3 Stages of SaaS Content Marketing

Frustrating, isn’t it?

You decide it’s time to start promoting your app with content. SEO, PPC and other channels you’ve used so far no longer cut it.

But where do you start?

Post long form guides, like Quicksprout? After all, that’s what half of your competitors have been doing, right? Or maybe shorter how-to’s would work better? Industry roundups? What about building an email list?

Here’s the catch:

Content strategy isn’t just about what you publish. It’s about focusing on what your company NEEDS TO ACHIEVE at this particular moment of its existence.

And in most cases it means working up through the three key stages of SaaS content marketing:

  1. Awareness,
  2. Audience, and
  3. Leads

Here, let me explain.

Stage 1: Awareness – Guest Posting and PR

You know:

When no one knows about your app, you have no user base to leverage and your site gets only a trickle of traffic…

…then you shouldn’t be focusing on anything else than increasing brand awareness.

You need to introduce the product to as many people as possible. Build your reputation. Trust in the product. And connect with prospects on a personal level too.

And since you have no audience of your own, the quickest way to achieve it is through guest posting and PR.

Guest posting gives you a chance to shake hands with the existing and relevant audiences. Many of these people might already be experiencing the problem your app is solving. Some might even be looking for a solution. Others seek to learn more about the problem first.

Publishing on sites they frequent gives you a chance to connect with them all. Offer advice and insights these people lack. Build reputation and trust. And whisper a few words about your app too.

Example: Leo Widrich, Buffer’s CEO grew their user base from 0 to 100k in 9 months through guest posting.

Stage 2: Audience – Blogging, Content Production and Promotion

Once potential users begin to recognize your brand, it’s time to start building a tribe of your own. People who believe you. Trust you. And are willing to engage with your product.

How? By publishing helpful content on your site to attract relevant traffic.

Target people at the start of the buyer’s journey. Help them learn more about their problem. Answer their most basic questions. Offer advice on the best ways to address their pain points. And direct them to more resources that could help.

Also, put an effort into promoting the content. Use any means possible to position it in front of the target audience.

Then repurpose your articles:

  • Convert them into Slideshare presentations.
  • Rewrite as guest posts.
  • Publish key takeaways on social media.
  • And use other content types to reach even more potential users.

Don’t neglect the search either. 72% of customers at the early stages of the buying cycle turn to Google for information. Implement SEO strategies to rank it as high as possible for relevant searches.

Stage 3: Leads – Email List Building and Lead Generation

FACT:

Leads propel your growth.

A growing list of leads = more opportunities for connection and user activation.

So, once you’ve developed a solid brand awareness and a loyal visitor base, you need to begin converting them into leads.

There are many content based lead generation strategies to use:

  • Developing lead magnets,
  • Expanding content with Content Upgrades,
  • Creating tools or mini-sites,
  • Running webinars,
  • Offering email drip campaigns and many other Middle of the Funnel content types.

Your strategy will depend on your product, price, available resources and the target audience.

And that’s it. All that’s left is to rinse and repeat every stage to ensure that you’re always one step ahead of the competition.

TL:DR:

When starting out promoting your app with content marketing, first focus on building awareness through guest posting on popular industry sites.

Once users begin to recognize your brand, invest in developing own audience through posting Top of the Funnel content on your site.

Lastly, convert blog traffic into leads with Middle of the Funnel content.

And then …. rinse and repeat.