With customer demand for cloud-based computing and services rising dramatically and the bouncing back of the UK economy exceeding expectations, there’s no better time for enterprises offering SaaS products and services to maximise their content marketing.
But to make content marketing work for you, you need to have the right strategy. A key aspect of this should be your blend of content.
Just as you need an overall marketing mix, you should also explore different types of content to attract your target audience.
What are the main categories of content you should be focusing on?
- Newsworthy, and
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
What is strategic content?
Strategic content is the cornerstone of a content marketing strategy, naturally. Strategic content should focus on your target audience’s needs, aspirations and pain points.
Basically, it answers the question of why you’re creating content in the first place.
Ultimately, this content should:
- Attract organic traffic to your website
- Raise awareness of your brand
- Generate leads, and
- Drive conversions.
It does these things by attracting your audience, and by engaging and building relationships with them.
Strategic doesn’t sell your services or products, but it does prepare your audience for being sold to.
Some of this strategic content should be evergreen – it’s search-optimised and stays relevant and fresh for readers.
One example is the how-to guide. Hubspot produces regular blogs based on this approach:
- How to create a profitable Amazon marketing strategy for 2021
- 5 steps to creating a successful marketing plan
- How to create an effective customer journey map.
Notice how, in the first of these, they use the current year in the title. This captures the essence of evergreen content: it should answer the sort of needs that your customers will always have, BUT it must also be current enough to feel immediately relevant to them.
Problem-solving is a cornerstone of strategic content. It’s how you answer many of the questions your audience is asking online, and therefore a major way you can optimise your content for SEO.
For SaaS companies, there are broad themes to explore in strategic content as well as the issues that impact their particular customers:
- What are the benefits of moving to the cloud?
- What will help you reduce your carbon footprint?
- What is a more cost-effective way of accessing resources and support?
- How can you reduce your administrative burden?
There’s a whole cultural undercurrent to tap into here, where the subscription model is becoming the preferred way that people use products and services.
Good, strategic content should connect in multiple ways with your audience, combining a focus on specifics with the more general advantages of being cloud-based.
This is an area where SaaS companies can maximise the case study as content.
You’re offering a potent combination of freedom and convenience. Your strategic content should reinforce this in the mind of your audience.
But if strategic content is so central to your marketing, what’s the point of blending it with other content?
This comes back to using inbound marketing in the first place. It should be raising your brand’s profile and credibility with your audience. It makes sense, therefore, to appeal to this audience on multiple levels, and to introduce variety into your content, while ensuring it’s up to date and relevant.
This brings us to newsworthy content.
Is your content newsworthy?
Raising awareness of your brand should be high on your list of content marketing objectives.
Therefore, if you’ve got content that reinforces your brand’s authority and credibility, this helps build brand awareness with your audience.
You should tread carefully here, however, because putting out news about your business and its achievements can turn audiences off.
For example, when you've hired new employees, this may not be obvious headline news for anyone outside your immediate organisation.
But it could be if, for example, you were taking on young team members and could tie this into your corporate social responsibility.
Similarly, where your business is supporting local charities, this is newsworthy, providing you put the focus on the charity. People are quick to spot virtue-signalling.
One area where prestige content can work strategically for SaaS companies is in events. Hosting webinars that attract a prestigious panel from the industry you serve, for example. Or sponsoring networking events.
This has the potential to be especially newsworthy as we come out of Covid restrictions. But it applies to virtual events too.
Using events as newsworthy content fulfils two content marketing purposes:
- The event itself is a form of content that raises your brand awareness, and
- The content you generate about the event— before, during and afterwards — should be a rich source of material for your digital marketing.
Can you spot opportunities to create relevant content?
Content has to be relevant to resonate with its audience. But there are multiple ways of making sure your content is relevant.
One of these is to align your content to what’s happening in the wider world of current affairs, or to industry-specific news.
What's trending is extremely relevant in content marketing, and it offers a means for SaaS companies to connect meaningfully with the here-and-now of their audience's lives.
At a simple level, you could include a newsfeed on your website, which helps to position your brand more closely within the industry it serves.
But you can also use news stories as a springboard for creating immediate, impactful and searchable content. Established brands, such as AWS, can incorporate trends into their own newsworthy content.
Another way to ride current trends is with user-generated content (UGC). Here, your customers speak for themselves, creating testimonials for your brand by relating their own, real-life experiences. One example is how Adobe promotes UGC through its #Adobe_Perspective Instagram account.
Make sure you have the perfect blend of content
An effective content marketing strategy should employ different channels and different types of content.
But you need to ensure you’ve got the correct balance of ingredients – strategic, newsworthy and opportunistic.
Content can incorporate different tones and topics, but at the same time, it needs to consistently support your brand's positioning.
Want to find out more? We can help you shape your content into a powerful set of marketing tools. Talk to the Prize Content team today.