SaaS companies face unique challenges when it comes to content marketing strategy. Though customer retention is critical across industries, SaaS depends on the recurring revenue of active users. For that reason, the buyer’s journey looks a little different than others, and there’s a greater focus placed on turning your active users into loyal advocates for the brand.
In this post, I’ll cover tips for creating content for SaaS brands and how to maximize the value of the content you produce:
1. Establish Clear Buyer Personas
For SaaS companies, the retention of existing users is even more important than acquiring new customers. Once a customer signs on, businesses need to showcase the value of their software ongoing – not just with the use case that got them in the door, but with the sort of value it brings months or even years down the line.
Understanding the pain points along the various stages of the buyer’s journey, from awareness to advocacy, is the first stage of the content creation process, and something every company that wants to be profitable should be aware of:
- What are the issues that lead someone to start researching technology in the first place?
- What challenges will they face once they start to evaluate different vendors?
- What about months down the line: Does your tech bring enough value to make it through the reevaluation phase one year after signing on?
Your content strategy needs to address these specific challenges and deliver it to relevant audiences at the right time, through the right channels. Which leads me to my next point:
2. Create Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
From blog posts and infographics to eBooks and case studies, be sure to create content that supports the buyer’s journey through each phase. Let’s use information security as an industry example to explore keyword research and content ideas:
Potential users in the awareness phase are just starting out their research. They’ll likely be looking for answers to questions as broad as:
- Why is cybersecurity important?
- What are the benefits of having a dedicated infosec vendor?
- What are the risks associated with not having an infosec vendor?
- What level of security do I need?
This is where blog content and infographics great; they allow you to address more general concerns and challenges associated with your product suite without being overly sales-y or getting too into the weeds.
Take advantage of keyword tools like Keyword Planner or SEMRush to find queries related to your industry, or just take a look at Google search results. The “People also ask” and “Searches related to…” sections provide great topic ideas to reach those just starting out on their journey.
For users coming into the awareness phase with a little more knowledge about the industry and vendors in the space, case studies are key to show how your product contributes to revenue, efficiency and more.
Actionable gated content is also important to this phase of the journey. Higher value assets like eBooks and webinars allow you to start the lead nurturing process that will ideally lead to a sale. Consider crafting industry-specific guides (i.e., how to choose the right infosec vendor for healthcare) or hosting webinars with a trusted industry leader.
During the decision phase, potential users transition from general information gathering to figuring out the nuts and bolts: vendor comparisons, product data sheets, and pricing information.
What makes your technology stand out among the competition; what are your specific value props? Not all of this information should be gated, but make sure there’s visibility into how users are navigating through the site so sales reps can follow up accordingly with more specific information.
For SaaS companies, customer retention is critical. How do you prove your value months or even years down the line from the initial sign-up? Though many may focus their strategy on content that gets people through the door or helps support the sale process, don’t forget about your existing customers.
Consider a specific section of your resource section meant for existing customers. Moz has the perfect example of this with a “help” section where you can troubleshoot common issues, find specific features, and manage account details like invoicing. Create content that encourages your users to truly become masters and advocates for your product.
- Interview long-standing customers and turn that into a blog series or a case study about how to maximize the value of your product in the long term.
- Keep a record of all software updates & documentation, including benefits and new features that have rolled out over time.
- Create a training section for your website where users can further their knowledge of your software’s capabilities.
- Consider a reward program for users that refer your software to other companies.
Another consideration for the retention and advocacy phase is content distribution. You don’t need to rely on search engines to serve the perfect content up to prospects – you already know how to contact them.
Use a monthly newsletter to explain recent software updates, share content that explores how to use your product in new ways, and encourage two-way communication between the company and users. Your existing users likely have feedback and/or ideas about how to make the technology better – take advantage of this!
3. Repurpose Content Across Channels
Just because you spent time interviewing a subject matter expert and decided to write a blog post with it doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into an eBook down the line – in fact, it might extend the value you’ve seen. Quality content is key to success, and chances are your team is putting in a lot of effort into the creation process. Take advantage of the various distribution channels and content types at your disposal:
- Use an email newsletter to share the latest blog content; include a transcription for users on the go who would prefer to listen vs. read
- Turn that in-depth blog post into an eBook and a slide share
- Transcribe a webinar and post it on the blog
- Share content on social media and tag influencers who may be interested in reposting
4. Revisit and Optimize Existing Content
SaaS companies should be agile; technology is continuously evolving and improving. However, this opens the potential that content can become outdated, even fairly quickly. With all companies, it’s smart to audit legacy content to determine if anything needs to be removed or refreshed based on new functionalities or features – but it’s especially true for SaaS.
Not only does this process have the potential to improve organic visibility, but it also ensures your brand messaging is consistent and accurate. In a recent post, I highlighted the steps of reviewing and refreshing content.
Review content performance first, identify anything that’s underperforming and determine whether the content is still valuable. If, for instance, the post has good meat but is talking about an outdated version of the software it’s worth revisiting, adding in new features and functionality, and updating the date of publishing.
What other tips do you have for creating a successful SaaS content marketing strategy? We’d love to hear your ideas – Connect with us on Twitter!