November 24, 2016
For software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, having a robust content marketing strategy is one of the most reliable ways to drive inbound leads into your sales funnel, increasing revenue and allowing your business to grow.
It’s hard to know exactly how much you should invest, and exactly how much of your marketing efforts should be spent on content. So, how much should you be investing in your content marketing strategy, and where should you start?
According to Marketo, a leading marketing automation platform, businesses over 1,000 employees budget $379,600 for marketing on average—those under 1,000 budget $335,200
According to Demand Metric, 62% of this budget is spent on content marketing.
That’s a huge portion of the average organization’s marketing budget—but there’s a reason SaaS businesses lean on content marketing so much for lead generation—it works.
To create a success content marketing strategy for your SaaS business, follow these eight steps:
This is the most important, yet the most skipped step on behalf of leadership to building an effective content marketing strategy. Knowing you want to generate content about your product, industry and customer pain points is not enough—you need to have goals for your content before you put your pen to paper.
If you’re unsure of how to set these goals, start by asking yourself some of these questions:
After you’ve gained a better understanding of what you’re looking to gain from your content, remember that you don’t have to start from scratch.
Chances are you already have some content available—blog posts, slideshares, social media accounts, media coverage and product brochures are all good starting points.
After you take a comprehensive look at what you have, you’ll start to see where the holes in your strategy are, and you can focus on those areas first when building your editorial calendar, and in building plans for the content you’ll create next.
Before you dive into creating and releasing more content on your brand’s behalf, record where you are currently, as a reference so you can track your progress as you go. Record metrics like the current audience size and the engagement in your community.
You can also benchmark yourself against your competitors. Look at other leaders in your industry and see how they are performing to help build your goals.
If you’re looking to drive more inbound leads to your SaaS business, you’re going to want content for every step in the buyer’s journey.
Match the content you’re planning to create to your sales funnel to ensure you have content to provide for your leads every step of the way.
When it comes to planning your content strategy, the most important task you’re going to have to accomplish is creating—and sticking to—your editorial calendar.
Break up your calendar by quarters, and ensure every piece of content you release throughout the year has a purpose, as well as a strong distribution plan that will allow you to achieve your goals.
The actual creation of your content should be easy if you’ve done a good job on your editorial calendar, but for SaaS businesses, you’re going to be up against a pretty saturated content market.
Promoting your content is what’s going to get your SaaS product in front of potential customers first. Your distribution strategy should include paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), content syndication and social media marketing (just to name a few possibilities).
Developing your content marketing strategy doesn’t end once you’ve built your calendar and have started the creation process. Measure your success at each step of the way, so you can continue to optimize your generation, topics, tone and distribution strategy. This is how you’ll sustainably grow your audience and lead generation efforts further.
If you walk away with one piece of advice for building an efficient and powerful content marketing strategy for your SaaS business, it’s this—for each piece of content you release, you need to know why you’re releasing it.
Having content goals are the most important piece of your strategy—they connect your content to your bottom line.
This is important because content creation is expensive, and it takes time. If you’re not linking your content directly back to a business goal, you’ll quickly lose sight of the connection between your content marketing efforts and your bottom line.