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How 3 Different Enterprise SaaS Content Strategies Work (With Examples)

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How 3 Different Enterprise SaaS Content Strategies Work (With Examples)

There’s a common misconception that a blog is the best content strategy for all SaaS companies.

While I love blogs, they’re only one piece of the puzzle – and one piece does not a comprehensive strategy make.

Having worked with a number of SaaS companies over the years, I’ve found that creating content repositories oftentimes makes more sense with how unique SaaS user journeys are.

In this article, you’ll learn how comparison content, educational content, and support content can engage users at essential touchpoints on the path to conversion.

Comparison Content Repositories

Consumers in the SaaS space, while searching with solution lead queries will also use “versus” and “alternative” queries to find service providers who may not necessarily rank highly for the marquee product phrases.

This broadens the competitive landscape outside of just who is ranking page one for the typical target phrases.

These are worth using “business intelligence” combined with metrics like search volume to prioritize which comparison pages should be generated.

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The focus here isn’t to generate high volumes of traffic, as anyone searching brand X versus brand Y will have some level of marketplace education and may likely be close to conversion.

Gitlab’s Comparison Repository

Gitlab has a large comparison repository that at the time of writing consists of 123 pages and ranks for 3,024 keywords, generating an estimated 11,000 sessions a month (Semrush U.S.).

This is a powerful content hub, as Gitlab has a product offering that has a large overlap with a number of other providers.

These comparison pages enable users researching specific product features to put Gitlab on their radar when on the face of it, a DevOps platform might not seem relevant (depending on the consumer’s market knowledge).

Screenshot from About.gitlab.com, July 2021Gitlab Comparison Table (July 2021)

This also acts as a tool to move users to the next stage of the funnel with Gitlab, and links through to these pages are linked prominently from the homepage.

Notions’ Comparison Pages

Notion has taken a different approach to comparison content by singling out two of its main competitors – Evernote & Confluence – with specific comparison pages linked to the site footer.

These pages capitalize on the market knowledge, generated through general marketing and reputation, with the Evernote comparison page ranking for 208 keywords and the Confluence page ranking for 82 keywords.

Educational Content Repositories

Providing a single “value proposition” or looking at the search intent of keywords in a linear fashion can be difficult.

As-A-Service organizations tend to have varying customer bases with differing levels of need, buying power, and technical capabilities (and knowledge) around the product, as well as a narrow-view approach to optimizing for organic users.

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This is why the content hub/SEO moat approach is so powerful in this niche.

In terms of a traditional SEO view, it creates a lot of good content including a number of target keywords and their variations.

Taking a wider view, producing strong, non-commercial content covering a large number of topics (and search queries) within a well structured (and internally linked) area of the website creates a content repository with a large number of varying user value propositions that caters to users at different stages of their journey.

It also helps improve the topical relevancy of the domain as a whole.

When a SaaS client published the first section of what has become a large, comprehensive “learning center” in mid-2017,  Google began to crawl and see value in this content area.

The website also began to improve rankings across a number of commercially valuable phrases on more commercially focused landing pages.

This learning center, four years on, now ranks for an estimated 151,247 keywords (31,000 of which are on page one). It generates 1,378,281 organic sessions a month – around 25% of the domain’s total estimated organic traffic.

SaaS Learning Center Organic Traffic (Semrush Estimates)Screenshot from Semrush, October 2021SaaS Learning Center Organic Traffic (Semrush Estimates)

When building educational repositories like this, it’s essential to be as commercially agnostic as possible. The goal of this content is to improve domain topical relevancy and bring users to the site.

Including heavily commercial CTAs and sales language across these pages can dilute their value propositions and limit ranking potential.

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Google examples of these content hubs in the wild include:

  • Imperva’s learning center.
  • Atlassian university.
  • Asana academy.
  • Adobe learning center.
  • StackPath edge academy.

Educational repositories also create a really natural location within a website’s architecture to include large term glossaries that can internally link to both pages within the learning center and to commercial pages.

Support Content Repositories

When I start working with a SaaS (or tech) company, the support section is one area where there are oftentimes “quick wins” in terms of both increasing relevant traffic and content production.

The reason I say “quick” in terms of content production is that all the content needs to do is satisfy the user query.

For a large number of support articles and entries, these can be short two to three sentence pieces that link off to documentation or other articles/pages.

To find the questions that you need to be answering in your support documentation, there are a number of sources you should utilize and combine:

  • Google’s PAA (People Also Asked) feature.
  • Reddit, Quora, StackOverflow – anywhere where users may be posting questions relevant to your brand/product.
  • Third-party SEO tools that allow question filtering.

In this process, you may also find elements to include in your other repositories, but you want to be more focused on your brand/product here.

By focusing on the Support Center, you can massively increase the amount of value it’s bringing your site as a whole.

For example, in the graph below, optimization, pruning, and consolidation started in mid-2016. Creating relevant support articles became a feature of new product GTMs (go-to-market strategies) to continuously add content to that area of the site.

Support Center Organic PerformanceScreenshot from Semrush, October 2021Support Center Organic Performance

Conclusion

While SaaS companies will have different content needs to fulfill their marketing objectives, the goal is always the same: Get a user into your business.

Any successful content strategy, then, will need to be customized to match takeaways for different types of users along their journey.

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And as you’ve seen with the three examples above, different strategies can work very well in tandem.

*All data used is publicly accessible via third-party tools.

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7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions

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7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions

There’s an old maxim in the marketing world, “content is king.” This has been true as long as search engine optimization has been around, and probably dates back even further in the world of general marketing.

But as simple as that adage is, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation, namely what kind of content?

In those early SEO days, it meant identifying your keywords and jamming them into pages anywhere they would fit.

But modern digital marketers are smarter (not to mention that strategy doesn’t work anymore).

These days, successful content starts with a plan that’s backed up by numbers, a data-driven content strategy, if you will.

But what exactly does that mean?

In simple terms, it means developing content using an approach built on user information. This can include information like demographics, survey answers, consumer preferences, etc.

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You probably don’t need to be told why this is important, but just to make sure there’s no doubt, let’s be clear: Using a data-driven content strategy helps you decide where to spend your time, effort, and money.

In other words, you have finite resources. You don’t want to waste them on people who aren’t likely to convert.

A data-driven content strategy allows you to tailor your marketing campaigns to generate the best ROI.

For the purposes of search engine and PPC specialists, it can help you decide which keywords to go after, ensuring you’re targeting the right audience.

Sounds simple enough, right? All you need to do is pop open your content research tool and look for commonalities, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

But never fear, that’s why you’re here.

In this helpful guide, we’ll give you a step-by-step approach to developing, implementing, and optimizing your very own data-driven content strategy.

Ready to get started?

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1. Set Your Content Goals

The very first thing you need to decide is what you’re hoping to accomplish. You can’t be all things to all people, so you need to make some choices.

Do you want to increase traffic? Are you looking to make sales? Do you want more leads?

Determine what your content goals are and identify the channels best suited to meet them. Once you’ve done this, you can establish your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Be sure to keep this in mind while you’re creating content.

Everything you add to your website or campaign should serve a purpose. If you’re not sure what it’s doing, your audience won’t know either.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to figure out who to go after to make it happen.

Comb through the demographic data and other information you have access to. Spot commonalities that occur across many or some of your targets.

Many marketers find it helpful to create customer personas. Using your data, imagine a typical person for each of the various roles you’re targeting.

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For example, you may have a prospect persona, a lead persona, a buyer persona and a repeat persona.

Put yourself in the shoes of these imaginary people.

What type of language resonates with them? What is their highest level of education? Do they want professionalism or personability? Why are they on your website? What do they hope to accomplish with your help? Be as detailed as you can.

Many marketers even give them a name. For example, if you were creating personas for your plumbing supply company, you may have:

Lead Larry – 45 years old

A mid-career plumber, Lead Larry owns his own one-man business. He makes $75,000 a year. He went to a trade school and his work van is 6 years old. He’s looking for a way to reduce overhead and find cheaper parts than his local supply company. He values hard work, honesty, and professionalism.

Be as creative and detailed as you like, just remember this isn’t a fiction-writing exercise. You’re creating personas based on your typical target, so keep your persona in line with who they actually are.

3. Review Your Competitor’s Content And Do Topical Research

Now it’s time to take a look at what the competition is doing. Maybe they’re just flying by the seat of their pants, but they’re probably putting some effort into their campaigns, too.

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Review what they’re doing and look for what appears to be working.

For example, if they’re blogging, they may have a view counter on the page. If so, what type of blogs are getting the best results?

Look for trends in your industry. What’s everyone talking about? Is there a big trade show coming up? Or a new technology about to be released?

Figure out who you’re competing with for clicks, not just to see what’s working for them, but also to gain ideas for content of your own. Start making a list of things you want to cover.

If there are influencers in your niche, this is also a good time to check and see what they’re posting about.

4. Conduct Keyword Research

Once you’ve settled on what your content should be, it’s time to perform that old SEO staple: keyword research.

Using a tool like Google Analytics, Semrush, or something platform-specific like YouTube’s Search Insights, figure out the type of language your content needs to use.

This will help you in more than just the SEO aspect, too.

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Using keywords in your content demonstrates to your audience that you speak the same language they do. And that doesn’t mean English, it means using the nomenclature everyone in the niche will understand.

Going back to our plumbing supply example, that means referring to a product as a “three-fourths full port threaded ball valve,” rather than a “metal connection thingy.”

Okay, that’s a ridiculous example, but you get the point.

The good thing is that you probably already have a working, if not expert knowledge of this.

5. Create Content That Aligns With Your Goals

If you remember, the very first step to creating a data-driven content plan was to determine your goals.

Now, equipped with everything you’ve done since then, it’s time to create the content that addresses them.

Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be F. Scott Fitzgerald to write the kind of content your audience wants. And you’ve already done a lot of the foundational work – now it’s just time to put everything together.

Your content could take nearly any form, videos, blog posts, infographics, case studies, or white papers.

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If you’re not comfortable doing these on your own, it should be reasonably easy to find a writer or videographer in your area or extended network. Just ask your connections for recommendations.

If you’re still not confident in your ability to deliver or you can’t afford to hire someone, don’t worry. We have an excellent piece that will walk you through everything you need to know about content creation.

6. Promote Your Content On The Right Channels

You’ve created your masterpiece of relevant content. Now it’s time to share it with the world. But how do you do that? Do you just post it on your corporate blog and wait for Google to index it?

You could take that kind of passive approach, but this is great stuff you’ve just made. Everyone in your niche will want to consume it. And to make sure you get the eyes you want on it, it’s time to promote it.

But before you go linking to it on Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform and aggregator site you can think of, pause for a minute.

When you were developing your user personas, you hopefully received some data about where your targets live online.

Are they regular Twitter users? Do they haunt industry-specific forums? Are you connected to them via Slack or other instant messenger apps?

Find out where they hang out and post away. In most cases, if you’re not sure if your targets use a platform or not, you should just go ahead and post anyway.

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There are some sites where you can be dinged for unpopular content (Reddit, for example), but most of the time, there’s no harm.

This is also a time to start thinking about how you can repurpose your new content.

Do you have an opportunity for a guest blog post on another site? Or, would your new infographic fit perfectly in your next investor report?

If your data-driven content is built on the solid principles we’ve discussed, it will get engagements.

7. Use Analytics To Measure Results

After your content goes live, you can begin measuring your ROI to see what you did well, where you missed the mark, and what could be optimized to perform better.

This is where the KPIs discussed back in step one come back into play.

Some of these are easier to track than others.

If increasing sales or conversions was your goal, you should have data that backs up performance. Likewise, if you set out to improve traffic to your website, you should have the analytics to track that.

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Things like brand visibility can be a bit trickier.

Regardless of what it is you’re using to determine success, you should find the data you need to track performance in Google Analytics.

For a detailed walkthrough of this process, we’ve provided information on exactly how you can measure content marketing success.

A Data-Driven Content Strategy Is A Winning One

Data is a marketer’s best friend. It tells you exactly what works, what doesn’t, and often, why that’s the case.

And a data-driven content strategy is vital for success in today’s hyper-competitive business and SEO environment.

Use the tools available to you to gather data – that’s why they’re there.

Learn to identify what the numbers are telling you and use them to help you craft the kind of content that not only attracts views but gets shares and achieves your goals.

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Featured Image: metamorworks/Shutterstock

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