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SaaS Content Marketing : The Guide You’d Need to Kick-Start your Content Marketing journey!

Bushra Rahmani

I'm sure you know why content marketing is important, it's time to figure out the best strategies that may help you win your customers and take charge!

 

Content Marketing costs 62% less than any outbound or traditional marketing method, and yet it generates approximately 3 times as many leads as conventional marketing.

 

It’s cheaper and more efficient.

 

Do you still need more reasons to trust content marketing over any other marketing strategy?

 

I know it’s not easy to convince you unless I talk facts. So, here are some benefits of content marketing :

  • Conversion rates are 6 times higher for companies that adopt content marketing strategies.
  • 86% of SaaS organizations have specific departments or someone in charge of checking over their content marketing strategy.
  • 58% of marketers believe ‘original’ written content outdoes videos and visuals

 

The vast majority of SaaS marketers are now embracing content marketing strategy. A good SaaS marketer knows that content marketing can aid their company to achieve brand visibility, lead generation, and nurturing the leads simultaneously.

 

I am not asking you to abandon traditional marketing, but if you are into the SaaS business, you must pay attention to create a  high-quality, experience-based, top-notch content.

 

At Troop Messenger, we tried over a dozen of content marketing strategies. There were times we failed at generating desired results. Our blog posts won’t appear in the search results, let alone appearing on the front page.

 

We failed to stay ahead of CM trends. It was challenging because there are hundreds of things, trends, and strategies to watch over every week.

 

It took us a while to understand the 3 Cs of SaaS Content Marketing:

Consistency,

Consistency,

and Consistency.

 

It took us a while to understand that we needed to be directly involved in content creation. Gradually, we resorted to creating content that encouraged visitors to click on our site link, visit the homepage, and subscribe.

 

Keeping in mind all of our failure stories, the lessons we learned, and the different strategies we employed, I have created this guide for you. It’s the only SaaS content marketing guide you’d need!

 

How to create a content marketing strategy? Let’s find out here

 

A. We Leveraged the Power of Google by Mastering Keyword Research

There has been an ongoing debate on the usability of Keyword Research Planners. Some say it is dead. Others argue it's the best thing. I say it’s Google is smart, and all the algorithms are designed in a way it enhances as a reader’s readability and helps them with the article with search results that carry ‘phrases’ and ‘keywords’ a person adds in the search bars.

 

Keyword Research Might not be the almighty thing but it is an important factor.


There are tools like Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer that can help you rank your article by using selective keywords. Such tools allow a thorough keyword analysis and backlinking as well.

 

Step 1: Check the Search Volume

SV (Search Volume) represents the number of times people have types a specific keyword into Google. SV is important as long as you do not wish to create a content strategy with keywords nobody is looking for.

 

It’s simple as selling a product in a market. You’d sell a product only if it is in demand, right? So, with SV, you know about the demand.

  • When it comes to keyword search volume, there are two primary factors to take into consideration: volume and competitiveness.
  • Keywords with higher volumes mean more potential exposure (or impression share), but will likely be much more competitive.
  • This, in turn, makes it harder to rank for these terms as you’ll probably be going up against popular and well-established sites.
  • If you’re a new website, you may want to begin by targeting low-volume (or medium), low-competition keywords as a starting point to establish some domain authority.
  • if you’re a well-established site, you can delve into the more competitive territory (medium to high SV) to maintain your edge.

 

In the image below, we did SV for the term ‘flock vs Slack,’ using Ahrefs’ Keyword Planner. This Keyword is super easy to rank and the user intent is high too. SV for ‘Flock Vs Slack’ is 250 with 306 Clicks and 91% Organic Clicks. Hence it’d be easy to use this phrase.

 

 

Using the Ahrefs Keyword Planner, we also analyzed SERP position history to find our competitors who are targeting the same phrase and the articles they’ve curated around it.

 

 

Step 2: Check for Keyword Difficulty Level

Finding the SV is only half the battle. It takes you to popular keywords with insane competition. Hence, at this point, you can use other keyword software like Ahrefs or SemRush.

Keyword Difficulty Level, abbreviated as KD, is an important metric since it shows how difficult it's going to be for a blog to have a top-ranking using a particular keyword.

KD metric takes into account the amount of backlink that points to the URLs in the top 10 search engines. Hence,

  • At Troop Messenger, we use Ahrefs to check KD for the popular keywords we pick in Step-1.
  • Ahrefs KD helps find the ‘low-hanging fruit’ by giving us an estimate of how hard it will be for us to rank among the top-ranking pages.
  • We did KD search for the term ‘Flock Vs. Slack,’ which has KD of 2, 250 SV, and we’d need to create about 3 websites backlinks to rank in top 10 for this keyword.
  • Since Flock & Slack are already popular, we used these keywords to rank our application Troop Messenger. The term ‘Flock Vs. Slack’ is super easy to rank and the user intent is also very high.
  • Don’t believe us? Google Search the term ‘Flock Vs. Slack’, and you’ll find us there:



Step 3: Check for the Intent

To understand Intent, you need to have an understanding of user behavior. An intent represents a user’s intent (purpose) for the search. It shows what a user is most likely to do when they are searching Google with a particular phase. For SaaS, keyword intent reflects ‘How ready a user is from buying their products/services?’

 

To be specific, it’s a guessing game since you cannot be sure. Hence, this is the part where you have to apply common sense as well.

 

For instance, the search intent behind ‘cost-effective office collaboration tools’ shows that the buyer already knows about Slack and Flock, and they are looking for a more efficient and cost-effective tool. It’s easy to convert this specific audience since we are offering just what they want.

  • When we search for keywords for our Troop Messenger blog, we come across different keywords to find user intent.

  • People looking for office chat application like ours usually search with phrases like ‘Slack,’ ‘Team Chat Apps,’ ‘Slack Alternatives.
  • Search Intent for ‘Slack’ represents the user intent of those who are mainly interested in Slack and would neglect the other's name on the list. Hence, for us, user intent is low here.
  • People searching with ‘Slack Alternative’ means they are looking for something other than that. With our blog, we show them what benefits they get by using us as a Slack Alternative (keyword intent is high here).

 

B. Leverage the Power of Google & Google Tools

Can you create any content marketing strategy without abiding by ‘Google’s and it’s an algorithm? I bet not.

 

If you want your content to rank high and your SaaS products/services to appear in the top search results, you’ve to distribute your content thoroughly. It starts with spending at least 50% of your resources.

 

Google should be the ultimate content distribution channel where you create and publish content relevant to your product and the niche.

 

Let’s take Groove for example. They created content for an exhaustive list of marketing keywords and brought them to the top of search results. Groove promoted its content through Facebook and other Social Media Channels, but it’s Google where they first created a base. From creating customer-oriented how-to-articles to tutorials, Groove did it all.

 

At Troop Messenger, we leverage the power of content distribution via Google and we make thorough use of Google tools. We know Google results can either make or break our business.

 

1. Google Analytics:

I’m sure you must have set some goals for your content marketing strategies, and with google analytics, you can take a step to reassess your situation.

At Troop Messenger, we’ve been using Google Analytics to get a snapshot of our performance over time.

Here’s what you can analyze with this tool:

  • Audience engagement
  • Active Users
  • User explorer based on demographics, interest, behavior, mobile, and technology
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce Rate
  • Page Views
  • Unique Page Views

 

All of this will give you a clear idea of what’s working and what is not, in regards to your type of content, topic selection, etc.

 


2. Google Trends

We all find it difficult to continually come up with a fresh set of ideas and topics. This is why we have made a habit of checking the trends alongside brainstorming new ideas.

Here’s what you can do with Google Trends:

  • Explore a new topic
  • Browse what’s trending using time filters
  • Realtime Search Trends for Web, YouTube, Image Search.

 You don’t need a specific action plan for using this tool. Just type in the category and see what Google pulls out from trending topics in your niche.

 


3. Create Blog Posts that Won’t Put Readers to Sleep

When you are curating any type of content, remember that the attention span of a human is only about 12 seconds. Hence you’ve to grab their attention right with the first few lines.

 

You cannot take a risk by creating something that has nothing unique. People do not have enough patience to read an article that is crowded, has long sentences, is boring.

 

So, before anything else, you must create content that your prospects truly want to read. Here’s a five-step strategy to create the kind of content which makes you closer to the SaaS marketing goals.

 

Step 1: Research. Research. Research.

Every single SaaS content marketing strategy must start with thorough research. Don’t think your imagination can be the only source of ideas. You might be creative, but you still have to find what others are looking for.

  • For the research, Google’s Suggest Feature can be highly useful.
  • Start by searching for a phrase (office chat software) related to your product.
  • Now Scroll to page bottom.
  • Here you’ll see similar searches that are based on user data.
  • Try to understand the intent behind these searches

 

At Troop Messenger, we further narrow topic research by reviewing our competitor’s content via BuzzSumo. This tool helps us find the content that is performing best in our field.

 

You can also use BuzzSumo for content insights, to generate ideas, perform the influencers, monitor your performance, and create high-performing content.

 

Steps to reviewing the content of your competitors:

 

  • In the Content Analysis Search Bar, Enter your competitor's name:

 When you hit enter, BuzzSumo will display an analysis of all content published on that domain. You can review the topics that got your competitor's maximum engagement.

 

In the image below we did blog content analysis for our competitor Flock.

 

  • Review the formats and Networks that are working

Apart from topics, you can use BuzzSumo for digging into the social networks and see where your competitors’ content is gaining traction. See which social media platform has driven the most engagement.

 

In Flock’s case, it’s twitter chiefly.

 

  • Review the content by Backlinks

You can also sort your search by the ‘number of backlinks’ and find the articles that have driven most links.

 

  • Research who is linking and sharing your competitor’s content

Social engagements always amplify content. More the engagement, wider will be the audience reach. With BuzzSumo, you can review the people who shared content on social media from a competitor’s site.

This can be done by narrowing search results for ‘Influencers’ and choosing ‘Search Content Shared.’

 

Use these search results to create and curate high-quality content on the same topic, and target a similar audience.


Step 2: Curate Content for Every Phase of The Buyer’s Journey

The content or blog post you create should be curated around each phase of your buyer’s journey. Since the goal of SaaS content marketing is to provide the target audience with valuable information, use your blog for the sales funnels. Help your customers understand why your product or services can be helpful at each stage.

 

Usually, content marketers mainly create content to create awareness and generate traffic. But that is not the right approach. Content should be used in the entire marketing funnel. Like other SaaS companies, Troop Messenger also needs a full-funnel strategy for executing a thorough marketing plan.

 

Awareness:

In this stage, we created content to target all top keywords related to the office collaboration tools and promoted engaging, entertaining, and informative content to attract the target audience.

Goal: The goal of this phase was to help people discover how Troop Messenger can solve their problems of office collaboration and virtual workplace management.

 

Lead Generation:

Once we made the customers aware of our existence, we generated leads by providing them gated, high value, and free content. Brands that are good at lead nurturing, easily generate over 50% more sales, and that too at 33% lower cost.

 

Hence, at this phase, we continued educating our customers, solving their problems with ‘How To’ content. We delivered facts and data to help prospects overcome their concerns.

 

For Lead Generation, we also highlighted our USPs so the prospects see why we are the best Slack Alternative.

 

Goal: Get prospects to engage with our brands and trust our services more and more.

 

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