March 31, 2024

An 8-Step SaaS Marketing Guide to Enhance Brand and Increase Revenue

Nate Turner

SaaS companies face rapidly evolving landscapes, innovative technological advancements, and constant competition for market share. It’s an exciting, fast-paced space to participate in — but it can also be hard to stand out from the crowd and reach your target audience. 

That’s where content comes in.

Blogs, podcasts, case studies, webinars, whitepapers. Content marketing remains one of the most effective ways to build brand trust, nurture leads, and ultimately increase revenue. 

We built the following guide to help you set up a content marketing strategy to grow your company and engage your target audience based on our experiences with our SaaS partners.

Learn how we bring this guide to life for SaaS companies like Gorgias, Metadata, Teamwork, Workvivo, and more with proven SEO and content optimization services. Book a call today.

What is B2B SaaS content marketing?

Unlike other marketing strategies and lead generation tactics, content marketing efforts aren’t a flash in the pan. They’re long-term initiatives that cultivate lasting relationships with people in every stage of the customer journey.

Content marketing for B2B SaaS companies, at its core, uses digestible content — whether written, audio, or video — to amplify your company’s online presence by adding value for your target audience. 

Content marketing positions your business to increase visibility, capture organic traffic, and convert new leads to happy customers. SaaS SEO content is an exceptionally powerful marketing tool, and optimizing your content for search engine algorithms will solidify your place in the market.

Beyond that, content marketing can nurture current customers, growing their excitement for your brand and transforming them into lifelong advocates for your services. 

Why does content marketing matter for SaaS companies? 

Creating good content isn’t just about getting words down on a page. You’re building trust with your audience by sharing your expertise and hard-earned experience and solving their pain points. Before they’ve even become a customer, you’ve added value to their lives. 

Unlike other companies, content for SaaS businesses needs to distill complex information into attention-grabbing CTAs. The SaaS industry is quickly evolving, making it imperative that content is constantly updated. 

Plus, you’ll find benefit in branching out in your content strategy. Wyzowl’s 2024 Video Marketing report shows that 87% of video marketers have seen sales directly increase from video marketing. Blogs alone won’t make the cut.

You’ll need to scale your content marketing program into a well-oiled machine to stay relevant. With the right strategy, your content marketing efforts will: 

  • Establish industry authority. Content gives your company a voice. By amplifying your expertise in the industry, your content marketing strategy will solidify you as a leader, innovator, and trusted voice in a crowded market.
  • Keep you relevant. In a competitive marketplace, it’s so easy to be forgotten. Content pruning will keep the information on your site accurate and relevant to customers. Refreshing existing content will also expedite content production, allowing you to target more keywords and convert organic traffic with a fraction of the effort. 
  • Educate prospects. Your SaaS product won’t solve every problem known to humankind. Clear content establishes your positioning versus your competitors, leading to less friction in the sales funnel and smoother onboarding experiences.

In such a saturated SaaS market, content is where your unique brand voice can shine. Your perspective and expertise allow you to become a leader in your industry — if you know how to harness it. 

What should you know about your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) before getting started?

We can’t overstate the need for SaaS startup marketing departments to accurately target prospects at an account level. To do that, you’ll need to solidify your Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs).

An ICP is your perfect customer. This profile represents precisely the types of companies or people who would be best served by your SaaS product. For instance, if your product solves scheduling pressures by aiding in calendar management, your ICP could be mid-sized sales teams, where the decision-makers would be the Heads of Sales. 

Prioritizing ICPs allows you to:

  • Identify the most relevant content topics and types to be created.
  • Use industry terms to connect with your audience’s goals and pain points.
  • Target and engage individual people in roles of influence at target companies.
  • Learn where those people spend their time-consuming related content.
  • Understand who and what else influences their buying decisions.

Without understanding your ICP and their needs, your content strategy will fall flat. If you aren’t saying the right things to the right people, your marketing efforts won’t move the needle. With an ICP, you can allocate budget and craft strategies that will generate valuable leads at every stage of the buyer’s journey. 

Customers need different resources at different stages of the sales funnel, from their first exposure to your software to their decision to buy. Tailoring content to segments of your ICP in different phases allows you to iterate on your distribution strategy, bolster your inbound marketing, and convert leads more effectively, ultimately creating a stronger pipeline. It’s one of your most impactful marketing tools. 

How to understand or better define your ICPs 

If you’re looking for an effective way to better define your ideal profiles, here are a few frameworks to help.

  • Talk to your sales, customer service, and product teams. Their insights on your customers will help define your ICP. As new products are developed internally, you can adapt your ICP as needed to ensure your marketing tactics are attracting the right leads.
  • Listen to sales calls and interview existing customers. What better place to glean understanding for your target audience than directly from customers? Sales calls allow you to understand prospects' pain points and stay in the loop on industry trends. Customer interviews help you understand how to continuously cater to your existing client pool, benefitting retention.
  • Use AI summaries. Perfect for fast, bite-sized descriptions of customer profiles, AI distills large swaths of information into easy-to-understand insights. The agility of AI allows you to consistently update any changing needs of your ICP. 
  • Investigate your CRM. Examine your lead and customer details from your CRM software. Segment the data based on company size, revenue generated, type of industry, geographic location, behavior on your website, behavior with your product, and roles, and take note of any emerging patterns. Lead scoring data, customer support tickets, and upsell purchase history are all ripe with opportunities to learn more about the customers who benefit from your software.

Once you’ve defined your ICP, continue to analyze engagement patterns and adapt to marketing trends so that your content never falls behind.

How to build a SaaS content marketing strategy that works

All SaaS content marketing begins with the same three key ingredients: your product, your brand, and your messaging. Aligning these three things turns haphazard marketing initiatives into a streamlined strategy. Let’s take a deeper look at this recipe for success.

Construct a solid strategy foundation first

Before you produce a single piece of content, you’ll need to lay the groundwork for your strategy. 

  • Designate targeting content types. The type of content you make will be decided by its form and function. If your ICP works in fast-paced environments with little time for in-depth reading, consider launching a podcast for on-the-go users or prioritizing short-form videos. For technical learnings jam-packed with information, long-form blogs and e-books are excellent choices. Decide your content types in advance to streamline your content pipeline.
  • Align on brand messaging. Whether you’re coordinating an in-house team or partnering with a SaaS content marketing agency, it’s imperative to establish consistent messaging. Without creating this foundation, your content will lack cohesion, muddling the audience’s perception of the company.
  • Define your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs). In such a competitive landscape, understanding your USPs isn’t negotiable. It’s a crucial element of a successful content strategy that should inform content formats, content topics, and writer briefs. This facilitates a consistent brand story and ensures your solution is positioned appropriately across all marketing efforts.

Make sure you have the right optimization resources

A content strategy is only as strong as the tools it uses. Rev up your content by honing in on the resources that will support your goals.  

  • Use the right SEO and marketing tools. Ahrefs, Semrush, SparkToro, and will help you identify keywords to target with your content, reach your desired audience, and convert leads.
  • Work with a team of experts. Depending on your goals, you’ll want to partner with content writers, SEO specialists, social media and email marketing managers, and experienced project managers adept at juggling multiple campaigns at a time. Outsourcing your content writing and strategy alleviates strain on in-house resources.

Create a content workflow that makes sense

A sustainable workflow allows your marketing team to create high-quality content and gives you the opportunity to scale. Here’s an example you can iterate on.

  1. Build a roadmap for the content marketing strategy. Outline key goals, decide which audience segments to target, and identify the marketing funnel. Include numerous content ideas for all parts of the buyer's journey, from the bottom of the funnel to the top. 
  2. Upload the plan into a content calendar or project management tool. This allows visibility to all team members and stakeholders and makes it simple to track progress.
  3. Schedule SME interviews to inform your content briefs. If needed, join forces with subject matter experts so that your content is informed and accurate.
  4. Create a detailed content brief for each approved topic. This will act as the blueprint for writers and return higher quality, focused content.
  5. Kick off production. Whether working with an internal team of writers or outsourcing your content creation, assign your deliverables and clearly communicate deadlines for a seamless process.
  6. Make design requests for the piece of content. If needed, coordinate with designers to create unique graphics to support your content. This could include infographics, social media images, or podcast thumbnails. 
  7. Have an editor review and revise the content. Once content has been created, work with an eagle-eyed editor to make sure it’s in top condition.
  8. Upload the content and design assets. Prepare your content so that it can be scheduled in advance if you want a stress-free publishing experience.
  9. Publish your content. It’s time to go live! Distribute your content so your target audience can find it — and if you can get your team to promote your new content, even better.
  10. Repurpose that content. The content workflow doesn’t end with publication. To make the most of each piece of content you create, repurpose it for different platforms to magnify your reach.

Teams of any size can create and implement supercharged content strategies with the right resources and executable workflows. Remove potential hurdles or bottlenecks, clearly define deadlines, and outsource your content creation or search engine optimization to alleviate in-house bandwidth drains. 

1. Craft content topics for better visibility (and more demand)

Let’s take a look at what a mature content marketing program will be targeting topically:

☑️  “Knowledge base” content related to topics that respond directly to your customer’s questions, pain points, goals, and larger Jobs to be Done that are directly related to your product

☑️  Content that responds to your customers’ questions, pain points, goals, and larger Jobs to be Done that are not directly related to your product

☑️  Sales enablement content your sales team has identified to help them educate prospects and close more deals

☑️  Content topics your customer success and support teams have identified as useful to upselling and retaining customers

☑️  Bottom-of-funnel and middle-of-funnel content topics around pricing, software comparisons, and reviews

☑️  Pillar topics surrounding each feature and solution your SaaS brand offers

☑️ News surrounding product updates 

☑️  Evergreen top-of-funnel content topics for your industry

☑️  Trending top-of-funnel content topics in your industry

Tips for selecting the right topics for your SaaS content

To concretize your content topics, consider three main objectives: 

  • Targeting your ICP
  • Creating valuable content 
  • Ranking on impactful keywords

Ideally, your content topics should check all three of those boxes while aligning with your overarching marketing goals.

If your goal is to grow your podcast viewership, then you’ll want to choose topics that facilitate distribution and repurposing for maximum visibility. If you want to shorten the sales cycle, collaborate with the sales and retention teams to choose content topics that highlight the in-demand features of your product offering. 

Your content should speak directly to your ICP about how your product solves their pain points. When you can include your product in your content marketing efforts, you’re creating opportunities to showcase the value and utility of your tool. 

You don’t need to hard-sell anyone with your content, but teams who creatively find ways to include the product in their content do better at generating influenced or assisted conversions. Learn more and see some examples.

Choose a mix of demand capture and demand generation to promote sustainable growth. The topics and channels you target should represent what your sales funnel needs at this time. 

Offer breadth and depth when choosing a topic for your content. Whether you’re clustering your content for SEO rankings or simply creating a useful hub of related content topics for your audience, your users will benefit from a thorough exploration of educational topics (and so will your organic reach).

Here are some great pragmatic ways to find the topics you should be prioritizing:

  • Customer interviews
  • Testimonial videos
  • Software review websites like G2 and Capterra
  • Social media comments
  • Comments on your competitor’s/industry influencer’s social media posts
  • Product features purpose (what are they meant to alleviate/help people do)
  • Keyword research tools
  • Google Search Console query data
  • Questions and feedback that your customer-facing and product-development teams receive
  • Newsletter responses
  • The content your dream customers are creating
  • Jobs-to-be-Done framework

2. Choose your distribution channels wisely

The best SaaS content marketing strategies include distribution plans. The three primary modes of distribution are owned media, earned media, and paid media. 

  • Owned media is content you’ve created on platforms you manage. This includes your blog, your email newsletter, and your social media. 
  • Earned media is content others have created that includes your product. When someone shares your post, includes you in a round-up, or reviews your product, that’s earned media.
  • Paid media includes all advertising efforts, like PPC ads and sponsored content.

Let’s begin by looking at the most popular online distribution methods that SaaS companies are taking advantage of today:

  • Paid distribution channels like Google Ads or YouTube Ads
  • Organic search engines like Google and Bing
  • Email newsletters
  • Social media, including LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, Instagram, and Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Your owned private communities on Discord or Slack
  • Podcast hosting services (Apple, Spotify, Google, etc.)
  • Co-marketing, other communities, and guest posting

When you’re selecting the right distribution channels for your content marketing strategy, here is what you’ll need to consider:

  • The bandwidth your team has for distribution. Different channels require more time, effort, and coordination. For your team’s sake, choosing the right channels is better than being on all the channels. If you’re just starting to dabble with consistent distribution, choose two channels to focus on.
  • Where your target audience spends their time. You might assume your audience is on LinkedIn only to discover that no individual associated with your ABM list has ever been active on that channel. Follow the data.
  • Your audience goals. Are you looking to expand your reach or speak to your owned audience? Some channels help teams increase their visibility, while others serve your most enthusiastic audience. 
  • How people find your product, service, or industry. If people tend to search for your products and feature solutions via search engines (you can verify with keyword research tools and by asking your customers), you’ll benefit from prioritizing SEO. Do they spend a significant amount of time on a social network where it’s normal to come across work-related topics? If so, ramp up your social media production.
  • What media types you will create. Depending on your bandwidth, resources, known search intent of certain topics, and team preferences, you might decide to produce written, video, or audio content. Each has a unique function and channels where they perform best.
  • Where and what your team members are most excited about distributing. Never underestimate the power of team buy-in for distributing your content. The combined reach of your employees far exceeds your company’s reach itself.

3. Create a detailed content marketing plan you can measure

As you understand your topics, media types, team bandwidth, and your established goals for your content marketing program, you can now begin to build a content marketing plan. 

While a marketing strategy focuses on the what, a marketing plan tackles the how. It outlines how your team will create the outlined content and covers important deadlines to meet.

To create a marketing plan, you’ll need to:

  1. Create a content calendar. Establish posting cadence and the amount of content that needs to be produced or refreshed.
  2. Delegate to team members. Identify team members or vendors who will create content so that everyone understands their roles.
  3. Allocate budget. Define how your team will use resources to meet content goals.
  4. Create and optimize content. Ensure content creators have all the necessary information to produce.
  5. Distribute and promote content. Outline which platforms and promotional tactics you’ll use to gain visibility.
  6. Measure success. Decide which analytics tools you’ll rely on to record metrics.

4. Include integration in your content marketing plan

An integrated marketing plan maximizes the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. 

Integrated marketing aligns all of your content toward one goal, with each piece building off of another. It increases your reach, reduces the time and effort required to create new content, and leverages the benefits of different platforms.

This is an important part of many successful marketing strategies. It gives your audience multiple unique experiences on any given page about related topics and allows them to consume the information via their preferred learning style.

When we worked with Visible, they used SEO-focused content as a base for their content strategy. It delivers consistent organic traffic and predictable trials for their services each month. And while their written content is very high quality, they also use SEO-focused content to embed their related webinars and podcasts on those posts.

This integrated content approach resulted in:

  • 313% growth in organic traffic 
  • 4x video views and podcast downloads, exposing organic visitors to even more of Visible’s content, brand, and expertise
  • 2x the number of LinkedIn followers from SEO-focused articles acting as a main source of messaging and social content distribution 

5. Set goals and establish content marketing metrics for success

Lead-nurturing content can be tricky to monitor as it moves prospects down the sales funnel. So, to understand how your content marketing efforts directly impact your revenue, you’ll want to establish KPIs so that you know which content marketing metrics to monitor to measure your success. 

A few key indicators that your content is working can include engagement rates, conversion rates, and time to conversion. It’s important to note that the metrics or goals you need to use will vary based on:

  • Your company and product type
  • Your role and who you’re reporting to
  • Your tech stack
  • How your leadership interprets different metrics

For goal setting, SaaS teams should avoid creating goals in a silo and targeting only a specific part of the sales funnel. All content goals should align with business aspirations and be realistic

Goals should align departments and encourage teams to work together to hit the established business goals of the company. For example, what content can marketing build to support sales to close the deal with prospects?

When it comes to setting realistic goals, SaaS teams will benefit from having the following things:

  • Revenue goal
  • Understanding of lead and revenue generation
  • Annual contract values
  • Conversion rates of leads from content into customers
  • Historic performances of reach for content by channel
  • Click-through rates for content by channel

This information allows you to aim at a goal and assess what type of lift would be needed to hit it, given previous performance data. It also helps you identify unrealistic goals that don’t align with previous performance.

Metrics every content team will find valuable:

  • Search volume, impressions, and other reach-based metrics
  • Clicks, views, and downloads-based metrics
  • Quantitative and qualitative engagement metrics
  • ICP and target accounts reached
  • Influenced revenue opportunities
  • Influenced closed-won revenue opportunities

6. Plan out your content distribution strategy

Build every new piece of content with a distribution plan in mind. Without distribution, no one will see your content. No new leads. No new revenue. 

Segmenting your audience allows you to create a powerful content map that will target users at different stages of their customer journey and exposure to your company. 

Some content formats have built-in distribution channels, like podcasts and blog posts. Social media, however, is a fantastic driver for content distribution because content can easily reach new audiences.

Following best practices for social media sites ensures you don’t post a video in the wrong aspect ratio or one that’s too long to drive engagement. You’ll also want to keep your ICP in mind when selecting a social media platform where you’ll distribute content. LinkedIn is a common outlet for B2B SaaS businesses hoping to reach other professionals.

Don’t be afraid to repurpose quality content

Repurposing your content isn’t just a good idea — it’s the engine that keeps your content machine running without using all the gas in your tank. 

It’s faster, cheaper, and more effective than continuously building all-new content from scratch. Plus, it allows your audience to interact with your content where, when, and how they please. 

You’ll need to modify or repurpose that content in a way that makes it most effective.

For instance, your team might build a blog post with a keyword target for distribution by a search engine. However, if you want to distribute that information on Twitter, you need to break that blog post down into short insights that can be easily threaded.

If you created a podcast meant for YouTube, you’d need to clip a 60-second soundbite to distribute it effectively on LinkedIn. 

SaaS Content Marketing: Repurposing Plan

‍ Great content is filled with valuable information that you can transform to reach new potential customers. Here are some effective ways we see SaaS content marketing teams distribute and repurpose their messaging:

  1. Repurposing content for your social media channels
  2. Creating written content (like blogs) from video assets
  3. Creating video content from written assets
  4. Creating short-form videos from long-form videos
  5. Rolling up parts of your content into a weekly or monthly email newsletter series
  6. Building downloadable assets such as images, checklists, or templates related to long-form articles
  7. Stacking multiple pieces of content into one “Ultimate Guide” resource

7. Strengthen your thought leadership content skills

Technology continues to change rapidly, and it can be challenging to keep up. To keep a finger on the pulse of the environment, people turn to thought leaders. 

These can be industry experts or company executives leading the charge, questioning best practices, and sharing their expertise. Thought leadership content positions your team as an authority in the industry, builds credibility, and encourages continued engagement. It also helps your brand stand out from competitors, putting a face and a voice to the company in a way no other content can. 

Now more than ever, thought leadership has become prevalent online as companies vie for market share. If you aren’t creating thought leadership content, you’re likely falling behind. 

But what does thought leadership content look like, and how can you mine for inspiration? 

  • Follow industry trends. Stay in touch with your audience and their questions and try to answer them. When everyone’s discussing a hot topic, like AI or a new Google algorithm, define your company’s position on it.
  • Showcase your internal expertise: Pull content topics from things you’ve learned on your personal journey or within the scope of your business. Connect with your audience by sharing what you’ve learned from pitfalls and how you recuperated.
  • Solve your ICP’s problems: Position yourself as an expert by honing in on the questions and concerns of your audience and providing solutions. Zero-click content makes your insights approachable, and your audience will value the helpful tips.

Examples of high-quality thought leadership content

Thought leadership content comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s commonly found on social media sites, particularly LinkedIn, where professionals share ideas. However, it can also take the shape of podcasts, webinars, and long-form content.

Extensive research, like G2’s Fall 2023 Reports, highlights your company’s deep industry knowledge. And the only thing better than one thought leader is two: Podcasts in conversation with other thought leaders, like Ten Speed’s conversation with Josh Palmer (Head of Content for OnBoard), support insightful conversations and innovative thinking. 

The most effective thought leadership content will align with your brand positioning, make a lasting impression on your target audience, and highlight your company’s expertise.

8. Communicate content marketing results with your leadership team

Your ability to manage up to the C-suite plays a significant role in the ultimate success of your content marketing strategy. 

These executives will demand business-related success, approve the plan and budget needs, and assess the progress of your efforts to deliver on the intended goals. 

To ensure alignment with leadership, marketing leaders should focus on four core areas: strategy communication, expectation management, resource allocation, and return on investment. 

Communicating the overall strategy is a must. You’ll define how content will drive business results, why it is worth pursuing, and how you plan to measure its impact and efficacy. While you’ll have to take the lead, the goal is to make this a collaborative process that includes leadership input, not something created in a silo.

Managing expectations limits pushback on content initiatives that have a longer gestation period. Advocating for content opportunities that might not result in revenue within the first 12 months. But it will create significant compounding returns within 18-24 months and eliminate roadblocks down the line. The more you can communicate along the way to share both the ups and downs, the better you can manage expectations and work through issues together. 

Don’t be afraid to talk about the numbers when it comes time to ask about needing more budget or resources. Remember, it’s your job to communicate what the dollars spent will return in gains to the company. Securing additional resources should tie back to the larger mission of the executive team and the company.

When you’re communicating progress to the C-suite, report on things that dovetail directly into the company’s standing. Illustrating the ROI of marketing programs through conversion rate increases, revenue growth, and increased traffic will showcase the impact of your content initiatives in a meaningful way. 

Harness the brand power of SaaS content marketing with Ten Speed

This guide should help you establish a comprehensive content strategy and plan for the coming quarters.

When you start with an ICP-focused approach, you ensure you pick the right topics and marketing channels to influence the qualified pipeline and grow brand affinity.

From there, it’s about setting the right goals, implementing workflows that support your team's bandwidth, and keeping your leadership team informed.

To make the most of your content marketing efforts, partner with a B2B SaaS content marketing agency. At Ten Speed, we’ll do the heavy lifting so that you can sit back and watch your revenue graphs tick up and to the right.

Learn how we bring this guide to life for SaaS companies like Gorgias, Metadata, Teamwork, Workvivo, and more with proven SEO and content optimization services. Book a call today.

And be sure to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to bring your strategy to life!

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