As a SaaS company, you need to captivate your audience and get new clients in to scale your business faster.
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If you read 21 Saas marketing tactics part one you will noticed that we focused more on active ways to go about it. If you haven’t read it yet, I would recommend to do so.
In this post we’ll be focusing on content marketing tactics and how to best use them in active and passive ways. The passive ways take time and energy to set up.
You’ve probably heard that Content marketing has been successfully used across thousands of SaaS companies.
Startups publish and use content to:
c) but also generate leads, (hadn’t you noticed?) yes, that’s their ulterior motive.
We learnt that our own leads navigate between several other places such as: LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora and Twitter.
These are very good platforms.
So let’s say you own a startup or a SaaS.
You have partners and/or investors that will expect to see a 6-12 month content marketing/comms plan.
You and your colleagues are most likely going to be technical and/or IT consultants.
This means that you need a framework to show how you should go about it as quickly as possible. We can also call it expert advice.
Why? Because you have little knowledge and time to spare and your partners are not willing to wait for too long.
You need a documented content marketing strategy
Yes. That is the first thing to do. This document will show the outcome for that period, along with marketing phases, financial forecast and how fast you can grow.
In short there is no magic template for a content marketing strategy. Because your business is unique.
To get there, you’ll need to create an vibrant and effective content strategy showing processes, people and phases.
It will take some strategic thinking, energy, dedication and investment.
So we recommend to start with the following.
Tactic 4: Persona mapping to help your content
You must have the personas document setup. It should also include the following questions:
- What are the main characteristics of each of your personas?
- How will you segment them initially?
- What does the prospect’s initial search path look like?
- What is the visitor’s pain points? Needs?
- What type of content do you first need to create to engage and serve them better than the competition?
- Where does this content fit in your sales funnel?
If you get this right it will set you apart from your main competitors and will help you convert more clients.
Tactic 5: Create awesome content
We’ve mapped out the personas. Now from each persona select one keyword.
Start market research (use Google trends) to see how many monthly searches you have for those keywords.
Use available filters (Country, city..).
That is the beginning of the on-page optimisation – one big moving part of the SEO strategy. Which is so important, but we talk about this more in part three.
If the keyword topic has anything above 200 + monthly searches you put in basket.
Let’s use another good tactic
1. Start your search on Google:
type very specific keywords such as: [shopping women shoes ] + use define: operator to get some more ideas on the topic (like [define:bargain sales]).
Write it down.
Hint: You can search without bracketts.
You could scroll down to the bottom Google results to get some more search ideas.
You’ll see “searches related to” “shopping women shoes” + use define:bargain sales and select/click the ones you think it would work better for you.
2) Now to expand your keywords: research further type ~ and *operators to include more results.
Example: [gender * shopping] or again go click a topic from the bottom Google results.
Repeat the process four to five times.
3) Expand your chances and try platforms such as:
Twitter search, LinkedIn search as these will display recently discussed articles within your topic.
Well done! Here you’ve plenty more content topic ideas.
Warning: As a tech person, you’re probably thinking “on my front page, I will display my product’s best features, but also why I like it and you should too.”
Wrong. Your homepage should emphasise the product’s benefits not its features. You can later on link to a 7-10 feature product page and explain or show what your product does well. Then try to convert people with subscription trail.
The challenges you’ll face if you’re in business already:
How do I find the type of content my audience is actually searching for?
a) Check if those keywords appear in your Google analytics vs Google trends. If they match, it is a good sign.
b) A combination of data-driven research brainstorming plus competitor analysis.
Semrush, Moz to identify new terms or keywords that you are missing out but your competitors are not.
Straight after grab your thoughts and ask questions such as:
- How and why is my solution better than the competition?
- How do I guide them to try our product/service?
- How and when will we lead our audience into the conversion funnel?
- Use the questions above to generate content ideas.
- This is still the best way to go about it. But also create content that will answers and solves problems.
Tip: Visit your persona’ needs, as mentioned above.
Pick your type of content and commit to publish on a consistent basis. Whether this is via podcasts, blog posts, videos, etc.
The key is to find the format type you also enjoy producing. It must be relevant and provide value. Also get into the habit of creating in advance because everything else builds on that.
I actually plan out my post topics in advance, by logging them into a Content Google Calendar. But there is plenty of other ways you can do it.
Find your own system and keep it up.
Tactic 6: Create (seductive) visual content
I would recommend working with these two.
1) draw.io is great and free to use. A online diagram software that creates beautiful visual content in minutes.
Try it for all sorts of: flowcharts, process diagrams, org charts, UML, ER and network diagrams.
2) Install simple diagrams a desktop app for creating fast, clear and fun sketches. You are more likely to attract your readers by showing them how to solve a particular issue with a fun image.
Or simulate your client’s problems, demonstrate the processes they could use to improve their daily businesses, (workflows, sketches ideas…) in a fun way. Create value and emotions with simple but expressive sketches. There are plenty of nice features, and lots of shapes and images.
3) Create and use 1-2 minute videos in your content marketing to demonstrate your services or products. But don’t go into deep details, just enough to get it viral and increase sales conversions.
Hint: The key is to be able to translate top complicated ideas into a very powerful and creative visual concept to make a huge impact.
Tactic 7: Guest blogger
This is a good content creation tactic. Show off your expertise, look for guest blogging opportunities. Perfect to help build natural links back to your site. It is also a great way to raise your profile within your industry.
Here is a good way to do this.
Search for: “write for us” or “Guest blog needed” and in seconds you will see a list of blogs or companies appear before your eyes.
Tip: This tactic is used by many to harness golden links. So use it carefully.
Then, just email these people with your most recent work. You should offer them 5-6 topic headers you think would work for them to accept. If you want to speed up the process (after doing some research) describe how you see the topics working.
You can also start a blog post straight away. But provide them with palatable content to read.
Also, if you have a small list of well-known people you can reference in your industry, use it. Email them and tell them you mentioned and give them credit .
Then promote it, promote everywhere you can. The end goal here is to let your content promote itself. That way you’re showing professional initiative and building connections.
But remember this, you’re not “guest posting for the sake of getting links”. Very important. You are looking to add and show value, point of view on top of your expertise to every single website you write for.
Tactic 8: Answer how-to questions on (LQR) LinkedIn, Quora, Reddit
Spot and select questions from people who own or manage businesses. I am doing it and works very well (Quora and Reddit). But be honest and don’t do it for the traffic, just seek to provide value to people first and foremost.
Because if you go there with the intention of getting traffic it won’t work, specially in reddit.com/r/Entrepreneur/ category. You will be labelled with bad Karma and kicked off.
Not real ones, its the platform’ way of doing things – they rate people’s comments with positive or negative karma.
There is thousands of SaaS companies that aren’t using this tactic when building out their brand. Shame really as it works well.
I guess the reason their main reason is down to lack of time or probably because the quick ROI is harder to get.
Though the traffic will come once you are known.
The steps to take are:
a) answer questions that you know and are comfortable with
b) look for people who are starting a process/ business and/or are in the initial research phase (awareness)
c) give value for money (and your time)
d) take them down to the consideration stage and follow the steps of your sales funnel until the end.
Hope you can put these to good use, be happy and profitable on the way.
Hope this helped see what’s needed and if you like and think this post could be useful please share it around you.
Stay tuned for part three – I’ll be showing you some cracking SEO hacks and email marketing tips.