SaaS Content Marketing that Converts: a Quick Guide
Content marketing is proven to be the most effective form of marketing for SaaS businesses, yet it’s still so hard for many teams. On paper, it seems pretty straight forward, but there are a lot of different elements that go into it and it can be hard to balance to create the right content for the right audience. Beamer relies 100% on content marketing – we’ve been at it for quite some time and have seen great success.
We want to share a quick guide on our best practices for SaaS content marketing:
Step 1: Figure out who they are and what they are looking for:
The basis for any content marketing strategy should be to determine not just your target industries or companies but exactly the person you want to read your content. Then determine where they are online. This is especially important for SaaS because there are potentially so many different uses and gate keepers but you want your content to be specific and relevant to your readers.
A persona is taking your target industry, target companies, and looking at specific profiles of the individuals you would be talking to in order to sell your product through content marketing – that’s your reader. For Saas companies, there can be many, many personas. You want to prioritize and choose the most relevant, potentially lucrative ones. To come up with your personas, what you’ll want to do is :
- Identify your target industries that your team believes get the most value from your product. For example, with Beamer, we decided that SaaS companies, blogging/content sites, and eCommerce companies are great target industries for us.
- Select companies that you would want to target and then from there determine the roles within the companies that would most likely be making the decision around your product or find value in your product for their tasks specifically. It often helps to look at real individual companies to better understand who you are selling to.
- From here, you want to break down their demographics and the more “soft” details about them. For example, what are their ages, what is their experience level, what are their biggest goals at work, etc.
- Determine how they make decisions and what they need from you to do so: this is one that is often missed in content creation. To create content that converts, you need to give the gatekeepers the information they need in order to either make that decision themselves to sign up for your product or take the conversation internally with others and get the ball rolling. The more you support that, the more likely your content is to convert. Rarely in SaaS do people land on a blog and immediately sign up – there’s usually a bit more that goes into it.
Once you have you personas decided on, you have a better foundation for creating content that engages and converts.
From your personas, it’s time to find out what they are looking for online and where. It takes both a bit of creativity and technical research. Let’s start with the creativity part. From your personas, you want to really try to understand their top pain points and questions and determine what are some of the terms and phrases they may search around those. From there, you can put these phrases and words into Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to learn more about their traffic, relevance, competition, and other keywords related you can use as well. Some key things to look for when identifying viable keywords are search volume and competition. Putting this all in an a sheet organized by persona helps to then take this and turn it into content topics.
Step 2: Set the tone for success:
One of the hardest things about content marketing is writing in a way that is relevant and engaging for multiple audiences. You want to set a tone early on using what you know about personas, their purchasing process, their pain points, and industry.
Creative titles that make you think “that’s what I need”:
Titles are hugely impactful. You need to create titles that hit the nail right on the head in terms of what your target personas are looking for in their search. It also needs to be irresistibly engaging; you’re trying to get them to open one search result or post out of many. There are some great examples of strong blog titles on Medium. You can also use a tool like Headline Analyzer to help steer you in the right direction and point out some areas for improvement. As a general rule of thumb, you want to include the keyword you are focused on in your blog in the title of the blog for SEO purposes. You can still do this creatively! An easy test is asking yourself and team if this was sent to you in an email, if you would open it.
Since you are writing for industry specific personas, it’s important to tailor language to your audience. Using industry jargon and terms where you can help match their thought process and helps you stay authoritative. For example, if you’re writing a blog about eCommerce, you may use the terms “customers” or “shoppers” but for a blog on SaaS, you will say “users” because those are the terms used in those industries. Can you imagine “shoppers” used in a SaaS blog? No, it doesn’t work.
Write to solve problems and answer questions:
Really the simplest approach to having the right content topics and tone when you’re first starting off to is to simply address your target personas’ biggest problems and questions as simple answers with simple language they understand. If someone has a pain point or a question, they are going to be doing their research and if you pop up with a simple, organized blog covering a valuable answer it’s going to win you points.
Step 3: Position your product as the solution:
Once you’ve engaged your audience, at one point or another, you need to introduce your product. How do you do that without sounding excessively sales-y and lose them? That’s the trick: authenticity.
Tell a little bit about yourself:
A great way to incorporate a little authenticity and transparency while introducing your product/company is by sharing a little bit about your company and team. We do this every so often. We already did in this article above. Mentioning what you team does, a struggle, a win, etc. as an example not only introduces your company to someone who may just be looking for the answer to a question but also makes your company more relatable.
Use CTAs responsibly and well:
CTA overload and CTAs too early are what make you look sales-y. Be conservative and intentional with CTAs. Make it make sense. You shouldn’t be talking about something totally unrelated and then suddenly announce your product and a free trial. That is a nightmare. Similarly, for your blog pages, it’s really not great to have offer pop ups too early as well. If someone is skimming through your blog and is suddenly distracted by an annoying sales popup for a product they didn’t even realize they were looking at, it doesn’t bode well. It’s best to incorporate CTAs as an integral part of your text. For example, if you’re talking about sending targeted emails as part of a marketing strategy, give your product as a potential way to do that or mention a feature you offer that supports the task you’re specifically talking about.
Example from coschedule.com
At the end of your blog, it’s more acceptable to add a blatant CTA and here it’s also good to share an offer as well. This can be a free trial, a credit, a discount, etc. Adding a little bit more to sweeten the deal is likely to help you increase conversions on that CTA link which is always worth it. If you got them this far, that’s a great sign.
Increase your engagement and chances to convert by offering more content and more for readers to explore. You don’t want to leave them hanging at the end with nothing but a CTA link and the back button. Suggested blogs are a great way to keep people reading and moving through your site. The more time they spend on your page, the better it is for SEO and also it increases the chances that you convert. A great (and super easy) way to boost engagement and put more engaging content in front of your readers is Beamer.
Beamer is a discreet changelog that sits in your site interface and opens up when users click on a little icon or “What’s New” tab. This opens up the sidebar feed where you can share blog posts, guides, videos, new features, updates, company news, offers, etc. in a really visual way in one place. You can add photos, screenshots, GIFs, videos, etc. to your updates along with CTAs to keep people moving through your site. Sites using Beamer have seen 10x more engagement with content. You can also use Beamer to send push notifications to those who have opted in to bring them back when you post your next interesting article.
Step 4: Content Distribution
Distributing your content to the right audience is vital to attracting and driving long term, targeted traffic with your content – that’s the point!
Social media is not just for eCommerce and B2C brands. There is a huge opportunity to reach target customers and grow influence across multiple social networks. Of course, LinkedIn is a big focus for sharing B2B content. The key to LinkedIn success is informative, timely content that is shared consistently. Taking your blogs and repurposing them into short posts, infographics, quotes, etc. are some ways you can create consistent content and drive traffic back to your blogs. Other platforms you can share micro content on are Twitter and Instagram depending on your target market.
Forums, groups, and niche blogs and sites:
To reach target customers, there are plenty of corners on the internet focused on specific topics where you can share your content. Forums on sites like Reddit and Y-combinator give you an opportunity to share links to your blog to specific audiences most likely to be interested. Additionally, you can submit your content to niche blogs and sites to help drive traffic and backlinks.
Indexing and hashtags:
In order to help your content reach the right audience, using different methods to improve targeting and visibility are necessary. On social media, using proper hashtags each time you share your content really helps. To find the right hashtags, use a tool like Ritetag to narrow down what is trending. Use meta descriptions and tags on your content on your website to make sure your content is indexed properly on search results.
In closing, the best position to take in content marketing is to really be of value to your target reader. When you provide value consistently through your content, they will seek more from you and trust you as an authoritative source for both your content and a product. Boost on-site engagement by 10x with Beamer. Try it out.