Don’t know when to get started with content marketing? Let’s talk about the right time to invest in content marketing.
Content Marketing WORKS!
Here’s a few excessive statistics to support that statement:
And here is the biggest industry shocker? 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing in their overall marketing strategy.
B2B marketers are leveraging content to solve inbound marketing challenges, create a brand, maintain credibility and to stay connected!
However, in our experience working with B2B SaaS founders, we found they are waiting for a not so cosmic sign to get started with content marketing.
They need to start, they want to start, but somehow they just don’t know when the timing is just “right”.
Sorry, but there is no algebraic formula to calculate when the right time to invest in content marketing is. There is no perfect ‘good time’ or ‘good moment’ to get started with content marketing.
Especially in the B2B SaaS space, it entirely depends on the structure of your startup, the industry you’re building in, the audience you’re tapping into or trying to build, and most important of it all, the resources available to you.
Content marketing for startups isn’t a one size fits all ballgame.
And although there is no set right time, there are some nearly perfect moments that can be your doorway to get started with content marketing for your business.
No, we don’t mean when you are going through a major business crisis.
What we meant is, when you have actually identified a problem. You have identified a gap in the market. A problem appears that no one in the industry really has a solution for, but everyone is somehow affected by. A solvable problem that is bothering you and your potential consumers alike.
For a B2B startup, this could actually be your bazinga idea for the startup itself, or one of those problems that came up on the way.
When a problem or challenge hits any market, before a solution is available, everyone wants to know a little more about it. This is where your business can jump in with engaging content describing the extent or size of the problem.
What is this new issue all about? What does it mean for the future of your industry, how long will this last? And can it actually be solved?
Even before you have a solution, just talking about the problem will help you checkmark all top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) goals.
You’ll build awareness, and build an audience even before you actually have a product in hand to solve the solution. And the best part is, you get to keep the audience hooked till you actually launch the product.
And if this problem is in fact the fundamental problem that leads to the creation of your startup then the right time to start content marketing for your business is even before you begin it!
See what I meant, when I said no set “right moment”? Yup.
Let’s say you got this amazing idea, and you have a genius solution. Who is it for, though? Do you see the market?
If you see the audience, your target market, and the ideal customer persona: There you have it, another nearly perfect moment to tap into the power of content marketing.
Get started by educating this target audience about the nature of the problem, what it means for their business, what challenges are they facing without even identifying it, at times. What can your solution potentially do for them?
The content ideas here are innumerable. And you get to build this air of grandness around your solution.
Basically, you know what your SaaS product serves, and now you know who it serves.
Once you have the who, you can create an entire content plan to serve them.
And even though the center of attention will of course be your solution, you can talk about so many more things. At this stage you can address so many challenges that your target audience is facing.
Product educational content, build credibility for yourself and create a stance of expertise for your brand.
Again, all of this even before you have a product at hand.
You can nurture this audience till your product launch, and ensure you have a good base to address when you hit the market.
If you have ever been a part of those early beta OS and feature launches from companies like Apple, you would know the electric buzz that surrounds it. If you have a beta product ready, content marketing is your ultimate wingman.
In the above two cases, you are talking about the problem with some expertise. Now, you talk about the problem with authority! Yep, that’s right.
Now you have a beta solution, and it is your product.
Start by educating the audience segment about your product. What immediate impact can they see, and how will it add value to their business.
Create the buzz around your beta product with content and then leverage this to find actual human beings for beta users. It’s a perfect win-win situation.
You have an audience, and you now can make the pitch.
Convince them to become early adopters of your SaaS product with targeting content marketing. You can support this effort with a lot of other marketing parallels, but content will be key here. In fact, content can serve as the base on which you can build this beta user network.
PS. Beta users are a great way to gather concrete feedback around your product/ service, helping you make it better.
This is the most obvious “right moment” so to speak, to enter the content marketing game.
If you have the product ready, jump in!
Everything from here on now is towards one goal, to get all eyes on your product. Although it might seem like this focused time needs a focused approach. And it does, but this is a perfect opportunity to grab all parallels and put them to good use.
At this point, you’ll be running ads, so you’ll anyway need some content. But when you are running those ads, you need something to hold the traffic’s interest once they do discover your product.
This is where content marketing will serve your acquisition interests.
Create content that highlights your products features, taking a deep dive into the unique solution that you have at hand. And round up all the creativity to present it to the world in the best way possible. Now is the time to leverage all forms of content available and relevant to your specific industry.
And the best part about engaging audiences with content marketing at this stage is, lower your acquisition costs! 25% of B2B marketers claim to have directly lowered customer acquisition costs with content marketing!
Brava, you made it.
Now you have an actual business using your product. Do you really think they will just keep looking at your tech specs to move forward with your SaaS solutions? Nope.
Once you have customers onboard, you need content to hold their interest. In fact, not just hold their interests, but actually make them understand your product better and help them get the best out of your solution.
There is no one size fits all definitive strategy at play here, but the options for content creation are innumerable.
You can create engaging guides, video tutorials, custom content for the right clients and much more.
The focus here is customer retention.
Once you show the customer how to get the best out of your product, and create a positive impact on the operations of their business, you’ll invariably retain them. To help them every step of the way with your SaaS solutions, quality content is a must.
Content marketing can boost customer retention upto 32%. And a 5% increase in customer retention can in turn boost profits upto 95%.
At this stage in your business, don’t look at these statistics as just numbers but use them to build a content marketing strategy. You got the deal, what’s your next big plan?
Before you go into the market all guns blazing with a new content advertising strategy, the best product placement, and the works, you can actually gauge where your audience is with content marketing.
Say, you are not really sure which demographic will respond to your solutions in the best possible way, how will you accurately advertise or push your product? So you start with content. After analysing the market, you can create a few categories within the demographic you are catering to. Based on this, create content around that category’s keywords, and keep an eye on how much engagement your content is getting. This will give you an idea of where your strength in the market is.
The good thing about content marketing at this stage is, it will give you room to experiment with a new market, especially if you are not sure if that market will respond to your product. So to test the waters with a fair bit of accuracy you can definitely leverage content marketing. Also, you can play around with messaging and take this as a testing grounds for your branding.
Content marketing at this stage is highly recommended. As a startup, investing before understanding and experimenting with the market, is a risk only few can afford. With content, you can gauge where the market stands at a much cheaper price.
If your startup is at a stage in its journey where you have a fair amount of information about your audience and customers, you can put it to work! Data is a currency, especially data collected from real time human beings. These are a mix bag of people who are either already using your solution or are a part of the target audience.
You can leverage their behavior patterns to cater to a similar audience with your content. Let’s say your SaaS solution caters to Lawyers. And you have already collected enough data, analyzing which showed you that most of your clients are using some competitor’s software. Now you have an opportunity to market content that highlights features your solution has to offer, that your competitor does not.
Besides, if you already have a customer base, it is best to keep them engaged with content. You can do this via blog posts, social media or even video or regular emails. Especially see how you can create hype around updates, or provide valuable information to your customers via content marketing so they can leverage your SaaS solution better.
This is our personal favorite time, so to speak, to start content marketing.
Although you might have certain expertise in your field, are you ready to stand out? As a brand and as a top notch solution in the market? If any of the above are true, it is time to go all guns blazing with content marketing.
People want experts of a field to stand out and share their opinions. But field experts are not readymade, they are built. And content has a huge role to play here. With the right concoction of content marketing you can stand out in the market!
Especially if you are working in an industry with high competition, content marketing will be your key to unlock conversions. SaaS solutions are growing in numbers, for one problem you probably have a hundred solutions. We can’t really expect potential customers to pick and choose via feature and tech specs.
If you are at a point where you have enough users, a solid backing of experience in the industry and most importantly, you want to share your learnings, then boom! Now is the time to start content marketing. Create that buzz, and give your audience something they can’t find anywhere else.
If you are really serious about your startup and actually want to make an impact, content marketing is the way. Doesn’t matter what other strategies you have going on, you should be working on content marketing, right now!
The thing about content marketing is, as you can see above, there are no such restrictions on when you should do it. The earlier the better!
Content marketing is how Basecamp built their company from the bottom up. This how David Heinemeier Hansson, describes his journey with content marketing:
“We write books. We write medium posts. We maintain prolific social media accounts. We go on podcasts like this. We basically just try to out share and out teach our competition as such to build an audience and people who trust what it is that we say such that they hopefully will also trust what it is that we sell.”
With constant efforts with content marketing, Basecamp was able to align their business strategy to their content marketing strategy. This helped them build relationships with clients early on. Their blogs even today get thousands of hits, because they leveraged content at an early stage. And this traffic keeps the Basecamp SaaS engine running!
So if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get started with content marketing, this is it.
If you need any help getting started with content marketing or understanding the nuances of it, feel free to reach out to me.
Or you could reach out to my B2B SaaS content marketing agency, Contensify, here.