Software as a Service (SaaS) companies are generally inclined to move towards a strong online presence, given the nature of their products. Content marketing is the new name of the game for businesses.
And why not?
A survey from Demand Metric shows that content marketing is 62% more cost-effective than traditional marketing (print, broadcast, etc.) but generates thrice the number of leads.
SaaS companies recognize the worth of such a strategy: 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers believe that content marketing can improve their bottom line sales.
Content marketing can be described as a system of different tactics, all combined to drive traffic to your site and boost conversion. Content can be in the form of blog posts, landing pages, social media and email campaigns, and more.
Building Strong Content and Its Benefits
There has never been a more perfect time to leverage content marketing, and here are a couple of reasons why:
1. Content marketing generates leads
With SaaS products, chances are most of the people who come across them are not ready to purchase at that given moment.
If your marketing strategy is simply focused on converting visitors right off the bat, you could only be interacting with 1–3% of your traffic—those who are ready to make a purchase.
How will you capture the rest?
Through content marketing, naturally.
Blog articles, webinars, white papers, etc., all improve your website traffic. When visitors become aware of your brand as an authority in a given niche, you will ultimately attract qualified leads that will be interested in your products.
In fact, survey shows that 70% of consumers prefer learning about a company through published content, rather than paid adverts. People clearly trust brands that demonstrate thought leadership.
SaaS company Crazy Egg, for instance, saw their conversions increase by more than 30% when they produced long-form content explaining the value of their heatmap software.
2. Content Marketing Reduces Churn
Driving traffic is the main benefit you can get from content marketing, but it’s not the only one. Content marketing also reduces your company’s churn rate—the percentage at which customers stop subscribing to a service after initially purchasing.
The acceptable churn rate for SaaS companies is about 5–7% annual revenue churn, which is equivalent to a loss of $1 for every $200 per month.
Of course, companies can strive to further decrease churn with effective marketing tactics. A company’s future revenue largely depends on existing customers. Marketing Metrics suggests that there’s a 60–70% chance that you can sell to an existing subscriber compared to a conversion rate of only 5–20% with a new prospect.
A compelling content marketing strategy is a powerful way to lower your company’s churn rate.
The more you establish that your product is valuable, the more likely customers will continue to be your subscribers.
An IBM study shows that companies are leaning towards websites and social media channels to engage meaningfully with their customers. Both are gradually coming to the same level as face-to-face communication among the most effective methods of customer engagement.
How to Generate Strong Marketing Content
When customers perceive your content as relevant and useful, they are more likely to take action and convert. Here are some ways in which you can create quality content that will help you realize your marketing goals:
1. Produce valuable content for leads and existing customers
In the world of SaaS, having quality content is pretty much like having a great product in and of itself. People will keep coming back to see if you have the answers to their dilemmas.
Whether you choose a newsletter, a weekly blog, or an email drip campaign, the content you produce should always bring value to a customer.
For a SaaS company, content serves a dual purpose: attracting new customers and engaging existing ones. The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t direct all your content to just one portion of your target customers.
Many businesses make the mistake of focusing too much on gaining new customers that they neglect current subscribers.
And what did we learn about churn?
It’s more crucial to keep your existing customers happy, because they can determine your future revenues. Prioritize your existing customers, and add some content that will attract new ones.
By clearly distinguishing content efforts for these two sets of customers, you can gain the trust of both.
2. Share Content Using Different Media
Customers want a variety of information to help them make an informed decision about any purchase.
People absorb information in different ways, so having different types of media can make you accessible to a broader audience. You can engage customers who want blog articles, and you can also satisfy those who prefer video. Publishing infographics can also attract readers, as these are quite easy to understand.
In your content marketing efforts, the main goal is to have enough variety of media available to make a visitor want to stay on your site rather than going somewhere else to seek information.
You may need to do countless rounds of testing for this, as it is a skill learned with experience. But in the end, you are still getting value in terms of knowing more about what works for your business.
One great example is the Kissmetrics website, where they have a comprehensive collection of information presented in different ways—articles, infographics, case studies, and tutorials that educate both current and prospective customers about their product.
3. Pay Attention To Customer Questions (and Complaints)
Having content that answers customers’ questions even before they are asked can actually reduce your churn rate.
Indeed, customers are turning online to search for answers, so if you have the right answer, you are generally preferred. If it becomes a habit for users to pick your site, you are essentially ahead of the rest.
Knowing what questions customers may have requires an astute keyword research strategy. Try to find out the most popular ones related to your product.
Aside from that, gain info from sales calls, social media comments, demos, and webinars. These can give you a sense of what customers are interested in or are curious about.
Complaints are also valuable for companies.
In fact, be grateful for those complaints, as around 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain but 91% of them don’t re-purchase either. They just go ahead and leave.
The very few who do complain at least give you an idea of what needs to be improved.
SaaS companies can prevent further customer churn if they take complaints seriously. Bernd Stauss and Wolfgang Seidel claim that dissatisfied customers whose complaints are attended to are more likely to stay as customers and even advocate the products to others.
4. Use Opportunities to Engage with Customers
With SaaS, your product is intangible. Therefore, you’d constantly need to remind customers about its concrete value.
So for content marketing to work, always take the opportunity to maximize touchpoints with your customers.
Email drip campaigns can provide recent updates or resources for your users; onboarding helps reduce customer frustration. Older tactics like sales calls are still worth considering as well.
Content marketing is your best option for building and maintaining customers’ interest in your product. SaaS companies that put extra effort into managing their content strategy are more likely to enjoy huge traffic and bigger conversions.