If you wish to:
Then this is the ultimate guide for you.
We’ll cover all of the above in a crisp and to-the-point manner, sharing actionable tips, useful resources, and tools you can start using right away to improve your SaaS brand’s organic visibility, qualified traffic, and user acquisition.
In this chapter, we’re going to take a quick look at the basics of content marketing for SaaS: what it is, why it’s important for your business, and why content can be the difference between growth and death.
Running an online business, you’re already invested in basic content marketing: writing website copy, creating landing pages, posting social media updates, and maybe some blogging?
But it’s only when you become strategic with content ideation, creation, distribution, and measurement — setting concrete goals and basing your content investments on data — do you enter the SaaS content marketing game.
And that’s when you can better reach and connect with your target audience — building greater brand awareness, credibility, and authority that ultimately translates into better organic search rankings, qualified traffic, and lead generation.
Content marketing for SaaS is a tad different than marketing in other industries, because:
Virtually every SaaS company (both B2C & B2B) is now using content as a part of its marketing strategy to position itself as a niche thought leader by offering helpful, insightful resources to its audiences.
The question is, why not continue to rely solely on the old-school cold selling approach?
Well, let’s have some numbers do the talking:
So essentially, effective content marketing means that when a potential customer is ready to invest in a cloud-based SaaS tool, subscribing to your product will be the obvious choice.
As you’d realize when you analyze the success of any hyper-growth SaaS (Ahrefs, Shopify, HubSpot, etc.), an outbound sales-y approach is no longer as effective. You need a strong SaaS content strategy to grow sustainably, and our next chapter discusses just that…
The best trips can often be impromptu and unplanned, but that’s not the case with the best-performing content that ranks high and drives impressive amounts of qualified traffic.
In this chapter, let’s understand what goes into creating an effective SaaS content marketing strategy — which is the basis for producing high-performing content consistently.
As the saying goes, life without goals is like a race with no finish line; you’re just running to nowhere.
Likewise, you can’t score with your content efforts if you don’t set concrete goals.
So, set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) goals, such as:
It’s easy to get swamped with myriad metrics that don’t really matter to your business growth.
Based on your SMART goals, focus on tracking only the key content metrics that help evaluate the success of your marketing activities, replicate wins, and minimize wasted efforts.
Here are a few SaaS content marketing metrics you can consider to define your broad KPIs set:
To track all these metrics, tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs would suffice. We’ll discuss tools and content-level metrics in later chapters.
An ideal customer profile (ICP) is a detailed description of the company or user that will benefit the most from your SaaS product.
These are prospective customers that would be the quickest to convert, and likely to stay loyal to your brand. Defining your ICP requires chalking out their key audience characteristics, such as:
Once you’ve defined the characteristics of your target audience, you can use the data to create a profile of your ICP. Give a face to the name and use it for all content brainstorming.
If you have more than one target market, you can have multiple ICPs. In such cases, try to limit yourself to a handful of profiles at most, otherwise, it can become difficult to focus your content marketing efforts.
With your content marketing goals, KPIs, and ICPs in place, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of your existing content.
Unless your SaaS website is freshly launched, you likely already have a few content pieces on your blog or resources page.
So the next step is to understand how well that content is helping you to meet your goals.
List your existing content to figure out:
Using a tool like SEMrush Content Audit, you can analyze your website or blog content in just a few clicks. You can also assess other types of content, such as video, PDF, landing pages, social media, external contributions, or interactive content (such as quizzes).
The tool collates your URLs based on your sitemap data and lets you catalog your content in terms of:
You can create customized content sets, group them by specific metrics, and export your content audit results as a .xlsx file.
Connect your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts to see more performance data, such as sessions, average session duration, unique page views, average time on page, bounce rate, and search queries.
After collecting metrics, your content audit spreadsheet can look like this.
Next, it’s time to evaluate the usefulness of your content. Consider success metrics like:
Tie these success metrics of individual content pieces to the overarching content marketing goals you set earlier. And then…
Try to answer some key questions such as:
Tie these success metrics of individual content pieces to the overarching content marketing goals you set earlier. And then…
Based on your analysis, decide whether to:
That’s all about auditing your existing content. Coming back to the strategy side of things, don’t forget to…
Think about how to reflect your brand’s personality and style in the content you create. Because while anyone can copy your content or product, they can’t easily capture your brand’s personality which makes your SaaS unique.
The topics you cover with your content are likely already covered by others hundreds of times.
So, success with content is largely about how you present your ideas and insights by establishing your brand’s unique personality and tone of voice.
To align your content with your brand’s voice, think about how:
Keeping a consistent tone with all content you create and distribute is vital to building trust with your audience and leaving a lasting impression.
Just 41% of B2B marketers say they have documented content marketing strategies.
Without a concrete, well-documented strategy, you’re shooting in the dark and those rankings and lead generation goals are essentially nothing more than dreams. It means no action plans and no way to measure your content efforts.
And so, all your goals, KPIs, ICPs, audit results, content formats, and topic ideas should go into a shared document that also outlines:
Your SaaS content strategy document should guide all of your content choices and establish the “why” behind all your content marketing efforts. While execution, if any of your content efforts don’t satisfy the “why”, drop it.
Also, for each step in your content creation process — ideation, research, writing, designing, editing, publishing, promoting, repurposing — create a standard operating procedure (SOP).
Your SOPs would be a set of step-by-step instructions to help your content team execute with more efficiency, deliver quality output as per defined standards, and maintain branding consistency in everything they create.
Before getting into content creation or hiring a writing roster, consider how you can use content marketing for different stages of your SaaS sales funnel.
In this chapter, let’s learn how to map your content to your sales funnel, looking at some live examples from successful SaaS businesses.
The first stage of the funnel is all about creating content that improves your brand awareness and organic search visibility.
Here, your audience is using non-purchase intent keywords that indicate their desire to learn about a topic and find actionable advice they can apply to solve their problems.
A typical top-of-the-funnel SaaS content strategy can include the following types of content:
In all these pieces, focus on educating your audience and building credibility.
Optimize each piece with the right set of head and long-tail keywords. Answer the questions they ask on Google (we’ll cover the tools for these later). Lead them to relevant product/features pages on your website with contextual internal links and CTAs.
Here are a few examples of top of the funnel content from our own blog:
Middle of the funnel content is similar to the top of the funnel content but with a stronger focus on:
The same practices mentioned above apply here, and here are a few examples of such content:
The final stage of the funnel is where your audience is primed to convert. They’re ready to try or buy a SaaS product like yours.
And so, your content’s purpose is to nudge prospects or leads to sign up for your free trial/plan, request a demo, or contact your sales team.
Your bottom of the funnel content needs to demonstrate with proof and/or success stories exactly how your SaaS product can solve your users’ specific challenges. It could take the following formats:
For your BoFu content to show up on search results, you need to optimize your pieces with the following types of keywords and their variations:
These are the keywords that most SaaS businesses are bidding on via PPC but often fail to target effectively with organic content. Here are a few examples to take inspiration from:
Your content helped convert prospects into users? Awesome. But that’s not the end of it.
Once you have customers, your goal is not just to retain them but further convert them into brand evangelists that don’t get swayed by the competition.
Put differently, at this stage, your content’s focus is to ensure users continue paying (or even better, upgrade their subscription plan as they grow) while also spreading positive word of mouth about your SaaS.
The following types of content can help retain users and reinforce their experience with your SaaS:
For example, Userpilot, a B2B SaaS product growth platform, maintains an up-to-date support center that covers most of the customer service queries they hear on a daily basis, in the form of easy-to-understand how-to articles.
Such content improves the brand experience their existing customers have, thus boosting retention and word of mouth.
You’re just a couple of chapters in, but we’re sure you can already appreciate the fact that SaaS content marketing isn’t a one-person job.
You need a dedicated and capable content crew to get things right, stay consistent, and scale results.
In this chapter, let’s see how to build a basic content team to get started with your content marketing, and how to pick a content management system (CMS) to manage content publishing and SEO efficiently.
The rules for hiring a content team aren’t set in stone, as it all depends on your brand’s budget, needs, and goals.
That being said, if you’re serious about content-led organic growth for your SaaS, here are the roles you need to hire to build a powerful content team:
Besides posting your requirements on LinkedIn and Twitter, here are a few great platforms you can explore to find the top remote talent for each of these roles:
When you’re just starting out with your content marketing, you likely won’t build a complete team with all the skills sets in one go. You’ll probably start with a SaaS content strategist, an SEO, and some in-house or outsourced writers and designers.
But as your business and marketing budget grows, you need to figure out what skills or personnel are the best fits for your goals, then make those skills and positions a priority when hiring new members while also revising the responsibilities of existing members.
Put simply, success in content marketing for SaaS relies more on a commitment to consistent quality than it does on the size of your marketing team.
So, don’t focus on how big of a team you can build, but more on producing the most impactful content (in the right formats) you can with the team you can build.
Speaking of outsourcing, this may be a good route if you’re looking to have scalable content creation and promotion systems in place right from the off.
By outsourcing your SEO content campaigns to an agency, you essentially get an experienced team of strategists, writers, editors, designers, and link builders in one go, who you can rely on to develop successful content campaigns.
Partnering up with an agency that specializes in content marketing for SaaS allows you to take advantage of their established processes and expertise for a fixed monthly retainer.
It lets you focus on other important areas of your business instead of investing time and effort into constantly vetting, hiring, training, and managing members to build an adept team.
Not to toot our own horn, but Growfusely specializes in content marketing and SEO for SaaS brands. We have helped over 40 SaaS businesses scale their organic search visibility and thought leadership with content marketing. Check out our client wins or get your free customized marketing plan today!
If the first thought that pops into your head is “WordPress?”, then we concur.
WordPress is used by 43.2% of all websites on the internet, and powers 36.28% of the top 1 million websites (such as TechCrunch and BBC America) in terms of traffic.
Many enterprise SaaS brands such as Evernote use WordPress to host their blog.
It’s super popular for a good number of reasons and using it ourselves, we can vouch for it:
But if for some reason you aren’t into WordPress, then other good CMS options you can consider include Ghost and the HubSpot CMS Hub.
Great content brews from great ideas.
Researching the right topics — ones that solve your audience’s needs and pains — is the biggest determinant of whether your pieces will drive traffic, engagement, and conversions.
In this chapter, let’s understand what to look for when researching content ideas and what makes great content that ranks and converts.
Sure, keywords are important. These are the terms your prospects enter in the search bar to find relevant content.
But before diving into keyword research, ponder a couple of questions:
You’ve already defined your ICP and ideal audience characteristics. And when it comes to ideation, remember: for conversions, the topics you choose are more important than traffic. Don’t prioritize keywords by search volume, but rather by the pain points of your target customers.
With that in mind, the first step is to know your prospects’ pain points. Then, come up with content ideas based on your understanding of their pain points, and finally dig up keywords that you could target in those pieces.
Here are a few ways to understand your prospects’ pain points:
Once you find patterns in commonly asked and discussed questions, use cases, and problems, prepare a list of tentative topics.
Finally, based on the topics, it’s time to dive into the actual keyword research, which is an extensive task in itself. Go through this great guide on doing keyword research using SEMrush and keep it handy when executing.
We just spoke about preparing a tentative topics list based on your prospects’ pain points. Now let’s talk a little more about coming up with specific topic ideas for your content.
How do you get content ideas beyond the first few obvious keywords? Here are a few tips and tools to generate great topic ideas.
As you do keyword research for a tentative topic, you’ll likely find further subtopics or new peripheral topics that you can cover in-depth as individual content pieces.
Your content team can hold group brainstorming sessions during or after the research process to come up with additional ideas:
If you implement what you’ve read so far, you’ll have a nice repository of tentative and broad topic ideas. It’s time to pin down some specific, result-oriented content ideas to move to the creation stage by doing…
Competitor research is a rather obvious yet great way to get topic ideas that are doing well with your audience. You’re probably already reading your competitors’ content and trying to decipher if what they’re doing is working or not.
Below, let’s look at a few key questions you need to consider when analyzing your competitors’ content.
Note that you should ideally evaluate not just your direct business competitors to understand their strategy and top-ranking topics but also content competitors — i.e. other websites such as niche blogs, online magazines, and news outlets that are ranking for the keywords you’re targeting.
As we said earlier, inbound links are the lifeblood of your SEO. They are a direct ranking signal and help drive referral traffic to your content.
So when analyzing a competitor’s piece, one of the most important things to look at is which of their content has the most backlinks and from which websites.
Enter a competitor’s domain in BuzzSumo’s Content Analyzer to check their best-performing pieces in terms of backlinks and social engagement. Or, enter a broad topic idea or keyword to find the best-performing pieces and try to build upon those ideas to come up with high-value topics.
You can also use the Backlink Analytics tool to see your competitors’ backlinks and top referring domains to base your topics based on backlinks performance.
As a part of your keyword research, keep an eye on your competitors’ top-performing content in terms of monthly traffic earned.
After all, one of your primary goals with content is to drive more traffic to your SaaS and improve brand awareness.
Use SEMrush’s Traffic Analytics tool to explore competitors’ traffic stats for individual pages and to reveal their most popular content pages. Furthermore, get a list of all common and unique keywords they rank for by doing a Keyword Gap analysis.
Stay on top of trending topics and news in your industry to create content that’s more likely to be shared and linked to.
Use Google Trends to search terms related to your niche, check their popularity, and find related topics and terms that are growing in popularity. Then, weave those topics into your SaaS content strategy. For example, if you’re a conversational AI SaaS platform, then the latest advancements and trends in machine learning can make for a good topic.
Track topics and terms that matter for your business by setting up email alerts in tools like Google Alerts and BuzzSumo.
Doing so can provide you opportunities to do newsjacking — using content to quickly capitalize on breaking news in a relevant way. It involves creating content in connection with a big story to ride its popularity wave and thus garner more traffic, comments, backlinks, and shares.
Check out your top rivals’ social media presence, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn (the prime platforms for B2B and B2C SaaS).
Use a tool like Followerwonk to analyze the tweets of your competitors and their followers to see what their audience tweets, retweets, and comments on the most, along with who they mention most often.
This should help you come up with topic ideas that your audience is more likely to engage with.
Keep tabs on what your top rivals are creating on a regular basis.
By content types, we mean:
Check what content your top competing brands are ranking well for on the SERP, and what content they’re promoting via PPC ads on Google and social media.
If your competitors are paying to promote specific pieces as ads, rest assured these are topics worth pursuing.
To analyze your competitors’ PPC ads and SEO keywords, use a tool like SpyFu.
Then, to outrank and outperform your competitors on those topics, use the Skyscraper Technique:
Check out your competitors’ other marketing channels, such as:
Note patterns in their best-performing content (most liked, viewed, shared, etc.) and make those topics a part of your own content plan.
You want to publish “quality content”. Your competitors want to publish “quality content”.
Your audience won’t settle for anything less than “quality content”.
But what does “quality content” really mean? In terms of your SaaS blog, a combination of the following factors makes your content good quality (and SEO-friendly):
All else equal, Google tends to rank recent content higher than older content. So, use the latest research and data in your pieces and keep revisiting your old pieces to update them to include recent, relevant information.
In the age of decreasing attention spans, “bite-sized” or short-form content (infographics, videos, etc.) will always have a space in your content marketing strategies. However, when it comes to business blogging, long-form pieces (1200-1500+ words) tend to perform better in terms of organic rankings, traffic, backlinks, and social shares.
Why? Because of reasons such as:
So, aim to make every piece as in-depth as possible (but don’t add useless fluff for the sake of word count!).
Your content can truly resonate with your audience only if it’s carefully crafted keeping their wants and needs in mind. For each piece, if you’re strategic about topic ideation (as discussed above) and understand your ICP, then you’re on the right track.
Covering the latest trends and newsjacking can certainly have a place in your content strategy. But if you’re playing the long game, evergreen content — timeless pieces that stay relevant for years — wins in every regard (SEO, brand awareness, thought leadership, usefulness, etc.).
For example, here’s our evergreen piece on Tesla’s marketing strategy that ranks first and also shows up as a featured snippet for competitive keywords such as “Tesla marketing strategy”, “Tesla marketing”, and more.
The best content connects with your audience on a personal level. It reads as if you’re conversing with your readers on a one-on-one level. It triggers positive emotions with little-to-no corporate-speak, using plenty of real-life examples, images, statistical evidence, and anecdotes.
Most content from budding SaaS brands fails to drive the desired results because it fails to hit the nail in most of these regards (assuming the initial overarching content strategy is solid). And so, keep these points in mind as you move on to the next chapter on content creation.
You’ve done your keyword research and have a list of high-potential content ideas for various stages of your conversion funnel. You have also assembled your content team.
In this chapter, let’s look at how to go about content creation the right way. The first step is to…
In the second chapter, we mentioned including a content calendar (using this HubSpot template) when documenting your content strategy.
That’s because your content marketing success largely depends on how consistent you are in publishing and promoting your content.
Consistently putting out quality content hints to Google and your prospects that your SaaS is a reliable and active source of credible information. It helps improve your domain authority and rankings.
So, your content creation activities should ideally stem from an editorial calendar that clearly describes as many of the following details as possible for each content piece you plan:
We include most of these details in the editorial calendar spreadsheet that we use for our own website content creation at Growfusely.
In this way, you establish a content posting schedule that helps your team stay on track and on the same page.
Once you have an editorial calendar in place, it’s time for your writers and designers to get cracking with content writing and design.
In chapter 4, we discussed how to find the right people for your content team, which included writers, editors, and designers. Specifically, here’s what you should look for when hiring writers (freelance and/or in-house):
A positive answer to all these questions means you’re looking at a potentially great writer that can turn your content ideas into powerful published pieces that move the needle.
We also talked about why outsourcing content work makes sense as a growing SaaS business.
Outsourcing to a content agency enables you to leverage a proven and scalable content writing system.
Instead of hunting individual content writers one by one, hiring the right agency (that will likely also supply you with editors, designers, etc.) is a one-and-done thing. It can help you put your content creation on autopilot so you can focus on your overall marketing strategy and other areas of business.
Self-promo alert: Again, finding and partnering with the right SaaS content writing agency is arduous. But you don’t really need to look any further, as Growfusely specializes in SaaS content writing. We have helped over 40 SaaS businesses scale their organic search visibility and traffic with content. See our client wins or claim your free customized marketing plan today!
There are countless tools your content team can use to tackle the content creation process.
We’ll share a few top ones that we use, but be sure to search the web for alternatives that might better suit your team’s needs.
You can create your own content calendar in a Google spreadsheet based on the elements summarized above (or use the HubSpot template).
But you can also explore other tools like Trello (we switched from Google Sheets to Trello to manage our website’s content workflow in the simple Kanban way) or CoSchedule.
See what our editorial calendar looks like:
You can move cards from one stage to the next (ideation, outline, etc.), set due dates, tag members, create labels, and a lot more — it’s as simple and streamlined as it gets!
Our go-to tool for content ideation is the BuzzSumo Content Analyzer. It lets you find and analyze the most engaging articles, blog posts, and infographics on the web. It also helps you find relevant influencers and creators for content collaboration opportunities.
Next, we use the Ahrefs Content Explorer tool to analyze the top-performing niche content based on traffic, shares, and referring domains. The tool lets you:
AnswerThePublic helps you brainstorm the questions your audience is searching for. Type in your keyphrase and the tool then generates a set of questions about that phrase and suggests some potential topics.
Social forums and community Q&A websites like Reddit and Quora are also a goldmine to learn about the popular questions your audience is asking, trending topics, debates, and discussions.
And if you can, surveying your existing users about what kinds of topics they’d like you to cover with your content is one of the best ways to come up with winning, failproof content ideas. Tools like SurveyMonkey can come in handy for this.
If you plan to explore multiple content formats besides plain-text blog posts, then here are some must-have tools:
Put simply, mediocre content will hurt your cause.
Whatever you do, don’t become a content mill that churns out so-so content for the sake of jumping the business blogging bandwagon.
In fact, it’s better to produce no content than bad content, because the latter can prove to be counterproductive — your brand’s reputation can go down in the eyes of Google and prospects.
Your goal is to get noticed for the right reasons — and that means your website should become an authoritative resource that’s known for producing quality content.
We’ve already discussed what are some of the key elements that constitute quality content — ensure your SaaS content strategists and writers work accordingly. Producing quality content also involves…
Typos may sound trivial but can be an instant turn-off for many readers.
So, any content your team produces must go through at least one round of edits, wherein ideally, someone other than the author reviews the piece for structure, typos, grammatical mistakes, and factual inaccuracies.
Many content writing teams peer-edit each other’s work, which can also work. Some prefer to have a dedicated editor or two to ensure everything that goes out is perfect.
Googlebot is now more than capable of understanding natural language, but keywords still and always will play a considerable role in ensuring your piece reaches the first page of search results.
Besides keywords, the overall page experience (load speed, usability, etc.) and the credibility of your content are the deciding factors for SEO performance.
So, before publishing each piece, ensure the writer has:
The best content isn’t created in a silo.
How well your content performs in search is closely linked with how well it appears structurally and visually — your visitors likely won’t return to an unappealing page even if it has well-written content.
So, your content team would often need to work with designers and/or developers to ensure the content (such as infographics, landing pages, etc.) comes out exactly the way they envisioned it. Here are a couple of quick tips to keep these teams on the same page:
Creating great content is only half the battle.
Your content team can’t kick back with a beer and call it a day once the piece is ready.
It’s time for the marketers to step in.
Even if your SaaS is well-established and has an engaged social following, you need to invest in promoting your content to your audience (not just existing customers) to drive more referral traffic and conversions, as well as to gain backlinks for SEO.
In this chapter, we’ll cover the basics of content promotion — some strategies and channels — linking to some helpful resources your team can refer and use to nail content distribution.
You defined your audience in your content strategy and created content as per their profiles, pain points, motivations, and questions.
Now it’s time to reach that audience and make it your audience — people that remember your brand, come back for more content, convert into users, and stick by as loyal customers.
Here are five channels you need to focus on.
For SaaS content promotion, influencer marketing is different from the usual Instagram influenza campaigns.
Here, we are talking about two techniques:
This tactic involves partnering up with reputable bloggers in your SaaS niche to create high-quality promotional yet authentic content that talks about your SaaS product.
The blogger creates (or helps with creation) and promotes the content for you on their website in exchange for compensation in the form of, say, a year’s worth of free subscription to your software.
The content can be a listicle that prominently mentions and links to your product, a dedicated product review, or a giveaway wherein the winner(s) gets a free subscription to your product.
Read this article on blogger outreach best practices from our founder. To dig up the right opportunities (blogging influencers, their contact info, topic ideas, etc.), use outreach tools like BuzzStream, BuzzSumo, and Hunter (to find anyone’s email address).
This tactic works great for SaaS businesses. Like blogger outreach, you get help with content creation as well as promotion and link building.
The idea is simple: find experts on the subject, reach out to them via email to ask 2-3 questions on the topic, and compile their insights into a comprehensive long-form article.
Sure, you need to account for the additional time needed to find experts, get in touch with them, and get their answers, but once your post is live, all that effort would be worth it.
Because those experts would love to promote your article on social media and link back to it from their own content. This would boost your brand’s reach, land you juicy links, and reinforce your brand authority and credibility in your industry.
In fact, we use this tactic for our client JetOctopus, a fast-growing SaaS technical SEO tool. On their blog, you’ll find expert-led articles on all things SEO. We reach out to some of the biggest SEO names in the industry to get their insights, add our own insights, and round it all up into a cohesive content piece that covers the topic authoritatively.
Here’s an outreach template you can use to get expert insights for your content.
The good ol’ guest blogging isn’t out of style.
It’s essentially a content collaboration technique wherein you create content (such as a blog post or infographic) for other relevant publications in your niche. The goal is to build contextual backlinks to your content and landing pages and reach new, relevant audiences.
Here are the high-level steps involved:
It’s a win-win activity as the publisher gets free, fresh content, while you get greater brand visibility to a broad audience and quality backlinks that help your SEO. The same blogger outreach tools can be useful to find the right guest post opportunities in your niche.
Here’s a sample guest post outreach pitch our content marketing team uses.
Getting your SaaS featured on top media outlets and business magazines like Forbes can tremendously boost your brand awareness and credibility.
Digital PR starts with building relationships with high-profile journalists and editors. Engage with them on social media, comment on their recent content, share useful information that may help them, and initiate a friendly conversation before making an ask.
Once they get to know you and your business, here’s how to improve your odds of getting media coverage:
Are you building an email list to capture leads?
If not, consider starting now. Because email is a powerful channel to have more personalized interactions with your prospects and nurture them into customers.
Incentivize website visitors to sign up for your email list by offering a lead magnet, such as a white paper, checklist, cheatsheet, template, or even a short free trial of your SaaS product.
In this way, a prospect gets free value from your brand and you get their email address that you can use to foster a relationship with them and stay top of mind.
For instance, Hootsuite offers a free template as a lead magnet.
You’ll find such email sign-up invites and lead magnet pop-ups as you browse their blog.
Once you click on the CTA, they ask for your business email address and some other basic information before sending you the content promised.
This works great to build their email marketing list and fuel lead generation, and many SaaS brands use this strategy.
Once you have an email marketing list, promoting your latest content — whether it’s published on your own blog or a contributed piece to a reputed website — to your list is a great way to drive more initial traffic and engagement to your piece (which also gives it an SEO boost!).
An obvious channel to distribute your content, here are a few tips to keep in mind for content promotion on social media:
Here’s a great example of content promotion on Twitter from Ahrefs.
Content maps can help you keep your content aligned with your business. Here are two tried and tested ways of doing it—template included!—with Mateusz Makosiewicz (@m_makosiewicz). https://t.co/k3hElIIWho
— Ahrefs (@ahrefs) April 28, 2022
Note how they’ve managed to neatly convey the gist of the piece and the benefits of clicking-through (“template included”) within the 280-character limit. They’ve also tagged the author to try and expand the reach of the tweet.
However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get your audience’s attention on social media, especially as a business.
If you can cough up an additional budget for content promotion, then you have the ability to target your exact audience on search and social, and get your content seen by the right eyeballs…
We’ll be honest — we aren’t experts in running paid ads. Organic SaaS marketing is our forte.
And so, in this section, we’ll share some handpicked examples of paid content distribution done right, along with links to guides for further reading and implementation.
While most brands (such as Bridgecrew below) prefer promoting product pages or free trial/demo landing pages with paid social media ads, you can also promote your best content assets with PPC ads.
That’s because the bulk of your target audience hasn’t yet heard of your SaaS.
So it’s a good idea to target these ToFu prospects with valuable content (guides, checklists, videos, etc.) instead of hard selling.
If they click through and enjoy your content, they will be inclined to try your SaaS over your competitors.
Feel free to go through this guide on how to use paid social ads for SaaS.
Pay-per-click advertising on Google is particularly well suited for SaaS businesses, as the majority of SaaS prospects start (with an educational intent) and end (with a purchase intent) their product research on Google (not social media or Amazon).
You’ve likely seen paid ads showing up on the top of Google for branded (e.g. “Mailchimp”) as well as non-branded (e.g. “HR software tools”) search terms.
In this way, smart SaaS brands (with a budget) use Google Ads to occupy the top spots not just for branded and commercial keywords (e.g. “buy HR software”) but also for content keywords across the funnel.
For example, bidding for keywords such as “[Competitor] alternatives”, “Best [Industry] Software”, etc. — your BoFu content that’s designed to convert decision-makers — can be a highly effective PPC content promotion strategy.
Check out this guide on SaaS PPC to dive deeper into paid advertising with Google Ads.
Do you see the Freshdesk ad at the bottom right corner of the screenshot below? That’s a display advertisement.
Also known as banner ads, you’ll often find SaaS brands promoting their product or content assets on third-party websites using a video, image/illustration, along with a short copy.
These are usually created and published using the Google Display Network (GDN) and are ideal for retargeting prospects who’ve already engaged with your website (visited a page, read an article, etc.) in the recent past.
Also, as with paid social media ads, display ads can work great to build credibility with new prospects by promoting your best content assets (such as a super in-depth guide or white paper).
Go through this great guide from HubSpot on using GDN to run remarketing and prospecting display ads for your SaaS.
Your content distribution is incomplete without a proper link building strategy in place.
Besides guest blogging and blogger outreach, you need to have more (non-paid) ways to build quality links to your on-site content assets and landing pages consistently with strategic outreach. A powerful outreach strategy doesn’t rely solely on just one or two methods of organic content distribution.
Successful link building outreach is largely about building win-win relationships with niche publishers, which takes time but is very rewarding.
Here are a few more tactics from our comprehensive article on link building for SaaS — which includes guest blogging, influencer outreach, and PR techniques; discussed above — that you can consider including in your SaaS link building strategy:
We recommend you go through the article to dive deeper into these tactics and pick the right ones for your link building outreach strategy.
Check out our SaaS link building services or get in touch with us to learn more.
“The Content Relaunch” strategy, as coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko, helped him achieve an impressive 260.7% organic search engine traffic growth within just two weeks.
It also helped him gain a ton of new backlinks for the piece he relaunched, which boosted the page’s rankings.
And so, this is one low-hanging fruit strategy that definitely deserves your attention. It helps you make the most of your existing content by making it better and giving it a fresh opportunity to get noticed by new audiences.
Here are the three simple steps of this strategy:
Your underperforming pieces are ones that:
Look into your Google Analytics and Search Console to pinpoint your underperforming content. You can also try the Animalz Revive tool to get a list of articles that should be refreshed and relaunched.
In chapter 2, we talked about setting SMART goals and defining some key metrics to help evaluate the success of your content marketing activities, iterate on successes, and minimize wasted efforts.
Emphasis on iteration — as your audience, just like Google’s algorithm, keeps evolving — so you need your strategy and its execution to stay relevant and in tune with what your audience engages with the most.
But for that, you need to first know what your team must analyze and report on at the content level…
You have your goals and broad KPIs in front of you.
It’s time to get specific. Here are some sample metrics you can consider measuring for different types of content marketing goals. Again, note that each business is different and thus, you and your team need to determine which metrics are worth your time (don’t measure everything!).
How well your content is helping attract the attention of prospects. This can be measured by the following metrics:
You can find all these metrics in your Google Analytics and Search Console. To analyze inbound backlinks and monitor brand mentions, Ahrefs Alerts works perfectly.
How many people are interacting with your brand via onsite content, social media posts, etc. This can be measured with metrics such as:
You can find the last three metrics in your Google Analytics.
These metrics show well your content is doing at capturing visitors’ information, such as their email addresses that could be used for future marketing campaigns.
To analyze social media metrics, the platforms themselves have built-in analytics your team can use, but here’s a great list of top free and paid social media analytics tools you can invest in for advanced analysis and reporting.
For SaaS businesses, conversion metrics typically include:
And sales would mean just that: free trial users becoming paying customers at the end of the trial or upgrading from a free plan to a paid plan.
To correctly measure lead generation, conversions, and sales metrics for your content pages, you need to pick the right attribution model in your Google Analytics and set up Goals in Google Analytics.
These metrics help you measure your overall content strategy’s beyond the funnel performance, and how well your content efforts are helping in not just converting visitors but retaining them as loyal customers.
Use a subscription analytics tool like Baremetrics or ChartMogul to see how your SaaS is performing in terms of these metrics while tracking your BoFu and beyond the funnel content performance, as these metrics are closely linked to your end of the funnel content efforts.
Once you know which metrics to measure at the content level and are doing so with the right tools, you might wanna address the elephant in the room — what is the return on investment of all your content efforts?
Well, since content powers your entire inbound strategy, its ROI impact can be measured in several ways, including the KPIs you defined earlier.
We have an epic guide on measuring content marketing ROI from one of our content leads.
Go give it a read to learn how to determine your SaaS content marketing ROI by using some formulas and KPIs, along with additional tips, useful resources, and case studies.
Your team is working like clockwork to create and promote content as per a defined content plan. You also know how well your content pieces are doing in terms of driving conversions.
But that’s not the end of the story.
In this chapter, let’s talk about how you can scale your content marketing efforts and build upon your content foundations for continually bigger and better ROI.
Make the most of what you have — that’s essentially what the content repurposing tactic is all about.
Say, is your team largely producing blog posts to go on your SaaS website?
Then why not leverage all the research and planning that went into creating those posts by presenting (and refining) the same information into new formats such as:
The idea is to extract every ounce of value from your best-performing pieces and reach new audiences — such as people who might prefer watching a video over reading a blog post — while also giving Google more content to crawl and index (assuming you publish the fresh format on your website too!).
So, as we mentioned in our article on SaaS website content strategy, you can turn stats-based blog posts into beautiful infographics for better shareability and linkability, or even re-package articles on a specific subject into a gated, downloadable eBook that can fuel lead generation.
But the biggest benefit of repurposing content is that it makes it easier to double down on your wins. You don’t need to write every article, shoot every video, or design every infographic from scratch. Scale your efforts with what’s already working well for you.
We’re fine beating the same drum again — evergreen content >>> trendy content.
The best content marketing and SEO campaigns are ones that drive a snowball effect.
And for that to happen, your best content pieces need to stay relevant as the years go by.
But how do they stay relevant? With periodic content updates, of course.
Somewhat similar to the content relaunch strategy, maintaining evergreen content involves:
Furthermore, if your evergreen content is kept up-to-date and still valuable, there’s no reason not to keep promoting it periodically.
Have your social team line up your ever-relevant content pieces on your social accounts.
And if you’re publishing fresh content that’s related to an evergreen piece you already have on your blog, promote them together around the same time — before and during the new content launch — and you’ve got yourself a nice little topical campaign.
In fact, your evergreen content pieces are also perfect for repurposing into new formats over time.
It’s simple: content that aligns well with your audience’s tastes and interests is content that performs best.
Yes, you have defined the characteristics of your target audience, the questions they’re asking, and the topics they look up on search engines and social media.
But there’s another way to get insights into what your audience wants and expects from brands like yours (Oh, and they may not always take the time to tell you directly or respond to your surveys.).
That method is known as social listening — the process of identifying and analyzing what is being said about your company, its product, and the industry as a whole on the internet.
Social listening helps you understand how your prospects and customers view your SaaS even when they aren’t explicitly tagging your business.
Besides that, social listening can help your business growth because:
Pick a social listening tool. Keep monitoring what your audience says about your business, its rivals, and the industry. Accordingly, keep iterating your content strategy to match their needs.
After a few months of consistent efforts, your team can gauge fairly well what’s working for SEO, what’s driving engagement from your audience, and the ROI on your content.
But let’s be clear — scaling up your content marketing doesn’t mean you have to go from 10 high-quality blog posts per month to 20 so-so ones.
Even if you decide to maintain the same content creation and promotion pace, keep a close eye on your SEO rivals so you can tell when the competition heats up, which may mean your content efforts have to be kicked up a notch as well.
To plan and execute any successful online marketing campaign, you need two things: a good team and a good toolkit.
By now, you already know most of the must-have content marketing tools as you flipped through the chapters. So in this final chapter, we’d just like to round up a couple more useful tools you can consider investing in.
Frase is an AI-powered content research, writing, and optimization tool that enables your team to:
Essentially, Frase speeds up your content team’s pace in going from keyword research to an optimized final draft.
Cold email outreach is a big part of content marketing, and it’s made easy with Mailshake. Powered by Intel from thousands of cold email campaigns, Mailshake’s AI-powered email writer crafts email copy that’s proven to perform.
With Mailshake, your outreach team can:
As a B2B sales engagement automation software, Mailshake also helps you develop automated sales prospecting campaigns using email, phone, and social media so you can fill your CRM with a consistent influx of leads.
Speaking of CRM, Mailshake plays well with most major CRM, workspace, and customer messaging software, so making it a part of your existing marketing tech stack is easy.
And that’s about it!
To sum up, here’s a complete list of all the 30+ tools we’ve recommended in this guide:
Your Ultimate SaaS Content Marketing Toolkit
Chances are you’re already using some of these tools. Check out the others, let your team give them a whirl with a free trial, and then invest in the ones that best suit your team’s needs.
There’s so much to content marketing for SaaS that no guide on the internet can cover it all in one go.
That being said, here’s what we touched upon in our fairly extensive attempt at covering SaaS content marketing:
In parting words, we’d affirm the fact that the best content marketing can’t make up for a bad product. Conversely, if you have a good product, then your SaaS can’t reach its true heights without compelling content pouring under your brand name that doesn’t feel like marketing.
So, if content isn’t your strength or if you lack the resources to do it all in-house, then consider joining forces with an experienced SEO content agency that specializes in content marketing for SaaS — capable of taking care of everything from strategy to distribution.
We hope you find this guide helpful!
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