How to Set Up Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy: 6 Steps to Success

Do you have a SaaS business?

Are you publishing content as a way to bring in and nurture potential customers? 🚪⬅️

If so, you need a SaaS content marketing strategy.

To put it bluntly, content without a strategy is akin to a house without a foundation, support beams, walls, or a roof.

Instead of welcoming a constant flux of eager visitors to your beautiful abode, you’ll just be sitting alone on a pile of bricks.

The strategy gives your SaaS content marketing a purpose, structure, goals, and a strong foundation to build on.

Without it, you’ll flounder with content. You won’t nurture leads – you’ll lose them. 💀

The ONLY way to start seeing exponential, compounding online growth with SaaS content marketing is to outline your content strategy plan, fill in the blanks, and follow it to the letter.

Don’t believe me yet? Let’s look at the difference between content created & published without a strategy vs. WITH a strategy.

SaaS Content Marketing Strategy

How to Build a SaaS Content Marketing Strategy: Table of Contents

Content Marketing with and Without a Strategy: What’s the Difference?

2 Years in, Without a Content Marketing Strategy

What Happens with a Content Strategy in Place?

What Do You Need for Successful SaaS Content Marketing? 6 Key, Strategic Pillars

1. Know the Base Levels of SaaS Content Strategy: Define Topic Areas, Goals, & More

  • Goals and Content Mission
  • Topic Area(s) of Focus
  • Content Differentiation Factor

2. Get to Know Your Audience for Solid SaaS Content Marketing

  • Find Your Ideal Target Buyer
  • Research, Research, Research
  • Know Your Customers’ Common Buying Journeys

3. Integrate SEO

  • Research Long-Tail Keywords and Connected Topics
  • Optimize Your Content

4. Build Your Content House

5. Understand How to Create Content for SaaS Marketing

  • Fill Your Audience’s Knowledge Gaps
  • Write to Engage
  • Kill the Fluff

6. Track, Measure, Update, & Maintain

  • Track and Measure
  • Update and Maintain

Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy Is Covered

With all the offers out there, how can you make sure that your SaaS company and product stand out? 🦩 @JuliaEMcCoy tells how and why you should make SaaS content marketing strategy right now 🐱‍👤 Click To Tweet

Content Marketing with and Without a Strategy: What’s the Difference?

At Express Writers, we’re not selling SaaS, but our content plays the same roles as it would for a SaaS business: building audience trust in our brand, showing our expertise, and nurturing traffic and leads.

Unfortunately, without a content marketing strategy, our content didn’t have the impact we hoped it would. We weren’t meeting our goals at the beginning.

2 Years in, Without a Content Marketing Strategy

  • With 215 blogs published, we were only ranking for 141 keywords
  • Our monthly gross income never topped $29K
  • At most, we saw 500 visitors a day

On top of these lackluster numbers, I was suffering, too.

  • Hustling every day but not seeing any rewards (because I was misdirecting my energy)
  • Stressed and scrounging for leads
  • Working constantly to make ends meet

Then, in September 2016, I finally built and implemented a content marketing strategy.

What happened next?

What Happens with a Content Strategy in Place?

Life was never the same after our content marketing strategy hit the ground running.

  • A few months after executing the strategy, we hit our first, landmark $71K income month.
  • Our ranking keywords shot up from 3,900 to 6,000.

It didn’t stop there.

  • Within roughly one year, we were hitting records every month – January 2018 saw us hit our first-ever $120K income month.
  • We were ranking for over 12,800 keywords
  • My blogs were getting the highest number of shares I’d ever seen.
  • EW ranked #1 for hot keywords (e.g. “content writing outsourcing”)

Today, we’re still blowing our old records out of the water.

  • 99% of our clients come to us from our content marketing
  • We rank for over 24,000 keywords in Google
  • We’ve earned over $4.5 million in agency sales
  • We see 90,000 to 100,000 organic visitors every month

As you can see, no content strategy = 💀🛑😖👎

If you say YES to a content strategy, however…

🌟🥂✔🥳

It’s true for SaaS and non-SaaS industries alike that invest in content.

For those of you tuning in from a SaaS background, stay with me. We’re about to get into how to build your SaaS content marketing strategy.

Do you need a SaaS content marketing strategy? 🤔 Don't think twice. @JuliaEMcCoy shows the HUGE difference in ROI between having none vs. using a well-planned strategy for @ExpWriters. Click To Tweet

What Do You Need for Successful SaaS Content Marketing? 6 Key, Strategic Pillars

So, you need a SaaS content marketing strategy.

That means it’s time to learn how to do SaaS marketing the right way.

The best SaaS marketing campaigns use these 6 pillars. They form the foundation for a working content marketing platform for your business.

1. Know the Base Levels of SaaS Content Strategy: Define Topic Areas, Goals, & More

Your SaaS content marketing plan needs a few basic factors defined before you can get into the nitty-gritty of audience research or content creation.

Goals and Content Mission

First, what is your main goal for your content marketing initiative? What do you hope to achieve? How will you build relationships with customers through content?

Outline the answers to those questions two ways:

  • As an overarching mission for your SaaS content marketing. Phrase it the way you would phrase your broad business mission and goals. The two should be tied together and complement each other!
  • Focused goals with measurable outcomes in the form of KPIs (key performance indicators). For example, Content Marketing Institute offers some solid KPIs tied to common goals for content marketing:
    • Create brand awareness – Track and measure social shares
    • Drive more traffic to your website or blog – Track total website visits monthly, the percentage of return visitors, or the time on site where the visitor was actively engaged
    • Generate leads – Track the number of leads each piece of content earned, or track conversion rates for your landing pages
    • Improve customer retention – Track percentage of repeat customers

Topic Area(s) of Focus

Defining your SaaS content marketing topic areas may seem straightforward, but it’s more complicated than simply copying-and-pasting your general industry niche.

For example, perhaps you sell creative software that helps customers edit and tweak photos. Your topic area might be “graphic design,” but it doesn’t end there. You also should define the intersection between your expertise AND what your audience wants to read.

Does your audience want to read blogs about graphic design principles? Or would they be more interested in guides that help them retouch family photos?

There’s a huge difference between these types of content and who they’ll interest. To get at the exact right topic area of focus for your SaaS, take your audience into consideration as well as what you can write about with authority (more on that in point #2).

Content Differentiation Factor

Another important point to define in your content strategy is your content differentiation factor.

This is the fresh spin you’ll put on your content. It’s the unique angle that will make your pieces stand out from the millions of others on the web.

In other words, how will you help your audience with content differently or better than your competitors?

For more depth on these topics, I teach an intensive course, the Content Strategy & Marketing Course, that will take you through these concepts step-by-step.

2. Get to Know Your Audience for Solid SaaS Content Marketing

It turns out your audience is the lynchpin in this whole content marketing thing. If you “get” your audience on a deep level, you’re going places.

Find Your Ideal Target Buyer

Who is the main type of person who needs, wants, and will use the heck out of your software to improve their life? Describe this avatar all the way down to their hobbies and likes/dislikes.

Research, Research, Research

Interview real people who might fit your target buyer persona. Collect data with surveys and questionnaires. Do social listening, poke around on Reddit and Quora, mine tools like Facebook Audience Insights and Survey Monkey, and record everything you discover.

Image: Facebook

Know Your Customers’ Common Buying Journeys

(You’ll find this out doing research.) Meet them at each stage with tailored, useful content that helps them move closer to trust and/or a sale.

Getting to know your audience is one of the most important steps of creating and executing B2B SaaS content. Without audience knowledge and understanding, you will not publish targeted content that earns results and ROI.

Instead, your content will die a slow death in obscurity. 😬 Yikes.

3. Integrate SEO

Defining your audience helps you write targeted content that speaks to their needs and engages, but using SEO is how that content gets discovered.

Without proper content optimization for search engines, your traffic numbers will be much, much lower. You’ll draw in fewer people who are already interested in what you have to say.

Creating online content MUST include search engine optimization, otherwise, you’ll miss out on the whopping 70.6% of browsing sessions that begin with a search.

SEO is about NOT missing out on this giant source of traffic. Furthermore, it’s not about drawing in any web visitor you can, but rather about targeting only those who have the potential to buy what you’re selling. Targeted, interested traffic >> random traffic.

Research Long-Tail Keywords and Connected Topics

At the bottom of the SEO for your B2B, SaaS content should be long-tail keywords tied to engaging, useful topics in your area of expertise.

The only way to find these is through keyword research using paid tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, KWFinder, or Moz Keyword Explorer.

It’s not as simple as plugging an industry term into a tool and using whatever it spits out, though. You need to be intentional about looking up keyword data and analyzing the results.

Your content strategy should outline a keyword research workflow, including:

  • Which tools you’ll invest in and budget for
  • How often you’ll look for profitable keywords
  • Which metrics you’ll prioritize in the keywords you target
  • Identifying the search intent of keywords
  • After you land on a keyword, doing topic research to discover subjects that will most appeal to your audience

Optimize Your Content

Once you have the topic and corresponding keywords for a content piece laid out, you need a process for optimizing that content for search.

  • What content writing standards will you set for formatting, headers, and links?
  • Will you use any tools or apps to check SEO?
  • Will you hire out SEO? What will the budget be?

Once your SEO plan is in place as part of your SaaS content strategy, you can move on to establishing your content house – the platform you’ll use to publish and promote content, not to mention build your brand presence.

4. Build Your Content House

Where will the majority of your content live? When you promote your content on social media, where will your links point? When people link to you, what domain will they associate with your name?

This is your content house, the hub of your content activity and your main focus for publishing.

For an example of a SaaS brand with an established, trusted content house, let’s look at the SEMrush blog.

This is SEMrush’s main platform for publishing content. It includes blogs, webinars, podcasts, and ebooks:

It’s housed on their own domain (not on a proprietary platform).

Since SEMrush is in total control of what does (and doesn’t) appear on their site, they can focus on building trust with readers and converting them. On proprietary platforms (where your content is ultimately controlled by a third party like Facebook or Instagram), you have far less influence – the focus is always on the larger platform because that suits their agenda.

For instance, SEMrush wouldn’t be able to promote their 24-hour online conference in such a noticeable way anywhere else but their own site:

This is exactly why your SaaS content marketing strategy should focus on your owned domain as the hub of activity. All other channels (guest blogs, social media, etc.) should come second.

Of course, building your content house requires populating your pages with content consistently. To this end, part of your strategy should include determining when and how often you’ll post, and what types of content you’ll prioritize.

5. Understand How to Create Content for SaaS Marketing

SaaS content writing is unique. It’s arguably the most important piece of a SaaS content marketing strategy.

That’s because, generally, you’re dealing with a tech-focused industry with highly educated audiences well-versed in web tools. What’s more, these tools may be downright complicated for the average layperson.

It’s a tricky audience to target and write for on the correct level.

And, as a rule, content creation is getting more limelight these days. People are starting to understand what it takes to produce incredible, engaging content, and they’re investing as such. (Content creation was the #1 investment for marketers in 2018-2019.)

So, what does strategic content creation look like for SaaS marketing?

The golden rule is to understand what your audience already knows, then address what they DON’T know.

Fill Your Audience’s Knowledge Gaps

According to George Reith, an expert SaaS industry writer,

“By understanding what your audience knows and what you need to tell them, you can create a tighter, more engaging and much more compelling piece of content.”

Most likely, your audience already has an awareness of SaaS and what it entails. The key is to figure out where they need additional knowledge to fill in the gaps. Reith continues:

“Here’s the thing most SaaS vendors forget: this stuff isn’t new anymore. Everyone knows what SaaS is. Even if you’ve never heard the specific term, you get the concept.

So, if you spend a whole paragraph explaining what a subscription model is and how it works, you’re just wasting valuable space on your page.”

As you can see, your audience research will be monumentally helpful for SaaS content writing. Audience knowledge gaps should naturally show up once you start digging into who these people are and what problems you can solve for them in your content.

Write to Engage

High-ROI content is written to engage the reader. It should pull them in, speak to their problems or needs, and help them come to some new understanding as simply as possible.

What works for SaaS audiences won’t work elsewhere. That’s why knowing their knowledge level on the topic at hand is so important. Tell them what they already know, and they’ll tune out.

For instance, both a business owner and an IT professional represent two kinds of SaaS audiences. Both have wildly different tech knowledge levels. The writing style that engages one will bore the other.

Kill the Fluff

Also of importance: clear, simple, zero-fluff copy. Get to the point and teach/guide without talking down to your reader (because they’re usually highly educated and intelligent!)

Avoid needless fluff in your writing because it’s repetitive. SaaS audiences want to see the value from reading your content immediately – they don’t have time to read extraneous details.

6. Track, Measure, Update, & Maintain

How will you keep up your SaaS content marketing momentum? That’s exactly what this pillar of a content strategy does – it keeps everything going like the Energizer Bunny.

Track and Measure

How is your content performing? If you’re not tracking and measuring, you won’t have anything to show for your efforts.

Using measurement tools and analyzing the data will help you track how close you are to your goals, too. (Remember those KPIs we talked about?)

Update and Maintain

Updating and maintaining your content involves:

  • Sticking to your consistent content schedule
  • Promoting your content on social media to reach more people
  • Auditing your older pieces to make sure they’re up-to-date and accurate
  • Killing old content that isn’t serving your brand or hurts your rankings
The 6 key pillars for successful SaaS content marketing include: 📑 define topic areas and goals, 🧑🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏿 know your audience, 💬 integrate SEO, 🏠 build your content house, ✍🏿 create content, and 📐 measure and maintain! Click To Tweet

Your SaaS Content Marketing Strategy Is Covered

With SaaS content marketing, it’s possible to create an engagement and conversion machine. Your business is conducted almost entirely online, so it makes sense to use mainly digital content marketing to pull in new customers.

The map to use to reach that magical place is your SaaS content strategy.

Your content strategy and content marketing should tell you how to:

  • Establish your brand voice and style in your content
  • Show your customer solutions to their problems
  • Demonstrate your expert knowledge in your industry
  • Drive brand awareness and pique interest in your message and what you sell
  • Bring in more qualified traffic and leads
  • Build customer loyalty and relationships

And, lucky for you, the compounding interest of all of the above amounts to more revenue, in the end.

Now, isn’t that something?

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