Don’t you want to create over 100 valuable content pieces for your SaaS each day?
Publish a blog article, post a video on YouTube, share updates on social media, run Google or social ads, do a podcast. The content to create is endless!
But do you have a SaaS content strategy?
You want the content to be top-notch. And provide superior value to your potential customers to establish your SaaS brand’s credibility.
But creating quality content at such frequency is difficult.
So how do you go about creating compelling content as a part of your SaaS inbound marketing strategy?
You know the answer.
By creating a solid long-term SaaS content marketing strategy.
Content marketing for a large or medium company versus content marketing for a small company.
You have to look at them differently.
For large SaaS companies, this is the golden trifecta of a flourishing content marketing strategy.
A combination of quality, consistency, and volume.
If you’re Neil Patel, this is perfect for you.
With a dedicated support team with tens of people to steer your marketing efforts, you can achieve all this and much more.
But most small SaaS companies have a tiny content marketing team. Sometimes only a group of 3–me, myself, and I.
For such small teams, it’s impractical to do everything.
So, can’t small SaaS content teams succeed at long-term content marketing?
Sure they can! But with a slight revision in their content marketing strategy.
Small SaaS content marketing teams can use their golden trifecta. A combination of quality, consistency, and priority.
See, you can never negotiate on quality and consistency. But you can pick your battles. You don’t have to do everything!
This why small SaaS teams need a nifty long-term content marketing strategy.
Today I will walk you through the steps you need to create an effective long-term SaaS content strategy.
One that can help small SaaS companies like yours churn out great content, without having to sweat it.
Let’s go wild.
Creating A Long-Term SaaS Content Strategy In 5 Steps
01. Set-up SMART SaaS Content Strategy Objectives
The first step in creating a long-term SaaS content strategy is to set up solid objectives. Create firm end-goals that provide long-term inspiration and short-term incentives.
It concentrates your energy and mind on the most important things. So you have to tie everything, you create to an end purpose.
Let’s talk numbers here. Assume as part of your SaaS marketing strategy, you want to focus more on increasing your monthly new customers.
This is a vague goal, and you know it. You need to be more specific than that.
So, you speak to your sales staff, analyze past data, drill deeper. And you come up with a goal of attaining 25 new customers per month for your SaaS.
Sound better, but you’re not there yet.
So, to get to a final goal, you decide to explore your existing numbers a little more. You find that the current sales funnel looks something like this:
SQLs (target customers) > MQLs (prospective customers) > Paying Customers (current customers)
Your SaaS conversion ratios stand at:
MQL to SQL conversion rate is 18.57%.
SQL to paying customer conversion rate is 38.46%.
Currently, you get 280 MQLs per month.
Let’s unpack these terms.
MQL or Marketing Qualified Leads are your prospective clients that are qualified by marketing to be part of your target audience.
SQL or Sales Qualified Leads are your prospective customers whom you want to turn into current customers.
Now you have some interesting data to work with. You analyze your funnel strategy, make some calculations, and realize to get 25 paying customers, you need 65 MQLs. And to get 65 MQLs, you need 350 SQLs.
So, your ultimate goal as a content marketer is to increase your monthly MQLs from 280 to 350. That is a 25% increase.
Now this goal is decent, right?
But trust me, it can still be better. I’ll talk about it in the next section.
How To Set Good Objectives For Your Long-Term SaaS Content Strategy?
Goal setting in marketing requires some thinking and good business understanding. But there’s one framework that works well in setting ideal objectives – SMART.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bounded.
So, every marketing goal you set should be SMART.
Now, let’s get back to our previous example of attaining 25 loyal customers per month. And see if we can make it SMART.
After analyzing data, you realized that you need to Improve monthly your MQLs by 25%. That’s great. But you also need to decide on a timeframe.
As a SaaS marketer, you know it will take you roughly 6 months to achieve your goal.
So, to achieve your ultimate goal of 25 new paying clients per month for your SaaS, your SMART goal is to improve monthly MQLs by 25% in 6 months.
It’s specific–We’ve got a clear focus on improving monthly MQLs.
Achievable–This depends on good business understanding and data analysis. But let’s assume 25% in 6 months is an attainable goal.
Relevant–You’re focused on acquiring new customers. This is a relevant goal.
Time-bounded–In 6 months.
Great! As you can see, this goal is SMART. Now you can create a long-term content strategy around this goal.
SMART Goals- Self-Development Guru Brian Tracy
Tip: When we talk about long-term content planning, 6 months–1 year is a decent time frame. But it is also a long time, it’s easy to lose focus.
So, try to throw in some mini-milestones in the mix to maintain clarity and motivation during the period.
Looking for a SaaS content strategy case study?
Check out Grow And Convert’s article on scaling signups here.
02. Examine Your Existing SaaS Content
The second step in creating a long-term content strategy is to inspect what you already have. When you dish out content, it’s easy to develop an enormous stack in a short time.
It can soon get messy and difficult to manage. Often people can’t find things when they need them.
So survey everything.
This way you can recognize the SaaS content marketing resources you already have at your disposal.
This will save you from hours of duplicate work. For example, you may have an unpublished blog article on ‘how your SaaS helps improve productivity’ stored somewhere.
You can update it. Put it in your long-term SaaS content calendar. Then reuse it.
Also, look in places where you store away assets for future use. Scout the marketing folder, talk to your SaaS sales team. Even go through your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and CMS (Content Management System).
Chances are, we may find some hidden gems there.
The next step is to organize and store everything. Maintaining a simple nomenclature can go a long way in systemizing your SaaS marketing assets.
Remember, it’s easy to tell a story if you have your piece of content ready.
Check out 7 examples of SaaS content marketing here.
03. Incorporate Company Events Into SaaS Content Strategy
This brings us to the third step in creating a long-term SaaS content strategy. To understand what company events are lined up for the year or quarter.
Check out your company calendar. Look for upcoming events, new feature launches for your SaaS, scheduled promotions, trending topics, etc.
These activities need a lot of original content. So, leave room for them in your content marketing schedule.
If there are major feature launches, often they’re planned months in advance.
Then there are festivals and holidays.
For example, you may have a Black Friday sale, or a Christmas giveaway, and so on. You may also want to organize holiday events.
Let’s say you plan a week-long event during Independence Day around the freedom theme.
You must bind all these together to create a cumulative plan as part of your long-term SaaS content strategy.
Check out why SaaS content marketing strategy is more than just a content calendar by Kalungi here.
04. Recognize Your Buyer Personas and their Buyers Journey In SaaS Content Strategy
The fourth step of creating a long-term SaaS content strategy is understanding the buyer’s journey of your target personas.
Creating content specific to your persona is a powerful tool that can help you in guiding them through their SaaS buying journey.
So, you need to create content for each stage of their journey.
A typical SaaS customer journey starts with the awareness stage. This is where they acknowledge that they have a problem and are trying to understand it better.
Next, they are in the consideration stage of their customer journey. They’ve understood their problem. And their focus has now shifted to finding the SaaS solution.
The last stage in their customer journey is the final decision. This is where they’ve already zeroed on a particular solution. They are looking for a SaaS with the best credibility.
But before you can delve into the buyer’s journey, you need to understand the person on the journey.
This brings us to a critical part of long-term SaaS content strategy–SaaS buyer personas.
What Are SaaS Buyer Personas?
SaaS buyer or customer personas are a hypothetical portrayal of your ideal customer. We base it on marketing study, market research, and customer analysis.
SaaS customer personas enable you to channel your effort, focus, and time on qualified prospective buyers.
They also help you shape your offering according to the needs of your target audience and marshal all your resources to please your ideal target customer.
You should approach SaaS buyer’s personas like you’re telling a story. Put on their shoes and weave their narrative. Let’s take an example.
Imagine you sell an automation SaaS to marketing professionals. This is your target audience. But this is not specific enough.
You’ll want to figure out who your perfect customer is and create content focused on them.
So, you give them a name. Let’s go with Marketing Myra. Now empathize with Myra. Think about what demography and psychography she falls into.
- What are her daily challenges?
- What solutions does she seek?
- How can you make her life easy?
Dig as deep as you can. You can use HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool to build your persona.
If you have many SaaS products or solutions, it’s completely ok to have over one customer personas. But design a separate strategy for each of these.
One size fits all doesn’t work in a long-term SaaS content strategy.
Buyer Personas – Joshua From Marketo University
With a solid understanding of Myra, it will be easier for you to establish her buyer’s journey. And help you place her in your long-term SaaS content strategy.
Want to map your content to each phase of the funnel?
Then have a look at this article by Powered By Search.
05. Chart A SaaS Content Strategy Road map
The last step in creating a long-term SaaS content strategy is charting a solid content roadmap. Start by looking at the four quarters and then more granular.
When deciding on your SMART SaaS content marketing goals, it is ideal to have one per quarter. The same goes for themes – you can dedicate one theme per quarter so you have some room to work with.
Now it’s time to conduct keyword research for the theme you’ve chosen.
Be thorough in your keyword research because this will act as a foundation for your content creation. This will help your bloggers to create unique stuff that ranks on search engines like Google and get organic traffic.
There’s a whole SEO (search engine optimization) strategy you need to create for that, but we’ll not get into that right now.
Then it’s time to get more in-depth and shift your focus on monthly plans.
Start with content ideation. You can use places like Google trends, Reddit, or Quora to come up with a bucket of content ideas around your target keywords.
Then you can pick the topics as per your SEO keyword and strategic content research.
Let’s say you create one blog post per week. So, have 12 topics ready on your blog editorial calendar.
Next, think about the lead magnet you want to offer with your content. It can be only one to go with your quarterly theme. Or it can be more, it depends on the type of SaaS you’re promoting.
Along with lead magnet, you also need to consider the type of associated content to go with the articles that your bloggers create. There could be several types here – videos, podcasts, webinars, etc.
Remember to understand your resources and limits and plan accordingly.
With all these done, finally, you can add these to your quarterly calendar. Analyze your calendar and fill out any gaps.
All these minute details can make this process quite tedious. Therefore, I would recommend creating a repeatable content creation framework that provides a step-by-step recipe that you can follow.
And once you master this process, you can leave a good part of it to marketing automation.
Another important thing to consider is your social media marketing. With each of the themes and blog post, keep in mind how you want to approach social media. And create social media content to promote them.
The last thing to keep in mind is to have extra inventory and not be rigid. What I mean is to be flexible to change.
See, in an ideal world, all planned events work out as per schedule. But in reality, people miss deadlines and we often update schedules.
What happens if your SaaS feature launch gets pushed to the next quarter?
Or the Black Friday event gets canceled?
Have a buffer stock of content that can fill these empty spaces. And always be proactive with last-minute changes. Remember all the content ideas you brainstormed? Keep the ones you did not use handy.
Tip: It’s not workable for small teams to create a lot of content. And there’s a brilliant solution to it–refurbish your content.
What Is Content Refurbishing?
Content Refurbishing is a content marketing tool that teaches us to reuse marketing content by converting them into different formats.
Let’s say you have done a ton of research on a particular topic. You have also published a killer blog post on it.
Now what? Move on to the next topic?
No. Squeeze every bit of the research you’ve done. Think about ways in which you can reuse the topic.
Edit and convert the blog post into a video or podcast.
Create small snippets from it. Use the research to design an infographic.
Extract sections from the post to write a related article on Medium or LinkedIn.
Use snippets from the post to run social media campaigns.
The potential to recycle a particular topic is endless here. And I’m a big believer in recycling. And there are several marketing automation tools that can help you do that.
This is the biggest open secret of long-term SaaS content strategy–repeat your content. But do so in such a way that your audience still gets value out of it.
Over To You
That’s it. Apply these five steps to create a killer content strategy for SaaS. If you’re planning for an entire year seems daunting, here’s a trick you can use.
Treat your quarters like years and your days as a month. That way you can take one quarter at a time, assign a theme, and conduct keyword research accordingly.
But remember, it is a must to create an effective content roadmap for your SaaS.
Without it, you can never manage content in a way that’s appealing to your audience. Or rank high on search engines like Google to get organic traffic.