If you are just getting started with SaaS content marketing strategy, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed with the things you have to do.
The only problem is that you haven’t developed a content strategy that guides you on what to do. In this guide, you will learn how to create an effective content marketing strategy for SaaS to boost your desired results.
What Is SaaS Content Marketing Strategy?
SaaS content marketing strategy involves creating, planning and optimizing content. You can use the strategy to attract, educate and convert leads into customers.
When executed well, your business can base its marketing plan around different content pieces. Usually, the plan ends in publishing high-quality content that helps you achieve your business goals.
That could be more revenue for your services, more email signups or traffic.
Why Should You Have a SaaS Content Marketing Strategy?
Having a SaaS content marketing strategy is crucial to the success of your content marketing efforts. In fact, businesses that document their strategy report success.
The strategy helps you stick to the plan you have created, allowing you to measure failures and success. A solid content strategy also helps you avoid hitting publish while hoping for the best.
When you have a strategy in place, you won’t be guessing what your target audience wants. It will help you promote content your audience likes.
How To Plan Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy Effectively
Developing your content marketing strategy is simple with these eight steps.
Determine the Goal You Want Your Strategy To Help You Achieve
To do this, answer these questions.
Before implementing your new content marketing strategy, decide what you want to achieve. For example, you can’t run a campaign on Facebook without having an objective.
The same applies to your strategy. You need to understand your goal and visualize how content fits into it. Some business goals include:
- Offering great customer service
- Increasing revenue
- Reducing customer churn
The above metrics relate to your bottom line. If you want to remain profitable, you need an effective SaaS SEO strategy that aligns with those goals.
Let me demonstrate for you how your marketing strategy plays a significant role in that. You need to brainstorm how to drive potential customers to your site if your goal is to generate money from new customers.
Since content is your weapon, posting content online can increase brand awareness and bring new customers to your website. Once you have customers, create content that will help you get recurring revenue.
Know Your Target Audience
Creating and publishing content without an idea of who you want to read your posts is a bad idea. Not targeting anyone makes the entire post pointless.
Your posts are only as good as the audience and leads they attract. You can draw hundreds of views. However, if only a few are the right customers who may use your services or products, it’s a waste of time.
Knowing who your content should target will help your content marketing strategist suggest the keywords and topics you should cover.
So, what characteristics should you know about your target audience?
- Challenges They Face: Find out the issues they’re dealing with that makes them look for your service or product.
- Pain Points: What issues are causing disruptions in their life, or what problems does your service solve.
- How Can You Help: How can the content you’re creating give your customers the information they’re looking for.
- Where They’re Looking for Information: If your customers are looking for solutions to their problems, research where they’re getting that information.
- Type of Content Your Audience Prefers: Find out the content format (blog posts, videos, case studies etc) your audience prefers getting their information.
- Demographics: Research your customer’s job title, income, gender, location, ethnicity, age etc.
- Psychographics: Identify your customer’s hobbies, habits, beliefs and interests.
When developing your content strategy, you’ll have to come up with two audience personas.
The first profile is for your primary target audience. These are the customers that are likely to use your services or buy your products.
They should be the main focus of all the content you publish because they’re likely to spend money on your products.
The profile should look like this:
Your secondary target audience are those people that are close to being part of your primary audience. However, they didn’t make the cut.
These people need more convincing content to convert them into customers. Your content marketing strategist will have to be more strategic in selecting topics and creating content that speaks to these people.
To know which type of content to create, send a survey to these people using Google forms, Typeform or Survey Monkey. Here are some questions to ask:
- What problem are you facing right now?
- Which company websites do you like?
- What is your annual salary?
- What blogs do you read?
- Where do you live?
- What’s your age?
If you’re collecting sensitive data such as locations and salaries, make these surveys anonymous. Also, find common demographics, behaviors and traits your audience has.
Save that data in your content strategy spreadsheet.
Determine Your Content Core
What’s content core? These are the topics that are closely related to your services or products. For instance, if you sell construction equipment, some topics you may consider covering include:
- How to execute the tasks your equipment is designed to handle
- Valuable tips for construction workers
- Equipment maintenance
Work with your content marketing specialist to create your content core and save it in your spreadsheet. Start by determining broad topic clusters, and then slot subtopics below them.
Some excellent subtopics to cover include the features your product solves and the questions your customers have.
Choose Your Content Channels and Formats
By now, you should have selected the channels and formats to use in your content marketing strategy from the audience profiles we created above.
The “What Type of Content Do You Like Consuming?” question should guide you. This may include a mixture of:
- Print materials such as brochures and magazines
- White papers and ebooks
- Social media content
- Email newsletters
- Research reports
- Case studies
- Blog posts
If your audience uses social media, create infographics and videos. If they like reading, use long-form blog posts (guides), white papers or ebooks.
Note that the formats you use will determine the channels you use to promote your content. Why should you get this far and create high-quality content that no one will see?
However, content promotion doesn’t mean spamming your new content all over social media. Some common promotion channels include:
- Content curation sites such as Quuu Promote
- Search engines like YouTube and Google
- Organic social
- Paid social
You can also develop a content distribution strategy based on actual data. Check the channels your target audience are using and research the content format shared the most.
This will enable you to know the channels and formats to use based on your topic.
Establish a Publishing Schedule
The content type you create should be on a certain schedule. For instance, if your team creates infographics, ebooks and blog posts, you should be deciding how often you’ll be publishing those content types.
Your schedule shouldn’t be whenever you’ve got time. Instead, develop a regular posting schedule to create consistency as it is crucial to building an audience.
If your audience knows you post new content weekly, they will come back every week to read it. Your schedule can look something like this:
- Three infographics every week
- Two blog posts per week
- One ebook each quarter
I usually advise my clients to start small like publishing once a week and then scale up slowly. As you begin to build a backlog, review your Google Analytics data to know which times and days your audience visit your website.
Now, pull the content types your team will develop and inform them of a publishing frequency so that they post on those days.
The next thing you need to do is create your marketing calendar.
Sample Marketing Calendar
It will help you keep your team on track by allowing them to plan all your content depending on the frequency you decided.
Each content you intend to publish should be on your marketing calendar and include:
- The channels you will use to share your content
- The topic clusters it will fall under
- The content format you will create
- The date it publishes
- The topic it covers
Be sure to record this in your content marketing spreadsheet.
Set Your Performance Standards
Performance standards also known as content guidelines or editorial standards are a set of guidelines your team must meet before publishing content.
They prevent you from releasing content that doesn’t suit your brand. That’s why every piece of content you publish should meet some standards.
If you don’t set the standards, you may end up publishing low-quality content and impact your brand’s reputation negatively.
Here’s what your performance standards should look like:
- Comprehensiveness: Ensure each long-form blog post you write covers everything your readers what to know about a particular topic. A good example is this post you’re reading right now. It covers everything about creating a content marketing strategy.
- Keyword Targeting: Before writing any post, conduct SaaS keyword research and pick a relevant, strong keyword for every blog post.
- Grammar and Format: This will depend on your preference. I use the Oxford comma and APA title case style.
- Voice and Tone: I use a friendly personable tone that isn’t too corporate. Are you wondering how to describe yours? Use this list of adjectives.
It’s not just written content you need for creating performance standards. Design standards like logo placements, colors and fonts are also essential for any visual content you’re creating.
Work with your designers to come up with some basic design standards your team should know about. By any means, this doesn’t have to be comprehensive.
Just include the things non-designers should know. Be sure to track if your content meets your performance standards by giving each guideline a grade, on a 1-3 scale.
Standards Performance Scale Spreadsheet
Keep in mind that your performance standards are things you can’t negotiate. For example, if you’re reviewing a new blog post you want to publish, and it doesn’t meet your guidelines, either bin or fix it.
Why publish something that’s sub-par?
Choose Who Will Be Part of Your Editorial Process
This is very important because if you have many people involved, the end result may be spoiled. It may also take you longer to publish your content since everyone will want to approve the content.
Additionally, too many opinions can make your team disagree over small details that don’t add value to the content creation process. Your content team should consist of these people:
Since each member of your team has an important role to play, create a list of these people, what they do and their roles.
Include this into your content marketing strategy spreadsheet to be clear on each person’s role from the go.
Create Content Processes and Workflows
I believe you now have an idea of how to jumpstart your content strategy. However, you need to develop workflows that will help you perform the same processes efficiently.
These workflows help you have a clear picture of what you and your team should do to complete developing your content.
They also help you split up the content into tasks you can assign to other team members, allowing you to complete the content efficiently and quickly.
You should also assign each task a due date to know when to begin working on the task to meet deadlines.
If you keep repeating the same process like creating a video or writing a blog post, develop a task-based workflow of what should be done, and then assign the task to the right person.
If you plan to repeat the task again, use that as your template.
How To Implement and Measure Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy
At this point, you have a great B2B SaaS content marketing strategy detailing what you want to do. However, you need to plan how to implement your strategy before publishing new content. So, how do you do that?
Develop a Brief for Every New Content
Basically, your content brief is the plan you’ll create with your team for every piece. Think of it as an individual strategy for every new content.
The purpose of the brief is to help your team understand the content before creating it. The most crucial thing to include in a brief is answering this question, “What is in it for me?”
That’s the question your viewers, listeners and readers ask whenever you publish your content. Your audience wants something that’s worth their time.
If it is not, they won’t watch, listen or read. Unfortunately, if this happens, you won’t meet your content goals.
Get this right by knowing the words your customers use when looking for solutions to their problems and asking questions.
Collect this information by monitoring your blog post comments, new user surveys, social media mentions, and customer support inboxes.
You should also ask your current customers the following questions:
- What major difference has (your service or product) made in your business?
- How would you describe (your service or product) to someone else?
- What is the greatest benefit (your service or product) provides?
- What made you begin looking for (your service or product)?
- Who prompted you to choose (your service or product)?
Now, use the language from your audiences’ answers to draft talking points for the content you want to create. These points emphasize the benefits your viewers, listeners and readers will get after consuming your content.
Additionally, using the language from other people that resemble them can help you attract the right people to your content. Once you have completed creating the content, begin promoting your service or product.
While writing your talking points, do not focus on generic benefits such as saving time because everyone claims such benefits.
Analyze Your Data
As you continue publishing new content, you need to analyze your data. This will help you identify the pieces of content that are contributing the least and most to your goal.
You’ll also know the types of content to avoid and the ones to replicate in the future.
To track this, create a custom report in Google Analytics. Scroll down to the customization tab and choose “+New Custom Report”.
Fill in your title, then choose the name of your goal followed by (Goal # Completions) in Metric Groups.
In Dimension Drill downs, choose Goal (Previous Step – 1) then click on save.
From there, you can check the number of blog posts contributing to your goals. You can also look for specific URLs to dig deeper into your content.
Sort the data from your worst to the best performers. To ensure every content is successful, measure the results during the first month after publishing them.
Open your Google Analytics custom report and search for each URL from the list you created. Once you’re done, adjust the dates to the first 30 days after publishing.
Remember the standards performance sheet we created earlier? Get it and enter the number of goal completions you have achieved after they have been live for one month.
Remember your Google Analytics will not track data that occurred before setting up your goal. It will only begin tracking after setting it up.
The above spreadsheet can help you track the performance of all your content. Your top content should get a 12 score., while the worst-performing content should get a 4 score.
What To Analyze From Your Content
Here are some things you can assess both from your worst and best performing content to help you strategize how to get better results from your upcoming content.
- What’s the Most Common Subject Matter? Check your best performing content and suggest new topics with a similar theme. For instance, if a blog post about using Facebook for business is performing well, write posts about increasing your audience’s following and engagement on Facebook.
- What Was the Content’s Tone? Some sites do well with controversial, entertaining, humorous or thought leadership content. Others find success with step-by-step and how-to content. Know what works for you, and then replicate it.
- Who Wrote the Piece? Some of your writers may be skilled at writing certain topics. Finding out who wrote the content will help you assign those writers more work so that you keep achieving your goal.
- What Was the Content Type? Check if the content was a landing page, an ebook, list, online tool, how-to or question blog post. Repeat the same approach in your future content.
- What Media Was Included in the Content? Analyze what influenced your success. Was images, surveys, infographics, ebooks or videos part of the content? Replicate what works in upcoming content.
Before we move on, think about the ideas that will help you increase your results 10x over, instead of making a 10% improvement. Once you know the results your content is producing, you’ll create more effective content.
Define Your Monthly Goals for the Next One Year
If B2B SaaS content marketing matters to your business, you need to have long-term goals. Do that by analyzing your data to determine your monthly goals.
These are the KPIs you’ll work on to help you make a profit on your content strategy each month. This will also help realize the bigger impact of publishing high-quality content.
If the results aren’t what you were anticipating, you can increase your publishing frequency to get bigger results.
Check your Google Analytics custom report for the goal you set and get the data from your average month’s performance.
Alternatively, you can add up the data from the previous three months, and divide it by three to get your average monthly performance as shown below.
Now, decide the number of times you’ll publish your updated content each month. Publishing consistent content is crucial as it will help you increase your results.
For instance, if your goal is to receive 300 goal completions every month, and you know each blog post tends to generate 15, post 20 posts every month
Start tracking the results to see if you’re making any progress. If the predicted results are not what you were expecting to see, plan to publish more content throughout the year.
What Tools Should You Use To Execute Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy?
B2B SaaS content marketing is time-consuming. However, using effective tools can help you stay organized and on track. Research shows the average business uses more than 90 tools to market their products.
Which tools do you use to execute your content strategy? Here are the ones I use when working with clients:
This is the first tool I use. It helps me gather relevant data for my clients and measure the performance of their social media and content marketing efforts.
Content Management System (CMS)
This system is a must if you want to manage and publish content. It houses all of your content including landing pages, images or blog posts.
WordPress is the most common CMS as it has over 445 million sites hosted on its platform. The platform also allows you to optimize your blog posts for SEO and has several plug-ins you can use to customize your site.
Content Marketing Editorial Calendar
Calendars help you visualize the content you want to publish, manage headlines and plan ahead. With your new content marketing strategy, you’ll need a content marketing editorial calendar.
Social Media Scheduling Tool
If you want your marketing strategy to be effective, add a SaaS social media strategy into it. After all, what’s the point of publishing content if no one sees it?
Social media scheduling tools enable you to create and schedule posts for all the top platforms such as Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook easily.
Some of the tools allow you to automatically reshare your best posts, schedule time so that you only publish when your audience is online, and monitor your social media conversations.
SEO and Optimization Tools
Research shows 67% of all clicks in search engines go to the top five organic results.
While search engines can drive traffic to your blog posts, you need solid SEO tools to get your posts in organic search and evaluate their performance.
Below are some of my favorites:
- Keyword Research Tools (Ubersuggest, Moz, Ahrefs): These tools are perfect for keyword research, SEO site audit, rank tracking, SaaS link building strategy, and more.
- Google Search Console: This tool is vital for monitoring the health of your site. You can also use it to submit your new post for the search engines to crawl.
Once you have selected your tools, record them in your notebook.
Marketing Project Management Tools
Managing a content marketing team can make you go crazy. You’ve got thousands of words to edit, several blog posts to publish plus other important tasks that require your attention.
How can you manage all those tasks successfully? Use project management tools such as Asana and Trello. These tools can help you:
- Manage comment threads posted below your content, which you can view from inside your marketing calendar to make project management and communication super easy.
- Create task templates so that your team works through the same process whenever you create new pieces of content.
- View and track the daily tasks of your entire team within the Team Management Dashboard.
- Measure your team’s productivity with Team Performance Reports.
Wondering How To Launch Your New SaaS Content Marketing Strategy?
If your site has a lot of low-quality content due to working on assumptions, schedule a free consultation. I’ll create a streamlined plan that will help you achieve your desired results whether you want more trial signups for your product, more page views or more email subscribers.
Maclean is a SaaS Copywriter & SaaS SEO Consultant with over 7 years of experience in the industry. She’s also the founder of SaaS Thrive, a blog focused on helping SaaS startups and large enterprises improve their search visibility and grow their organic traffic plus ROI. Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin