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When it comes to generating more leads for your SaaS business, you must include content marketing in your overall strategy. In fact, SaaS companies that use content marketing experience a 30% increase in growth rates and a 5-10% increase in retention rates. Further, the customer acquisition cost (CAC) of SaaS companies from content marketing is about 15% lower than that of paid ads.

However, not every business leveraging content marketing knows how to do it properly, which can mean that they are losing potential customers and numerous other benefits.

So, if you’re looking to include content marketing in your marketing campaign, make sure to follow the rules.

In this blog post, we’ll discover five basic yet effective rules every SaaS content marketer should follow to create an incredible content strategy for their brand.

1. Know your target audience

A SaaS product can appeal to different buyers with different goals and needs. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work because of the lack of pinpoint focus. To increase conversions — both trial and paid — it’s crucial to identify your target audience.

Defining your target audience lays the foundation of a successful SaaS content marketing strategy. It’s a good starting point to know what your potential customers are looking for and what type of content to create to drive traffic and sales. If you try to attract “everyone”, you won’t reach “anyone”.

Here’s what you can do to understand your target customers:

Understand your offering

First, understand why a customer would be interested in your product, the benefits they will get from it, and the problems you’re solving for your customers. Further, identify what it is you do that separates you from your competitors. If you do this, they’ll love you. If you can’t, they’ll find another brand that can.

Analyze your existing customers

If you have an existing customer base, an email list, or a Facebook page or group with a decent following, analyze their current records.

  • Is your customer an individual buyer or an organization?
  • What is the customer’s budget?
  • Which industry are they involved in?
  • Which brands do they buy from?
  • Which social platforms are they most active on?
  • What is the main location(s) of your potential customers?
  • What challenges are they facing that your product can solve?
  • What led them to buy your product?
  • What stopped them from buying your product?
  • What do your customers like and dislike about your product or service?

Try to answer these questions by talking to your customers — to know whether or not you’re on the right track. However, if you can’t speak to them directly, analyze your Google analytics, Facebook page insights, Twitter analytics, and CRM data to get an idea of who’s following you and what they’re interested in. You can also check out old survey data or customer metrics of previous campaigns to see valuable insights about customers you’ve already reached.

Create buyer personas

Once all the information is collected, create a buyer persona — a fictional representation of your real potential customers.

This helps you define which topics your audience is most interested in and what tone of voice you should use. In short, you can ensure everything you’re doing fits who you want to be targeting.

However, make sure your ideal buyer profile is updated as your business evolves over time.

In addition, keep a close eye on brands selling similar products — check out their social media pages, the type of people that follow them and like their posts, and what kind of content gets the most engagement.

You can also distribute surveys to potential and existing customers via email or tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms. The answers will help assemble audience data and identify key personas.

2. Analyze your competition

There are numerous ways to frame your content marketing strategy — one of which is keeping an eye on your competitors, the people they’re targeting, and the content they’re producing.

Understanding how your competitors use content to engage with their audience and drive interest in their SaaS products can help you stay on top of your content marketing strategy. Not only can you find new strategies to draw your audience’s interest to your content but also fill out gaps in their approach.

For effective competitor analysis, answer these questions:

  • Who are your main competitors?
  • What type of content are they producing?
  • What kind of people are they reaching out to?
  • What communication channels are they using?
  • What social media channels are they active on?
  • What keywords are they focusing on?

Here are a few steps you can follow:

  • Create a list of your direct and indirect competitors. Your direct competitors are brands that offer the same products or services as you do. On the other hand, brands that offer different products or services than yours but satisfy the same customer need are indirect competitors.
  • Gather information about your competitors to understand their goals and target audience. Further, check out their different content types — from blog posts and podcasts to newsletters and videos on and off their website. This will help you know the content formats their audience enjoys the most and the level of content investment. Plus, it can be a useful way to find new content ideas for your strategy.
  • Next, evaluate their content and understand how much time and effort they put into each piece. Take account of how many types of content and channels they’re leveraging, how frequently they publish that content, and on what channels. Further, check out their engagement metrics, such as shares, likes, and comments, to understand how well their content performs.
  • Now it’s time to analyze the quality of each content piece to find content gaps, which can become opportunities for you. How detailed are the posts? Do they follow a simple structure? Are they using high-quality images on their website or blog posts? Is the content easy to read and understand? Is the content grammatically correct and plagiarism-free?

3. Define your metrics & measure results

You might have created excellent content, but how do you determine its success and failure? This is where SaaS content marketing metrics can help.

Metrics are the numbers and statistics crucial to your success as a SaaS content marketer. Without tracking them, it’s nearly impossible to know the performance of your content marketing strategies.

So, once you understand your target audience and analyze your competitors, define different performance metrics that should be considered in SaaS content marketing. Since not all content marketers know how to measure content performance, it’s recommended to start from basic metrics.

Some of these include:

  • Website visitors: The total number of individual visits or leads to your website.
  • Pageviews: Number of times the visitors viewed a single page.
  • Channel of the first contact: This means the channel or medium where the visitor landed on your website or engaged with your content for the first time, such as direct research, social media, paid advertisements, referral, etc. This can help you create more content that complements that channel(s).
  • Time from the first contact to sale: How much time does it take for the visitor to land on your website to close the deal? It can help you map your content to different sales funnel stages.
  • Bounce rate: The number of users who land on your website but leave after viewing just one page.
  • Time on site: The duration the visitors remain on your website.
  • Clicks: The total number of clicks on a given link.
  • Backlinks: Total number of incoming links to your website.
  • The average lifetime value of each user: How much will each unique visitor spend on your company’s product or service?
  • New and returning visitors: What is the percentage of new visitors to the returning visitors? While new visitors result in a boost of traffic on the website, returning customers indicates loyalty. Further, it can help you determine how many people engage with your content for the first time and how many engage regularly.
  • Sign-ups per visitor: How many visitors signed up for the SaaS product or a free trial?
  • Lead velocity rate (LVR): The percentage of increase in leads every month.
  • Customer churn rate: How many customers are leaving your services at any given time. It can provide insights into how well your customer retention is.

4. Develop a keyword strategy

Every SaaS solution has associated keywords that you must know while crafting your content marketing strategy. People may use these keywords throughout their customer journey to search for the information they need. For example,

  • Before coming across your brand, they may search for “how-to solve” their problems or pain points.
  • After discovering your brand, they may search for reviews about your product or service.
  • After deciding to buy your product, they may search for how to complete the purchase process.
  • After buying your product, they may search for instructions on the setup process.
  • After adopting your product, they may search for tips on how to use the features of your product effectively.
  • When they encounter issues, they may search for solutions or the process of reaching out to customer service reps.
  • When considering renewing their plan, they may search for information on the renewal process.

Remember: Customers don’t use the words while looking exactly for your business or brand name. Instead, they try to find a solution to their problems that a product or service like yours can provide.

By identifying keywords used at each stage of the customer’s journey, you can develop relevant content to address their needs at each point. Not only can this result in effective marketing and sales strategy but also a boost in customer satisfaction and retention.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think of the keywords they would use to look for the information to address their pain points. For example, the target audience for a project management tool might search for ways to manage team projects effectively. You can also spend some time on platforms to understand your potential customers’ needs. Research for words or phrases they’re using to search for the answers.

Furthermore, consider using the following tools to develop an effective keyword strategy for your content.

  • Google Keyword Planner: It allows you to know the search volume of specific phrases in Google, related phrases from a target keyword, and the PPC and competitive score of keywords.
  • BuzzSumo: It is a social media analytics tool that enables you to discover trending topics, competitors’ content strategies, and popular content formats.
  • Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz: Advanced SEO software for keyword research, discovering trending topics, rank tracking, website audits, page optimization, and competitor and backlink analysis.

5. Outline your content distribution strategy

Creating great content is just half the battle. The real challenge lies in making sure your audience knows that it exists.

Content distribution is a crucial part of a SaaS content marketing effort. It is a strategy that helps an organization promote its content — whether your latest blog post or a new video.

Without distribution, your content won’t reach your potential customers; they won’t know about your product or service and how it can address their pain points. In other words, you won’t find enough leads to sell your SaaS product.

Hence, to generate consistent sales from your content, you need a solid content distribution strategy.

A distribution strategy guides where and how frequently you will post and promote your content — both on-site or off-site. It defines whether your content will be publicly available or gates for premium users only. Further, it suggests what third-party sites you will use to distribute your content via guest blogging and your social media profiles for content promotion.

In a nutshell, the content distribution strategy aims to promote products effectively by making them accessible to the right audience at the right time and convincing them to take the desired action — reading the blog post, downloading an ebook, signing up for a newsletter, and more.

Here are a few tactics to create a powerful distribution strategy for your content.

  • Find the right channel(s) for your different content types. You’ll need to publish and promote on channels your potential customers prefer, such as social media, email, blog, and others.
  • Involve influencers and bloggers while creating your content. Ask them for a quote for a blog post that will cite them as an expert. Also, inform them once the content is live and ask them to share it on their social media channels or newsletters.
  • Become a regular contributor for trusted online publications in your niche.

Bottom line

Content is becoming a significant factor that influences a user’s purchasing decisions. So, if you haven’t hopped on the content marketing bandwagon yet, NOW is the time to do so. Follow these rules and optimize your SaaS content marketing efforts to boost your lead acquisition, sales, conversion rates, and revenue. And become one of the best software companies in your industry.

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