We love blogs. Our SaaS clients love blogs. They are a fantastic type of content marketing that is inexpensive, drives traffic, and can establish you as an expert in your field. Blogs work in each stage of your buyer’s journey and are a great medium for expressing your brand while you educate your audience.
But if blogs are all you are doing for your content marketing, you are missing multiple opportunities to expand your audience and interact with potential customers in ways that they prefer. Not to mention, there are over 70 million blog posts published monthly. That’s a lot of competition for you, and a lot of reading for your audience.
The good news is that there are several other types of marketing content that you can use as part of your inbound strategy. In fact, you might come across articles that list over 100 content ideas that you can try. That is an overwhelming amount of choices!
So what are the different types of content that are best for SaaS companies to grow their audience?
We have researched and analyzed what content works, and compiled a list of the top 14 essential types of content you should consider for your SaaS content marketing strategies.
Choosing Which Types of Content Marketing are Best for You
Your SaaS business has a variety of customers who consume different types of content and approach the buying process in their own ways. A one-content channel strategy limits your chances of reaching and influencing this wider net of potential customers.
While starting with a blog is always a smart approach for most companies, figuring out which other types of content will work best for your content marketing depends on your target audience, your strengths, and your content goals.
Target audience: What types of content influence your customers? If you don’t know, try surveying your current customers and ask them. Review your website analytics to see where most of your traffic is coming from. Do persona research on your audience to see what types of content they are more likely to interact with and how they consume it (mobile, desktop, etc.).
Your strengths: What types of content are you comfortable producing? Maybe you or someone on your team has a talent for video or graphics. Do you have an agency that specializes in certain content? Perhaps it’s easier to explain your product via video than an article. While the most important factor in choosing content is your audience, you also need to have the capabilities to create high-quality content.
Your goals: Different types of content are better suited for different types of marketing goals. Blogs are great for SEO and backlinks, graphics are conducive for social sharing, video can build brand awareness, etc. Depending on your content marketing goals, you will want to choose the content types that will give you the best chance to achieve success.
Questions that will help you narrow your content mix
- If you had to choose one, what is your primary content type?
- How did your customers find you? What content types do they use?
- What do you need your content to do? Build awareness, drive traffic, etc.
- What types of content can you or your agency produce?
- Are there content opportunities that your competitors are not doing?
- How does content fit with your other marketing initiatives?
14 Types of Content all Saas Marketers Should Consider
- Email Marketing
- Live Webinars
- White Papers and Research Reports
- Case Studies
- Educational Courses and Certificate Programs
- Interactive Customer Testimonials
- Free Apps
- User-generated Content
1. Blog Articles
We already mentioned blogs and there’s a good reason they’re on this list. Writing useful articles on a regular basis is the best way to improve SEO for your website. Articles give you the flexibility to talk about your product in detail, while also highlighting your thought leadership and brand voice.
Blog articles are inexpensive to produce and will drive traffic to your site. Here is a mind-blowing stat to leave you with: Websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages than other websites. Google will find your website if it answers a prospect’s query!
2. Email Marketing
In the B2B space, email is one of the most effective types of content for building stronger relationships and driving conversions. Whether you want your subscriber to download something or make a purchase, the personalization of email helps you achieve your goal.
Recent research from HubSpot showed that personalizing emails could increase email click-through rates by 16%. When you take advantage of email marketing’s unique features like segmentation, A/B testing and automation, you can achieve a high level of personalization that no other marketing channel can rival.
In order to see these types of results, you have to approach email marketing as a long-term strategy. Building a subscriber list takes time, but the benefits are powerful.
Video is the fastest-growing content marketing type of the list. Video has been around for a while, yet new lead-generation features and SEO benefits have made it a favourite among SaaS marketers.
There are several ways to use video. How-to videos help educate your audience. Customer testimonials are brought to life through video. You can convey emotion and express your human side much easier in a video. Just remember that the quality of video keeps getting better and the viewers are savvy. Only get into the video mix if you are confident that your videos look professionally made.
It seems like everyone is talking about podcasts. The hype is real with more than 30 million episodes currently available! People like them because they are easy to consume on the go. Podcasts fill those in-between times like driving in your car, taking a walk, or waiting in a long line. You can create a podcast about anything as long as it is interesting and relevant to your business.
Now for the reality check about podcasts—they are a huge investment in your time. For a podcast to work effectively, you need to keep people interested for several minutes. That level of engagement requires hours of planning and speakers who are naturally gifted at talking. If you have what it takes, go for it!
5. Graphics (Infographics, Memes, Gifs)
Here we are including all types of graphics that can be used to convey important information. Graphics are perfect for visually-minded audiences who like to get bite-sized pieces of information without working too hard. You can use graphics to communicate lots of different things like statistics, customer testimonials, fun facts about your business, or visuals to teach people how to use your product.
Graphics are easy to share on social media or use in advertising to promote other pieces of content. And with a self-service tool like Piktochart, you don’t need to be a designer to create graphics on your own, as we did.
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6. Live Webinars
Live webinars give you two valuable benefits. First, it enables you to build your email list and generate high-quality leads. This survey found that 55% of B2B companies leverage webinars for this reason.
The second benefit is the actual webinar. It is an opportunity for you to present your ideas to a live audience and then conduct a Q&A session afterward. Prospects will see real people from your company share valuable information. You will create a stronger connection with your audience while gaining their contact information for future communications.
7. White Papers / Research Reports
White papers and research reports are usually longer-form content that present a specific point-of-view using primary and secondary research. They have a similar feel to an academic report with the purpose of establishing authority and credibility as a thought leader.
This type of high-value content is a strong lead generator as people will gladly exchange their contact information for a free download. Choose a topic that is relevant to your business, but also something people could use to support their own business needs. When your white paper or research report is quoted in someone else’s content, you are golden!
Ebooks are different from white papers and research reports. They are not as technical, and give you more flexibility to be creative and express your opinions on different topics. But like white papers, Ebooks can be fantastic lead magnets to find new potential customers.
You can create “How-to” guides to help people use your product or share new strategies and stories that have worked for your business. Best practices dictate your Ebook should be around 4-9 pages and include images to make it more appealing. And if you want to up your level of professionalism, you can use an Ebook creator.
9. Case Studies
Your expertise and opinions on important industry topics will go a long way to establish your credibility, but before people buy, they want to know if your product works. To close the deal, you will need to share case studies that illustrate how you helped customers succeed.
The best case studies tell a story of the customer’s business problem, how your product helped them overcome their challenges and the specific success metrics that you achieved. When your prospect is in a similar situation, they can clearly imagine how your solution helps them win.
10. Educational Courses and Certificate Programs
Online education has exploded recently and there are no signs of slowing down. More than ever, companies are searching for employee development resources to help train their people as they progress in their careers. Well, guess what? You and your team have expertise that those companies can use.
Many SaaS companies have started to provide online courses to train people, and the most popular companies like HubSpot and Salesforce even provide certifications. These programs are amazing ways to gain authority and create loyalty. If you have a customer who is certified in your product, they are not likely to switch to the competition.
Checklists are exactly what they sound like —a list of items that help people accomplish something valuable. Usually, checklists show a step-by-step process for solving a problem or completing a task. The beauty of checklists is that they are short, yet help you tremendously.
Many marketers invite people to download checklists at the end of a blog article or video. This not only extends the content experience, but your checklist lives on your audience’s desktop until they are done with it. Checklists are easy to make and have tons of potential to enhance your content.
12. Interactive Customer Reviews
Word of mouth is still the most effective way to build trust with your audience. In fact, 89% of users trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation. So if you have customer testimonials or reviews, you should find ways to build content around them.
Instead of a laundry list of customer reviews, get creative and try a more interactive approach like using review scrolls or testimonial rotators to get the user involved in reading what your customers have to say.
13. Free Web Apps
Technology is making it easier and easier for businesses to make their own apps for their content marketing. Imagine your logo living on your audience’s mobile phone. If you have an idea for an app that can help make their life easier, you can make it happen!
Let’s say you sell a SaaS billing solution like Cleverbridge that focuses on recurring revenue. Why not build an app that enables people to calculate their monthly income? They can type in different scenarios to see what it will take to reach their goals. This simple MRR calculator adds a lot of value and supports your main product.
14. Influencer and User-generated Content
We mentioned how people find word-of-mouth more trustworthy than your other types of content. Well, influencer and other forms of user-generated content work in a similar way. People tend to listen more closely to people outside the company who have “less biased” opinions on your product.
While influencer content will cost you, user-generated content from your customers could be an inexpensive way to get the word out. You can encourage people to create videos of host contests that generate new content. When done right, this can be effective. But stay alert on what is being produced because oftentimes the content can be off-putting and have a negative impact.
Experiment and Test Until You Find Your Sweet Spot
These 14 types of content marketing all serve a purpose and reach different people at different times. If you are not sure about which are right for you and your customers, the best thing to do is to try a few.
Instead of trying several at once, give yourself a set time period to experiment with two or three at a time. Mix and match to see what works. Every business and customer relationship vary, so don’t be afraid to fail.
When you do find a content mix that works, it is full steam ahead and the positive results will be worth the work.