The essential guide to content marketing for SaaS & tech companies
If you're a SaaS company operating in the highly competitive tech industries, it’s time to take your content marketing seriously. Because if you're not creating valuable content people want to read and share, you're missing countless opportunities to promote your brand and increase sales.
Content marketing is key for technology and SaaS companies, big and small.
The following guide walks you through planning and implementing content marketing for SaaS and tech businesses. From developing a strategy to creating engaging content, to PPC vs content marketing, it covers everything you need to know.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on creating, publishing, and promoting content for a target audience and potential customers. Content marketing doesn't explicitly sell products or services. Instead, it raises brand awareness, establishes trust and credibility, and builds an audience.
Effective content marketing is about encouraging people to 'buy' into your vision and values as a company, rather than your products or service - that comes later!
Why you should invest in content marketing
Every major company uses some form of content marketing to elevate their brand. And it's one of the most cost-efficient marketing strategies for smaller firms and tech start-ups running on tighter budgets.
So whether you're a big or small business, you must invest in a content marketing strategy. You can't afford not to.
● 93% of B2B content marketing professionals use content marketing, and 75% produce or commission one piece of content everyday.
● Annual growth in organic site traffic is 7x higher for firms with a dedicated content strategy.
● 61% of buying decisions are influenced by online content, including blog posts and case studies.
● 60% of the most effective B2C marketers have a clear content marketing strategy.
● 69% of marketers say content marketing is now more effective than direct mail.
● 72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than ads in magazines and print media.
● Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 33% more leads.
● Conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for the early content marketing adopters.
How to write your content marketing strategy
A content marketing funnel is a visual map of the journey customers go through when engaging with content. It's a proven tool for writing effective content market strategies.
There are 3 stages of the content funnel.
TOFU (top of the funnel): Content that attracts attention.
MOFU (middle of the funnel): Content for generating leads
BOFU (bottom of the funnel): Content that drives payments
At each stage, the user's intent is different. The goal is to create content that guides customers through each step, including the last - and most crucial step, the sale.
How to set content marketing objectives
What do you want your content marketing strategy to achieve? It's probably one of the following:
● Lead generation
● Increase revenue
● More subscribers
● Improved retention
● Customer loyalty
● Raising brand awareness
Whatever your goals, make them tangible and realistic. SMART goals are better than dumb goals. SMART goals are quantifiable and target-focused. They're:
When should you expect to see results?
As a general rule, it takes around six months to see the results of a successful B2C or B2B content marketing strategy.
How to measure results
You know you're doing something right when organic traffic increases and people like and backlink your content.
Other KPIs to keep a close eye on include bounce rate, number of leads, and, of course, revenue. They're fairly simple to track with tools like Google Analytics and Chartbeat.
But if you're short on time or want a deeper analysis, think about outsourcing to a specialist B2B SaaS and tech content marketing agency.
The best types of content marketing for SaaS & tech companies
Here are a few content marketing ideas to get you started.
Articles and blogs
Blogs posts covering industry news and long-form articles on industry topics are ideal ways to keep your audience engaged and show off your expertise.
Research papers and whitepapers
SaaS and tech professionals tend to be detail-oriented. They love research papers and whitepapers on the latest technologies or product specs. This is a tech blogger's permission to go into 'full-on' geek mode.
Guides and tips
When creating content for the general reader, stick to straight forward stuff like how-to guides and tips. Content like this is readable and can be quickly digested on a laptop or mobile device. Plus, it's the exact type of content most people search for, especially when they run into technical issues. There's a reason why 'just google it' is part of our daily vocabulary.
Podcasts and webinars
There are 19 million podcast listeners in the UK, and many consume at least one episode every day. Among the Zoomers (those born after the year 2000. Apologies if you now feel ancient!) podcasts are a primary source of news and information. A large percentage of Zoomers admit to buying products based on recommendations from a podcast.
Templates and worksheets
We love free stuff. Getting something for nothing triggers positive emotions and associations. It's even better if that stuff is useful.
Many companies post free worksheets, checklists, or templates on their sites. They range from email templates to simple to-do lists to more complex content, like a business plan outline.
Giving content (and expertise) away for free has a huge impact on how customers view a company. The generosity builds trust and familiarity. And it gets a foot in the door - or, rather, the email box. Customers are far more likely to respond to emails from companies that provide value without asking for payment first.
What types of content should you create?
Good content is value-driven; it speaks to your target audience directly. That means you need to find out who your customers are. Focus on these types of questions when creating customer profiles and buying personas.
● What's important to them?
● What are their values?
● What are their ambitions?
● What is their biggest problem or pain point?
● How old are they?
● What are their cultural reference touchpoints?
● What type of language do they use?
Keyword research campaigns will help you find the words and phrases your target audience searches for, giving clues to who they are and what they want. But the most useful information will come directly from your target demographic. So start hanging out at their 'watering holes.'
A watering hole is wherever your potential customers or clients gather for pleasure or work. It could be a website or a newsletter, a local or online networking group, a social media chat room, a yoga class, or an artisan coffee shop or craft beer bar.
Watering holes are where you'll pick up real information from real people. By hanging out at watering holes, a 'customer' becomes a person you're having a conversation with, no part of a crowd you are speaking to. And when your content connects with customers on this human level, they will start buying from you.
Choosing your distribution channels
You know what content you want to create, and you know who you want to create it for. But how are you going to get it to them?
The most widespread distribution method. Can reach a huge number of people directly. Excellent return on investment. A report from Hubspot found that successful email content campaigns return roughly £40 for every £1 invested.
Reach millions of customers. Ideal for creating fun, bite-sized content that establishes brand identity, entertains, and encourages people to engage and share.
Optimised keyword content pushes you up the search engines ranking, increasing your organic traffic and unique site visitors.
PPC, or pay-per-click
Another effective method for directing organic traffic to your site. PPC is a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. Cost-effective and results-driven. You only pay for the ads people engage with.
Increase your brand's online presence by guest posting, social media giveaways, a podcast series, free webinars, or influencer link-ups.
How to plan your resources and set a budget
Resources are often in short supply for tech companies trying to establish an online presence. But resist the temptation to cut corners when investing in an online marketing campaign. It’s short-sighted.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, "content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less." In other words, investing now can pay off big later.
Aaron Agius is an industry-leading content marketer who co-founded the award-winning global marketing agency Louder.Online. He advises allocating 25% to 30% of your marketing budget to content marketing goals.
Stick to the lower end of this range when starting out. Then increase spending once you figure out what works for your brand.
The best SaaS & tech company content marketing campaigns
Email marketing company MailChimp has got its SEO and content marketing on-point. Their free Marketing Library is packed with articles and how-to guides on starting, running, and marketing your business, as well as thought-provoking podcasts and films to inspire your inner entrepreneur.
Wistia is another expert tech marketing company. It recently launched its first podcast series, Talking Too Loud, which included several episodes covering the problems Wistia's in-house teams had to tackle when creating each show.
There were episodes on reaching and retargeting people, collecting emails from listeners, and using content marketing metrics to understand engagement. The episodes help customers get to know Wistia staff on a personal level and are also a how-to-guide for anyone interested in starting their own podcast. They blend entertaining and informing customers with raising Wistia's brand awareness and displaying the company's expertise. Wistia's podcasts are examples of content marketing at its finest!
SaaS content marketing experts
We are a B2B content marketing agency based in Manchester, we specialise in helping SaaS and tech companies come first on Google.
Our SEO experts (we've generate more than 1,000 1st page google ranks) will work alongside you to create optimised content that outranks your competition, increases traffic, and generates more leads.
Book a free discovery call today.