What Is B2B SaaS Content Marketing and What NOT To Do In 2023
In SaaS (Software as a Service), the first step toward lasting success is developing a product that helps people achieve their goals. The second step is to create equally relevant and helpful content that empowers, educates, and provides value to your ideal customer. Thus, a strategy-backed content marketing strategy is integral. B2B SaaS Content Marketing is a unique challenge because you must humanize complex technology into an empathy-driven human experience.
Without content marketing that effectively resonates with your target audience, the success of your app, platform, or service can suffer an unnecessarily sparse customer base.
This post is all about how you can harness the power of B2B SaaS Copywriting and help promote a thriving product lifecycle. I’ll be the Navi to your Link, and guide you through this comprehensive (AKA really long), showing you how to avoid the many pitfalls that lead to cricket in your content marketing strategy.
Below I’ve outlined all the talking points in a neat little menu, so you can jump to the subjects that matter most to you, and save your poor pointer finger some scrolling duty…
As you can see, from the whats and whys to the what not to do and how-tos, I’m stuffing my years of experience as a professional B2B SaaS Copywriter into a one-stop-shop of all things content marketing.
Before we dive into the post, I created a helpful resource you can take with you after you close the tab on this blog post.
To cut down on your research time, I’ve compiled a BIG list of SaaS blog topic tools you can tailor to your specific product and target audience.
I’ve also included a free comprehensive blog template that you can customize to your liking! Sign up with your email address below, and you’ll get a welcome email with all the goodies inside.
Download KBK’s FREE Beginner B2B SaaS Content Marketing Kit
Save time coming up with topics your audience will want to click on.
Create better content faster with strategically-developed templates.
Improve conversions because your content is more than just words on a page.
What is B2B SaaS Content Marketing?
B2B SaaS content marketing is the strategic conceptualization, execution, and iteration of marketing assets like blog posts, social media, email marketing, and video marketing. The most effective content marketing requires a lot of planning, customer and competitor research, and defining success metrics based specifically on your business goals. And that all has to happen before a single word gets written.
Examples of B2B SaaS content marketing include
Video Marketing (Youtube, TikTok, Webinars, etc.)
The Purpose Of Content Marketing
The point of content marketing is the same, no matter what industry you’re in:
Establish industry authority
Build trust and reputation
Provide value with the sole intention of serving the reader
Compel prospects to venture further into the sales funnel
While content marketing influences a brand’s success in generating revenue, content marketing isn’t about selling anything. Content marketing supports “selling”, but should never be a sales pitch. Great content is about what you can do for your potential customer—not what they can do for you.
Content marketing is like inviting someone on a coffee date. No commitment, no expectations… just an introduction.
If the date goes well (i.e., you provide value and prove you’re not a creep), the person may want to go on a second date (i.e., subscribe to your newsletter) to learn more about you.
From there, your content marketing evolves into something focused on selling (but still leading with value and reciprocity)—but that’s a discussion for another blog post.
5 Reasons Why You Need B2B SaaS Content Marketing
The benefits of content marketing have revealed themselves year after year. With Millenials and Gen Z becoming the consumer majority, they make their buying decisions based not just on the quality of a product, but the quality of the brand experience.
Your content marketing is a massive part of the brand experience.
They have high expectations from the brands they invest in. However, when content marketing is executed correctly—the results are invaluable to a thriving product lifecycle. Here are five essential benefits of prioritizing B2B SaaS content marketing.
Number 1: Increases organic traffic
Most people think content marketing matters because of the organic traffic it generates for your websites and platforms. While that IS true, it’s not necessarily that simple.
There’s a lot that goes into getting content to rank—and when you don’t understand the technical elements that go into such content, it leads to tons of frustration, confusion—and, worst of all—a belief that content marketing doesn’t offer enough ROI to justify the investment.
But when you work with B2B SaaS content marketing experts like me-e-e-e, I can help you blend the creative and technical components into great content that helps attract more people to your brand.
A Teeny Disclaimer: Too many factors go into Google’s decision to rank a page that I can’t and won’t promise specific page results. However… What I can promise is writing content that’s as valuable, engaging, optimized, and accessible as possible.
Number 2: Build awareness for your product or service
People can’t buy your product if they don’t know it exists. As a consumer, I can’t articulate how vital brand awareness is to SaaS. I can’t tell you how often I stumble upon an app or tool that completely changes my workflow—but it was by accident or word of mouth.
When you develop great content marketing, you make it easier for people who would love your product to find you. Why? Because your content automatically ANSWERS their questions and helps them solve PROBLEMS they, sometimes, don’t even realize they have.
Number 3: Establishes authority and expertise that sets you apart from competitors
This sort of falls under the umbrella of brand awareness, but I classify it more as brand reputation. Great B2B SaaS content marketing establishes your knowledge and authority in your industry.
People learn that they can trust you, and that means they trust that your product can help solve their problems. The better your content is, and the more consistently you publish it, the better chance you have of standing out from your competitors.
The value of content marketing can’t be underestimated. Its conversion power often has little to do with making an immediate sale—and everything to do with creating rich relationships that keep you top of mind. This prioritization of nurturing relationships can translate to easy buying decisions for your prospects when the time comes that they’re ready to invest.
Number 4: Increases retention by nurturing relationships with users beyond the monetary transaction
Your relationship with customers doesn’t end when they hit “Buy now.” If anything, it’s only the beginning. Content marketing helps you stay top of mind, nurture relationships with current users, and primes them for future product launches or promotions.
Number 5: Identifies, resonates, and converts the right users
The most crucial marketing element is focusing on WHO you’re marketing to. Every single word is written specifically with a specific person in mind. Not to stroke your ego, and not to make someone else (your competitors) look bad.
Content marketing falls flat when it doesn’t focus on the person reading it. However, you want to ensure it’s written for the RIGHT PERSON. Not everyone will benefit from your product, and content marketing helps the ones who WILL discover your solution.
Through keywords, pain point identification, and empathy-driven content that directly benefits the unique characteristics of your target demographic, well-executed content marketing is like weaving a magic spell that attracts those most likely to invest in your product.
Which Formats work best for SaaS Content Marketing?
Let’s talk formats now that we know the what and the why. Some believe you gotta be everywhere simultaneously, but that’s not necessarily true. While it’s perfectly fine if you want to present yourself on all channels and formats, they aren’t all created equal—or even equally effective.
Below I’ve compiled some formats that work best for creating SaaS content. Best of all, every format can be repurposed into content for additional channels and platforms. Create content for one platform, and you can easily transform it into another. This means each asset can generate leads from multiple platforms—and becomes more accessible to a broader audience.
People have said that blogging is a dead art. If TV killed the radio star, then video marketing did that to the humble blog. But that isn’t the case. Blogs are still incredible marketing assets that do much more than discuss a specific topic.
They help generate consistent organic traffic.
You can repurpose them into video and social media content.
They can help you build backlinks through guest blogging.
Consistent, strategic, and targeted blogging is integral to building your B2B SaaS content marketing strategy. From helpful guides about using your product to sharing your unique perspective on topics in your industry, there’s so much you can achieve with this asset.
While video hasn’t killed the blog, it is a highly-effective marketing channel for SaaS. Since the industry can get complex, and not everyone learns precisely the same, video marketing makes your content more accessible and digestible.
According to a study by HubSpot, 92% of those surveyed say video yields a positive ROI. Some examples of SaaS brands doing great video marketing are:
Every video is packed full of valuable and actionable information. In addition, HubSpot’s visual, tone, and style consistency shows they care about their customers’ experience.
The productivity platform focuses on helping viewers get the most out of their project management. Videos are quick and straightforward, but the production quality doesn’t suffer. Beautiful animation and easy-to-follow screen capture make it effortless for users of every skill level to optimize their productivity.
The graphic design platform focuses entirely on empowering viewers with information that helps them reach their marketing goals. While the product mainly focuses on making graphic design accessible and easy, its video content covers all things marketing.
SaaS email copywriting can be easy to overlook when building your SaaS content marketing strategy. But I cannot emphasize how important investing in high-quality email marketing is to your conversion.
In fact, all of your hard work publishing great blogs and videos will suffer if you don’t draw prospects into a nurture campaign. A well-engaged email list helps you:
Stay top of mind by visiting their inbox each week instead of hoping they’ll remember to return to your site to read more blog posts.
Develop more effective campaigns based on tags and the types of CTAs each subscriber clicks—allowing you to better your chances of making a sale because your marketing pinpoints their unique pain points.
Drive traffic to your marketing channels by sending them alerts when you publish new blogs and videos.
Keep users informed about patches, updates, and future product launches.
In other words, creating a B2B SAAS content marketing strategy is practically meaningless without email marketing. However, just as with all forms of content, it requires particular skill and strategy. Make sure you work with the right SaaS copywriter to help your campaigns have the best chance to convert.
Influencer Marketing (AKA Sponsorships)
Let someone else do the hard work for you. Social proof plays a significant role in someone’s buying decision because people will listen to someone they trust over just your word as a company.
Influencer marketing is a fantastic way to use the trust factor to your benefit and reach an audience of people already in your sector. For example, HubSpot’s State Of Consumer 2023 Report showed that 33% of Gen Z consumers purchased a product recommended by an influencer.
Stages of Awareness and why they’re CRUCIAL to Effective B2B SaaS content marketing
When developing your content, awareness is a big player. Depending on how familiar someone is with your product/brand will dictate how you curate and deliver content to them. It changes the questions you answer, the level of information they need, and much more.
For convenience, I’ve provided a cute little graphic below that describes each awareness stage and how it shapes your content strategy.
The Elephant In The Room (AKA: AI And Content Marketing)
We can’t discuss content marketing without addressing the AI elephant in the room. Artificial Intelligence is causing quite a stir in the marketing industry, and it’s (understandably) earned some polarizing attention.
As technology improves, brands are trying to find the most effective and ethical way of taking advantage of AI without jeopardizing the quality of their content. I won’t sit here and ask silly questions about AI being able to replace designers and writers.
At this point, it just can’t. One day it may be able to achieve half-decent work… but that’s way down the road.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually do think AI is super cool. I’m excited about the benefits it offers our society. However, I’m not a fan as an artist, writer, or marketer for a few reasons. I’ll try to be as unbiased as possible (since this is about helping your B2B SaaS content marketing be the best it can be), but I will take a stand and say:
You do not want AI writing your content yet—and probably never, to be honest.
The Problems (How NOT to use AI and why)
Improving AI can only happen if HUMANS produce up-to-date information and content to learn from. If everyone tries replacing human content writers with AI algorithms, everything we read will exist in a sort of echo chamber. Thus, leading to stale, redundant, and outdated content. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are only as good as the information they can pull from.
You spend as much time fact-checking as you would just writing it in the first place. No doubt you’ve heard some of the many copyright infringement horror stories. Art being repurposed (stolen) without credit. Content accidentally plagiarizing other sources. Nothing kills your reputation faster than plagiarism in your copy.
Letting AI write your content leads to dull, rigid, and forgettable copy. While AI is getting better at detecting and infusing tone (with much effort from you), it’s nothing compared to a regular human copywriter. It loses personality and the strategic wordflow that keeps people reading.
Humans are better at speaking to humans—especially when dealing with complicated technology like SaaS. A human touch is crucial in bridging the gap.
The Benefits (AKA How I’d Use AI Ethically)
Now that we’ve grappled with the cons, let’s talk about my favorite ways of incorporating AI into content marketing. I don’t think AI is “evil” or the death of copywriters… it’s just going to change the writing “process.” It will likely optimize our research and outlining strategies—which is awesome for everyone—including us!
I love AI because it’s fantastic for eliminating blank page syndrome. I can punch in a relevant prompt and get some direction on where I want to go, or specific talking points that help me develop an outline.
It’s also a fun and fast way of expanding on an idea. Using the previous pro as a jumping point, if I’m researching a new topic, sometimes AI helps me figure out additional questions to ask about the subject. (FYI: This is just stuff I’m playing around with—and not applying to my work yet.)
I’ve seen some really savvy folks create cool lead magnets, tools, and code using AI. Some of my favorite examples are:
A video by ahrefs that talks about how to generate email contacts automatically into a Google Sheet.
A video about how GotchSEO created a free script reader tool that tells you how long it takes to read the script aloud.
Disclaimer: I know many people mention using AI for SEO, but I’ve also heard many smart folks say it’s ineffective. I’m not an expert on this (and this post is about B2B SaaS content marketing and not SEO), so I won’t comment any further. However, the ahref’s video linked above goes over several reasons why it’s used incorrectly regarding SEO.
What not to do in your SaaS content marketing
Great content marketing isn’t complicated, but it’s not easy. A big mistake is thinking you can make it up as you go along. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to paralyze yourself trying to be a perfectionist, but there are some content traps I’d like to point out so you don’t have to struggle unnecessarily.
Writing like a computer—not a person (AKA: using too much jargon)
Software as a service is technologically complex; sometimes, that complexity can spill into the content. For example, when a post or video is filled with industry jargon or overly-complicated language, people bounce faster than a bunny on caffeine.
Every word you write must serve the greater purpose of providing value. Simple is always better in copywriting. Don’t talk down to your audience, but keep content as conversational and easy to understand as possible. The better someone understands what you’re saying, the more likely they’ll resonate with it.
Pro Tip: Use tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor to make your writing clearer and more engaging. A good rule is to keep most of your content at a 5th-7th grade reading level. This isn’t a “do this every single time or else” rule, but it’s a great guideline for most B2B SaaS content marketing you create for end-users.
Over-generalizing your content to reach the most possible people
This may sound counterintuitive, but the last thing you want to do when publishing content is trying to reach the widest audience possible. Trying to create content that everyone will like won’t work.
A report by Marketing Evolution highlights just how much money gets wasted when you don’t speak directly to your target audience.