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Content marketing is one of the most popular growth tactics in recent years. It will stay this way in the future as well since content marketing costs 62% less than other marketing methods while generating 3x times the leads. In terms of ROI, using content marketing to grow your brand really has no competition.
Armed with this knowledge, marketers from different industries started working on content. Unfortunately, many of them miss the mark. As a result, we have tons of poorly written content that repeats the same info found somewhere else online. And the worst of all – there is no proper strategy to back up this content.
As a result, company owners quickly give up on content to focus on marketing strategy with a more measurable ROI. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, I’ll briefly show you how to set up a SaaS content marketing strategy, similar to how we do things at Chanty. Many of these elements will apply if you’re in a different field, so if you want to learn how to create and distribute better content, let’s dive in.
If you’re writing for everyone, you’re writing for no one. There is no company out there whose target audience is every human being. Focus on the kind of audience who buys your products and who is interested in what you have to say.
If you’re serious about your marketing efforts, you probably have at least one buyer persona developed, and you should write for them. However, in reality, it often happens that your visitors want to read something completely different from what you imagined.
If you already have an established blog presence, take a deep dive into your analytics to learn about your readers. A simple tool such as Google Analytics will tell you about your readers’…
Use these insights to create content that your readers want to consume and not the kind of content you think they would love to read.
You probably already know a little bit about SEO. One of the main goals of content marketing is to increase your organic traffic and pull as much traffic from search engines as possible.
The problem is, if you don’t have a strategy in place, you’re throwing shots in the dark. You may get some visitors, but it will mostly be on accident and they won’t be the kind of visitors that will read your content and stick around long enough to take action and spend money with you.
Keyword research is the backbone of every good content strategy. You want to find keywords that your target audience is searching for and you will significantly increase your chances of getting more traffic and conversions.
You can use SEO tools to get this job done, such as SEMRush or Ahrefs, but don’t neglect Google Keyword Planner, as well as insights from your Google Search Console.
So, your ideal keywords have the following:
This is the ideal case, but more often than not, you’re going to get two out of three. You’ll find that there aren’t too many keywords out there with high volume and low difficulty, and when you do find them, they won’t be too relevant for your target audience. So what’s a marketer to do?
First, don’t neglect these opportunities. If you find a keyword with plenty of potential (high volume + low difficulty), write some really good content around it, as long as it’s related to your industry and niche. Those visitors may not convert immediately, but any opportunity to get traffic is a good one.
Second, find high-intent keywords. These will usually have low volume, but the people searching for them will be a better fit for your content – they are actively searching for a solution and you can provide it immediately with your content. For example, someone looking for “b2b marketing” is just browsing for ideas, while someone searching for “email automation in B2B marketing” is looking for a more specific solution.
Sure, the first term gets more search volume, but the second search term is more likely to turn from a visitor into a customer – if you sell email automation software, of course.
How many keywords should you select for your content marketing strategy? The truth is – you should have a few main keywords you want to rank for, which bring the highest amount of conversions and traffic. For each new piece of content, determine the keyword and only then you can start writing.
In other words, you should (ideally) have a keyword for every piece of content on your website and there really is no final answer to how many that actually is.
Once you have a solid idea about your target audience and you’ve found your most lucrative keywords, it’s time to determine who does each part of the job. A content marketing strategy is much more complex than one writer churning out all the content and doing the promotion on social media.
First, you need a content marketing manager/strategist. This is the person who does keyword research, comes up with content ideas, researches the competition and lays out the content calendar. This person can but doesn’t have to be a writer as well. Some strategists suck at writing and most writers don’t look at the bigger picture.
If you have the budget for it, having an SEO manager on board is a great idea. This is the person who analyzes your website’s SEO performance, finds room for improvement, looks into the competition and finds opportunities for link building. Once your content is done and published, this is the person to help you maximize its potential by building links to it.
Optionally, you can hire an outreach manager. If you have a content marketing plan that includes a lot of guest posting, this is the person responsible for finding websites to pitch guest posts to. If you really want to ramp up your content efforts, you want to use guest blogging as a strategy, and it’s fairly difficult without a dedicated person for outreach. One of the secrets to our own success with guest blogging is that we have someone at Chanty who does nothing but outreach.
Finally, not all of these are necessary to create a content strategy and execute on it. However, having a trio of content marketer + SEO manager + outreach manager is enough to get excellent results in a very short time, without resorting to hiring a marketing agency.
If your company is a startup strapped for cash, you can hire a really good content strategist that can write to have the most basic setup.
Besides people, you should also keep in mind the list of tools you’ll need. These include Ahrefs, SEMRush, Buzzsumo, a social scheduling tool such as Buffer or Quuu, a set of tools for contact research such as Hunter.io and LinkedIn Premium and other SaaS tools. The monthly subscriptions for all of these tools can be quite pricey, so be careful what you choose at first - you may find out you don’t really need it.
There’s a lot of noise out there and there are hundreds of thousands of blog posts published every day. If you want to make an effect and not just write another meaningless blog, you have to go beyond hitting the “publish” button.
The first thing you can do is set up a social media promotion strategy. This is the lowest hanging fruit, so tick it off early. Put your new piece of content in a social media scheduling tool such as Quuu and make sure you cover all your social media profiles.
Second, keep the link handy in discussions about your product or when a potential customer is looking for a solution to their pain point. This could be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, on forums… Use every opportunity to drive new readers to the piece of content, without being overly promotional or spammy.
Third, include your new piece of content in your newsletter. If you don’t have one already, now is a good time to create it. You can send out a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter with your most important updates and include a link to your latest piece of content to get a few extra clicks.
Fourth and perhaps most important, build links to your new piece of content. First, build internal links and make sure to link to your new post from other, older pieces of content on your website. Then move on to building the more important external links.
In short, you should find relevant websites in your niche that accept guest posts and pitch them with topics you would like to write about. As you write your guest blog, make sure to include a link to the piece of content you want to promote. Depending on the website you’re writing for, you will have different rules for links you can place in your piece of content.
One final tip when it comes to building a great content strategy is that you can repurpose your most successful articles and other content types. For example, you can turn those articles into videos for your website or your YouTube channel and get some extra views. Video marketing is proven to have great ROI and it’s worth considering for your best-performing content.
You cannot improve what you don’t measure. To have a fully functioning content marketing strategy, you need to measure how your content is performing. If something is not working, it’s best to ditch it and move on to a new strategy quickly to save time and money.
There are countless ways to measure how your content is performing. First, you can take a look at your analytics to see your page views, average session length, and bounce rates. If your main aim is conversions, you should track how many conversions you get from a specific piece of content.
In regards to SEO, you want to know how many links you get from each blog or piece of content you post. The best way to do this is by using a tool such as Ahrefs, which indexes new links daily. It will also tell you how you’re performing in terms of keywords and your positions in search engine results for those keywords.
To look at the bigger picture, always keep an eye out on your most important metrics. For us at Chanty, there’s two of them:
You can easily track your monthly visitors from your Google Analytics and have weekly updates so you can check your progress. As for domain authority, you can check this value using MOZbar, a Chrome plugin made by the creators of MOZ. As for domain rating, you can check this value using Ahrefs. As for conversions, these are also fairly easy to track in Google Analytics. Naturally, you want all three of these values to increase as time passes.
Except for conversions, these are the metrics you want to keep in mind when researching your competition and when looking for places to pitch guest posts.
One of the keys to a great content marketing strategy is having it documented. While you shouldn’t write a book about it, you can and should take care of the basics. Document who does what, establish standard operating procedures and each step of the way when writing and promoting a piece of content.
You will have an easier time checking if you’ve done everything. Moreover, it will make it convenient if you bring on new members in your (content) marketing team, so they can catch up to speed immediately.
Finally, if someone from your content team leaves, the person who’s replacing them can read the documentation and you can shorten their onboarding time.
Coming up with a great content marketing strategy and having positive ROI from content is a long-term game. These are some of the basic elements of a content marketing strategy for SaaS, but yours may be slightly different.
Whichever way that you build your strategy, focus on one goal: creating actionable content that your visitors will enjoy reading. Once you’ve hit the mark with the quality of your content, focus on consistency and results are sure to come in rapidly. Happy writing!
Mile Živković is a content writer and work-life balance expert at Chanty – a simple and AI-powered Slack alternative. When Mile isn't busy writing epic posts on productivity, work-life balance and time management for Chanty blog, he's probably driving somewhere. His hobbies include cars (huge fan of Alfa Romeo), photography and collecting pocket knives. You can catch him on LinkedIn.
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