George Terry
By George Terry on March 04, 2021

SaaS Customer Acquisition: 7 Pieces of Content You Need

Something we often hear from clients is that they feel overwhelmed by all of the things they could be doing.

How do you decide where to focus your efforts? And how can you be sure that you’re investing in the right areas?

One way to simplify things is to focus on the key pieces of content that will help you acquire customers. We think there are seven pieces of content that every SaaS company needs to support customer acquisition. 

They are:

  • SEO content to get people onto your website
  • Product-led content to show how your product solves genuine problems
  • Social proof to show that your solution really works
  • Gated content to encourage conversions for people who aren’t in-market
  • Newsletter to stay front-of-mind and deepen the relationship over time
  • Pricing page to explain how much your product costs
  • Landing page to push for a purchase decision

Once you have these in place, you can feel confident that your content is working hard to help prospects discover, learn about and buy your product.

In this post, we’re going to look at why each of these content types is important and how to do them well.

 

List of content you need for your SaaS Customer Acquisition Strategy

 

SEO content

Why is it important?

SEO is the number one source of traffic for the 50 largest SaaS companies in the US by market cap. 

It’s the most long-term and scalable source of traffic there is. And if your SaaS company has genuine product-market-fit, there are probably a bunch of keywords related to your customer pain points you could be using to reach customers.

The downside of SEO is that it can feel a bit technical – especially to newcomers. But it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In fact, SEO has more to do with understanding how people use the internet than it does with understanding algorithms. 

 

How to do it really well

For total beginners

If you’re starting from scratch, read a detailed beginner’s guide. Here are a couple of good ones:

In my experience, the best way to learn SEO is by doing it. Reading a book might help you with first principles, but you can’t beat hands-on tutorials combined with doing stuff as you’re learning.

 

Get a tool

You can do SEO on a shoestring. But it will be much harder and take a lot longer than paying for a tool.

We use SEMRush and Frase. SEMRush is an all-in-one SEO tool and Frase helps with content optimisation. They’re both great. 

Ahrefs and Moz are alternatives to SEMRush. I’ve heard great things about Ahrefs from seasoned SEOs and I love their blog. In my opinion, Moz has kind of had its day. We used to use it but switched to SEMRush. 

 

Get a mentor

Clearing up technical problems like redirect chains or slow page speed can be a massive time drain for beginners. And there’s no guarantee you’ll actually fix the problem. 

Likewise, following dodgy advice you find online may mean investing a lot of time in a strategy that was doomed from the start.

Having a SEO mentor on hand to sense check your approach and handle technical issues is a good idea. It shouldn’t cost much, but it’s better than trying to work everything out for yourself.

 

Product-led content

Why is it important?

Ahrefs make more than $50M in revenue with no funding and a team of 10 marketers. And their CMO chalks it up to their product-led content marketing strategy

So yeah, product-led content works.

If you’re not familiar with it, product-led content usually takes the form of step-by-step blog posts with plenty of screenshots showing how your product solves customer problems. 

There are two big advantages to product-led content. It makes SaaS products feel more tangible and, once a user sees a product in action, it’s easier for them to imagine using it themselves.

If you’re not familiar with product-led content, here are a few examples to get you started:

 

How to do it really well

Plenty of screenshots

Clear and annotated screenshots are a big part of product-led content. Screenshot carefully, with a focus on highlighting key aspects of your product that users are likely to care about.

 

It’s not a demo

Make sure that you show how you can help customers do things better, faster or cheaper. Don’t use this as an opportunity to show off new features. It’s not a demo.

Also, try to focus on key actions and outcomes. This isn’t a tutorial. You don’t need to walk the user through every step of the process.

 

Offer a free trial or freemium option

Every SaaS business model is different. Some platforms offer free trials and some don’t.

If you do, then make sure that you link from your product-led content to your trial. Users that have just seen how your product solves their problem will want to try it out for themselves.

 

Link from SEO to product-led content

SEO and product-led content work really well hand-in-hand. When combined with case studies, they’re a really effective way to take potential customers from ‘problem aware’ to ‘solution aware’ and finally ‘vendor aware’.

We wrote about this in much more detail in our recent post on SaaS conversion funnels.

 

Social proof

Why is it important?

Case studies and testimonials have a massive impact on buyer behaviour. Including testimonials on a landing page can increase conversions by 34%.

It’s all well and good saying your product is awesome and showing how it works. But if you want people to buy, you need to prove it.  

Case studies and testimonials are a massively important part of your SaaS customer acquisition strategy. They’re your proof. Having believable proof points will undoubtedly improve your conversion rates.

 

How to do it really well

Keep it snappy

Snappy testimonials look much better on the page than long ones. And if your testimonials are too long, people will probably scroll past them. Pull out the key info you want people to know and drop the non-essential stuff.

Likewise for case studies. Keep it to the point and focus on things potential customers will care about. What problem did your customer have, how did you help and what stats do you have to prove it?

 

It’s all about stats and quotes

Stats paired with glowing testimonials is a dynamite combo. If you don’t have great quotes or stats related to a project, it probably won’t make a great case study.

 

Gated content

Why is it important?

Some people say gated content is over. But the reality is that most SaaS companies still use gated content and it can be really effective - are you going to tell Intercom they’re doing marketing wrong?

Not everyone who visits your website is going to be ready to buy. Gated content gives you the opportunity to get their contact data so you can carry the relationship on over email. 

That said, if you get it wrong, gated content can be frustrating for the user or downright spammy. So tread carefully…

See how we used gated content to generate 362 high-quality leads for a pre-launch SaaS platform with one epic piece of content.

How to do it really well

Sweat the small stuff

To get the maximum value from gated content you need to optimise every aspect of your campaign for conversions. 

We shared 63 ways to help you get more SaaS leads on our blog. It’s full of great advice that will help you come up with better gated content ideas and optimise every part of your lead gen campaign.

 

Create what people want

A lot of B2B marketers default to long pieces of research or ‘thought leadership’ when it comes to gated content. But this isn’t necessarily the best approach.

Optinmonster found that bitesize content like checklists actually outperformed longform content, while taking a fraction of the time to create. 

If you want to find out what your audience really want, the best thing you can do is schedule some customer interviews and understand:

  • What people are struggling with
  • How you can help
  • What format would be best for them

If you can’t get hold of any paying customers, then speaking to your sales team or customer success is another option. But real customers are more likely to tell you stuff you don’t already know.

 

Newsletter

Why is it important?

Email is powerful. It has the highest ROI of any sales and marketing channel, with a whopping $42 return on every £1 dollar spent. Yikes!

A lot of successful businesses have been built on the back of great newsletters. Investing in building a list of people who look forward to your emails and open them every time is money well spent.

 

How to do it really well

Subscribe to the best newsletters in your industry

Your industry or niche probably has a bunch of great newsletters. Subscribe to them and read them every week.

You’ll learn what great newsletters look and feel like. And because newsletters tend to focus on the really good stuff, you’ll keep up to the date with the best content in your industry.

 

Consider branding your newsletter

Some people might say that branding your newsletter is unnecessary, but personally I think it’s a nice touch. Our newsletter is called SaaS Content Club (and you should obviously sign up right away).

Sure, we could have called it the Future Content newsletter, or just not given it a name at all, but does that sound as inviting as SaaS Content Club?

 

Don’t just post links to your blog

There are lots of crappy newsletters out there. A short intro, 3-5 links to your blog and a sign off.

Yawn. 

Try and mix things up with a bit of storytelling, links to other websites and some links to your own stuff. Here’s some inspiration for awesome newsletters with plenty of interesting formats:

 

Pricing pages

Why are they important?

Some SaaS companies have pricing pages and some don’t. If you do have a pricing page, then that page is really important. Why? 

Because the customer is definitely going to want to see some prices before they make a decision. And if the pricing page is well-constructed and the prices are reasonable, they might buy then and there.

 

How to do it really well

Keep it simple

Keep your language and layout simple, clear and to the point. 

The customer doesn’t need to see the granular details of how the prices are calculated or every little thing that’s included in the package. Focus on the key pieces of information they need to make a value judgment. 

If you give them too much information to process, they’re less likely to convert.

 

Answer questions and objections

Customers will have questions. Link to FAQs or other content that can address questions and objections. You may also want to include a chatbot to cover any questions that you haven’t thought of.

 

Have a recommended package

Most SaaS pricing pages have a ‘recommended’ package that guides the customer towards the most popular package. This is a great way to help overcome analysis paralysis and help the user make a decision.

If you’re looking for more pricing page advice, check out this list of best practices from Optinmonster.

 

Landing pages

Why are they important?

Your landing pages are your most important pages after your homepage. They’re where people convert. Where all the hard work that you’ve put in generating demand and getting traffic to your website pays off.

But landing pages are also easy to mess up. Every detail counts. A poorly-chosen word or image can mess up the whole on-page experience, making people less likely to convert.

 

How to do it really well

Check out our guide

We dedicate an entire chapter to landing page optimisation in our guide to getting more conversions from SaaS lead gen campaigns. Check it out.

 

Test your landing pages

Test your messaging and layouts before and after launch to challenge your assumptions and find weak spots. Here’s a great deep dive on landing page testing if you’re not sure how to do this.

 

Use templates (and don’t mess them up)

Platforms like Unbounce have loads of templates you can use. A lot of CMS’ also come with templates built-in. In my experience, templates are a better starting point than creating something from scratch.

Also, if you use a template, try not to fiddle with it too much. They’re usually designed with best practice in mind by designers who know what they’re doing. The more you fiddle with it the more likely you are to introduce mistakes.

 

Build a customer-centric SaaS customer acquisition strategy

If you want to build a scalable acquisition strategy that puts your customers in control, you need to create content that helps them to discover and learn more about your product. 

The content listed in this piece will give your customers all of the info and encouragement they need to make a decision.

If you have questions or want to discuss anything in this piece in more detail, drop me a line on LinkedIn or Twitter. I’m always up for a chat. 

Thanks for reading.

Improve Your Content ROI 🚀

Links and tips to help you get more traffic and leads from your SaaS content.

Published by George Terry March 4, 2021
George Terry