B2B SaaS Content Marketing: How To Drive Organic Traffic (And Sales)

A short time ago, content marketing was the “new thing.” Simply having a few pieces of content on your website garnered authority and raised your ranking in Google. Even without true value, minimal content could vastly improve your SaaS company’s web presence.

Those days are long gone.

According to a survey completed by Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B companies have implemented content marketing.

It’s no longer a question of IF you should implement content marketing, but HOW you should implement content marketing.

This guide will explain why and how you should add content marketing to your B2B SaaS marketing budget.

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Why Content Marketing For SaaS Companies?

Ranking organically in Google increases website traffic and drives organic sales. Because SaaS companies make nearly 100% of their sales digitally, ranking in Google is critical for success in the SaaS industry. 

Content marketing is a digital strategy that can improve your company’s Google ranking. 

Research shows that “content marketing has become the key of a successful online marketing campaign and the most important tool of digital marketing.”

Let’s take a look at how it can drive organic traffic and increase sales.

Content Marketing is Cost-Effective

Ranking organically in Google increases website traffic and drives organic sales. Because SaaS companies make nearly 100% of their sales digitally, ranking in Google is critical for success in the SaaS industry. 

Content marketing is a digital strategy that can improve your company’s Google ranking. 

Research shows that “content marketing has become the key of a successful online marketing campaign and the most important tool of digital marketing.”

Let’s take a look at how it can drive organic traffic and increase sales.

Content Marketing Answers Customer Questions

Content marketing allows you to create a platform to answer the questions potential SaaS clients are searching for, in a non-sales-y way. 

This platform is a space for you to flaunt all the benefits of your product(s) without pressuring potential clients to buy before they’re ready.

Use your content to:

  • Address the “problems” your software solves
  • Outline the solutions your software offers for those problems

Illustrate additional benefits your software provides to offer opportunities your potential clients haven’t even thought of yet

Content Marketing Can Build Trust

Did you know the market for public SaaS will likely reach $157 billion in 2020?

Hiring a software-as-a-service company is a BIG decision for business owners to make. But, to be successful, many businesses have to dive in. In fact, four out of five businesses already use an SaaS application. 

How do you make your SaaS company stand out among your competition?

Build trust.

If the content on your website answers questions your potential clients are searching for, they’ll remember you.

When they think of another question, they’ll return to you.

With enough value-adding content, you will build authority in the eyes of this potential client. And when they’re ready to buy, they’ll buy from you.

First, Understand Your Ideal Client:

Once you decide to implement content marketing into your SaaS company’s overall marketing plan, don’t make the mistakes many companies have made:

  • Creating content without basing it on data
  • Creating content without developing a strategic plan and timeline

The most important step you can take before starting the content creation process is to understand your ideal client. Most importantly, you’ll need to discover:

  • Your client’s buying journey and how it relates to your SaaS product
  • How potential clients are searching for your SaaS product

What Does Your Ideal Client’s Buying Journey Look Like for Your SaaS Product?

As you likely already know, it is important for SaaS companies to understand and develop their buyer persona.

Equally important, is understanding the buying journey of your potential SaaS clients.

A customer’s buying journey may include these pain points:

  1. Aware of a problem but unaware of a solution
    • These customers are likely searching for content related to their problem
  2. Aware of a solution but unaware of brands that can provide the best solution
    • These customers are likely searching for SaaS companies that can provide a specific solution they’ve discovered
  3. Aware of multiple brands that can provide a solution but unsure of which brand to choose
    • These customers are likely highly-aware of the market and brands available to provide solutions

These pain points will all fall into different areas of a typical buyer funnel:

H4

You know who your typical client is and what journey they may have followed to find your company. Now, use that knowledge to discover how they searched for you. 

Why?

Other potential clients fit into the same buyer persona. Their buying journey will look very similar. 

What does this mean? 

They’re asking the SAME questions using the SAME platforms. 

You can leverage this in the topics you tackle in your content.

Some possible channels clients utilize when searching for solutions are:

  • Social media advertisements
  • Online forums
  • Browser searches (Google)

I Guarantee Your Ideal Client Has Problems - Are They Searching for Answers on Google?

Do you know how many searches Google processes in a year? In a day? In a second? According to Internet Live Stats, the numbers are: 

  • 1.2 Trillion searches per year
  • 3.5 billion searches per day
  • 40,000 searches per second

With numbers like that, it is safe to say your ideal client is searching for solutions to their problems on Google. Every. Single. Day.

Content marketing for SaaS companies MUST be strategic. 

Take what you know your ideal customer is searching for and expand on it.

Do your homework. 

Dig into the data. 

Only create content that answers questions you KNOW your customers are asking. Content that solves problems you KNOW your customers have.

Keyword Research Becomes Very Important

Let’s say your SaaS company is a mobile credit card processing company, like Square.  

Square is a great resource for small businesses. And they know it.

They determined…

  • Who their ideal client is
  • What problems their ideal client has
  • What solutions their ideal client needs

…and they continually create content around keywords their ideal clients are searching in Google.

Take a look at their blog to see how they have implemented content marketing:

Small business owners have questions about:

  • Reducing shipping costs
  • Managing product returns
  • Generating customer reviews

Square knows what issues their clients have, and they offer content that utilizes keywords surrounding those issues. This gives Square authority in the market.

Keywords Everywhere

Identifying keywords for your content starts with you. What do you know about your customer, their buying journey, and the issues they face?

Why did you create the software for your SaaS company? What problems can your product(s) solve?

Start brainstorming keywords. Make lists. Google your ideas and see what pops up under “people also ask.”

For example, someone writing content for Square might research the phrase “mobile credit card processing.” Within the organic results, we also find:

These results are additional keyword phrases you can address in your content.

There are also online tools to help you find even more related keywords. One of these tools is SEMrush.

SEMrush

SEMrush is an “All-in-one Marketing Toolkit.” It will help you understand the value of keywords important to your product(s) AND show you additional related keywords Google users are searching for.

Let’s use the same keyword phrase – “mobile credit card processing” – in an SEMrush search:

As you can see, SEMrush provides actual searches Google users are performing. You can view broad match, related, and even question keywords.

SaaS Content Marketing Strategy: Putting Together Comprehensive Keyword Research and Content Calendar for Maximum ROI

Content can be a significant part of your marketing. And, as we’ve discussed, it has the opportunity of major ROI. 

But, it is not a “set it and forget it” marketing strategy. 

First of all, it can take months (or longer) for digital marketing content to create momentum for your SaaS company. 

In order for it to remain successful once it does take off, it needs continual upkeep – new blog posts, new videos, ebooks, slideshares, etc.

To meet this demand and execute successfully, you need comprehensive keyword research and a content calendar.

Here is an example of comprehensive keyword research that is designed for SEO. It calculates traffic cost, content opportunity score, and more. Keyword research allows you to identify the “lowest hanging fruit.” 

You can decide what content to start with based on content opportunity scores.

Here is an example of a content calendar. Outline a game plan for your content:

  • How often will you post new content?
  • What day of the month will you post new content?
  • Which keyword will your content target?

Does this seem like a lot? Do you think you might be in over your head? Or fear you might not have time to spare to be thorough?

Becoming Media has solutions. We’re comprehensive. We cover all the bases of keyword research, KPI identification, content calendar build-out and more.

Now That You Know Who Your Ideal Client is, How They Search, and What Your Content Calendar Looks Like… What Do You Do?

It’s time to put in the work. This is where the real fun starts. Content generation. 

You have your target keywords, you researched your competition, your calendar is set

Let’s create some content.

First: Start Creating Content for SaaS:

Creating content is more than just writing a blog post. For each article you produce, you’ll need to research your SaaS competition and really dive into the keyword you’re targeting.

To frame your content, start with a MindMap.

Step 1: Create a MindMapping Document for Each Keyword

A MindMapping Document, which provides an overview for the goal of the content to be written, is a key step in generating a successful article.

If you are writing the content, this document will help keep you focused on the intent of the keyword.

If you have hired a content writer, this document will provide the writer with all of the tools they need to create value-adding content. Your MindMap should include the following:

Keyword Highlights

Use a tool like SEMRush to evaluate your target keyword. Include:

    • The keyword you’re targeting
    • Existing volume for your keyword
    • Keyword difficulty (competition)
    • Amount of traffic your top competitor is driving for your keyword
    • The intent of the search: information vs. intent to buy 
      • What part of the buyer funnel is the consumer likely in when searching this keyword?
Competition Knowledge

You’ll also need to look at what your competition is doing. What does their content look like? Building this knowledge will help you create something better.

Google your keyword and look at the top three organic results. Answer the following questions in your MindMap:

  • What is the average length of content? 
  • What is the average number of backlinks in the content?
    • The more high-authority sites a piece of your content links to, the more authority Google will assign to your site
    • Use an online tool like Backlink Checker
  • Is there video content?
  • Is there a common theme or style in the content?
  • What is their call to action (CTA)?
Additional Insights

To complete your MindMap, specify:

  • 2nd-tier and question keywords (related and broad match keywords)
  • Your CTA
  • Internal and external link guidance (what to include and what to steer clear of
  • A section outlining how your content will add value to the reader
    • What can you do that will outperform your competition?
  • A brief summary of what the content should accomplish

Step 2: Create a Draft Outline for Each Keyword

Once you’ve generated a MindMap that provides direction and goals for your content, it’s time to create a draft outline.

Draft outlines frame your entire article. They provide a solid structure and foundation for your content. 

If you start writing content without an outline, you may end up losing focus or straying away from your target and second-tier keywords.

A successful draft outline will:

  • Include:
    • A structured URL that includes the target keyword
    • A Title Tag
    • A Meta Description
  • Frame your article around the intent of the search
    • You need content that will reach buyers at every stage of the buying journey
  • Utilize headers to “guide a user through your web content.”

Although not required to rank in Google, using headers to tie-in target and second-tier keywords is extremely helpful. 

Why? Web users skim content. 

You know what phrases and questions your potential SaaS clients are searching for. Use those exact searches as headers to draw the reader’s eye to the sections of your article that will solve their problem.

Let’s go back to our SEMRush search for “mobile credit card processing.” One section of the body of a draft outline for this target keyword may look something like:

Step 3: Start Writing Value-Adding Content Within Your Draft Outline

Google’s algorithm is extremely smart. It doesn’t just look at keywords. It crawls websites assessing the value of the content you include on your website.

Researching a ton of keywords related to your SaaS company and haphazardly throwing together basic content stuffed with keywords isn’t going to cut it.

When writing content, ask yourself:

    • Would this help me?
    • Does this thoroughly answer a question or solve a problem?
    • Would I want more information?
    • Is this content designed for my potential customers or only for search engine ranking?
      • Always design your pages for users over search engines

Yes, keywords are important and you want to use them. But, it is crucial to use them naturally.

Step 4: Ensure the Content Will Convert

The most important thing a website can do for an SaaS company is to move a potential client through the buyer funnel to make a purchase. 

While content marketing is designed to add value, answer questions, and solve problems, it also needs to convert. 

Without conversions, you have no ROI and a whole lot of wasted time.

So, how can you ensure your content will convert?

If you Google how to do this, you’ll find a TON of results and suggestions. But they all essentially come down to five strategies:

  1. Be sure your CTA (call, click, download) is visible early and often
  2. Create content that flows logically
  3. Streamline your content 
    • Remove unnecessary “fluff”
  4. Utilize varying keywords to subtly promote yourself 
    • Square doesn’t say “we’re the best mobile payment processing company!”
      • Their content lets a user make that determination
  5. Focus on quality, not quantity

Step 5: Consider Adding Video Content (YouTube SEO for SaaS)

The entire platform for SaaS is virtual/digital. It makes sense that you should implement multiple forms of digital content.

Video content created for your SaaS company can be published on YouTube and then embedded into your content to improve Google ranking for those pages.

According to Hubspot, 90% of users say that videos are helpful in making buying decisions. With all the competition in the SaaS industry, videos can help your company stand out.

Covideo, a company that operates in the B2B video creation market says it best:

“These days, with the abundance of SaaS companies promoting their software and services, the ideal solution for potential clients is easily blurred. Sharpen the picture with video!”

How you incorporate video is entirely up to you. Take a look at Square’s blog as an example:

Second: Track Data

Creating content without tracking your website’s data is a waste. A waste of your time. A waste of your money. A waste of an opportunity.

Tracking data is a crucial step in an SaaS content marketing strategy. It’s the only way you can possibly know if your digital content is working. It’s the only way to know if you’re seeing a return on your investment.

At Becoming Media, we know the importance of tracking data and truly know how to interpret Google’s statistics to determine if our efforts are improving your ROI. Contact us for a free digital footprint audit.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that “helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot, your site’s presence in Google Search results.”

Your SaaS company can use GSC to identify and make improvements to increase your success in Google search results.

In GSC you will have access to reports and tools to monitor:

  • Website traffic data
  • Which queries (keywords) lead to your site
    • How often users click through to your site based on those keywords
  • Which websites are linking to your site(s)
  • And more

With GSC you can evaluate your content’s ability to perform in search results. It will help you understand whether or not Google values your content in relation to user queries.

Google Analytics

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that “helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot, your site’s presence in Google Search results.”

Your SaaS company can use GSC to identify and make improvements to increase your success in Google search results.

In GSC you will have access to reports and tools to monitor:

  • Website traffic data
  • Which queries (keywords) lead to your site
    • How often users click through to your site based on those keywords
  • Which websites are linking to your site(s)
  • And more

With GSC you can evaluate your content’s ability to perform in search results. It will help you understand whether or not Google values your content in relation to user queries.

Third: Optimize Your SaaS-Focused Content

Your content will take time to rank organically. Don’t assume that you can add a piece of content today and it will rank first in Google tomorrow.

Content marketing is a long-term investment that you’ll need to evaluate through an optimization process. This process should start after your content has been live for about three months. 

After that time, use the tools above to evaluate the following questions:

  • Is your content ranking for the target keyword?
  • If it is ranking, are users clicking through to your website?
  • If users are clicking through to your website, are they converting?

More Keywords or More Value?

The answers to the above questions will determine how you will move forward with optimization.

If your content is not ranking well, consider revamping it and adding more SEO-friendly content (more relevant keywords).

If your content is ranking well, but users aren’t clicking through to your website, consider updating your Title Tag or Meta Description (or both).

If users are clicking through to your website but are not converting, examine your content to see how it can add more value to the reader.

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