Your SaaS Content Marketing Questions Answered

February 3, 2021

(Coming Soon)

Andy Crestodina

CMO & Co-Founder, Orbit Media

We constantly get questions about SaaS content marketing from our Free and Pro members on topics ranging from strategy to proving ROI, to hiring and managing content teams, and everything in between. 

And to answer a few of those questions, we figured, who better to chat with than Andy Crestodina? Andy is a true content marketing expert. Over the past 18 years, he's provided digital strategy to over 1,000 (!) businesses. 

He's a top-rated speaker at national and international conferences, a writer for the biggest blogs, and the host of a Content Marketing Podcast. And in addition to co-founding and serving as Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning digital agency in Chicago, Andy has written hundreds of articles on content strategy, search engine optimization, social media, and analytics.

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Andy Crestodina

Andy is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning digital agency in Chicago. He's also a top-rated speaker at national conferences, a writer for the biggest blogs, and the host of a tiny podcast. Andy has provided digital strategy to more than a thousand businesses, and has written hundreds of articles on content strategy, search engine optimization, social media, and analytics.

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A SaaS Content Marketing Tell All 

We sat down with Andy and asked him some tough SaaS content marketing questions – and boy, did he deliver! Get his insights on the following topics:

  • Building a SaaS content marketing strategy from the ground up
  • Finding a balance between creating product-focused and trending content
  • Evolving your content strategy beyond the basics
  • Creating content for a complex product with an opinionated brand voice
  • Proving content strategy ROI
  • Optimizing sign up pages
  • Measuring the impact of content marketing on existing customers

Let’s dive in!

More of a video person? Watch the video at the end of the article!

"How would you go about framing SaaS content marketing from the ground up? Think totally from scratch — there is no intentional marketing at all around this product yet."

Andy says that the biggest mistake with your SaaS content marketing strategy would be to dive headfirst into blogging. “Don't make cheese until you've got a good mousetrap,” he says. In other words, before you try to drive traffic to your website with content, you should maximize your conversion rate. 

Assuming you have a good conversion rate and a smooth sign-up process, according to Andy, the first step SaaS content marketers should take is to understand their audience. You should know their top questions, why people buy and don't buy, their biggest fears, and the big problem they're trying to solve, he says. 

When you have answers to these questions, the next step is to write a content marketing mission statement. Andy’s framework is as follows: 


Then, once you’ve completed your statement, you should start creating content for your highest intent visitors and work your way up. Even if you have a small audience, there might be people on your contact page today or on your pricing page today so you should focus on creating content for people with a high intent to purchase, compared to people who may just be looking for information and are nowhere close to converting. 

"How do you find a balance between creating content around trending topics (that might get more eyeballs) and content that’s more product-focused (that might not get as much traffic)?"

Some content programs fail because they are too focused on awareness-level visitors. They address topics and target phrases that don't actually align with the business’ value proposition, which attracts unqualified visitors, and eventually, the conversion rates crash

Other content programs fail for the opposite reason. The company has a powerful sales culture or an executive team that demands that all content is basically like advertising. Unsurprisingly, the best SaaS content marketing programs are a balance of both. 

“It's in the middle where you become relevant to people who may one day need you because they think of you when they think of X,” says Andy.

To manage both priorities, Andy suggests keeping things “church and state.” In other words, your sales pages should sell and your content should teach. This doesn’t mean you can’t send out sales emails or add calls-to-actions to your blog posts. Far from it. But as Andy states, your aim with SaaS content marketing should always be to be, “the best source of information on a topic that is relevant to your service or product, but it's not trying to sell it.”

"We've been targeting a small set of keywords, and the content we've published for each of those keywords is ranking well. So… now what? How should my SaaS content marketing strategy evolve, so I can continually grow qualified inbound leads?"

Andy’s advice? “Check to see if those pages are also becoming more authoritative.” Are they attracting links and building your domain authority? If yes, you can start to target the next level of competition in keywords. If not, then link building should be your next focus.

Some other questions to ask yourself: 

  • Are your pages attracting visitors? 
  • Do they have a healthy bounce rate?
  • Do the pages support conversion goals? 
  • Are people subscribing from there?

Another way to level up your SaaS content marketing strategy is to publish original research that can also be aligned with sales. Create data points to help strengthen your value proposition and produce soundbites and statistics. Original research makes your website the primary source for certain information, which will further support your link-building efforts and improve your domain authority.

"Our company has a very complex product and a strong opinion about the space we're in. So we're struggling to bring in freelance writers, or a SaaS content marketing agency, to help us produce content more consistently. How do you best onboard and educate third-party writers in this situation, or do you?"

Andy says companies in this situation can go in one of two ways: they either need to dive deep into research to uncover what information their audience needs and better showcase the value of their product, or hire a content partner that can do this for them. 

When looking for vendors, Andy suggests looking for vendors that have a thorough research process, ideally one that will interview your staff, clients, as well as people who passed on your product. 

“Hire the company that wants to interview the no's that you got. They're going to come back with a way better perspective,” says Andy. 

However, if you’re not in a position to outsource or conduct this research in-house, Gia pointed out that this research is very likely happening on your product and customer service teams. They might not have the exact insights you need for your content, but you should still consult them to see what they have to share. 

"SaaS content marketing is a long-term investment, but our founder wants me to prove content's ROI based solely on the revenue it generates. Is this even possible? If so, where do I start?"

Metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and traffic are certainly measurable and attributable to content marketing, but they’re mostly measuring the effectiveness of the website and apply to visitors who already have a strong intent. For example, you can A/B test a call-to-action and see how it impacts a page’s conversion rate, but the overall benefits of content marketing are a lot more indirect and not immediately immeasurable. 

For example, a high-quality backlink can improve your site’s domain authority, which can improve your SEO, drive more traffic to your website, and in turn bring in more leads and revenue but as Andy says, it’s “a dotted line with indirect benefits.”

His advice for SaaS content marketing reporting is that generally, the most visible metrics (e.g. page views, followers, shares, comments) are the least valuable, with the lowest business impact. The least visible metrics (e.g. conversion rates, marketing qualified leads, net promoter scores, margins) are the most impactful. So while it can be tricky to uncover and analyze those deeper-level metrics, it’s worth it if you’re trying to show the ROI of your SaaS content marketing efforts.

But if you need any proof that content marketing can pay off, Andy’s own company is an excellent example. 

“We generated 900 leads last year off of 1.5 million visitors and generated six million in revenue, employing 40 people, with zero dollars spent on advertising,” says Andy. “Content marketing works.”

"Let’s say high intent pages are ranking well, how can we optimize those pages for signup?"

Andy suggests you ask yourself: what is the true story in the life of the visitor to this page? What’s the Job To Be Done? What do they care about? Why are they even here?

For example, visitors who are coming to a blog post from a search result are likely just looking for information so your best bet would be to get them to subscribe to your email list so you can market to them over time. However, somebody who is on your About or Contact page is a higher intent visitor, so your page content should have more sales-oriented goals like inviting them to book a demo or a call. 

Some other optimization tips for high-intent pages:

  • Add faces. As Andy explains, “a website that doesn't have faces or has stock photos,  just doesn't look as credible.” Plus, showing your real team on your website can help differentiate your company from your competitors. 
  • Add data and statistics. People want to see social proof and facts and figures can help build trust. 
  • Make sure your pages work for different personality types. Does it work for the quick decision-maker? The information hoarder? Some people don't read long pages. Others do. Use apps like Hotjar to see how your visitors are interacting with the page. 

"What are some ways to measure how our content impacts the health/engagement of existing customers (vs. measuring how it impacts the acquisition of new ones)?"

Andy recommends using segments in Google Analytics to filter out your existing customers from a new audience by creating a conditional segment to exclude sessions on login pages. You could also provide your customer service team or chatbot service with messaging and direction to guide existing users to the content that’s tailored to them. 

Lastly, Andy points out that building a community around your product can also help engage your existing customers. For example, you could host a webinar and then demo features customers may not be using yet, or show them how it works for particular use cases.

Pulling back the curtain on SaaS content marketing

It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting out with SaaS content marketing or have been in the game for a while: there’s always more to learn, both about your customer and SaaS content marketing as a whole. 

But if you were to only take away one lesson from this post, it’s the importance of never settling with your content strategy. If your pages are ranking well, it’s time to focus on your domain authority. Or optimize your sign-up pages. Or create original research. Don’t limit yourself to surface-level tactics. Dig deep and you’ll reap the rewards. 

Andy Crestodina

Andy is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning digital agency in Chicago. He's also a top-rated speaker at national conferences, a writer for the biggest blogs, and the host of a tiny podcast. Andy has provided digital strategy to more than a thousand businesses, and has written hundreds of articles on content strategy, search engine optimization, social media, and analytics.

View Full Profile


February 3, 2021

(Coming Soon)

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