The SaaS market has been steadily growing over the years. And as many companies have moved to remote work due to the pandemic, SaaS solutions have become even more relevant thanks to their flexibility and affordability.
It’s no longer just a software delivery method. SaaS has evolved to become a software sales and pricing model, too.
You already know the advantages of SaaS, but do you understand why content strategy is important in a market projected to grow to $220.21 billion in 2022?
A sound content strategy demonstrates why your products are better than the competition. It helps your brand get noticed in the crowded SaaS and organic search landscape.
No wonder 79% of B2B marketers had a content strategy in 2021. Companies are using content marketing to nurture leads, generate sales, and build a subscriber base. So the question is…
In simple words, a content strategy is a plan to use content to achieve your key business objectives. Content types could be blog posts, email newsletters, videos, or virtual events — whatever your target audience prefers.
It is informed by two factors:
Content strategy cannot be directly aligned with high-level corporate strategy. You cannot use it to set actionable goals.
Instead, you can use functional strategy (i.e. strategy followed by functional business areas like marketing or customer service) as a guide to establish meaningful goals like:
Content strategy should be based on information gathered from actual users about their needs, pain points, and preferences.
Content teams often operate on assumptions about their target audience due to a lack of research. Or they try to speak to all types of audiences, effectively speaking to none.
Prioritize your target users and focus on delivering your message to them first.
A good content strategy also needs a clear understanding of the three pillars: Why, Who, and How.
If you don’t have a strategic roadmap, your content will not achieve the outcomes you want.
Your SaaS business has one or more of the following aims:
Essentially, your goal is to help customers understand your software and how it solves their problems. B2B marketers reveal that the value their content provides is the #1 factor contributing to the success of their content marketing campaigns.
Tools cannot replace good strategy, but they can make your work easier and more efficient. Keyword research tools and editorial calendars are most popular among B2B marketers.
Some of the top tools categorized by each stage of creating a content strategy are:
1. Identify target audience
2. Conduct keyword research
3. Choose distribution channels
4. Create Content
5. Publish and Manage Content
6. Track Performance
Your content strategy defines your distribution channel strategy. Prioritize a few channels where your target customers are present instead of spreading yourself thin across all channels.
Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook), email, and website blogs are the top three B2B organic content distribution channels. Among paid channels, marketers found social media advertising and SEM/PPC most useful.
It’s important to analyze your audience and competitors to figure out which content types and channels will work best for your SaaS business.
A content strategy is the most powerful weapon in your SaaS arsenal to attract, inform, and convert customers.
Let’s explore the reasons why you shouldn’t wait to develop a content strategy in 2023:
SaaS is here to stay! Gartner forecasts that SaaS will continue to dominate cloud services in 2023.
“The economic, organizational and societal impact of the pandemic will continue to serve as a catalyst for digital innovation and adoption of cloud services,” says Henrique Cecci, senior research director at Gartner. “This is especially true for use cases such as collaboration, remote work and new digital services to support a hybrid workforce.”
Detailed brand guidelines ensure that your published content is consistent and recognizable. When you create a style guide as part of your content strategy, you lend your SaaS brand a personality, a voice, and a tone that prospects can form a personal connection with.
You may be selling to other businesses but the decision-making groups are human.
Source: Content Harmony
For example, MailChimp’s brand guidelines dictate that their voice and tone be uplifting and supporting. It ties into the platform’s ambition to be the go-to email marketing tool for marketers.
You may assume that your content marketing objective is to get new customers. But SaaS companies have several messages to communicate to their audience, so there are other objectives like:
For example, Moz runs an SEO blog to bring in qualified leads, whereas Pipedrive offers a free trial to convert visitors into customers. Dropbox offers 16GB of extra storage for each friend that you refer, rewarding loyal customers.
Creating content using a content strategy ensures that you prioritize high-value content that is most likely to reach prospects with high buying intent.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of who usually buys from you. Having buyer personas helps you create content that addresses the pain points of your customers in a targeted manner and presents solutions. Persona-based content helps you achieve more conversions or engagement quickly.
For example, Hootsuite explored the challenges of its target audience before creating content for its blog. Most of its content pieces are long-form, 3,000+ word, top-of-the-funnel how-to guides that educate readers about social media strategy.
Market research and data are the foundations of customer insight and understanding. Your content strategy is built around a combination of primary market research, historical data, and third-party data.
Social listening and third-party sources provide informative research, which can be bolstered with interviews and internal analytics to provide a complete customer picture.
A content strategy helps you find content-market fit. By studying content consumption formats and the state of content behavior, you can find which channels to focus on.
You add value to the conversation with targeted messaging instead of trying to be everywhere.
For example, Ahrefs has a successful SEO blog but it also chose to create short, 10-minute YouTube videos to target their ideal audience on the platform.
You can draw a clear path to revenue growth with your content strategy in the following ways:
For e.g., Loom focused on the keyword “Loom vs. Zoom” after its search volume increased and its sales and customer support teams were addressing more questions on the topic. It helped directly impact company revenue by boosting sales.
Your content strategy will help you assign and map content to an editorial calendar that is categorized by topics, content owners, and campaigns. It will enable visibility and collaboration across teams and departments.
Did you think long-form blog posts are the only way to drive qualified leads?
Perhaps your audience would like to consume other content types, such as explainer videos, webinars, podcasts, or case studies.
Test different content types as part of your strategy to get a sense of your audience’s tastes.
Source: Outspoken Media
For example, HubSpot constantly offers its audience fresh tips via live webinars, turning its content into an event.
Your competition has the same goals as you do – generate leads, attract and retain customers, and build authority. With a content strategy, you uncover openings and content opportunities to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
For instance, ProofHub often publishes “alternative to” content on its blog to demonstrate how it works better than its competitors.
Not having a content strategy is quite like driving in an unknown country without a roadmap. Content creation takes plenty of time and effort and you maximize ROI when you use a well-researched strategy to guide the process.
Top-of-the-funnel content like opinion and leadership pieces, collaboration with influencers, and positive press coverage establish a brand’s authority as a leader in the market. Increased authority improves the performance of all your other marketing campaigns.
A good content strategy helps you determine what’s in focus and what’s out of scope. You can determine the gaps in your process and take stock of your resources – budget, people, competencies, and technology. This will help you find the right resource mix to execute your content program.
Instead of looking for ways to enter more new channels, a channel leverage approach can help you optimize your existing channels for profit.
For instance, you could make your sales efforts more effective by equipping sales personnel with data in the form of infographics and customer videos.
A content strategy can be adjusted to adapt to a growing business. Content creation is optimized by matching content goals with growing user needs, allocating in-house resources efficiently, and drawing up a content production plan for marketing new features or products.
Your content strategy establishes the iterative process or workflow that allows you to prioritize high-value content and critical needs.
While SaaS companies are spending massively and creating large amounts of content, it doesn’t amount to much without a well-defined content strategy.
Content is a significant investment and takes time to show results as compared to paid channels. But robust and sustainable SaaS content strategy helps you reap benefits in the long term by establishing content-market fit.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, promotion, and ongoing management of content to achieve your key business goals. It enables you to attract your target audience at every stage of the purchase funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase.
“Content strategy(CS) plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.”
How to create a content strategy?
It is important to have a content strategy to get content marketing right. Take these 8 steps to create a content strategy:
What is a content strategy in UX?
Content strategy is not a part of UX but it directly impacts the end content product in the following ways:
When it comes to a long-term content strategy, what is an important buyer persona trait?
For a long-term content strategy, the following buyer persona traits are important:
What should a content strategy include?
Your content strategy should include the following elements:
What is the first step of creating an effective and targeted content strategy?
To create an effective and targeted content strategy, start by examining your customer’s buyer’s journey. Identify the steps your customers go through from the time they become aware of your software till the time they buy it.
For SaaS marketing, these steps usually include awareness, engagement/lead generation, exploration/trial sign-ups, conversion to paid customers, and making them stay. Once you have an idea of your SaaS purchase funnel stages, you can develop a plan around creating content to guide customers through each stage.
Why is content strategy important?
SaaS content marketing without a strategy can cause two kinds of problems:
A content strategy helps you prioritize high-value content and aligns content type with prospects at different stages of the purchase funnel. Thus, it helps generate meaningful increases in traffic and marketing qualified leads (MQL).
How to develop a blog content strategy?
The purpose of SaaS blog content is to raise brand awareness, drive conversions, and generate revenue.
Consider these steps when creating a blog content strategy:
How to present a content strategy?
SaaS content marketing is intended to educate and inform people about your software and how it solves their problems. With a content strategy, you can guide interested leads toward testing your tools and eventually buying them.
Present your content strategy with the following steps:
Image Sources –Alexa, Eleken, Powered by Search, Uplift Content, Crazy Egg, Inc., HubSpot, UX Collective, Medium, CMS Wire, SEJ, Brain Traffic, Content Marketing Institute, Terakeet, Advance B2B, Accelerate Agency, StoryChief, WordStream, BlueTree, One Digital Land, Rock Content, BMC, Content Harmony, Incredo, Shane Baker, Seismic, Provectus Digital, Duct Tape Marketing, SpeechSilver, Compose.ly
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