How to Find the Right SaaS Content Marketing Agency
If you’re a SaaS startup, chances are you’re planning to use content marketing to grow your business. After all, content is one of the best and effective means of attracting new customers.
And not just any SaaS customers, mind you. The right SaaS customers. Anyone familiar with how a SaaS company operates knows all too well the importance of this concept.
Onboard the wrong clients and your SaaS business will get hit by a massive churn rate down the line. And we all know how fatal that is in this industry.
This just shows how important it is to structure your overall strategy from the outset. So when it comes to SaaS content marketing, where should you start?
Well, we’ve actually written a comprehensive guide on developing a SaaS content marketing strategy. It includes the goal you’ll need to outline, the topics you’re going to cover, determining your target audience, and more.
But what if you don’t want to start a content marketing team though? What if you’re thinking of hiring a SaaS content marketing agency instead? How are you going to choose the one that will deliver results?
In this blog, we’ll talk about finding the right SaaS content marketing agency to collaborate with.
Let’s get right on it.
Your SaaS Startup and the SaaS Content Marketing Agency
Before you start listing down the top results Google will serve you when you enter “how to find the right SaaS content marketing agency,” you should first determine your goal. After all, how could a content agency know what to aim for when you don’t even know what the end goal is going to be.
So create a clear outline for the SaaS content marketing agency. This outline includes, but is not limited to:
- Increasing your brand awareness
- Establishing your site as a trustworthy source of information
- Boosting your website’s organic traffic
- Accumulating quality leads
- Increasing conversion rates
These are just some of the benefits you should expect from a SaaS content marketing agency.
But how do you determine whether or not a SaaS content marketing agency can deliver these results? What are the qualities you should be looking for?
Choosing the Right SaaS Content Marketing Agency and Services
When you have clearly defined your goal, you’re now ready to find your SaaS content marketing agency. We’ll outline these tips starting from your initial investigation to interviewing them and asking the right questions.
The agency operates within your industry
This one makes sense, right? You want a SaaS content marketing agency operating in the same ecosystem as your company.
Look at it this way. If you’re going for a heart checkup, you want a cardiologist, not a general practitioner. If you want a new porch, you’re going to hire a deck specialist, not a general contractor.
The same logic applies when hiring a SaaS marketing agency. You want a company that specifically caters to the industry you’re into. That way, you have some certainty they know about your audience, competition, and the projected evolution of your particular market.
Knowing about your audience allows the content agency to identify their pain points. And deliver actionable solutions to those pain points.
If they know about your industry, they also know who the big players are. They know – or at least have an idea – what your competition is doing and how to replicate or improve their marketing strategy.
And of course, they’re at least aware how your industry is evolving and the path it’s heading towards. For instance, the SaaS market is currently undergoing a significant transformation as thousands of companies are jumping into the digital space due to the lockdown restrictions.
The result is a gold rush and a lot of SaaS marketing teams out there are scrambling to get ahead of the competition to capture these new clients. So it’s always a good bet to hire a content agency that’s deeply familiar with B2B SaaS marketing.
To evaluate their expertise, try visiting their site and browsing the brands they’re currently, or previously, partnered with. A legitimate content marketing agency is proud of these collaborations and would display them on their site to act as social proof.
If possible, try to get in touch with one of these SaaS companies to evaluate their satisfaction level with the agency. And even if you can’t reach them, you’ll at least know the agency has experience writing about your industry.
Now, we proceed to the interview process.
Interviewing Your Next SaaS Content Marketing Agency
After you’ve done some sleuthing on the web and shortlisted your candidates, it’s time for that first interview. Pay close attention to this one as it will provide a lot of information on whether or not the content agency is the right fit for you.
Let’s talk about the questions you’re going to ask.
1. Customer avatar samples
If the agency is indeed familiar with B2B SaaS marketing, it’s a given that they already have a customer avatar created for their client’s previous campaigns. Now, you should ask for samples of these personas to determine how comprehensive it is.
The more detailed it is, the deeper their understanding is about your potential customer. Try to assess the buyer persona and see if your customer base rightly fits with that mold.
2. Sales funnel structure
Content is great for attracting leads. But if you can’t convert those leads to paying clients, then everything you’re doing is an exercise in futility.
So apart from asking for samples of the agency’s SaaS customer avatars, you should also inquire about their sales funnel strategy. Ideally, they should have a customer avatar for every stage of the buyer’s journey. That goes from discovering your brand and choosing your company to retaining them and turning your clients into loyal advocates.
Ask them how they’re going to guide visitors through the sales funnel using your product as the vehicle. It’s okay if their answer isn’t perfect. This is the first interview, after all.
But the more detailed their answer is, the more it indicates how well they know the SaaS industry. They get additional points if they mention any projections regarding where the industry is going and the marketing strategy they would consider implementing if it indeed takes place.
3. Well-written and engaging content
This is an obvious one but we’ll still need to include it all the same. You should ask for writing samples from the agency so you can evaluate them later on. This will give you an idea of how engaging their content is.
Are they using storytelling techniques to entertain their audience while also providing valuable information? Are there coherence markers in the article that smoothly takes the reader from one sentence to the next? Is the content using the best practices of a top-notch SEO agency?
You’ll also want to ask them about the content and where it fits with the buyer’s journey. Maybe it’s to educate readers, which is in the awareness stage. Maybe it’s talking about the company’s case studies on previous successful campaigns. That falls on the decision stage.
4. Pillar pages and topic clusters
Content creation is more than just endlessly publishing pieces. Even if these pieces provide valuable information, it’s not going to be enough.
Let me explain.
One of the foundations of a solid content strategy is pillar pages and topic clusters. Pillar pages are content covering a broad topic in a given industry. Let’s say a SaaS content marketing company is laying down this foundation.
The first thing they’ll need to do is create a pillar page for topics like “SaaS content marketing strategy” or “What is SaaS sales?” The pillar page about this content should be exhaustive enough to include a host of sub-topics. These sub-topics are going to be your topic clusters.
Topic clusters dive deeper into a subject that your pillar page lightly touches upon. So let’s say your SaaS content marketing strategy content briefly covered buyer persona. Your topic cluster would then expand on this idea to give your readers more information on how to effectively create a customer avatar.
What makes this content strategy effective is it satisfies both your audience and Google’s bots. It tells them what your site is about and the value it offers. As a result, the more pillar pages and topic clusters you publish, the more Google will see your site as an authority on that specific niche.
It will then rank it higher on the SERP (search result page) and increase its visibility. Other content creators will see your piece, get valuable information from it, and link your site to the section of an article they’re writing that might be related to the content you’ve covered.
Thus, not only are you increasing traffic to your site, but you’re also increasing your site’s authority by getting outbound links from other sites. What’s more, it also eliminates the chances of publishing redundant content that could damage your site’s reputation.
This is what makes a content marketing strategy involving pillar pages and topic clusters so valuable. It provides a clear roadmap for your company’s evolution.
So if a SaaS content marketing agency truly knows what they’re doing, they will intimately know this process. They’ll give you an outline of how they’ll structure your pillar pages and topic clusters even if it’s on a rudimentary level.
5. They target decision-makers and collaborators
On average, it takes about three months to complete a SaaS sales cycle. That’s because the decision-maker has a lot to consider before committing to a SaaS product.
Now, a typical content agency targets these decision-makers when creating their content. However, a top-notch content agency understands that the decision-maker has a lot of collaborators in their company.
These collaborators are often the ones compiling information for the decision-maker. What’s more, you also got the employee that’s using the SaaS product to help the company scale or streamline daily operations. Thus, your content should be geared towards the SaaS tool user and researcher as they’ll ultimately feed information to the decision-maker.
These three roles are the main audience of your content. And the content you’re publishing depends on where these roles are with regards to your SaaS sales funnel.
A seasoned SaaS content marketing agency understands all of this and has a specific strategy for every stage of the sales funnel. So ask them about their approach regarding this scenario and how they’ll handle your SaaS product once you’ve hired their agency.
6. ROI and content marketing
You also need to ask how the agency measures the content’s ROI. Now, most middling agencies would tell you it’s all about web traffic, which makes sense, right?
But web traffic is only beneficial if you can convert a significant number of your leads into paying clients. And that right there is the end game of all content marketing strategies: to boost the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) of a SaaS company.
So, they monitor website traffic and how much of that lead is getting converted into customers. This needs additional elements, of course. But the idea here is to consolidate data to evaluate your overall marketing metrics.
As a side note, watch out for agencies that are promising outlandish results. Better still, even if the claims are within reason, they should reflect the current state of the SaaS industry.
Do not be fooled by vanity metrics. Web traffic is just part of the puzzle. To ensure a successful content marketing strategy, always look at the big picture.
Evaluating the SaaS Content Marketing Agency Post-Interview
After the interview, you’re going to have to evaluate the companies you’ve selected. To do that, you’d want to place them on a spreadsheet and rank them based on their answers.
Now, the criteria will depend on your SaaS product and your team’s assessment. Is the data presented by the agency compelling? What’s the satisfactory level of their previous and current clients? Is your team comfortable with the agency’s culture? How well are they able to handle deadlines?
These are just some of the factors you’ll need to grade so you can rank your candidates properly. Framing it this way will give you an idea of what questions you’re going to ask next for the next interview.
Content Marketing for SaaS Startups
SaaS companies stand to gain a massive benefit from content marketing. But that’s only achievable if your content marketing agency knows what they’re doing.
Additionally, the agency needs to mix well with your team. So diligently assess your internal structure first. Identify areas where a SaaS content marketing agency can fill gaps in your organization. Following that, conduct diligent research and stringent evaluation so when you finally onboard an agency, you’re both operating on the same page.
For more info, strategies, and updates about the SaaS industry, visit our SaaS marketing blog here.