5 Steps to Success in Content Marketing for SaaS
We all know how effective content marketing is and what kind of great ROI it provides.
However, most companies’ content marketing efforts fall flat and they give up soon after starting. The reason is simple – they don’t put enough thought into the strategy and most of them just write random blog pieces, hoping for results.
At Chanty, we were able to get from 0 to 10,000 leads from our blog in just over a year. Here are some of the processes and tools that we’ve used and some tips on how you can achieve the same for your own business’ blog.
Step 1: Determining your goals
Writing for the sake of writing is okay, but writing and publishing to make an impact is even better.
Before you set out with your content marketing strategy, you should determine what you want to achieve. It could be increasing your traffic, getting better conversion rates, improving your domain authority or something completely different.
In our case, we wanted to get signups for our SaaS application. With that knowledge, we set out to find how to achieve our goals.
Step 2: Keyword research and planning
In order to get people to visit your website, you first need to find out what people are searching for. In our case, we wanted those people who were looking for a fast and reliable team chat app. When we do keyword research we use a tool called Ahrefs and we pay attention to the following aspects.
Keyword difficulty is how difficult it is to rank on page 1 for a certain term in Google search results. The more competitive a term is, the higher the keyword difficulty. In general, if the KD is high, it means that the first page is populated with highly reputable websites that have lots of links pointing to their pages. You want to avoid terms with high keyword difficulty because it will take months, if not years to get to the first page.
Second is the search volume, i.e. the number of people searching for a term on a monthly basis. Ideally, you want something with several thousand searches every month. If you are using Ahrefs, also note how many clicks a search term gets compared to the number of views – you want the two to be very close.
Of course, finding a keyword with low difficulty and high search volume is much like finding a needle in a haystack. It happens, but it’s very rare. That’s why we look at the third aspect – search intent.
Search intent is all about understanding your visitors and what actions they want to take. Sometimes the best keywords have poor search intent. For example, someone looking for “accounting software” may just want a list with different tools. On the other hand, “best accounting software pricing” is ready to pull the trigger and buy. The second keyword has higher search intent because the visitor is more likely to click on the link in search results and convert once they land on your page.
Based on the criteria above, we selected a few keywords to get started. One of them is “slack alternatives”, which was the one that got us several thousands of leads since we wrote the article.
Step 3: Writing the content
Once you have your keyword, it’s time to get started with writing. You can hire an in-house writer or a freelancer if it’s more convenient and cost-effective. As they’re writing, make sure they optimize the article for the keyword. A good writer will know how to take care of it without overdoing it. Mentioning the keyword in the title, a few headings and a dozen times throughout the article should do the job.
You absolutely don’t need a native English writer to get the job done – I’m not even a native English speaker myself. You do need an authentic, educational story with lots of examples, told from your own experience. It also helps to add plenty of visuals – my rule of thumb is at least one image per 500 words of text.
Moreover, once your article starts ranking really well, it’s a great idea to turn your content into a video. Finding a video app or a talented video maker shouldn’t be a problem nowadays and the benefits you can get are numerous. Videos will benefit your SEO, increase your session length and click-throughs and they are inherently shareable in nature. If you host your video on YouTube, chances are high that you will rank there for your chosen keyword as well. Overall, it’s a tactic that can get you excellent ROI.
This is exactly what we did and we created a video to get our presence on YouTube:
We were able to get some views from it and quite a few viewers converted into users for our app.
Step 4: Building links to your content
When we first wrote the article on Slack alternatives, it wasn’t anywhere near the first page of search engine results. In fact, it was behind page 4. To make sure it moves up the search engine results pages, we built links to it using various techniques.
First and foremost, we did a lot of guest blogging. You are probably familiar with the technique, but here is our own twist: for each guest post we wrote, we made sure there was a link back to the Slack alternatives article, on the anchor keyword “slack alternatives”. Quickly enough, our own article started moving up the ranks to be at the top of search engine results for this keyword.
Step 5: Scaling the process
This method of writing content and getting leads from it takes a while but in the end, the return on investment is excellent. If you want to scale the process and get a high volume of traffic with great potential for conversions, you will need the following:
– Solid understanding of SEO and digital marketing
– Keyword research tool (we recommend Ahrefs) and other content marketing tools
– One person dedicated to outreach
– At least one great writer
– Patience to see the results come through
Once you have all of these in place, you can start getting results as early as one month from the point you start – it’s not that difficult.
Content marketing was and still is one of the most powerful tools in the digital marketing arsenal. However, it is one of those things that you either do right or don’t do at all.
By following some of the steps outlined here, you can get your content marketing strategy to show great results in a reasonable time period.
About the author:
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.