How to Effectively Implement Content Marketing For SaaS Businesses
by Mike Khorev
Content marketing is a very important aspect of the SaaS business. In fact, in a SaaS space, probably your content is just as important as your product. So, how can we effectively implement content and inbound marketing for a SaaS business? In this guide, we will learn how.
We will divide this guide into three big sections: keyword research, content development, and content promotion. All three are equally important for a successful SaaS content marketing campaign, and let us begin with the first one.
Keyword Research for SaaS Business
1. User Intent
Your target keywords should be relevant to your business, or else it won’t bring value. Although there can be many different factors, arguably the most important one is whether the keyword can meet your audience’s specific search intent.
Here are some common user intents in the SaaS space, and some examples of the keyword implementations. For these examples, let’s assume we are selling a cloud computing SaaS product:
- Informational intent: the user is not specifically looking for a SaaS product, but looking for information/answers related to their needs or problems. For example, they might be looking for an information about automating their database, and so you can target keywords like “database automation” here.
- Product research: here, the user is interested in a purchase and is currently researching their options. You can target keywords like “your brand name vs your competitor’s name”, “cloud computing tools comparisons”, etc.
- Navigational intent: the user probably has heard about your product from a colleague, and so is currently searching for your website specifically. Here, you can target branded keywords
Remember that the user’s intent will evolve according to their stages in the buyer’s journey. The key here is truly understanding your audience, figure out all possible intents, and target the proper keywords.
2. Search Volume
Search volume here refers to how many times a target keyword is actually being searched over a time period, usually in a monthly basis. Tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs can effectively analyze search volume, and generally you should target keywords with above 500 searches/month.
3. Keyword Difficulty
Keyword difficulty is, in a nutshell, how difficult it will be to compete for a certain keyword. The more popular the keyword is, obviously the more competitors you will face. Keyword research tools like, again, Ahrefs and SEMRush usually display Keyword Difficulty (KD) in percentage. The higher the percentage, the more difficult to rank for the keyword.
4. Finding The Balance
Here is the thing: we all want to target relevant keywords with high search volumes. However, the more search volume a keyword has, generally the higher its keyword difficulty.
There are only limited spots on that first page of Google search result, and so, the key here is finding that delicate balance between the high search volume and manageable keyword difficulty.
The more you understand your niche and your audience, the better you can find these keyword opportunities.
SaaS Content Development Checklist
Now that we’ve compiled our list of keywords, here are some key areas to focus on during the content development process:
The longer your content, the better. However, maintaining engagement will be more difficult, the longer the content goes. Again, the key here is finding the right balance.
According to a study by Backlinko, the average length for top-ranking textual content is 1,890 words. That can be a good benchmark to start. For other content forms like podcasts and videos, this guide by MiniMatters can give you a clearer picture.
When talking about content uniqueness, we are not only talking about passing CopyScape or other plagiarism checker tools. Instead, your content should also be unique in the eye of human readers.
Especially since the SaaS niche is a pretty “small” one, your audience can notice when you are rewriting another site’s content, even after you’ve polished it. Instead, you need to provide a well-researched content with original idea and information.
3. Optimizing headlines and descriptions
Most of us find and consume content through a Google search. After we searched for something, we will glance upon the different results and then click on one that gets our attention.
What usually made us clicked that specific content? Generally, it was the headline and/or the snippet. This is why it’s very important to optimize these two aspects.
Your title should include the target keyword naturally. Putting your keyword up-front generally produces better results, SEO-wise. However, your main focus here is to write an interesting and engaging title for your human readers.
We should also do the same with the META description: make sure it is engaging for human readers, and include your keywords naturally. You might want to check out this guide this guide to learn more about this aspect.
No matter how good your content quality is, it won’t bring any value to your business unless you have an audience consuming it.
With that being said, content development is just half the job done, and content promotion is arguably even more important than the development process.
Here are four key areas to consider when promoting your content:
1. On-site Technical SEO
Google and other search engines are still the primary way of how people are finding their content. So, SEO is obviously very effective in promoting your content.
Although SEO for SaaS is a very broad subject, there are three main areas to focus on:
- Optimizing your content for the target keyword(s)
- Getting more backlinks, which we will discuss again further below
- Optimizing technical, on-site SEO aspects
For technical, on-site SEO, here are a few key areas to consider:
- Mobile-friendly, responsive design
- Fast loading speed
- Headline, META description, images and videos optimizations
- XML sitemap
- internal linking
You might also want to check out this guide by Search Engine Watch for on-site SEO.
2. Backlink Building
However, while in the past the quantity of backlinks is the most important factor, that’s no longer the case nowadays. Nowadays, having backlinks from high-quality sites is more important, even when you only have 4 or 5 of them. You might want to check out this guide by SEO Mark on determining backlinks quality.
Aim to build 5 to 10 high-quality backlinks consistently.
3. Using off-site promotion to gain traffic and build backlinks
When promoting your content off-site, there are two benefits to aim for: getting more traffic through these promotions, and build more backlinks as we have discussed above.
Here are some effective channels to promote your content, and how you can use these channels to get more backlinks:
- Influencer marketing: influencer often has their own sites
- Social media marketing: the more people who engaged with your content through paid and organic social media marketing, the higher the chance of getting more backlinks
- Advertising: similar benefits as social media marketing
- Guest posting: an effective way to get more backlinks while promoting your brand on high-quality sites
SaaS content marketing is not solely about pushing the sale of your product, but nurturing your audience through every step of the buyer’s journey. So, the key to a successful content marketing in the SaaS space (and any industry) is a thorough understanding of your audience: their needs, behaviors, and problems.
A proper content marketing strategy can effectively generate and nurture leads, as well as encouraging purchases in a SaaS business.
April 6, 2020