Content Marketing Channels: How to Promote SaaS Content (and Drive Relevant Traffic)


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Content Marketing Channels_ How to Promote SaaS Content

November 30, 2020

Happy Thursday!

Picture this:

Say you just got an invitation to a cocktail party you’ve been dreaming to attend.

So, out of excitement (and of course, the desire to look good), you go all out to purchase a fancy, expensive designer dress for the party. To turn things up a little, you even visit the salon to get your hair, nails, and facials done. 

Then boom! 

The unexpected happens. 

While in front of your dressing mirror putting final touches to your makeup, your cellphone beeps. 

It’s the host calling to inform you he canceled the party due to some unforeseen circumstances.

You feel so sad and disappointed that you stand there, not knowing what to do next:

After going through all that trouble to look good, your sacrifices go down the drain before you even get a chance to show off in front of this audience. 

The truth is, even if you decide to go on a date instead, it still wouldn’t feel the same.

SaaS content marketing can feel that way sometimes. 

And this happens when your efforts get frustrated because you don’t know the right content marketing channels to get your product’s message across.

It can feel like wasted efforts when your analytics aren’t smiling (because no one or not enough people are seeing the content your company is creating). 

Thus, knowing where, when, and how to get your content in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right sequence is critical. 

Before we go further, let’s find our WHY.  

Why Are Content Marketing Channels Important?

First, a few questions 

(I hope you don’t mind)

Why do you create content?

Why do you invest so much time writing, editing, and proofreading your content?

Why go through all that trouble?

The reason is simple: you want your people to find you (and your SaaS product) through it. And when they do, to sound like the perfect fit for your ideal customers.

That’s commendable. 

The goal of crafting content that directly drives growth for your SaaS product (what we call product-led storytelling), when done well, is four-fold.

It is to: 

  1. Educate your ideal reader about a problem they are experiencing. 
  2. To present your SaaS product as the solution, then 
  3. To show it in action (including testimonials) as proof that your product works, and
  4. Make the content compelling to inspire trial sign-ups (or demo requests) by blending in SaaS copywriting.

In return, your readers get excited, having been educated about their problem. 

Then, they take the desired action that ultimately converts them from prospects to customers, having experienced your product from the content.

For example, for us, it helps to convert readers…directly from each content piece (without the traditional SaaS sales funnel): 

So no doubt, investing time, creating great SaaS content is praiseworthy. 

Unfortunately, your efforts will go down the drain if you don’t invest as much time and resources into distributing and promoting your content. 

Without this, your ideal readers may never get to see, read, or share your content. 

That’s why distributing your content through the right content marketing channels is critical.  

Content distribution, according to HubSpot, is the process of sharing, publishing, and promoting your content. 

It’s how you share your content with your current and prospective audience, so they can find it and consume them in different media formats and via various channels. 

In other words, content distribution is just as important as content creation. 

It should form an essential part of your holistic content strategy (see step 5):

Without distributing your content through strategic channels, your blog traffic will keep experiencing the spikes of hope.

You don’t want that, right?

If so, sit tight and let me show you the different content distribution channels and the ones you should prioritize in 2021 and beyond. 

I’ll also share some tools you’d find helpful in getting your SaaS content in front of (and consumed by) a wider audience.

First, let’s see the different types of distribution channels that can deliver your content to your target audience.

Content Marketing Channels To Distribute Your SaaS Content

No one enjoys investing without getting returns.

In fact, the return on your investment is the reward you get for having taken the risk to invest your money.

In the same vein, your content creation efforts should never go unrewarded. 

Whatever time or money you invest in creating and promoting your content should be rewarded by a well-maximized ROI. 

But with almost 4.5 million blog posts published every day, there’s only so much content one can consume. 

So, creating compelling content, knowing the available content marketing channels, and choosing the right one increases your chances of getting a great ROI. 

Content distribution channels is how you share and promote your content. 

You need them to get your brand’s message in front of your ideal audience. 

And your preferred channel should largely depend on your target audiences’ preference and your availability of resources to reach them there. 

There are three general types of content distribution channels:

  1. Owned content distribution channel.
  2. Earned content distribution channel, and
  3. Paid content distribution channel.

Let’s look at each one in detail.

Owned Content Marketing Channels 

As the name goes, these are simply channels owned by your SaaS company. 

You have full control of what is to be published, how it should be published, and when it should be published. Also, you don’t have to pay to publish your content on these platforms. 

They include;

  • Blog, website, 
  • Social media handles (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), 
  • Video channels like YouTube, and email newsletters. 

For example, minus the monthly subscription we pay MailChimp, we don’t pay each time we distribute content via our newsletters. 

That’s because we own it. 

But guess what?

We get new business from this channel sometimes: 

Earned Content Marketing Channel

Earned channels, also known as shared channels, are not company-owned.

All things being equal, you neither own them nor pay for them.

Rather others promote your content on their channels (free), perhaps because of something good your SaaS company has done.

“Others” in this regard are “third parties” like people (not bots) who share and promote your content. 

These people can include bloggers, customers, journalists, and others who share your content for free. 

The channels include;

  • Organic ranking on search engines, 
  • Social shares and mentions, 
  • Guest posts, 
  • Product reviews, and
  • Public relations (media coverage)

For instance, because we do a lot of SEO homework when crafting SaaS content, using our Product-led Storytelling formula

Google rewards us with 1st page organic rankings (because we earned it): 

Quora, Facebook Groups, Slack groups, Reddit, or influencer mentions (when not paid for) all under this category. 

How, you ask?

Because others own them, and you must earn trust on them to distribute your content. 

Paid Content Marketing Channel

As the name implies, paid content marketing channels are those you pay to distribute or promote your content on.

These channels include: 

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, 
  • Paid social advertisements, and 
  • Paid influencer content.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads, for instance, entails that the advertiser pays only when prospects interact with the ad via impressions or clicks. If your content is that ad, you pay every time someone clicks on it.

When done right, it can grow your blog traffic and increase conversions. 

To effectively maximize PPC, you can expertly pair it up with a solid SEO strategy in addition to creating SaaS content that is compelling

Those are the three channels I’ll discuss today.

Combined, the three content marketing channels discussed above can make your content go viral, attracting prospects who will eventually convert to become product users.

I stumbled upon the diagram below on HubSpot

It perfectly illustrates how these three content distribution channels overlap and how you can combine them to enhance their impact and reach.

[Source]

If you aren’t sure which to start with, that’s not a problem. 

Let’s go over two content distribution tips for choosing the right channel.

2 Content Distribution Tips For Choosing The Right Content Marketing Channel

Choosing the right content distribution channel can be quite tough, especially when you don’t know what you should look out for. 

On the bright side, knowing what to consider while planning your content distribution saves you a lot of time, energy, and, of course, money. 

Taking these initial steps boosts the impact of your content across channels as you’ll distribute content based on an understanding of your target readers. 

It also helps your team and contributors stay aligned with your overall content goals. 

Also, it makes it easy for you to measure progress. 

So, here are my recommended tips to choose the right channel to distribute your content.

1. Research Your Ideal Readers

You cannot get your content in front of your audience if you don’t know key details about them. 

For instance, where they hang out most, the type of content they love to consume, and how they interact with content. 

Getting to know your audience is critical for your content distribution efforts.

And only that. It also allows you to use insights gained about your consumer to craft better content that educates and solves their problems. 

Start by reviewing your existing website visitors, social media followers, customers, and email subscribers. 

You can get this data from Google Analytics or your social media analytics tool.

Find out what channels they use most. 

Do they spend the most time on Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? Twitter?

Pay attention to how your target audience behaves on different channels, how they interact with content, and what they find valuable. 

You can conduct a survey to get direct feedback from your email subscribers, social followers, and website visitors to get this info. 

To goal here is to find out their pain points and needs.

From these insights, you can determine where your customers hang out and the kind of content they need. 

2. Choose Ideal Content Distribution Channels

Guess what?

Once you have an educated idea of who your target audiences are, you get a much clearer picture of how to get content in front of them. 

Depending on the outcome of your analysis, choose one of the above-mentioned channels. You can decide to use a combination of paid influencer marketing and post on forums/communities like Quora

You can also choose to share on social media and pay to promote your content on some chosen platforms. 

However, optimize your owned and organic content marketing channels (your SaaS blog, social media handle, and email newsletters). 

And that’s because blogs are among the three primary forms of media used in content strategies today. 

To prove this, let’s take a clue from how HubSpot uses owned media channels to distribute content and grow its website traffic.

It all starts with HubSpot’s blog:

HubSpot uses its blog as its primary content marketing channels. 

So much that the blog generates organic traffic of over 10 million monthly:

Here’s a little breakdown of how they do this. 

#1. Creating in-depth blog posts on topics their visitors care about and offering downloadable content such as e-books to their blog posts:

#2. Creating an e-learning platform that certifies professionals seeking to grow their business and career on digital skills, which their product makes possible:

The results?

The academy gets over 64,000 visitors monthly:

#4. Creating videos for Facebook and using LinkedIn to send traffic to those videos.

Like this:

And this:

These are only a few ways HubSpot uses to generate organic traffic of over 10 million visitors monthly. 

Take a clue from them. And, of course, from what I’ve shared with you so far.

Conclusion: Create content worth distributing 

SaaS content, no matter how great, is such a waste if your target audience doesn’t find them or consume them.  

So, knowing where, when, and how to get your content in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right sequence is critical. 

Content marketing channels are how you do that. 

But don’t forget the ultimate goal of getting your content effectively distributed – it should engage and show prospective customers how to solve their problems with your SaaS product. 

We call this Product-led Storytelling

It’s a formula that ensures that no matter the channel you distribute your content with, each content piece turns into a SaaS sales funnel on its own:  

We use this formula to craft excellent content pieces, eliminates the need for long SaaS sales funnel processes.

But here’s the most interesting part:

When we distribute these content pieces on the right channels, it acquires qualified leads (and customers), as our target audience consume them: 

We can do the same for your SaaS company – craft compelling SaaS content that, when properly distributed, gets you real prospects (and trial users if you run a freemium product). 

Does this sound interesting to you?

You can contact us here.

About the author 

Content Strategist, Product-led Storyteller. I love connecting with people, learning new things, and chatting about love, life, & faith.

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