The Ultimate Content Marketing Checklist For
Did you know that 98% of all top-performing SaaS companies have blog sites?
That just goes to show how potent content marketing can be when it comes to promoting and growing a SaaS business.
But content marketing only works when it’s done right. You can’t just produce any old content piece and expect results.
There are certain steps that need to be followed in order to create content that will actually help grow your business.
So what do you need to do?
Check out this content marketing checklist for SaaS businesses:
1) Know Your Target Audience
Content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing—whatever digital marketing strategy you are running, you can’t do it effectively if you don’t know who you are selling to.
This is item number one on our content marketing checklist for a reason. You can’t create content that resonates with your audience if you don’t know who they are.
Think about who you are trying to reach with your content. What are their pain points? What kind of content do they consume and enjoy?
Here are some practical things you can do to learn what content your target audience wants:
Use Google Trends To Find Trending Topics
Google Trends is a great way to see what topics are being searched for the most in your industry.
The great thing about this tool is that you can filter your search results by location, time period, category, and which search option they’re using. This will give you a better idea of what content is resonating with your target audience.
Conduct A Survey
If you want to get really specific with your content, launching a survey among your customers or potential customers is a great way to do it.
Through the survey, you can directly ask what their pain points and desires are. You can even be straightforward and ask them what type of content they are looking for.
Check Out Your Competitors’ Content
Your competitors are likely targeting the same audience as you. So it’s worth taking a look at the content they’re putting out there to see what kind of content is resonating with your target audience.
You can use tools like Semrush’s Market Explorer or Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to find popular content in your industry. Just enter a competitor’s domain name and you’ll be able to see all the pieces of content that have performed well for them.
You would see specific numbers when it comes to the traffic and rankings for each piece of your competitor’s content.
This will give you a good idea of what content is most popular in your industry and help you come up with ideas for content that will perform well for your business, too.
Visit Forums & Communities Related To Your Niche
There are bound to be online communities and forums related to your niche. Try looking at websites like Reddit and Quora. You might find a few Facebook Groups too.
These are great places to get content ideas because you can see what people are talking about.
You can also get a sense of the content that is already out there and what is missing. This will give you an opportunity to create ones that fill that gap.
2) Build A Content Marketing Funnel
A content marketing funnel is a process that you take your target audience through as they engage with your content.
You could see it as a specialized version of the SaaS sales funnel that focuses on content rather than your overall sales and marketing strategy.
Your content marketing funnel helps you visualize the ideal content that your audience should see from the moment they become aware of your business until after they become paying customers.
The content marketing funnel typically consists of four stages
Each stage has different segments of customers who vary in their readiness to buy your SaaS product. So, you also have different goals and strategies for each of them.
Let’s talk about these stages one by one.
At the earliest stages of the funnel, people are just becoming aware of your business and what you do. They’re not sure that they need your SaaS product yet. They may not even know what their pain points are yet.
Your goal for the Awareness stage is to provide value.
So, your content at this stage would be those that educate them about certain topics they are interested in. You should answer the most pressing questions that they have.
Your content piece should be helpful and informative rather than promotional.
You want to build trust with your audience at this stage so that they will be more likely to buy from you later on.
You can do this using the following types of content:
- Educational blog posts and videos
If you have a solid top-of-funnel (TOFU) content strategy, it will lead to more benefits down the line, including brand awareness and lead generation.
At the evaluation stage, people are aware of their pain points and their need for a SaaS solution to address them. But they’re still evaluating whether or not your SaaS solution is a good fit.
So, content at the Evaluation stage should be focused on helping them see that your SaaS product is indeed a good fit for their needs.
You want to provide content that shows the value of your SaaS product and how it can help solve their specific pain points.
This could include the following content types:
- Case studies
- White papers
If you’re offering product demos or free trials, they would also be very valuable at this stage.
What’s more, you can pair up your content and other strategies with your email marketing campaign. Sending your send case studies, white papers, and webinar invites through an email blast or drip campaign would be very effective.
Your potential customers at this stage of the funnel are deciding to buy a SaaS product. But they may not be sure which one yet.
Your content targeted for the Decision stage should be focused on helping them make that final decision to buy your SaaS product.
You could create content that compares your SaaS product to other similar products on the market. Or, you might want to create content that showcases the unique features and benefits of your SaaS product.
This content could come in the form of
- Product comparisons
- Buyer’s guides
- Product reviews
- Customer success stories
Whatever content you choose, make sure it is persuasive and drives home the value of your SaaS product.
With the SaaS business model, your relationship with your customer (and your revenue from them) doesn’t end when they purchase your product.
You keep winning them over so that they would stay subscribed to your SaaS solution for as long as possible. And content can play a big role in that.
Content at the Delight stage should be focused on providing value and helping them get the most out of your SaaS product.
You need to have several customer retention strategies at play. And one of them is continuously providing valuable content to your existing customers.
These content pieces could come in the form of:
- How-to guides
- Product tips and tricks
- User manuals
You want to make sure that your customers are using your product effectively and getting the results they want. The better they are able to do that, the more likely they are to stay subscribed (and keep paying you).
3) Finalize Your Content Ideas With Keyword Research
In the first steps, when you did your research on your target audience, you may have had an overview of possible content ideas that would resonate with them.
Now, it’s time to do some keyword research to finalize those content ideas and make sure they are targeting the right keywords.
Here are some practical steps you can take:
List Related Terms For Each Primary Keyword
Let’s say you’re targeting the keyword phrase “content marketing.”
Some related terms could be: content strategy, content creation, content distribution, content promotion, etc.
You can use these related terms to come up with ideas for new content pieces or blog posts.
For example, imagine you would want a more targeted audience for your blog post. You could write one about B2B content marketing strategy.
Note Each Keyword’s Search Volume & Difficulty
The search volume is how many people are searching for that keyword each month. While the keyword difficulty is how hard it would be to rank for that keyword
These metrics will give you an idea of which keywords are worth targeting.
Generally, you should go for keywords that have high search volumes and low keyword difficulties.
However, there are just times that the keyword that you really want to create content for has a high difficulty. And that’s okay. It may be hard to rank for that keyword, but not impossible.
That just means you’re going to work extra hard to optimize your content for search engines. We’ll talk more about that later.
Understand The Search Intent Behind Each Keyword
When people type something into a search engine, they have a specific intent or goal in mind. And your content should cater to that intent.
There are 4 main types of search intent: informational, navigational, commercial investigation, and transactional.
Let’s talk about them one by one.
Informational intent: This is the search intent that most content types aim to satisfy. The searcher is looking for information on a topic.
Keywords with this intent usually have the words “how,” “what,” “when,” etc. And your content should be educational, such as how-to blog posts, how-to videos, etc.
Navigational intent: The searcher is looking for a specific website or web page.
For example, if someone searches “Twitter,” they most likely want to go to Twitter’s website. So, content that would satisfy this type of search intent would be your website’s home page.
Commercial investigation intent: The searcher is in the research stage of the buyer’s journey and is looking for information about a product or service before making a purchase.
Most keywords with this intent usually have the words “best” or “top”. Some examples would be “best CRM software” or “top email marketing solutions.”
These searchers are still not ready to buy yet but are already considering their options. So, content that would satisfy this type of searcher would be things like product comparisons and buyer’s guides.
Transactional intent: The searcher is ready to buy a product or service.
Keywords with this intent usually have the words “buy,” “purchase”, or just the name of the product the searcher wants to buy.
And content that satisfies this type of searcher would be things like product pages and checkout pages.
4) Plan A Mix Of Different Content Types
Throughout this article, we have already mentioned some types of content that you can create.
While content marketing is almost synonymous with running a blog, there are many other content formats that you can explore.
And the best way to do that is to mix things up and try different content types.
Not only will this help you reach a larger audience, but it will also keep things fresh and interesting for your current readers.
So let’s talk about these content formats that you can use:
- Blog posts
- Video content
- Case studies
This is the most common content format and probably what you’re already doing. A blog post is simply an article on your website.
And while they are easy to produce and scale, they can be very effective in driving traffic and engagement.
In fact, as we mentioned at the very start of this article, 98% of all successful SaaS companies have a blog.
Even so, there are many different kinds of blog posts you can create:
How-To Guides: These are blog posts that teach your readers how to do something. They usually have a step-by-step format and are very comprehensive.
Listicles: A listicle that is presented in the form of a list (list + article = listicle). They tend to be more light-hearted and easy to read but can still be very informative.
It’s a good blog post format for a topic that needs you to enumerate things, such as metrics or tools for a particular business process.
Ultimate Guides: An ultimate guide is a blog post designed to be an all-in-one resource for a particular topic (much like this article). They are usually very comprehensive and can be several thousand words long.
Product Comparisons: As the name implies, product comparisons pit two (or more) products against each other and analyze their features side-by-side. That includes pros and cons, comparison tables, etc.
An infographic is a visual representation of data or information. They are very easy to digest and can be extremely effective in getting your point across quickly.
They are also very shareable, which means they have the potential to reach a much larger audience than other content types.
In fact, infographics are shared 3X more than any other type of content on social media.
Infographics are also great for complementing your blog posts and giving your articles a bit more “oomph.”
Video content is becoming increasingly popular, especially with the rise of platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
And that’s not surprising because videos are very engaging and can communicate a lot of information in a short amount of time.
They are also very easy to consume, which makes them ideal for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to read blog posts or watch long webinars.
Like with infographics, adding video content to your blog posts is a great way to make them more engaging and interesting.
Podcasts are audio content that you can listen to on the go. They are very popular because they are convenient and easy to consume.
Many people listen to podcasts while commuting, working out, or doing other activities where they can’t necessarily read or watch a video.
Podcasts are also great for building a personal connection with your audience.
Since it’s just you (or you and your co-host) speaking, it feels more like a conversation than other content formats.
An eBook is a digital book that covers a specific topic in depth. They are usually quite lengthy (30 pages or more) and require some effort to produce.
But they can be very effective in demonstrating your expertise on a particular topic and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Ebooks are also great lead magnets. You can offer them for free in exchange for someone’s email address, which you can then use for marketing purposes.
A webinar is an online seminar where experts share their knowledge on a particular topic. They are usually presented in a slide deck format with accompanying audio.
And while they require more effort to produce than other content types, they can be very impactful.
This is because webinars are live, which means they are interactive and allow for two-way communication between the presenter and the audience.
This makes them much more engaging than other content formats and gives you the opportunity to build a personal connection with your audience.
A case study is a detailed account of how a particular company or individual has used a product or service to achieve its goals.
They are very effective in demonstrating the potential of your offering and showing how it can be used in the real world.
Case studies are also great for building social proof and establishing your brand as an authority.
And as we mentioned earlier, case studies can be a great way to show potential customers how your SaaS product works in the real world.
5) Create A Content Calendar
One of the best ways to stay organized and ensure that your content marketing is on track is to create a content calendar.
It should have the following details about your content marketing campaign:
- Topics or keywords
- Distribution platforms
- Publishing schedule
You may also want to include who is in charge of each project This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there are no surprises down the road.
6) Create & Publish High-Quality Content
If you already have a content strategy in place and a content calendar to guide you, it’s time to start creating content.
Remember, the goal is to produce high-quality content that is interesting, engaging, and informative.
To do this, you have to make sure your content has the following characteristics:
Expertise, Authoritativeness, & Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
Remember that one of the most important goals of content marketing is attracting potential customers and earning their trust.
And there is no way to do that other than providing them with 100% accurate and helpful content.
What’s more, E-A-T can help your content rank higher in the search results. You see, E-A-T is a big part of Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines and is therefore a big part of its ranking algorithm.
To ensure your content has E-A-T, make sure to do the following:
- Fact check all of your content to ensure it is accurate
- Cite your sources to build credibility
- Include customer testimonials and case studies whenever possible
- Hire experts to write or edit your content, if necessary
Even if you have the best, most advanced, and most helpful content on the internet—if it looks intimidating and unreadable, people will not read it.
So, ensure that your content is easy to read and understand by using the following techniques:
- Use simple words and sentences
- Write in short paragraphs (not more than 3 lines of text)
- Use headings and subheadings to break up the text
- Use bulleted or numbered lists whenever possible
- Include images, infographics, or videos to break up the text
One thing you can do to make your content more viral is to make it as shareable as possible.
Here are some practical tips to make your content more shareable.
- Include social sharing buttons on all of your content
- Make your content easy to share by using catchy headlines and descriptions
- Encourage social interaction by asking questions or including calls-to-action
7) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your content so that it ranks higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO is one of the most important aspects of content marketing as it can help you attract more organic traffic to your website.
Not sure how to optimize your content for SEO? Here are a few tips:
Use The Right Keywords
Earlier in this article, we talked about keyword research and creating content around that keyword.
The main practice for on-page SEO is using your keyword throughout various parts of your content. This includes the following:
- Meta title and meta description
Just make sure not to overdo it as this can result in keyword stuffing which can hurt your SEO efforts.
Add Internal & External Links To Your Content
Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to another. While external links are links that go from your website to another site.
Both types of links are important for content marketing since they can help improve your SEO.
Internal links can help improve the user experience by making it easier for readers to navigate your website. They can also help search engines index your pages better
External links, on the other hand, can help show Google that your content is backed by other high-quality content.
They can also help build relationships with other websites which may result in backlinks—one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
Speaking of which…
Link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other websites.
Backlinks are links that go from another website to yours. They are important for SEO since Google recognizes them as votes of confidence from other content creators.
The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your content will rank in the search results.
So, how do you get backlinks? There are a few ways:
- Find unlinked mentions of your brand
- Reach out to other bloggers or website owners and ask them to link to your content
- Create infographics or other linkable assets
- Do guest blogging
8) Make Sure Your Content Is Mobile-Friendly
According to WebFX, more than 52% of all website traffic is generated from mobile devices. That’s more than half already.
And we can only imagine how people will become more and more inclined to use their mobile phones to go online in the future.
This is why it’s important to make sure that your content is mobile-friendly.
How do you do that? Here are a few tips:
Test Your Pages’ Mobile-Friendliness
The first step is to test how mobile-friendly your content is. You can do this by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
All you need to do is enter your content’s URL and Google will analyze it for you. If your content is not mobile-friendly, it’ll give you a list of things that you need to fix.
Use Responsive Design For Your Website
Responsive design is an approach to web design that makes websites render well on different devices and screen sizes from desktop computers to mobile phones.
If your website isn’t responsive, chances are, your content isn’t too. So, if you want to make sure that your content is mobile-friendly, you need to use responsive design for your website.
Use Large Fonts & Short Paragraphs
When creating content for mobile devices, it’s important to use large fonts and short paragraphs. This will make your content easier to read on small screens.
9) Promote Your Content On Social Media & Other Channels
Your content marketing strategy is not just about content creation. Distribution and promotion are just as important.
Let’s talk about some channels where you can promote your content:
Social media is one of the most popular content distribution channels today. And it’s not surprising why.
There are more than 4 billion active social media users today and that number is only going to grow in the future.
Not to mention, social media is a great way to build relationships with your audience, which can lead to higher engagement rates and more conversions.
Email marketing is another great way to promote your content, especially if you’re targeting potential customers at the Evaluation and Decision stages of the content marketing funnel.
Through email marketing, you can send your content directly to people who are already somewhat interested in what you have to offer.
And since they’ve already shown an interest in your brand, they’re more likely to engage with your content.
Paid advertising is a great way to reach new audiences and promote your content to people who might not be familiar with your brand yet.
With paid advertising, you can target a specific audience and promote your content to them through various channels, including:
- Search Engine Ads: Google Ads, Bing Ads
- Social Media Ads: Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads
Online Forums Communities
If you want to promote your content to a specific audience, going back to online forums where you did your market research is a great way to do that.
Just make sure that you’re not spamming these groups with your content as that will only lead to people getting turned off from your brand.
10) Measure & Analyze Your Results
The final step on our content marketing checklist is to measure and analyze your results. You may even want to conduct a full-fledged content audit.
This will help you determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are successful.
Here are a few of the possible metrics that you can use to measure your content marketing campaign’s performance:
Unique & Returning Visitors
One of the most important content marketing metrics is the number of unique and returning visitors to your website.
This will give you an idea of how much traffic your content is driving to your site. And if you’re seeing a lot of return visitors, it means that people are finding your content valuable and are coming back for more.
Time on Page & Pageviews
These metrics will tell you how long people are spending on your content and how many pages they’re viewing.
The goal is to have a high average time on the page and a low bounce rate. This means that people are engaged with your content and not just quickly leaving after they land on your page.
Shares & Social Engagement
These include social media interactions, such as:
If your content is being shared a lot, it means that people are finding it valuable and are passing it along to their friends and followers.
And if people are engaging with your content (liking, commenting, etc.), it means that they’re interested in what you have to say.
Final Thoughts: Making Sure You Complete The Content Marketing Checklist
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into content marketing.
After all, it’s not just about creating content and publishing it on your blog. It’s also about gaining your audience’s trust and doing it more effectively than your competitors.
There’s a lot of strategy and planning that goes into crafting content that will resonate with your audience and help you achieve your business goals.
And my hope is that this ultimate content marketing checklist will help make the process a little bit easier for you.
Remember, content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. So take your time, plan things out, and be patient. The results will come if you do it right.
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