Congratulations! You've finally got the ball rolling on your brand SaaS company, and now it's time to generate customers. As you've probably already discovered, they don't just find your website. You have to create something to attract them to your website.
That something is content.
The problem is that while 94 percent of B2B brands are using content, only about 57 percent of those brands claim that content marketing is, at best, only somewhat effective.
The reason why most companies fail is that they don't have a solid system or process that they can easily distribute across the company. And quite frankly, most of their content isn't high quality.
Are your blog posts under 400 words? Did you miss a weekly post once in the past month or two? Do you actually view the search results on Google for your keywords before writing the post?
These are all red flags that your SaaS content marketing strategy isn't going to work.
Unlike other tactics, creating "pretty good" content doesn't get you "pretty good" results. Instead, only the top percentage of content marketers get the lion's share of traffic.
The good news is that if you implement everything we're about to jump into, you will have an automated strategy that will propel you into the top percentile that receives the lion's share of the traffic.
Create Content Goals
Before you start your content strategy, create clear goals. What do you want out of this? If it's for vanity reasons ("I want the biggest following"), your content marketing efforts will fail.
This is because a large following does not necessarily equate to more business. If you're attracting the wrong audience, you won't get any business.
So what can you do?
First, create a clear persona of your target audience. Think about how you can use content as a tool to position your brand as the antidote to their pain points, driving them to the point of sale. This is going to help you stay focused on writing to that specific individual when you're actually creating content.
The next step is to write down what action you want your reader to take after they read the article. Obviously, you want them to buy from you, but write down just the first step in the buying journey after they've read your blog post. Is it getting them to pick up the phone? Is it getting them to schedule a demo? Is it just getting them onto your email list?
Write down the specific goal. This is your North Star, and you should always refer back to your goal before creating any content.
Create a Content Calendar
Once you've created some goals, it's time to create a clear calendar.
About 70 percent of marketers don't have a consistent strategy, so this is the step that solves that problem.
Set a frequency that you can reasonably keep up with. Posting once a week is ideal, but don't sacrifice quality for quantity. A few well-written posts are much more effective than a lot of posts with little depth.
If you're super scrappy, you can use Google Calendar to plan your posting schedule.
For WordPress users, you can (and should) schedule your posts to go live at the same time every week.
Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important parts of the content creation process. It's really easy to do correctly, but many people get tripped up by complex keyword research tools.
If you need some topic inspiration, start by searching industry forums. Your customer will tell you exactly what they want to know. For example, if I was about to write a post for SaaS, I could just hop on Quora and look at the related questions box.
Or, if you already have some ideas, you can jump into your favorite keyword research tool. I'll show you how you can do it with a tool called SpyFu.
Just type in your topic idea and look for related keyword ideas that have a meaningful amount of search volume.
Any keywords with a difficulty over 20 will be difficult for a new website to rank for. So you may have to sacrifice some volume for keywords with a lower difficulty score. That's just fine. Even if your new piece of content only gets 10 visits per month, it's better than trying to rank an article for a difficult keyword that will get zero visits per month.
Be sure to also include other relevant question phrases and related keywords. For example, if you chose "SEO for SaaS" as your main keyword, make sure to add that to your title, but also sprinkle in the related terms like "SEO for SaaS Companies" and "SEO Strategy for SaaS", "SaaS Marketing SEO", wherever they are relevant in your article.
The best part about keyword research tools is that they often show you how many links you will need to your website to rank for a keyword.
If you think it's unrealistic for you to acquire that many links, you might want to consider a different keyword. (If you're wondering what links are, it's basically when one website "refers" their readers to you by putting a link to your website in their content. Google loves links and you can read more about them here.)
Perform SERP Analysis
Now that you've done some keyword research and understand which keywords you are likely able to rank for, it's time to perform SERP analysis. SERP analysis is literally just Googling the keyword and looking through some of the current content available.
Click into the pieces that already exist and ask yourself the million-dollar question:
How will my content provide unique value that these posts don't?
The problem with most content is that it repeats what the other content already says. While it's fine to have some overlap, there should be a unique reason why people would want to read your piece versus your competitor's piece.
So how can you make sure that you're providing unique value?
Including unique case studies and research into your piece will certainly help.
For example, if I was writing a piece on saving money on gas, I would do SERP analysis and read this article below. One of their tips is to fill up only when you're almost empty. If I wanted to include that tip in my article, I could, but I would have to create some kind of unique value.
In this instance, I could make my argument stronger by presenting a case study of how I saved x dollars in one month where I only filled up when I had a quarter tank of gas versus another month when I filled up every time I was at a half tank.
I might also include a few helpful tips on what time of day I found it the least crowded at the gas station, decreasing my time spent there.
See how creating a tangible example would make my copy much more compelling and provide unique value to the reader? It would also help you naturally increase the length of your posts, and you definitely want to be in the same ballpark as the competitors on word count. (So do check the word count of the top-ranking pieces in the SERPs!)
Another thing you can look at is user experience. Your paragraphs should be really easy to read and you should be able to understand the gist of the post just by skimming through it. Including screenshots, designs, and images that help break up the text are also incredibly useful. If you want to make your own designs for free you can use Canva.
Invest in Quality Writers
Now it's time to actually start writing your content. This is where a lot of content marketers get stuck. If you're not going to be writing the content yourself, invest in quality writers.
There are a number of services like Upwork that allow you to hire freelancers, though many find that the quality level isn't very high. Posting a job on a higher level platform like Angel.co might be a better option. You might also reach out to individuals that you see guest posting on industry websites.
When selecting a writer, make sure that they have some experience in your field. The best way to test this is to have them do a test piece. Expect to pay them for the test piece as quality writers are in high demand and won't be impressed by doing work for free.
In the test piece, see how in-depth their writing is and see if they take the initiative to go above and beyond and include relevant examples, screenshots, statistics, and research.
This also gives you a good idea of how fast they can work and what their process looks like.
If you get the piece back and love it, be prepared to pay. Good writers don't come cheap, but they are the heart and soul of your content strategy.
Make The Most of Your Content and Repurpose
Finally, be sure that you are repurposing your content.
You wouldn't buy a car, drive it off the lot and be done with it. The same goes for your content.
Break it up into social posts and use quotes from it on Twitter. You may even choose to shoot a quick video talking about the gist of the subject.
If you completed a huge guide, you may choose to run paid ads to the piece. Olay actually did a case study that proved that running ads to a piece of content is more profitable than running ads to a product page.
Their first ad to a product page looked like this:
And the after ad to the piece of content looked like this:
The result was an 87 percent increase in click-throughs to the content piece and a 100 percent increase in conversions once they landed on the content.
Think about how you can be creative with your content.
Once your content has existed on your website for say, six months, another great way to take advantage of your content is to update old pieces that performed really well and have begun to decay. This will drastically increase the ROI of your content.
If you follow this guide, you will be more prepared than 90 percent of other SaaS companies. Getting started is the hardest part. You'll make mistakes along the way, but if you trust in the process and stick with it, you'll see results in about 6-18 months.
Yes, that's a long time, but the beauty of content is that its value continues to compound. So even if your pieces are initially underperforming, they will automatically rise as your authority and audience grow. So just get started and embrace this process.