At the beginning of last year, I set a goal to start my Friday’s on Recur series, sharing content on relevant topics with SaaS founders and professionals on what’s happening in the M&A industry, and answering common founder questions about growing, selling and leading a SaaS business.
Lately, I’ve received some of the questions around creating and maintaining an effective content strategy:
- Why does my SaaS company need a content marketing strategy?
- How do you get started?
- What metrics should I use to measure success?
When it comes to content marketing, not many people understand its significance, especially when a company is in its early stages of growth. The reality is that even if you have a great product, you won’t get more customers if no one knows you exist, or if they’re not able to find information about your offering(s).
Why does my SaaS company need a content marketing strategy?
LinkedIn recently announced their list of top 50 startup companies on the rise. The common theme across all these companies is that they implemented a marketing content strategy from the get-go in preparation for scaling up.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2021 report, 79% of marketers in companies with less than 500 employees reported their organization has a content marketing strategy, however, of that 79%, only 43% responded that they have a documented content marketing strategy. Yikes.
With the right content, strategy and consistency, a company can reach qualified buyers, retain customers and increase its bottom line.
How do you get started?
So now that you understand the value, here’s how you can get started. To create a successful content strategy, you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my key audience/customers?
- What is my audience/customer missing?
- Where can they find my content/information?
- When can they expect each piece of content?
- Why should they care?
- How will we measure success?
Think tactfully about what form of content will reach your audience the best. Email newsletters, blogs and podcasts tend to be the most common and accessible type but explore other options such as infographics, videos or case studies.
Different forms of content have different associated costs. If you’re creating a blog, there is little overhead since this is media you own (aka owned media) that you can host on your website, however you will need to allocate your time (unless you’ve shed this hat over to someone else).
At the same time, ensure you have some form of a content calendar in place to track what pieces of content you want to share, how well it performs and how frequently you want to share. This will serve as a benchmark when you're starting off, and you'll see which types of content resonates with your audience(s).
What metrics should I use to measure success?
Let’s assume you’re starting a blog for your SaaS company. The most common metrics to track are:
- Pageviews - How many people viewed your blog
- Bounce rate - How many people clicked on your blog, then went to a different page on your website (lower bounce rate tends to be better)
- Average time spent - How long were they on your page (higher is better as it means they’re reading your content)
- Social shares - How many times was it shared
- Lead source - How did they come across your blog? Google? LinkedIn? Twitter?
This is a good starting point, and as you continue building out more content, you can implement other KPIs such as qualified marketing leads, search engine results page (SERP) and more. Different companies will have different goals and definitions of success, so learn which KPIs matter to you.
For example, if you’re a company offering a SaaS solution, ultimately you’d want your goal to generate new customers, so you might focus on bounce rate and contact form respondents. On the other hand, if you’re a smaller company, ideally you’d want to build your brand presence which will, in turn, generate qualified leads, so you may initially focus on pageviews and bounce rate.
While we all hope that our marketing content strategy will immediately generate high volumes of qualified leads, creating a blueprint of your marketing strategy to align with your company goals and team(s) is the first step. After all, no one builds a house without having a solid foundation.