Hubspot’s 2016 State of Inbound report just came out, and I was happy to see the top business priorities:
Increasing organic presence, content creation and content distribution are the cornerstones of content marketing, a solution to the slow demise of traditional advertising.
And while all business types can benefit from the strategy, software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies are real trailblazers.
Wondering what ‘effective’ looks like? You’ve come to the right place.
Here are 4 examples of awesome SaaS content marketing.
Intronis Industry and Tech Blog
The Intronis Industry and Tech Blog belongs to Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda, a cloud backup and disaster recovery service.
Like a lot of SaaS tech industry blogs, Intronis does a great job of creating content that speaks to the needs and concerns of their target audience:
As well as offering entertainment value based on their interests:
But what really impresses me about Intronis’ SaaS content marketing strategy are their lead magnets. They use a variety of strategies to get their a potential lead’s contact information, like this industry survey and raffle incentive:
Or this MSP marketing assessment:
But the real genius isn’t how they capture leads from their blog. The wealth of information they get in the process is impressive.
The above assessment asks all sorts of ultra-specific questions about a lead’s current MSP marketing:
And it’s way more information than most site visitors would have the patience to fill out in a lead form.
Here’s why it’s so valuable for their SaaS content marketing strategy:
Intronis can use all this information to segment their email marketing content to fit each lead’s specific needs and interests.
In order to get the results from an assessment like this, visitors need to offer up their contact information:
This SaaS content marketing strategy seriously works. Intronis was able to grow their subscriber base by 532% in less than 18 months, and land themselves a Content Marketing Award in the process.
Intronis wrote a blog post about their success building subscribers. In it, Anne Campbell said it was all about trying new things. They tried everything from redesigning the subscription box to making pop-up CTAs to draw reader attention and encourage them to subscribe.
So if you want your SaaS content marketing strategy to be effective, just keep trying, testing, and improving.
Optum is a health services and innovation company, offering a wide range of solutions, including SaaS like their Claims Manager.
Their 5in5 campaign is a great example of integrating social media and content marketing to research, create and deliver content to relevant audiences.
#5in5 is a series of weekly videos, podcasts, or articles that go live every Tuesday. They feature topic matter experts answering 5 questions in 5 minutes.
To execute the campaign, Optum used the contact information of 9,500 of their prospects and social intelligence to learn about the kind of information their target audience consumes.
Using the #5in5 hashtag, Optum was able to deliver relevant content to their audience where they seek it:
And by joining conversations with their audience, they could get more insights about their ideas and interests for future topics:
Each #5in5 episode comes with supporting content, including online resources, curated news, and gated content to help them capture leads.
Thanks to impressive interest and engagement on Twitter, LinkedIn, and through email marketing, #5in5 brought in:
- 16,210 page views
- 1,800 clicks
- 1,131 downloads
- 229 form submits
According to Leslie Cozatt, Optum’s Director of Marketing, success with the #5in5 campaign came from creating a clear strategy with measurable goals.
She told MarketingSherpa: “Because Optum started with a foundation of clear goals, a detailed communication plan, digestible content, responsive templates and defined roles this campaign has been the most efficient and scalable integrated thought leadership campaign launched to date in the entire Optum organization.”
Monster is a world-renowned employment website. In recent years, its cloud-computing capabilities, semantic search and analytics have helped it move into the SaaS space.
What stands out about their content marketing efforts is how they handle speaking to two very different audiences:
- People looking for work
- Companies looking for workers
Using their blog, Twitter account, and other social platforms, Monster creates and distributes content that speaks to the needs of businesses they want to target:
And the concerns they might have as employers:
Monster’s content offers tons of actionable advice for job seekers out there:
But what I really like is that not all the content is practical. Monster injects personality into their blog and social profiles by focusing on the more humorous aspects of searching for jobs:
Waiting to hear back about an interview like… https://t.co/Ndj1dLminI
— Monster (@Monster) September 24, 2016
And work life in general:
Job seekers are Monsters’ primary audience for their SaaS content marketing. But they do an awesome job of creating content that speaks to their client companies as well.
Don’t assume your target audience is all the same. People approach your brand for different reasons, and benefit from your products and services in different ways. Take the time to brainstorm and develop primary and secondary personas to target. This helps make sure your content stands out from your competitors and converts more effectively.
HCSS is a construction industry software that helps companies manage their projects. Last year they launched a content marketing campaign called “I Build America.” Their main goals were:
- Encourage the next generation of workers to think positively about a career in construction
- Help HCSS become a bigger voice in the industry
The project came to life through a variety of platforms:
- A website/blog
- Project awards
- An ambassador program
- Social media messaging
But the real driving force behind the campaign’s success was their user generated content.
These posts from their Instagram feed show the human element of working in construction. They’re also real-life examples of people who are proud of their work:
HSS encourages companies make videos about their project and upload them to social media using the #IBuildAmerica hashtag. They also accept submissions for four different video series’ they produce:
- I Build America Presents
- A Day in the Life
- People of Construction
- Only In Construction
In the first eight months of the campaign, the HCSS team saw:
- 53.6% increase in annualized revenue
- 187% increase in monthly web visits
- 198% increase in monthly social web traffic
- 300% increase in video views
And you know the real kicker? Not once do they mention their own product or services.
There’s a time and a place to promote your products and services to your audience, but a great SaaS content marketing campaign has a bigger purpose.
HCSS made their campaign all about their audience, calling them heroes and asking them to tell the real story of construction work themselves. Campaigns that don’t have a sales agenda can help build brand awareness and build invaluable relationships with the customers who matter most.
Need help with your SaaS content marketing?
I’m a freelance writer, providing blogs, articles, e-books, white papers and other marketing materials to help businesses broaden their reach and drive conversions. Learn more about my services here.