What makes marketing SaaS products and platforms a unique challenge?
Every year, Scott Brinker, an OG marketing expert, makes an insane map of all the available Martech apps out there, and the 2023 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic has over 11,000 SaaS (software-as-a-service) products visually categorized by function, like Advertising and Promotion, Content and Experience, Data, etc. SaaS marketing is competitive, and for every product out there, there are ten more that provide a similar solution. And someone is probably already working on “disrupting” whatever space you’re in. (An ex-HubSpotter was a writer on Silicon Valley — that show is pretty spot on!)
To successfully market a SaaS product or platform, you need a combination of art, science, a great product, resources, experienced creatives, and a strong team leader. Often, all of these things don’t exist within an internal marketing team. So, you seek outside help. More on that later. First, let’s walk through SaaS content marketing strategy requirements.
SaaS content strategy explained
SaaS businesses operate on subscription marketing models. They want users to sign up for recurring monthly plans or annual plans. It makes sense as a strong business model — customers become loyal to your brand, comfortable with your UI and tools, and more likely to stick around year after year.
Getting new users in the door is only the start — SaaS marketing teams need to build relationships with their customers and establish a strong brand that users trust.
SaaS marketing teams need to accomplish a few things:
- Engage and grow their audience
- Provide value to existing users on an ongoing basis and help them do their best
- Support product marketing, customer marketing, customer success, partner marketing, and sales teams
- Ensure brand consistency
- Be thought leaders in the industry
- Convert qualified visitors and contacts into leads
- Adhere to content best practices and accessibility standards
- Leverage the latest tools, skills, and technologies to keep up with the competition
Just a few things…
Here’s how they accomplish all that — with ongoing content marketing campaigns.
SaaS content marketing campaign examples
On the whole, SaaS content marketing includes short and long form content campaigns, executive thought leadership content, strategic landing pages and website pages, video campaigns, industry reports, blog content, email marketing content, and more.
Before you can start with content marketing efforts, you need to have an established brand with brand guidelines, marketing personas, and goals.
Some content marketing campaigns are super specialized and relevant to a smaller subset of your audience, like an executive guide to your solutions for sales enablement, or a top-of-the-funnel blog post answering a common question about your business.
But other content campaigns, like ebooks or industry trends reports can serve many departments and goals, like helping with sales enablement, email marketing, social media, and lead generation.
Let’s look through some real-life examples of SaaS content marketing campaigns.
Vimeo is a SaaS business with video marketing solutions for brands. Their ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing is a comprehensive playbook for marketers to leverage video to grow. This long-form guide supports marketing goals because it’s listed on an optimized landing page, incorporates CTAs throughout, and supports the audience.
Industry trends report
The annual DoorDash Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report is an industry standard that helps DoorDash Merchants succeed and grow their businesses. By providing up-to-date industry benchmarks for restaurants and businesses using on-demand delivery, DoorDash can engage existing customers and attract new ones.
Ongoing blog and thought leadership content
Semrush is nailing their content marketing strategy with a strong social media presence focused on education and helping their users. In addition to a growing brand audience of 300K+ LinkedIn followers, VP of Brand Marketing Olga Andrienko has established her own executive presence with over 27K followers.
Here’s an example of how Olga shares Semrush’s content marketing work in an approachable way on LinkedIn.
What to consider when looking for help with SaaS content creation services
1. Does your SaaS business use a B2B or B2C model?
2. What’s the structure of your SaaS marketing team?
3. What are your team’s goals, challenges, and roadblocks?
4. How will you track performance and measure the success of your marketing efforts?
5. What type of content marketing support are you looking for?
Here are some questions to help think through what you need from an external content marketing service provider:
- Are you looking for strategy or just content creation?
- Do you need copywriting and design services? How about development?
- Will you need additional services like paid campaigns, ongoing content marketing consulting, social media management, technical SEO support, data analysis and acquisition, etc.?
- How large of a team do you need?
- Do you need dedicated account management? Project management?
- Do you want this team in your CMS/systems (Slack, Asana)?
- Do you want a long-term retainer, or a more flexible project-by-project relationship?
If you’ve worked with agencies or individual freelancers or consultants in the past, consider what matters the most to you.
- Turnaround times?
- Quality of work?
- Understanding the brand?
- Helping your team hit goals?
These are your options for outsourcing content marketing work.
Content marketing agency
There are small, medium, and large full-service creative agencies, more traditional advertising agencies, content strategy firms, content writing firms, and even more specialized teams that offer SaaS marketing services for certain verticals or industries.
Why choose an agency?
Small agencies often have faster turnaround times than in-house creative teams, and offer specialized expertise in content marketing strategy and creation. They can offer previous experience in growing similar content marketing programs and have in-depth knowledge of what is worth investing in. Agencies also typically have experts in content strategy, copywriting, design, and data analysis as well as project managers to support large-scale campaigns or ongoing work.
Content marketing consultant
Individual content marketing consultants often have a background working in-house at a SaaS company and have ventured into freelance work. Working with a consultant offers flexibility if you have a specific role to cover during a parental leave or short- or long-term project.
Fractional CMO/CCO/Creative Director
Fractional marketing executives join the team and act as a temporary leader, similarly to a consultant, and can fill parental leave or sabbatical coverage. These individuals are often experienced in the field and offer consulting services at the decision-making level.
Best SaaS content marketing agencies
While we can’t name every single great SaaS content marketing agency out there, we’ve selected a few options based on size and specialization.
Small creative agency: CXD Studio
Based in: Boston, MA
Top clients: HubSpot, Canva, DoorDash
Size: Under 10 employees
CXD Studio is a creative content marketing agency for SaaS brands founded by Gabby Pinto (ex-Amazon, athenahealth, Toast) and Katherine Boyarsky (ex-HubSpot). We support SaaS marketing teams at brands like HubSpot, Canva, DoorDash, and more and have a boutique agency vibe for enterprise brands. CXD Studio is super niche — we exclusively offer content marketing like short and long-form content, ebooks, industry reports, blog content, and ad creative for tech companies. Not to brag but our content campaigns bring in tons of new business for established SaaS brands.
Medium growth agency: NoGood
Based in: New York, NY
Top clients: TikTok, intuit, Amazon
Size: 10 – 100 employees
NoGood is a growth marketing agency based in New York with offices in LA and Miami. They do content marketing in addition to branding, SEM/PPC ads, and CRO. Founded by Mostafa ElBermawy, the NoGood team works with SaaS brands on content marketing and social media, with a full-service TikTok studio.
Large digital agency: SmartBug Media
Based in: Newport Beach, CA
Top clients: Topia, UNiDAYS, Quotit
Size: 100 – 500+ employees
If you’re looking for a larger agency, SmartBug Media is a HubSpot and Klaviyo partner and digital media agency. The SmartBug team specializes in inbound marketing and e-commerce marketing and has a whole suite of marketing services, including creative and branding.
Marketing a SaaS product is an iterative process — partner with a creative team you trust.
SaaS marketing can be creative, innovative, and extremely effective if you know what you’re doing. When in-house marketing teams partner with agencies or individuals who are a good match, they can develop really incredible work. And enjoy the process along the way.
Need a fresh perspective on your content marketing efforts? We’d love to work with you. Reach out to the team at CXD Studio — let’s talk about your goals.