The Indian SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) eco-system is witnessing an increase in activity in terms of new startups emerging and establishing themselves. More than $1.484 billion has been poured into Indian SaaS companies since 2010 as per reports by Tracxn. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a delivery model in which the software is licensed on a subscription basis and usually hosted on the cloud.
SaaS brands worldwide consider content marketing as a critical component to build a sustainable business. It’s critical to measure SaaS Content Marketing KPIs to understand how much revenue has been generated from your content marketing efforts. Often content marketers focus on vanity metrics to measure the performance of their content marketing efforts. While vanity metrics are good indicators of brand awareness, they don’t make much of a difference to the bottom line. So what Content Marketing KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) should SaaS businesses be focusing on?
Defining SaaS Content Marketing KPIs
See – Think – Do – Care framework places your customer at the centre of your content marketing programs and realigns your view of success. The framework drives mental availability which also goes under many names such as ‘share of mind’, ‘awareness’, ‘attention’ etc.
As marketers, we want people to think about our brand, the product or services you offer, the benefits your brand provides etc. This increases the likelihood of sales when people start to become interested in buying something from your industry.
For instance, Invision the makers of the popular prototyping and screen design tool use their content marketing efforts to help artists and user experience designers to help them get better at their craft. Content yields better results when it comes from a place of empathy —that is when you know your audience and you speak to them on a personal level. Invision uses its deep understanding of designers gathered from its platform, social listening and interviews to imbibe empathy into its content.
When people start to develop commercial intent and start looking around for a product or service, you don’t want them to search for competition; you want them to look for you. When people search for you directly, you are always better off, for example in search marketing this means to increase your share of branded searches.
For instance, Hubspot instead of positioning itself as a marketing automation provider rechristened itself an ‘inbound marketing software’. It took them few years and millions of dollars to evangelise this new category however the results have paid them many times over.
SaaS brands should offer how-to-guidance, free consultation and expert advice using their content marketing efforts to build brand recall. They can also offer free tools or widgets to prospects to build affinity and showcase the value of their core product. Website Grader from Hubspot providers insights to marketers on mobile readiness, SEO and security. The tool launched in 2008 has turned into an indispensable resource for marketers world over to fine-tune their marketing efforts.
All actions that you take, including your communication efforts, should be optimised towards your most important financial KPI. Anything else would lead to sub-optimization. In this stage of the customer lifecycle, your brand has to help your prospect to understand the value of working with you and not just the solution that you’re offering. Your content marketing efforts could be augmented with free trials, live demos, consultations, estimates and coupon codes to drive decisions.
Renewals are critical for growth in SaaS businesses. It’s essential to understand churn rate and have an effective strategy to reduce it. If your customers buy from you again, then they are acknowledging the value of your product. Content marketing can play an active role in building trust and enhancing transparency.
Customers should be the first to know about latest developments, scheduled downtime, estimated release dates, information on security and historical data on system performance. This will give them a clear picture where their money is going, build trust and instil confidence that they will continue to see a return on their investment.
Care also involves listening to the customers and addressing possible pain-points. This could also mean eavesdropping or looking at their usage data to understand potential issues which need to be discussed beforehand.
Measuring SaaS Content Marketing KPIs
The ultimate question that every content marketer seeks to find an answer for is, “Did our content resonate with the audience?” Often marketers measure vanity metrics such as likes, shares, retweets and so on to understand distribution. But wider distribution doesn’t necessarily mean that your content resonated with your audience.
Real user engagement isn’t just buzz. To understand your content marketing efforts better, you need to move beyond the noise to measure real impact. To measure the impact you should look at metrics like assisted conversions, reduction in customer acquisition cost, % new visits from content etc. For instance, your blog’s performance in ranking on keywords/phrases which assist in conversions could have a direct impact on your business.
If succeeding with content marketing in SaaS is marathon consider SaaS Content Marketing KPIs as the sprint. You can’t succeed in a marathon without doing well in the sprint.