SaaS Content Marketing: How to Build a Winning Strategy in 7 Steps

Content marketing helps businesses connect with their target audience by delivering valuable and relevant content. It's about attracting, engaging and delighting audiences to drive conversions, increase brand awareness and establish industry leadership.

Unlike traditional advertising methods that interrupt customers to gain attention, content marketing offers valuable content in exchange for the opportunity to promote a product or service later. This approach has grown in popularity recently (particularly in SaaS) because it provides real value rather than shoving a product in people's faces.

In this guide, you will learn the different types of content strategies and how to create a successful SaaS content marketing strategy that will win you customers and position you as a thought leader.

Let's get right to it.
What is content marketing
Content marketing means publishing content to attract potential leads

What is content marketing in SaaS?

Content marketing is one of the 19 marketing channels and means publishing written or visual material online to attract more leads to your business. Common examples of content marketing are blog posts, ebooks, infographics, and videos.

But content marketing is more than just publishing a piece of content and relying on people to find it. It involves deliberately tailoring your web pages, videos, ebooks and posts to your specific audience, allowing them to discover you through inbound methods. Inbound means that people discover you, rather than you having to do cold outreach such as calling or emailing.

Before we dive deeper into content marketing, keep this in mind: It's important to create content that connects with your target audience. Knowing your Personas and tailoring your content to their needs is essential.

There is no point in providing any type of content that does not resonate with your target audience. You will either attract the wrong customers or no customers at all. A waste of time.
Resources to build a successful business
7 reasons you should use content marketing for your business
Value to the customer
Educates the customer
Sense of reciprocity
Attracts customers for free
Creates shareable content
Good for SEO
Increases traffic

7 Reasons you should use content marketing for your SaaS business

Value to the customer
When you use direct advertising, customers often mute or ignore the content. The reason is that they feel like they are being sold to. There is simply no value for them. With targeted content, however, customers are willing to spend hours with the content.

The main benefit is that you can build an honest relationship with your customers. They appreciate the value you bring to the table and stay engaged with your brand and products.
Educates the customer
When a potential customer sees your product or content for the first time, they are not yet ready to buy from you. This process is called the "sales cycle" and it takes time. Especially in the B2B industry, the sales cycle can last up to a year. This is where content marketing comes in. Content marketing educates and nurtures customers step by step until they're ready to buy your product.

Often people don't buy a product because they don't realize how valuable it is, how much they need it or how to use it. By creating valuable content, you can highlight these benefits and educate potential customers.
When a potential customer sees  your product or content for the first time, they are  NOT yet ready  to buy from you.
Sense of reciprocity
You get what you give, plain and simple. The more free content you give people, the more they'll want to give back. If you help your target audience achieve their goals, it is only natural that they will want to give something in return. For example, if you offer a free product that helps founders increase their revenue, they will be willing to come back and see what other content you offer. If you offer more valuable content (maybe even a paid bundle or course), they are likely to buy from you.
Attracts customers for free
This is one of the main benefits of content marketing and the main reason I use it in my marketing strategy. You are able to attract more customers, for free, forever. Let me illustrate this by comparing it to a typical advertisement.

Let's say you use social media ads to get customers. You pay $1000 to get 5000 impressions (people who see the ad). This does not mean that they will automatically click on it. You run the ad for a week, and after that week, no one will see your ad anymore. To use a sports metaphor, advertising is like a sprint. It gets you results fast, but it only lasts for a very short time.

On the other hand, content marketing is like a marathon - it takes time, but it lasts for a long time (actually, for the life of your business). You'll get a lifetime return on your investment.

Why is that? Let's say you write a valuable blog post and target the keywords your personas are searching for. Search engines will rank your piece of content and people will find it - forever.

So instead of having the chance to get customers for one week (if you run your ads for one week), you will get traffic to your content forever. In the end, content becomes an asset, but advertising is always an expense.

Here is a pro tip to consider: I always recommend creating evergreen content. This means that your content does not become outdated. For example, instead of creating a blog post called "5 tools you should be using in 2023", title it "The tools that will help your business take the next steps". That way you won't have to update your title every year.

One last point: I'm not saying you should avoid advertising at all costs. Ads can be great for reaching certain milestones, but make sure you are using content marketing as the foundation of your marketing strategy.
Creates shareable content
When people find your content valuable, they are willing to share it. This helps you increase your visibility and reach audiences you would not have otherwise reached. It also gives you the chance to go viral or be featured with one of your posts. The key point to understand is that people tend to share content rather than websites. Why would anyone want to share your website anyway?

If you want people to share your content, there is one secret I want you to know: Make your content easy to share on social media. I have seen websites that require people to log in to share content. I never understood why you would do that.

One of the best ways to make your content easy to share is to include social media icons on every page or blog post you create. I also love the following feature: Medium, a website where people publish written content, allows you to highlight any passage of text and then share it directly on social media. A great way to take advantage of social media sharing.
Good for SEO
Every blog post you create and publish is a new piece of content for Google to index. If you don't have any content on your website, you may only have 10 pages that are eligible for indexing. Eligible only means that they would appear somewhere in Google. But that doesn't help you much because they won't show up on the first page of the SERPs (Search engine results page).

Keep this in mind: An entire website never ranks, only pages rank. So if you want to rank in Google and you want people to find you, you need excellent content.

Think of it this way: If you publish one blog post every week for a year, your website will grow by 52 pages. You will have a total of 62 pages capable of ranking on Google for different keywords. More eyeballs means more traffic, which means more sales, which means more revenue.

If you want to learn more about how to rank #1 on Google, this in-depth SEO guide is for you.
Increases traffic
So far we have talked about creating blog posts to drive traffic and get new customers. But blog posts are just one form of content marketing. You could also consider podcasts or videos that you post on YouTube.

The main advantage of podcasts is that you can reach an audience that you might not have reached with blog posts.

By uploading a podcast to iTunes or Spotify, you create an additional source of potential traffic at no cost to you, giving you another way to reach your target audience. Again, more traffic means more sales.
Worksheets and Templates to build a successful business
The different kinds of content marketing to get customers
Blog posts
Social media
Infographics
Podcasts
Videos
Paid ads
Ebooks

Different kinds of content marketing

Content marketing is a key component of any marketing strategy because it helps you drive traffic and attract customers for free. So, what types of content marketing are there? Let's have a look.
Blog posts
Blog posts create awareness, drive potential customers to your website and can, of course, make the leap to your offer. However, the biggest challenge with blog posts is to rank in search engines. If no one sees your content, no one will click on it. So how do you create blog posts that people will find? The magic word is keywords.

To rank on Google's first page, you need to know what keywords and phrases your target audience is typing into Google's search. Your goal is to match the words you use on your website with the keywords your target audience is searching for.  

Once you've identified your target keywords, it's important to use them naturally and strategically in your content. One strategy that was penalized by Google years ago was "keyword stuffing". This is the artificial overuse of keywords in your content to trick Google into thinking your content is relevant to that particular topic.
The best keywords are relevant to your business, have low competition and high search volume
What makes a perfect keyword? The best keywords balance three key factors:

• High search volume:
The keyword should be something that people are searching for.  

• Low competition:
Targeting the most popular keywords can be challenging as sites with higher authority will outrank you. Instead, look for keywords with less competition.
 
• Relevant to your business:
Only use keywords that are relevant to your business and that make sense for your website.  

By considering these factors when choosing keywords, you will dramatically improve your chances of ranking higher in search engine results. Remember: Do not include keywords without considering their context and readability, as this will negatively impact the user experience and minimize your chances of ranking high in the SERP.
Social media
With over 4.5 billion global social media users, it's a great way to build brand awareness and engage with your target audience. You can create and share content through photos, live video or pre-recorded video, giving you the chance to tell your own story. Social media is often more personal than your blog posts because you already have a network of people who know you. So, depending on your brand, it can be beneficial to show some 'behind the scenes' material to further engage with your audience.

I love this example from one of the leading German insurance companies: To attract new employees, they encourage some of their current employees to share their day-to-day lives in short video stories and share them on social media. Stories like "Hey, this is our coffee machine, our meeting place in the morning...".

Stories like these make your company more tangible and help people connect and trust you more.
With over 4.5 billion global social media users, it's a great  way to build brand awareness and engage with your target audience.
Infographics
Infographics present content, information and data in an easy-to-understand format. Infographics or other relevant graphics have one big advantage: people are willing to share them. When people share your content, you have the chance to go viral, which can change your business overnight.

But there is also a downside. If you simply create infographics, people may not find them. As mentioned above, your pages on your website are ranked based on the keywords you use. Since infographics don't have keywords, they won't rank. Here is a strategy I have used over the past few years that has worked quite well for me:

Write a comprehensive blog post and summarize the content in an infographic, worksheet or cheat sheet. People who want a deep dive will read the entire blog post, people who are short on time will just download the infographic or worksheet. You can also easily share your infographic on social media and link back to your blog post. A great way to increase your overall traffic.
Podcasts
Over 60 million people listen to podcasts through Spotify and Apple Podcasts. It makes sense that many companies have jumped on the bandwagon by producing and distributing their own podcasts. Podcasts offer a great deal of creative freedom as they can be about any topic and in any format - interviews, how-to's, or just plain talk.

The big advantage of podcasts is that they make your business more tangible as potential customers get to know the people behind your business. However, competition is fierce, making it difficult to reach a wide audience. One way to overcome this is to create a niche. For example, if you have a very niche target audience, make sure you create podcasts that are particularly valuable to those people. This way you can create a community that grows over time.

A pro tip: Make sure you end your podcast with a clear call to action. This could be to download your lead magnet or check out other content you have published on your website. Your podcasts should always have a clear goal and not just be there for the sake of it.
Make sure you end your podcast with a clear call to action. This could be to download your lead magnet or check out other content you have published.
Video marketing
Video is an excellent way to build trust with your target audience and create a community around your offering. However, in today's world, people's attention span has decreased immensely. Attention span is the amount of time a user can focus on a task before being distracted.

Fewer and fewer people are willing to spend time reading long blog posts. They want information quickly. They prefer to learn through video. A great way to use video marketing is to combine it with other content marketing ideas.

For example, create a blog article that ranks in Google and attracts people with keywords, summarize the blog article with a short video and publish it on YouTube, take the audio, use it as a podcast and publish it on Spotify or Apple Podcast. This way, you can create a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Paid ads
As mentioned above, paid advertising is a great way to achieve specific goals quickly. For example, if you want to get 1000 impressions on your post, you can simply pay for it. However, you have no guarantee of how many people will actually buy your product. In fact, most people will never click on your ad.

The reason is that most ads are boring, similar and generic. People scrolling through their Facebook newsfeed are not in the mood to buy. At least not right now. So why should they care, why should they click on your ad?

I love this quote from Allan Dib, author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan: To increase the success rate of your campaign, try this: "Enter the conversation your customers are having in their heads. Preferably something they go to bed worrying about and wake up thinking about."

If you want to build a lasting relationship with your customers and have a real impact on their lives, never sell directly from your ad. Instead, create valuable content on a regular basis. With value comes trust, and with trust comes relationship.

Combining your inbound strategies with paid advertising can be valuable, but be aware of the downsides of simply pushing ads on social media.
Ebooks
An ebook is a digital book that can be downloaded and read online. Ebooks are a great tool for providing potential customers with valuable, often highly detailed information. By creating an ebook on a topic related to your business, you can attract and engage your target audience, position yourself as an industry expert and drive traffic to your website.

An excellent strategy is to use blog articles to drive traffic to your website, use the ebook as a lead magnet and then nurture your leads with email marketing.
Worksheets, Cheat Sheets and Checklists to build a successful business
How does content marketing work? A full guide.
The goal of content marketing is to create valuable content that naturally attracts prospects.
Sales Funnel
Top of the funnel
Middle of the funnel
Bottom of the funnel

How does content marketing work in SaaS?

The goal of content marketing is to create valuable content that stands out, naturally attracts prospects and makes the transition to your offer. So, content marketing affects all parts of your sales funnel, let's take a look.
Top of The Funnel (ToFu)
At the top of the funnel, your goal is to create awareness with your content. Your target audience may know they have a problem, but they may not know how to solve it. At this stage, focus on your personas' pain points and common questions.

ToFu content should attract potential customers, show that you understand their problem and introduce them to your solution. Blog posts, podcasts, ebooks and webinars are some useful types of ToFu content.

The most common pitfalls at this stage are competition, balancing educational and promotional content, and tracking your ROI. For example, if you are selling a solution to a very common problem in your industry and you have just started your business, you are likely to be outranked by your competitors. To solve this problem, try to niche down and target this audience instead. Your reach will be lower, but your chances of getting a sale will be higher.
Middle of The Funnel (MoFu)
At MoFu, prospects are considering your product. They visit your website more than once, engage with your social media or sign up to your email newsletter. At this stage, they see that you understand their problem and are assessing whether your solution could be helpful. It is therefore important that your content informs them about the specific details of your solution and illustrates how it meets their unique needs.

This is also a crucial moment for building trust. Showing testimonials and what people have achieved with your solution is an excellent way to demonstrate that prospects can trust your offering.

Provide clear and valuable information to nurture your prospect. Never try to be clever with your marketing copy, but rather address the customer's problem clearly and simply. Popular content for this stage includes email newsletters, landing pages, white papers or product demos.
Bottom of The Funnel (BoFu)
This is the stage where prospects are ready to make a decision and ideally convert. It is crucial to ensure a smooth experience for product testing, understanding pricing and making a purchase.

Compelling content that converts should encourage action and create a sense of urgency. In addition, personalization can increase the impact of your content at this stage. Some examples of BoFu content include personalized emails, case studies, pricing pages, video demos and more.
How to create a content marketing strategy in 7 steps
Identify your target audience
Define KPIs and SMART goals
Pick the right content type and format
Choose the right channels
Set a budget
Use a content calendar
Create and publish your content

7 Steps to create an ideal content marketing strategy

Content marketing takes time, but it is worth it. But to get the most out of it, you need a solid strategy. Here is how to build your content marketing strategy, step by step.

1. Identify your target audience

If you want to craft a compelling solution, you need to know your Personas. Personas are fictional characters that represent the different user types that might use your solution. Instead of providing a service for "everyone", you need to focus on specific buyer Personas. That will help you save money and communicate effectively. The same goes for the content you create.

It is important to understand your target audience. But often, this is easier said than done. To get a better understanding of your market and to better tailor your solution to your target group, answer these questions:    

• What keeps my customers up at night?
• What motivates my customers to solve their problem?
• What are my customers' pain points, and how can my solution solve them?
• What are my customers' unmet needs that my product or service can fulfil?
• What's the desired future state for my customers?
• How does my solution fit into my customers' daily lives and routines?
• What are my customers' values and priorities?

Only if you understand what your target audience is trying to achieve, you are able to create content that helps them achieve their goals. If you want to learn more how to create effective Personas and understand your customers, this Persona Video Course is for you.
Instead of  providing a service for "everyone",  you need to  focus on specific  buyer Personas.

2. Define KPIs and set SMART goals

Before starting any marketing strategy, it is important to know what you want to achieve. This is where SMART goals and KPIs come into play. KPIs are the goals you want to achieve in the long term, while SMART goals are the criteria that each of your marketing activities should meet.

KPIs are metrics that move the needle, so keep them limited. Finding the right KPIs is a 4-step process:

1. Define your business goal
2. Determine which metrics will help you achieve that goal
3. Rank the metrics based on business impact and feasibility
4. Create action steps to improve the underlying metrics  

When defining your KPIs, your business strategy and long-term goals are key. Make sure you are as specific as possible. An example of a poorly worded objective is 'increase revenue', because everyone has a different idea of what it means to increase revenue. However, if you say something like "increase this year's revenue by 3% over last year's", it will be clear what you are trying to achieve.

Based on your overall goal, start creating key performance indicators. Once you have defined your KPIs, ask yourself what underlying metrics will help you achieve your goal. For example, your goal might be to increase customer lifetime value by 2% by the end of this year.

One possible underlying metric that directly impacts this goal is the average order size per customer. Once you have a list of underlying metrics, start prioritizing them based on impact and feasibility.

For example, if you are measuring the effectiveness of your email campaign (which directly affects your sales), it is important to measure the open rate, click-through rate and click-to-open rate. However, only the overall conversion rate will tell you if you are getting closer to your goal. So, remember to prioritize the metrics that support the success of your business.

Once you have your KPIs, it is time to set the smaller action steps using the SMART framework. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. When you set goals and objectives for your SaaS business, make sure they meet the following criteria:
Specific:
Clearly define the desired outcome of your goal.
Measurable:
Establish criteria for quantifying your progress and success.
Achievable:
Set realistic and achievable goals based on available resources.
Relevant:
Ensure your goals are aligned with your business and marketing objectives.
Time-bound:
Set a specific timeframe for achieving your goals.
KPIs are the long  term goals you  want to achieve.  SMART goals are  the criteria that  your marketing activities should meet.

3.Pick the right content type and format

If you want to be successful with content marketing, it is important to choose the right type of content. For example, if your audience is looking for video content and you only create blog articles, you will not be able to reach them effectively. That's why it's so important to understand who your audience is.

Here are three tips to help you choose the right content type and format:
Conduct a content audit:
If you are already using content marketing, evaluate your existing content and identify what resonates with your customers. Analyse the performance of different content types and formats to understand what has worked in the past.
Research industry trends:
Keep up with the latest trends in content marketing. This will help you identify emerging content types and formats that may be relevant to your audience. One industry trend we see is super-short videos (see TikTok or YouTube Stories). Even if they don't immediately make sense for your business or marketing strategy, it's good to know about them because you can adapt these strategies for other content.
Conduct competitive analysis:
Study your competitors' content strategies to gain insight into what types and formats are popular in your industry. Identify any opportunities you can take advantage of.
If your audience  is looking for video content and you only create blog articles, you will not be  able to reach  them effectively.

4. Choose the right channels

Great content is only one piece of the puzzle. The other is the right channel. So, think about which channel your Personas use. Are they primarily on social media? Are they willing to research on Google to find answers to their questions? Is YouTube their first choice for research, or do they even use industry-specific forums or communities?

In short, choose the right channels for your content. Here are 4 steps to consider when determining the best channels for your content marketing strategy:
Consider audience preferences:
Consider your audience's preferred channels and where they are most active. Analyze demographic information, consumer behavior and engagement data. This will help you determine which platforms and channels best match your audience's habits and preferences.
Take a multi-channel approach:
Distribute your content across multiple relevant channels to ensure greater exposure and engagement opportunities. Track your success and make a data driven decision about which channel to keep.
Customize content for each channel:
People don't like it when they see content that isn't tailored to a specific channel. An example is when they see a video taken in portrait mode and posted on YouTube. It gives the impression that you are not taking your job seriously. Always make sure you tailor your content to the characteristics and requirements of each channel. Optimize formatting, visuals and messaging to suit the platform and its user experience.
Monitor and evaluate performance:
If you don't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyze metrics such as reach, engagement, click-through rates and conversions on each channel on a regular basis. This will help you assess the effectiveness of each channel.
 Choose the right channels for your content by testing and experimenting.

5. Allocate funds and set a budget

When you start content marketing, make sure you set a budget for it. Consider the type of content you'll create and the channels you'll use to distribute it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine your budget:

• Software and technology:
Will you need to purchase software or technology to create your content? This could include graphic design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Canva subscriptions, or equipment such as a camera for high-quality photos and videos.

• Hiring content marketers and designers:
Will you need to hire professionals to help you create content? Consider whether you'll need artists, writers, editors or designers to ensure the production of high-quality content.

• Advertising space:
Will you need to allocate some of your budget to paying for advertising space? This could include sponsored posts, pay-per-click advertising or social media advertising.

• Tools and resources:
Determine if you need access to specific tools or resources to improve or measure the effectiveness of your content. For example, you may need SEO tools, analytics platforms or content distribution platforms.

Content marketing budgeting should be an ongoing process. Regularly review and adjust your budget based on the evolving needs of your content strategy, business goals and market conditions. For example, advertising may not be relevant in the early stages. As soon as you want to include them, you need to adjust your budget.
Consider the type of content you'll create and the channels you'll use  to distribute it. Then set a budget.

6. Use a content calendar

Many companies start content marketing but stop within the first 3 months. Why is that? Because it's a lot of work and unless you're paying for traffic, it takes time to grow. Having a professional content calendar that you stick to is a game changer. It helps you stay organized and committed to your plan. The key to content marketing is consistency. So, sticking to a calendar is a must. Here's how you can benefit from using a calendar:

• Streamline content creation:
You can easily track and manage all content in one central location. This enables better coordination, collaboration and visibility within your team.

• Plan and schedule in advance:
A calendar helps you plan and schedule your content in advance. You can set specific dates and times to publish content, ensuring a consistent flow of valuable information to your audience.

• Optimize content distribution:
You can strategically plan the distribution of your content across different platforms. You can also optimize the timing and frequency of your content to effectively reach your target audience.

• Improve efficiency and consistency:
The content calendar keeps your team organized and on track. It promotes consistency in content production, minimizes last-minute rushes and allows for proper review and quality control.
Having a content calendar that you stick to helps you stay organized  and committed  to your plan.

7. Create and publish your content

You have identified your target audience. You have set your KPIS and SMART goals, you know what content is right for your Personas, and you use a content calendar. Now it is time for the final step - creating and publishing the content. Here are some pro tips to keep in mind:
Keep learning and improving:
Improve your content creation skills by learning how to write compelling headlines, stay on top of the latest content trends and develop expertise in the media formats your audience prefers. This will help you consistently deliver valuable and engaging content.
Optimize for discoverability:
Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the visibility of your content. Research and include relevant keywords, optimize meta tags and descriptions, and improve the overall structure and readability of your content. This will make it easier for your audience to find your content via search engines.
Tailor content for each platform:
Recognize that each social media platform is unique in terms of its user base and content consumption patterns. Decipher the best practices for success on Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and more. Tailor your content to the specific needs and preferences of each platform to maximize engagement and reach.
Leverage promotional channels:
Use email marketing and social media platforms to effectively promote your content. Build and maintain your email subscriber list to send targeted content to interested readers. Develop a social media strategy to engage with your audience, share your content and encourage social sharing.
Collaborate with influencers and partners:
Build relationships with influencers in your industry who have a significant following. Collaborate on content creation or have them promote your content to extend your reach. In addition, consider co-marketing partnerships with complementary brands to leverage each other's audiences.
In the beginning,  no one can tell you what content will work best for you. Test and iterate.

3 FAQs about content marketing

1. How can I measure the success of my content marketing strategy beyond traditional metrics such as traffic and engagement?

Well, remember that you are doing content marketing for a reason. Traffic and engagement are not the most important metrics you should be looking at. What's more important are the metrics that have a business impact.

So first think about your key business metrics and how content marketing helps you improve them. Useful business metrics include customer lifetime value, churn rate or customer acquisition cost.

2. Is there a recommended frequency for content updates?

Updating your content is very helpful as it helps Google understand that your content is still relevant. Ultimately, this means that your content will rank higher. You should aim to review and update existing content at least once a year to keep it relevant.

I also recommend repurposing your most successful content into different formats, such as turning a blog post into a podcast or an infographic. This will help you reach additional audiences.

3. How can SaaS companies use user-generated content (UGC) in their content marketing strategy?

User-generated content helps you build trust with your audience by adding authenticity to your content. You should always encourage customers to share their experiences through testimonials, case studies or social media posts.

Wrapping up

Content marketing is a powerful channel to reach customers and position yourself as a thought leader. The biggest benefit is that customers actively come to you, rather than you having to cold-call and hard sell your services. Content marketing should be the foundation of all your other marketing activities.

However, content marketing is only one of 19 marketing channels you can use. If you want to step up your marketing game and get the most out of your strategy, this marketing channel bundle is for you.