Every industry can benefit from content marketing. Content is a part of everything we do in business. From website copy and product descriptions, to eBooks and whitepapers. Content plays a huge role in how customers view our brands.
How you market a product/service is different in every industry. Marketing a product will be different than how you market a service. Selling business to business is much different than selling from business to consumer. As a B2B SaaS marketer, you understand how hard it can be to gain a competitive advantage in such a competitive industry.
Creating engaging content as a B2B SaaS company is an effective way to gain a competitive edge while increasing brand awareness.
Let’s talk about how B2B SaaS companies can utilize content marketing the best.
Why is Content Marketing Important for B2B SaaS Companies?
To keep it simple, content marketing drives sales.
To go more in-depth, content marketing is important for B2B SaaS companies for two reasons.
- It helps customers fully understand your solution
- It separates you from the competition
Customers are doing more research than ever before purchasing to make sure they are getting the most bang for their buck. Especially when your customers are businesses. Businesses need to know what they are getting and how it will solve the problems they are having.
As a marketer, it’s your job to show your customers that you truly understand their problems and how they can overcome them with your product/service.
Content marketing does exactly that.
By creating blogs, whitepapers, case studies, product descriptions and more you are able to educate the reader on your company’s unique selling proposition.
Outside of educating customers and increasing brand awareness, content marketing can help set your brand apart from competitors. Most B2B SaaS companies either don’t have a content marketing strategy in place or simply don’t take content marketing seriously and produce low quality content.
By consistently creating quality content you will be able to build your brand’s awareness and become a thought leader in your industry. Generating more traffic to your site and more conversions all at a lower acquisition cost than paid advertising. Getting you the return on investment your boss wants to see from your marketing team.
Like we said, content marketing touches so many different segments of the business. It’s vital for SaaS companies to have a content marketing strategy that helps achieve their goals.
What is the Most Effective Type of Content Marketing for B2B SaaS Companies?
There are a ton of different types of content your SaaS company can create. There is no one size fits all when it comes to creating content. Every company is different and so is how they educate their customers.
Your company might find great success in creating eBooks while another is more focused on video.
Here a few of the different types of content B2B SaaS companies can create:
- Case Studies
The 2 types of content that I find most effective for B2B SaaS companies are blogs and case studies.
Blogging for B2B SaaS Companies
Blogging, with the best SEO practices in mind, is an easy way to increase brand awareness. Answering highly searched questions and providing solutions to common problems your customers are having will build trust.
Blogging is all about asking the right questions, coming up with quality topics, and engaging the reader in your writing. This is a lot easier said than done for most companies. As a salesman at heart, it pains me to see sales and marketing teams not working together at companies I work with.
Either sales isn’t doing enough with the leads marketing is giving them or marketing isn’t getting sales qualified leads. When in reality if they sales and marketing collaborated both departments would benefit tenfold.
If you are going to blog successfully you need great topics. Sales is one of my favorite places to get new content topics from. They are the ones who talk to the customers, handle their objections, and hear what they say about the competition’s and your own products.
Oftentimes they field a lot of the same questions and objections. Those are the questions and objections that you want to create blog posts about. That way users can find the answer directly on the website (increasing traffic) or sales can send the blog to the customer to elaborate on the question or problem they are having.
Creating B2B SaaS Company Case Studies
Case studies are a great way to show how your software-as-a-service solves customers problems with a real life example. Interviewing a business to show how your service has benefited them can help reduce risk and build trust with future customers.
Businesses who already use and benefit from your service will highlight your USPs while speaking your customers language. That is what makes case studies so effective. The reader can put themselves in the business’ shoes, pulling on their emotions.
Canny.io creates some of my favorite B2B SaaS case studies. Typically case studies are known for being extremely long, but Canny.io keeps it light. They break up each case study into 3 sections – challenge → solution → result – and let the business (software user) tell their story.
Creating a case study gives your sales and marketing team some great customer feedback and can help increase brand awareness by reducing risk and showing your product in action.
Common Content Marketing Mistakes B2B SaaS Companies Are Making
Content marketing is a cost efficient way to gain traffic, increase conversion rate optimization, and achieve goals when done well. Unfortunately, putting out content that is subpar does more harm than good. Blog quality matters more than quantity.
If you aren’t going to put out high quality content you’re wasting your company’s money. Here are a few of the most common content marketing mistakes B2B SaaS companies make:
- Not investing in content marketing
- Poor SEO practices
- Don’t know customers well enough
- Sales and marketing not collaborating
- Lack of Differentiation
- No storytelling element
- Lack of process and research
If you looked at these and thought, that’s a problem that my company is suffering from, check out our blog post on how to overcome common content marketing problems.
Tips for Effective B2B SaaS Content Marketing
Follow these tips to create effective content in the B2B software-as-a-service industry.
Define Your Goals
Every piece of content you create needs to have a purpose. Clearly define your goal when creating content so you can measure its effectiveness.
- Are you looking to increase brand awareness?
- Do you want more traffic to your site?
- Want to rank on the first page of SERPs?
- How about increasing sales and conversion rates?
What are you trying to achieve in creating content?
You NEED to answer these questions before you start the writing process. The best way to create content is to reverse engineer it. Start by identifying your goal and work backwards to find out how you can achieve it.
Speak to Your Target Audience
Clearly defining your audience is crucial in content marketing. Only 16% of users actually read your content while the other 84% skim through it to look for their answer and leave. Your content should be tailored to that 16%.
Every piece of content needs to be targeted.
- Who is reading your content?
- How much do they already know about you and your product/service?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- What stage of the buying process are they in?
Simply giving your writer the answer to these 4 questions will improve your content drastically. When the writer knows who they are writing to they can speak their language, solving customers problems in their words. This results in more engaging content driving readers to take action.
Create Content that push customers through sales funnel
Your content should be tailored to the stage of the buying process readers are in. If a reader is in the beginning stages of the buying process, you’ll want to create top of funnel content. This type of content is long form, has a ton of links (internal + external), and provides the reader with all information their curiosity can handle about a topic.
Middle of the funnel content is focused on educating the reader. The customer has a general knowledge of the topic at hand and is looking for solutions to their problem. Middle of the funnel content educates customers on how a service may solve their problems
Bottom of the funnel content is typically short form. Users who get to the bottom of the funnel have a strong base of knowledge so you don’t want to add irrelevant sections or you risk them leaving your site. Bottom funnel content has one goal in mind and that’s a sale. Make it clear what action you want the reader to take by using a main call to action.
Be a Thought Leader
All too often companies come up with a blog and basically summarize the top 3 to 5 articles in SERPs. The problem with doing this is that every company does this. It doesn’t actually provide anymore value to the reader than the top search engine results already do.
Yes, you should look to see what your competitors are writing about and try to steal some of their traffic. But you need to be original and add your own unique thoughts.
Providing your own personal experiences on the subject or contacting an SME can make your content stand out in the crowd. A subject matter expert (SME) can answer difficult questions and provide quotes and in-depth insights on a given subject.
Your content needs to be original to be recognized as a thought leader in your industry. If you can do that, users will seek out your website because of the value and insights you deliver.
Content marketing is a part of everything you do in business. B2B SaaS companies can gain a ton of traction by ramping up their content marketing strategy. If you feel like your company is just scratching the surface, you should consider outsourcing your content.
A B2B SaaS company marketing agency will be able to create and implement a content marketing strategy that will engage users and drive them to take action.