Debate raged for a long time about whether SaaS companies really needed content marketing.
In 2022, that debate is dead — content is a critical piece of successful digital marketing for every SaaS brand. But SaaS solutions also have unique traits that make the one-size-fits-all approaches working for other industries more challenging for SaaS.
Topics covered in SaaS content are often technical. In addition, SaaS companies are always playing a long game with customer acquisition, looking to create content that continually demonstrates the value of their brand so customers keep them top-of-mind when it comes time to purchase new solutions.
So how can SaaS brands make their technical content exciting and build audience loyalty that ultimately translates to new business?
In this article, we’ll explore some content marketing lessons for SaaS brands from companies who have already done it exceptionally. From creative video content to authentic storytelling to strategic content organization, these examples all provide actionable tips you can leverage right away to jumpstart your own content ROI.
- Videos are a great way to make highly technical topics engaging while building a human connection with your audience.
- Case studies give SaaS brands a unique opportunity to share data-driven results and engaging stories at the same time.
- SaaS brands can create content hubs to make their content more accessible and complex topics more digestible.
- Endorsements from industry influencers like well-known founders and executives can exponentially increase brand reach.
5 Actionable Content Marketing Lessons for SaaS
Make technical topics exciting with video
Video is one of the most effective content types brands can create as part of their larger content strategy. It’s forecasted to account for a whopping 82% of all internet traffic by the end of 2022, and audiences across industries and topics increasingly prefer it over other types of content.
Video is an especially useful content marketing tool for SaaS companies because it’s an engaging way to break down the highly technical and often complex topics they cover for customers. Two SaaS brands that have done this exceptionally well are Moz and Ahrefs, two of the industry’s leading SEO software tools.
Moz cofounder Rand Fishkin launched Whiteboard Friday in 2007, when the company was still in its infancy and looking for any means to grow. He kept it simple: every video featured Randy standing in front of a pre-drawn whiteboard, ready to cover topics related to content marketing and SEO, which at the time were quite new and novel topics for digital marketers.
Here’s two examples, one of their early videos from 2012 on keyword targeting, and one of their most recent from 2021 on the ROI of SEO. You’ll see one big change — Rand is no longer with Moz or hosting the videos. But otherwise, Moz has stuck with their tried-and-true format for Whiteboard Friday. The videos provide high value with simple, low-cost, no-frills production.
Ahrefs creates punchy videos that cover tons of relevant topics for SEO professionals and get straight to the point with actionable insights. Their YouTube videos are organized by topic playlists, making it super easy for people to find the content they need. The Ahrefs YouTube channel has become a go-to resource for SEO professionals.
Grow your social proof with case studies
B2B decision makers know that their purchase decisions have wide-reaching impacts on their organizations. They want to be absolutely sure the products and services they choose are the right ones.
What better way to build that trust than showing proven, measurable results from current customers that have already benefited from your solutions?
Case studies give B2B companies a unique opportunity to present data-driven information while also telling a relatable story. Prospective customers can see examples of how your solution’s benefits are applied in real-life situations. They also create much-needed assurance for customers while they’re making a purchase decision.
Analytics and intelligence platform Sumo Logic is a great example of how to leverage case studies to build social proof. Their searchable database allows users to filter by solution to find case studies specifically relevant to their needs.
Retail operations platform, Vend, takes a different but equally effective approach to case study library searchability. Their case studies are searchable by industry and business size. Users can filter them to see how companies similar to them apply the Vend solution.
Create connection with authenticity
Today, Groove is a successful customer support software tool with 10,000+ corporate customers (including the likes of Hubspot, AT&T, and Shopify) and nearly 200,000 blog subscribers. But there was a time not too long ago when Groove was a struggling startup wondering why their content marketing efforts weren’t working.
Groove founder Alex Turnbull and his team decided to try something different: telling their real story, struggles and all. They started a blog about their startup journey, including posts like this one, sharing big mishaps that almost cost them big:
It might seem risky to let the world know that your company struggled. But by doing so, Groove built an audience of other founders, startups, and entrepreneurs — many that needed customer support software and become potential customers for Groove. As their audience grew, so did their revenue. One year after they launched their startup journey blog, they were bringing in $5M annually.
Groove’s startup journey blog still generates tons of brand awareness for the company. It’s become something they’re known for by peers and potential customers alike.
Content hubs can make complex topics approachable
Content hubs help brands in any industry to organize large libraries of content. This is especially important for SaaS companies, who often cover in-depth, technical topics and provide long-form instructional content in formats like how-to or ultimate guide blog posts.
Trying to fit everything in one place can lead to lengthy, hard-to-read content that loses its audience.
Content hubs allow you to break up these topics into smaller, digestible bites while centralizing them in one place. Moz does this really well. The Moz Blog is easily sortable by topic category so users can quickly access relevant content. Long-form content like comprehensive guides is broken up into chapters (that users can easily jump to from a drop-down menu) that make them easier to use.
Influencer endorsements build trust
This one might seem a little strange if you haven’t seen it in action yet. Influencers in SaaS? Isn’t influencer marketing more suited for B2C product promotion?
It’s perhaps used most commonly in that space, but influencer marketing can be an extremely impactful way to establish brand authority and build the all-important trust necessary to convert new customers.
Influencers can include people in the industry who have large followings and successful executives and founders from SaaS companies. Basically, influencers can be any person or brand whose reputation precedes them and whose opinion or endorsement would matter to your relevant audiences.
Website builder Squarespace executes influencer marketing successfully with their YouTube series featuring popular YouTubers in different niche categories, including gaming, education, and cinema.
The campaign leveraged each influencer’s audience to showcase Squarespace features and benefits. It created visibility across a number of industries and audiences the company wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. It succeeded in increasing conversions and new sign ups. The videos themselves built brand awareness and generated more than 5 million views.
Check out their video collaboration with CinemaSins (which has more than 9 million subscribers) and read more about the campaign here.
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