Content marketing is a continuously evolving field. It is no longer an optional strategy that only a few SaaS brands think about. Instead, it has become a necessary marketing tactic every software business needs to leverage to remain competitive.
However, very few organizations know how to do it well, and even fewer know how to drive real results from it. That provides ample opportunities for content marketers who can provide reliable, accurate, and helpful information to their target audience and forge trusting relationships like never before.
So, whether you’re a content marketing newbie or have been a SaaS content marketing expert for years, you’re in luck. We reveal the top ten skills every SaaS content marketer needs to hone to excel in their jobs in 2022 and beyond.
1. Strategic planning
Content marketing efforts are doomed to failure without a formal content strategy. According to Content Marketing Institute, 86% of organizations have someone in charge of content strategy. So, if you haven’t acquired this skill to create an effective content marketing strategy, NOW is a great time to do so.
As a SaaS content marketer, you need to have planning skills to create content that aligns with the overall business goals. You must understand your audience’s needs and how your content will meet them. For example, if you’re trying to get the attention of B2B marketers, you need to create and publish whitepapers. But if you’re targeting a young population, you need to consider Instagram or TikTok.
Furthermore, SaaS marketers should also know how to present that strategy to founders and executives for sign-off.
Use a content calendar to keep on top of your tasks and publish content consistently — prepare the topics and type of content you want to cover and schedule them strategically on your calendar. This way, you can avoid repetitive content and stay up-to-date with important events and holidays.
Brainstorming new ideas and repurposing old blogs are all included in the plan.
Research is one of the most undervalued skills in SaaS content marketers.
The only way to create compelling, relevant content is to research, research, and some more research. With excellent research skills, you can identify customers’ pain points and create relevant content to solve them. Plus, without knowing your target audience, it’s pretty challenging to craft a piece of content that people find helpful and want to share with others.
As a content marketer, your research skills include:
Investigating new trends
Understanding your target audience
Looking for gaps in your competitors’ content
Finding the right keywords to ensure your SEO efforts are successful
Examining previous campaigns in your industry and learning from success and mistakes
Finding a list of influencers and bloggers who you want to market to or collaborate with
Finding links full of important stats supporting your claims and arguments and providing valuable information to your customers. For example, if you’re writing a how-to article but don’t have enough bandwidth to write more on a specific section, you can mention a link to an external blog post explaining the next steps in detail.
3. SEO basics
As a SaaS content marketer, your job isn’t just to create high-quality, relevant content. It’s also essential to create content that ranks online and converts readers, listeners, and viewers into customers.
This is where the basic knowledge of SaaS SEO can come in handy. In fact, with over 5.6 billion searches done on Google daily, SaaS content marketers are expected to stay updated with the latest SEO best practices. This helps them boost their content’s ranking on search engines and capture a relevant and engaged audience.
Getting your content on top of SERPs has incredible benefits as users are more likely to click on the first page of search results. It ensures the content you create is served to the right audiences at the right time. Without SEO, it’s nearly impossible to succeed as a content marketer.
So, how can you brush up on your SEO skills:
Learn how to research keywords to use in your content. They direct what you say and allow you to stay relevant to your audience’s content needs. Go for long-tail, low competition keywords to drive quality traffic to your website. You can find the best keywords using tools like KWFinder and SEMrush.
Learn how to write relevant, concise, and targeted meta descriptions, titles, and tags.
Understand the significance of unique URLs, headings, and subheadings.
Learn basic fundamentals of technical SEO
Get familiar with blogger outreach, link building, content distribution and a bit of digital PR
The role of a content marketer requires you to create content that can easily attract and convert your target audience. And that’s where having copywriting skills come in — especially when there’s an enormous amount of content published every day.
Copywriting is an effective writing technique used to persuade potential customers to take action. To do that, you need to know how to craft your content in a way that compels your readers to keep reading and do what you want them to do.
Some crucial copywriting skills include:
Altering your writing styles based on business needs and audience persona. For example, you must write short and straightforward sentences for a sales blog as salespeople have limited time and need answers immediately. Further, marketers, on the other hand, need detailed explanations so that you can write more creative, long-form content.
Ability to create easy-to-read content, make complex topics simple, write compelling conclusions, develop an attention-grabbing introduction, and include the most suitable vocabulary for a specific context.
Writing short and compelling headlines and customizing them according to where they will be distributed.
5. Project management
Publishing content consistently can ensure that you’re reaching the right audience and converting them into leads. On the other hand, missing a deadline can tremendously hurt your business’ reputation. Hence, a SaaS content marketer must have the ability to manage projects and deadlines effectively.
Professional content marketers plan a year’s worth of content using content calendars. Not only can you keep track of content workflows and deadlines but also ensure that it has gone through editing and optimization at the time of publishing.
You can use spreadsheets to build content calendars. Or, numerous platforms are available, like Trello, Notion, and Asana, to streamline the overall process.
In addition, managing your projects effectively also includes:
Researching audience and keywords.
Generating topic ideas.
Delegating tasks to writers.
Distributing content on different platforms.
In short, this skill requires you to keep every content piece in sync with your content marketing strategy.
You also need to familiarize yourself with various project management tools, such as Asana and JIRA, to ensure your content remains organized and consistent as your team grows.
Storytelling is another crucial skill a SaaS content marketer can possess to make your brand unforgettable. In fact, a brand’s message or content that focuses on a story is more memorable compared to the message based on the facts.
The ability to tell stories is an essential element of SaaS content marketing. You may have the best product or service on the market and reliable statistics and data to market it well. But, it’s not the features that sell — it’s the stories associated with them. This is because including storytelling in your content marketing is an excellent way to:
Capture your audience’s attention for longer
Connect with them emotionally
Make memorable impression
Boost engagement rates and brand loyalty.
A SaaS content marketer must learn different storytelling techniques to create pieces that stand out and convince people to share. One way is to use the Hero’s Journey technique, where the hero (your target audience) goes on an adventure to defeat a huge monster (their pain points) in the village.
Further, storytelling has 5 Cs (circumstances, curiosity, characters, conversation, and conflict) that ensure your message is clearly communicated to your audience, leaving no room for ambiguity.
A lot of content marketers have great ideas and can put words together on the page well. But, what differentiates great content marketers from average ones is the ability to ensure that each content piece is polished before it can be published.
Editing is a crucial skill that involves adjusting content structure and syntax and removing unnecessary sections and words to make it ready for your audience’s eyes. While good, clear writing can be powerful enough to compel hesitant prospects to take the desired action, messy writing full of errors can make them abandon your message entirely.
In a nutshell, working on your editing skills is the difference between mediocre content and high-quality, engaging content. It ensures your content is clear of any errors and is conveyed to your audience in the most engaging manner possible.
So, whether you need to eliminate grammatical errors from a blog post, crop an image, or even compile video footage, editing ensures your content is of the highest quality and matches the company’s brand while still keeping the creator’s voice.
8. Content analytics and tracking
One of the top challenges for a SaaS content marketer is to ensure the effectiveness of their content. Sure, creativity is crucial for the success of a content marketing campaign. But, without data, it’s nearly impossible to know whether or not your content marketing efforts are paying off.
Hence, to become a successful content marketer, it’s essential to understand and analyze content performance via data. Not only does it allow you to track your campaigns, but you also know what kind of content your audience needs. If you don’t analyze the performance, your future campaigns will lack the strategies necessary for success.
Understanding analytics can be a time-consuming process. But, done right, it can reap numerous benefits at the end of the day. Take a deep dive into relevant content marketing performance metrics, know how to interpret them, and learn to turn that data into actionable insights. Further, analyze industry trends, keep up-to-date on your audience’s needs, and use all the insights to make strategic content marketing decisions.
A common tool that most content marketers use is Google Analytics to find information on how their audience reacts to their website content. You can also invest in a content analysis tool like BuzzSumo to learn the top-performing posts on the internet in terms of engagement.
9. Interviewing subject matter experts
As a SaaS content marketer, you’re often required to create content around unfamiliar topics. Researching for the necessary information to create a detailed, helpful piece on the topic can be daunting — especially on which you’re a novice. This is where interviewing subject matter experts can help you take your content to another level.
An amateur content marketer simply regurgitates information available on the internet. On the flip side, an expert content marketer crafts content that is original and delivers serious value to potential customers.
Here are a few tips for an incredible interview:
Research the topic to have enough knowledge to discuss it and ask relevant questions. You don’t need to have deep knowledge — that’s what the experts are for.
Prepare your questions in advance and provide them to the expert if possible.
Be a good listener. Listen to understand their story and capture a response, and not to ask the next prepared question in the series.
Be genuinely excited about the topic. Otherwise, don’t expect the interviewee to give you interesting answers.
10. Social media knowledge
As a SaaS content marketer, you’re not only responsible for creating engaging content but also for distributing your content to ensure it gets the maximum reach possible. This means you need to understand how to grow your social media following and capture their attention through well-timed interactive posts.
Learn how different social media platforms work and what kind of content best suits them. For example, video content might work great on Instagram, but Twitter is preferred for small text posts or one-liners. Further, understand how to promote your images, written posts, and video content — both organically and via paid ads.
Social media algorithms change frequently, and new features are introduced almost every day. So, keep yourself up-to-date with new features and trends so that your content can better reach and engage your audience.
Promoting your content on social media is just half a battle. You will also need to monitor online conversations in real-time and reply quickly and effectively to users’ comments. For all this, you can also use social media management tools like Hootsuite to streamline the overall process and master the art of social media promotion.
Content marketing isn’t as simple as flooding content on your website. From researching your target audience and producing material to promoting the content and analyzing data — there’s a lot to be done. This requires honing a plethora of skills, such as the aforementioned ones, to ensure your content strategy is successful.