6 Money-Making Content Formats SaaS Companies Should Prioritize — Whiteboard Friday
The author’s views are entirely their own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
In today’s Whiteboard Friday episode, expert content strategist Chima Mmeje talks you through the six top content formats SaaS brand can focus on to drive revenue.
Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
Hi, my name is Chima Mmeje, and I am a SaaS content strategist at zenithcopy.com. I write long-form content, and I also use topic clusters as a form of content strategy for SaaS companies. Today, I’m talking to you about six moneymaking content formats to prioritize for SaaS companies.
Now, before I get into all of this, I just want to start by saying that when building clusters or when doing research or when creating content, you should always start from the bottom to increase your chances of ranking and then make your way to the top. The reason being that at the top of the funnel, the keywords are extremely competitive, it has tons of search volume, and the likelihood of a small business or of a small website ranking for those keywords is very rare, in fact, almost never happens.
But if you start from the bottom, then you can pick one keyword, one keyword, one keyword, rank for those, make your way to the middle, and then at the top, use your pillar contents to bring everything together. Don’t get greedy. All right. Now that we have that, I’m just going to show you six keywords that I think have the most impact for moneymaking at the bottom of the funnel.
The first one is best of keyword. Now, this keyword is so good because it actually fits into the funnel at the middle or at the bottom. It’s also a review type of content. Examples, best SEO tool for beginners, best free SEO tools, best SEO tool for link building, best keyword research tool. Okay, this is a sales enablement asset because it’s personalized to specific problems that the audience is facing.
This is not just SEO tool reviews. This is SEO tool reviews for beginners. This is SEO tool reviews for link building. All of them performing specific function. Now, what this type of content does is that it allows you to showcase your brand. It gives 10, 15 other competitors, tells the audience what all these other tools do, but positions your brand as the best option for them.
Now, example, I was trying to get a tool for podcast. I was thinking of creating a podcast for the FCDC. When I was doing my research, I found some of these best of tools for podcasts. And two of the things that stood out was Audacity and another brand name I can’t really remember.
Now, my entire search, my entire search journey started and ended with best podcast tool. And right there, I made my decision. So it’s a great asset for people who don’t have time or who don’t want to read content at the top, middle, bottom. They can just start and end their search with this type of content. While users usually trust third-party review websites because they believe they don’t have a vested interest, you should also take control of the narrative by creating this content and showing up on SERP, because subconsciously, you’re building trust.
If they read your content before ending on a third-party review website, they already associate your brand with that solution.
2. Sales enablement
All right. Next one, sales enablement content. Now, it doesn’t get a lot of love. It doesn’t get a lot of appreciation because it’s always working in the background. But this is the cream of type of content format to create. Reason being that if you get it right, the right sales enablement content is going to move someone from, “Is this the right solution for me?” to, “This is definitely what I need to be getting.” Examples, video testimonials, case studies, personalized landing pages, white papers, product demos. Now I want to just a little bit dig into how you can use this to solve problems for your audience. Video testimonials.
Say a user comes to you and they have specific problems. You’ve built your buyer personas, you’ve marked out the problems that the audience is facing, and you’ve linked solutions from your product to each of those problems that the audience faces. Now, you’re not just going to send them generic video testimonials. You’re going to send them video testimonials that you’ve created talking about how your product solves a problem, not just any problem, a specific problem for a specific user base.
Now, if you send that personalized video to the user or to the prospect, they can see themself in that person that they are watching, and by seeing themself in that person, they feel that this solution was created for them. It’s the same thing with case study. It’s the same thing with personalized landing pages. It’s the same thing with product demos and white papers.
They cannot be generalized. You have to map them into the buyer’s journey. You have to map them into your buyer personas that you’ve built, and you have to map them into problems and solutions for it to work.
3. Competitor comparison pages
Next one, competitor comparison pages. Now, these pages are so great.
I love them because it allows you to show how your brand works against a competitor performing a similar function. Now, the mistake that a lot of the SaaS companies make is that they trash their competitors when creating competitor pages. That means you’re just focusing all of your attention talking about what your competitor does, and I can’t really tell how you’re better.
What you should be doing instead is that you should be mining reviews from review sites, like Capterra, G2 and the rest of them, looking for themes of complaints that your audience has against these competitors, and then using those problems that you’ve identified to reverse-engineer and show how your product solves those specific problems. That way, someone who is looking for an alternative to Aurelius, maybe they’re coming from EnjoyHQ or Dovetail and they’ve seen that you’ve identified the problems they faced with EnjoyHQ or Dovetail, now understand why Aurelius is a better choice than EnjoyHQ or Dovetail.
Same with Aurelius versus Dovetail. Now, another misconception is that it has to be either Aurelius or Dovetail writing this competitor review. No, it doesn’t have to be Aurelius or Dovetail. EnjoyHQ can also create content on these two. What they do is that their objective, they say Aurelius does this, Dovetail does this, and then at the end, they use the conclusion to sell themself.
They find common themes of problems that these two have. What are the problems that they’ve mined from this that also happens in this? Then they use that in the conclusion to show how they solve both problems in one solution. An example is PandaDoc. PandaDoc created a solution or rather they created a competitor landing page for DocuSign and HelloSign.
At the end, they mention the word “free.” They said DocuSign and HelloSign only give you three e-signatures every month, but they will give you unlimited e-signatures. Already that has captured my attention. That has convinced me because if I’m just looking for only e-signatures, then I’m not going to go to HelloSign or DocuSign.
I’m going to go to PandaDoc that gives me unlimited e-signatures. Now, same thing with reviews. There’s a misconception that third-party review websites are the only ones that Google likes to rank or that people trust when reading reviews. But I think you can take control of the narrative if you remain objective, when reviewing your competitors, and then focus on the core features that you do better.
That is why it’s so important to personalize your reviews using this kind of best X, specific problem, specific audience style when creating reviews, so it’s not just generic.
4. Pricing pages
Now, next one, pricing pages. This is a core brand asset.
It’s navigational keyword. You do not want your competitors ranking for your pricing pages. A mistake I keep seeing is that pricing pages, they just mention generic features and then they put the price at the bottom. The more expensive your tool is, the more the onus is on you to justify your pricing by showing the features that are important to the audience. So you don’t just have generic pricing pages.
You have done your market research. You’ve done your audience research. What is the solution that they are looking for? In order of importance, you start to list those solutions on your pricing pages because that makes them feel like this tool is worth paying for. Now, if you have add-ons on your tool, and as your tool becomes more popular, you start to notice that people, the way that your audience searches for the pricing page on Google or other search engines changes.
This is a generic search for Zoom, Zoom pricing, how much is Zoom. But as you start having more add-ons, like Zoom Webinar, you start seeing people not just searching for Zoom pricing but searching for that specific add-on pricing. This was a search that I made when I was thinking of using Zoom Webinar for the FCDC. All right.
5. Modifiers to download something
Next one, modifiers to download something. This is just an essential group of content to create because it allows you to capture emails, and you need those emails to feed something for your email team to build content around. Now, examples, free templates, free plan. You can see I keep mentioning the word “free” because “free” is a magic word that gets people to listen and click. So what you do with that, when you’re doing your keyword research, you can just filter by typing in the word template, plan, checklist, calculator, spreadsheet, playbook, infographic, ebook, and then the search results from your keyword results is going to just start showing only researched information that mentions these things.
You can just click on all of that, export it into a Google spreadsheet and then use that to start creating content. Another way to find content that requires downloadable assets is when you plug in that keyword on Google SERP, the SERP is going to tell you if you need to create an asset for it.
The third way is to look at the content and then ask yourself, “Will this content be more actionable with an asset?” For example, if you create something that requires a calculator, even if nothing on the SERP is showing calculator, then it makes sense to provide that asset. If you’re the first person to provide that asset, then you’ve given yourself an edge.
You’ve given your user something more than everyone else, and very soon, you start to notice that other people start following you.
6. Personalized landing pages
Finally, personalized landing pages. This only works if you know your audience and the problems that your product solves for them. Example, scheduling tool for project management. Now, let’s use Calendly as an example.
Calendly must have done their research to discover that some of their audiences are project managers that use Calendly to schedule meetings. That only happens from building buyer persona and identifying the problem that that audience faces. Same thing with UX research software for designers. Anyone who is creating this tool, example Aurelius, EnjoyHQ, Dovetail, must have built buyer personas to determine that designers are one of their core audience, UX researchers are one of their core audience, copywriters are one of their core audience.
Then they can build personalized landing pages that target the specific solution that these people are coming for, because every audience type is going to have something else that they are looking for in a product. And these are six ways that you can use these content formats to make more money for your brand.