Find out how to create a content marketing plan for SaaS in just 10 steps that will get your business reaching its milestones smoothly and without fail
The advantages of content marketing for SaaS companies are countless, so it’s something you don’t want to miss out on if you’re serious about getting more customers and reaching all of your milestones.
However, being all over the place with your content marketing efforts, trying to tackle as many content forms at the same time completely randomly, and relying on sheer luck and vague hunches is something you should keep clear of at all times.
By doing that, not only will you just waste your precious time and hard-earned money, but you’ll risk compromising your business’s reputation and maybe even be forced to shut down as a result.
Suppose you want your content marketing to deliver actual results in terms of seeing an increase in conversions, better SERP ranking, more high-quality SQLs, or whichever milestone you’re aiming for. In that case, you need to devise a solid content marketing strategy.
That means that learning how to create a content marketing plan for SaaS that will fit desired business goals is crucial for any business owner.
Luckily for you, we’ve got your back. We’re going to help you do exactly that: get a grasp of how to create the very best content marketing plan for SaaS that will make your business reach its milestones as smoothly as butter.
Stay tuned, and we’ll take you on tour through each part of the 10-step process, providing you with takeaways that are solid gold. In addition, there’s a bonus at the end, too – a tip that will make creating a content marketing plan for SaaS without hassle.
But first, to get the obvious out of the way.
What exactly is a content marketing plan?
A content marketing plan is a strategy of creating, distributing, and promoting content that gets your SaaS business to achieve its goals. Whether it’s raising brand awareness and visibility, establishing thought leadership, or getting an increase in conversion rates, a good content plan will get you covered.
And the best part? Having a carefully designed content marketing plan will help you create top-notch content that will generate new leads even years after being published.
So, now that we’ve taken care of the basics let’s get down to the 10-step process of creating a content marketing plan for SaaS that holds the secret to high conversion rates and predictable ROI.
1. Determine what type of content you need the most based on the stage of your business
Different businesses need to focus their content marketing efforts on different parts of the sales funnel, depending on their size, stage and goals.
Namely, each segment of the sales funnel demands the creation of different types of content, as each part aims at different categories of users, ranging from mere visitors and potential leads to SQLs, new or repeated customers, and even prospective brand advocates.
If you want to achieve the perfect content-market fit and create a successful content marketing plan for SaaS, you need to decide whether you need more of a TOFU, MOFU, or BOFU type of content. And that decision should always be based on your current stage and goals first and foremost.
Of course, there are types of content that can be used with equal success for each part of the sales funnel, with some adjustments, of course.
Blog posts are probably among the most versatile forms of content out there, as they can range from how-to articles and comprehensive guides to product reviews, comparison and alternative articles, and everything in-between.
2. Have your ICP in mind at all times
To create a foolproof content marketing plan for SaaS, you must know who your campaigns are targeted at.
That means that you need to discern what your ideal customer profile is.
To achieve that, you’ll have to answer the following questions:
- What problems/pain points/needs does your customer have?
- Can your product offer your customers a solution to their problem or provide them with other required value?
- Where do your customers reside the most on the web?
- What kind of content resonates with them the most?
There’s only one way to get answers that match reality – rather than making assumptions – and that is thorough ICP research.
Some of the ways of conducting this research are: surveys, following up customer reviews, interviewing both happy and dissatisfied customers, checking out communities where your potential leads are most active, and so on.
Another key part of ICP is keeping track of your sales and customer support/success representatives’ reports and findings. That way, you can conclude whether your company and your prospects are on the same page or there’s a product-market fit discrepancy that needs to be addressed.
Always remember - you can expect to create a content marketing plan for SaaS that delivers actual ROI only if you know who to target with your marketing efforts.
3. Keep a clear vision of your goals
Another crucial point of creating a content marketing plan for SaaS is always having a very clear idea of your business goals.
Do you want to raise brand awareness and achieve greater visibility, or are you keener on establishing yourself as an industry expert and building trust?
Maybe you’re aiming at higher SERP rankings?
Perhaps more predictable results, such as a steady stream of SQLs and inbound customers or an increase in conversions, are your cup of tea?
Keep in mind that these goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive; it’s just that every goal requires a certain kind of content that suits it best.
Let’s face it – there’s not much point in creating comparison articles if your primary goal is increasing visibility and making a name for your brand. Nor is there a point in writing a very basic educational guide-type article if you’re primarily going for high conversion rates.
So, once you know what exactly you tend to achieve by content marketing, you can easily create a plan accordingly, rather than go about wasting valuable resources.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet to help you determine what type of content is best for a couple of most common goals:
1. Higher traffic and thought leadership:
→ How-to articles
→ Blog posts rich with strong statements
→ Webinars & Events
→ Other types of TOFU content
2. Higher conversion rates: → Comparisons/Alternatives articles
→ Product reviews
→ PLG content
→ Sales enablement content
→ Success stories
→ other types of MOFU + BOFU content
4. Set a realistic timeframe
There’s a saying that slow and steady wins the race, which is true when it comes to content marketing.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you can’t expect to build a business empire overnight. While implementing a good content marketing plan will surely lead you on the road to success, it will take some time.
It would do you well to plan at least 6-12 months ahead, as content marketing can take up to several months to deliver the first tangible results.
Although your overall strategy should be long-term, it would be wise to create new content marketing plans for shorter periods, such as every 3 months. That makes for an excellent way to determine what parts of your strategy work and which are falling short so you can modify your content marketing plan accordingly.
In addition, despite the fact that content marketing generally takes some time to reach its full potential, the first tangible results of a good content marketing plan can be achieved much sooner, in a matter of 1-3 months.
That depends not only on the quality of the content marketing plan itself – even though it is one of the key factors – but also on your goals and the type of content you create.
For example, ROI-led content that aims for higher conversions and a steady flow of SQLs can show its efficiency in a few months. On the other hand, some other goals and strategies, such as ranking for highly competitive keywords, usually take longer and are not as predictable as the former.
In addition, promoting and distributing your content via all the relevant channels and targeting low-competition keywords will also deliver results in a much shorter time.
Devising a provisional timeline and putting the proper budget aside with your goals in mind is a no-can-do-without unless you want to be disappointed by your overly idealistic expectations.
5. Choose a preferred form of content
There’s an abundance of content forms you can choose from when creating a content marketing plan, and the options are constantly on the rise.
Some of the most widely used forms of content include:
- Blog posts,
- Social media posts,
- Case studies,
- Success stories,
- Ebooks and many others.
When opting for the type of content you’ll primarily create, you should base your decision on some of the previous steps - such as your goals and your stage, as well as on your ICP research.
Focusing on the type of content your ICPs consume the most is always the right way to go.
If your prospects are a tough B2B crowd, then blogging is the way to go since 71% of B2B buyers engage predominantly with blogs when looking to purchase. If you’re dealing with a younger audience that prefers audio-visual content, then podcasts and videos are your go-to solution.
On the other hand, budget plays a key role here as well. If you’re a bit tight on cash, you may want to go with the more versatile options that can be easily repurposed and recycled over and time again, such as long-form ROI-led blog posts, pillar/cluster topics, or podcasts, among others.
Either way, when deciding on the type of content you believe will do you most good, always try to concentrate on evergreen, ROI-led content that provides your users with value and is highly repurposable. That way, you can invest once and reap the benefits as long as your content exists online.
Of course, you can always go for several types of content simultaneously, but we would strongly advise against trying to create all of them at the same time.
It is much better to focus on one content type at a time and try to nail it down as thoroughly as possible before moving on to other content types.
Be mindful of your resources, goals, and ICP for optimal results here.
6. Content creation
After you’ve set your goals straight, determined your ICP, and opted for a form of content, it’s time to get hands-on with the fun and creative part of the process.
To help get those creative juices flowing, you should rely on your ideal customer profile first and foremost because it’s important to remember that the content is supposed to resonate with your audience, not with you or a random category of web-residing folk.
In addition, there are free online tools that can come in handy when creating a piece of content that will have a high click-through rate and bigger chances of being read/viewed from beginning to end. One of the neatest ones out there is AnswerThePublic, which can help find out the trending topics, questions, or some high-intent long-tail keywords you can put to clever use in your content creation strategy.
At last, no matter what kind of content you’re creating, make sure that it’s the best piece of content in its category out there.
That also means you don’t have to pay that much attention to your articles’ SEO.
For example, whenever we at Contenthorse write content for our clients, we always make sure that our content is the best on the web.
Namely, by enriching our content with so many unique insights, we're able to easily rank the majority of our clients’ websites on the first page of Google search results, without building backlinks or pulling any other trick from the SEO book whatsoever.
7. Content distribution & promotion
Creating jaw-dropping content will lead nowhere unless you can get people to consume it.
That means that you’ll have to distribute your content using the plethora of channels for distribution out there. Blogging platforms, various communities such as Quora or Reddit, YouTube, email outreach... The possibilities are limitless.
However, there’s no real need to use each one of them. That way, you’d get higher exposure for sure, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get more users or even a higher click-through rate by default.
On the contrary, focusing on the channels that ICP research has shown your potential leads use the most will lead you on a sure road to success.
In addition to distribution, promotion is another pivotal point of getting your content out there and preventing it from getting lost in the noise. Short and sweet social media posts and advertisements via Google ads or social media ads can do wonders when it comes to this part of the process.
Repurposing content essentially means you take the content you already have and readjust it for different types of use. As such, it’s a practice that is especially handy when it comes to saving time and money.
Let’s say you have a long-form, thoroughly researched ROI-led article that provides your leads with in-depth insights into a matter that concerns them. Writing that kind of article takes some time and substantial funds, but the efforts always pay off because you end up having much more than just one article after creating it.
Namely, you can repurpose that article into shorter-form pieces, social media posts, posts on forums and communities such as Quora, YouTube videos, and can even provide you with a topic for a podcast.
That goes for any first-rate piece of content – if you create something of high value, rich with insights and brimming with knowledge, in turn, you’ll get a well of ideas that won’t dry up any time soon.
Now that’s what we call a sure ROI of your content marketing plan.
9. Conversion rate optimization
Conversion rate optimization means keeping your content fresh, engaging, and actionable during its existence on the web, so it keeps getting those conversions rolling in regularly and predictably.
Running content audits now and then should become a habit, so you can see what still delivers results and what’s become outdated or is underperforming for another reason.
Once you’ve pinpointed what content could do with some freshening up, all you need to do is just that – refresh, revitalize and fine-tune your content, so it stays up to date.
On the other hand, if your content failed to deliver because you didn’t nail the content-market fit the first time around, conversion rate optimization can help with that as well. All it takes is some rearranging and adapting content for the proper market and audience, and voilà – your conversion rates will go through the roof in no time.
That way, you can make the most of the content you’ve already created over and time again, which means that every dime you’ve invested into creating a content marketing plan and executing it will return manifold.
After all, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can use what you already have within your reach.
10. Rinse & repeat
As your business grows and scales, its stages and goals will inevitably change. Due to that, you’ll have to adjust your content marketing plan accordingly, as sticking to a routine will only manage to get you to hit the plateau in no time.
Stagnation is, after all, something you want to avoid at all costs, particularly when you consider that the market and its demands are constantly shifting, altering, and leveling up.
Updating and tuning your content marketing plan for SaaS is something you should get used to repeating as many times as necessary, all the while following the 10-step blueprint we’ve provided you with.
Bonus tip: hire a content marketing agency
Now that you’ve learned how to create a content marketing plan for SaaS, some of you probably feel a bit overwhelmed. To be honest, while this process may not be too intricate, it isn’t exactly a stroll down the park either.
The good thing is that you don’t have to be a one-man band that takes care of every single part of creating a content marketing plan when you surely have other matters to attend to as a business owner.
The solution is simple – all you need to do is hire experienced, well-versed professionals whose expertise is precisely creating top-quality content. You can rely on freelance content creators for creating content. Still, if you want an overall approach that will cover you from start to finish, then a content marketing agency with a tried and proven method of achieving tangible results is a wiser choice.
When looking for a content marketing agency, there sure is plenty of fish in the sea, so to say, but if you do your research well and thoroughly, you will surely succeed in singling out the best content marketing agency for your SaaS.
So to wrap it all up and send you on your way – if you have your eyes set on that sweet ROI prize, putting some time and money into creating a content marketing plan for SaaS by following the 10-step process we’ve laid out for you and setting it in motion will seriously pay off.
Remember always to keep tabs on content marketing and its ever-changing trends, or, even better, leave it to a team of professionals that will do all the rough work for you, from top to bottom.
If you’re eager to create a content marketing plan for SaaS that guarantees ROI, a predictable stream of high-quality SQLs, and inbound customers each month, you can always book a free strategy call with us, and we’ll get you going in no time.