Content marketing is a valuable tool for SaaS businesses to drive brand awareness, build authority, educate their audience, and drive organic traffic to their websites. According to HubSpot, 82% of marketers actively use content marketing.
SaaS products are not physical so marketing them can be more challenging. With the help of SaaS content strategies, you can educate prospects about your product and how it solves their problems, and what your value proposition is. You can also nudge prospects into booking demos or signing up for free trials to test out your product.
With the right mix of content strategies for your niche, you can build thought leadership and brand bias in the highly competitive $145.5 billion SaaS market.
Here are 22 types of content assets and channels that your SaaS business should consider leveraging.
Product-led posts address the pain points of customers and demonstrate how your product can solve their problems. Typically, they target keywords that describe the category of your product or the solutions that prospects are likely to be searching for.
Ahrefs, the leading SEO software suite, does an excellent job of creating product-led posts. For example, check out this detailed guide on how to do keyword research wherein Ahrefs smoothly plugs its tools like Site Explorer, Content Gap, and Keywords Explorer.
In this recent Twitter thread, Tim Soulo, the CMO of Ahrefs, talked about how promoting their product in their articles has helped them generate ROI.
“[Your top competitor] alternatives” posts are an ideal content strategy for SaaS businesses because prospects use these terms when evaluating different SaaS products. They pit your product against one or more of your top competitors.
Such posts highlight the features and benefits your ideal customer is looking for and demonstrate how your product is better than your competitors. Instead of trash-talking competitors, you can highlight your superiority in terms of price, customer service, or ease of use.
Since their search intent is to drive conversions, they’re considered middle-of-the-funnel or bottom-of-the-funnel content.
Moosend, an email marketing and marketing automation platform, publishes a lot of alternatives posts like this MailChimp alternatives post:
It positions itself at the top of the post as a viable MailChimp alternative for customers who find MailChimp too pricey. Moosend claims that it is 49% cheaper than MailChimp for the same features.
“How-to” posts take the opportunity to show up in SERPs when your prospects search for how to perform the function that your product can help them with. You highlight your target customer’s pain points and create a series of how-to posts with actionable tips.
There are two approaches to identifying strong topics on which to create such posts:
How-to posts may be one of two types: a collection of tips or step-by-step tutorials.
Generally, each step is a subheading so that readers can skim through the article before they take a deep dive. Also, include images, screenshots, videos, and examples to illustrate each step.
See how Crazy Egg, a clickmaps software, created a “how-to” post titled How to Interpret and Use Clickmaps to Improve Your Website’s UX:
The post breaks down clickmaps for prospects who are not familiar with the topic and weaves in the use of Crazy Egg to identify the click behavior of users.
List posts have a high perceived value for the reader. They love such posts because it breaks down information into digestible chunks and makes it easier to understand. Search engines also tend to reward list-style posts, hence it is the most common form of SaaS top-of-the-funnel content.
They’re also easier to create than other types of SaaS content like research studies or infographics because they need fewer resources and time. They’re effective in generating backlinks provided they’re created with audience needs in mind. This means that a huge list is not necessarily as useful as a smaller collection categorized by valuable criteria like cost or capabilities.
Take a look at this list post from Calendly where they round up the 20 best lead generation software. They follow this basic structure: introduce the software, describe its best features, explain pricing and plans.
Note that they take the opportunity to feature themselves at the top of the list and justify why they’re better than their competitors. It’s a great way to position your product such that prospects can easily find you and understand your USP.
“What is” posts, also known as deep-dive posts, are in-depth posts comprising 3,000 words or more that intend to be the go-to resource for a specific topic. They establish your brand authority and help you rank for targeted keywords.
“What is” posts are filled with screenshots, images, examples, and actionable tips. The idea is to provide actual value to readers such as learnings from a business experiment or insights from an expert interview or a firsthand case study.
The Close blog has several “what is” posts around sales such as this one: What is sales tracking? 5 steps to track sales + templates & tools.
The table of contents gives readers an overview of what they can expect to learn from the post. It also includes downloadable templates and a brief description of the Close CRM in the tools section before ending with a CTA to encourage readers to try out Close.
Checklists and cheatsheets are intended to be quick references for specific tasks that your customers perform regularly. They’re highly sought-after resources and drive organic traffic to your website.
Checklists are the ideal content type for lead magnets like content upgrades. Most companies offer downloadable versions of checklists and cheatsheets in exchange for contact details.
Moz features a variety of checklists and cheatsheets on different aspects of SEO such as this one:
And this Web Developer’s SEO Cheat Sheet:
Statistics roundups are an essential part of SaaS content strategy. They’re relatively easy to put together because of the multiple reports and studies available in the SaaS industry. According to Orbit Media, roundup posts are the most effective type of content in generating results.
They are great link-building assets because bloggers are always searching for up-to-date statistics to cite in their blog posts. To be useful, statistics roundups should not contain data from sources older than two to three years.
Survey posts present data in a visually appealing manner using graphs, charts, tables, images, and infographics using a storytelling approach. They not only talk about the analysis of the results but also about the questions and methodology used.
The Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report 2021 is an example of a survey post from Unbounce, a conversion intelligence platform, that offers useful insights about optimizing landing pages to boost conversions across industries.
Vidyard, a video hosting and video creation platform, publishes comprehensive video marketing and sales statistics roundup posts. Each statistic links back to the original source.
Glossary pages are indexes of commonly-used terms related to the SaaS product, such as MailChimp’s glossary of marketing terms or BigCommerce’s glossary of ecommerce terms.
Each term is given a simple and clear definition along with a brief description. Some SaaS companies include links to more in-depth information.
Here’s the MailChimp Marketing Glossary, which uses text callouts and images to engage readers:
The pillar-cluster content strategy was created by HubSpot following multiple major Google algorithm updates. As search engines become better at understanding semantic relevance, trying to rank individual pages for specific keywords becomes a wasted effort. Instead, you organize your content ideas around a few main topics or “pillars.” These are topics you want to rank for in SERPs.
How to develop a pillar-cluster content strategy:
OptinMonster’s email marketing guide is an excellent example of a pillar page that covers all aspects of email marketing and also promotes the product as the best solution for prospects searching for a pop-up and email conversion software.
Infographics are ideal for SaaS content marketing as they can communicate complex messages in a simple manner through data visualization. They can exist as independent content pieces on your blog or serve to break up the monotony of your blog posts.
You can easily repurpose the content of your survey posts or statistics roundups into creative, visually appealing infographics to get the most out of your data. Tools like Piktochart, Canva, Visme, or Venngage make it easy to create infographics.
Infographics can also be used as lead magnets, as Later (a visual marketing platform) has done:
94% of all content pieces have zero external links because they don’t provide value and have nothing worth linking to. Backlinks are important in SaaS content marketing because they play a pivotal role in the performance of content in SERPs.
Linkable assets are in-depth, high-quality content pieces created with the express purpose of attracting links from reputable websites in the same niche or social shares. They include elements that people feel are shareworthy.
Examples of high-performing linkable assets are free tools, trend posts, research and studies, link posts, guides, statistics roundups, and case studies.
Venngage, an online infographic designing tool, creates linkable assets that are directly connected to its product and have immediate value for its customers.
Comparison posts between your product and that of your competitors help prospects make an informed buying decision. They evaluate your product with one or more of your competitors on aspects like features, capabilities, and pricing. You can also compare products targeted toward a specific type of user or for certain use cases.
When you create a [your product] vs. [competitor] post, you can rank for these branded keywords and control the positioning of your brand for prospects. You also steal attention away from your competitors (despite mentioning them) by highlighting your key benefits.
Trello compares itself with its competitors Asana and Monday to convince readers why it is the better work management solution for enterprise teams in this post:
Webinars are typically live training sessions where you teach the participants something valuable. Some SaaS companies create pre-recorded webinars that prospects can access irrespective of time zones but live ones garner more engagement because of the Q&A opportunity.
They are useful if you want to market with a one-to-many approach, your product is relatively self-serve, or your sales volume is low.
Webinars need a higher time investment than other content strategies. You need to write the content, create slides, and use webinar hosting tools like WebinarJam, GoToWebinar, or Zoho Meeting. But they can be repurposed into webinar preview blog posts to get more mileage out of the content.
Zendesk has an extensive collection of webinars, both live and on-demand, around customer support and customer engagement:
Podcasts are on the rise as a form of SaaS audio content marketing. According to SEMRush, 60% of listeners searched for a product after hearing about it in a podcast.
They can be easily repurposed into blog posts by transcribing the content, sending them as part of newsletters, or posting them as audiograms (created with Descript) on social media.
The beauty of podcasts is that you can get prospects to state with you for up to an hour, something that’s impossible with other types of SaaS content. A caveat here: a podcast that solely consists of product promotion will not be successful. You have to share something that provides value to your audience.
Intercom’s collection of podcasts that revolve around business strategies and scaling businesses provide deep and unique business insights.
Rarely more than 35 minutes long, these podcasts feature detailed interviews with industry experts on topics like leadership, cyber security, data science, and productivity.
Lead magnets, also known as specialty content, are offered in exchange for the visitor’s email address that helps build the company’s mailing list. A CTA is placed at the bottom of the lead magnet’s landing page to nudge visitors to download it. The key is to give people plenty of opportunities to take the desired action.
Email newsletters are sent to subscribers who have opted to receive exclusive content from you. They shouldn’t just be sales- or product-oriented but should provide value in the form of blog posts, contest alerts, learnings, tips, or company insights.
Buffer, a social media management platform, shares newsletters filled with useful marketing tips and rarely talks about product updates.
Interviews with industry experts can generate deep insights that cannot be found anywhere else. Set up a conversation with a founder in your niche, transcribe it, and present the key points in a blog post.
The effort that goes into compiling such content pieces is rewarded by the fact that the founders will most likely link back to the post on your website, earning you backlinks. They may also promote the post on social media generating more visibility and traffic to your site.
Consider this Databox article that puts together insights from 25 experts on popular pages in Google Analytics:
Many SaaS businesses go beyond talking about their benefits and features to educate their prospects with short courses housed in a learning hub or academy. It’s a surefire way to stay top of mind for your audience.
Certification courses with shareable badges leverage word-of-mouth marketing on social media to increase brand awareness, authority, and conversions.
HubSpot Academy houses a whole host of free courses and certifications around marketing, sales, and service.
SaaS products can be challenging to sell, especially to prospects who are not aware of the value addition you can bring to their business. Case studies are detailed examinations of how your product or service helped a customer achieve their goals.
They provide a breakdown of how the customer used your product or service in the context of their business and got the results they wanted. They’re created such that customers can easily relate to them and understand the main points.
Case studies should be targeted at your ideal customer and contain genuine numbers and statistics. You’ll need the cooperation of your customer to write a proper case study, so highlight the benefits to them — i.e. exposure through your blog, newsletter, or social media.
Case studies follow this basic structure: introduce the customer, explain the challenges faced by the customer, talk about the solution your product or service provided, and list the outcomes achieved. In no way should the piece sound like promotional material — it is better to be honest about any mistakes you’ve made and explain how you corrected them.
Case studies usually end with a statement of the customer’s success.
Groove, a sales engagement platform, has a collection of visually attractive and compelling case studies. The text is broken down into convenient subheadings — the Problem, The Solution, The Results, and Conclusion — with images and figures to enhance understanding.
Guides are long-form, comprehensive pieces of content that discuss a topic and educate readers with actionable tips. They introduce a problem, suggest solutions, offer practical and detailed steps on how to execute the solutions, and conclude with a summary of the results.
They are a means of communicating your expertise and knowledge to your customers in a more detailed manner than blog posts. Long-form content also generates an average of 77.2% more links than short articles.
Guides are 5,000-6,000 words long and have plenty of images, charts, graphs, or infographics to engage the reader. They are well-researched, well-curated, and provide immense value to the reader.
You should target high-performing keywords in your domain and build topics around them to develop into detailed guides. This will help the guides rank higher in SERPs.
GetResponse, an email marketing and automation platform, has a detailed and impressive resource library comprising 68 downloadable guides. Topics range from email marketing and marketing automation to lead generation and ecommerce. Some SaaS companies like this one gate their guides and use it as a lead magnet to expand their email lists.
The guides are well-formatted with a table of contents and a quick summary in the beginning and make liberal use of bullet points and white space. Videos, images, tables, graphs, and infographics break up the text and make the content easier to understand.
Influencer marketing in the SaaS space is complex because a product may have a wide audience. The challenge, then, becomes to find the right kind of influencers to collaborate with.
Sprout Social defines influencer marketing as “a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers i.e. individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.”
Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat have their own influencers who command a large following in different demographics.
Here are the high-level steps to create an influencer marketing strategy:
Canva, an online design tool, collaborated with the marketing guru Guy Kawasaki to boost its brand awareness and traction. Kawasaki had been using Canva to create some of his graphics, which prompted the company to contact him. Today, Kawasaki is the brand evangelist for Canva.
Thought leadership guest posts are useful for social media sharing and discovery. They help you earn trust, build credibility, and create more awareness about your product. 80% of C-suite executives said that thought leadership increased their trust in a company and 41% said that such posts led them to do business with a company.
High-performing thought leadership content is authoritative and provocative, yet human in tone. They are best for top-of-the-funnel prospects who are still thinking about how to solve their problem(s).
Thought leadership posts can take many forms: sharing knowledge about controversial topics, making predictions about trends that people can expect, or detailed insights about specific trends in the SaaS space. They help build powerful connections with prospects that lead to more sales and brand affinity.
Here’s an example of a thought leadership post from Talkdesk, a customer experience software:
Ebooks and whitepapers are a combination of written and visual content about a specific topic that is packaged in a visually-pleasing format. They are great lead magnets because they have in-depth content and provide excellent value. Hence, they’re implemented early in SaaS marketing as sales enablement materials.
Ebooks and whitepapers are designed attractively to make them easier to read and understand.
HubSpot has a wide collection of deep, well-researched, and engagingly-written eBooks on a variety of topics like branding, advertising, email marketing, inbound marketing strategy, mobile marketing, video marketing, and so on.
Michael Roberts, Head of Marketing Automation at CloudApp says, “Content builds brand. Brand leads to trust. Trust cuts through the noise when prospects have buying intent.”
Prioritize the right type of content for your SaaS business and create a winning content strategy that will generate organic traffic for your website, build your email list, and ultimately increase the number of paying customers.