If you’re reading this guide, chances are you don’t need us to convince you what content marketing can do for your SaaS company’s sales performance.
It’s more likely that you need some guidance or inspiration in rejuvenating a strategy that’s not delivering the results you’re after.
Because – make no mistake about it – content marketing can deliver results. Sustainably. And at a cost that’s significantly lower than many other digital marketing channels.
But (and here’s the kicker) you have to keep working at it. You constantly need to assess, tweak, reassess, and retweak your approach. You’ll keep doing that until it starts delivering the return your SaaS company deserves.
If you find yourself in the middle of such an assessment phase and you’re looking for a helping hand in coming up with a new approach, keep reading. We’ve got you.
Here are six tactics to help boost the performance of your SaaS website’s content marketing campaign.
Diversify Your Content Format
Offering your content in different formats is a terrific way to keep your audience engaged, promote virality, and open up new traffic avenues.
If your content team has already gone through the effort of researching and writing about a particular topic, they’ll likely be able to put together a decent infographic, podcast interview, or video presentation on it.
Obviously, the production costs for these three formats are somewhat steeper than a traditional text-only blog post, but the benefits certainly justify the expense.
Let’s discuss three of the most common “alternative” content formats.
55% of a page’s visitors will spend less than 15 seconds reading the text on that page.
That’s right, more than half of your site’s visitors are likely to miss out on information you want them to see and retain.
How can we expect our blogs to generate and nurture leads when so few people are engaging with the finer points of our content?
The answer is to offer them information in a format that they’ll process faster and retain for longer.
- Flamingo uses an infographic to summarize the key information in a complex post on the challenges of managing a team of remote workers.
- Folderit’s terrific post on how SaaS works consists entirely of a beautifully designed infographic.
Image Credit: helloflamingo.com
The benefits of video content go far beyond offering a format that’s more engaging than text. Video excels as a mechanism for generating traffic.
Your readers are far more likely to share video content than a conventional blog post. And sites with video content generate 41% more organic traffic than those without.
- Bench supplements a long, detailed post on PPP loan forgiveness with an excellent video on how self-employed individuals can calculate their PPP amounts.
In addition to presenting your content in a format that’ll resonate with a large segment of your target audience, podcasts also increase your brand’s visibility.
A well-produced podcast is relatively easy to get published on high-profile platforms like Spotify, Apple, and Google. These platforms each have their own search and recommendation engines. And that means additional avenues where prospective customers can find out about your product.
Ad Badger’s blog is heavily populated with podcast episodes. Each covers a topic unique to their niche and appears on six external platforms.
Address Relevant Pain Points
Your leads want to read about topics that make their lives easier. They want to learn about things that will bring them closer to success and make failure less likely.
Always remember this when developing your content strategy. Ask yourself if your content addresses relevant, real-world pain points that your target audience struggles with.
Coming up with these topics shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. If you run out of ideas, there’s nothing stopping you from reaching out to your existing customer base or newsletter subscribers and asking them what their operational challenges are.
Creating content that solves problems generates immense goodwill towards your brand. It also motivates visitors to explore more of your content or enter your marketing funnel by subscribing to your newsletter.
Ultimately, great content that adds exceptional value to a visitor’s life makes nurturing easier and increases the chances of conversion.
- Branch provides its audience of startup founders with a list of mobile app retention strategies.
- Bamboo HR discusses the pros and cons of part and full-time employees.
- HelloSign gets back to basics, giving their readers three excellent pointers on sales enablement.
What each of these content pieces has in common, aside from the relevance of their topics, is that they’re meaningful to the publisher’s target audience.
Each one of these blogs knows exactly who they’re talking to. They know what problems their leads are experiencing, and they’ve poured plenty of thought into possible solutions.
This thoughtful approach is vital if you intend to deliver real value to your prospective customers.
Tell Your Customers’ Stories
What used to be called “case studies” are making a comeback as highly accessible content pieces that tell engaging customer engagement stories.
These customer stories are, essentially, a method of providing social proof in a narrative format. They create immense credibility for your brand because they “humanize” your product.
By sketching “before” and “after” impressions of your customer’s world and telling the story of what happened in between these states, readers get an extremely accurate view of how your product works in the real world.
A case study, when done right, is also a relatable, real-world expression of your value propositions. It’s one thing to say that your product reduces customer churn by 11%, but it’s another thing entirely to tell a true, compelling story of how you made this happen for one of your customers.
- Bitly tells the story of how one of their features increased a customer’s conversion rate by 106%. The case study is published as an easy-to-read, two-page PDF document.
- Gong’s story of how a customer increased their average contract value by 62% is beautifully told with candid client quotes, engaging imagery, and fascinating visualized data.
Create New Knowledge
As we’ve discussed before in this article, great content boosts your reputation as well as helping you nurture and convert leads.
But truly exceptional content can also impact your site’s capacity for generating traffic.
When you publish your own unique research, you’re creating a digital hook for your website. In other words, it’s a reason for peers and thought leaders to mention you in their blogs or on social media.
Backlinks are great for your search visibility, while earned media, like social mentions, is an extremely valuable source of non-organic traffic.
But what is “new knowledge” in this context? And how does a marketing team go about creating it? Let’s take a look at two examples.
One person’s opinion isn’t new knowledge. But data on a hundred people’s opinions on the same topic? Now, that’s gold.
With a bit of effort, the thoughts, needs, and feelings of regular folk can be harvested to create extremely valuable knowledge that many content marketers will be eager to reference.
- Pleo reached out to their customer base to create and publish an incredibly useful post on the future of accountancy.
The Pleo post is packed with statistics reflecting the expectations of a large group of professionals. The number of people involved in the survey, combined with how well the data is parsed and presented, makes it prime reference material for writers and researchers.
Expert roundups allow content marketers to kill two birds with one stone, albeit a stone that takes quite a bit of time to pick up and load into a slingshot.
In these posts, brands ask a group of subject matter experts to give their opinions on a very specific question. Answers are usually sourced over a length of time. The experts offer incentives like a bio, a link to one of their social media profiles, or a backlink to a content piece on their blog.
Experts roundups are engaging, easy to read, and usually shine a spotlight on a very compelling topic. They’re also a great mechanism for earning social media mentions since most of the experts will be keen to broadcast their involvement in the post.
- Rankwatch’s post on the future of SEO poses four extremely interesting questions to 26 bonafide experts in the field.
Aside from the respondents’ fascinating insight into the topic, this roundup post works because it’s beautifully designed and offers readers a genuinely novel way of interacting with the content.
Don’t Be Afraid to Shine a Spotlight on Your Product
While this is more of a guideline than a rule, most content marketers choose not to use their channel to make hard sells.
Typically, content exists not to pitch a product’s features and value propositions. Nor does it talk about subscription plans or inundate readers with conversion triggers and other calls to action.
But this doesn’t mean that your blog should ignore your product altogether.
Slipping in the odd post that shines a favorable light on your company and its achievements is a great way to nudge warm leads towards conversion. However, you want to make sure you do this tastefully and don’t entirely ignore the reader’s need to engage with something that interests them.
- Mozart Data’s post on successfully securing seed funding from a reputable group of investors does a great job of building credibility for the brand. It’s also short, to the point, and doesn’t come across as self-congratulatory.
- Optimal Workshop uses their blog as a knowledge base of sorts, interspersing their usual content with the odd deep-dive into their product’s technical features.
- Spores treats their homepage as a content piece, packing it with information about their product, roadmap, and strategic partnerships.
Image Credit: mozartdata.com
Focus on Getting Eyeballs on Your Content
Traffic doesn’t just magically happen. Your investment in creating insightful, provocative, relevant content needs to match the investment into making that content more visible.
Fortunately, when it comes to generating traffic for your SaaS product’s blog, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Over the years, a number of approaches have proven successful in this space.
- Keyword research. Keywords are what tie your content to a Google user’s needs. Familiarize yourself with this process and carve it into your content strategy.
- Understand search intent. People use Google with different intentions. It’s vital that you formulate your content to cater to one of these intents. In most cases, a SaaS product’s blog attracts informational searches.
- Promote your content on social media. Broadcast new blog posts on every single social network you’re active on. Incentivize your followers to start conversations about these posts. Ask questions. Respond to comments. Be provocative and stimulate engagement.
- Don’t be afraid to pay for promotion. If you’ve invested in a prestigious piece of content, consider using paid promotion on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Cost-per-click rates on these platforms are manageable, and advertisers aren’t locked into risky, long-term contracts.
Some Final Thoughts
Success with content marketing doesn’t just happen. You have to work for it. And you have to be patient.
With other marketing channels, you can often enjoy the fruits of your labor almost instantly. A PPC campaign, for instance, offers the (virtually) immediate satisfaction of knowing your efforts had rewards.
Sadly, this isn’t the case with content marketing.
What this channel does offer, however, is unparalleled scalability. Creating a blog post is a comparatively inexpensive investment. And when that post starts ranking on Google, the return you’ll see on this investment will be astonishing.
If you pour thought and effort into creating content that captivates your audience, you’re building a warehouse of assets that will never stop working for you.
Bear this in mind during the early stages of your content marketing journey. Don’t get demotivated. Strategize smartly. Stick to your plans.
The rewards are just around the corner.
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.
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