Content writing

B2B Inbound Marketing for SaaS Companies (2023 Guide)

Olga Mykhoparkina

Jan 09, 2023

Over the last few years, we’ve worked with many B2B SaaS companies and we have dozens of happy clients around the world including Monday.com, PandaDoc, Expandi, GetVoip and many more.

At Quoleady, our goal is not simply to boost website traffic but to help our clients get leads for their SaaS products.

We found that inbound marketing strategies often outperform outbound marketing. We experimented with different methods and came up with our own SaaS inbound marketing strategy that focuses mainly on high-intent content as we’ll cover in this article.

You can also find more details about our unique SaaS content marketing strategy here.

In this article, we’ll show you how to implement inbound marketing for SaaS and how to use your blog to generate actual leads, not just traffic.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is B2B Inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is all about attracting potential customers with valuable content and engaging them throughout the whole customer journey. You can use various platforms like blogs, social media, and email campaigns to do this.

The inbound methodology was first applied in the B2C world when companies realized that customers prefer to engage with businesses that share valuable content on their blog and social media channels than those that seem to be there just to promote and sell.

This is particularly important today, when it’s so easy to avoid and block content promotion we’re not interested in. The goal of inbound marketing is to produce content that people actually want to consume, because they either find it helpful, educational or entertaining.

The same strategy can be applied in the B2B world when selling products to business buyers.

People want to get educated in order to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to more expensive products or products with a longer sales cycle.

Just think about the last time you needed particular information or wanted to find out something. Where did you look for it? On Google, obviously. Decision makers are doing the same thing when they want to check something.

And if your website is among the first results on Google and it gives them the information they want, you’ve set yourself up for success. They don’t need to look elsewhere. That’s why B2B SaaS blogs are such a powerful tool!

In fact, according to the HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing 2022 report, it turns out that the combination of inbound marketing strategy and SEO was more effective in the B2B world than in B2C. B2B companies also had a higher ROI from inbound marketing than their B2C counterparts.

The same report states that the most effective format for B2B inbound marketing are blog posts and case studies, which is the same advice we give to our SaaS clients. Inbound marketing has many benefits in comparison to outbound marketing. Here are just a few of them:

  • Inbound marketing is customer-centric,meaning that it focuses on the customer, which people love.
  • It’s a great way to build brand awareness while also being used throughout the whole buyer’s journey.
  • Through inbound marketing, your business can create an image of dependability and reliability, encouraging people to buy from you.
  • It’s more cost-effective than traditional marketing and usually has a higher ROI, especially in the long run.
  • Employing inbound marketing techniques can really pay off when it comes to keeping customers happy, resulting in greater customer retention.

How inbound marketing can drive B2B leads for SaaS?

The goal of inbound marketing is to educate your target audience introducing them to your product and push them down the marketing funnel.

This approach is ideal for SaaS tech companies because decision-makers spend a lot of time informing themselves and comparing different products before they make the final decision.

Our content can guide them to make the right decision.

Inbound content can be created in various formats, including in-depth blog posts, infographics, guides, etc. You could distribute your content through newsletters, podcasts or social media, but we prefer to focus on blog posts and here’s why.

Your blog posts can target the people looking for a solution that you provide and make their buyer journey much quicker. And how can you recognize those people? Because they’re using high-intent keywords on Google!

We discovered that the high-intent approach tends to be the most effective inbound content strategy. Your blog posts should cover queries with purchase intent. This way, potential customers don’t even need the nurturing process, they can simply sign up on the spot while reading the article.

Here are three types of high-intent content you can create:

Listicles

Listicles are a good way to target people at the bottom of the sales funnel. They’re well-informed and they’re now comparing different options before they make a final decision.

If you’re a new SaaS company this is your chance to create a detailed review of the best tools in your industry, provide a lot of value for your audience and position your tool as the best solution on the market.

Alternatives

Here’s how to use your competitors as a part of your content strategy. If a lot of people are looking for an alternative to a particular tool it means there are a lot of unsatisfied people who are willing to purchase other solutions.

Let’s say you have an email marketing automation software and your main competitor is Mailchimp. It can be much easier to rank for the keyword “Mailchimp alternatives” than for a popular keyword with a very high search volume like “Email marketing tools”.

That’s exactly what we did for our client Ringblaze, a virtual business phone system. We helped them rank on Google for multiple keywords that look like this: the name of another virtual phone system (RingBlaze competitors) + alternatives.

We created articles that are reviewing different virtual phone systems in-depth and positioned our client’s software as the best solution.

Starting with only 20 articles, we increased their organic traffic from 0 to 50K, and, most importantly, helped them get 650 new leads. I explained the whole process in this case study if you want to learn more.

Comparisons

Your marketing and sales team should use your competitors as a way to leverage your inbound marketing efforts. Here’s how.

People in the consideration stage tend to read reviews and compare different options. If you’re a new company on the market and it seems that nobody searches for your brand product on Google, don’t worry. Look for the queries they search and then build your SaaS inbound marketing around those terms.

Let’s use email marketing automation software once again. If you notice that a lot of people are comparing Mailchimp and MailerLite for example, you’ve got your keyword.

You can write a blog post that compares “Mailchimp vs MailerLite” or “Mailchimp or MailerLite”. Make sure to add those keywords to the title as well as headings throughout the text.

When writing an article, you can compare the features and give an in-depth review of both tools, and then mention your product as a better alternative.

How-to content

How-to content is another way to position your SaaS product as a logical solution. You’re helping people with some issues and providing value for them, but at the same time, you’re letting them know that you have a solution for them.

Many SaaS companies that work with us started their content marketing journey with a high-intent strategy writing listicles, alternatives, ‘vs’ and how-to content. As a result, they’ve seen an increase in the sign ups right from the blog once their content started ranking high on Google.

Read this case study to see how we helped our client FullSession get more than 400 leads with only 16 articles, most of which were comparison articles.

How is B2B SaaS inbound marketing different from traditional inbound?

SaaS inbound marketing can actually generate leads quicker than traditional inbound marketing. Generally speaking, an inbound marketing funnel starts on your blog or social media platforms, where your only goal is to catch the attention of your potential customers.

You then move on to another channel that feels more intimate, usually email marketing, and keep providing valuable content and building trust until you get them to sign up and convert.

In B2B SaaS inbound marketing you can sometimes skip the whole lead nurturing process and you can get people to sign up right from your blog, even if that’s the first time they’ve heard about your SaaS company.

How is that possible?

By focusing on high-intent content and BOFU keywords, that will bring you people with a high-purchasing intent who are ready to buy.

I explain the whole concept in the article on high-intent marketing strategy, so you may want to check it out.

SaaS keyword research: Choosing the right keywords

Steps how to generate inbound leads with a B2B SaaS blog

Here’s how to turn your SaaS blog into a machine for generating qualified leads.

It may seem like a lot of work to do, but I have good news for you. Inbound marketing efforts create a compound effect over time.

Once you optimize your blog, it can bring you organic traffic for months and even years to come (if you update it regularly).

1. Identify buyer persona and goals

You can start creating your buyer personas by answering these questions:

  • Who are the decision-makers in your target company? What’s their job title?
  • What are their pain points, what problem can your product solve for them?
  • What are their interests and where do they gather information (which websites they visit, which magazines they read, etc.)?
  • Where are they in their buyer’s journey?
  • What is the most important factor for them when making a purchasing decision?

Getting to know your buyer personas will help you with content creation. Simply, you should wrap your content around their pain points, explaining how your product can help them overcome the challenges and reach their goals.

A great example of this is product-led content where you explain all the ways your product can help your buyer personas solve their problems.

You should align your inbound marketing strategy with your buyer persona and your goals. Your goals can vary based on the stage of the buyer journey.

When your potential customers are in the awareness stage, the goal may be to simply attract them and then educate them about your product.

When they’re in the consideration stage, you can cover high-intent keywords that lead to the conversion.

2. Analyze product, market, competitors

The next step is to do market research to see who are your competitors and how you can position your SaaS product.

Analyze your competitors’ content to see what they do well and what’s lacking. It’s possible that you’ll find out that they haven’t covered some topics in-depth and have some content gaps.That could be your chance to stand out!

Remember that even if your competitors have a strong brand and are searched on Google a lot, you can still turn that to your advantage, by creating alternatives and comparison articles.

3. Do keyword research, focus on high-intent keywords

When doing keyword research, look beyond search volume and keyword difficulty. Focus on keywords with a high-purchasing intent, because people who use them are more likely ready to buy and convert to paying customers.

Here are some examples of high-intent keywords:

  • Listicles (“top 10 email marketing tools”)
  • Alternatives (“Mailchimp alternatives”)
  • Comparisons (“Mailchimp vs MailerLite”)
  • How-to (“How to automate email marketing”)

Check the picture below to see how we generate article topics.

Generating high intent article topics for SaaS

4. Write in-depth articles

In the SaaS industry, the competition is tough and in order to rank on Google you need to write high-quality in-depth content. Thin content won’t have any chance to rank on search engines. Make sure to cover the topic in more detail than other articles that are ranking high on Google.

Other B2B SaaS content writing tips include using simple language and keeping your sentences and paragraphs short so it’s easy to follow. You should also add a lot of white space and make the article skimmable. Read this article if you want to learn more about SaaS content writing.

5. Optimize them for SEO

As I already mentioned, I believe that the most effective SEO strategy is focusing on high-intent keywords. But apart from that, here are some quick SEO tips to make sure your content is optimized:

  • Use the target keywords throughout the article but be careful to avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Add your main keyword to the title, heading and URL slug.
  • Don’t forget to add meta descriptions and alt tags.
  • Use tools like SurferSEO or Outranking to make sure your article is optimized.

If you want to learn more about search engine optimization, we’ve written the whole article on optimizing SaaS blog for SEO with a powerful checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

6. Keep updating old content

If you want to stay on top of search engine results, you need to update your articles regularly. Read your old content to check whether there’s any inaccurate information, something that needs to be updated, and so on. Add any new industry insights and make sure to provide readers with relevant content.

Also, you can do a keyword gap analysis with a keyword research tool like Ahrefs, to find out whether you’ve missed any relevant keywords that your competitors rank for.

If you don’t remember when was the last time you updated your content, I’d suggest starting with a SaaS content audit or checking an SEO metrics list to see what works on your website and what needs to be fixed.

7. Keep your content production process consistent

The competition among B2B SaaS companies is insane and it’s not enough to publish just a few articles expecting to rank on Google search. Google loves consistency and it always pays off in the long run.

I’d take your content strategy and transform it into an actual content calendar that you can stick to. If you’re not sure where to start, I’d suggest hiring a SaaS content strategist to help you start creating strategic content.

8. Add internal links in a smart way

Everyone’s so focused on external links, that they forget the power of internal linking. It turns out internal links can boost your organic efforts and bring traffic to your blog posts if used in a smart way.

If you want to give a quick SEO boost to your old article that stopped ranking so well (which is a normal thing to happen with time), you can add links leading to that article from your other blog posts.

You could also add internal links to new articles that you publish on your blog.

However, you don’t have to add internal links to every article you’ve ever published. Be selective with your internal links and link only to articles that are 1. relevant 2. have high conversion rates. That would be the best way to boost your SEO efforts and push your lead generators to Google top.

9. Build external links only after your content is great

You should be very strategic about the articles you’re going to build external links to. No amount of links can help you if your content is thin and doesn’t provide a lot of value. It’s simply a waste of time and money.

The first step is to polish your existing articles. Make sure that you cover topics in-depth and that your articles provide a lot of value to the readers. Pack your content with facts and actionable steps and eliminate any fluff.

Check out the first results on Google to make sure your blog post is more detailed than your competitors’ articles and that you haven’t missed something important.

The next step is choosing websites for SaaS link-building. Remember that it’s not just about the number of backlinks you can get, but also about their quality. Quality over quantity is our motto!

You may be tempted to buy a bunch of links from a content farm or an online magazine that covers multiple topics, but those links won’t help you rank on Google. In fact, it may even hurt your keyword positions in search engines.

When choosing a platform to build links from, here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure it has high domain authority (we start with at least DA 20)
  2. Make sure it gets steady organic traffic without rapid changes
  3. Make sure the context is relevant to your blog article

You can check out the full list of criteria we are using when choosing platforms for link building in my article above. It may sound like too much especially if you don’t have a whole inbound content marketing team working on it. If you feel like you need help with your link building or content marketing,  feel free to book a strategy session. and we’ll do our best to tackle your challenge.

Summary

Inbound marketing strategies can be very powerful and easily surpass outbound marketing. They may require more time especially if you want to use multiple channels like social media, blog, and so on, but they have the biggest ROI in the long run.

If I had to sum up our SaaS content marketing strategy into three steps I’d say:

  1. Focus on high-intent keywords
  2. Deliver high-quality content to your audience
  3. Leverage the power of SEO and links (both external and internal)

If you’d like some help with your SaaS marketing and getting those leads through your blog, we’ve got you covered. Book a free call and let’s grow together!

As always, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have any questions.

Olga Mykhoparkina

Founder

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