How to Double Conversion Rates with a SaaS Content Strategy

Content marketing proves to be an effective method for SaaS companies to differentiate their solutions in the marketplace. According to content marketing statistics, SaaS content marketing can generate an ROI of up to 647% for SaaS companies. However, when it comes to content marketing, SaaS companies face unique challenges that are not as apparent in other industries.

In this article, we discuss how to bypass common content marketing challenges and create a strategy that increases conversions and revenue.

Unique SaaS Content Marketing Challenges

For one, SaaS products are generally complex and involve technology, meaning it's not always intuitive to use from the start.

Second, most B2B SaaS products involve more decision makers and influencers, making the sales cycle longer.

Third, companies generally create content in a broader, educational context that is unlikely to convert the highest-intent customers. 

Failing to have a SaaS content strategy that ensures that the appropriate content reaches users in different phases of the buying journey can result in wasted resources.

Before we dive into these common issues, let's discuss what SaaS content marketing is and why it's important.

What Is SaaS Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the distribution of online materials (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that is meant to stimulate the interest of potential buyers. The format of content can take a variety of forms, such as:

  • Blogs (guides, listicles, how-tos)
  • Whitepapers
  • Podcasts
  • Case Studies
  • Interactive Tools (calculators, polls)
  • YouTube videos

You will want to use different types of content for different stages of the SaaS funnel.

Why Is Having a SaaS Content Marketing Strategy Important?

Trust and reputation are of paramount importance to SaaS companies. This is because buying their products often requires monthly or annual commitments. SaaS products are seen as an investment for most people, especially businesses.

Content acts like the bridge between the buyer and the company. Through content, brands can sharpen their brand voice and communicate expert knowledge to their audiences.

Providing valuable educational information that pinpoints people's problems and aims to solve them is bound to earn companies significant credibility.

The more exposure your target audience has to your brand through content, the more likely they'll prefer you over a competitor when they're ready to buy.

What Type of Content Should SaaS Companies Focus on?

Ironically, the common articles you see in the top 10 SERPs are articles with low conversion rates. That's because these "how-tos" or "definitive guide" types of articles often address a broader question in that specific niche.

If I'm an SEO professional looking to automate my monthly reporting, it's unlikely that coming across an article called "The Definitive Guide to SEO Analytics" is going to help me out, regardless of how comprehensive and well-written the article is.

What I'm looking for is an immediate answer to my problem. 

Therefore, the type of content that will address my pain point right away are product pages, use case articles, comparison articles, and alternative-to articles.

A lot of the time, SaaS companies' content marketing efforts follow a natural chain of command, i.e. building lots of top-funnel content first before moving onto the middle and bottom funnel.

However, reversing this content strategy and flipping the sales funnel will bear more results—especially given you'll be targeting those ready to convert first.

Bottom Funnel Content Marketing

Bottom funnel content includes things like case studies, user cases, third-party reviews, and product comparison pages. They can adopt the following format:

Best software for "X"

Alternatives to "X"

"X" vs "X"

Pros and Cons of "X"

Use Cases for "X"

"X" Increase 200x ROI using "X"

Ideally, the user will arrive at this content through search engines or from internal links. When someone searches in this specific format, it usually means their buying intent is high. When customers search for alternatives or another SaaS business in the same niche, they're scoping out all their options before making a decision.

This is why it's crucial that SaaS companies lay out the foundation of their bottom-funnel content to have more control over the narrative, as opposed to third-party review sites, i.e. G2, Capterra, and Trust Pilot.

Third-party review sites will most likely populate the first page. It is crucial that companies invest time in improving their ratings.

They can do this by reaching out to their paying customers and encouraging them to leave helpful reviews.

Through paid advertising, SaaS companies can boost their products to the top of these review pages.

Software Product Reviews: Know What You're Talking About

One common thing that software companies do is outsource copywriting to a copywriter specializing in software.

However, to fully encapsulate the use cases of the product, as well as address common problems, it's more optimal if writers are able to use the product themselves.

The better you're able to connect with your prospective customers through tone and help them understand the full use case of the product, the more likely they'll want to make the purchase from you.

Having a 2000-word article full of technical jargon will not necessarily convert an onlooker. Whereas having an article that accomplishes everything the person is looking for in a conversational tone might cause the customer to take action.

Middle Funnel Content Marketing

Middle funnel content includes interactive tools, market data, free resources, and product tour pages. It can look like any of the following:

  • Charts and graphs of industry trends
  • Cheat sheets 
  • Templates (i.e. content calendar template)
  • ROI Calculators (i.e. marketing budget calculator)
  • Market data

This type of content helps increase credibility and gives potential customers something of value before they have to make a purchase.

Professionals and field experts are potential customers who are often on the lookout for SaaS tools that make their jobs easier or can help them service their customers better. These free resources help them reduce time in creating reports and outlines.

Given the efficacy of such a resource, prospects are likely more willing to consider using other tools promoted by the brand, such as the SaaS product itself. For example, Ahrefs has a free keyword generator which is a great place to start if someone wants to scope out the product and the layout of Ahrefs. If they're satisfied with the user experience, they might go on to purchase the full SEO tool. They're also constantly exposed to other resources promoted by Ahrefs that are compatible with their software.

Top-Funnel Content Marketing

Top-funnel content is generally made of educational material meant to inspire relevant audiences about the possibilities within a certain niche.

For example, "How can we use project management for construction?"

This is a question that addresses a broader niche, project management for construction industries.

The format of top-funnel content includes:

  • How to X
  • Listicles
  • Opinion/ thought leadership pieces
  • Definitive Guides of X
  • Whitepapers
  • Podcasts
  • Videos

SaaS marketing teams should compile a list of relevant topics using a combination of pain points and keyword research. Then, organize each topic by content cluster, as well as which part of the funnel. 

Start with bottom-funnel content, and when that list's been exhausted, move on to the middle, and then finally, top-funnel content.

This way, you'll ensure that you're reaching high-intent buyers first.

Creating a Content Strategy and Calendar

Now that you've gathered a long list of relevant topics and sorted them by buying phase, there are a few key steps to ensure that your content is on track to convert.

First, you must identify your target audience. Who are you writing for?

Generally, there are several decision makers involved in this.

Identify the Target Audience

One mistake that content writers make is that they start writing based on their own presumptions of what type of content is interesting.

When writing content designed to nurture leads down the sales funnel or convert, you must have a clear picture of who you are speaking to. 

Is it another marketer? Or a CEO? A CFO?

Different audiences will be attracted to different types of content, so make sure you look at content from a holistic, strategic perspective and allocate resources to cover each of these bases.

For example, use case content is perfect for specialists or technical team members who will actually be implementing and using the software on the day-to-day.

Companies may even want to create a free course teaching a valuable skill. Members of the sales team can draw valuable knowledge from these courses and show their managers branded credentials.

ROI calculators and market data pertaining to the value of this product might be useful to entice the CMO or CFO on the expected financial outcomes of using the software. 

Past case studies and pricing sheets are also useful for this.

A combination of content targeting several decision-makers along the chain will help edge them closer to choosing your product over competitors.

Make sure you answer these questions:

  • What is your audience's problem or objective?
  • How does your SaaS solution help them with that problem or objective?
  • What are your audience's interests?
  • Which pages are they most likely to visit on your site?

Answering these types of questions will help marketers understand how to best write for their target audiences. It is a crucial part of your overall content marketing strategy.

Define KPIs and tracking measures

It's important you get granular about your goals and objectives and make sure your content marketing strategy is aligned with these.

Build SMART (Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Time Bound) goals based on your broader objectives, such as establishing brand awareness or increasing revenue yearly.

Then, you want to reverse engineer the roadmap to achieving these goals.

Such as, let's say your goal is to increase completed lead generation forms by a third in the next six months.

The step before this is: Increase CTR for CTAs by 30%.

The step before this is: Increase the number of CTAs throughout the content.

The step before this is: Create consistent content and build on a theme that addresses a specific pain point.

The step before this is: Collect data on what problems or objectives your target audience has and identify pain points.

The step before this is: Identify your target audience and different buyer personas.

By thinking of the precise steps of how you're going to get to the desired goal, you can craft a content plan that's more likely to hit the mark.

Form KPIs around each of the phases: awareness, lead gen, engagement.

In terms of metrics, you can regularly track things like:

  • Increase in people subscribing to newsletter from blog CTA
  • Increase in people booking calls from the blog CTA
  • Increase in traffic to product pages from the blog 
  • Increase in social media following, shares and engagement with blog posts
  • Increase in resource downloads

Not all of these metrics will lead to conversion, but most of them will bring more credibility to your brand or at least get more people subscribed to be in regular contact with your brand.

Optimize Content for Search Engine Optimization

Now that you have a content calendar that contains relevant themes and covers the pain points of your defined audiences—the next essential step is optimizing the content for search engines.

You should already have an idea of what keywords will work based on the search volume or market research from your target audience. However, it is recommended that you use a keyword research tool, content gap analysis, and competitor analysis to determine what type of content is ranking well for those specific keywords. You also want to look at what type of content is performing well in terms of social shares and organic backlinks.

Compile data which should include:

  • Content format of the top 10 SERP
  • Word count of the top 10 SERP
  • Keywords used for the top 10 SERP
  • Relevant FAQs or schema markups for the top 10 SERP

You don't want to replicate these blog posts. Instead, you should find gaps in the top-ranking content for each keyword and plan to create content that covers these topics. This is also called the Skyscraping technique.

Remember, your goal here is to further the discussion on an interesting topic while encompassing the factors that are already working to dominate organic search.

Content Distribution 

Your content distribution method is just as important to the actual content creation. Regardless of how exceptionally well-written your content or resources are, there won't be any significant increases in conversions if no one sees it.

A proper content distribution strategy ensures that your content is promoted, shared and boosted through the most important channels relevant to your customers.

The three main types of distribution channels are owned, paid and earned media.

Earned media

Getting mentions in reputable news outlets is considered a golden egg for content marketers—the reason being: organic traffic, backlink opportunities and the big one, credibility.

News sites and reputable magazines are often seen as authoritative sources. Thus, having a newsworthy product can give the brand a big boost.

Think about if your brand was mentioned in publications like Forbes or New York Times; that's access to a professional audience of up to millions of people.

Paid media

Paid media refers to sources like sponsored posts or influencer-affiliated marketing. This type of distribution is still useful to increase reach to a targeted audience. However, it's often perceived as not as trustworthy and biased compared to organic media. This is due to the nature of it being paid for.

Owned Media

Owned media refers to any of the company's own assets, such as its company blog, YouTube channel, and social media pages.

From an SEO perspective, it's highly valuable that companies build their own repertoire of resources, as it helps significantly with their website traffic if they rank well for product-related keywords.

Getting organic traffic through these means is highly effective, lower cost and more credible as opposed to paid advertising. At SaaS Semantics, we focus on delivering a laser-focused SEO content strategy that not only aims to rank companies for important keywords in the long run but is written in a way that closely reflects the brand voice.

Click here for a free SEO audit and consultation for your SaaS company.

When forming your SEO strategy, you want to ensure that where you distribute your content gets you the most ROI.

Some useful questions to ask when you're forming your strategy are:

  • Content format (blog, video, survey, eBook, podcast) --> we recommend, from an SEO perspective, to focus primarily on keyword-focused, long-form blog posts.
  • What type of content does your audience prefer to consume? (You can always make educational videos on YouTube, post on social channels, and repurpose that content into long-form content to rank for SEO.
  • Where does your audience usually hang out? (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, blog sites, Reddit, News, YouTube)
  • Which media channels do you have access to?
  • What's your budget?

It doesn't make sense to blast your content over every social media outlet if it's not going to reach your target audience. Make sure you have a thorough review and answer these questions before you distribute in order to be as cost-effective as possible.

Conclusion

Too often, SaaS companies' content marketing efforts result in suboptimal conversion rates.

Companies that want to overcome this hurdle should focus on a few key things.

Who is in the audience?

What are their pain points and objectives?

Where do they like receiving information?

What are they searching for?

What is my company's main value-add?

Once these questions are answered, the focus should be on optimizing content for organic traffic growth while developing a consistent brand voice that aligns with the company's value proposition and mission.

When you consistently create valuable content that tackles your audience's problems, you're building toward trust and credibility as a brand. In fact, 35% of the world's largest SaaS companies have an educational proponent on their website.

Your SaaS product and the supplementary educational content will become the go-to source for valuable industry insights for your new and existing audiences. Building newsletter subscriptions offering relevant and expert insights about your product and niche is also a great lead generation strategy.

On the contrary, having a sporadic posting schedule with themeless content pieces will do little to convert those that have a specific problem.

Make sure you book a free consultation with us at SaaS Semantics, where we're happy to provide you with a quick content audit.