Content marketing is an irreplaceable part of building up the success of a business in 2022 and beyond.
According to survey data from 2021, 79% of B2B and 73% of B2C marketers reported that their organization had a content marketing strategy (whether documented or undocumented). And amongst those that didn’t, 17% planned to develop one over the next 12 months.
Image source: Contentmarketinginstitute.com
But the thing about content marketing strategies for SaaS businesses is that they are inherently more complicated than those utilized by, say, ecommerce businesses. SaaS brands must produce content that addresses the benefits of the technology they sell. But, at the same time, this content must also testify of the quality of the service provided by the brand.
So, if you’re looking for content marketing strategies to improve your online presence and grow your SaaS brand, the following ones are definitely worth a try.
1. Create With a Customer-Centric Mindset
One of the essential aspects of having any content marketing strategy bear fruit is approaching the planning phase with a clear set of rules.
Choice of Topic
Writing a high-performing blog post, filming a great video, or even putting together a successful online course rests on the foundations of understanding specific consumer pain points.
So, in addition to defining your target audience, you also have to research the daily problems that they face and that your SaaS product has the potential of solving.
For example, TimeTackle is a SaaS brand that developed an automation program for analyzing calendar data to boost team productivity. However, knowing that the first step towards productivity improvements consists of convincing employees to collect calendar data in the first place, TimeTackle put together an insightful guide on motivating workers to track time.
Image source: Timetackle.com
This article looks at all the possible objections employees may have to the concept of time tracking. Then, it offers methods for overcoming the obstacles to help business owners boost productivity without harming employee satisfaction.
Providing Genuine Value
In addition to knowing what your audience wants to read or watch when creating content for SaaS, you also have to think about what they will find valuable. That is, you have to know the reason behind their reading in the first place.
Fortunately, HubSpot did the research and found the following data:
- 33% of people read blogs to learn something new
- 20% want to be entertained
- 12% read to discover news and trends in their industry.
Image source: Luc.id
Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to conclude that people seek value from the content they consume. So, SaaS brands wishing to stand out in 2022 and beyond must find ways to produce content that’s:
Unique – provides access to new data or presents known facts through a new lens
Engaging – presents valuable information in an easy-to-consume format, which combines text and visuals
Approachable – written in a way that’s easily understood by the audience it’s intended for (no industry jargon when targeting inexperienced clients, etc.)
Convenient – collects all the relevant information in a single space, allowing readers, viewers, and listeners to get their facts from a single, reliable source
One of the easier ways to cover all four of these requirements is to invest in the production of long-form content (1,500-7,500 words in length). This ensures enough space to cover all aspects of a topic. For example, check out this post from AdBadger. It includes statistics, videos, original graphics, and everything else relevant to the subject.
Plus, long-form content benefits SEO, boosts reader engagement, maximizes social shares, and improves brand authority. It’s definitely worth the trouble.
Image source: Backlinko.com
Consider the Audience Position in the Sales Funnel
Finally, as you look for ways to make your SaaS content more consumer-centric, don’t forget to consider your target audience’s position in the sales funnel.
Simply put, not all readers/viewers are ready to make a purchase. Some are still in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, exploring the available solutions to a problem they have. So, naturally, bombarding these people with a piece of content that’s too sales-y is unlikely to result in a conversion. More likely, it will alienate them and cause them to go to your competition.
So, as you approach the creation process, create a clear distinction between the pieces made to:
- Aid solution discovery – “What is” blog posts, “How to” videos, etc.
- Help consumers make the best choice for their needs, like comparison posts.
- Content that serves as the final push consumers need to make a buying decision, like targeted email campaigns offering discounts, etc.
2. Tell Customer Stories
Another super-effective content marketing strategy for SaaS businesses is to take a step away from generalized posts and invest in telling stories that are a bit more personal.
Customer stories aren’t just an excellent way to add a dose of social proof to a piece of content. They also provide specific, data-rich examples of how a SaaS product can serve a client, helping potential buyers understand that it is, in fact, a solid investment.
Saas brands like Zylo choose to invest in this type of content by publishing case studies. The studies explain the process of implementing the software in a new setting then review the key outcomes that the software solution helped achieve.
Image source: Zylo.com
Experienced brands with a lot of data to share can take this strategy a step further by turning some reports into gated content. This is an excellent method for generating leads and boosting brand authority in highly competitive fields.
3. Create Evergreen Content
Many businesses in today’s world operate on a seasonal basis. They witness increases and decreases in demand based on the time of year or current trends. As a result, they must find ways to get eyeballs on their content when consumer interest is likely to peak.
But for SaaS brands, there’s not necessarily such a thing as seasonality. Sure, some niches may witness better results at certain times of the year. Nonetheless, most organizations will have to develop a content marketing strategy that delivers results no matter the season.
One excellent way to do this is to invest in the creation of evergreen posts.
This type of content is valuable and remains in demand regardless of the seasons. It’s usually long-form, insightful, and optimized for SEO. This guide on creating an employee leave policy by Flamingo is a great example.
Image source: Helloflamingo.com
This post is a fantastic example of an evergreen SaaS content strategy in action. First and foremost, it covers a topic that’s always relevant. Moreover, it offers a great deal of actionable information, which contributes to higher engagement from readers. Plus, being well-written, it’s more likely to earn backlinks, which is a significant contributor to site authority.
4. Don’t Forget About Topical Content
Now, while the basis of your SaaS content marketing strategy needs to rest on a collection of well-written, regularly updated evergreen posts, you must not allow yourself to ignore current industry trends.
Sure, most trends won’t last forever. Nonetheless, they have their benefits, including:
- Being able to capitalize on jumps in audience interest
- Having the opportunity to create in-demand content before your competitors and well-established brands in your niche, giving you the chance to reach a wider audience
- Encouraging discussions about hot topics on your website and your social media channels
The Covid-19 pandemic is an excellent example of a hot topic businesses could use to create topical content.
For instance, the marketers from Finli recognized that the virus wasn’t going to go away as quickly as small business owners hoped. So, they created a guide for SMB owners to protect their brands from another surge in infections, strict government mandates, and supply chain disruptions.
Image source: Finli.com
Sure, the article won’t be relevant five years from now. However, it’s a great way to bring short-term success to Finli, seeing how it provides excellent advice that’s currently relevant to the brand’s target audience.
5. Create Content That Introduces Product Features
So, you’ve studied your audience’s pain points, decided what topic to cover, created an outline that ensures your content brings value, and you’ve produced an exceptional article, video, or podcast. What next?
Well, one option would be to consider expanding your piece with a section that introduces your SaaS products as a possible solution.
This is an effective strategy for helping potential clients move through the sales funnel more quickly while saving on advertising costs down the line.
For example, InFlow Inventory does this under the Best Practices section of its article about consignment inventory. It suggests that readers try using dedicated inventory management software to meet their needs. Then, the post lists the solution’s features that benefit businesses looking for consignment solutions.
Image source: Inflow.com
This is a great approach. It not only helps readers move on to the lower stages of the sales funnel but also subtly calls attention to the brand’s products.
6. Explore Versatile Formats
One common mistake brands make when planning their content is focusing on blog posts alone.
Sure, articles are an exceptional and cost-effective way to reach target audiences. But considering that there are millions of blog posts published every day, it can be challenging to achieve impressive results by just writing articles. That’s why it’s best to explore alternative formats as well.
People’s consumption of video content is on the rise, thanks to the availability of digital devices and fast internet speeds. According to Statista, the average US resident spent 209 minutes watching TV video content and 103 minutes of video on digital devices in 2020. Consequently, investing in unique, informative videos for your SaaS business is a great way to future-proof your content marketing efforts.
Podcasting has been on the rise for the past decade, with predictions stating that it’s likely to reach 164 monthly listeners in the US by 2024. But what’s great about this format is that, despite its popularity, it still allows brands to reach target audiences, thanks to a relatively low level of competition and plenty of room to cover niche topics.
Of course, if producing a 20-minute podcast episode seems like too much work, you can still benefit from the podcasting format by securing guest spots on well-established shows.
Educational content offers plenty of benefits to SaaS businesses. A 2017 study by Cobloom discovered that:
- 24% of SaaS brands have an educational blog
- 36% of the best performing SaaS companies invest in educational content
- educational articles get 14% more organic traffic than PR/News-focused blogs
With this in mind, it’s an excellent idea for marketers to jump in on the trend of producing on-demand webinar content, especially seeing that 83% of marketers found them to be an effective strategy in 2021.
When developing your SaaS marketing tactics, it’s not a bad idea to invest in content that accomplishes two goals simultaneously. Whitepapers and gated ebooks, for example, are excellent formats for widening reach and generating leads. Seeing that they provide value both to the consumer and the seller, they’re an investment that is sure to yield results in 2022 and beyond. Keep in mind that 71% of B2B buyers use whitepapers to research purchasing decisions.
Seeing that they combine visual information with text (effectively boosting reader attention and increasing the likelihood of receiving backlinks), infographics are an excellent choice for most SaaS businesses. But what makes them particularly cost-effective is the fact that they can be repurposed for publishing on a variety of platforms, including social media.
Lastly, as you contemplate ways for getting more out of your SaaS content in 2022 and beyond, consider bringing in experts from fields related to your industry who can provide your followers with the additional value they wouldn’t find elsewhere.
Asana does this well, basing a considerable portion of its content marketing strategy on podcast interviews and guest posts written by thought leaders from the world of business.
7. Make an Effort to Actively Drive Traffic to Your Blog Posts
Lastly, as you work to elevate your SaaS content marketing strategy, don’t forget that production doesn’t amount to much without a solid distribution tactic.
Essentially, what this means is that you must constantly look for ways to reach more people with posts you create.
In addition to optimizing your content for SEO with relevant keywords, don’t forget to reach out to external sites to secure backlinks. Furthermore, share your blog articles on social media. And use email marketing to notify your most loyal followers about new content you’ve put out.
When done right, content marketing can help brands achieve success with almost zero spending on traditional advertising methods. And seeing how cost-effective it can be (especially if you find the right way to reuse and repurpose existing content), it’s definitely an investment worth making.
However, in 2022 and beyond, the competition is getting fierce. Moreover, with rapid growth in the SaaS industry, breaking through is going to get more difficult for new brands. For this reason, business owners and marketers must understand the potential of well-made content and start planning their short-term and long-term game plans accordingly.
The strategies we’ve discussed here are great starting points for new and already established brands alike. But to ensure exceptional results, they will have to be adapted to each organization’s unique audience. And to do that successfully, you’ll need to make informed decisions based on content performance analysis and keep up with emerging, industry-specific trends.