In the current digital era, traditional advertising is gradually taking a backseat. An increasing number of businesses are inclining towards digital marketing, especially content marketing, in order to increase their brand awareness and boost revenue. Businesses that have adopted a proper content marketing strategy have seen a significant growth in their website conversion rate compared to those who are yet to leverage the power of content.
In fact, according to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. It is, therefore, no surprise that almost 86 percent of B2B marketers and 77 percent of B2C marketers invest in content marketing to boost their bottom line.
However, you need to do it right to maximize your ROI and improve your brand’s reach.
Here are a few tips for SAAS businesses to get their content marketing right:
Share Something Useful with Your Readers
Perhaps, you already know that you need to create compelling content for your readers. But how do you create something genuinely worthwhile that your readers will love to read? Simple, create something that they will find useful!
Here, you need to understand one thing: Content marketing isn’t really pure marketing or pushy marketing that usually annoys people. The success of content marketing lies in creating content that adds value. This means, your content must solve the issues or immediate problems faced by your readers and if you can do this right, you will never have to beg people to share your posts. They will do it voluntarily.
This, again, will help you improve your site’s traffic. Let’s consider these findings:
- KISSmetrics receives 70 percent of its traffic to its blog, which features a mix of articles, infographics and tools
- HubSpot too receives 37 percent of traffic share to its blog, whereas the homepage receives only 13 percent of traffic
- The blog and research pages of Moz are the most popular, each receiving 14 percent of traffic share
So what exactly do these people do to attract their readers? Basically, they share insightful data and stats, information about helpful tools, services and tips, etc. that add value to readers. In fact, creating pro-tips is one of the best ways to attract the attention of your readers. Kelloggs, for example, is leveraging this by sharing some of their tastiest recipes with some pro-tips to add a flavorful twist to an otherwise ordinary recipe.
But then almost all businesses with food-related websites do this. What else can be done to be different? You can target different age groups. Now you may think many food bloggers are doing the same thing. How can you stand out? The secret lies in the way you treat your content. Nestle, for instance, clearly targets female buyers, especially moms and homemakers with their content. In this particular post, Nestle targets people who buy products similar to theirs (a particular age group) with information that readers really find useful.
Toyota does something similar as well. They target people who drive without using their content to advertise their company or product. Rather, Toyota Safety Sense is all about making the road safer, “together.”
In addition to this, you need to think beyond your current audience. See how Pampers, a company that is in the Top 50 brands of Forbes, is targeting customers apart from their current audience. Although their main product is diapers and baby wipes, Pampers offers quality content on myriads of topics, ranging from pregnancy, and sleep training to the different stages of motherhood in order to connect with their audience.
The above brands will inspire and help you discover new ideas to attract your target audience through content.
But make sure your users know whenever you are posting something important and useful. Creating newsletters is the best way to do so.
You will do well to add a synopsis of your latest blog posts along with their links in your newsletters and send them to your subscribers so they know what you have published and can access the content, as and when they want. However, it is also important to make your newsletter visually appealing so that it catches your subscribers’ attention immediately and they feel compelled to click.
Publish Use-Case Content Periodically
While stats and tips are good enough to attract your target audience, a mix of use-case and tutorials can be even more beneficial. IKEA has a dedicated page for ‘Assembly videos’ where they have video tutorials to help users assemble some of their most popular products.
Create content (either video or text with lots of pictures and screen shots) to tell people how they can use your product(s). Elaborate the different features of your product. See how Trello helps their audiences learn about how to add a calendar to Trello boards.
In fact, their blog has a specific section to help users dig into its different features so that users can use the Trello boards more effectively.
Show People How They Can Use Your Content
You already have pro-tips, stats, use-case and tutorials in your arsenal, but you will need something more to provide compelling content to your readers. One of the best ways to do so is by telling your readers how your products/services can benefit them, i.e. providing a tangible usability for your posts. Here is how Trello did it with one of their posts.
This particular post tells freelancers how they can improve their client collaboration with Trello boards. In fact, with this post, Trello not only pointed out who can use their product in detail, but also showed how to use it in a particular way (in this case, collaboration).
Ask for Opinions or Reviews from Experts and Industry Leaders
You can also seek opinions or reviews from experts and industry leaders. For example, you can get a few popular bloggers to promote your product/services. All you need to do is identify a few big bloggers whose audience will find your products interesting, initiate a long and intimate conversation with them, and encourage them to talk about your product.
However, don’t ask bloggers to lie for you just to receive a positive review as this might cost them their integrity, and not to mention their audience. Rather, let them speak their mind. Just provide them with everything they need to evaluate your product/service properly.
See how BuzzSumo got an honest review from Search Engine Land author Larry Kim for their new Pro tools. Larry not only explains and reviews its features in detail, but also speaks his mind while evaluating the tool. In conclusion he says BuzzSumo Pro is a great product, but not a perfect one.
What to offer to industry experts to get their reviews:
- Give them free access to your product
- Provide free swags
- Involve them in offers that you come up with
- Help them with the data/statistics from your tool
- Help them proof-read content & copy-edit it, if required
- Provide more insights about your tool on how end-users can make best utilize it
- Help them spread the content through social media sites
Reach Out to Video Bloggers
Video is a powerful tool when it comes to convincing and influencing your target audience. You should, therefore, reach out to a few of the popular video reviewers relevant to your industry. Identifying such video reviewers is pretty easy. Just look at their videos and their view count to understand how influential they are.
In fact, it is very easy to contact them. You will usually find their contact details or the link to their blogs/websites at the end of their video. Once you convince the video reviewers to review your product, ask if they would like to provide a link to your product page as well in their video description. If they don’t, you still have the review from an industry influencer.
Get featured in Magazines and Influential Blogs
While you should primarily target blogs/websites related to your particular domain, don’t overlook other leading blogs and sites that are relevant to your products. The goal is to get as many reviews as you can in order to expand your market reach.
In fact, do not just limit yourself to industry experts and bloggers. Your users are as important as industry experts, if not more. So, here’s what you should do –
Ask your users to share their reviews/experiences about your product on their website.
Your active users are, perhaps, the best people to evaluate your products/services. They are already using them on a regular basis and are aware of their features, benefits, limitations and everything else. This can even help you get featured in magazines and influential blogs.
All you need to do is find related blogs and get your company/product featured there. See how Buffer got featured in Crazyegg.com, one of the most popular blogs of our time. Similarly, you can target blogs like TechCrunch, TechRepublic, and Mashables, etc., which are dream blogs for technology related products. You will find many such reviews in PCMag.com.
In this post, Pauline Cabrera reviews SEMRush, an advanced reporting tool that she uses for keyword and competitive research analysis. This is one of the best examples of user reviews. Pauline starts with explaining what is SEMRush and who will find this tool beneficial. She gradually moves to how this tools works, its pros and cons (she even explains the things that annoy her), and her favorite features in details.
Track Your Metrics
It is important to understand whether or not your content marketing is profitable. And tracking your metrics will help you determine that. Here are the metrics you need to track:
1. Inbound Links
All the above-mentioned activities will help generate good inbound links, if done right. In fact, it is extremely important to have more numbers of inbound links from quality and authoritative websites. They are the unsung heroes of inbound marketing that helps you improve your ranking dramatically on search engine result pages. In addition, it also helps you generate referral traffic from other quality website.
2. Traffic and Leads
How many people visit your blog? This is the most basic metric you need to consider. Your traffic flow helps you determine if your content creation and distribution techniques are on the right track. Besides, it also helps you identify the best-performing distribution channels for your content, especially those generating quality leads.
The below two images represents our clients featured at various locations such as TechRepublic, LexisNexis, Entrepreneur, Small Business Trends, etc. by real users and industry locations. And many of the sites are generating really good visits and leads for their website.
Don’t you think 1000 to 1500+ monthly visits to your website are worth your effort?
3. Social Share
How many people share your content on their social media profiles? Are your readers talking about your content or referring it to their friends and followers? Since your content goes beyond what your traffic indicators show, it is important to have a clear understanding of your extended online audience so that you can better connect with your prospective leads as well as build a long-term relationship with your loyal customers.
The below image shows the number of social shares that one of the posts by BuzzSumo generated.
4. Number of Downloads
How many people consumed your content? The number of downloads helps you determine that, especially if you have eBooks or downloadable guides to offer. This is one of the most fundamental content metrics and a critical data point that you should not overlook.
Let’s consider this guide from Getvero. According to their marketing head Jimmy Daly, this post has been read more than 100,000 times and ranks in #1 position in the first page for more than 10 variations of ‘email marketing best practices.’ It’s also generated more than 1,500 email signups.
Here’s What Industry Experts Have To Say About Content Marketing
Marketing Head, Getvero
“Content marketing drives traffic and leads for Vero. It’s been our best source of new business. To keep the blog interesting, we publish one new post every week and several guides per year. I’m a big fan of case studies since it helps others understand how to run a successful email campaign.”
Content Crafter, Buffer
“Yes, content marketing has been really helpful for us at Buffer. Early on, it was the primary way in which we got new users into the app, and it continues to be a good source of signups and revenue. Moreso now, I think the blog has been really vital in helping to set us up as thought leaders in the social media space (that sounds a bit egotistical – I’m not sure you’re supposed to call yourself a thought leader!) and to bring added awareness to the app.”
Lead Content Strategy, Help Scout
“Creating content readers enjoy has been a huge part of Help Scout’s growth. There’s a lot of advice out there on how to make it work; I think we’re all sick of hearing about ‘great content,’ for example. Here are two uncommon approaches that have worked for us:
A. Talking about your product can be interesting
When launching a new feature, it’s tempting to rest on your laurels and just publish an ‘It’s here!’ piece. But there are bigger and better ways to go about it, and all of them revolve around pulling out the story behind the feature — why does it enable customers to do? Why does that matters? What’s the best way to use it? What are some pitfalls to avoid? There’s a story behind every feature.
For example, we try to time bigger features with a dedicated post. We launched Satisfaction Ratings in Help Scout with a post titled Customer Support is More Than High Scores, detailing how happiness ratings can sometimes be used to rank support agents, and why that’s a bad thing. For smaller releases, we like to get a post in when time allows. Mo wrote a really great post on using GIFs in customer support, which plays nicely with Help Scout’s inline images feature. Customers are happy to hear about what your product does, but you have to make it interesting.
B. Content as a recruiting strategy
There’s a great quote from John Hall on this concept:
When it’s done right, digital content can have the same transformative impact on HR as it does on marketing. It’s simple: Great content attracts great people, and it encourages the people who are creating it to stick around.
Talking about how your team works is a sincere form of transparency that builds trust with customers, investors, and future teammates. Not every company benefits from this approach, but many do — businesses love hearing from other businesses, even on so called “boring” topics like employee onboarding, water-cooler talks, and business writing.”
There are several content marketing tips out there that will help you improve your brand’s market reach as well as boost your ROI. But the above tips here will help you generate better content for your target audience; create something that they will find compelling enough not only to read, but also to share with their peers.
While content is a must for improving your search traffic, valuable content will encourage your visitors to keep coming back for more. When you create great content consistently to address the definite problems faced by your audience, you will not just win loyal customers but also sell more. Isn’t that what you really want?