There is more to building a SaaS content marketing strategy than creating a website and social media accounts for self-promotion. B2B organizations need a clear, consistent plan to cover the fundamentals of developing core content that converts newbies and keeps current customers faithful while managing it in a way that maximizes exposure to the right target audience consistently.
Oh, and let’s not forget, all the details need to be executed on a reasonable budget.
With software as a service market developing into one of the largest growing segments of the economy, outperforming the competition through quality content marketing is crucial. According to the statistics portal, Statista, SaaS companies are on target to make 46.33 billion dollars in 2017 alone. This means there’s money being left on the table if a marketing team isn’t organized and focused on building content that matters to customers.
When done well, building a SaaS content marketing strategy becomes instrumental in helping B2B companies generate content that improves customer and brand relations, and enables them to differentiate services in a crowded market.
If you are serious about creating a thorough and effective SaaS content marketing plan for your team, it’s time to look at budget allocation, target markets, SEO, and overall execution.
Prioritize, Clarify, and Execute – Keys to Keeping a SaaS Content Marketing Strategy on Track
To get moving in the right direction, here are some basic do’s and don’ts of building a balanced SaaS marketing strategy. How do you stack up?
Do: Start with a clear budget and allocate what money goes to key infrastructure and services. Answer these questions:
- What’s required for content creation?
- What graphics and support content needs to be developed simultaneously?
- Is the budget a monthly allocation or quarterly?
- Are people on staff writing all the content, or are freelancers part of the equation?
If it takes money and time, factor it into the budget, then review to see where to make things leaner next quarter.
Don’t: Begin content development without solid budget numbers allocated for specific resources like writers, designers, coders, etc. Omitting an essential item is more common than you’d like to think, and it will impact marketing results.
Clarify Target Markets and Key Messaging
Do: Survey your audience about needs and pain points to prioritize content development, especially when first getting started.
Do: Define target market(s) and buyer personas and the key messages that appeal to their desires and pain points. Online research here is a must, as well as seeing things from the user’s point of view. Ask yourself:
- What would they want or need to know?
- Who would care about the service and how would they benefit?
Also be sure to develop buyer personas to serve as a guide for crafting targeted messages. Make messaging available to everyone to create a consistent customer experience, and to ensure it’s being used on the website and in social media efforts to support the outlined SaaS marketing strategy.
Don’t: Forgo market research about your key buyer personas or think of messaging on the fly. Consistent messaging directed towards target markets produces the best results.
Don’t: Create content centered around what the organization wants to say about its software services or why they think it matters to customers. Without data to support your assumptions, your content could be entirely misdirected.
Content Development and Tracking
Do: Use a content management system to keep teams on track with key milestones, deliverables, and deadlines. It keeps projects flowing and ensures key team members and freelancers are included in key communications and any deliverable date changes.
Don’t: Expect development teams and freelancers to communicate clearly without an infrastructure in place for them to do so.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Do: Choose SEO keywords and phrases wisely and base them on topics of interest and/or buyer personas. Skim through analytics reports and search for most frequently searched keywords in the industry to select what’s hot and relevant online. Also, check out keywords the competition is using.
Don’t: Pick two keywords and alternate them for every blog post, or fail to include SEO as part of all marketing content developed. Utilize main keywords and phrases, as well as tangential ones, to hit a variety of word combinations potential customers would search.
Don’t: Over-optimize. Write your content for humans first and foremost, then cater to search engines after you’ve already created valuable content.
Do: Develop evergreen content — like blogs, e-books, white papers and how-to videos — that highlight how to use your software and/or answer FAQ’s for users. This builds value and provides all the insight they need to get started using your software with confidence. Leverage keywords in all content created.
Do: Provide a free demo or trial for use so people can take it for a bit of a test drive. User interface is a huge part of why people like or dislike software, so use demos to get clear feedback on the user experience to implement into your platform and get insight for future marketing efforts.
Don’t: Create long-winded or unorganized help files that do not address key customer pain points or how to solve them.
Don’t: Think people buy on glitz alone. Provide meaty features and substance in a demo that offers a realistic experience and highlights why people can’t live without your software.
Do: Offer and promote technical support options (online and/or phone) to help people with the sign-in process, or those having trouble with certain features.
Don’t: Think that building the software is enough. Support services are one of the biggest marketing upsell points for SaaS, so provide extra incentive for someone to pull the trigger on a purchase decision.
These simple do and don’ts for building a SaaS content marketing strategy provide a solid foundation for beginners and beyond. Time to get started on a plan for your SaaS company!