A Complete Guide To B2B SaaS Content Marketing
For some of the past years that SaaS products have existed, content marketing has been all the rage in SaaS. As many marketers say, “content is king” when it comes to promoting SaaS solutions.
In fact, Ziflow’s content marketing statistics say that 95% of B2B customers see content as a key factor for gaining their trust. If that doesn’t tell you the importance of content marketing for a B2B SaaS business, I don’t know what will.
The thing about content marketing is that it can be challenging and tedious, considering that virtually all of your competitors are doing it. Not to mention the big competitors that have much bigger overall marketing budgets than you do.
But the beauty of SaaS content marketing is that it levels the playing field in some areas. You can actually get ahead of them without much of a splurge.
Ready to learn all about it? Let’s dive right in.
What Is Content Marketing?
First, let’s define content marketing and its role in SaaS companies.
Content marketing is a strategy that allows you to generate awareness about your brand and products by creating… well… content. But more than that, it also involves curating and distributing these relevant content on blogs, video, audio, social media, and more.
These pieces of content are very useful for B2B customers because they offer some kind of information or solution without being too pushy. After all, B2B customers want to learn things at their own pace while naturally coming to a buying decision.
And I especially emphasize B2B customers here. These are businessmen and professionals.
Unlike B2C customers who generally look for leisure and convenience, B2B SaaS users go after streamline work processes. They ultimately look for a return on their investment.
That’s why they try to learn everything that they can. Not just on the products they are looking to buy, but also on general concepts on improving their businesses and jobs.
Content marketing provides all that.
With that being said, you should prioritize content marketing as a strategy for growing your B2B SaaS company. You just need to create the right kind of content that connects with your customers on an intellectual and, sometimes, emotional level.
Common B2B SaaS Content Marketing Channels
To successfully run B2B SaaS content marketing campaigns, you need to know which channels and media you can use.
There are a lot of possible choices. But some are more common than others. And these various channels speak best to different kinds of audiences.
Some of the most popular SaaS B2B SaaS content marketing channels and media include:
- Interactive tools
Let’s talk about them one by one.
For most SaaS users and businesses, content marketing is almost synonymous with posting blogs. That’s because it’s the most common form of content marketing.
And if you want your B2B SaaS customer to use your products the most effective way, you need to make sure that they know how to use them. Think of blogs as instructional material for B2B customers.
But content marketing is not just about giving your potential customers a rundown of your product. How about the readers who don’t know about you yet?
Remember that there are still people who haven’t heard of your brand. Keep in mind that they are hungry for information that would help them grow their businesses.
How are you going to reach them?
The answer? By providing content that would satisfy that “hunger”.
Your blog content doesn’t always have to be about your product. It can also be general concepts and guides on how to improve different business processes relevant to your niche. For example, you’re selling a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. You could post blog pieces on how to best segment your contacts or any similar topics.
One final note about blog posts: In the B2B space, blogs tend to be in long-form. This means that they could range from 2000 to 4000 words or even longer.
SaaS solutions and business concepts are complex topics to tackle. You can’t simply fit them into 700-1000 words.
Most of the time, to really give educational content to your readers, you would have to go into detail. That’s why these articles can get that long.
Any B2B marketing campaign will surely need some sort of visual content. It can be for your presentations, reports, or social media posts.
This is especially true if you’re looking to present B2B SaaS products to your target market. That’s why you need graphics that would catch and maintain their interest.
They should be able to attract their attention right away and lead them to the concept that you want to give. At the same time, they shouldn’t look like advertisements either.
To solve this, B2B SaaS marketers often create infographics. These are images that give their audiences information in a simple and visually stunning way.
You can use infographics alongside blogs. Sometimes, there are concepts that are just too difficult to explain in words or are better shown than explained.
And of course, we can’t deny that pictures simply give some extra flair to your articles.
More and more people are listening to podcasts nowadays. According to Pew Research Center, more than 40% of Americans older than 12 years old listen to podcasts every month.
You shouldn’t miss out on the chance to reach such a huge audience.
The B2B market can have a huge pool of avid podcast listeners. Businesses and professionals listen to podcasts that can help them hone their skills, grow their businesses, or just listen to thought leaders.
Just like blogs, your episodes don’t have to be just about your product. You can discuss different business strategies, share news in your industry, or talk about some trends.
You can even invite industry experts and thought leaders to guest in your podcast. Not only will it attract more people to follow you. It will also build trust and brand loyalty between you and your existing customers.
Blogs appeal to the sense of sight. Podcasts to the sense of hearing. Video content appeals to both.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content today. After all, it can be more mentally stimulating than stationary text or images.
Firstly, you can create video explainers and tutorials for your SaaS product. This would cater to your existing customers. And maybe those who are ready to buy but haven’t made up their mind yet.
However, just like blogs, your video content doesn’t always have to talk about your product either. Your videos can be educational. They can just talk about principles or guides that can help your customers grow their business.
Not only would those kinds of video content appeal to existing customers. They would also attract new ones.
Just like infographics, you can also add these videos to your blogs.
Let’s look at a real-life example. Vidyard provides video creation solutions. So naturally, they can really make nice videos for their content marketing strategy.
If you look at its blog site, you can find video guides that educate businesses on the potential of videos on marketing and sales campaigns.
But that’s not the only way they use videos. If you look at their blog posts, some of them are accompanied by engaging and informative videos.
You can also hold lectures, discussions, and Q&As for your content marketing efforts.
Again, your topics could either be about your product or general business principles. It would depend on the purpose of the webinar.
You can hold a webinar and host some sort of a general tutorial and coaching session. You can show your existing customers how they can maximize your SaaS solution.
If you have upcoming product updates, you can use your webinar to showcase your new features.
Your webinars could also talk about recent trends in your niche. If you have marketing automation software, you can talk about modern marketing trends. If you have a sales automation solution, you could talk about sales trends. And so on.
Just like in podcasts, you can also invite industry experts and influencers to speak on your webinars. It would be a great way to attract new people and introduce them to your brand.
Another great kind of content you can use is interactive tools like calculators and quizzes.
These are engaging types of content because they involve your readers’ input. In a way, the readers become a part of the content.
You can use interactive tools to show your B2B customers the potential of your SaaS solution.
For example, let’s say you offer a workflow automation solution. You can create and post a calculator that computes ROI by showing the savings in terms of man-hours and productivity.
Or if you have lead generation software. Results might vary depending on the user’s location, industry, and other factors. You could add a widget that shows your users how many qualified leads they can generate and score within a month.
Another interactive tool you can use is a questionnaire or quizzes. This type of interactive content can fulfill various purposes.
For one, you can gather information about your target market and audience. You can have a survey that asks them about their most pressing problems in the workplace.
Or you can have a questionnaire that helps your users find the tools they need. For example, you can have a quiz asking them their goals, how big their businesses are, and other questions.
At the end of it, the quiz widget could give them a recommendation on which of your subscription plans would best fit those needs.
Common Goals Of SaaS B2B Content Marketing
Before you start coming up with a content marketing strategy, you first need to know why you are doing it.
Sure, we all know the general goal of SaaS marketing, which is to acquire and retain customers. But content marketing can go beyond those reasons.
You can add these goals to your checklist:
- Educate your customers
- Foster your topical authority
- Promote your brand
- Build brand loyalty
- Generate more inbound leads
Like we’ve been discussing all throughout this blog post, your content doesn’t have to directly mention your product. You can just create content pieces that simply educate your customers and prospects.
As you create high-quality content that readers find helpful, you also build your topical authority. People will start seeing your brand as a credible source of content in your niche.
Consequently, being an authority in your content topics will also build trust in your brand. That trust in your brand can translate to trust in your products. That strong sense of trust in your product and brand will bring more leads and customers.
What’s more, being a topical authority in your niche will result in brand loyalty among your existing customers. If they are confident enough in your product, they will turn into advocates as well.
Soon enough, they will start bringing in referrals.
How To Run A B2B SaaS Content Marketing Campaign
Now that you have a clear idea of B2B SaaS content marketing, let’s go over the steps on how to run your very own B2B SaaS content marketing campaign.
- Know your target buyer persona
- Plan your content topics
- Produce high-quality content
- Make your content visible online
Let’s talk more about them in detail.
Know Your Target Buyer Persona
In B2B SaaS, you need to know who you are marketing to. You have your target market, target audience, and going as specific as your target buyer persona.
A B2B content marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all kind of marketing initiative. You need to be able to segment your target market in order for your strategy to work.
Traditionally, the target buyer personas for the B2B SaaS market have largely been the executives and decision-makers. But recently, more and more end-users have been involved in buying decisions.
More end-users now do their own research. They themselves find out which SaaS solutions can help them with their jobs.
After all, you wouldn’t talk to a CEO the same way you talk to an entry-level employee. They have different mindsets and views about their business and jobs.
So before you start creating any B2B content marketing plans and strategies, find out more about who you’re after in the first place.
Target buyer personas in a B2B environment can have diverse roles from being an end-user, or a supervisor, all the way up to the C-level positions.
Executives are generally concerned about the overall welfare of their companies. They want to know about principles and tools that can help them make more money and/or save more in expenses.
On the other hand, end-users are more concerned about productivity. They want to do their work more efficiently. So as you create your content marketing strategy, you and your marketing team need to be on the same page on which buyer personas you are reaching.
Plan Your Content Topics
Before you start creating B2B content, you need to know what topics you’re going to be covering.
Your content needs to reflect your brand and reflect your industry. And they need to be relevant to your B2B SaaS products.
But how do you know what topics to create content about?
You can’t just write about any topic that pops into your head. You need to make sure that these are the topics that your target audience wants to read about.
So how do you know what they want to learn about?
Two words: keyword research.
Keyword research gives you an idea of what topics your B2B SaaS customers and prospects are searching for online.
The easiest way to do keyword research is to start with the most popular B2B keywords related to your niche.
You can start by searching them on Google Ads’ Keyword Planner. It shows you different metrics about these keywords, such as search volume and keyword difficulty.
High search volumes mean that a lot of users are looking up those keywords on Google. However, you might want to watch out for the keyword difficulty as well. It indicates how hard it would be to rank for those keywords.
So naturally, those with the highest search volumes and lowest difficulty levels are the topics you want to start with.
Produce High-Quality Content
Once you know your target B2B SaaS buyer personas and the topics to cover, it’s time to produce B2B SaaS content.
High-quality B2B SaaS content.
Your content should be informative and educational. It should be something that captures and maintains their attention.
Remember that one of your goals is to foster your topical authority. So you need to have one of the most reliable for the topics you create content for. Make sure that all your facts are accurate and your recommendations are sound.
What’s more, you need to communicate your content in an engaging way.
Yes, you’re talking to businessmen and professionals, but that doesn’t mean you have to sound so uptight. You wouldn’t want to bore them into closing the tab.
Don’t go to the other extreme either. Don’t sound too casual. Find the sweet spot between professional and conversational tones.
You also need to make sure that your B2B content is visually appealing. For blogs. the text has to be readable.
One key thing you can do to make your articles readable is to keep your paragraphs short. Bulky paragraphs can be visually intimidating. So, as long as the thought still holds up, keep your paragraphs 2-3 sentences long.
Another thing you can do is to organize the structure of your articles. Make use of H2 and H3 subheadings to break them down into sections. That helps break up the monotony of blocks of text.
Don’t forget to mix and match your content media types too. Graphics and videos can be a breath of fresh air after paragraphs of text. Sometimes, they can more clearly communicate your point as well.
Having reliable and engaging content won’t just benefit your readers. It will also help you rank better on search engines.
Speaking of which…
Make Your Content Visible In Google Search
Even if you produce the best content piece out there, nobody will see it if it’s not visible on search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your page rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are a lot of things you can do for SEO, both on your content and on the technical side of things.
For the content, you need to make sure that you include your target keywords in your blog posts. But don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing can get penalized by Google.
You also need to add links to your text. These links can lead to other pages either on your website or a different one. This tells the search engines that these pages are related. It also shows that you indeed know what you are talking about.
Be careful of adding links, though. You need to include reliable sources. If you link out to spammy and low-quality sites, it will only hurt your SEO performance.
For technical SEO, you need to make sure that your website loads fast and is organized enough for Google to index. So make sure that your web pages files aren’t too bulky in file sizes. They also need to have an intuitive hierarchy within your domain.
There’s also something we call link building. This is getting other sites to add your links on their pages. Google considers this as a sign of confidence from them and therefore recognizes the authority of your website.
With the right SEO practices and strategy, you can make it to the top of the SERPs even without getting ads on Google searches.
Share Your Content On Social Media
Social media has been one of the most potent marketing channels not only for SaaS but for all types of businesses.
The beauty of it is that it can work hand in hand with your content marketing strategy. It can be your channel for getting your content pieces out there and making them more visible online.
If you’re going for a product-led growth model or other strategies that include getting viral, social media can be a great tool for that.
Just make sure that you are sharing content on the platform that would best reach your target buyer persona.
If you’re targeting end-users, you may want to focus on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If you’re targeting the decision-makers and executives, you may find them on LinkedIn or Medium.
Monitor Your SaaS Content Marketing Metrics
One of the most important things when it comes to any marketing strategy or campaign is to assess your performance.
And performance has to be measured with cold hard numbers. There should be no room for guesswork so that you would have the most accurate insights as to how you are doing.
Monitoring your content marketing metrics will help you pinpoint what aspects of your strategy works and what don’t. It will also help you improve your strategy and help you see how you stack up against your competitors.
Here are some metrics you should keep track of:
Site traffic: Let’s start with the most obvious. Site traffic is the number of visits you are getting on your web pages.
There are a lot of possible factors that can affect your traffic. It could be the quality of your content. It could be your SEO efforts. Or it could be your website’s ease of navigation.
That’s why you also need metrics that go into the specific details about your site traffic.
Average session duration: This is the length of time a visitor stays on your site. This is a good indicator of how much people are enjoying their visit to your website. Longer visits might mean you are doing something right with your content and interface.
Average time on a page: As the name suggests, it’s the average time that a visitor spends reading each of your pages. It’s also another indicator of how engaging your content is for them. This is a great metric for identifying what works for your readers. What do your highest-performing pages have in common? How will you implement that on the lowest-performing pages?
Backlinks: These are the inbound links you have when other sites are linking back to your website. They are sort of votes of confidence from these other sites.
A rising number of backlinks could indicate that you are producing high-quality content.
Still, keep in mind that content quality is not the only factor for the number of your backlinks. If you have link building and other SEO strategies in play, they may also have a big role in your inbound links.
Returning visitors: To again state the obvious, this is the number of people who visit your website more than once. Having a lot of returning visitors check out your site again and again means that you’ve been able to engage them well. You need to figure out what content they love so that you’ll be able to produce more of it in the future.
Depending on the types of content they’re viewing, these returning visitors may also represent the number of people who are ready to buy your product.
Bounce rate: This is a metric you wouldn’t want to see going up. It is the percentage of people who go to your page and leave immediately without going back.
A high bounce rate is a clear indicator that you have not been able to engage your readers well. It can happen for a lot of different reasons.
Maybe it’s slow-loading pages. Maybe it’s an eyesore in your interface. Maybe it’s poorly made content. Whatever it is, you need to find it and do something about it before your traffic takes a nosedive.
Final Thoughts On B2B SaaS Content Marketing
The B2B SaaS market is a lucrative one. But in order to reach them, you have to stand out from the rest.
B2B content marketing can help you do that. It can give your brand more exposure by giving them valuable information on what they are looking for.
It won’t happen overnight though. So be prepared to dedicate time and effort to developing B2B content pieces that will get noticed.
It also requires patience because you need to invest in lasting B2B relationships before seeing any returns. These may not come instantly either.
But if you’re willing to put in the hard work, it has the potential of helping your customers’ businesses grow exponentially.
If you do it right, content marketing will help you acquire new customers and retain them for a long time.
For more SaaS marketing strategies and guides, visit our blog here.