Content Marketing for SaaS Companies – Let’s get it right

Cool, your Software as a Service (SaaS) is growing! You have applied all kinds of marketing tactics.

SaaS content marketing is the next step.

And it's an important step. The driver behind making your SaaS stand out in an ocean of similar SaaS companies. Powerful content won't just help you outperform your competition, but it will also keep the social engagement going, be the success factor in paid digital marketing campaigns and the number 1 way you will educate your ideal customers.  

I wrote an article about why you should hire a content creator first. Check it out here.

Now the question is, how do you effectively use content marketing for your SaaS product? It's tricky. The content strategy for a SaaS company differs greatly from the content strategy of other businesses.

At Orion we've helped dozens of SaaS companies with scaling their content to the right audiences. Although we haven't created the content ourselves, we've picked up on what makes SaaS content marketing unique and challenging.

What makes SaaS content marketing different?

But is content marketing for SaaS really that different? Yes! It takes a completely different way of thinking for your marketing activities to succeed.

In this article, I will help you set up your content strategy for your SaaS product.

Funnel mapping

Software as a Service is usually subscription-based. In contrast to traditional products and webshops, it's vital to retain your customers.

The funnel, therefore, looks different for SaaS products. The following points should be the main focus of your content strategy.

  • Lead generation: Make sure you convert your ideal customers into leads. Own your own data & use premium (high-value, low salesy) content.
  • Sales: Make sure that the content helps to upsell your free-trials
  • Retention: Make sure that your paying customers continue to use your tool and therefore continue to pay.
  • Sales Cycle: Acknowledge that each phase of your buyer journey requires different content
  • Invest in quality: Have your content written and produced by professionals.

Where can you make the most profit?

In 'regular' content marketing for traditional products and services, the focus of the content is on the acquisition.

This appears to be different from SaaS products. SaaS has the most profit in step 2: Monetization, or converting trials to paying customers.

With these insights, it helps to create special content for this specific step. This should be educational content in which the extra benefits of a paid account of your SaaS become clear.

Nevertheless, content marketers of SaaS startups are mainly concerned with content for the first phase: Lead generation.

3 examples of brilliant content for SaaS companies

Content marketing is extremely popular among SaaS companies. Still, it is not easy to have your content perfectly match your target group and stand out.

We've listed a number of successful cases for inspiration.

HubSpot

One of the best-known examples when it comes to content marketing. They do just about everything and they do it RIGHT!

What you will find on their website:

  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • Courses
  • Publications of (annual) surveys
  • Social media promotion
  • And countless other resources

Once downloaded - you also have to provide a lot of information about yourself and your company. Why do they do this?

Personalized Marketing Automation

Initially, you will receive a warm welcome email, after which the emails will become increasingly informative and sales-like.

Neil Patel

The KissMetrics blog (now merged with Neil Patel's website) is known for its extremely high-quality content including blogs and webinars.

Neil is an ex-Google employee and is an authority in the marketing world.

On neilpatel.com you will find a super-strong blog about marketing, conversion optimization, online growth, etc.

You will clearly find the blogs here as an acquisition tool (lead generation) and subsequently, the webinars and the learning centre are then used to ensure sales.

Moz

And last, but most certainly not least, you can't talk about SaaS content marketing if you haven't mentioned Moz.

The blogs are extremely valuable and very in-depth. No superficial open doors, but concrete tips at an expert level.

What is striking is the large number of experts who like to write guest blogs for Moz. These heavyweights provide useful insights and share cases that even the seasoned marketer can learn from.

In addition, they have clear beginner guides where you are trained,  step by step in the world of SEO or content marketing.

Tips for SaaS content marketing

1. SEO for SaaS is very important

The orientation phase is usually long and intensive for the target groups. Potential users google software solutions and then compare. Therefore, do extensive keyword research to see where the opportunities lie.

Brainstorm on which keywords you would like to be visible on. Think about which words potential customers Google when looking for your solution. Also, consider synonyms.

Map search volumes and competition. This can be done, for example, with the help of the Google Ads Keyword Planner. (Action item: create a top 10 keywords list)

Manually analyze your competition for the top 10 keywords. What are they doing well? Why do you think they are on page 1? What can you do better?

Cluster keywords per subject and create specific pages and blogs for this.

2. Multiple touchpoints

Because potential customers will intensively compare SaaS products, it is important that you create multiple touchpoints.

Make sure you have an edge over the competition because the visitor has seen your brand and product a few times before via other channels.

An example of a well-filled marketing funnel with multiple touchpoints:

  • An SEO blog that explains the problem and offers multiple solutions through useful information and use cases.
  • Retargeting on social media.
  • Be named in an overview blog (more on this later).
  • Google search ad aimed at your competitor's keyword.

3. Out-of-the-box content

Look beyond just blogs. You see that large parties such as HubSpot use all kinds of content to fill the whole funnel. They offer courses, webinars, and downloads to bring you in.

An example of creative content is a quiz or a calculator. One of the best tools for this is Outgrow or Interact.

4. Free trials & freemium model

Free Trials - SaaS can not do without a free version to try temporarily. With a free trial, you have the option to test the entire tool with all its functionalities for a limited duration - usually 14 or sometimes 30 days.

A freemium model can be a good alternative. You can then use limited functionalities for an unlimited time. If you want all the features you will have to purchase a paid account.

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but clearly offer this free option throughout your content marketing.

5. Guest blogs and overviews

I found myself putting a lot of perceived value a SaaS brings by reading overview blogs that give their top X tools with a particular function.

Many of these blogs are sponsored or work on an affiliate basis, which makes you wonder if their opinion is objective.

However, as a marketer, I acknowledge that a SaaS tool that puts a lot of effort into their marketing is ready for growth and that usually also says something about the status and quality of the product itself.

Consciously, but sometimes also unconsciously: the more often I read positive reactions from bloggers, the better.

Conclusion

Content marketing for SaaS is in many ways different from the one-off sale of products or services.

In the different phases of the customer journey, you need different forms of content.

And even if you have convinced a customer of your product and you finally receive the first payments, the battle is not over yet.

You have to keep the customer! So continue to offer added value by producing super valuable content in every phase of your buyer journey. And yes. Do create content that is for people who are already paid users of your SaaS because retention is very important.


Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.