Updated October 20, 2020: For SaaS marketers, getting executive buy-in for a content marketing program requires a strong blend of good timing, demonstrable value and a compelling roadmap to success.
It’s difficult to quantify what the return on investment will be, and how long it will take to see results. Marketers need to map out a comprehensive plan to provide concrete evidence that multi-channel distribution of digital content can, and will, contribute to revenue growth.
A content marketing program can have a big impact
Many organizations start each year vowing to create and distribute more content. Why, you ask? Because a robust content marketing program creates the biggest commercial impact of any marketing initiative.
In addition, 70% of people would rather find out information about an organization from an article or blog post than from an advertisement.
Despite these opportunities, many top SaaS companies don’t have:
- blog posts (15% of the websites from these companies don’t have a blog at all)
- calls to action (16% of top SaaS blogs don’t have them)
- custom images (76% of SaaS firms don’t enhance their content with original photos)
Challenges for your content marketing program
Marketing executives and their teams are often challenged to generate thought leadership content. They typically have several campaigns and events to plan, execute and measure—and limited resources to get it all done. Contracting out content production to an external writer can increase both the quality and the quantity of articles, white papers, ebooks and other reusable assets.
Let’s take a look at 6 ways you can get executive buy-in for your SaaS content marketing program.
1. Start with a content marketing plan to get executive buy-in
Walking into an executive’s office empty handed is a bad idea at the best of times. Creating a content marketing plan with elements like a content strategy and a draft editorial calendar is a good way to build your business case for your content marketing program. A recent study by HubSpot shows that 77% of companies had a content marketing strategy in 2019.
2. Content is critical to generating leads and brand awareness
For the world’s most successful SaaS providers, educational content, such as blogs and white papers, generates a significant amount of traffic growth. In 2019, 67% of bloggers who reported “strong results” published blog posts every day.
Assets in your content marketing program can often be modified over time to extend their value and shareworthiness. You can repurpose ebooks into blog posts, and you can use blog posts to encourage prospects to opt-in to email lists to access gated content like white papers. Thought leadership content can demonstrate your SaaS company’s expertise.
Just as word-of-mouth referrals are a valuable form of advertising in the physical world, shared content helps organizations reach a broader audience of potential customers and partners in the digital world.
3. Keep existing customers with your content marketing program
Once a SaaS customer is under contract, there are many customer success strategies in the marketplace that offer varying levels of engagement.
Producing customer success content (like how-to guides or checklists) is a way to expand your content marketing program. This type of content enables you to educate your customers with the goal of justifying their ongoing investments and extending their relationship with your firm.
In this context, the content becomes part of a success assurance program that your SaaS company provides for the ongoing subscription.
4. Help strategic partners with their marketing efforts
SaaS companies often have a broad array of referral partners. Extend your reach to a broader audience of prospects by equipping your partners with resources from your content marketing program.
Digital assets such as case studies, datasheets and white papers are great resources to support your partners with throughout your relationship lifecycle, including during recruitment and onboarding, and to support their presentations at conferences.
Your partners can also share your content on their social media channels, and you can exchange guest posts between your websites. Content demonstrates authority, and it can also be used as evidence of a collaborative partnership with co-marketing.
5. Content production for a competitive advantage
Establishing a content marketing program can help you capture market share from your competitors. SaaS companies can leverage content marketing to showcase their expertise with a specific industry vertical, a certain persona in an organization or even a specific company size.
Many SaaS providers work to flood the internet with a torrent of content—and they pepper it with keywords to rank better on the search engines. But they’re better off leveraging high quality, valuable and useful content to demonstrate their value proposition, build brand equity and generate a targeted audience of qualified leads.
6. External writers create consistency
One of the biggest challenges for SaaS marketers is finding the time to generate, publish and promote their content. By outsourcing to an external writer with the chops and expertise to generate quality content, you can increase the cadence of content you produce. You’ll be able to consistently deliver valuable, insightful content that your audience will read, share and act upon.
Though it’s important for your content marketing program to have a fairly consistent tone, incorporating different voices such as company management, sales people and partners can build rapport with customers and prospects. Getting to know a company’s team from its marketing materials is a good way to incent prospects to respond to calls to action—because they’re familiar with the personalities of the stakeholders in your organization.
We can help
Whether you represent a startup SaaS company or you’ve been in-market for a number of years, gaining or sustaining executive buy-in for your content marketing program is critical.