Selling is hard.
You can spend weeks building customer personas and calculating how to target them, but if you don’t say the right thing at the right time, then even your most ideal client might just ignore you.
See, in life, every time you initiate a conversation with a stranger, you are doing so based on an assumption. One that states they are willing to give you a shred of their time or attention.
Beyond that, for a “cold” outreach to have any success, your lead must be:
Aware of the problem you have the solution for.
Open to using SaaS.
Purchase-ready with the budget to spend.
Able to trust your brand.
An influencer within their company.
It's a long list, isn't it? These stipulations are the downfall of outbound marketing, and make converting prospects a finicky and tricky process.
The flaw of outbound marketing in the SaaS industry
Today, the average consumer views around 10,000 adverts per day (Source: Forbes). Making your voice (and approach) stand out in this environment is almost impossible.
Although you might be catering your offering to the needs of your target audience, ultimately, you’re still reaching out to someone on a channel that works for you (regardless of whether that’s through Google Ads or LinkedIn).
Either way, your contact might be unwanted and unappreciated. You’re likely to either be ignored, or worse… blocked. This could damage the chances of building a relationship between yourself and a lead or leave a bad first impression.
You need a different approach.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the most crucial element of inbound marketing, and it involves creating online material to share on your digital platforms.
This involves publishing informative articles on your website, social media posts across multiple platforms, and sending emails out to your list of contacts.
Why is content marketing useful to SaaS firms?
When you create content, it’s not with the intention to sell. You’re offering something of value to your audience and, over time, can start to build authentic traffic of interested leads and increase brand awareness.
Then, these same prospects who find your content will slowly progress from “slightly interested” to “high intent”. They’ll be well-informed and trust you to be a reliable and helpful brand to purchase from, benefiting your SaaS firm greatly.
By following a content marketing strategy, you have the chance to guide people through their purchasing journey. When the time is right, they’ll reach out to you. No assumptions needed.
The benefits of content marketing in B2B SaaS
When done correctly, website content marketing can be one of the cheapest ways for B2B companies to acquire leads:
Search engine adverts average £90
SEO averages £25
Email marketing average £43
LinkedIn adverts average £61
(Source: Visitor Queue).
What’s more? Content marketing has an incredible ROI, with emails alone returning 36x the amount you spent (Source: Constant Contact).
Therefore, this isn’t a channel to be ignored.
6 steps to producing valuable B2B content
Make no mistake, content marketing isn’t easy.
You have to join in on industry conversations, constantly find interesting topics to cover, and adhere to the algorithm of a variety of digital platforms to best reach your audience.
It’s confusing for anyone, but especially B2B service-providers. You aren’t trying to target just about anyone, but a group of incredibly busy people who are already the focus of your competitors.
So, to produce valuable content that best resonates with your audience, you need to follow a tried-and-tested process.
Step 1. Research your audience and competitors
There’s no point publishing content that doesn’t appeal to business owners or other professionals. You need to conduct thorough research to understand their habits and needs, and even deep-dive into their online activity to see what they spend their time interacting with. For guidance, look at what your competitors are doing.
Step 2. Plan topic ideas
Once you have a good idea of where you need to be and when, you have to start generating various ideas for:
This should follow the 30/30/30 rule, where you spend “30% of your content talking about yourself, 30% talking about others, and 30% posting fun and engaging info. This gives you room to post real-time messaging and responses with the other 10%” (Source: JB Media Group).
Step 3. Design your content calendar
Once you have a good idea of what you want to write, you need to outline your plan in a calendar and stick to a strict schedule. One of the most important elements of content marketing is consistency, so ensuring you can publish content on time is key.
Step 4. Write optimised content and publish
When you finally have everything in place, it’s time to sit down and write optimised content. This needs to be fit for purpose on each of the digital platforms you want to use (such as using hashtags on LinkedIn). Drafting, writing, and editing, is often a lengthy and time-consuming process that takes a lot of commitment to make something perfect.
Step 5. Engage with your audience
Your content marketing efforts will be useless without ongoing engagement with your audience. You have to be present to answer their questions, respond to their comments, and touch base as often as possible. Remember, in the B2B space, you need at least 7 interactions before a purchase will place (Source: B2B Marketing). The more time you spend communicating with your audience, the better your opportunity to build brand loyalty and increase sales.
Recruit content marketing specialists
It’s a lot to keep track of.
That’s why your best chance of success is to have content marketers working behind the scenes to build interest in your products and services and deliver leads directly to your sales teams.
These can be full-time, part-time, or freelance depending on your goals and your budget. A well-rounded team would include:
Content Marketing Director
Digital Marketing Manager
Social Media Manager
Email Marketing Specialist
Once you’ve sourced this talent, you can be confident you have the best minds working to connect with the people that matter… your customers.
Working With Forward Role
For help expanding your horizons and driving change in your industry through intelligent recruitment, contact us!At Forward Role, you’ll find genuine Marketing, Digital, and Tech experts who care passionately about delivering for their clients and candidates.
If you're a candidate, we'll treat you the way we'd like to be treated when making an important life decision like moving jobs. If you're a client you can expect exceptional delivery and communication as a matter of course.
Check out our latest B2B Marketing roles HERE!