SaaS content marketing is the same, but not. While there is overlap as to the methodologies you follow for content marketing, there are a few unique elements to include for SaaS companies to succeed in lead generation.
If you're not on the content marketing bandwagon yet, it's time to hop on! But don't just create content for the sake of creating content. You need a well planned content marketing strategy to ensure you're hitting your lead generation goals and not wasting time and money.
Don't over promote
I wanted to begin with covering what NOT to do. Time and time again I see software blogs that only talk about their product. I know you're excited about your solutions, but no one really wants to tune into your overly promotional broadcast. Leave the promoting to your feature pages.
It's okay to occasionally write about how great your software is - covering press, milestones etc., but be sure to not over do it.
Know your audience
Dig up the research you used when creating new solutions and features. You created them because you knew there is a need and pain that you can help alleviate. Leverage this in your content marketing plan as well.
Create buyer personas that include information such as:
- Pain points
- Common objections
- Frequently asked questions
You can deliver value with your content by knowing what your audience is interested in and their challenges. Use this as an opportunity to help, deliver value and set the stage for the solutions you provide.
For example, if you specialize in business intelligence software, you could write about what metrics the C-Suite wants to see, common analytics dashboards, or where to begin with data.
Include content for funnel stages
In order for your SaaS content marketing strategy to be successful, you need to create different types of content for your sales funnel stages.
The most common stages are:
- Awareness stage - Prospect begins educational research to clearly understand their problem. This is where you want to introduce your brand and provide top-of-funnel value and education.
- Consideration stage - Prospect has defined their problem and is researching potential solutions. Your goal in this stage is to provide resources to help aid their research and buying decision.
- Decision stage - Prospect has made their short list and is comparing competing solutions. If you've done a good job with the other two stages, you should be on their short list!
Simply publishing great content will not get you far. How are prospects supposed to find your content if you don't promote it? Organic traffic from search engines takes time, why wait?
Create a strategy to promote your content. Share your articles with your own social media networks as well as promoting via paid ads. For example, after you publish an article, share with your Facebook fans and Twitter followers (be sure to use hashtags to pick-up anyone not in your direct network). Don't forget LinkedIn. Share with your LinkedIn network as well as any relevant groups your in.
Your network will never be big enough, so amplify your reach with social ads. Facebook and Twitter Ads are great for promoting your content to your target audience. They both offer robust ad targeting and have an extensive reach. You'd be surprised how many targeted visitors you can get with $20!
Now that you've worked hard attracting visitors to your content, don't waste your efforts. Include strategic calls-to-actions to get visitors into your marketing and sales funnel and generate qualified leads. Don't simply just go for the sale here. Remember your buyer journey stages.
Here are a few ideas for calls-to-actions you can use based on where they may be in the buying process:
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Free trials
- Comparison guides
- Software demos
- Case studies
Be sure to leverage landing pages and forms for your calls-to-actions and offers to maximize conversion rates. Each prospect and lead you generate should be added to your marketing automation emails to nurture them into sales.
Don't forget your customers!
SaaS businesses have an more than one funnel to worry about, especially those who use a freemium model. Simply getting people to try your software is often not enough. It's important to get users engaged with your software or else they will not value your solution.
This often means getting people to change their habits and frequently log into your application.
Create another content marketing strategy to educate new users. This is where you can geek out more and promote your solutions and features.
Provide educational training content and deliver it often to ensure you're staying top-of-mind and helping new users realize the value of your application. If they're not engaged, they won't upgrade.
Successful content marketing takes a lot of planning and labor. To learn more about SaaS lead generation with content marketing, download our free eBook below.