Formerly known as software plus service, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model relies on subscription. The software is available on-demand for the benefit of the customer. SaaS businesses are booming nowadays, and they have made it possible for small and medium-sized businesses to avail the services of good software within a specified price range and budget.
The SaaS sector is also very young and is continuously evolving. SaaS companies have to come up with powerful ideas to get their businesses noticed by target customers, and for this reason, their owners of such companies have to wear many hats in a day.
Marketing is a good way to tell the world about your business, but every startup does not have the budget to run expensive ad campaigns. In the marketing world, there are several hundred stories of successes and failures.
In this post, we are going to talk about the role of content marketing in the success of a SaaS business. Every industry needs to come up with a content marketing strategy because it has now become a standard marketing tool. Content Marketing has proved to be effective in increasing sales and given the existing trends, it is here to stay.
“Content is king,” says Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft, though the quote has been inaccurately attributed to entities such as Google or Summer Redstone of Viacom. Irrespective of who said it, all these major entities have been relying on the power of content to achieve success in what they do. Some of them redistribute content to earn money, while some produce it to create their own success stories. Content truly is king because it empowers companies like Pinterest and Tumblr to become giants and helps drive search engines like Google.
Hence, your SaaS Company must also have a content marketing pro forma at hand, which can help you achieve exponential success and more sales. Let’s look at some must-have elements for your content marketing strategy as a SaaS business:
When an email lands in our inbox, we are bound to look at it. That’s why emails are a very effective marketing tool for SaaS businesses. When people sign up to receive your emails, they are granting you permission to send them updates and promotions. Use this list wisely to nurture more leads. As opposed to TV and other traditional media, people sign up for email lists, which is a very big advantage in itself.
Your content can be showcased to each user via emails. You can also send out personalized emails to your customers and subscribers. This channel is not expensive to use as a marketing tool and the high visibility is something you don’t get anywhere else in marketing.
Zendesk offers customer service to their clients, and their content strategy relies heavily on personalization. It’s personal and relatable, and a customer must sign up for future updates to feel involved. Most of the content posted on the Zendesk website requires your email to access, but a lot is available for free too. They offer free trials of their service to people who are thinking about trying the platform for the first time. The email list idea works for them well, since people love to receive customer service tips from a customer service providing specialist. One of the best ways to acquire a lead is by educating the lead about your service, and Zendesk is a good example of that.
SaaS companies often growth hack their way to success and one important thing they need to do so is to analyze data in order to create effective strategies. Analytics based on consumer interaction with your content can help you draw stronger campaigns. The best tool for this purpose is Google Analytics, which can provide you with regular data.
Get an in-depth view of what is working, how many referrals you are getting and which channel is the most popular in your audience. Calculate email click-through-rates to see how many people read your newsletter. Social analytics are a whole new world for you to measure. You can decide what to post when you learn how popular it is with the audience. Most of the social websites have their own analytics sections, making it easier for you to measure audience engagement. After following this analytics for a long time, you will have an idea about the kind of content your audience loves and the type your audience wants nothing to do with.
Intercom is a SaaS company which connects businesses with consumers. They have a smart content strategy that is based on analytics data. Intercom first studies the reasons why a company has reached out to them and the nature of the job that needs to be done. Then, they build strong landing pages for that job with catchy phrases like “What problem are we solving?” along with strong SEO and brilliant graphics. The graphics lead to another page where Intercom asks you about your current customer support process. Finally, Intercom displays short videos that describe the process through which it helps companies reach out to their customers.
Intercom also has logos of companies they have helped on their website, along with testimonials from business owners. Intercom’s research into customer data and interaction are keys to their content strategy. It helps them build a service which resonates with the potential customer.
Create content which can be repurposed and recycle ideas that can be used to reach a greater audience. You must think about saving your content from going to waste. Social media is so fast-paced that there isn’t enough time to create new content every day; that’s when repurposing can come in handy. You can update old posts, re-share by adding few features or just add the content on Throwback Thursdays.
Had you been required to create content every day of the year, you wouldn’t have been able to do anything else. SaaS businesses have to create a content strategy which can use older posts in evergreen formats.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular platforms out there to manage your social media profiles. Individual users and businesses can maintain all of their social media profiles on Hootsuite and analyze the metrics of each channel. Hootsuite is known for creating entertaining content that resonates with the intended target audience. They have always been very creative with their content production, and that’s why businesses love to work with them.
Now, it requires a special skill set to create content which can be repurposed again and again. If you can manage to align it with pop culture, the effect becomes even greater. Hootsuite took their content marketing to another level by creating a Game of Thrones’ themed video, just in time before the new season was aired. Not only did they create a Game of Thrones video, but they also aligned it with the functions of Hootsuite as a social media management platform.
The message was clear: Hootsuite helps you manage the battle between so many social media platforms. People loved it, because it hit the right spot! Content like this can be shared again and again, as long as both Hootsuite and the GoT franchise are relevant.
Referral marketing is a unique way of spreading the word out there about your service. SaaS businesses have an edge over other businesses in this, because their business model is service. Customers who love the service often refer it to someone they know to share the benefits.
In referral marketing, all you have to do is to prepare amazing content and then leave it for the customers to share on all popular platforms. Give your customers the tools to share your content, all the while sharing it on your behalf on the same platform (without any paid promotion). Get industry influencers onboard to spread the word about your offerings to maximize conversation about your specialties.
In referrals, refrain from directly asking people to share your content on social media or anywhere else. Give your customers time to try the service and then get back to you. You can also follow up with these people to ask whether they liked your service or not. In simpler words, communication is key.
In any case, don’t make it obligatory for people to refer you to someone; but if you do, make it worth their while by offering some rewards such as discounts or gifts.
Trello is a great collaboration tool to work together, especially if you have a team of people scattered all over the world. You can manage workload and stay on the same page, literally from anywhere in the world with the help of an internet connection. Sensing the growing need for such collaboration tools, Trello was made.
Even if the demand for a co-working platform was a strong point in their favor, team Trello didn’t market their product. They did something even better: made an innovative product that markets itself because it identified and successfully filled a gap in the market!
Businesses truly needed a co-working platform that was user-friendly and cost-effective at the same time. When Trello was launched, it was adopted by businesses, who in turn further promoted and forward a positive word about Trello.
These customers became the voice of the brand. Now, countless blogs and posts mention Trello and it is recommended by top professionals from many industries. Referral marketing is a tricky thing to rely on, and for that you need to have strong content and an even stronger product. Since Trello had all these boxes checked, they quickly climbed the ladder of success.
Every brand on the internet and elsewhere needs to be seen as an interactive and customer-friendly entity. Apart from good customer service, your company should also indulge in conversations, wherever they happen on the internet. Be it Twitter and Facebook or blogposts and news articles, you can interact with people who are talking about a topic within your niche.
From a SaaS perspective, some of the places you should interact are Quora, Google+ and LinkedIn. People visit these platforms when they are looking for something specific. You need to be there, in order to participate in the discussion and grab a few leads.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform which helps retailers launch their own stores online. If you have used the platform, you will agree that Shopify genuinely wants its retailers to succeed at their businesses. To help retailers launch better stores, Shopify has created loads of helpful and relevant content.
There are in-depth guides, stories and articles to help you manage your store in a better way. This has made the portal an online community of sellers who have one thing in common: they all want to manage their stores better.
The Shopify blog is overflowing with content regarding shop management and everything related to it, with questions always welcomed with enthusiasm. The videos, podcasts and case studies further help beginners plan everything in advance before signing up for a Shopify account.
If your SaaS business is also bent on developing a community of people who love to talk about your niche, creating helpful content is an ideal way to begin.