaaS Content Marketing Funnel and Why is it Important? 

Creating content for all the stages of the content marketing funnel is important because you want to attract leads at different stages. For example, if you focus on TOFU, you might miss the chances of converting those at the bottom of the funnel who require that extra push to select your tool over others. 

Here are the three stages: 

Components of a content marketing funnel

Top Of Funnel (TOFU) 

This is the first stage in the customer journey, where people are still investigating their problems without the intent to solve them immediately. 

While this content may have a high search volume, the buying intent is very low. 

The content you create for this stage is good at creating brand awareness and starting a relationship with your audience. The most popular content formats are articles, infographics, ebooks and social media posts. 

For example, this article by Asana is a TOFU content as it introduces the audience to the basics of project management without solving a specific problem. 

A snippet of an article on Asana about project management

Image source 

Middle Of Funnel (MOFU) 

At this stage, the audience is more aware of their problem and is looking for ways to solve it. Therefore, your content strategy should involve creating content that specifically solves these problems and makes the audience trust you and your product.

How-to content, case studies, thought leadership articles, checklists, and webinars are the most popular content types for this stage of the funnel. 

For example, this article by Asana helps solve a particular problem, “How to set milestones?” It also presents Asana with an opportunity to portray the milestones feature in its tool. 

A snippet of an article on Asana about how to set and achieve project milestones

Image source 

Despite having a greater buying intent than at TOFU, your content shouldn’t sound too salesy at this stage. 

Bottom Of Funnel (BOFU) 

This is where your audience has the greatest buying intent, and thus, creating content for this stage should be a priority for all SaaS businesses. 

Your content must be designed to sell your product, so it’s all right to become salesy at this point and showcase your product in the best light. Comparison articles, solution pages, use case pages, customer stories and product pricing are popular content types for this stage. 

This landing page by Asana is an example of BOFU content. 

A snippet of the Asana vs Microsoft Project page

Image source 

While the search volume for BOFU is less, we use this format because it’s where you get highly qualified leads and the most conversions. 

Content Formats Used in SaaS Content Marketing 

While SaaS businesses are increasingly picking up unique and different content formats, here are five formats we have seen deliver the best results for our SaaS clients. 

Blog Posts 

Blog posts are the lifeblood of your content marketing strategy. 

Most people in the audience love consuming this kind of content, and it gives your SaaS company a great chance to be discovered by the right people. 

Some key points you need to consider while creating blogs are: 

  • Create blogs about important product updates, but don’t limit yourself to them. After all, you want to draw in new people who do not know about your product yet but may want to try it in the future.
  • Utilize keyword research to find topic ideas that are popular and also easy to rank for. Ensure you understand the search intent before creating content for these topics.
  • Make your blog easy to search. For example, if you cover a wide range of topics on your blog, you may overwhelm your readers. Instead, segment your topics and provide search functionality. Here’s how Ahrefs does it.
A snippet of a page from the Ahrefs blog

Landing Pages 

A SaaS landing page is a sales page aimed at selling your product, important features or showcasing your brand and its successful customers.

Some of the most common SaaS landing pages are: 

  • Use case pages: These pages tell your audience who your product is for and what it is about. This is best for SaaS tools that cater to multiple audiences and have features that can be used for different purposes.

A snippet of a page from Monday.com

Image source 

  • Comparison Pages: An important part of your BOFU strategy, comparison pages showcase your product vs. competitor products. Whenever a user searches “your tool vs. xyz tool” on Google, these landing pages can help you appear in the search and boost the probability of conversion.
A snippet of a comparison page from Hootsuite

Image source 

  • Lead Magnet Pages: These pages are directed towards those lead magnet content that helps you capture important details of your audience, like email addresses, in exchange for a piece of content.
A snippet of a pge in HubSpot about professional bio templates and examples

Image source 

Benchmark Data 

One way to create unique content is by publishing benchmark reports from which many in your industry can draw insights. 

These reports are also a great way to generate backlinks for your brand. As it is a unique kind of content, many SaaS companies release these reports once every few months. 

It also adds to the company's reputation and builds credibility in its content. 

Here’s one benchmark data report by Hootsuite

A snippet of a page in Hootsuite about 2022 Digital Trends Report

Image source 

The key is to not stop at just publishing these reports. You need to develop strategies to promote it widely. This could be by sharing it on your social media, contacting people who might need to read it or promoting it on third-party websites.

The more you promote it, the more backlinks and popularity it may gain. 

Ebooks 

Are you trying to create a mailing list? Or do you want to diversify your lead generation strategies? Ebooks are an effective way to capture email addresses and other key details of your audience. 

Here are three tips to help you create ebooks that get downloads: 

  • Choose a topic your audience is interested in. The topic can be a great opportunity to dive deep into a subject you have lightly touched upon in your blogs.
  • Review top SaaS companies creating ebooks and see why they are so popular. Study their content, how they break down each chapter, and what kind of unique content they include.
  • Use the right colors and incorporate visuals. You don’t want your ebook to be all-text and dull. A great start would be using your brand colors in ebooks to create brand associations.

Make sure each ebook has prominent CTAs you want your audience to act on. 

Videos  

91% of consumers want to see more online videos from brands, and the rise of short format videos like reels and shorts has added to the popularity of video marketing.  

For the SaaS industry, videos are a great way to break down complex product features and functions to make them easily digestible for users. You can even invite influencers or industry experts to discuss a topic that interests your audience. 

You can create different types of videos: product demos, how-to-use SaaS videos, case study videos, customer story videos, niche-specific topic videos, etc. 

Some best practices for video marketing are: 

  • Create a story. Instead of just giving tips on a particular topic, use examples to make the video content understandable.
  • Design high-quality thumbnails to help the video stand out amongst others.
  • Use subtitles or make sure your videos work without sound.
  • Make videos mobile-responsive.
  • Optimize for search engines by providing transcription, using keywords in the video’s title and description, etc.

Look at how this video for Ahrefs garnered a whopping 1.7 million views. 

A snippet of a Youtube video from Ahrefs

Image source 

Step-by-Step Guide for Creating SaaS Content Marketing Strategy 

Below are seven steps to create a solid SaaS content marketing strategy. 

1. Define Your Target Audience 

Defining your target audience is essential to create content that resonates and leads to conversions. 

This research becomes a little complex when it comes to SaaS as you usually deal with a lot of different customer segments. For example, an email marketing tool can be used by an agency as well as a SaaS company. 

To simplify this process, here are some things you can do: 

  • Look into your existing database. What kind of companies/clients make up most of your user base? What kind of content do they consume the most?
  • Break up the silos in your organization. Allow collaboration between content teams and customer-facing teams to create the best content.
  • Actively participate in online communities to find out the kind of people that talk about different SaaS tools in your niche.

Look at how Monday.com’s blog allows readers to choose content based on their industry. 

A snippet of the list of items under Industries from Monday.com

Image source 

2. Define Your Goals 

You’ll have to set your content marketing goals in accordance with your business goals.  

For example, if your business goal is to get 100 trial signups in the next couple of months, you’ll need to break down this goal for your content strategy. If blogging is your core content strategy, your CTAs and article topics should focus on getting more people to sign up for the trial. 

Once you define the goals, define the metrics you’ll use to measure progress. 

Two primary metrics often used are: 

Marketing Cost Metric 

You want to maintain a good ROI for your content marketing efforts. This means keeping a check on the marketing costs that you make. 

Conversion Rate 

The conversion rate measures the number of people that act on your CTAs, be it the CTAs you use in your blog or social media posts. 

3. Do Keyword Research 

If someone searches for project management, you want your project management tool or an article that promotes it to come up on Google’s SERP. 

That’s why it’s important to conduct a thorough keyword research. 

You can start with seed keywords that define your niche. You can then put these keywords into a tool like Ahrefs to generate more keyword ideas. Then, analyze these keywords for search volume, traffic potential, and keyword difficulty. 

If you’re just starting out, target low-difficulty keywords with a good enough search volume and traffic potential. 

Here’s a detailed guide on keyword research

4. Create Your Content Lifecycle Strategy 

Now that you shortlisted the keywords you’ll be targeting, the next step is to create your content lifecycle strategy. 

This means mapping out the kind of content you’ll create for different stages in the customer journey. 

You should always start by creating BOFU content to convert those who have reached the last stage. It also helps when you start creating MOFU and TOFU content, as these users can quickly find the following type of content they require and convert. 

Here are some common examples of three stages: 

  • Basic company/product information: This includes your homepage, features page, use cases, etc. Here’s how Mailchimp showcases this information.

A snippet of a list of items under a products panel from Mailchimp

  • How-to content: This includes content that teaches users how to use your product and other important resources. For example, the resource center in Mailchimp.

A list of items under Resources from the Mailchimp site

  • Content to help decide: This includes comparison articles, case studies, customer stories, etc. that convert the user.

The success stories page from Mailchimp

5. Design the Distribution Strategy 

Your content won’t deliver results without actively distributing and promoting it on other platforms. 

There are many places you can start distributing your content, like guest posting on authoritative websites, using email marketing to get more readers to visit your recent articles, using social media platforms to reach out to more people, and using online communities like Reddit and Quora where you can provide insightful answers to relevant questions, etc. 

Instead of only sharing your article links on social media, respect each platform’s best practices and algorithms. 

For example, here’s how Buffer turns this article into a Twitter thread with a link to the blog at the end. 

A Twitter post from Buffer

Image source 

6. Define Your Success Metrics and Re-evaluate If Necessary

If you don’t define what success looks like, your content team will keep putting in the effort without knowing whether it is bringing any results. 

It’s also important to understand that you shouldn’t run behind metrics like engagement only. Instead, you should keep an equal check on whether the content brings conversions. 

Once you take care of these points and define your success metrics, schedule regular tracking periods where your team thoroughly checks how your content scores on these metrics. 

You can use tools like Ahrefs and Google Analytics to check your website traffic, number of backlinks, conversions, etc. 

Also, dive deep into why some content performs great while others don’t. This gives you a fair idea of the content you should target and what your audience likes consuming the most. 

7. Scale Your Content Marketing Team 

Once you reach a stage where your content starts bringing results, you need to scale your content marketing team to consistently create and distribute content. 

For example, you may need people who work on keyword research and draw a content schedule, while you’ll need content writers and editors to write engaging and converting content. 

If you’re a startup, a great idea would be to hire generalists first, and then once you have the budget, hire specialists.  

You can hire freelancers via freelance boards like Pro Blogger or contact them on platforms like LinkedIn and Upwork. If you’re unsure about hiring writers, you can contact agencies like ours that do the work for you. 

Final Thoughts 

Content marketing for SaaS involves researching the audience, mapping out the content for the entire customer journey, and providing high-quality content that converts. 

Paying attention to all these parts will help you build a solid SaaS content strategy. It’s important to note that you should always try to diversify your content types to reach the audience where they are. 

If you are just starting out or do not want to risk spending money on content that might not bring results, get in touch with our experts at MADX, who can help you build and run a successful content strategy. 

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