How to Use SaaS Content Marketing to Sell Your Software

July 7, 2020
Posted in Industries
July 7, 2020 Claire Routh

How to Use SaaS Content Marketing to Sell Your Software

Selling software is a challenge.

You can’t set your product under flattering light, get some close-up shots for the website and call it a day. SaaS companies understand the uphill battle and are searching for ways to rise above in this rapidly expanding market.

All the product updates and new features don’t mean a thing if your target audience doesn’t know who you are.

Your company needs more visibility. Your company needs a SaaS marketing strategy that has positive long term effects. Might we suggest that your company needs SaaS content marketing?

And not just any content marketing.

Exciting content. Powerful content. The “I won’t close this window on my crowded desktop because I like what this page has to offer” type of content.

Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to produce creative content.

Let’s get some inspiration from companies whose content marketing reaches beyond the run-of-the-mill blog posts and webinars we’re all too familiar with.

Benefits of Content Marketing

You have limited resources and a finite number of hours each day. If you’re going to invest in content marketing, you need to be sure it’s a worthwhile pursuit.

The benefits your company can reap from content marketing depends on the strategy you pursue. Here are just a couple of reasons why content marketing is a good investment.

A gleaming benefit of content marketing is its ability to reach people at all stages of the buyer journey. A lot of marketers focus on top-of-the-funnel content. But that’s just a fraction of what you can do with a good content marketing strategy. According to research from The Content Marketing Institute, 50% of all B2B content is focused on users at the top of the funnel.

percent total content marketingSource: Content Marketing Institute

It’s clear that the bulk of content marketing is focused on attracting new customers. But customer education and retention are two areas that content marketing can address effectively. In a survey by ZenDesk, 67% of respondents noted that they prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. This is a great indicator that content marketing can fill a need consumers are looking for.

The search engine optimization (SEO) benefits of content marketing are difficult to ignore. In each piece of content, you should target a specific short or longtail keyword. The more keywords you target on your domain, the more chances you have to rank for specific search terms on the search engine results page (SERP). This content needs to be high quality and posted on a regular basis. But your perseverance and patience will be rewarded with higher rankings. Increased visibility means more traffic to your site and more people moved along on the buyer journey.

Content marketing offers long term benefits to those willing to put in the work. For instance, evergreen pieces of content can produce results long after they are initially published. Additionally, your website gains authority in the eyes of search engines as you repeatedly produce content in a specific industry.

Great content catches attention and others link back to it in articles of their own. Earning respectable backlinks builds up your website’s domain rating. There’s no exact formula for the perfect SaaS content marketing piece. But research suggests that long-form content performs better on average than shorter pieces. Backlinko analyzed millions of websites to find the average word count of a top 10 Google result — 1,447 words.

long-form-contentSource: Backlinko

How Content Marketing Works for SaaS

Bland content marketing be warned. These three examples of well-executed pieces are proof that SaaS content marketing can be effective and not sleep-inducing.

You’ll notice that these examples are all very different approaches to content marketing tailored to the space that each company is in. So we’ve included lessons with each SaaS marketing example for a broader application that you can apply to your strategy.

Enough chit chat. Let’s get inspired!

Shutterstock adds value in a visual format

Shutterstock brings engaging content to a new level with its interactive annual Creative Trends Report. As a stock photo and video platform, the visual element is key for Shutterstock. The list of nine trends in the 2020 report act as a predictor of what’s to come for the year ahead. This piece expertly integrated Shutterstock product offerings into the interactive content piece.

creative trends shutterstock

The result is not only captivating, but it’s also backed by research. To create the list of trends, Shutterstock compiled and analyzed search data on its platform. These insights are interspersed throughout the content to add substance to this piece, giving more original value to readers. Integrated into each trend are buttons linking to related stock photos, videos, and music that Shutterstock offers.

pink curated board

Seamless product integration, a dazzling feed that pulls you in, and data-driven insights combine in this exceptional piece.

Saas content marketing lesson: Leverage original data to form engaging content pieces. If you have access to data that your user base would find helpful, consider building a content marketing piece around it. And of course, make it attractive in a way that suits your brand.

Degreed shines with thought leadership content

Degreed is on a mission to “jailbreak the degree” making experts out of the millions of professionals currently utilizing the platform.

As an Edtech company, Degreed must present itself in a professional manner and build authority to attract new users. So the company creates detailed whitepapers surrounding the learning landscape. These papers are filled with research and dive below surface level topics. At the same time, the content is presented in a clear and understandable format that readers can comprehend.

user-generated content

The annual “How the Workforce Learns” survey compiles data from industry leaders, fortune 500 companies, and other experts that add to the authority of the piece. Furthermore, Degreed and Harvard Business Publishing work in tandem to produce this insight filled piece.

The piece is free to download, but it’s gated. Users must provide their business email, job title, name, and more details in order to unlock the piece. It’s clear the piece requires a lot of front end effort on the part of Degreed. But the benefits and lead generation continue to roll in.

workforce learns

Degreed earns links back to their website thanks to its whitepapers. The company rises in authority in the eyes of search engines and potential customers. Plus, the gated content means that Degreed gains leads each time someone downloads the document.

Saas content marketing lesson: Position your company as an authoritative figure in the industry. Whether you bring on an expert or source thought leadership content in house, it’s important to signal your knowledge and professionalism to potential users.

Salesforce shifts the spotlight to customers

You can sing the praises of your software all day long, but there’s a more effective way to convince users to sign up. Showcase how the product is benefiting current customers.

Salesforce leads the pack in cloud-based CRM platforms. Rather than just stating that top companies utilize Salesforce, the company makes it more personal.

A section of the Salesforce website is dedicated to its Trailblazer Spotlight series. This is a collection of stories featuring real Salesforce customers and an inspiring, innovative, and impactful action the company is taking.

sales force statefarm

This is mutually beneficial content since it places the featured company in a good light and showcases how Salesforce is helping it achieve its goals. The library is filled with hundreds of customer success stories from companies across a wide range of industries. Thanks to this variety, Salesforce is able to highlight different features of its software in various success stories.

sales force 1

Users can filter the stories by industry, business type, product and more to get a clearer idea of how Salesforce can benefit their own firm. Each story is a glowing but subtle review of Salesforce. The focus is on the featured company but Salesforce is an important and supportive character in every story.

Saas content marketing lesson: You don’t have to create content from scratch. Ask satisfied customers to contribute to your content marketing efforts with stories of their own in exchange for exposure and a backlink.

Bid farewell to bland marketing with a top tier content strategy

Now that you’ve seen some A-level SaaS content, it’s time to make it your own.

Content marketing requires laying out a comprehensive keyword strategy, optimizing your website regularly and a host of other important tasks that keep you moving forward. If it sounds like a lot, consider enlisting an SEO agency to tackle this workload.

At Markitors, we understand what it takes to boost SaaS companies in search engines because we’ve worked with multiple SaaS clients. Our content writers and keyword strategists are here to help you craft compelling content. If you want to know more about our SaaS SEO services, reach out to our team today.

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Claire Routh

Claire is an SEO Content Writer at Markitors, a digital marketing company that connects small businesses with customers. She has her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Arizona State University. Before joining the team, Claire spent time as a podcast producer and content manager. You can find her sipping green tea and writing fresh and thrilling content for Markitors and clients.