Traditional marketing methods are becoming less and less effective in today’s over-saturated marketplace.
Your customers are looking for more than just a sales pitch; they want their questions answered and their problems solved.
That’s where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing, if done well, is one of the most effective ways to generate leads, conversions, and sales at the fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
Why You Need Content Marketing
The purpose of content marketing is to generate relevant and valuable content that:
- Builds Authority: By producing valuable content that truly benefits the reader you show your audience that you are an expert in your field.
- Triggers an action: CTAs placed throughout the article should trigger an action from the reader – For example, “click here to receive free expert advice” or “click here to book your vacation now.”
- Increases Your Search Engine Ranking: Producing relevant content with the proper keywords placed throughout the article will give your search engine ranking a boost. Furthermore, if you produce valuable content, other bloggers and content writers will reference your work in their own articles, further increasing your search engine ranking.
- Builds Relationships: By responding to your readers questions and comments you are showing that you care about your customers and take the time to get back to them.
- Builds Your Email List: Build your email list with your content by using lead capture forms where readers receive something (i.e. a content upgrade, free trials, etc.) in exchange for their email.
- Fuels Your Other Social Media Platforms: A blog post can be shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your weekly newsletter and any other social media platforms you’re using.
- Helps With Conversions: Content marketing targets your desired audience and, subtly, helps move them towards conversion. When a customer is looking to buy the product/service you sell you can push them towards your brand by answering common questions.
How Content Made For B2B’s Differs from Content for B2C’s
B2B’s, especially SaaS B2B’s, rely on customers making more than one purchase from their company.
Therefore when it comes to content marketing, you want to high-quality create content that keeps customers engaged over the long haul.
6 Steps For Creating Successful Content For Your B2B SaaS Business
Develop Your Strategy
Take the time to develop your content marketing strategy.
By creating goals and deciding on a direction for your content creation, you are setting yourself up to receive the best results from your content marketing efforts.
- Goals: What goals you would like to achieve with your content? It might be useful to create a mission statement to establish awareness and direction for your team about your goals for content marketing.
- Schedule: What is your content marketing schedule? How much content would you like to produce? Will you publish articles weekly or monthly?
- Writers: Creating and publishing content can be a time-consuming task so it’s important to think about who the best person is to create your content. You can allocate content creation to one or two of your team members (depending on the amount of content you would like to publish) or, if you have the means, hire a third party service.
- Sales Funnel: Which part of the sales funnel needs your content marketing’s focus. Which step are you having the most trouble converting?
What a B2B Sales Funnel looks like:
- Potential customers become aware of your product/service
- They think about whether or not your product/service will solve their problem
- They compare your product/service with other solutions to their problem
- They make the decision to buy or not.
ProTip: Gingerbread Marketing has a team of talented writers who can take care of all your content marketing needs.
Identify Your Buyers
In order to write targeted content, it’s important to understand who your buyers are.
- Who is my target audience?
- What is the personality of my target audience?
- What kinds of questions would my target audience ask about my product/service?
- What is the best way for me to reach out and interact with my target audience?
- What motivates buying decisions for my target audience?
It may be helpful here to create buyer personas that make it clear to your content writers what your ideal audience looks like. This way your writers can write articles that are even more targeted towards your customers.
It’s not always easy to come up with a consistent flow of topics that are also relevant to your target audience.
Follow these 3 steps to make the process of identifying topics easier on yourself:
Gather data from relevant resources and then organize the most useful topics into a spreadsheet.
4 source ideas for finding relevant data:
- Most Popular Posts: Use Google Analytics to see which of your old posts have had the most visits, shares, conversions, and engagement.
- Competitors Posts: Use SocialCrawlytics to see your competitors most popular posts.
- Community and Influencer’s Posts: Use Tribalytics to see the most popular posts and topics from social communities within your niche.
- Relevant Questions: Scan community forums like Quora to see commonly asked questions around your product/service or industry.
Gathering data from relevant sources will help to inspire topics ideas that answer you audiences most common questions.
ProTip: Gingerbread Marketing uses an extensive research process to find the most relevant topics for your audience.
Ask Relevant Questions
Analyze the collected data so that you can make actionable next steps.
- What were some of the most popular posts?
- What were some of the most commonly asked questions?
- Which format/writing styles received the most engagement?
- List: Create a list of potential topics keeping what you analyzed in mind.
- Search: Use keyword searches to see which topic ideas have the highest level of interest.
- Determine: Determine which posts your competitors have already covered and the degree of success they had with these topics. If you see that they did well, then don’t right about the same topic but try to take a different approach. If their post was unsuccessful, then write a better post on the same topic.
Based on your lists of topics, determine which ones are the best for your overall content marketing vision.
- Which topics are the most related to my content marketing goals?
- Are these topics useful and interesting to my target audience?
- Will these topics answer relevant questions that my target audience asks?
- Are there adequate resources available to write about these topics?
- Will it be profitable for me to publish an article about these topics?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you have successfully identified content topics ideas!
It’s one thing to write a 1500 word article and an entirely different thing to write a valuable and relevant 1500 word article.
Valuable and relevant content involves the following elements:
- Originality: Google’s algorithm prevents plagiarized articles from doing well on their search engine.
- Actionability: Great articles don’t tell the reader what to do, but instead suggests actionable advice that they can apply.
- Thought-Provoking: Great content leaves the reader with something to think about. Push boundaries and ask the right questions so that you audience learns something from your articles.
- Dynamic Content: Great articles offer more than just written content. Adding videos, images, and even podcasts to your articles will make it that much more ‘readable’. By adding visuals to your content you are also appealing to all the different learning styles that your readers may have.
- Strong Headlines: The following stats from Copyblogger suggest why headlines are important “8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” Writing strong headlines make the difference for a reader the click to see the rest of the article.
- References: Copying information from another post without sourcing or referencing will result in a loss of credibility from readers.
- Concise: If an article is made up of lengthy block paragraphs then it’s likely that readers will opt out of reading the entire post. Short and concise sentences do much better when it comes to blog posts.
With this in mind, it’s important to consistently create content that contains the above elements.
Online marketing guru Neil Patel knows just how important it is to be consistent with your content.
ProTIp: Gingerbread Marketing provides consistent content so that you don’t have to worry!
Share Your Content
Creating great content is only half the battle – The next step is to get your content noticed.
Ways to promote your content:
- SEO: By using relevant keywords, your article will rank higher on search engines.
- Social Media: Share you content on all of you social media platforms to reach your existing audience.
- Email Marketing: Send out new content in your weekly newsletter.
- Influencer Marketing: Find relevant influencers to spread the word about new posts. This is a great way to reach a new audience.
- Boosted social posts: You can pay to have you posts boosted on Instagram and Facebook to ensure that they stay at the top of your viewers news feed for longer.
- Paid Advertising: A classic approach to marketing.
Analyze Your Content
Look back at your content marketing strategy and your recently published posts to ensure that you are still aligned with your original vision and goals.
Then use tools like Google Analytics to analyze your post and determine which ones have the most likes, shares, conversions, and engagement.
See where you were successful and where you need to improve your content marketing efforts and then start over again at step one!
B2B content marketing for SaaS businesses is similar to other content marketing in the sense that you have to determine your strategy, find your audience, write great content, and measure your results.
However, as B2B SaaS businesses are more dependent on capturing their returning-customers, it’s even more important to write highly valuable and relevant content that captures their attention again and again.
Following these 6 steps will help ensure that your content marketing is on the right track to being successful and getting results!