The goal of 85 percent of content marketing campaigns is to generate leads, but your content assets aren’t one-size-fits-all. Your prospective leads travel through multiple stages during their buyer’s journey, and in some cases they have completed 70 percent of that journey before they interact with you directly. Read on for how to optimize your inbound marketing content with your SaaS marketing strategy.
Your SaaS marketing plan needs to match your content to the appropriate stage in your marketing funnel, so your target leads are getting exactly what’s required to move them to the bottom of the funnel. Your end goal is to turn your traffic into qualified leads who are prepared to use your service for a long time.
Top of the Funnel Inbound Marketing Content
The top of the funnel is commonly called the “awareness stage.” Your leads have encountered a problem they need the solution for, and they’ve heard that your company can provide one. In most cases, they aren’t ready to dive into detailed information about your solution. Instead, they want broader information that’s relevant to the problem they’re having.
For example, marketing automation software company HubSpot maintains several blogs targeted to specific audiences, covering everything from the latest industry news to how-to articles on marketing, sales and agency topics. Instead of talking about the product, HubSpot uses its top of funnel content to attract the attention of potential prospects and provide immediately valuable content. Over time, the prospects consider HubSpot a top-of-mind choice when they’re ready to move further into the marketing funnel.
If you are looking for other ways to drive more traffic to the top of your funnel, then influencer marketing is an emerging method that you should definitely check out. Platforms like Grin give marketers a simple way to find social media influencers on networks like Instagram. With Grin, you can filter by dozens of metrics that are important to your product or brand and then export all of the contact details for those influencers in order to reach out to them.
Ideal content for your top of the funnel inbound marketing includes how-to blog posts and guides, ebooks generally relating to your target audience, checklists covering common processes, and infographics rounding up industry statistics.
Middle of the Funnel Inbound Marketing Content
Your prospects move into the evaluation phase once they’re familiar enough with several brands that they’re ready to do further research into the services on offer. In this stage of the marketing funnel, you want your content to help guide your prospects’ research while expanding on the base of trust you’ve established in the relationship. You can now provide information specific to your solution, along with general guides about how to compare products in your SaaS category and in-depth blogs expanding on top of the funnel content.
Another priority with middle of the funnel content is establishing your authority within your industry. Comprehensive and insightful ebooks, webinars, presentations and keynotes show your prospects that you’re respected and established within your industry. In many cases, you have this content available for your sales department already, so it’s easy to repurpose that material for marketing.
Middle of the funnel content can also come from your customer support documents and knowledge base. Your prospects are looking for more information about how your product works and how your features compare to the competition, so if you have feature videos and step-by-step guides available for your current customers, repackage those assets for your prospects in the funnel.
You should also start nurturing your leads throughout this phase. Email content should speak to your leads’ pain points, then highlight potential solutions you offer to address those specific issues. Segmenting your prospects into different categories does increase the amount of middle of the funnel content required, but gives you the opportunity to maximize the relevancy of each touchpoint.
Hootsuite, a social media management application, nails the middle of the funnel content with extensive resources covering advanced social media marketing topics, from their blog to free and paid e-courses. The material educates customers about what the platform has to offer, then relates it to those customers’ daily needs and positions Hootsuite as an industry leader in social media marketing and management.
Bottom of the Funnel Inbound Marketing Content
Once your prospects have finished the evaluation process, they move into the stage where they’re ready to make a purchase. The content in this funnel should solidify their decision to choose your SaaS solution, as well as setting their expectations during the onboarding process. Free trials and guided demos are particularly useful content assets for this stage of the funnel. Your sales or customer success department may start getting hands-on in this stage as well, so bottom of the funnel content should support those efforts.
Social proof is particularly useful for helping your prospects feel confident in their purchase decisions. This proof comes from testimonials, reviews, case studies and lists of your satisfied clients. Make sure to include this information in content such as data sheets and white papers.
Planscape.io, a project management tool, approaches bottom of the funnel content with a “show, don’t tell” approach to their features. Prospects get a guided tour of the dashboard, explanations of the available features, and a call to action from the developer encouraging prospects to Skype call with any questions.
Content marketing can improve your lead generation rates, sales conversions and retention, but you optimize your effectiveness by looking at the needs of your buyers at every stage in their journey. Once you’ve provided content tailored to each stage, you’ll begin reaping the benefits of matching assets to your marketing objectives.