In December 2020, I had an interesting discussion with a business owner who wanted to sell his SaaS app on Flippa.
According to him, he spent around $20,000 to build the app through a professional developer he hired on Toptal.
And guess what?
This was a simple SaaS app for checking SEO issues, which works only on Microsoft word.
My point is…
Building a SaaS product from scratch costs a lot of money.
In fact, according to this report, it takes an average of 3-6 months to develop a SaaS MVP.
Likewise, it costs around $70,000 – $150,000 in development fees for that to happen.
To recoup your development costs and make money as a SaaS business owner, focus on marketing your software from day 1.
An effective way to make this happen is through SaaS content writing.
This helps you to:
- Educate and engage your audience
- Generate high-quality traffic
- Increase user signups, and
- Impact your MRR and ARR.
In this in-depth guide, I walk you through the step-by-step process to achieve these and many more.
After reading this guide, you’ll learn the following:
- 5 things you must do before writing any piece of SaaS content.
- 8 types of content you should focus on for your SaaS business (Backed by Unique Research).
- 15+ SaaS companies that are using these content types to grow.
- How to implement these content types for your SaaS brand.
- How to get your content in front of the right audience
- SaaS content writing tools to improve your productivity and output
Before exploring what SaaS content writing is all about, here’s a 5 minutes video breakdown that explains what SaaS is all about.
Here are some key takeaways from the video:
- Software as a Service (SaaS) is by far the common use of cloud service.
- SaaS allows users to connect to and use cloud-based applications over the internet.
- Some examples of SaaS include Gmail, Office 365, Dropbox, Salesforce, Slack, etc.
- SaaS gives users easy and quick access to sophisticated applications.
- SaaS products are subscription-based in most cases, and users can have access to it from anywhere.
From the above, you can see that developing and building a SaaS product takes time and resources.
So, what happens after building a SaaS product?
How do you tell the world about it, and educate your potential users too?
And how do you get people to start using and paying for the product?
That’s exactly what you’ll learn in the next few chapters.
Growth of the SaaS Business Model: Some Statistics You Must Keep in Mind
There are over 19,000 SaaS companies in the world right now, according to the data we gathered from Crunchbase.
In fact, in the last year alone, there were about 389 new SaaS companies.
On average, one brand new SaaS company joins the pool of existing SaaS companies in the world every day.
This shows that the SaaS business model is becoming more popular. Hence, the competition for audience attention and sales will never remain the same.
The SaaS market size continues to grow too.
According to Statista, the SaaS market was worth around $157 billion in 2020.
That’s not all…
On Capterra, there are over 700 software categories as we speak.
The same scenario is also playing out on G2, another popular software review website.
From popular categories such as CRM software, project management software, marketing automation software, and so on. To less known categories such as church software, dental practice software, massage therapy software, pawnshop software, and so on.
The fact is…
There’s a SaaS product for anything you can think of, as we speak.
This shows that if you’re a SaaS business owner or marketer, you should rethink how you market your software to your target audience.
Else, the huge competition out there will consume you.
SaaS content writing entails creating content to educate your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), establish yourself as an authority, show prospects how your product works, and finally convert them from readers to trial users and paid customers.
To help you understand how this works in real life here’s an example that could be helpful.
Assuming that you’ve built a SaaS product that helps Shopify store owners tackle and follow up with the abandoned cart prospects via email.
The fact is…
Most of your prospects who are on Shopify don’t know that it’s possible to reach out to anyone who abandoned their cart via email.
So, you need to educate your audience first about your solution and answer questions they might have through SaaS content writing.
If there are other SaaS products that are doing the same thing as yours, then you need to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Most people prefer to do business with someone they know, like, and trust. And if you’re unknown in your industry, most people will be skeptical about trying your product out.
With SaaS content writing, you can build a unique brand voice and establish yourself as an industry authority.
Aside from establishing authority, you need to show your prospects how your SaaS product works.
Here is why…
No one ever wants to pay for a SaaS product that will take them forever before they figure it out.
If your SaaS product targets Shopify stores like the example above, then you need to create content that explains how it works. That way, they’ll trust you more and prefer to use your product, when they’re looking for the kind of solutions you offer.
Finally, you need trial signups to get feedback about your product and paid users to keep your business running.
To make this happen, you should master how to move your prospects through the buyers’ journey before they take action.
With SaaS content writing, you can get more people to try out and use your product in the long run.
Recently, HubSpot (the popular marketing CRM) reached a 100,000 users milestone and became a $1 billion ARR company.
So, how did they achieved this feat over a 15 year period?
While there are a lot of things that the HubSpot team has done marketing-wise, one of their superpowers is content writing.
According to SEMrush, the HubSpot blog currently has about 13,857 pages that are indexed on Google.
This means that, on average, the HubSpot team publishes about 923 articles on its blog every single year.
This translates to about 2-3 articles that go live on the HubSpot blog every day.
And the results so far have been astonishing.
According to SEMrush, the HubSpot blog ranks for over 1 million keywords in Google. Which brings in an estimated 4.7 million organic traffic (visitors) from Google every single month.
The most interesting part…
If they were to pay for this amount of traffic with Google Ads, they’ll spend around $12.2 million per month.
If you run a software company, you should care about SaaS content writing.
The reason is simple.
There’s no better way (at least for now), to communicate the benefits of your awesome product to your employees, prospects, and customers if not through writing.
- If you want people to know about a new feature you’ve shipped to your software, then you need to write about it.
- If you want to explain how your product works, then you’ll have to create content for it.
- If you want to educate your audience about your software through your blog, then you need to write.
- If you want to reach more people and eventually grow your SaaS business, you need to create content.
- If you want to get more eyeballs to your software organically, then you need to create content to do so.
- If you want to create high-converting ads for your software, you also need to create content.
As you can see, content writing for a SaaS company is uber-important. And it’s a skill you must learn or find someone to handle for you if you want to be a successful SaaS founder.
The major difference between SaaS content writing and other forms of writing is in its purpose.
As I mentioned before, one of the reasons to create SaaS content is to show readers how the product works.
Unlike other forms of writing, where you might not need someone to convert to a paid customer in the long run, it’s an important part of SaaS content writing.
So, when creating SaaS content, here are some things you should consider:
- What separates your SaaS product from other options out there
- What are the core features and benefits one gets from using your SaaS product?
- Is your SaaS product innovative in any way?
- Are there other use cases for your SaaS product that your audience isn’t aware of?
- What are the pain points that your SaaS product is solving?
With other forms of writing, this might not be the case. You might not even have to bother about any of these.
I recently polled my audience on LinkedIn and Twitter to understand if content marketing actually drives (increases) sales for their SaaS product or clients.
On LinkedIn, 80% of the votes mentioned that it does, 10% said it doesn’t, and the remaining 10% stated that they’re not sure.
On Twitter, it was a different ball game. 100% of the votes mentioned that it does.
Overall, 15 marketers voted across LinkedIn and Twitter, and here’s what the final results look like.
I also reached out to some content marketing experts to get their insights on this. Here’s what they have to say:
“It does 100%. Here’s why. Content builds brand. Brand leads to trust. Trust cuts through the noise when prospects have buying intent.”Michael Roberts, Head of Marketing Automation Cloudapp
“SaaS businesses have to be better than their competitors to get attention. However, attempting to gain thought leadership in a market where many experts publish great content isn’t easy. To rank well organically (the top source to drive sales) on important keywords, they need a voice and a method. And I can’t see a better way to do so than content marketing. When I worked as a part of the content marketing team for a SaaS product, we increased sales up to 110%. A major part of our strategy included producing informational blog posts regarding our services”[Shahmeer Khan, Content Strategist Invozone]
“Content marketing drives sales for every type of business, not just SaaS businesses. When you inform people about the solution your company (and product) provides, then you build a trusting relationship with them. And that turns visitors into customers.”Bruno Boksic, Freelance Content Marketing Writer, Growthabit
As you can see, content marketing is an effective strategy for SaaS businesses. That said, if not used the right way, you might not get the results you desire for your business. Here are 5 things to put in place before you start writing content for your SaaS business.
This is the first step to take before writing SaaS content. This is because there are different business goals that matter for your SaaS product. Knowing the right one to go for will help you align your efforts and create content that resonates with your audience.
Take, for instance, your goal could be to create SaS content that helps to increase your MRR by a certain percentage, year over year. Having a business goal like this will help you figure out the type of content you should focus on to get there.
That way, you’ll find it easier to measure your results and improve on them in the long run.
Defining your Ideal Customer Profile (Also known as a buyer persona) helps you to come up with a successful content marketing strategy that drives sales for your SaaS brand.
This is because if you know who you’re creating content for, you’ll know exactly what their pain points are, and write content that converts them to user signups and paid users with the buyers’ journey.
If you’re getting started with SaaS content writing, then you need to conduct market research. When doing this, here are some things you should focus on:
- What excites (interests) your target audience?
- What motivates them the most?
- What are the biggest challenges they’re facing right now?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What alternative solutions are they using?
So, how exactly do you build a buyer persona for your SaaS brand?
Here’s a 13 minutes video by Ryan Stewart, where he explains how you can use data to create your buyer personas.
Some of the places Ryan mentioned in the video to gather data include:
- Google Analytics
- Social media (especially Instagram)
- Facebook audience insight tool
Having a buyer persona as a SaaS business before using content marketing to drive more sales for your business helps a lot.
After gathering all the data you need from the sources above, you can then use this spreadsheet to build out your personas.
Publishing new content isn’t always the solution to your content marketing woes. If you’ve been creating content for a while on your website, audit your existing content on a regular basis.
Google likes fresh content and rewards websites that audit and updates their old content. Not only that, but it’s also great for user experience. You don’t want to be linking to a 2005 stat in 2021 or have broken pages all over your content.
A content audit helps you to assess the existing content on your website. That way, you can know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
When you do this, you’ll have a better idea of the type of content that your audience loves and focus on new milestones that can help your business grow.
Take, for instance, Hiba Amin, the Senior Marketing Manager at Soapbox got some incredible results by updating their company’s blog.
As you can see, there was a bump in traffic to their blog after auditing and updating their existing content.
When asked about the specific things the marketing team did to make that happen, here was her response.
Here is a step-by-step guide for conducting a content audit that impacts your company’s growth.
If you don’t create content that your audience is interested in, chances are that nobody will read it. And if nobody reads your content, the probability that you’ll get results from SaaS content writing is very slim.
This is why you should research what your audience is actively searching for before creating any piece of content, especially if you’re relying on organic traffic. This is also known as keyword research.
One of the under-utilized ways to perform keyword research is to ask your current customers questions. When you do, they’re most likely to tell you the challenges and problems they’re facing right now.
That way, you can create content that solves a pain point that they’re having.
Aside from getting keyword ideas from customers, you can also use free and paid SEO tools to figure out the kind of content you should create.
The Google Auto-suggest and the People Also Ask box, provide an insight into what people are searching for in your niche. That way, you can generate tons of content ideas within minutes.
Here’s a video where I walk you through how to perform keyword research using this strategy.
Search intent is an underrated SaaS content writing tactic you can use to rank high on Google and make people spend more time on your content. Hence, sending the right quality signals to the search engines.
Here’s why search intent is important.
People don’t randomly search for things on Google. In most cases, they have a reason for doing so.
Sometimes it could be to find the right information, to investigate further, to make a buying decision, or to make a purchase.
Before creating any piece of content, put yourself in the shoes of someone who searches Google for a particular query, and what could likely be going on in their mind.
If you can figure out exactly what that could be, and provide the most accurate answer for what they’re looking for, then you’ve nailed the search intent.
I love the way Brendan Hufford, Founder of SEO for the Rest of Us illustrates what search intent looks like in real life:
After identifying what the search intent is about, you can then start writing content for your SaaS business.
As a SaaS business, you want to attract new users to your product. After all, when more people sign up for a free or paid trial of your product, the higher your chances of converting them into paid customers.
If done right, SaaS content can help you:
- Provide valuable information to your target audience.
- Solve their pain points.
- Show them how your product works.
- Convince them to give it a trial.
If you’re getting started with SaaS content writing, this might be a lot to chew. That’s exactly why I want to show you the 8 content types that get results for SaaS businesses, and how you can use them too for your SaaS brand.
One of the reasons to invest in content marketing as a SaaS business is to educate and show your audience how your product works.
That way, they can know the various use cases it has which can reduce their learning curve once they decide to try out your product.
There are a lot of features that your SaaS product has that your customers aren’t aware of.
If you don’t show them how powerful and effective your product is, they might end up signing up with a competitor instead.
This is why I recommend that every SaaS business should leverage product-led content.
Product-led content involves creating pieces of content that address your audience’s pain points and showing them exactly how to solve them using your SaaS product.
With product-led content, you target keywords where you can weave in your product as a solution to a specific problem that your audience is having.
Here are some examples of SaaS companies that are leveraging this strategy to grow.
Ask any content marketer or SEO expert around you, and they’ll tell you how they enjoy reading the Ahrefs blog.
Aside from being one of the most valuable and actionable blogs out there. They also excel at promoting their product in each blog post.
Take this post about Quora Marketing for example.
The target audience for that topic are marketers who want to level up their engagement on Quora and get better results from using the platform.
And one of the challenges they will most likely have is identifying good questions to answer.
And guess what?
In the blog post, Ahrefs promoted one of their core features as a great way to find these questions.
If you’re a marketer who has never used Ahrefs before and have this challenge, you’ll most likely be curious about the Site Explorer and would be willing to try it out.
If you’re an existing customer who faces this challenge too, you’ll want to check the feature out.
Here’s another example…
If you build links for yourself or clients, you know how complex broken link building can be.
One of the biggest challenges that SEOs have with this tactic is identifying broken link building opportunities.
So in this guide about broken link building, Ahrefs mentioned this and also suggests its tool as the best solution.
They even go a step further to share how you can find expired domains with links.
As you can see, Ahrefs uses product-led content to show its audience how effective their product is for identifying broken links.
By doing this, any potential user knows exactly how this works even before trying the product out. Likewise, it’s a great way to keep their existing customers and show them how powerful the product they’re using is.
In a recent Twitter thread, the CMO of Ahrefs Tim Soulo highlighted the ROI of investing in product-led content for the company.
According to him, here are some results product-led content has generated so far for them.
- Brings in new customers
- Improves the retention of existing customers
- Re-activate past customers
- Helps with revenue expansion
- Fuels the word of mouth
- Leads to the “Mere Exposure Effect”
- Helps build a solid reputation in the industry
- Fuels paid acquisition strategies
- Reduces support requests
Another great example of product-led content is the website analytics tool; Hotjar. They’ve found a way to find high-intent keywords and show their audience how their product fits in.
This post on Hotjar’s blog about Open-Ended questions is a great example of product-led content.
Anyone searching for this keyword will like to know examples of open-ended questions and how they can use them on their website or pages to move conversations forward.
As you can see, the Hotjar team combines these two instances into this example. First, it’s from one of their blog pages. Second, it’s pulled directly from the tool.
Anyone who reads this post would have a good idea of the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions. Also, they’ll have a better picture of how to use Hotjar to set this up on their website.
They also show readers how to use some specific features on the tool within the blog posts.
Here’s an example below.
If you stumbled on this blog post and want to run surveys on your website, you’ll have an idea of a Hotjar feature that’ll be a perfect fit for you. And if you’re an existing customer, reading this post will make you understand how powerful the feedback tool is.
Hotjar also uses product-led content to show their readers how existing customers use the tool for various use cases. In this post about user personas, they shared exactly how Smallpdf used the Hotjar survey tool to run polls on their website.
Using examples like this from existing customers shows their audience the different things they can do with the tool. Most readers will put themselves in the same shoes as those who already use the tool, and if they ever need to run surveys on their website, they’ll try it out.
And the best part…
Using product-led content has been instrumental in driving Hotjar’s growth.
For example, the post about open-ended questions currently brings in over 36,000 organic traffic visitors every month according to SEMrush.
It also ranks number 1 on Google for high-volume queries such as:
- Open-ended questions
- Open-ended questions examples
- Closed-ended questions
Result-wise, it’s been great for them as well.
According to Dr. Fio Dossetto, the former senior editor at Hotjar; the piece about user personas was one of the top ten drivers of user signups and MQLs, throughout her stay at the company.
Dr. Fio Dossetto (Founder, Content Folks) recommends 3 methods for writing product-led content. These include:
- Keyword-based method: This entails finding relevant keywords for your SaaS product, applying the 0-3 impact score to determine if your product can be mentioned in the content, and adding your unique angle to it.
- Customer-based method: This involves interviewing your SaaS customers to know the exact features they’re using in your product. Afterwards, you can find an angle and a keyword to optimize it for.
- Existing content method: In this case, you need to look at your successful pieces based on some predetermined metrics, apply the business score to see how you can add your product to the content. Finally, you edit the content before hitting publish.
She goes into details of what each of these methods entails, in this video below:
Most SaaS companies target top-of-the-funnel content that drives traffic, without considering bottom of the funnel content that increases conversions, and has a direct impact on the revenue.
Except you’re a big-name SaaS brand, generating tons of traffic without conversions won’t help to grow your business in any way. Most times, people who click on and read your top of the funnel content aren’t even aware of your solution or ready to buy at all.
Of course, generating traffic is a metric that shows you’re doing something right, it doesn’t translate to business success in most cases.
So, what exactly can you do to drive more conversions with your content.
Pain-point content is the type of SaaS content that addresses the problems that keep your prospects awake at night. In most cases, this type of content might not have tons of search volume in SEO tools but has the potential to drive a lot of business for you.
I coined this term after reading this post about pain-point SEO from the guys at Grow and Convert.
When thinking of pain-point content, you must put yourself in the same shoe as your ideal prospect who is about to make a buying decision. In most cases, people don’t buy things immediately, they go through a lot of back and forth thought processes, before doing so. And in most cases, this involves doing a lot of research.
Say, for instance, prospect A has heard great things about Salesforce and wants to become one of their customers. Do you think they’ll pull out their credit card and make a purchase? In an ideal world that’s possible, but rarely happens.
So, what do you think this prospect will do first?
They’d most likely check Google for things like:
- “Salesforce competitors”
- “Alternatives to Salesforce”
- “Salesforce pricing”
- “Salesforce vs Hubspot”
- “Best CRM software”.
- “Salesforce reviews”
And in most cases, the information from this search will influence their decision.
Here’s where the opportunity lies for you as a SaaS business.
When you create pain-point content like this for your top competitors and rank high on Google for these keywords, you’d drive tons of targeted traffic which has a direct impact on conversions.
And the best part…
Most of your competitors might not be doing this already, so it’s definitely something you can leverage on.
Let me show you some great examples of SaaS brands using this type of content to compete and dominate their industries.
Chanty is a team communication and collaboration software. They help business owners and their team members communicate and collaborate effectively to complete their tasks. One of their biggest competitors is Slack, which was recently acquired by Salesforce.
When you mention team communication and collaboration, Slack is the first name that a lot of people remember. So, how exactly can a smaller competitor like Chanty become known in a Slack-dominated market like this?
The Chanty team leveraged the power of pain-point content and ranked for Slack-related keywords on Google.
For instance, if you Google “slack alternatives”, they’re currently ranking on the number 2 spot in the SERPs after Hubspot.
And when you click on it, you’ll be redirected to a page that looks like this.
As you can see, they highlight the pain-point of their audience in the introduction and also mentioned their tool as a Slack alternative too.
Another example of this is when you Google “slack pricing”, where they currently rank number 3 after Slack.
If you click on the link, here’s what Chanty’s page about slack pricing looks like.
Here, they provide factual information about Slack and why they are one of the most successful SaaS businesses in the world. Then, they proceed to highlight the biggest problem most teams have with Slack, which is the price.
Afterward, they mentioned why they’re interested in Slack pricing, with a quick call to action to try out their software.
They also do this for other competitors aside from Slack.
If you Google “skype alternatives”, you’ll see that Chanty is ranking number 3 on the SERPs for that keyword.
And here’s what their introduction on the page looks like. As you can see, anyone who stumbles on the post knows that Chanty is a Skype competitor.
That’s not all…
They also target broad keywords related to their industry. For example, here’s the company ranking number 2, after Zapier for the keyword “best team chat apps”
Here are some other competitors related keywords they’re ranking for:
Ranking number 2 in the SERPs for “Discord vs Slack”
Ranking number 1 in the SERPs for “Asana vs Slack”
Ranking number 1 in the SERPs for “Slack vs Microsoft teams”
And the best part…
These pages drive targeted traffic and rank for tons of keywords on Google.
Take the “slack alternative” keyword as an example. According to SEMrush, it currently brings in an estimated 1,600 organic traffic visitors per month and ranks for about 900 keywords.
As you can see below, it also ranks high for competitive keywords like:
- “slack competitors”
- “free slack alternative”
- “slack vs”
Chanty has dominated the SERPs for these pain-point keywords in the team collaboration niche.
An SEO Moat like this makes them top of mind for businesses that want to ditch their biggest competitors.
Podia is an all-in-one platform for selling courses, ebooks, and downloads. It’s in a competitive industry with companies like Clickfunnels, Kajabi, Kartra, Teachable, Thinkific, Gumroad, and so on.
Most of the companies they’re competing with are household names that have built a reputation over the years.
One of the things that make Podia stand out among its competitors is its investment in content marketing. They understood how important pain-point content is and uses it as a competitive advantage.
For example, if you Google “Kajabi alternative”, you’ll see that Podia is ranking number 3 on the SERPs.
If you search for “Thinkific alternative” on Google, Podia is currently ranking number 1 on the SERPs after the Ads placement.
The same thing plays out if you Google “Gumroad alternative” where Podia ranks number 3 on the SERPs.
For “Teachable alternative”, they currently occupy the top spot for that keyword.
If you also Google “Kartra alternative”, they occupy the number 3 spot in the SERPs for that keyword.
As you can see, Podia positions itself as a great alternative to its competitors, and ranks on Google for those keywords, by creating pages for it.
And when you check these comparison pages by Podia, you’d find something that looks like this:
Most people searching for alternative or comparison keywords like these, want to make a purchase decision. So, Podia beautifully designs its pages with a table that shows exactly what separates them from its competitors, which can help prospects make a buying decision fast.
Another intelligent move by Podia which I like is that they created a page on their website for “podia alternatives”, and currently rank number 2 on Google for the keyword.
This helps them to beat their competitors who might likely want to rank for that keyword to the game early.
When you check that page, you’ll see that they’ve compiled all their comparison pages in one place.
As you can see, despite being in a highly competitive market, Podia ranks on the SERPs for pain-point keywords that their target audience most likely searches for. And this will definitely help them to get more user signups and customers.
“You can fast track the content marketing process because you’re meeting an immediate need. Sometimes the keywords with the highest volume don’t have a lot of buying intent. Pain point keywords and bottom-funnel keywords may not always have the best search volume, but indicate a higher level of interest and intent.”Expert insight from Josh Spilker, Head of Marketing, Friday
Links are the currency of the internet. The more links you have, the more authoritative your SaaS website is in the eyes of Google. In fact, Google’s Partner Development Manager, Andrey Lipattsev stated that links are one of the top three ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
Many SEO industry researches have shown that there’s a correlation between the number of backlinks a page has and its ranking on Google.
In its study of over 1 billion pages in its dataset, Ahrefs found out that pages with more referring domains linking to them, get more organic search traffic.
Also, in its analysis of over 11.8 million Google search results, Backlinko found out that the number 1 result for each query on Google has about 4 times more backlinks compared to number 2-10 results.
As you can see, backlinks are uber-important if you want to build an authoritative website in your niche, and make SEO a growth enabler for your SaaS business,
You can get backlinks by either building or earning them.
To build backlinks, you need to reach out to website owners and bloggers in your niche to link to you. Earning backlinks, on the other hand, is when people decide to link to your page because they found it valuable and believe that it’ll be helpful for their readers.
While it’s fine to be building backlinks, you should also aim to earn backlinks naturally.
When you earn backlinks, people will link to you without any form of outreach, in most cases.
Building backlinks requires sending cold emails and making people see reasons why they should link to you and in some cases incentivizing them to do so.
Take a look at the two websites I linked to recently, what do they have in common?
You can see that they’re articles that buttress my point about the importance of backlinks with relevant data and statistics. And I’m sure a lot of websites link to them too for the same reason.
And the best part…
They didn’t do any form of outreach before I linked to them.
What this means is that if you want to earn backlinks for your SaaS business, you should invest in data-driven content.
This type of content involves conducting research, studies, analysis, and surveys, and presenting your findings to your audience.
Apart from helping you to earn backlinks, it’s a good way to show your readers that you’re an authority in your niche. It also gives you insights into the challenges in your industry and how you can help your audience solve them.
To show you how this type of content works, here are some examples.
In 2017, Buffer released its first state of remote work report. This has become an annual tradition for the company as it collaborates with other top players in the SaaS niche to release this in-depth report.
And each year, the report generates tons of backlinks for Buffer.
Take the 2020 state of remote work report as an example. According to Ahrefs, it generated over 5,000 backlinks from more than 2000 referring domains. And the best part, most of these backlinks (78% to be precise), are dofollow.
That’s not all…
A handful of these backlinks are from authoritative websites such as Forbes, BBC, Weforum, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, The Balance Careers, and so on.
From publishing one data-driven report alone, Buffer was able to get thousands of websites to link to it. Even if most of the people who visit Buffer from this report don’t convert to trial signups and customers, the links will bolster their website’s overall domain authority and help them rank high in Google for competitive keywords.
In the case of Buffer, they relied on raw data from surveying over 3000 remote workers to come up with its report. While this might be the case for Buffer, not every SaaS business out there will have access to this kind of data.
This is why this example from Nextiva is interesting.
Instead of creating data-driven content from a large pool of data, they curated already available information on the internet.
Take a look at this customer service statistics page from Nextiva, you’ll see that the over 100 statistics cited in the content aren’t original data from them.
What they did was to source for these statistics from authoritative websites such as Microsoft, Forrester, Statista, Accenture, Ameyo, AE, and so on, and put them together as a post.
From this statistics page alone, Nextiva has generated over 1500 backlinks from about 700 domains.
In fact, according to SEMrush, this page ranks for over 620 keywords and brings in about 300 organic traffic visitors every single month.
Here is the thing…
If you want to earn backlinks at scale for your SaaS business and increase your domain authority, you should leverage data-driven content.
[Expert insight from Michele Linn, Co-founder Mantis Research]
Here is the general process I suggest you follow when conducting your own survey for content:
Step 1: Make sure you have the right mindset. Remember: You are trying to test a hypothesis, not prove something. You never want your research to point to your product/service as the magic solution, instead, think about the questions people in your industry are looking to answer with data and answer those questions as honestly as possible.
Step 2: Determine what success looks like. Are you trying to build authority? Generate leads? Get press? Something else?
Step 3: Decide on the focus of your research. Choose something that is meaningful to your audience, aligns with your audience, and studies something new. (You don’t want to repeat something that has already been done!)
Step 4: Determine how you will get responses. You essentially have three options: your list, a partnership, or a panel. You can read more about each of these here.
Step 5: Decide who you want to take your survey and who you want to disqualify. Disqualifying respondents is important because you want to make sure that the right people are participating — even if this results in fewer responses.
Step 6: Document the demographic questions you want to ask. For a consumer-based study, this includes things such as gender, location, and age/generation. When surveying B2B respondents, you may want to ask about things such as industry, company size, role, and years of experience.
Step 7: Write your survey questions. There is a lot more that can be said about this step, but to keep things simple, remember that you need to be as clear as possible.
Step 8: Build in quality checks. These are questions you can ask to verify the right people are answering your survey and they are paying attention. While there is a lot more that can be said about this step, remember to always ask at least one write-in question.
Step 9: Program, test and launch your survey.
Step 10: Clean your data. Yes, this may mean that you are removing responses, but this is important if you want quality data. If you are using a panel, they should backfill any bad responses for you.
Step 11: Analyze the data and pull out the stories.
If you were to search Google for any keyword, you’d find that most of the pages ranking on the SERPs are writing almost the same thing. And finding a distinguishing factor among these pieces is a herculean task.
I love the way, Ryan Law, the Director of Marketing at Animalz puts it in this post about Copy Cat Content:
“In chasing search traffic, companies are sleep-walking into intellectual plagiarism. They’re fixating on their keyword research tools and SEO briefs at the expense of originality and personality. They’re curating other people’s work, instead of creating their own. They’re choosing to make content longer, instead of better.”
As a result, we’re left with content pieces that look like this illustration:
Regurgitated content such as this can help you rank for high-volume keywords and even dominate the SERPs. That said, it’s difficult to build a fanbase who will find your content useful, valuable, and helpful; and always on the lookout to read from you again.
There’s a lot of similar content out there ranking for the same keyword. So, what exactly can you do to cut through the noise and stand out as a SaaS business. Simple, create opinionated content.
In case you’re wondering what that is: Opinionated content is when you write about an opinion you strongly hold. This usually leads to heated discussions in the industry and often leads to more people talking about it on social media and linking to it.
In most cases, opinionated content is written by an expert, adds value to the industry, and brings about interesting discussions.
The downside of opinionated content is that the traffic doesn’t really compound. There’s little to no search related to it on Google. And in most cases, people tend to forget about your opinion after some months or years.
That said, it’s a great way to:
- Establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
- Grow an audience for your SaaS brand.
- Increase user signups and customers.
- Earn links naturally without begging for them.
Here are some examples of SaaS brands that used this type of content to grow.
Groove used to be a struggling startup until it revamped its approach to content marketing. According to one of the founders, Alex Turnbull, they were running out of cash until they changed things.
Guess what they discovered?
They found out that most of its users are startup owners who needed practical advice on how to solve day-to-day problems they’re facing in their business. So, they started sharing how they were building their business, and what they’re learning along the way. And before long, they started seeing results.
Take this post where they shared their struggles getting on Hacker News front page as an example.
As you can see, it’s an opinionated content that isn’t targeting any keyword. Rather, they shared exactly how they failed to get on the platform, and what they learned.
This leads to great comments from their audience such as these…
With comments like these from readers, it shows that they’re adding value to them. And, when most of these readers need a customer support SaaS solution, Groove will be one of their top choices.
And guess what?
Despite the fact that this article was published about 7 years ago, it still gets organic traffic consistently from Google. This shows that you can still get organic traffic visitors with opinionated content.
Another great example of opinionated content from Groove is this post about the 26 blogs that helped them in their journey to $100K/month.
For most startup owners who are Groove’s target audience, they want to know the blogs they can read to grow their business. While most articles rehash blogs they never visited, the Groove team wrote from their personal experience.
And when you search Google for the keyword “startup blogs”, this piece of content which they wrote 6 years ago, still ranks number 1.
Wistia uses opinionated content to turn blog readers into raving fans and eventually customers.
The co-founders Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz, often share interesting insights on how they’re growing their company, the mistakes they’ve made, and the lessons they’ve learned.
Take this post as an example, they shared how they made a difficult decision of either selling Wistia for a large sum or keep running the company themselves.
This post isn’t targeting any keyword per se but a lot of people who read it found it incredibly helpful for their own businesses.
Here are some examples from the comments section:
That’s not all…
This post alone converted some of their readers to customers.
Here are some examples:
Aside from this piece, Wistia also has some other opinionated content examples. Here are some:
- Why Setting Ambitious Goals Backfires
- How to Build a Co-Founder Partnership That Can Last (Decades)
- Growing from Within the Company: 5 Lessons We’ve Learned
When used well, opinionated content will help you stand out from your competitors.
“I recommend opinionated content in three common situations:
One, when you need to differentiate in a crowded marketplace. If every other blog in your industry is following the same cookie-cutter content process, ditching the SEO and “ultimate guides” and sharing contrarian opinions is a powerful way to demonstrate personality and share something memorable.
Two, when credibility is a bigger problem than awareness. Listicles and “what is” content are great for generating traffic, but they’ll never convince senior managers, executives or marketing-allergic professions (like developers) to take you seriously. Smart, well-founded opinions demonstrate an expert understanding of your industry, allowing you to go beyond the dime-a-dozen “best practices” and share opinions that only true professionals have.
Three, when you want to rally a community around you. Opinionated content polarises, and that’s a great thing. Business sells to passionate brand advocates, and not half-interested consumers. Opinions allow you to attract a small, loyal audience of people that subscribe wholeheartedly to your ideas.”
Expert insight from Ryan Law, Director of Marketing, Animalz
Creating high-quality content consistently at scale is a big challenge for most SaaS businesses. In most cases, this is because they don’t either have the budget, expertise, or team to do so.
Here is a fact…
If you publish technical content, there’s a limit to the number of content writers and agencies out there, who have the subject-matter expertise to write about it. And even if you have them on your team, it might still likely take time before they create a high-quality piece of content.
Expert-generated content involves reaching out to experts and curating insights from them to create high-quality in-depth pieces of SaaS content.
Say you run an email marketing software and want to write about “how to improve email open rates”, you can reach out to email marketing experts to contribute their best tips on improving email open rates.
And guess what?
You’d have tons of tips on improving email open rates that you can include in your content.
That’s not all…
Most of these experts will most likely share your content on social media platforms and link to you.
A win-win, right?
Not only are you able to create high-quality content at scale that’d add value to your audience, you’re also able to leverage other experts’ audiences to promote your content and reach more people.
Now, you may be wondering if it’s really easy to get experts to add their voices to any piece of content you’re creating.
Here’s the thing…
Getting experts to feature in your article is much easier than you think.
First, you need to establish rapport with them, and also show them what is in it for them. If you have a high domain authority, promising a link back to each contributor’s website or article will most likely make you have more contributors than you can handle.
Think this is a mere theory? Let me show you an example of a B2B SaaS company that does this so well.
How Databox Leverages Experts to Create Content That Adds Value, Generates Social Shares, and Earn Backlinks
Databox is an analytics platform that helps business owners measure and track KPIs that matter to their business. This is useful for a marketing team that wants to pull data from different sources, to know exactly what works and what doesn’t.
As you can see, Databox’s target audience is mostly marketers. So, they need to create content that’s high-quality and helps their users and audience to solve specific problems.
Guess what they do?
They leverage the expertise of marketers, who make up their audience to generate content. If you check the Databox blog, here’s what you’ll most likely see:
From each of these examples above, you can notice that most of their articles are generated from experts in the topic they’re writing about.
And when you check each of these expert-generated content pieces, you’ll notice that this isn’t just a typical round-up post. Rather, they used the insights provided by the experts to create a unique angle and also reference them in the article.
Here are some examples:
Now you might be wondering how Databox gets a wide array of marketing experts to contribute to their articles every week.
One thing I guess works well for them is the power of their collaboration and partnership with other website owners.
Here’s an example:
Sometimes ago, I wrote a post on my blog about conversational marketing and featured Databox as a case study. So, I reached out to their team to inform them about it.
And guess what?
They actually shared the post with their audience and notified me about it. Not only that, but they also reached out to offer me the opportunity to contribute to their future content as an expert.
And after I entered my details in the form, I get an email from them every week inviting me to contribute to their upcoming pieces.
This is a recent one I got and contributed to:
And as you can see, my contribution was added to the piece, with a link back to my website as promised.
If you think the Databox team actually stops there, you’re obviously mistaken. They send an email to notify contributors about their upcoming feature in their content pieces.
Here’s one I got:
You’ll notice that this email does four (4) things:
- Notifying me about the contribution with a link to it
- Telling me about the promotion they did for the post on LinkedIn
- Urging me to upvote the article on Growth Hackers
- Requesting that I contribute to more articles.
On LinkedIn, here’s what the promotion looks like:
As you can see, they mentioned me and other experts who were featured in the article. And in return, most of the contributors also share the piece with their audience.
Here’s exactly how I promoted this piece I contributed for them:
I shared this piece with my LinkedIn audience.
Here’s another contributor also promoting them on LinkedIn:
By leveraging the expertise of others in their content, Databox has built an SEO moat that’s hard to beat.
What have been the biggest learnings and results for Databox from leveraging Expert-generated Content?
The Databox team has been able to build a scalable content machine, and 3X their content output, with just a marketing team of about 7, according to their CEO.
As a SaaS business, you should be creating long-form content.
The reason is simple.
Long-form content in its nature is usually thorough and in-depth. This means that you’re most likely to answer your audience’s questions and provide solutions to their pain points with a piece of content that is long.
Researches conducted over the years have shown that long-form content outperforms short-form content.
According to SEMrush, long-form content of 7,000+ words generate almost 4 times more traffic and 43% more shares compared to articles of 900-1,200 words.
In its recent annual blogging survey, Orbit Media found out that bloggers who write more long-form content of about 3000 words and above, report stronger results compared to those who don’t.
Likewise, in its analysis of 912 million blog posts, Backlinko found out that long-form content of 3000 words and above gets an average of 77.2% more referring domain links compared to short-form content of 1000 words and below.
As you can see, long-form content leads to:
- Increased traffic
- More social shares
- Stronger results
- More backlinks
In this post about growing the Active Campaign blog from 8,765 organic search visitors in 2017 to 119,037 organic search visitors in 2019, the Director of Marketing Benyamin Elias has this to say about long-form content.
When I dug deeper using SEMrush, I found out that long-form content is a secret sauce for Active Campaign.
For example, this blog post about “18 Habits of Highly Productive People” is about 5218 words long.
According to SEMrush, it currently ranks for 813 organic keywords and brings in about 5,300 organic traffic users per month.
It also ranks number 1 on the SERPs for some high-volume keywords such as
- “how to be more productive”
- “how to work efficiently”,
- “how to be more effective at work”.
As you can see, Active Campaign is getting more eyeballs to its blog through this long-form piece of content. This will lead to more people knowing about its SaaS product on a daily basis.
Another great example of a long-form piece of content from Active Campaign is this blog post about announcement email examples. The page is about 3523 words long.
According to Ahrefs, this page has garnered over 5,000 backlinks since it was published.
Traffic-wise, the page has been on a steady increase. It currently brings in about 1,400 visitors from search every month, based on SEMrush estimation.
It also dominates the top of the SERPs for some high-intent keywords such as;
- “product announcement”
- “new inventory email sample”
- “online store launch announcement”.
While the target keyword for this post is “announcement emails”, it’s also ranking for some variations of the keyword.
“When it comes to informational content, I immediately think of levels of awareness. People searching for problems (what I call “problem awareness”) aren’t going to be highly qualified, but the article can serve as brand and product awareness. They don’t yet know what kinds of solutions can help them, but they’re open to finding out.
However, instead of focusing on your product, focus on the reader. Deeply empathize with them around their problem. Lean into their struggles and what they’re dealing with.
A bit deeper, I think about people searching for solutions to their problems (“solution awareness”). These people have some kind of idea what solution could help them, so we just need to show how our solution can solve their pain. While the article may be more how-to, we can still highlight our software and show how much easier things are when using what we sell. In summary, focus 100% on your customer journey and make sure you’re creating content that addresses every part of it.”
Expert insight from Brendan Hufford, Founder SEO For The Rest Of Us
An often neglected yet important ranking factor is topical authority. This is because Google looks at a website as a whole and decides if it’s a good fit to rank for certain keywords based on the topic(s) the website covers. If the website doesn’t have enough topical authority for some keywords, it’d be difficult to rank for them.
Take for instance, if your SaaS website is about email marketing, ranking for keywords related to the general theme of your website is much easier.
In contrast, if your SaaS website is about LinkedIn lead generation, and you’re writing about conversational marketing, it’ll be difficult to rank for that keyword, even if you have the best piece of content on the web about it.
This is why establishing topical authority as a SaaS business is critical. When you have topical authority for the niche you’re covering, you’d find it much easier to rank for any piece of content you publish.
If you care about ranking for specific keywords that matter for your business, then you should establish topical authority fast, especially if you’re starting from scratch. As I mentioned earlier, it’s an often neglected factor that can have a huge impact on your rankings.
There are two ways to establish topical authority for a SaaS website. One, by creating a category. Two, by creating and implementing a topic cluster strategy.
Let me share some examples to show you how this works in real life.
One great example of SaaS category creation to date is Hubspot. Before founding the company in 2004, one of its co-founders Dharmesh Shah coined the term “inbound marketing”, and christened it as the new way of marketing online.
Today, inbound marketing is a well-known tactic for marketing and growing a business online.
If you check Google trends, you’ll notice that the interest in the topic continues to increase.
On SEO tools, the search demand for the keyword is also on the increase. According to SEMrush, the total volume for the keyword is currently above 57,000 per month.
Keywords everywhere estimate that the search volume for this keyword is currently around 135,000 per month.
Since 2004 when inbound marketing came into limelight, more and more people are searching for it, and want to use it as a strategy to grow their business.
Apart from creating this category, here are some of the things Hubspot did to establish itself as the go-to authority for “inbound marketing”
- Writing an in-depth blog post about inbound marketing.
- Creating a free inbound marketing course.
- Hosting an annual inbound marketing conference.
Doing all these has helped Hubspot establish topical authority for inbound marketing. And when you talk about inbound marketing anywhere, the first name that comes to mind and rings a bell immediately is Hubspot.
Before the entry of Drift into the chatbot industry in 2015, other companies referred to their software and tools as chatbots. When Drift entered the market, they coined the term “conversational marketing”. Hence, their tool was known as a “conversational marketing tool.”
Today, conversational marketing is a well-known term in the marketing industry, thanks to Drift. And when you mention conversational marketing tool, Drift software immediately comes to mind.
Aside from creating a category that differentiates them from their competitors, Drift also uses the following playbooks to remain as the authoritative source for this topic.
- Wrote an in-depth blog post about conversational marketing. (Which ranks #1 on Google for the keyword and other related terms)
- Published a book about conversational marketing. (Which was well-received by marketers)
- Created a comprehensive certification course about conversational marketing. (Which fills the gap in the industry about the topic)
From the two examples (Hubspot and Drift) above, you can see that creating a new category in your niche is a great way to establish topical authority in your industry. And when you do, you’re able to rank higher for branded keywords for months and years to come.
If you Google “SEO”, “Search Engine Optimization”, “What is Search Engine”, “How to do SEO”, “SEO for beginners”, “SEO 101” guess who occupies the number 1 spot.
Moz, of course.
Now, you may be wondering? How were they able to dominate an entire SEO industry, with a lot of experts?
They created a topic cluster of a beginners guide to SEO, making sure that they answered all questions that anyone can have related to SEO.
Here’s exactly how it plays out.
The guide has about 8 chapters which includes the following:
- SEO 101
- How search engines work
- Keyword research
- On-site optimization
- Technical SEO
- Link building
- Measuring, prioritizing, and executing SEO
- SEO glossary
From the main (pillar) page, there’s a jump link to each of these chapters (cluster pages), which automatically adds an internal link to them.
And from each individual chapter, you can easily navigate to the previous or next chapter. Plus an internal link to the next chapter (in the beginning and end of each chapter).
Here’s what it looks like:
That’s not all…
At the end of each chapter, there’s easy navigation to all pages, plus an internal link to each of them.
As you can see, while each chapter covers a different topic. They’re all interlinked together. Hence, making it easy to pass link juice across all the chapters and rank high for the main keyword.
Since all the chapters are related to SEO and cover each aspect in-depth, Google sees it as the most authoritative article on the topic and continues to rank it high on the SERPs. This SEO moat by Moz is known as creating a topic cluster.
And the result from this piece alone is incredible.
According to SEMrush, this guide brings in over 177,000 organic traffic per month, which costs around $1.3 million.
By investing in and creating a topic cluster for the main keyword (search term) in your industry, you can become the go-to authority in the long run.
Another great example of a topic cluster is Drift’s ultimate guide to chatbots.
This guide covers some fundamental topics in chatbot such as:
- How does a chatbot work?
- What are the benefits of a chatbot?
- Why are chatbots important?
- How to create a chatbot?
- An introduction to A.I chatbots
- Chatbot examples
From the main page about chatbot, they write a summary of each chapter and then link to the complete article.
Here’s an example:
As you can see, they highlighted some benefits of chatbots and prompted their readers who are curious to learn more to click on the internal link. That way, they’re able to link to other articles in the cluster.
And from those cluster pages, they’re linking back to the pillar page.
Here’s an example:
With this topic cluster strategy, they were able to rank high on Google for the main keyword “chatbots”, because they’ve shown themselves to be an authority in the topic.
According to SEMrush, that page ranks for over 600 keywords and brings in over 3,000 organic traffic visitors per month.
If you want to become the go-to authority in your industry for your audience and in the eyes of Google, then you should leverage topical authority content.
In this short video, you’ll learn how HubSpot ranks for high-quality keywords by building topical relevance around specific topics instead of keywords, and the exact process they follow to make that happen.
Aside from creating content to educate and inspire your audience, you’re most likely interested in getting conversions from each piece of content.
This is because conversions matter more than anything for a SaaS business. Without conversions (such as user signups, leads, and customers), you’ll most likely find it difficult to justify your investment in content marketing.
So, how exactly do you drive conversions from each piece of SaaS content that you create?
Conversion-focused content is a type of SaaS content that helps you drive conversions for your business. This is important for a SaaS business, because the more conversions you achieve, the more users you can get to sign up for your SaaS. And in the long run, the more revenue you can generate for your business.
Here are some examples of SaaS businesses that excel with this strategy.
How Smartsheet Intelligently Drives Conversions With Downloadable Templates Without Asking For Emails
If you’re in the project management space, you’ll probably have heard about Smartsheet. In case you don’t know about them, it is a SaaS product that helps users to assign tasks, track projects, manage calendars, share documents, etc. using a tabular user interface.
Smartsheet wants business owners who use Excel to use their products instead. So, they’re a big Excel competitor.
To dominate the industry with a lot of competitors, they focus on creating template pages. What this means is that they compile templates that’d be useful for their readers, and write an article related to it; offering those downloadable templates for free.
If you check the Smartsheet blog, you’re likely to come across posts such as these:
On the surface level, it might look that offering free templates that can be easily downloaded, might not be a good idea.
But when I dug deeper, I found out that they’re actually using these templates to increase user signups for their business.
Take this template page about SWOT analysis as an example, anyone searching for such a keyword on Google, is most likely a business owner looking to analyze the opportunities in the market they’re in, and how they can compete. Which is a segment of their target audience.
Also, anyone who stumbles on this page is looking to download SWOT analysis templates which they can use right now. They might not know exactly how Smartsheet fits into that, and this is where it gets really interesting.
First on the header of the page and immediately beneath the title, there’s a call to action asking the reader to try Smartsheet for free.
Second, there’s a static CTA that’s visible while you’re scrolling down the page, urging you to try Smartsheet for free.
Each template on the page follows the same pattern of title, screenshot, download button(s), and short description.
You can either download the template on Smartsheet and Excel or excel only. Here’s what that looks like:
The Excel option makes it easy for anyone to download the templates without signing up for a free trial or entering their contact information.
When you click on the option to download via Excel, you’ll be prompted with a pop-up that looks like this:
Again, they want you to become a user of the software while still on the page. And offers you the option to decline and continue your download immediately without asking for your contact information at all.
If you click on the Smartsheet option, you’ll be redirected to a page that looks like this.
As you can see, Smartsheet only asks for your contact information, when you’ve shown interest in trying out their tool. Smart approach if you ask me.
Another interesting aspect of this Smartsheet template page strategy is that they designed the Excel sheet templates to drive conversions.
Right there in Excel, they’re promoting their software and prompting anyone who’s downloaded the template to try out their tool for free for 30 days.
And this strategy obviously works for Smartsheet.
According to SEMrush, there are over 670 organic pages on Smartsheet’s website that have the keyword “templates” in their URL.
While we can’t estimate the exact number of conversions they’re getting from these pages, they’re actually killing it organic-traffic-wise from this strategy.
Right now, they’re ranking for over 36,000 template keywords which bring in about 250,000 organic traffic visitors, every single month, as per SEMrush estimates.
Using conversion-focused pieces of content such as this, you won’t struggle to increase user signups for your SaaS business.
Another type of conversion-focused content that you can use for your SaaS business is a content upgrade. Content upgrades are upgrades to an existing piece of content on your website. In most cases, they’re gated resources and anyone who wants to access it will need to provide their email address.
One SaaS company that uses this strategy to grow its user base is Coschedule. If you check any of their blog posts, you’ll notice that there’s a content upgrade that ties down to what the reader has finished consuming.
Take this blog post about color psychology in marketing as an example, anyone who searches for and stumbles on it is most likely interested in branding their business.
Immediately after the table of contents, they introduce the content upgrade; a color psychology marketing bundle that can be downloaded.
Here’s what it looks like:
As you can see, the Coschedule team prompts you to download the bundle and join their email list.
And once you click on the “Download Now” button, you’ll be redirected to the form where you can enter all your details and download the content upgrade.
Here’s what that looks like:
On this blog post about catchy blog title formulas, the same strategy is also playing out. Right before the table of contents, they introduced the content upgrade; which is a downloadable catchy blog titles bundle, which looks like this.
This prompts you to download the content upgrade and join their email list. After clicking the “Download button”, you’ll be redirected to the form to enter your contact information and download the bundle.
Here’s what that looks like:
This is the exact playbook that Coschedule uses for all pieces of content published on their blog.
After entering my details in the form above, I was able to download a Zip file that contains these three documents.
- Blog title performance tracking template
- Content calendar excel template
- Catchy blog title infographic
And each of them offers a specific value that helps the reader.
The catchy blog title infographic for example contains a list of 500 words and 100 headline templates that can be used to write headlines that get more traffic.
Here’s a snapshot from the infographic:
They also subtly promote the software inside this infographic. Here’s what that looks like:
The blog title performance tracking template also follows a similar pattern. The template which helps you to track how each headline you create performs is a good place to start for anyone who wants to get better at writing headlines.
At the top of the template, they promote one of their free tools which is an amazing resource for coming up with headline ideas.
And finally, there’s the content calendar excel template. A great starting point for anyone looking to create a content calendar; which is one of the core features of Coschedule.
They also promote a 14-day free trial of their tool right inside this template.
As you can see, the content upgrade strategy isn’t just a means to get email subscribers for Coschedule. Rather, they use it as an opportunity to add more value to their audience and also promote their paid software.
According to Gareth Moon, Coschedule’s co-founder, using content upgrades has been instrumental in converting their traffic to leads and growing their subscribers to over 880,000 as of 2019.
While we can’t predict the exact number of these leads that convert into paid customers. With a huge amount of user signups like this, they’ll most likely be killing it business-wise. Take, for instance, if just 1% of these leads convert to customers, they’ll have about 8,800 paid users.
And for a product that costs at least $29 per user per month, this is easily a six-figure MRR business.
“If you are trying to generate leads for your sales team, implement live chat. This is because increasing conversions comes down to reducing friction. One of the best ways a B2B company can reduce friction and lower the barrier to entry is to add live chat to their site with prompts that are contextual to the page.
Additionally, they need to have SDRs that can quickly and knowledgeably answer visitor questions about the product in real-time.”
Expert insight from JH Scherck, Founder, Growth Plays
Publishing content and praying that it ranks is a common mistake among most SaaS businesses.
Here is a fact…
Even if you’ve written the best piece of content on the internet about a topic, you need to get it in front of the right audience if you want it to generate signups, leads, and customers for your business. That’s the only and sustainable way to get results from your content marketing efforts.
Else, you’ll be wasting time and resources to create content that no one reads.
So, how exactly do you get your SaaS content in front of the right audience?
Simple, by promoting and distributing any piece of content you create.
If you want to promote and distribute your SaaS content the right way, here are some in-depth pieces of content that walk you through the steps and strategies you can implement.
- 76 Content Promotion Strategies for Blog Content by Orbit Media
- 40 Actionable Content Promotion Strategies With Examples by Dominic Kent
- How to Get Results With Paid Promotion and SEO by Grow & Convert
- How To Gain More Blog Traffic With Content Promotion Strategies by The Write Destination
- Link Building for SaaS Companies by Growth Gorilla
- 100+ Content Distribution Tactics & Strategies by Foundation Inc.
“The best SaaS companies approach content distribution by first understanding which channels their target audience spends their time. Once this happens, they reverse-engineer the content on those channels in which they are generating the most results.
Once they have clarity on the type of content people want [in these channels], they are intentional every single time they press publish to distribute that content on those channels in the way their audience wants to consume content.”
Expert insight from Ross Simmonds, Founder & CEO Foundation
If you want to get the best results from content writing as a SaaS business, you need to make use of the right tools. Below are some of the highly recommended tools that will make you more productive and increase your output.
- Google Keyword Planner: A free tool by Google for choosing the right keywords for your content.
- UberSuggest: A freemium tool by Neil Patel for analyzing your competitors, and the strategies that work for them.
- Answer the Public: A search listening tool to identify questions that people are asking related to your target keyword.
- BuzzSumo: A premium tool for finding content that works best in your industry, and the influencers that can help you amplify them.
- Moz: A premium tool for tracking your rankings and auditing your site for potential SEO issues.
- Spyfu: A premium tool for uncovering your competitors’ SEO and PPC strategies and data.
- SEMrush: An all-in-one premium SEO tool for keyword research, competitors research, traffic analytics, and so on.
- Ahrefs: A premium SEO tool for performing keyword research and tracking backlinks.
- Keywords everywhere: A freemium SEO tool for discovering the search volume for any given keyword.
- Keyword shitter: A free tool for finding questions related to any keyword.
- Coschedule: A premium tool for organizing and planning a content marketing calendar.
- Trello: A premium tool for end-to-end managing of your content creation process.
- Asana: A freemium tool for organizing and managing your content team.
- Clickup: A freemium tool for creating your content calendar and collaborating with your team.
- Airtable: A freemium software great for tracking and measuring your team’s performance.
- Todoist: A freemium tool for assigning tasks to your content team and improving your productivity
- Content Harmony: A premium tool for creating data-driven content briefs automatically.
- Usetopic: An intuitive premium tool that’s great for creating content briefs for your team
- Google Docs: A free tool by Google that helps with content creation and collaboration.
- Evernote: A freemium tool for taking notes and developing ideas for your content.
- Notion: A freemium tool for documenting your processes and writing your content.
- Airstory: A premium tool for capturing and organizing your research, then turning them into great content pieces.
- Google Search Console: This is a free tool by Google to understand your organic traffic analytics better and know what works for your business.
- Google Analytics: A free tool by Google to measure your ROI from content marketing.
- Clickflow: A premium content audit tool that helps you identify content that are experiencing a decay and suggests ways to improve them.
- Revive: A free tool by Animalz to analyse your existing blog posts and telling you the ones that need to be updated.
- Frase: A premium tool for topic research and on-page optimization
- SurferSEO: A premium tool that’s great for SERP analysis and content optimization.
- Clearscope: An AI-powered premium content optimization tool that helps you get the best results from your content pieces.
- Rankmath: A freemium WordPress plugin for optimizing your posts for search engines.
- WordPress: The most popular content management system that powers about 35% of the internet.
- Wix: An intuitive platform for creating a website and managing your content.
- Squarespace: A great tool for building your website for different purposes, and managing your content on the web.
- Drupal: An open-source CMS for building amazing digital experiences.
- Joomla: An award-winning CMS which is awesome for building and managing your website content.
- Webflow: The no-code platform for building professional and responsive websites.
- Canva: A freemium design tool for creating high-quality images for your content.
- Venngage: An easy-to-use tool for creating infographics that people will love.
- Visme: A platform for creating infographics, presentations, and visuals for your SaaS content.
- Invideo: An online video maker and editing platform.
- Animaker: A DIY platform for making animated videos for free.
- Awesome Screenshot: A freemium tool for taking screenshots.
- Loom: A freemium screen recording software.
Conclusion: Finally, You Can Write Content That Increases User Signups and Drives Sales For Your SaaS Business
If you’ve read to the end of this guide about SaaS content writing, congratulations!
I’m confident that this piece has shown you what it takes to write content that increases user signups and drive sales for SaaS companies.
Firstly, you learned 5 things you must do before creating content for your SaaS business.
Secondly, I shared with you 8 types of SaaS content you should be creating, if you want to get the results that matter for your business.
Thirdly, I showed you examples of SaaS companies that are creating and implementing each of these content types. Plus, what they’re doing behind the scenes.
Fourthly, I explained what you need to do, after creating your SaaS content and hit the publish button. Including, the promotional strategies that work well for SaaS.
Finally, I shared with you SaaS content writing tools that’ll improve your productivity and output.
Hopefully, the insights shared in this post will help you create better content for your SaaS brand.
Found this guide helpful in writing content for your SaaS business?
Kindly drop a comment to let me know your biggest takeaway from this piece.
Do you want us to plan, write, and distribute content that generates high-quality traffic and increases user signups for your SaaS brand?