Content material advertising and marketing is a well-liked kind of selling for SaaS advertising and marketing. Many corporations have succeeded with it. HubSpot, Ahrefs, Zapier—the record goes on.

Regardless of that, there may be no a technique to do content material advertising and marketing for SaaS. Every SaaS operates in a special market with completely different clients, ache factors, and wants. 

Because of this, each SaaS’s content material advertising and marketing technique shall be completely different. 

So fairly than prescribe the “finest” content material advertising and marketing technique you could observe for 20XX, I’d prefer to share how we’ve carried out it right here at Ahrefs.

Content material advertising and marketing is our most important advertising and marketing kind. And hopefully, by the top of this information, you’ll take away some rules, concepts, and techniques you possibly can apply to your personal SaaS.

However first, let’s reply some questions.

Why is content material advertising and marketing for SaaS completely different from different industries? 

Whereas the rules are largely the identical, there are just a few the reason why content material advertising and marketing will be completely different for SaaS:

  • Complexity – Typically talking, there are extra options in software program, and this may be formidable to potential and new clients. So SaaS content material advertising and marketing doesn’t simply assist enhance model consciousness and gross sales—it’s additionally an vital training channel.
  • Retention – Since SaaS merchandise are subscription-based, steady training is required to assist clients get essentially the most out of the product to (hopefully) stop churn.
  • Extra decision-makers – SaaS will be costly, which ends up in extra decision-makers within the shopping for course of. Due to this fact, SaaS content material advertising and marketing should deal with the shopping for issues for these individuals.
  • Extra use circumstances – Extra options imply extra use circumstances. For instance, Ahrefs isn’t simply utilized by SEOs but in addition by content material entrepreneurs, affiliate entrepreneurs, web site homeowners, and extra. We are able to create content material focusing on all of them. 

Should you do content material advertising and marketing in the event you’re a SaaS?

No.

Regardless of its reputation with SaaS corporations, it’s not a should. In the end, it will depend on your organization, trade, and set of shoppers you serve.

In brief, you could use the fitting “searching technique” for the fitting “animal.”

A chart showing which strategy you should use for targeting the right customers

Content material advertising and marketing is a “Nets” channel, i.e., it enables you to pull in a lot of potential targets without delay. That is appropriate for corporations which might be focusing on deer, mice, and rabbits—metaphors for purchasers who’re paying you round $100–$10,000 per 12 months. 

In the event you’re focusing on clients of these classes, content material advertising and marketing could also be an ideal channel for you. 

Sidenote.

This doesn’t imply content material advertising and marketing gained’t work for elephants and flies. Many corporations focusing on enterprise clients have additionally succeeded with content material advertising and marketing.

Study extra: A Easy Approach to Construct Your Go-to-Market Technique 

Easy methods to do SaaS content material advertising and marketing, the Ahrefs manner

The best way we do content material advertising and marketing at Ahrefs is called product-led content material. 

Product-led content material is about creating content material that helps the reader remedy their issues along with your product. It’s not a tough promote; we’re naturally and strategically weaving our product and its use circumstances into the narrative.

Right here’s the way it works. 

1. Know your product actually properly

To create wonderful product-led content material, it’s a must to know your product inside out. 

This looks as if an eye-rolling level, however you’d be amazed at what number of entrepreneurs don’t know their product. That’s as a result of lots of them aren’t their very own firm’s goal clients. They’ve in all probability tried out some options throughout their onboarding, however they’ve by no means severely “eaten their very own canine meals.” 

I admit this was the case for me as properly. (Not at Ahrefs, although.) 

You need to know each function and use case. You need to preserve updated with each new function your SaaS releases. You need to be researching new use circumstances for current and new options. 

It’s worthwhile to know your product just like the again of your hand.

At Ahrefs, we’re fortunate we’re our personal ultimate clients. However we don’t take that without any consideration. Each new advertising and marketing rent works in buyer help for 3 months earlier than formally becoming a member of the staff. They’re additionally anticipated to finish all programs in our academy. 

This turns everybody within the advertising and marketing staff into Ahrefs specialists. 

2. Know who can profit out of your product

Options want to learn somebody. 

So that you’ll need to take into consideration who wants your SaaS. And don’t simply take into consideration essentially the most direct buyer base. You need to broaden your horizons. 

For instance, we’re an all-in-one website positioning toolset. Whereas we clearly profit SEOs, there are additionally a ton of different individuals who can use our product, like:

  • Content material entrepreneurs
  • Digital entrepreneurs
  • Affiliate entrepreneurs
  • Company homeowners
  • Freelancers
  • Web site homeowners
  • Indie makers
  • SaaS entrepreneurs (like your self)

And extra. 

This must be a chunk of cake in the event you’ve carried out your market analysis and have your purchaser personas available. However in the event you’ve but to create purchaser personas on your SaaS, I extremely suggest following the method right here. 

3. Discover subjects with search site visitors potential

Most individuals will doubtless uncover your content material by way of search engines like google and yahoo. For that motive, it is best to create content material for subjects that your goal clients are trying to find. 

Right here’s easy methods to discover these subjects:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer
  2. Enter one or just a few key phrases which might be related to the shoppers you’re focusing on (e.g., for Ahrefs, these will be phrases like website positioning, content material advertising and marketing, digital advertising and marketing, online marketing, and so forth)
  3. Go to the Matching phrases report
The Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Right here, you possibly can see that there are ~2.5 million potential subjects you can goal. Not solely are there too many, however a whole lot of them are doubtless additionally out of your wheelhouse (at the very least for now). 

So we’ll need to slim down the record utilizing filters. Particularly:

  • Key phrase Problem (KD) – KD provides an estimation of how onerous it’s to rank within the high 10 search outcomes for a key phrase. The decrease the quantity, the “simpler” it’s. Whereas it does rely in your web site’s “authority,” you can begin with an inexpensive quantity like 20. 
  • Site visitors Potential (TP) – TP is the estimated quantity of search site visitors you possibly can probably acquire in the event you rank #1 for that subject. We are able to set it to a minimal of 100 so we will discover subjects that truly ship site visitors to your web site. 
Filters in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

From right here, you’ll need to eyeball the record for related subjects you possibly can cowl. 

Don’t simply look out for subjects the place you possibly can create articles. Because it’s comparatively simpler for SaaS corporations to create free or restricted variations of their current merchandise, you’ll additionally need to preserve an eye fixed out for alternatives the place you possibly can create free instruments. 

For instance, our suite of free instruments sends us tons of search site visitors every month.

The amount of organic traffic Ahrefs' suite of free tools gets, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

To search out these key phrases, use the Embody filter to seek for phrases like “software, instruments, calculator, template, templates, checker.” 

Searching for tool-related keywords using the Include filter, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Undergo the record and see if there are any free instruments you possibly can create. 

Study extra: Key phrase Analysis: The Newbie’s Information by Ahrefs

4. Give the subjects you’ve discovered a “enterprise potential” rating

What’s the key behind creating a chunk of product-led content material that doesn’t learn like a tough promote?

Deciding on the fitting subject. 

At Ahrefs, we focus solely on subjects our product can remedy. That manner, we don’t appear like we’re unnaturally shoehorning our product into the content material—we’re merely providing the very best resolution to the issue.

How will we do that? We take a look at the subjects we’ve discovered and provides every of them a “enterprise potential” rating. 

Table showing how to assign business potential

By prioritizing subjects that rating a “2” or “3,” we make it possible for mentions of our product are pure.

5. Create product-led content material that ranks

Creating product-led content material that ranks isn’t merely a case of hunkering down and writing. You’ll have to be sure to’re creating and optimizing content material for search engines like google and yahoo so it will probably rank and generate natural site visitors. 

Right here’s easy methods to do it. 

A. Match search intent

Search intent is the why behind a question. It’s the explanation why somebody is trying to find one thing within the first place. Google is aware of this and tries to rank solely essentially the most related outcomes.

For instance, if we seek for “finest wi-fi headphones,” the top-ranking pages are all listicles itemizing the very best wi-fi headphones of the present 12 months. 

Google SERPs for "best wireless headphones"

Determining the search intent on your goal subjects is comparatively simple. Simply Google the key phrase and look out for the three Cs:

  1. Content material kind – Is the first kind of content material a weblog submit, product web page, video, touchdown web page, or one thing else? 
  2. Content material format – Is the first format a how-to information, listicle, evaluate, opinion piece, information, or one thing else?
  3. Content material angle – Is there a main angle, resembling the present 12 months or content material aimed toward learners?

For instance, let’s suppose you need to cowl the subject “easy methods to save cash.” 

SERP overview for "how to save money," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If we analyze the SERPs, right here’s what we’ll study:

  1. Content material kind – All the top-ranking pages are weblog posts.
  2. Content material format – Shock, shock! Regardless of the “easy methods to” modifier, persons are really in search of ideas
  3. Content material angle – Easy, confirmed, and quick are potential angles you can cowl. 

So it’s doubtless you’ll have to put in writing a listicle like “XX Easiest Tricks to Save Extra Cash.”

B. Cowl the subject in full

For sure subjects, searchers shall be anticipating you to cowl a number of vital subtopics. In the event you’re lacking them, searchers might imagine your submit isn’t adequate and bounce.

For instance, a few of the top-ranking posts for “easy methods to write a press launch” embody templates:

SERP overview for "how to write a press release," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

It’s a clue that searchers could worth posts with templates increased than posts with out. So in the event you’re focusing on this subject, you might need to embody one. 

Right here’s how you’ll find vital subtopics to cowl:

  1. Take a look at what the top-ranking pages are masking (particularly their subheadings)
  2. Run a content material hole evaluation

Right here’s how one can execute the latter technique:

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Content material Hole software (in Ahrefs’ Website Explorer)
  2. Enter just a few top-ranking pages on your subject within the high part
  3. Go away the underside part clean
  4. Hit “Present key phrases”
  5. Set the Intersection filter to 3 and 4 targets

For instance, right here’s the way it appears like if we analyze the top-ranking pages for “earned media”:

Ahrefs' Content Gap tool
Results from Ahrefs' Content Gap tool

Wanting on the record, we must be masking subtopics like:

  • What’s earned media
  • Examples of paid media
  • Earned media examples
  • Examples of owned media
  • Earned media methods

And extra. 

C. Weave in your product naturally

As you’re creating the content material, add your product’s use case wherever pure and potential. That is an artwork—there’s no excellent manner to do that. It comes right down to your copywriting expertise. 

In the event you want an instance of how that is carried out, you’re studying it. 😉

Simply keep in mind: Don’t overdo it. In case your product isn’t a superb match, it isn’t a superb match. Don’t shoehorn your product in simply because. You need to be assured about what you’re promoting—however to not the purpose the place you’re mendacity. 

6. Promote the content material

Your content material gained’t get traction by itself. You’ll have to present it a push. Which means it’s essential promote your content material. 

Listed below are just a few methods you are able to do it:

A. Share it along with your viewers

Electronic mail, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so forth. Wherever you’ve gotten a following, allow them to know.

B. Construct hyperlinks

Backlinks are one in all Google’s most vital rating components. For that motive, if you wish to rank increased on Google, it’s essential construct hyperlinks. 

Hyperlink constructing is a complete can of worms, so I extremely suggest you learn our information on hyperlink constructing or watch this video. 

However I don’t need to depart you with nothing, so right here’s a superb start line to start your hyperlink constructing journey:

  1. Paste a competing web page into Website Explorer
  2. Go to the Backlinks report
  3. Search for backlinks you could possibly replicate

For instance, let’s say we need to construct hyperlinks to our submit on easy methods to write a weblog submit. If we analyze the top-ranking web page for that subject in Website Explorer, we see that it has 5,800 backlinks:

Number of backlinks for a blog post, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

If we analyze them by way of the Backlinks report, we’ll see that HubSpot obtained a hyperlink from this web page:

An example of a backlink, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Wanting on the web page itself, it seems to be a web page that curates assets for different industries. And there’s a part for “Gross sales & Advertising and marketing Sources.” 

A resource page

If we attain out to the proprietor and introduce our submit (or even perhaps one thing else, like our weblog or academy), there’s an opportunity they might add it to their web page. 

C. Repurpose your content material

Because you’ve already spent a lot time creating the content material, it is best to try to get as a lot mileage as potential from it.

You are able to do this by repurposing it.

For instance, we turned our weblog submit on influencer advertising and marketing right into a video. And vice versa—we additionally turned our video on online marketing right into a weblog submit.

Study extra: The Full Information to Content material Repurposing 

D. Run adverts

Lastly, in case you have the finances, you possibly can at all times run adverts to your content material. Don’t simply take into consideration the large networks—smaller networks can drive site visitors to your posts too. 

For instance, we run adverts on Twitter:

Ahrefs' Twitter ads

Quora:

Ahrefs' Quora ads

And even YouTube:

Study extra: PPC Advertising and marketing: Newbie’s Information to Pay-Per-Click on Advertisements 

Remaining ideas

That is the technique we’ve been utilizing at Ahrefs for the previous few years. However essentially the most troublesome half is to do it persistently—steadily publishing content material, following the technique, and never chasing each new tactic that comes alongside the manner. 

Any questions or feedback? Let me know on Twitter.

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