I have experience in this area so I’d like to take some time to answer this question.
When we are talking about B2B SaaS, we’re talking about an industry that has national keywords and lots of competitors that have been in the biz for a long time.
And in all honesty, your competitors probably understand the power of content marketing. At least some of them will understand its value.
If you are a startup just joining this industry, you may be funded which makes your life a heck of alot easier. If you’re bootstrapping then you’re going to have to get a lot more creative.
For me, personally, I feel that creativity always leads to better outcomes anyway.
Developing a Solid Blogging Strategy
With a brand-new content strategy, it’s all about creating content that your customers care about. You can figure out what they want in several ways:
A.) Since you already know your customer, write down your ideas about your ideal customer on paper.
B.) Use information provided by your competitors. They are a great resource.
When evaluating what your competition is doing, please pay attention to the following areas:
- Get a history of all of their blog posts.
- What are they writing about?
- What are their titles?
- What are their topics?
- Are people engaging with their content? How often?
- Are people sharing their content on social media? How often?
- Use Ahrefs or similar to determine their blog traffic.
By evaluating all of this information, you can tell if your competition is connecting with their customers – i.e. your customers.
Just to be clear, this isn’t the Holy Grail though. Many of your competitors aren’t doing content marketing right.
So don’t look at what they’re doing and assume that it’s gospel. Because sometimes your competitors are getting it wrong too.
C.) Initiate in-depth interviews with your customers.
Ask your customers questions like:
- What are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to their business?
- What made them seek out a solution like yours in the first place?
- What kind of publications do they read? How often do they read them?
- Do people in your industry actually go online and read content? Remember, certain industries don’t, so content marketing might not be a good fit.
After asking all of these questions of your customers, gather the answers and use this information to build up multiple personas of your ideal customer.
To start this off on the right foot, you have to create a solid blogging strategy. You have to get to know your customer and understand what they want, while leaving no room for unnecessary assumptions that might not be correct.
An Example Customer Persona:
Sally the accountant is in her mid-40s, she’s married, likes to watch MacGyver in her spare time, she’s a mid-level executive at a firm with 500-1000 employees, and she reports to XYZ decision-maker and she needs to make sure that her numbers look good on this end as a daily concern, and some of the industry publications she reads are ABC.
You create these personas, and based on them, you are starting to lay the groundwork on who you’re writing to.
Whether you’re writing this content yourself, or you have writers to write it for you, having this information helps create content that your customer base will find valuable when reading.
Building Your Content Strategy
Are you going to do the standard blogging model?
In this model, you are blogging once a week. You are either writing content that builds an audience or you’re writing content that’s going to be good for the search engines.
Often times, the content you create will be good to build an audience and please the search engines. They are often mutually exclusive.
Sometimes content that would be very helpful to a user in your specific industry isn’t going to get searched for a lot. But, if a user does somehow come across it via the search engines or paid traffic, they could end up opting in to your list and then you have a subscriber that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
And once they’re on your list, you can keep marketing to them over and over again.
Who Are You Writing for?
You have to decide if you are:
- writing for the search engines
- writing for people
- or writing for both
The latest, most effective content creation technique right now is called the hub and spoke model.
The Hub & Spoke Model
In this content model, the overall goal is to create premium guides. Besides that, the other major goal is to create really, really big thematically relevant interlinked content.
Here’s an explanation of the hub and spoke.
The hub is a meaty, long form piece of content.
The spokes are also long form, high quality articles that help build out certain points of the main hub article. They are perfect for fleshing out certain topics that you touched upon in your main hub article.
If the content is truly compelling, it will end up becoming a backlink generating machine.
Because of this unique ecosystem of content, the homepage will rank highly in Google, the spokes pages will rank highly in Google, and you will be looked upon as an authority in your market.
If you set it up correctly, people will gladly read this content. They will remember you and your business. And if you add an email subscription box, they will even opt-in to your mailing list.
This method can provide very powerful results.
It’s also becoming more popular because so many people are now creating content.
Now you have to create better and more strategic content in order to set yourself apart for success.
My Recommended Strategy
I recommend creating these large, content rich guides that your audience will love.
Think about a specific topic. Something that’s really, really important to your industry.
Think about how you can break that down into a main article (hub) and then and then subparts (spokes).
Figure out how you can link it altogether. And then spend some time writing it or have a trusted writer create the content for you and put it all together.
Once this piece is completed over several months, you can then repurpose the content as well. You can turn it into a downloadable e-book, break it into pieces and use it for your newsletter, create an infographic, turn it into a video, or even use it for print advertisements.
In the meantime, you should be promoting the heck out of it.
The moral of The story is this:
You’ll generate amazing visibility in your industry if you begin with quality content.
This is going to put you on the map. This is what is going to make people stand up and take notice of you.
While this strategy is good, blogger outreach is even better. I’ve written extensively on this topic in a number of posts on my blog.
Here are the links:
Thanks for taking the time to read this answer. I really hope you found it valuable.