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Are you making the same content marketing mistakes other SaaS companies make?
Do you try to publish as much content as you can, often sacrificing its quality? Or maybe you publish based on a gut feeling about what interests your audience without thorough research, data, and pre-set goals. You might even be publishing quality content but not investing enough effort to distribute it properly or measure its ROI.
If you’ve encountered some of these hurdles, you’re not alone. Building an effective SaaS content marketing strategy is not an easy feat. It requires a serious level of commitment because it can bring serious, high-intent leads.
If you’re aware of the importance of content marketing for SaaS, but you’re unsure where to start with the strategy, use this roundup as your playbook for 2024. It’ll help you determine where to invest your effort and budget to ensure your content builds trust, reaches new people daily, and converts leads into paying customers.
In this guide:
SaaS (Software as a Service) content marketing has unique characteristics that set it apart from content marketing in other industries. It’s known for its audience-centric approach, meaning that the content revolves around addressing the specific needs and pain points of your target audience and understanding your audience’s challenges, goals, and preferences.
SaaS content also typically:
For example, healthcare content often requires a more formal and authoritative tone due to the critical nature of the information. SaaS content can be friendlier and more conversational. Similarly, e-commerce content aims to drive direct sales, making the primary goal transactional. SaaS content usually focuses on educating and guiding prospects before the sale, emphasizing the value of the solution.
Content marketing helps address the specific needs of SaaS audiences and guide leads through the conversion funnel, making content a crucial player in the overall marketing strategy for any SaaS business. Here’s what content does for them:
Educates the audience: Content marketing allows SaaS companies to educate their target audience about these challenges and how their solutions can provide answers. This educational approach builds trust and positions the company as a valuable resource.
Builds trust and credibility: Through well-researched, data-backed content, SaaS companies can establish themselves as industry leaders. By providing valuable insights and solutions, they gain credibility, making potential customers more likely to choose their software.
Boosts organic growth: Well-optimized content enhances a SaaS company’s online presence. Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques help content rank higher in search results, increasing organic traffic and helping attract global audiences by addressing various regions and languages.
Offers cost-effective marketing: Compared to traditional advertising, content marketing is cost-effective. It has a long-lasting impact as high-quality content continues to attract and engage an audience over time, making it a valuable investment.
Improves retention and upselling: Content also aids in retaining existing customers by providing ongoing support, product updates, and tips for maximizing the value of their software, leading to upselling opportunities.
Enables data-backed decision-making: Content analytics can help gain insights into the audience’s preferences, needs, and behaviors, guiding businesses to refine their marketing strategies and improve their software based on user feedback.
Provides a competitive advantage: Effective content marketing can set SaaS companies apart from competitors as it helps them articulate their unique value proposition, making it clear why their solution is the best choice in a crowded market.
We’ve looked at our Benchmark Groups to understand how different SaaS businesses are performing in terms of some popular content marketing metrics.
According to the Content Marketing Benchmarks for Top SaaS Companies by Some Good Content, the median value of Sessions in August 2023 was 15.78K, according to data from 162 contributors.
The data from 25 contributors shows a median Engagement Rate of 52.59%.
The Average Session Duration was 2m 36s based on 37 contributors.
When it comes to LinkedIn, according to the same Benchmark Group, the median number of Updates in August was 13.5, based on 18 contributors.
The median value for the Number of reactions was 402.5, based on the data from 40 contributors.
With 2024 approaching, it’s time to start laying out a strategy that will help your SaaS business reach its goals. We asked 45+ marketing professionals across the industry to share which content goals and marketing channels they’re going to focus on in the following 12 months.
Here’s what they shared:
For more than half of the respondents, lead generation is their company’s primary objective for content marketing. 25% of respondents selected brand awareness as their content marketing’s primary objective.
For half of our respondents, generating leads is also the biggest priority when it comes to content marketing in the next 12 months.
“Generating leads is a top priority goal for our content marketing team in the next year because it addresses multiple aspects simultaneously,” confirms Eugenia Evseeva of Zyte.
“While increasing traffic and improving engagement are important, generating leads aligns these goals with tangible business outcomes. By capturing potential customers’ interest, lead generation directly contributes to driving sales and improving our product adoption,” explains Evseeva.
If generating enough traffic was one of your top goals in 2023, next year should definitely be about turning these visitors into leads and customers.
“At one point, you have to realize your traffic and authority is high enough, and it’s time to start converting the views into leads. This means putting more emphasis on calls to action, promoting your service pages, and focusing on the content, which does not focus on informing, but transitioning the traffic to leads,” says Matt Diggity of Diggity Marketing.
Of course, your priorities may depend on where your company currently is. If you have well-established software and a “proven market fit”, as Emilia Korczynska from Userpilot puts it, you may make it your priority to give your top of the funnel, as well as sales, a boost “through qualified lead generation.”
“This would enable us to fill our sales pipeline and fuel our growth objectives. Generating leads is also crucial because it’s the first real step in the sales process. Without leads, there are no opportunities to convert and close. Thus, focusing on lead generation means we are creating the foundation for revenue generation,” concludes Korczynska and shares her team’s strategy:
“The strategy to achieve results involves leveraging our programmatically generated comparison pages. These pages are designed to showcase the value proposition and competitive advantages of our product compared to others in the market. We believe this will drive qualified traffic to our site, given the tendency of potential customers to seek out such comparative information when making purchasing decisions.”
Head of Marketing at Userpilot
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Pro Tip: Blogging can be an excellent way to generate qualified leads for your business. See expert tips on how to convert visitors into customers with your blog posts.
When it comes to how content marketing teams are structured, one third of the respondents stated that they have a hybrid team. For example, One manager + some internal team members + some freelancers.
This content team structure is typically the most affordable one.
About 4% of our survey respondents say they don’t invest in content marketing. Most respondents work with content marketing budgets up to $50K per year.
Almost 46% of respondents stated that 10-25% of their overall marketing budget is allocated to content marketing.
Over 81% of the survey respondents agree that higher quality of their content is currently more important for the success of their content strategy right now.
High-quality content that provides unique value to your audience and is relevant to their needs and pain points is what drives not only traffic and leads, but also trust in your brand.
“You don’t want to create content for the sake of it,” says Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers. “Also, when producing and promoting content, you don’t want to focus on vanity metrics such as likes, impressions, reach, or followers. What you want is to have your content move the needle for your business.”
Keyword research is the primary way of coming up with ideas for new content for 41.67% of the respondents. Other responses included exploring industry trends, competitor analysis, customer feedback, and sales calls.
While keyword research may seem like an easy approach to identify low-hanging fruit and rank faster, the changes in content marketing and SEO over the past two years (especially with the rise of AI), customer feedback and sales calls are a much more reliable way to identify topics that really interest your audience.
When you listen to what your customers are saying, you’re essentially tapping into their unfiltered thoughts and emotions. This can uncover unique angles and content ideas that might not be apparent through keyword analysis alone.
“Consumer feedback and market research have shown that our target audience responds favorably to content that specifically addresses their problems and provides remedies that are compatible with our goods or services,” shares Aygul Mehdiyeva of FS Code. “We can say our audience’s purchasing decisions and increase sales by producing exciting and valuable content that connects with them.”
Sales calls, on the other hand, offer a real-time perspective on the questions and concerns potential customers have. These interactions provide invaluable context about where customers are in their buyer’s journey. This information can be used to create content that not only addresses their needs but also guides them through the decision-making process.
Pro Tip: Done right, customer insight reports provide a deeper understanding of both what your customers need and why they need it. These reports can be used both for product and marketing purposes.
More than half of our respondents make sure their content is differentiated from the competition by Keyword research/optimization and collecting/publishing their own original data from their product and/or service. Shy of 50% also do extensive subject matter research.
Charles Lim of PartnerStack relies on research reports created by his team to make sure the content they publish is unique and valuable: “[We have] original research reports. We feel that we have a lot of data worth sharing with the broader partnership ecosystem space.”
Here’s how Matt Laybourn from Rockee leverages podcast interviews with subject matter experts to create multiple content formats with unique insights.
“We use a bi-weekly podcast format with expert guests for credibility, to help us create multiple assets for different channels. That one podcast gives us exposure on all podcast platforms, two new YouTube videos a month, three videos on LinkedIn and one doc carousel recap, and one new SEO friendly blog every two weeks. This way we can create a high level of exposure and engagement from hero or core assets on a regular basis—perfect for efficiency in a small team.”
Founder at Rockee
Over 80% of respondents include other departments in their content marketing efforts.
Involving other departments in content creation can be a strategic and beneficial approach, especially if the content marketing team can work with internal subject matter experts to gain insights and quotes. This enriches the content with diverse perspectives and contributes to its uniqueness, but also fosters collaboration and alignment within the organization.
Most companies focus on creating the following six content formats:
“Blogging, ebooks and video creation are our top priority,” Johan Holmstrom of Mediatool confirms our survey results. “We are seeing a lot more engagement with video, especially on LinkedIn, which is our main social channel. We just launched a video campaign that has blogs, ebooks and other content grouped together to hit our target from all angles.”
Podcasts have recently emerged as an relatively untapped content type as few SaaS brands are leveraging it to reach new audiences and generate leads. Webinars are another popular content format for SaaS companies, especially since it’s “easy to recycle” according to Kurt Miller from Cloud Campaign.
“We pull out the audio and turn it into a podcast, we share snippets of it on social, we link to recordings in our newsletter, and we host it on our blog with an SEO-friendly recap of the conversation,” elaborates Miller.
Social media, especially LinkedIn, can bring in many qualified leads and help with SaaS brand building.
“Our team will invest the most in social media for content creation over the next 12 months. As social media is a rapidly growing platform, it provides significant reach and increased engagement when paired with strategic content,” says Locklizard Limited’s Alan Jones and adds:
“We will create high-quality content designed to draw a mix of organic viewers and targeted audiences alike; this should help make our platforms’ presence known to users far and wide. Additionally, we will look into further expanding our page’s reach through sponsored posts on each respective site whenever possible. Finally, investing in analytics can also prove beneficial as we monitor performances of each post not just their within initial release time window but also over an extended period of time period down the line too drastically improving chances for success with our campaigns.”
Most of our survey respondents publish social media posts daily, blog posts weekly, roundups and case studies monthly, and email newsletters weekly or monthly. Podcasts and original research are among the most rarely published content types.
There’s no universal answer to what cadence is ideal for each content format. Quality always trumps quantity, but frequent publishing gives you more room to test which topics and channels resonate the most with your audience.
For example, switching from a monthly newsletter to sending it bi-weekly enables you to A/B test different content and design twice a month to find what works best for your audience so you can get to conclusions faster.
However, case studies and roundups may take more time to research properly and collect all the relevant data, so a monthly cadence would work well. If you’re aiming to publish original reports, aim for quarterly or annual ones.
The vast majority of our respondents publish evergreen content more frequently than time-sensitive content. Evergreen content is typically search-optimized and requires less “maintenance” as it covers topics that are continuously relevant for the audience.
However, publishing time-sensitive content is also beneficial as it shows that your business is staying on top of trending topics. Also, content tied to current events often generates more engagement as it aligns with what’s top of mind for your audience. It can lead to higher click-through rates and social shares.
Pro Tip: A well-thought-out content strategy balances both types of content to cater to all audience needs at all times.
Most companies state that they allocate more resources to content creation than to content promotion.
However, creating quality content that no one gets to see is effort wasted. Content promotion and distribution can be even more important in some cases, as these activities will help you reach broader audiences and generate more leads, whether it’s email marketing, paid ads, content repurposing, or sharing on social media and online communities.
Pro Tip: A good content distribution strategy also allows you to achieve more with fewer resources. Content repurposing helps you save time and money on creation, and you get new content formats for various channels where this content can be shared and promoted.
LinkedIn is generally considered a very effective content marketing channel for SaaS businesses. So, it’s no wonder our survey respondents listed it as their most effective content distribution channel, followed by: email marketing, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and partnerships.
LinkedIn is by far the most impactful channel for hitting a company’s team’s content goals.
Kavin Patel of Convrrt is sure his team will invest more in LinkedIn next year.
“We will invest more in LinkedIn, YouTube videos, podcast appearances, and ramp up our organic content. We also pay attention to the feedback from prospective clients to influence the priority of some of our marketing activities.”
Pro Tip: You can track how your LinkedIn audience engages with the content you post on your company page through this free LinkedIn Company Page Engagement dashboard template. Use it to track comments and followers, impressions and clicks, and more.
Over 72% of respondents use paid advertising to promote their content.
Paid ads are an excellent way to put your content out there in front of the eyes of your target audience and accelerate demand creation. Paid advertising amplifies your message, especially when time-sensitive or promotional content needs an extra push.
Paid ad campaigns provide detailed analytics, allowing you to track the performance of your content promotion efforts. Metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and ROI help assess campaign effectiveness.
You can also implement retargeting ads to reach users who have previously engaged with your content or visited your website. This strategy can nurture leads and improve conversion rates.
Pro Tip: If you want to learn more about impression-focused ads on LinkedIn and how they’ve proven to be profitable and relatively inexpensive, listen to this podcast episode with JD Garcia from Impactable.
Content audits are key for determining which content still makes an impact on your traffic and conversions, and which should be pruned, optimized, or repurposed. Our survey respondents usually perform content audits on monthly or quarterly basis.
Content audits provide a structured framework for evaluating the performance of your content. Start by reviewing data on traffic, engagement, and conversions and identify which pieces of content are delivering value and which may need attention.
Other than helping you improve your overall content performance, regular content audits will allow you to allocate budget properly and align your content initiatives with high-level business goals, ensuring that your activities make a difference for the company bottom line. For example, that they drive sales.
“The decision to prioritize driving sales in content marketing is based on the ultimate goal of generating revenue and achieving business growth,” Andre Oentoro from Explainerd comments.
“By focusing on driving sales, we aim to convert leads into paying customers and maximize the return on investment. To achieve that we conduct thorough market research to understand our target audience, their needs, preferences, and pain points. This enables us to create content that resonates with them and positions our products or services as valuable solutions.”
For half of the respondents, the number of Leads is the best indicator of their content marketing’s success.
When it comes to measuring, planning, and adjusting content strategy, our survey respondents voted for Conversion rate and Organic search traffic as the most important content metrics providing teams with the most insight and direction. Other relevant metrics are Keyword Rankings, Unique Visitors, Click-Through Rate (CTR), and Cost per Acquisition (CPA).
Tracking the right metrics will help you understand if your content is visible, if it attracts people to click on it, and if it’s relevant and compelling enough for them to stay on your page, on your website, or convert.
For instance, a high conversion rate signifies that your content and calls to action are resonating with your audience. The number of unique visitors helps you gauge the overall interest in your content, brand awareness, and your ability to attract new audience members. A low CPA means your content marketing campaigns are cost-effective.
In terms of tools for tracking content performance, many comprehensive analytics platforms offer features for tracking these metrics. Google Analytics is widely used and provides a wealth of data for website analysis. Specialized SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz offer in-depth keyword ranking data. Additionally, paid advertising platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads Manager are equipped to track CTR and CPA for paid campaigns.
Pro Tip: Databox offers 40+ free dashboard templates for you to track your content marketing performance. You can pull data from all your favorite tools like HubSpot, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Ads, SEO tools, social media platforms, and more, and get a holistic overview of your most important metrics.
Like most marketers and marketing managers, you want to know how well your efforts are translating into results each month. How much traffic and new contact conversions do you get? How many new contacts do you get from organic sessions? How are your email campaigns performing? How well are your landing pages converting? You might have to scramble to put all of this together in a single report, but now you can have it all at your fingertips in a single Databox dashboard.
Our Marketing Overview Dashboard includes data from Google Analytics 4 and HubSpot Marketing with key performance metrics like:
Now you can benefit from the experience of our Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template that contains all the essential metrics for monitoring your leads. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your HubSpot and Google Analytics 4 accounts with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
In this survey, we collected responses from 49 participants in total, of which 48 are either SaaS or agencies working for SaaS: 70.83% are SaaS companies and 29.17% are agencies or consultants working with a SaaS company.
Most of our respondents are experienced. Over 85% of businesses were founded more than 3 years ago.
Most of our respondents have more than 20 employees.
If you want your content strategy to be data-driven in 2024, Databox is an essential tool that will make your job easy on multiple levels.
Our wide range of integrations allows you to track data from all your favorite tools in a single, streamlined dashboard—without jumping from one screen to another and wasting your time logging in and out of several platforms.
You can use pre-made dashboard templates from our rich template library or build custom dashboards by adding or removing any metrics based on your company’s needs. And the best thing about it is that no coding or designer skills are required!
Our full-stack business intelligence tool allows you to remove the long, daunting process of creating reports manually and adapting them for different audiences. With Databox dashboard reports, you can save more than four hours per report every month and create beautiful, easy-to-understand reports that are automatically shared with your team.
Databox provides you with a granular or high-level real-time visualization of your business performance in seconds, on any device. Sound like what you’re looking for? Sign up for your Databox account today and start making data-driven decisions for your business.
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