If you're a SaaS company, content marketing is not just about creating content for the sake of it - it's content with a purpose, aimed at the right target, at the right time.
1. CONTENT MARKETING WITH PURPOSE
Before even dipping your toes in the content marketing process, it's vital to assess whether your content serves a purpose. Regardless if your content is long form, short form or an asset (in the form of an eBook, webinar, etc.), there are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does your content support the various stages of the conversion funnel?
- Does this content put the audience first, or is it just about you?
- Have you made SEO a core component of your content strategy?
- Is your entire team (sales, marketing and even dev) on the same page about the content strategy? Do they all understand their roles and the value offer behind it?
If answering "No" to any of these questions, go back and revisit your strategy to make sure to cover these essential steps. If you've performed this marketing audit and are confident that your content strategy covers the basic elements of marketing with a purpose, then you are ready to take your content marketing to the next level.
2. NEXT-LEVEL MARKETING
HubSpot continues to steadily and successfully improve their SaaS content marketing, as evident by their growth and reach (*their blog receives over 1 million page views each month). From fantastic content offers, well-placed CTAs, social media, email nurturing and expert, thought leader blogs; they cover every aspect of next-level marketing with a purpose. What makes them even more succesful, is that they truly understand their buyer persona - and create content targeted directly at their ideal buyer - and don't just write about their solution. Their success is predicated on a singular goal – moving their readers further along the conversion funnel.
*Astounding stats once you consider that each targeted post is optimised to convert.
Other SaaS companies who are successful in their content marketing are Moz, Wistia (who offer successful video tutorials) and KissMetrics (who provide high-quality infographics along with informative webinars).
By using the Inbound Marketing conversion funnel as a reference to your content marketing – it's apparent that the need for well-researched content that serves a reader on each level of their Buyer's Journey is key!
3. HOW THE CONVERSION FUNNEL AFFECTS YOUR MARKETING
When taking a closer look at the steps of the conversion funnel, it's easy to see how various pieces of content will engage readers differently. When marketing your content with purpose, you can then map out your strategy along these steps to delight your readers as they move further along the funnel.
How do these different pieces of content look? Let's take a closer look at the conversion funnel steps, and how your content will impact your reader:
Awareness Stage – The all important Awareness step is critical in drawing your reader in and raising brand awareness, not through product/service information, but rather by offering value. This introductory phase forms part of TOFU (Top-of-the-Funnel) content which presents the first points of contact with your brand.
Example of Awareness content – "How-To" posts
Consideration Stage – Still representing your content as valuable and positioning yourself as a thought-leader, this stage sees your content hone in on your authority and expertise to build trust. All the while, your content aligns closer to your particular industry/product/service.
Example of Consideration content – An eBook
Comparison Stage – As the stage right before conversion, content here will serve to reduce any hesitation the prospect might have. Your aim is to continue providing them with insights and value so they may gain in confidence and readiness to make a purchase.
Examples of Comparison content – A "Listicle" or "Comparison" post
Conversion Stage – Considered as BOFU (Bottom-of-the-Funnel) content. Content here gets geared toward providing additional product information, comparisons and solutions to the reader's pain points (as they are now fully identified). This actionable information should be the final pull to lead them to make a decision.
Examples of Conversion content - "Demo's", "Testimonials", "Case Studies" or "Webinars"
Retention – The Inbound Marketing Methodology sees the client delighted even beyond purchase as they go on to become evangelists and promoters of your brand and services. Content here should serve to further engagement, and build a relationship.
Examples of Retention content - "Tutorials", "Product-based Tutorials" or "Product-based Webinars"
4. RESULTS, RESULTS, RESULTS
The advantages of content marketing with purpose, along a specifically targeted strategy, not only benefits conversion but impacts your ranking and visitor engagement.
By aligning your content marketing with your conversion funnel, you optimise for search (with intensified SEO to target a particular buyer persona), as well as optimise for conversion (to target where this persona is in the funnel, and move them along). This two-fold approach offers even greater results, such as …
- Increased SEO authority (PageRank, MozRank, etc.)
- Stronger engagement means lower bounce rate, increased visits and repeat visits
- Improved Social Media
- Increase in overall revenue (the ultimate goal)
So you see, when creating content with intention and purpose, your marketing and sales are in for a growth spurt. You may then look forward to benefitting from content marketing, the inbound way - with greater organic results from relevant and valuable leads.