Most budding businesses in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry rely on content to drive conversion.
A typical SaaS content strategy focuses on top-of-the-funnel (educational) as well as bottom-of-the-funnel (persuasive) content to generate what we term “product conversions” (trial start, demo request, etc.). Therefore, content production for SaaS will require you to consider various aspects of your products and services, audiences, and uniqueness, among others.
A study by Demand Gen Report indicates that customers anticipate and demand better content experiences and rely more heavily on content to educate themselves. Regarding content marketing for B2B SaaS firms, 67% of respondents said they depend more on it today than ever before.
This signifies that your SaaS business would rely heavily on the content to drive conversion; therefore, identifying the right medium and its audience is crucial. Adopting such an approach will need us to understand what SaaS content writing is and how it differs from the service-based business.
What is SaaS Content Writing?
SaaS content writing involves collecting, collating, and communicating contextual information that educates your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). The goal is to establish yourself and your business as an industry expert, demonstrate your SaaS product’s benefits/features, and ultimately convert readers into trial users, paying customers, and evangelists.
Here’s a real-world example to assist you in understanding how this works.
First, consider that you have a SaaS application that lets Shopify shop owners track and follow up with abandoned carts through email.
Do most of your prospects on Shopify know that it is possible to reach out to anyone who abandoned their cart via email?
Even if they do, there’s an art and science of killer abandoned cart emails.
Now, think of reaching out to such an audience by educating them about your solution/product and answering questions they might have through SaaS content.
If other SaaS products are doing the same thing as your competitors, then you need to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. But, how do you do that?
Let’s find that out by identifying three key factors that can impact the kind of content you create for your SaaS business and thereby help establish your authority through quality content.
Audience and customer profile
Your target audience is real people and not a fake buyer persona. Think of your primary audience as someone who could know you and trust you for what you communicate.
Your SaaS content production will often depend on who you communicate with and how.
First, identify the target audience for your content in the following ways:
Focus groups: Small groups of buyers that match your buyer profile may provide product feedback through group discussions and Q&As.
Surveys: Distribute client surveys using tools like SurveyMonkey via email to conduct primary research that helps build your reader’s profile. Also, blend in secondary research from other sources, such as industry publications.
Interviews: Discuss your SaaS product with reliable consumers in a high-traffic section of a trade fair, or set up paid interviews that agencies often conduct. Also, use social media to get their opinions.
Next, you will create a customer profile to whom the content is targeted. The goal is to address the intended audience so that they find your content meaningful enough to engage further. For this, you need to follow the below steps
List your existing customers to identify commonalities
Identify your long-term customers, get their key details and get hold of the traits they have in common. For instance, their position in an organization, key work areas, demographics, etc. Know your existing customers in detail so you can choose which ones you target content for.
For this, know their:
- Size of the organization
- Growth Rate
It is best to use multiple sources when collecting existing customers’ data. This includes surveys, tool-based analysis (Google Analytics, CMS, etc.), and their social media profiles.
Later, you need to create segments for each set of the customers, as mentioned below.
Remember that this should be an ongoing process because as your sales grow, your audience evolves (with changes in demographics and business dynamics). Keeping a tap on your existing customers goes a long way toward meaningful SaaS content production that can engage them to improve product usability while getting traction from the prospects.
Now that you have audience segmentation as per your existing customers, what next for the prospects? They might want to check out what your SaaS product contains.
For this, you need to factor in the other aspect…
Your USPs and Features
Prospective customers would want to know more about your offerings and look up to your content for the same. Here, your content team would need to draft pieces of information that highlight your SaaS product features and communicate your USPs, something that differentiates you from the market.
For instance, creating material that illustrates how your SaaS solution works is essential if you target Shopify businesses like the one referred above. Your content should imbibe brand ethos that makes prospects trust you and choose your product when seeking answers.
Such content aims to get trial signups and gradually get new customers to review your product. Creating such content would often fall into:
- Blog pieces that highlight the product’s usability
- Case studies that showcase a particular feature set can address real-world problems.
- Comparisons with competitive products
Prospects must be guided through the buyer’s journey before taking any action that drives revenue. SaaS content production should aim to get more people to experience your product, helping them make informed choices.
It isn’t easy to get your message in front of C-level executives, especially when you do not know their precise requirements. Here, an ideal approach is to create content that applies to everyone who might be engaged in the product’s research, usability, or purchase phase. One can see this as a range of options from a tactical to a strategic standpoint.
Tactical readers want to get as much first-hand information as possible. This includes content around in-depth product information, comparisons, best practices, and instructions to use your SaaS product efficiently.
Strategic ones consume content on models, frameworks, and principles around your SaaS product.
As discussed, covering the organizational hierarchy for the blog will need you to publish both — tactical and strategic posts. In a B2B SaaS blog, getting caught up in page views and email signups is easy, but the ultimate aim is to push signups and generate sales.
Implementing the tactical and strategic framework based on your target audience can enhance conversions.
But, your content team needs to walk an extra mile when producing content for SaaS businesses. Ideally, when you have audience analysis and the resources to share information, you need to create content suitable for a specific funnel.
Funnel-Based SaaS content production
For starters, you’d employ keyword research that functions as an entry point for potential readers. Keywords aimed at the top and center of the funnel serve users who are browsing for awareness and knowledge. Content created for the bottom of the funnel helps communicate to your sales and support employees about what customers and prospects are having difficulties with.
Top of Funnel (ToFu): The goal of any ToFu here is to introduce your product/service to a new set of audiences researching something similar. The content will address high-level topics to familiarize your audience with your brand.
Example: CMOs/CXOs wanting to know what is change management can read the content by Whatfix, one of our esteemed clients. This post introduces anyone interested in implementing organization-wide change management. Readers who come across this piece are not necessarily looking to purchase Whatfix, as some will be undertaking research for a job or grasping a broad concept of change management. But, odds are, people will remember this resource.
Middle of Funnel (MoFu): Here, the content will leverage keyword research and feedback from customers may connect issues with the services/solution.
Example: Those interested in change management would want to explore the possibilities for their organization further. In that case, a downloadable white paper on change management for enterprises can serve the purpose. In this case, Whatfix can gain a lead by emailing the white paper. The downloadable white paper will have its product mentioned in the conversation about a broader and highly relevant topic for the reader (change management). It’s thorough and insightful, with just the right amount of sales pitch.
Bottom of Funnel (BoFu): This is where you will create content to push sales and speak about your product. Here, the reader is well aware of your product and its benefits, they need to know more about it to make an informed decision.
Example: Readers already aware of change management and its implementation would want to know more about hands-on experience. Here, A case study showcasing how Whatfix helped Sophos can spark interest.
Existing customers may benefit from product updates and case studies, while potential consumers can be gently nudged in the right direction. The bottom of the funnel is a great place to explain how others have found your product valuable while subtly urging them to make a purchase or try it out.
Now that you know of funnels, you might have questions regarding the types of SaaS content.
It is important to know what kind of content you’ll be producing. Let’s take a quick look at these.
Types of content for SaaS companies
There are different types of content that you can rely on for your SaaS digital marketing. Here, we will take a quick look at the types of content and what they consist of to help you make the right choice for your SaaS content.
Guides are extended, in-depth articles in which the author shows the reader exactly what they should do next and why they should do it. These are often ‘how-to’ information that helps readers identify a problem, offers a solution, and suggests data-backed instructions on how to apply it and get a benefit.
It takes longer to write a guide than a blog piece, consisting of anything over 3,000 words of content with instruction-specific visuals. Also, emphasis is on enhancing the information with actionable instructions and intuitive formatting.
#2. Research Reports
SaaS content marketing allows you to establish yourself as a subject matter authority by conducting research reports. It helps drive prospective clients through the buyer’s journey and helps acquire fresh leads by ensuring trust amongst the readers. This shows that you are striving to remain on top of the newest developments in your field since helping you rise above your rivals.
Consider pairing up with another industry leader (non-competitor) to organize such research activity and leverage better reach. For instance, consider research content published by “BuzzSumo + Moz’s Content, Shares, and Links: Insights from Analyzing 1 Million Articles”. Together, the two organizations analyzed one million pieces of content and developed a downloadable guide detailing which material forms worked best.
If you want to create a comprehensive SaaS content package, then it is best to go with eBooks and whitepapers — a perfect blend of textual and visual information. SaaS businesses often regard them as lead magnets for their depth and high perceived worth.
For starters, choose your eBook content wisely, such that the topic you choose offers enough depth to cover. There should be at least 10,000 words in an eBook, and if you cannot gather such insightful information, divide your content into a blog series.
#4. User-Generated Content
Use real-life examples in your content and let your users speak of your products as it adds more value to your SaaS content. You need to show your audience real-world achievements and testimonials as social proof.
For this, case studies are a good approach to providing user-focused information to prospective consumers. Consumers find user-generated content 9.8x more impactful than influencer content when making a purchasing decision.
#5. Knowledge Base
Consider creating a knowledge base for your SaaS which works as a self-help resource for your users. It will have a collection of multiple resources, from user guides to FAQs and quick fix documents that use various external and internal resources.
Here, a documentation tool like Document360 comes in handy as it offers a range of options to create articles, analyze their impact with audience data, easy data management, custom rights options, and much more. Remember, a knowledge base content center targets existing users, not prospects.
#6. Case Studies
Case studies examine how your product or service benefited a specific customer. The content will include insights on how a customer used your product and the results they achieved in detail. An ideal case study will have a challenge statement demonstrating your SaaS product’s need.
Here, you will need the comprehensive support of your client in writing a detailed case study. Sell them about the advantages of being featured on your blog, email, and social media platforms which motivates them to get involved.
Images can help convey meaning, evoke emotions, and disseminate information quickly. Adding relevant statistics in a visually appealing way to blog posts, webinar pages, social media accounts, and other customer interaction touchpoints can increase audience engagement. Use Visual.ly, Unsplash, Pexels, etc. to get quality stock images, and then design them further using Canva.
#8. Videos & Webinars
Videos are a great way to convey thoughts and ideas about your product interactively. Creating content for your video will have your writers brainstorm concepts, narratives, and communication messages.
For this, you need to define the purpose behind your video — whether it is for usability, upselling to an existing client, or helping users make the most out of your project. Once you have that clear, identify the platform to host your video and use an effective video marketing strategy for your SaaS product.
For webinars, you can rely on research where 73% of B2B marketers believe webinars offer an ideal way of generating high-quality leads, and 61% of marketers use webinars as part of their content marketing strategy, according to data. To get started, you can check out a guide on using webinars to grow your SaaS business.
The goal should be to help customers get the most out of your product by navigating through bottlenecks with hands-on sessions as a part of a webinar. Moreover, you can use the same videos and repurpose those to create multiple short explainer videos and market the same.
Podcasts are another channel that your target audience is eager to explore. Also, 18% of the world’s largest SaaS organizations have a podcast. Branded podcasts allow you to showcase your product while connecting with your target audience. Customer service, startups, marketing, and product management are just a few subjects in Inside Intercom by Intercom.
If you are creating an expert roundup post, your podcast can have the same approach to bring in the necessary expertise. This also helps leverage cross-promotion, using audio to create textual information (blog, article, thought-leadership posts, etc.)
Creating purpose-driven content for SaaS business
Now that you have an idea about the type of audience, type of content, and right resources to reach the right audience. For this, you can identify the content based on the factors mentioned below.
1. Product-led Content
You can create product-led content that is planned and designed with your product in mind.
Ideally, it is divided into three segments as per the image above.
- Awareness: A larger part of product-led content involves awareness-related content. For this, you will produce content that offers a bird’s eye view of your SaaS product without dwelling on any specifics.
Example: A comprehensive article on what is customer churn
- Action: Here, your content should encourage readers to provide feedback, make downloads, click on CTAs to fill up the form, etc. Actionable content is insightful, emphasizing compelling reasons to opt for the product.
Example: A detailed blog on how to reduce customer churn
- Decision: The purpose here is to help readers make an informed choice. The content is specified in terms of comparison, pros and cons, costs, etc.
Example: List of tools for customer retention
Product-led content will focus on identifying your audience’s pain points and, in turn, create valuable pieces that ensure a seamless transition of readers from an awareness state to decision-making.
2. Pain Point Content
The goal of producing content for SaaS is to move beyond just driving more visitors and driving sales.
You will need to identify common customer pain points through surveys, interviews, social media feedback, NPS, etc. You’ll want your SEO team to concentrate on keywords that are farther down the funnel, addressing problems your consumers are trying to solve before completing a purchase.
3. Data-driven Content
Data-driven SaaS content production has two advantages; other content pieces will link your data, boost your SERP features, and ensure trust amongst the readers.
Such content would often rely on first-hand industry research, aggregating data from multiple sources, or customer feedback, amongst other ways.
4. Opinionated Content from subject matter experts
OpEd content pieces can make your articles stand out in a sea of similar ones. These pieces will have content that has an opinion or angle different from the already available ones.
Such kind of content production for SaaS will need you to connect with subject-matter experts who have experience and knowledge to identify and address bottlenecks. We use this strategy for our client JetOctopus (a technical SEO platform) — connecting with SEO experts across the world to get their opinions on the topic, and connecting the dots to craft a comprehensive expert-led article.
This will ensure that your content for SaaS is actionable and contains unique insights. There is a three-pronged strategy here: educate, establish trust, and build relationships.
5. Long-form Informational Content
Lastly, create long-form content if you intend to attract more traffic to your website. Today, long-form content production for SaaS is a must as it builds your brand’s authority and the reader gets comprehensive and in-depth pieces that answer all their queries on the topics.
Creating lengthy pieces of content is the best way to answer your audience’s queries and solve their problems. Moreover, several studies have shown long-form content to outperform short-form content. Typically, long-form content will be 7,000+ words and generate almost four times as much traffic and 43 percent more shares than short pieces of 900-1,200 words.
The intention of long-form content production for SaaS is:
- More social sharing
- Drive audience engagement
- Increased traffic
- More number of backlinks
Content production for SaaS is largely based on the aspects mentioned above. Start by prioritizing your audience, funnel, content platform, and the types of content. The dynamic nature of your SaaS business would need your content team to ensure effective campaign management by choosing the right mix of all factors.
Karan Dave is a Senior Content Writer at Growfusely, a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO.