From a Dying Start-up to a $5M/Year Business: How Groove Tasted Success with Content Marketing

Content marketing is not alchemy because the content is real, and there is no magic formula to shoot engagement through the roof.

Ask any content marketer, and they will tell you there is no-size-fits-all content strategy. But every now and then, we come across success stories that have nailed some formula to grow business with content.

Such is the story of Groove, a sales productivity platform that went from being on the verge of collapsing to earning millions of dollars in revenue. And how did they do it? Two words: content marketing.

Here’s Groove’s Journey from empty cash reserves to a $5 million-a-year business. And a content marketing example for the books.

About Groove

Groove is a cloud-based help desk platform tailored for small businesses and start-ups. Companies use it to communicate with their customers through various channels like email, live chat, phone calls, and social media. Basically, Groove, with its SaaS product, helps businesses deliver 24×7 customer service.

According to a report by Future Market Insights, more than 95,000 companies are active in the help-desk software market, which will reach a market size of $11 billion in 2023. So, it is indeed a booming market segment but a competitive one as well.

Alex Turnbull, Groove’s founder and CEO, founded the start-up in 2011 to be a player in this growing market at the time. But it was not long until he realized his start-up was a sinking ship.

The Journey Downhill

Alex Turnbull gathered a team and started Groove in 2011. They spent six months creating customer service software they thought people would use.

Read that again.

It was their first mistake – assuming what businesses need and spending six months developing a solution in isolation.

Neither Groove had a clear group to target, nor did the team ask many questions about what they thought their market was. As a result, the Groove version 1 failed miserably, and the start-up was on its deathbed with revenue being non-existent.

The team realized the mistake and spent significant time collecting customer feedback. Then again, they spent another six months rebuilding the software based on that feedback. The new product was definitely better than the previous iteration, but still, it was not enough to bring customers.

Groove was still running out of funds, and with each weekly report of all the metrics, it seemed the end was near.

Failed Attempt at Content Marketing

Think of a boxer trailing in the last rounds, and he knows he has to swing, is swinging but is failing to connect. So, he looks towards the cornerman to understand what he is doing wrong, but there is not much help.

Such was the Groove’s situation.

The team was trying everything they knew but failing. They even tried content marketing, following the footsteps of blogs like HubSpot.

But – once again – Groove’s experiments with content marketing were not based on research but mere imitation of successful content marketing examples. They put together some blogs and shared them via email and social media and failed to generate traffic.

The Journey Towards $5 Million Annual Revenue

Down and desperate, Groove needed to succeed at all costs, and there was no magic wand in sight. That is when Alex decided to take a step back and introspect everything that went wrong. He realized he needed to learn from people who were succeeding at eCommerce and B2B content. Here is how they did it.

1.       Regroup and Research

Before coming up with a new content marketing strategy, the Groove team took a step back.

In the founder’s words, they did nothing but research. For two months, they researched different companies and marketers to identify factors that turn a simple blog into an effective tool to generate leads and grow business.

2.       Email Outreach

The next step was to connect with marketers who have aced content marketing strategy and execution. And what’s a better medium than email? But if you have experience in email marketing, it should not be a surprise that most of those emails were ignored.

However, the marketers that agreed to connect changed Groove’s content marketing forever, and for the better. Upon connecting with some marketers, the Groove team faced questions like:

  • What is Groove’s outreach strategy like?
  • What is the hook for that blog?
  • And why not read some other blog instead?

These are some simple questions but essential in unlocking the true potential of the phenom that is content marketing. People at Groove knew precisely what they were missing, and there was no looking back.

Groove’s email outreach template
Source: Groove

1.       Restarting Content Marketing from the Scratch

After revamping their initial help desk software, it was time for Groove to restart content marketing from scratch. They shifted the focus from finding what would look good on a blog or what people may like to what would help the market.

Groove’s help desk software is targeted to small businesses and start-ups. But their content wasn’t. So, as the first step, their team spent weeks reaching out to different small businesses and entrepreneurial communities on LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter.

It was about being straightforward, asking people what their goals are and what hurdles they have between them and their goals. Then, it was the quest to truly understand what the people want and how to deliver it in the form of some content.

And so came the content strategy that took a dying start-up to yearly recurring revenue of $5 million. Today, Groove has more than 250,000 people reading its content every month and more than 5,000 happy customers.

Groove’s blog performance metrics
Source: Groove

Content Strategy That Worked for Groove

There is a lot to learn from Groove’s Journey, from being unable to pay bills to generating millions every year. You must be wondering how the team applied its learnings from research, outreach and feedback to gain traction and drive engagement. So, here are some of those tricks.

1.       Stealing Topics from the Audience

Even though they are a customer support software provider, they first said no to customer support content. It makes sense because there were already many such websites and blogs, and Groove needed something fresh.

Stealing sounds cheesy, but that is how founder Alex describes how they came up with topics for their revamped blog.

First, they reached out to their small businesses, and topics followed. They learn about all kinds of challenges small business owners face, whether cash flow, hiring, product or even marketing.

A quick Google search showed that only a handful of blogs focused on these challenges. And so, the Groove team unearthed a goldmine and turned these challenges into topics.

They also followed online communities to see what people were posting about. If something interesting came up, that was Groove’s next blog.

2.       Connecting with the Gatekeeper

It was just the beginning, so Groove did not have many audiences.

To build one, the team decided to build relationships with people with big but overlapping audiences. And it was more than just asking influencers to share the link to the blog. Here is how they did it:

  • An introductory email with a summary of the blog and permission to share the link to the full blog if they are interested.
  • A conscious decision not to ask influencers to share the blogs on social networks.
  • Always asking for feedback on the posts. It not only brings experts’ insights but also starts many conversations and helps build strong relationships.

3.       Always Improving

Blogs are on the right track, and the audience is building, but Groove did not shy away from experimenting with different things. Whether it was different title styles, formats, blog length, and image styles, they tested it all.

Some efforts failed; few worked. But the ones that worked, Groove stuck with it and rode to 250k monthly readers.

For instance, Groove A/B tested one of their blogs. The goal was simple: to see if people prefer no-sense to-the-point content or want value woven into a narrative.

The visitors who saw the story-based blog had an average on-page time five times than those who got the straightforward blog. Not only that. Around 300% more visitors scrolled to the bottom of the narrative-driven content.

results of Groove’s A/B testing narrative technique
Source: G2.com

4.   Telling Their Story as It Is

The narrative was now at the core of Groove’s content marketing. And talking of stories, Groove now had its own tale to tell.

So, they shared the numbers they were doing and promised to share their journey to $100k monthly revenue. Result? One thousand email subscribers in 24 hours, 5,000 in a month – more visitors, shares and actual customers signing up for the product.

They did the same when they hit $500k million in revenue, and their email subscribers hit the 100k mark. The rest is history.

Groove’s revenue increase after blog launch
Source: G2.com

Wrapping Up

That is the story of Groove and how they turned their fortune with serious content marketing. But also one of the most remarkable content marketing examples of the last decade.

Content is the only marketing investment Groove makes, and returns show it is one of their best. There is a lot to learn from their efforts and shape your content strategy for success. You must know what your market needs, whether it is product or content.

Groove’s is a tale of learning from those who excel in content marketing. Not imitating, but taking cues from them and taking a backseat to introspect what is going wrong. But most of all, not being afraid to ask the audiences what they want and going for it even if it was a topic outside Groove’s customer service domain.

And that is how Groove went from a dying start-up to a multimillion-dollar success story.

How to Make Boring Topics Come Alive- A Guide for Clueless Content Writers

What, according to you, is a “boring” topic for a content writer? Something that makes you stare at that blinking cursor on the screen? Something that doesn’t light the creative spark in you instantly? 

Or something that makes you question if your readers will even be interested in reading it? (Well, considering most readers only get through 60% of an article, it wouldn’t be too wrong to believe that!) 

Now while I can go on about how a mundane topic can make you feel, let’s take a moment to think: are the blog topics you’re working on really dull? Probably not. 

There is no such thing as a boring topic. Even the most “bland” or “dull” industries create content because people need information about them. 

You might find it dry, but there is an audience waiting to learn more about something as mundane as selecting light fixtures for their home! So it doesn’t hurt to have a little fun with your content.

#1 Dig Deeper

There’s no way you can make your writing enjoyable until you know your stuff. Perhaps you find a topic boring because you don’t know what it is about. 

Take this as your chance to shine and start by educating yourself on the matter. 

To do so, take the following two steps:

1. Understand the industry as a content writer

Before you dig deeper into the topic, research more about the industry. Because the more you learn about something, the easier it will get to relate to the topic and write about it. 

2. Identify what people want

Go beyond industry blogs and company websites to Q&A websites and forums like Quora to see what industry-specific questions people are asking. This will help you broaden your knowledge and come up with a unique angle.

Once there, use the following framework designed by M.J. Curry and A. Hewings “Approaches to teaching writing,” in Teaching Academic Writing: A Toolkit for Higher Education.

Approaches to teaching writing
Writing Process | M.J. Curry and A. Hewings “Approaches to teaching writing,” in Teaching Academic Writing: A Toolkit for Higher Education. | source

#2 Angle it Right

What is the most challenging yet most worthwhile part of the writing process? 

Ask any content writer, and they’ll tell you how tricky it is to find a unique angle. Now throw a mundane topic in the mix, and you’ve got yourself a real problem. 

But taking up exciting angles that you and the audience can relate to can make all the difference. 

The target is to engage your audience quickly – because, chances are, 55% of your readers will spend less than 15 seconds on your content. This means you have 15 seconds to establish a solid angle for the audience that makes your boring topic come alive.

If you’re stuck figuring out a strong angle, ask yourself these questions:

  • What will your audience (or you) relate to? 
  • Is there a personal incident you can include? 
  • Or maybe you can connect the topic with any latest event?

In the post, Quora Marketing: ~1 Million Views Generated. Here’s How to Replicate Our Success, Si Quan Ong starts by sharing a personal anecdote:

“Since July 2018, I’ve been active on Quora, answering at least five questions a week on topics related to Ahrefs, SEO, and digital marketing. In that time, I’ve accumulated hundreds of thousands of views.” 

This not only boosts Ong’s credibility as a writer, but provides social proof for his tips as well. This is a tried-and-test formula used by many LinkedIn users as well. 

Here’s one example you can emulate.

Once you find an angle that excites you, the writing process becomes fun, and you create a compelling blog post for the reader.

#3 Build Excitement with a Story

Getting your readers’ attention is as easy as catching a fish with your bare hands. And with a dull topic, even the most experienced content writers find it challenging to make things fun. 

So what should you do? Try the age-old trick: tell a story. 

Channel the natural storyteller in you and build a captivating narrative around that otherwise boring topic. 

People love stories. A well-written tale can not only ignite your readers’ emotions but also adds a touch of humanity to your writing. 

For inspiration, see how Salesforce is humanising the otherwise dull and drab section of customer success stories

This is how they begin the story!

Salesforce success stories

What a clever way to reel in the reader and introduce the challenge ENGIE, their customer, has been facing.  

#4 Tune into Your Sense of Humour

Writing a blog post with a touch of humour can add life to even the most uninteresting topics. And trust me, your audience will remember it for a long time. 

Don’t shy away from tuning into your humorous side and being a little informal with the reader – it doesn’t take much to make your reader smile. 

Just keep it natural. Crack a joke, share a funny anecdote, or include a pop culture reference. 

As long as your humour is relevant and doesn’t disconnect the reader from the topic, a light-hearted tone will engage your audience and make writing more entertaining for you.

If you’re not sold on the idea, perhaps getting a 250% increase in qualified leads will change your mind. 

In 2015, Lenovo came up with a tongue-in-cheek series of The Office-style mockumentaries. They sympathized with IT professionals by showing relatable moments and odd situations they experience in everyday work life. 

This was a massive hit among the IT staffers, and garnered some ridiculously good results. 

  • 250% lift in qualified leads
  • 87% Video Completion Rate
  • Activated over 91,600 out of 185,000 dormant leads (target = 34,000) in one quarter
  • 65% of all leads generated had been exposed to the videos we produced
  • Winner of 17 B2B Marketing awards

Watch the hilarious video below!

#5 Ditch the Jargon

If you’re working in a technically complex industry, you’re probably used to writing blog posts with industry terms and jargon. 

While using jargon can illustrate your domain expertise and industry knowledge, it is exactly what can make a topic boring to read (or difficult to understand!). 

Not all of your readers have the same access to the industry jargon as you do. So it’s always better to write in your reader’s language. 

B2B copywriting can be better. Here’s how. 

  • Use relatable examples or analogies to explain a complex topic
  • Change heavy information into infographics or images; visual content always works
  • Analyse your work using writing and grammar apps like Grammarly or Hemingway 
  • Ask someone to read your work and get feedback

#6 Make it Fun with Visuals

Writing a blog post is more than about fresh ideas and flawless writing. Get ahead in the game and experiment with visual content to add more excitement to a boring topic. 

Why? Because for most people, visual content is easier to consume and retain. In fact, according to a survey by Venngage, 49% of marketers peg visual content as critical to content marketing, while 62% use visuals in blog posts. 

Create visual content. Infographic for content writer platforms.
Visual content and major platforms | Source

Here’s how you can use media to transform a boring topic:

  • Have some interesting facts or statistics to share? Include infographics
  • Need to explain a long, complicated concept? Rely on a storyboard
  • Want to add humour to your content? Make your readers laugh with a meme or a GIF
  • Or simply give your reader a mental break from reading with a relevant video or image 

When a topic looks bland and uninteresting, visuals make it a little less boring and a little more fun. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words, right?

Tools to Use:

  1. Google Fonts
  2. Canva
  3. Adobe Spark
  4. Vecteezy 
  5. Infogr.am 

#7 Keep It Short

Imagine you’re stuck in an elevator with someone who can’t seem to stop talking. You cannot wait to go home and crash on the bed, but no matter how much you try, they won’t get to the point. 

Well, writing can drag on like that. 

As a content writer, you’ll always be dealing with an impatient reader. And you’ll always want to include every fascinating piece of information to add value for the audience. But, if you have a boring topic, readers are even less likely to spend time on it.

So keep it short and straightforward. Focus on what you have to say, and say it in the least words possible. 

Omit anything that makes your blog less interesting – you’ll be surprised to see what magic even a few words can create.

Carpe Diem, Content Writer!

For a content writer, nothing is more challenging than dealing with a dull, mundane topic. But remember, it is not as complicated as it looks – all you need is a changed perspective, a striking angle, and maybe some wit to make the writing process more fun. 

The next time you’re struggling with a “boring” topic, don’t forget to check these amazing tips to breathe new life into your content. 

After Product-Market Fit, Find Your Content-Market Fit

after product market fit, find your content market fit

Are you a SaaS company with a satisfied customer base that swears by your product? Well, Congratulations! You can cross off ‘achieve product-market fit’ from your to-do list.
Your next goal is achieving content-market fit. 

For the uninitiated, having the content-market fit means that you are connected with the right people, through the right channel, and with the right content in the right format. 

What does ‘right’ mean here? How do you know when you have achieved content/market fit? How to devise a successful content strategy for this goal? 

Let us try to answer these questions. 

Why Content-Market Fit Matters for SaaS Companies

If you think that achieving product-market fit (PMF) is enough and you don’t need to work on your content strategy, think again.

Creating and distributing content via inbound marketing strategies is important for SaaS companies. It is the best way to:

  • Draw potential customers’ eyeballs to your product
  • Convince people to take a product demo, one word at a time 
  • Educate people about what you offer and how it benefits them
  • Keep in touch with people who have shown interest in your product
  • Keep in touch with people who have purchased your product
  • Establish a brand presence

What do all these scenarios have in common? 

Well, in each scenario, you will achieve success only when people actually read your content. And people will read your content only if they get some value from it. (How many times have you heard, ‘Create valuable content’ from marketing gurus?)

As a SaaS company, not only should your product satisfy your target market, but your content also needs to deliver value. 

Let us take this statement one step further. 

Think of Your Content as Yet Another Product

Going back to the OG definition of product-market fit

“Product-market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” 

A good market is a market where there is demand for your product, which you can harness and quantify in profitable ways. 

Now, let us try to modify this definition and apply it to content-market fit. 

“Content-market fit means connecting with your customers on the right channel with valuable content in suitable format that satisfies those customers.” 

How to achieve content-market fit

Content-Market Fit is, Ultimately, Content-Customer Fit

As always, the customer is key to understanding the concept. This is why content-market fit is also sometimes referred to as content-customer fit. 

  • What is your audience like? 
  • What are their needs? 
  • Which channels do they frequent?
  • Which format do they want to consume content in? 

Once you answer these questions, you can take the next step to achieving content/market fit. 

Before Moving Towards Achieving Content-Market Fit….

“Achieving content-market fit is a journey, not a destination.” – Some wise guy on LinkedIn, probably. 

Having content-market fit means that your content is aligned with your customers’ needs in terms of information, channels, and formats. But here’s the catch: These factors aren’t always defined

  1. Customers’ needs and expectations change with time. Your competitors may start offering something new or a new technology update may disrupt the market. You will have to realign your content strategy to keep up with these changes. 
  1. A single content format may not work every time. Let us take a very basic example. Suppose you have a software product. You have been publishing long articles that take the user through your product’s features in a step by step manner. And so, they work well for people who want to know how your product works in detail.
    Now, can you create similar long-form content for your website’s FAQ section? Try doing it and you will see very high bounce rates. This is because people who visit your FAQ page want quick answers to specific questions. 
  1. Similarly, your audience might not be present on all channels. You may take great pains to create content for Twitter. But if most of your audience is on LinkedIn,  you’ll only get lukewarm impressions. 

The Key to Achieving Content-Market Fit

The most straightforward way is to experiment till you get there. But you don’t need to resort to trial and error. 

As a marketer with good product-fit, you already have these in your toolkit: 

  • An existing audience
  • A customer base that uses your product regularly
  • A good awareness of what your customers need

Now, all you need to do is leverage them. 

#1 Ask Your Customers What They Want to See

You can reach out to your customers directly and ask them what they would like to see. You can ask questions like: 

  1. Do you find x content on our blog helpful?
  2. Do you want to see video tutorials of our product? 
  3. Would you like to follow us on social media for product updates? 
  4. Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter? 

#2 Understand How Your Customers Discover You

Thanks to digital marketing methods, you can understand where you get most of readers from. And how much time do they spend reading or watching what you put out. You can take note of metrics such as: 

  1. Organic website traffic, session length, and bounce rates via Google Search Console. 
  2. The breakdown of total website visits via different channels. Visitors can arrive on your website via organic search, social links, ads, newsletters, and promotional emails. 
  3. Number of social media impressions, clicks, saves, and shares.
  4. Average watchtime on YouTube. 

#3 Know What Formats Work Well 

You can start by comparing the performance of different content formats for the same information. 

Suppose you have a tutorial blog. You have repurposed the same information in a full-length tutorial video. Later, you created carousels and short-form videos with the same content. After a few weeks of publishing, analyse which one performs better in terms of impressions, shares, views, likes, clicks, and website visits. 

The winning format should get the most of your creation and marketing time. 

#4 Peek at What Your Competitors Are Doing

The world of B2B SaaS is highly competitive. Sometimes, it helps to take a leaf from a rival company’s book. Look at what they are doing, how much are they succeeding, and how you can do it better. 

(Psst…Need some inspiration to create your next blog post? Check out our post on “How to Never Run Out of Content Ideas for Your SaaS Blog.”)

#5 Monitor the Results of Your Content-Market Fit Efforts 

Set goals for your content marketing strategy and always keep an eye on how your content is doing across channels, formats, and over time. Capture and apply the feedback to content next in line for publishing. 

Keeping your approach agile will help you keep your strategy aligned with the market. 

The Bottom Line

With every successful content marketing strategy, you will find that the content is aligned with the customers’ needs, their preferred channels, and the suitable formats. Go ahead and dissect any content marketing case study and you will observe that at the core of the success story lies a good content-market fit. 

Once you understand how content-market fit works in the context of your company, make it the only goal of your content strategy! 

Explained: How Vertical SaaS is Taking Over Niche Marketplaces?

The digital world as we know of and engage with today is built on the cloud. And SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are its three core pillars. But over the last few years, the SaaS pillar has branched off into two prominent ways: vertically and horizontally

Where horizontal SaaS caters to diverse groups of industries, vertical SaaS focuses on niche verticals within an industry. 

For example, ‘pharmaceuticals’ is a vertical within the chemical industry like ‘nuclear energy’ is within the energy industry and ‘implementation consulting’ is within the consulting industry.

The most common horizontal SaaS companies you have probably come across are Slack, Quickbooks, etc. Whereas brands like Veeva and Clio form the vertical SaaS landscape

Vertical SaaS Vs. Horizontal SaaS: At a Glance

horizontal SaaS vs vertical SaaS
Vertical SaaS vs. Horizontal SaaS | Source

“Want to establish authority within one industry, including multiple sub-sectors within that industry? If so, then vertical SaaS is the way to go. Want to cater to a diverse set of industries? If yes, then brainstorm horizontal SaaS solutions.”

Free Resource: Software as a service (SaaS) Global Market Report 2022, By Application, Deployment Model, Enterprise Size, End User

How is the Vertical SaaS Landscape Taking Over Niche Marketplaces?

Graph showing year by year growth of vertical SaaS
The unstoppable pace of vertical SaaS | Source

As the B2B SaaS landscape becomes more cutthroat, SaaS vendors are shifting focus to vertical SaaS more than horizontal SaaS. Why? Because they want to gain a competitive advantage quickly.

Given the lack of competition in the niche marketplaces, going vertical makes a lot more sense. It can not only boost their revenue automatically but help in forging long-term relationships with clients.

Many experts have even gone on to predict that the future of SaaS lies in niche sectors.

Well, is it?

Remember when private equity (PE) firms were mainly owned by dominant vertical SaaS companies like Vertafore, Tritech, and others?

Gone are the days when they had nothing significant to brag about. Today, several vertical SaaS brands like Veeva, Procore, and more, are posting mind-boggling returns and are publicly listed. Even privately held ones, such as Toast, Benchling, etc., are registering remarkable returns, far more than “modest cash flows!”

Why? Because all these companies are dedicated to solving problems of a specific sector.

For example, Procore has built software opportunities for the construction industry. They offer digital tools that aid with preconstruction, project and workforce management and financial management of construction sites. By designing ERP-type platforms specifically for the construction industry, they have captured a vertical SaaS niche. 

On the other hand, Veeva has captured the vertical SaaS space within the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. It offers an extensive digital ecosystem that supports critical functions, such as R&D, clinical operations and compliances, patient and site management, clinical database management and much more. 

Another privately held company, Toast, extends a robust all-in-one Point of Sale or POS system purely for restaurants.

This is happening as four novel mega trends emerge within the B2B vertical SaaS landscape.

#1 Helping Client Organizations Increase TAM

Several vertical SaaS companies now promise that businesses can expand their total addressable market or TAM within a niche sector. How? By creating more software as not a lot exists right now, introducing dynamic pricing models, and focusing on contract renewals. This is possible, given that most vertical SaaS organizations have access to quality data, mostly leveraged through AI. 

Therefore, to help businesses increase TAM, vertical SaaS brands create more industry-specific software, which also ups their annual contract value or ACV. They target sales not just to different prospects within a vertical but also to the same buyer.

By doing the latter, Shopmonkey, a vertical SaaS auto repair management tool, increased its annual contract value or ACV by 2X. A simple win-win for the brand and its customers. 

 #2 Returning High Customer Acquisition Rate and Low CLV and CAC

Given the level of niche expertise vertical SaaS companies provide, they experience a high customer acquisition rate (CAR) – often because there isn’t enough competition yet.  

Slim competition due to the sheer exclusivity of the software also leads to increased customer lifetime value (CLV). And studies show that vertical SaaS outfits with a high customer acquisition rate (CAR) and increased CLV experience 8 times lower customer acquisition cost (CAC) than their horizontal SaaS counterparts.

Most brands dream of this scenario, which is why many are striving to identify niche sectors to deploy vertical SaaS products. 

Free Resource: Flavors of SaaS Research Report 

#3 Building New Opportunities for Investors

The top 12 SaaS investors and accelerators for B2B founders in 2022
The top 12 SaaS investors and accelerators for B2B founders in 2022 | Source

  

Vertical SaaS is an unscaled domain waiting to be funded! Why? Because it’s an emerging field with hundreds of specialties waiting to take shape in thousands of unexplored and unexploited niche marketplaces. These include areas such as healthcare, retail, etc. Vertical SaaS solutions for sub-sectors within these sectors remain slim. 

Unlike industries like manufacturing, fintech, and communications, where ample SaaS tools are doing the rounds, umbrella sectors like energy, healthcare, insurance, and retail remain ignored. However, this detail has already been picked up by tech companies like Veeva, ClearCare, and Applied Epic, which are creating ripe investment opportunities for investors by way of vertical SaaS.  

Simply put, investing in vertical SaaS brands is turning out to be an excellent avenue for investors.

Additional Read: 10 Lessons from a Decade of Vertical SaaS Investing

#4 High Scope for Mergers and Acquisitions

The vertical SaaS construction management software Procore acquired Indus.AI in 2021
The vertical SaaS construction management software Procore acquired Indus.AI in 2021 | Source

Constant product innovation is critical if you want to sustain and grow your vertical SaaS brand in the long term. To do so, you will need to build newer products within your niche, though they don’t always have to come from your team. This is where mergers and acquisitions make more sense.

You can acquire another vertical SaaS company or merge with one if product innovation and scalability is your primary goal.

Here is how the high scope for mergers and acquisitions can benefit vertical SaaS brands:

  • You instantly receive rights to a new product in demand
  • You expand your customer base and perhaps your TAM
  • You churn higher revenue
  • Finally, you can quickly expand in global geographies that may demand different design sensibilities and interfaces.

3 Not-so-Vanilla Vertical SaaS Examples 

Largest vertical SaaS companies by valuation
Largest vertical SaaS companies by valuation | Source

It’s not enough to know ‘what is vertical SaaS’ until you see it in action. For this, you need to know the following three examples elaborated from the picture above. They will provide a perspective on the level of detail B2B vertical SaaS companies go to.

These three examples will also help you understand whether your offering falls in the vertical or horizontal SaaS category. So, let’s quickly check out how three global vertical SaaS companies are shining in their respective niche marketplaces, and are already highly valued.  

1. Veeva

‘Service niche – Pharma and life sciences sector within the healthcare industry’  

Introducing Veeva, a cloud-based life sciences research vertical SaaS brand. It offers an array of services specifically for life sciences and the pharmaceutical vertical in the healthcare industry. Within its niche, Veeva boasts a broad service portfolio.

From offering a specially designed health science CRM and content management vault to open data resources for about 16 million companies and healthcare professionals, Veeva doesn’t leave many niche stones unturned.

Through this vertical SaaS tool, users can also record conversations between marketing teams and practitioners. Even though Veeva allows for data mining, storing, and segmenting, it ensures compliance first. No wonder this tool is valued at a whopping $7 billion in the picture above.     

Straight from the horse’s mouth

“Veeva CRM can be customized based on your company needs, so while implementing the system, teams should define what they want to do with the system. As such, the application is well suited for companies that are well established and know what they are looking for in their marketing team. The system saves a lot of time for the field monitors and allows them to target their customers in a more customized manner.”

Verified User | Pharmaceuticals Company | 1001-5000 employees

2. Procore

‘Service niche – Project managers in the construction sector’

Another highly valued vertical SaaS tool from the list, Procore, is becoming essential for construction professionals. This tool specifically makes construction-related project management easy. What’s more, users can access this vertical software across a number of handheld devices and operating systems at any time.

This platform has dedicated interfaces for teamwork collaboration, efficiency measurement, and communication. Managers can view and edit all types of drawings, schedule RFI tools, track projects in real-time, and create punch lists with ease.

Given that construction project management is a complex affair, it happens to be Procore’s niche area of expertise. Through this tool, users can streamline documents, update changes and address their team’s unique needs in real-time.   

Straight from the horse’s mouth

“Procore is great for General contractors who work with many different subs. Procore keeps everyone informed and coordinated. You can also use Procore with Docusign to make it even easier to get important docs approved.”

David Wilson | Director of Information Technology, Hedrick Brothers Construction | 51-200 employees

3. Guidewire

‘Service niche – Property and casualty insurers within the insurance sector’

Meet Guidewire – 2nd on the list of top valued vertical SaaS brands and a personal favorite of property and casualty (P&C) insurers. This tool combines AI and data to provide services like automated billing and invoicing, claims management, and policy management.

P&C insurers also use this personalized vertical SaaS tool for underwriting management and rating insurance. Additionally, it extends user-friendly dashboards to brokers, agents, and end customers.    

Straight from the horse’s mouth

“The comprehensiveness of the Guidewire software stands out from the alternative products along with the integrations available for this product with the other two major components such as Billing or Claims is awesome. It makes life easier to focus on the actual work rather than thinking of the change in the product.”

~ LinkedIn Verified User | Insurance industry | 10,0001+ employees

Conclusion

By extending tailored offerings to a smaller, more reliable lead pool, vertical SaaS brands have been steadily boosting conversions. Now, with the availability of API integrations, AI, and blockchain technologies, they can quadruple the efforts.

Safe to say, vertical SaaS is taking over. 

Why SaaS Content Needs to Be Product Led

Why SaaS content needs to be product led

“Talking about our product right off the bat in our content will make us sound too sales-y.”

Sounds familiar?

Do you publish product led content for your SaaS blog? Like many SaaS marketers, you’ve probably been wired to focus on customers’ interests and pain points first. Then gently nudge them to learn more about the product if they seem interested.  

You’ve probably been advised to focus on creating TOFU content, build pillar pages, get backlinks, and promote it like your life depends on it. 

Because promotion>creation, right? 

Now, I’m not saying there’s something wrong with this. But you need to step back and ask yourself – in all of this, does your product ever take the centre stage? 

As a SaaS company, when your product is the hero of your business and has the ability to solve the customers’ pain points, it is only fair to make it the hero of your content too.

What is Product Led Content?

Product-led content is created around your product as the centre, targeting a specific pain point of your audience and showing how the product can solve it. The product becomes the hero, fighting off your audience’s biggest challenges and smallest pains. 

With product-led content, however, there’s always the risk of coming off as pushy if there is no customer-centric strategy to back it. And you might end up asking yourself-

  • At what point in my content is it a good idea to focus on the product?
  • What language and tonality will fit?
  • Will it come across as a sales commercial or a hard sell?

But product-led content is not a hard sales pitch. When done right, it weaves the product and its use cases into the narrative naturally. This helps readers visualise the solution while discovering you’ve got the right product for them.

It doesn’t push for a sale. It doesn’t tell the readers how “amazing” is your product, but simply demonstrates. This leaves a deeper impact on the reader and creates a higher recall for your product. 

Additional Read: 8 Types of Content That Can Help You Ace Product-Led Content Marketing

Why are More and More SaaS Companies Choosing to Be Product-Led?

Pick up any successful SaaS company in the last decade. Most, if not all, have a product-focused content strategy. HubSpot, Notion, Slack, Calendly, Basecamp, and more have seen tremendous success with content. 

Here’s what Kieran Flanagan, VP of Marketing, HubSpot has to say about product-led growth. 

Leading with the product works well because of many reasons.

  • Product experiences are taking centre stage in the customer’s buying journey. They want to try it before they buy it.
  • At least three out of every four buyers prefer to self-educate. That means you, as the provider, need to churn out educational content beyond user guides. 
  • It makes it easier to communicate the product value to the customer. This is because of the underlying “show don’t tell” principle.  

Product-led content complements your SEO marketing and generates qualified traffic that carries a higher conversion rate. This is why SaaS companies with a product-led growth strategy have a 25% higher growth rate than other public SaaS companies. 

So, the growing popularity of product-led content among SaaS companies makes sense. 

infographic depicting the growth of product-led content in SaaS over the years
Source

Why You Should Focus on Product Led Content

#1 Attract Better Leads

With product led-content, you can generate qualified traffic, which comprises people already engaged with your product. And this traffic is much easier to convert. 

When your audience gets to know your product in a case-by-case manner, they can fully understand its benefits. This is in contrast to demo video and eBooks used in traditional marketing, which only highlight the features and how to use them. 

With product-driven content, you have a better chance of generating qualified traffic and attracting leads who’re more likely to subscribe. 

Since they have seen the product in action, they will see it as a potent solution from the beginning. Your product will be top of mind when they finally come to a product decision.

#2 Create Value for Your Product

Product-led content is value-driven. It helps you demonstrate the value of your product in a tangible way.

 In fact, it solves one of the biggest challenges of SaaS marketing – educating the audience about how to use your product. 

Just talking about the benefits of your product is not enough. Standard product descriptions can leave customers unconvinced of their value. So, it’s time to show them how. 

Since SaaS products involve complex features, product-led content is an easy and accessible way to demonstrate your product’s 360-degree capabilities.

#3 Retain Customers With Product Led Content

One of the major reasons for high customer churn, particularly for SaaS, is difficulty in using the product. 

Even when customers buy your product, they will need assistance to use the product to tits full capacity. This is where product-led content can help you ensure continuous customer education. 

With quality product-led content, you can retain customers by helping them discover the best ways to use the product. 

How? 

You can build a knowledge centre like Notion’s Customer Stories where they can discover new product features and learn how to use them. Or maybe targeted content recommendations based on the customers’ activity on your website. 

Slack, the leading communication platform, is an excellent example of what your customer-retention-focused, product-led content should look like. In this blog, Collaborate with kindness: Consider these etiquette tips in Slack, the company focuses on educating its existing customers, offering them the best practices for ethical use of the platform.

how slack uses product-led content to educate and retain customers
Source

Bonus Read: How Customer Education is Rapidly Changing Success Criteria for Product-Led Companies

#4 Lead to a Free Trial Through Product Led Content

If a prospect comes across your content while searching for answers to their pain points, they will immediately know how you can solve them. In a matter of minutes, they will have moved from being problem-aware to solution-aware. 

They can easily sign up for a free trial to know how it works. Product-led content is, therefore, solution-driven, encouraging higher conversion.

#5 Leave a Lasting Impression on the Audience’s Mind


Think like your audience. 

If you come across a paid ad offering content generation ideas for your SaaS marketing strategy, how likely will you remember it? 

Instead, if you come across a detailed content piece from a company showing how their product can facilitate content ideation and elevate your strategy, you’re likely to remember their name. 

This is what a robust product-led content strategy does for your business. When you flawlessly incorporate your product into a well-written content narrative, you imprint the features and benefits of the product in your readers’ minds. 

Here’s what this does: they will stop seeing your product as another option and start seeing it as a potential solution. 

How to Create a Product Led Content Strategy?

infographic highlighting the steps to generate product led content

An effective product-led content strategy stands on three pillars:

  1.  Product value
  2.  Customer success
  3. Content engagement

Here’s a 5-step strategy for your next content marketing campaign. 

A. Understand Your SaaS Product

Do you know your SaaS product really well? The best product-led content strategy starts with your ability to understand the features and uses of your product. This means working with the product team to know the product inside out.

This will help you position the product better, highlight its prominent features, and ensure what you’re creating is relevant to the target audience. Shopify, for instance, created a series of case studies highlighting how they used their own platform to start a business and sell products. In fact, they documented every step of the process – from product ideas to market research to advertising and more.

A case study by Shopify showing how they used their own platform to start a business
Source

B. Know Customer Challenges and Pain Points

As with any other marketing strategy, your customers’ pain points should be the focus of your product-led strategy. This is where your market research comes into play. 

Work with the customer and sales team to identify what concerns your customers. You can attend sales calls or ask for a screen recording. Floating survey forms is another good idea. 

Or, if you want to dig deeper, you can solicit the customers only. You can incentivize with a discount coupon in exchange for their time. 

Once you’ve got a good amount to work with, highlight the challenges in your content and offer possible solutions. 

C. Target The Right Topics

The content you create has to resonate with your target audience for higher engagement. For this, look for topics matching your customer’s search intent. 

Because the ultimate goal is to get high website traffic and rank high on Google, the topics you choose should have a higher search potential. A good way to look for suitable topics is to use Google Trends.

Google Trends search page
Google Trends search page

Here, you can find trending topics around your niche and filter the results according to specific regions, categories, time periods, and types of searches. Or you could explore the ‘related queries’ section for more ideas.

Google Trends search results page
Google Trends search results page

Once you have recognized potential topics, you can use Google Keywords Planner to find the search volume and come up with a list based on traffic potential. 

Since content ideation and keyword research can be extremely challenging (trust me, we know!), here are some other tools that can make it easier. 

  1. SEMrush
  2. FAQ Fox
  3. Google Analytics
  4. Keyword.io
  5. Answer the Public 

Also Read: How to Never Run Out of Content Ideas for Your SaaS Blog

D. Strategically Position Your Product

Take a look at this HubSpot blog post, ‘How to Track and Close More Deals in a CRM’

HubSpot blog post on ‘How to Track and Close More Deals in a CRM’ with strategic product placement in the content
Source

HubSpot has mastered the product-led content strategy

While educating the reader about the best way to close more deals in a CRM, they have managed to demonstrate benefits and features of their product without sounding sales-y. And this is the same for almost every piece of content they create. The best part? The product is woven into the content in a way that never seems unnatural or out of place.

HubSpot blog post on ‘How to Track and Close More Deals in a CRM’ with strategic product placement in the content

This is precisely what product-led content is all about. Creating product-led content is no rocket science, but it also comes down to your copywriting skills.

When creating SaaS content, determining where and when you should introduce your product should depend on which stage of the buyer’s journey you’re targeting. For certain topics, your product will be the hero. In contrast, there will be topics where you can only mention it superficially.

Once you know how to include your SaaS product in the content, it will also be easier to choose topics that allow you to do so, carrying higher search potential.

E. Use the Right Distribution Channels

With everything else taken care of, it’s time to focus on promoting and distributing your content using the right channels. 

Along with your website, identify other relevant channels like social media, paid advertising, YouTube, and more where your product-led content can attract higher engagement. 

In fact, you can leverage various communities and forums to distribute your content and find prospects who will be interested in your product. 

Here is an excellent example of Ahrefs, a company that makes SEO tools, and the various distribution channels they use to market their product-led content.

At Ahrefs, they follow a simple content strategy of educating their prospects and customers on how to grow website traffic and solve pain points using their tools. And this is done through a variety of communication channels, including-

  • Website Blogs
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Facebook Groups
  • Paid advertising 

But in all these channels, one thing is common – they are all led by product.

Parting Thoughts

If companies like HubSpot, Notion, and Shopify are any indication, product-led content is the future of marketing. It will not only help you improve traffic, but find qualified leads as well. 

So, start with analysing your customers’ challenges and tick off how your product solves each of them. Identify topics where your product can shine and put your excellent copywriting skills to work. Or hire a competent content partner to get the job done. 

The magic of product-led content will follow swiftly. 

10 Proven Tips for Writing a Compelling B2B Copy

B2B copywriting tips

Writing a B2B marketing copy that stands out is hard work, without a doubt. (Take it from someone who has spent way too much time figuring it out!) 

But if you want to get better at B2B copywriting, think of it this way. 

When your audience comes looking for information about your solution, what information do they want the most? 

This will help you understand their key requirements and show them how your solution will address their pain points. So, you can write from a place of a problem-solver, and not just as an advocate of the solution. 

Creating a compelling B2B copy is a challenging art. And whether or not you’re an artist, here are my 10 practical B2B writing tips that’ll help you ace your copy.

10 Tried & Tested Tips to Nail Your B2B Content Writing

1. Define Your Audience

Yes, yes. It’s cliché advice, but is it always followed? 

Not really. 

But if you want to assemble a successful copy, you must understand who needs the products and services you’re writing about. If you don’t know your target audience, it’ll show in your writing. 

If you’re writing for a client, ask for a buyer persona. That’s the shortest route to paint a picture of your audience and start drafting to them. 

If not, get as specific as you can. 

  • Why would your reader want what you’re selling? 
  • Will it help them overcome a challenge like inability to keep track of bills? 
  • What emotions do you want the reader to feel when they’re reading the copy? 
  • What might stop them from saying ‘yes’ to your product? 

Answering such questions will help you create targeted content that is relevant to your audience. This will be your base for everything: the tone you use, the topics you write about, the channels you use to communicate with your audience, etc. 

How to create a buyer persona

2. Use Active Voice

Active voice is something that should be used by you more often. 

Wait. 

Let’s try it again.

You must use an active voice.

Better, isn’t it? A small change from passive to active can make your content more concise, powerful, and easier to consume. The tone is direct, so you’re more likely to grab your reader’s attention. 

Active voice helps you sound confident and write with authority as opposed to passive voice, which makes you sound unsure. So, the next time you want to influence your readers with a strong argument, you know what to do.

Let’s look at a quick B2B writing example to understand. 

  • Passive voice: Our solution is customized to fit the requirements of our customers.
  • Active voice: We customize our solution to fit all your requirements.

Here’s another B2B writing example that gets it right. It speaks clearly to the audience and highlights keywords they want readers to take away. 

 Source: andcards, coworking space software 

3. Back Claims with Data 

When it comes to B2B content writing, there’s nothing more compelling than industry data to back your claims. Take WordPress’s landing page for example. Their tagline reads ‘43% of the web is built on WordPress’. 

Source: WordPress

They’re not only claiming to be the world’s most popular website builder, but they also have solid data to back it up. Which is a highly effective way of writing a copy, because customers tend to trust brands that base their claims on evidence. 

For example, instead of saying ‘many B2B marketers use LinkedIn as their primary channel of client communication’, say ‘X% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as their primary channel for communication’.

This converts a vague idea into a distinct number that readers can visualize with ease. And it instantly makes your content more credible. 

That said, you must only use trusted and primary sources of data and link them appropriately. 

4. Write in Short Paragraphs

Huge walls of text don’t give readers time to pause and end up discouraging readers to keep reading till the end. When you write in short paragraphs, however, it creates white space, making your copy easier to consume. 

A rule of thumb? Don’t exceed 150 words in a paragraph and add breaks in the form of catchy subheads. 

To learn how, consider HubSpot’s example. This marketing and sales software brand cleverly sections its blogs to present information in a digestible format. So, users can quickly find the information they’re looking for. 

They even follow the same format in their survey reports and product and service descriptions. 

5. Use a Conversational Tone

In simple words, write the way you would speak 

  • to a colleague you admire
  • to a help desk worker
  • to your high school teacher

In a tone that’s friendly, unassuming, careful, and witty. But don’t – just don’t – write like you speak. Here’s why. 

As Erica Schneider explains on LinkedIn, 

Now, you’ve probably heard of the B2B writing tip that you must maintain a professional tone from start to end. And while it’s not entirely false, it’s not completely true either. 

Confused? Let me break it down for you.

A conversational tone helps you connect with your audience better. It makes them feel that you’re talking directly to them instead of some random person on the internet. 

That said, you must determine the level of formality you need to build credibility for your target audience, and the topic at hand. 

Regardless of how “technical” or “formal” your topic is, you can use these simple B2B writing tips to make your copy more engaging-

  • Use simple words in the active voice (“use” instead of “leverage”)
  • Use questions to engage your audience
  • Address them with the word ‘you’

6. Answer the ‘How’ Instead of the ‘What’

Another common B2B writing practice is going on and on about the benefits of your products or services. 

If that’s you, it’s time to change your tactics. Instead of highlighting ‘what’ your solution can do, address ‘how’ exactly will it benefit the reader.

Why? 

Because B2B buyers go into a product search knowing what they want. So when they visit your website, they’re looking for details and want you to address their objections. 

Take the example of Basecamp. This is a section on their landing page explaining how they, as a project management platform, are different from others. 

Source: Basecamp

This is a great example of how you can highlight what difference your product or service will make to their business and why you are the best solution to their problem. 

Start at the bottom of the sales funnel, and remember: the goal is to position your brand as the default choice.

7. Show, Don’t Tell

This is essentially an extension of the last point. While it’s important to tell your audience what makes your brand stand out, backing it up with evidence will be a game-changer.

Are you marketing a software that is compatible with multiple platforms? Offer a free demo. Are you claiming 100% customer satisfaction? Back it up with client testimonials. You can also use infographics, images, explainer videos, etc. as evidence to build rapport and credibility among your audience.

This will give them an added push towards making a purchase decision.

Carrying the example of Basecamp from the previous section, see how they do it so well. 

8. Include a CTA

The concept of content marketing isn’t new. From startups to MNCs, businesses across sizes and industries are striving to create value for their readers. 

Be it ‘how-to guides’ or ‘industry-specific best practices’, your audience comes first when creating a marketing copy. But in the process, don’t forget to create value for your brand too. 

The ultimate goal of B2B marketing content is generating potential leads. And for this, you must include relevant CTAs. 

It can either be to download a piece of gated content, inquire about more details, or simply purchase the product. You can do this in two ways: 

  • Direct approach – Tell your audience exactly what to do. For example, ‘drop us an email to get more information’.

Indirect approach – Hint at the CTA without being too pushy. For example, adding relevant hyperlinks.

9. Proofread Before You Post

Pretty obvious, right? But if I had a penny for every time I saw a sloppy mistake on a website, I’d be, well, let’s say, not looking at price tags anymore. 

In the world of texting, punctuation errors or spelling mistakes have become acceptable to many. But they’re a strict no-no when it comes to B2B content writing.

Even an honest mistake can take away from your authority and credibility, especially when your audience comprises key decision-makers. So, make sure you proofread the copy yourself or ask someone else to do it before hitting the ‘Publish’ button.

You can also use free online tools to ensure your copy is grammatically correct. Grammarly is a great option!

10. Throw Perfection Out the Window

It’s important that your B2B copy is high-quality but you don’t have to strive for perfection when you’re just starting out. And if you’re like me, you might not even be close. 

The number of times I had to rework my initial B2B copies was frustrating but also grounding. 

If you set unattainable standards for yourself, you’ll feel like a failure right from the beginning. Remember, your audience is more interested in the details of your products or services instead of your writing style or technique.

So don’t worry if you feel a sentence could’ve been better or you should’ve retained the data. As long as your spelling and grammar are on point, you’re good to go.

Final Takeaways

B2B writing can be tricky. And when you know your audience comprises top business executives, it can be all the more intimidating. But with these simple B2B writing tips, you’ll be able to nail your marketing copy in no time. 

For the best results, make sure you A/B test all your copies to understand what resonates with your audience the most and incorporate it into your marketing strategies moving forward. And if you need help with B2B content writingyou know who to contact.

How to Never Run Out of Content Ideas for Your SaaS Blog

Every SaaS Blog starts out strong. 

You have a blogging strategy in place – you are thinking of product-led storytelling, niche content, and even multichannel promotions. You’ve got so many ideas running through your head and not enough time. Everything is being done by the book. 

It’s perfect. It’s better than Christmas! 

And then, without your knowing, the content ideas run out, and then *crickets*

Before you know it, you are hosting a dead blog that does not bring you any traffic. 

Is it bad? Well, 83% of all traffic for SaaS products does come from organic search results or blogs. So, yes. It is indeed quite bad. 

To gain steady traffic to your website, you must blog consistently. And that is a tricky job if you don’t have a steady stream of content ideas to keep your blog growing.

Here are a handful of nifty tricks to consistently come up with new ideas and create quality content.



Steal competitor blog ideas, but create better

When you’ve exhausted blog post ideas for customers at every stage of the sales funnel, take inspiration from your competitors. Check out their list of published blogs and analyze their most popular posts.  

For effective analysis, you can use free tools like BuzzSumo and Ubersuggest to help you with it. 

Here’s a quick rundown on how you can recognize popular blogs using both of these tools (with steps).

Recognizing pages/blogs generating traffic with Ubersuggest

  • Visit Ubersuggest’s website and go to the Traffic Analyser.
  • Click on Top Pages by Traffic.
  • Enter your competitor’s website on the search bar to find the pages generating traffic for the site.
Ubersuggest site traffic dashboard

We checked the blogs that brought the most traffic to Salesforce to give you a glimpse of how this works.

Like Ubersuggest, BuzzSumo allows you to find which blogs received the highest engagement and shares on a competitor’s website.

  • Visit BuzzSumo’s official website and scroll down to the Try BuzzSumo section.

  • Enter the link to the competitor blog. We entered Salesforce’s for illustrative purposes.
  • Click on the search icon, and voila!

Both these tools give you a clear idea of which blog posts rank well and tell you which posts are popular based on geography. With this information, you can start analyzing individual competitor blogs to understand what those blogs got right.

  • What are the highest ranking topics?
  • When was the blog last updated?
  •  Have there been new developments that haven’t been addressed in competitor blogs?
  • Can you bring a new perspective to the blog topic?

The answers to these questions will help you figure out gaps in your competitor’s content. This sets the stage for original content ideas. If not, it helps you approach the same blog topics with a fresh perspective.

2. Create a swipe file for original content ideas

When creatives feel unmotivated, they go back to dedicated places to find inspiration. A swipe file is an equivalent of a place for inspiration for SaaS bloggers like us. 

It is where we collect any interesting pieces of content, from trends to expert advice to articles. Eventually, these become starting points for new blog ideas.

Now, a swipe file could be as simple as a Google Doc or Trello board with links and snippets of interesting information. 

This exercise is also backed by Ross Simmonds, a renowned digital strategist, who advises creators to sift through their swipe files whenever they run out of blog topics to write about.

Of course, listing out interesting snippets is a great way to start building a swipe file. But one can develop more methodical systems to make the idea-generation process easier.

Take a look at Mariya Delano’s Source and Content Inspiration Database, aka personal swipe file on Notion, for instance. It has inspirational content from various platforms organized neatly by content type, author status, genre, and more, for easy content categorization and navigation.

https://twitter.com/MariyaDelano/status/1567183582493347842?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

While looking at inspirational content alone can help us spin new blog post ideas, most other times, we could use some extra help. Content Agency, Animalz, has a modified swipe file method dubbed the Idea Farm for all those times.

Unlike the traditional swipe file that includes inspirational content, the Idea Farm method pushes users to summarise the best bits of inspirational content. 

It requires writers to also add their own ill-formed thoughts to the same file. The idea is to form new connections between unrelated ideas over time from inconsistent thoughts and to do so routinely. 

Here’s a snippet of how the Animalz team does it.

Source: Animalz

For those who don’t know, Google Trends is a free SEO tool that lets users compare keywords and shows the popularity of the said keywords across regions and time ranges. You can use it to generate original content ideas that your readers will enjoy based on real-world search data. 

Consider the example below. This is how you can create a list of content topics for your SaaS blog using Google Trends.

Say you want to write blogs that revolve around Desktop as a Service (DaaS).

  1. Visit Google trends.
  2. Once you enter the search term ‘Desktop as a Service’, you can visualize the search trends by region, time, and mode of search (Google News, Google Images, etc.) or by category (Real estate, Lifestyle, etc.). We left the settings worldwide and for the past 12 months in this case.

3. Once you scroll down, you should see the ‘Related Topics’ and the’ Related Queries’ section. As the names suggest, this is what people typically search for along with the search query.

You can use these topics to recognize user interests and develop blog ideas. For instance, you could pick the related topic ‘policy’ and research how it links to “Desktop as a Service”.
We found doc files from Citrix that talked about DaaS policies here. These are the blog topic ideas we generated based on it.

  • What are the policies, and why do you need to use them when implementing DaaS?
  • How to optimize your DaaS Policy workflow?
  • What can you do to create a DaaS Policy template?
  • How X optimised their DaaS policy template?

4. Check customer service, review logs, and forums for original content ideas

Topics around customer pain points is an excellent way to boost engagement. But what about sustaining it?  

After you exhaust your list of quality content ideas, try the following. Look up customer service logs, review logs and forums your customers frequent, understand your customer’s concerns, and create blogs to alleviate them. 

Here’s an example of how it works in practice.

If your customers use Salesforce, visiting pages dedicated to Salesforce customers is the best way to get a gist of their problems. We visited Salesforce stack exchange, a community forum here.

We first selected a niche (CRM) and typed CRM in the “Search on Salesforce” box to find answers to CRM-related questions in one place. We also navigated to “tags” tags to view unanswered questions related to CRM. And lastly, we converted questions to blog post topics.

For instance, the query “side-input CSS doesn’t work” inspired a couple of short blog posts that covered:

  • Why side input CSS is important
  • How to solve the side input CSS problem without consulting your in-house IT support

5. Repurpose content to update stale information and improve quality

If you haven’t successfully generated original content ideas with the above tips, consider repurposing existing content into new blogs. 

Convert that expert webinar into an insightful blog post, expand the Twitter thread showcasing your learnings, and expand on a newsletter snippet you sent out years ago to subscribers.

This is the perfect way to generate new blog ideas with minimal effort if you have a repository of valuable content in different formats.

Here’s how Hootsuite got content repurposing right.

Source: Foundation Inc

Hootsuite originally published the “The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business” blog in 2016 and updated it in 2021. 

This alone increased the total views from 3K per month to over 232K monthly. And the updated blog had a new title, updated subheads, and hashtag tips relevant to 2022, which resulted in higher organic traffic over time.

Hootsuite also routinely converts video interviews to long-form blog posts and research insights to case studies. Case in point: their 7-second Tiktok experiment exists as a case study on their blog.

Additional read: Why Original Content Matters Now More Than Ever (and How to Do It Right)

Create a flywheel of original content ideas

The above tips only act as a starting point to help you generate quality content ideas for your SaaS blog. This also means you never have to stick to just one of the above methods. If you find that one method of blog idea generation is ineffective, you can quickly change methods.

That said, keep in mind that generating original content ideas takes varying amounts of time through the above methods. 

Moreover, some blog idea generation methods (like content repurposing!) require you to have pre-made content resources. So, choose a blog idea generation method well in advance. This way, your team isn’t scrambling for new quality content ideas just before the publishing due date.

Explained: Is AI Content Creation Taking Over Content Writing?

Is AI content creation taking over content writing

“A billion people are set to lose their jobs due to AI takeover.” Does it hold true for AI content creation?

How often have you come across similar headlines? Maybe every time you search for something AI-specific. But these headlines are just clickbait; half-baked truths designed to catch eyeballs. 

Now, there is no denying that AI has influenced operations and jobs across industries. It surely has made completing many menial and repetitive work quick and convenient. But to say AI is going to replace an experienced and skilled executive? You’ve got to be kidding. However, concerns of AI takeover are real for many, and content writers are no different.

Many marketers are already relying on AI content creation for diverse content marketing efforts. Ever since AI content creation tools became sophisticated enough to put together blogs (even eBooks!) at unmatched speed and decent accuracy, they’ve become the talk of the town. But they’re definitely NOT taking over your job. 

No, because writers have unique ideas and expertise that no one else can convey, and definitely not a machine. So, your fears are 100% justified, but they’re also misplaced. To make things clearer, let us now understand how exactly AI content creation tools create content. 



How Does AI Content Creation Work?

AI content creation uses artificial intelligence and software to create content. But the process isn’t completely automated. It requires constant human input at various levels. Marketers typically have to enter all necessary data, descriptions, and other relevant details to generate the content. 

That said, AI content creation tools can put together a blog, social copy, eBooks, listicles, emails, and even audio-visual content, at a remarkable speed. This is because of the underlying technologies at play. 

Most AI content creation tools rely on two key technologies to generate content:

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): Content creation tools use NLP to understand the spoken word. NLP is the same technology that’s used in automatic translation, speech recognition, and voice controls on smart devices. Currently, GPT-3 is the leading NLP tool used in writing articles, chatbots, and news reports.  
  1. Natural Language Generation (NLG): Content creation tools use NLG to turn structured data into written content. You can see NLG’s use in automated captions, chatbots, and weather reports.

To simplify: NLP processes human language. It is the reader that consumes and gathers information. Meanwhile, NLG is the writer. It generates content using the information NLP has gathered. 

Together, NLP and NLG help machines learn and mimic human language’s genetics and create content that looks and reads like content written by humans in terms of tone, format, and characteristics. So it doesn’t take a genius to understand why the vast potential of AI content creation is as scary as it is intriguing.

Why AI Content Creation Won’t Take Over Content Writing

If you go over the process of AI content creation using NLP and NLG, you realise AI is not creating content of its own intelligence; it is rather assembling it using information fed into the software. 

Writers, on the other hand, have personalities shaped by their unique experiences. This allows them to pen down a completely unique piece of content irrespective of the information they have at hand. 

The argument above may sound sentimental to your ears. And might not be good enough to persuade. But it’s true: AI content creation will not snatch your relevance. 

Here are four reasons why.

#1 AI-generated Content is Not Unique

Authenticity is the most demanded trait in a content writer, which Artificial Intelligence fails to achieve in the content it generates. 

For a content generation, AI content creation tools rely on information already available on the Internet. They collect information available about the topic and put together blocks of text in a grammatically correct format. 

But as you may already know, unique content needs more than just sound grammar. And this is where writers come to steal the show. They bring new angles, add insights, give examples, and offer personal opinions to make every piece of content unique.

#2 AI-generated Content May Be Outdated

Outdated content is a result of the AI content creation tools’ inherent problem of relying on information available on the Internet. 

Human civilization is changing rapidly, let it be industry, technology, society, or politics. And there is a gap between when changes occur and when the Google search algorithm catches up with them.

When you rely on AI tools to create content, you run the risk of obsoleteness. This is because the information they use will probably be outdated. And audiences who are directly affected by these changes or are at least aware of them will recognize the gap and may deem your content untrustworthy. 

So, instead of increasing your audience, your content will suffer from high bounce rates and poor engagement metrics. 

#3 AI Does Not Understand Context

AI takes information as it is and compiles it into sentences that are logical when read. However, it does not understand the historical and socio-political context of words and phrases it may use in the content it generates. In some cases, such content can be offensive and discriminatory, placing creators in trouble.

For example, when instructed to write content on Jews, people of colour, and women, GPT-3 generated content using sexist, racist, and biased language. The event led to Jerome Pesenti, head of the Facebook AI lab, calling GPT-3 “unsafe.”

Social platforms like Meta and YouTube are training AI to flag offensive material, but it is not perfect, not to mention a platform-specific effort. It may also take a long time before we see its application in AI content creation

#4 Google Says No to AI Content Creation

According to Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller, the search engine’s webmaster guidelines automatically consider AI-generated content as spam. For Google, such content is similar to shuffling words, using synonyms and translation. It is thus deemed as spam and may even attract penalties. 

At present, Google does not have a system to detect AI-generated content without human assistance. John Mueller says if the web spam team comes across such content, they are authorised to take action. But it’s just the beginning of the crackdown. In the future, Google may even equip its system with tools to detect AI-generated content and hide content from search results automatically. 

And this is huge! Most of us rely on Google’s services to search for topics and consume content. Since Google’s take on AI-generated content is clear, AI content creation is unlikely to take over the content writing industry. 

What is the Right Way to Use AI for Content Creation?

Even though AI cannot replace human writers, it still has a lot to offer to the content creation process. The right approach would be to use AI to assist writers rather than trying to replace them. 

For example, what is your editing process after you are done writing a piece of content? Most writers check it for grammatical errors and readability on tools like Grammarly and Hemmingway. 

If you do, too, you must have come across suggestions that are not always correct. These tools get the basic structure of language right but often flag industry-specific terms or colloquial phrases, which takes the soul of the content away. 

The inability of AI editing tools to understand nuance still maintains the importance of the role of editors and proofreaders. Similarly, AI content writing tools will not render content writers irrelevant. But they can assist writers in content creation. 

Here are some useful applications of AI in content creation:

  • Content Planning: AI content planning tools help writers research and analyse topics. Based on the information, they can prepare topic trees and content briefs in no time.
  • Content optimization: Check spelling, grammar, and plagiarism.
  • AI tools for SEO: AI tools can assist writers in keyword research and other SEO efforts, making their content easy to rank on Google searches. But, never use automation tools to generate content. Google’s new ‘Helpful Content Update’ classifies AI-generated content as unhelpful, and it may have a negative effect on your rankings.

Additional Read: Here is What Google’s Helpful Content Update Says About People-First Content

Final Words

There is no denying the fact that AI has its usage in content creation; anyone saying otherwise may be out of touch with the world of tech and the content industry. However, AI content creation tools still have a long way to go before they can emulate a human writer. And even when they do, it would not be enough to replace writers. 

There is no alternative to a writer’s wit, wisdom, and virtuoso. You can rely on AI to research topics and keywords, get quick translations or find errors, but only a true content writer can influence a reader to click that CTA. 

Why Original Content Matters Now More Than Ever (and How to Do It Right)

why original content matters

As a content writer, I need to write tons of marketing content every week. And before I deliver, I need to ensure that what I write is accurate, comprehensive, and 100% unique. In other words, high-quality original content.

Originality is one of the most important characteristics of quality content, especially when such content is created with the goal of establishing your brand’s image as a leader in the niche. Besides, Google also takes content originality into account while handing out SEO points. If you publish content that is original, it has a better chance of ranking higher.

Here’s the catch: it is not possible to write something that is all-original. All content is inspired, curated, or re-purposed.

So, how can you write something unique that delivers value to your readers and stand out in the sea of content? Let us explore.



What does original content mean?

Original content is something that hasn’t appeared on the web in the same language, tonality, and format. It does not have to be 100% new, but it has to be *different enough* to make you stand out.

While this explanation is simple, it can be challenging to get it right. And who knows it better than those who write for a living?

No content piece is 100% original!

As writers:

  • We all take inspiration from somewhere (haven’t you used something similar to an ad jingle you once heard? Or the one metaphor you read in that Enid Blyton book when you were 7?)

  • We re-iterate information that has been published on the web. (And do we duly cite them as our references!)

  • We include quotes, adages, and other commonly used phrases in our content. (Because we cannot twist a direct quote. Or, write something badly paraphrased like ‘consuming one apple every 24 hours will drive away the doctor.’)

  • We may plagiarize unintentionally.

  • We may not realize that we have written this before. (That is until you start editing it and experience deja vu.)

Just like writer’s block, these situations are unavoidable. The only way to bypass them is to submit a blank document, and even that has been published before.

But, the good news is that your content does not have to be completely unique. As long as you present it in your own unique way, it works.

How do I know if my content is unique?

Checking for plagiarism, similarities, and paraphrasing in your content is a helpful way to understand where you may be too close to your source.

Before you hit that publish button, use these ways to check content originality:


original content - 3 ways to check if your content is unique
3 ways to check if your content is unique

1. Search the web

If you feel like a section of your article is too close to the references you have used (or if your intuition says you might have read it somewhere), perform a Google Search. You can enclose the phrase in double quotes to find similar matches or square brackets to find exact matches.

2. Use third-party tools

There are countless plagiarism-checker tools available on the web that match your text against published works to check for similarities. Paid tools offer more precision than free tools. Some tools we use at Ukti are Grammarly Plagiarism Checker and CopyLeaks. CopyLeaks not only tells you about exactly matching content but also highlights heavily paraphrased content.

3. Check for similar content within your domain

Google’s search algorithm also considers duplication within a domain. This isn’t limited to the main content on your webpage but extends to your meta descriptions, titles, and even page URLs. One way to avoid this is to be careful while publishing your content and using canonical URLs. If you use boilerplates at the end of each blog, make sure that they aren’t too lengthy.

The importance of creating original content

Why should you spend time and energy creating original content when no content is 100% unique anyway? Here are four reasons why.

#1 Original content = more credibility = more authority

When you give your readers something no one else can, you stand out. Plus, when people understand that you are earnest in your content marketing efforts, they tend to trust your brand.

If you publish content that is copied or too similar to your competitors, you risk being labeled as a copycat. Your audience may feel duped and believe that your products and services aren’t worth it either.

#2 Give readers something new, and they are more likely to share it

Think of the content that has gone viral in the past: memes, dance videos, songs, news articles, or opinion pieces. What is the one thing that is common amongst all of them?

Originality!

When readers find something new that gets their attention, they are tempted to share them with other people. It is a eureka moment – look what I found! I bet you haven’t seen this before.

Now, you don’t necessarily want to make your content go viral among the masses. But, you can surely take a lesson from this and create new content that your audience will be tempted to share.


4 ways how original content helps your brand
4 ways original content elevates your brand

#3 Original content is good for your SEO health

This is how Google handles duplication: It pushes the oldest content to the top and leaves the new, copied content at the bottom. So, if you have scraped content from published pages, your rankings will remain bad. Worse, you will attract copyright claims.

According to Google’s search quality raters’ guidelines, ‘Very High-Quality Main Content’ is accurate, comprehensive, and original.  And it makes sense. When it comes to Google Search, the algorithm has changed drastically over the past decade. The focus has shifted from keywords and links to user experience. How does your content make users feel? Does it offer something of value? Is it helpful? Is it high-quality?

If elevating your SERP ranks is your main concern, it is best to take the time to craft original blog posts and deliver an exceptional user experience.

Also Read: It’s worthwhile to create original content that sets your site apart: What Google’s documentation says about ‘scraped’ content.

#4 By publishing original content consistently, you emerge as a thought leader

As your audience develops trust in your brand, shares your content, and finds you frequently appearing in their search results, you have the perfect setting to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche. And with Google’s recent ‘helpful content’ update, being a thought leader can be a big win!

Besides, Google’s search quality evaluators also consider the EAT guidelines (Expertise, Authority, Trust) while evaluating your content. While this isn’t a direct ranking factor, adhering to the EAT guidelines will ensure that your content ranks high in the long term.

EAT the world! Read more about Google’s EAT guidelines on Search Engine Journal.

How to create original content?

Creating original content is easier said than done. But even though it is a challenging task and requires elbow grease, you will not go wrong if you keep these 5 simple tips in mind. If you are a visual learner, keep this picture handy:


5 simple ways to create original content
Save this image on your phone, pronto.

1. Write from your experience

Just like I am writing this blog, drawing upon my experiences and observations as a full-time content writer at Ukti.

2. Let your employees share their thoughts

Your colleagues and employees also have a unique outlook on your product, industry, and nice. Give them a laptop and some coffee, and let them run wild! (Or, interview them if that floats your boat.)

3. Craft a unique writing style

Jeffrey Daniel once came up with a dance step that involved sliding back on your feet. Michael Jackson took inspiration from him, refined it, named it ‘the moonwalk,’ and did it with perfection. Even today, the term moonwalk is synonymous with his name. Why? Even though a lot of people can slide on their feet, nobody does it like him.

That’s what you have to do: write what has been written, but do it in your own unique style.

4. Dig deeper and go wider with your research

When writing for a ‘common’ topic, go where other writers haven’t ventured yet. Explore uncharted territories such as case studies, research papers, news articles, and maybe some blogs on the second page of Google.

5. Get inspired from, well, wherever you can

Why read something unrelated to your product? Well, why not? Inspiration can come in many forms.

Read interesting content pieces even if they aren’t relevant to your topic, and you may be surprised to find yourself highlighting sentences that stand out to you. (This isn’t an invitation to go read Buzzfeed articles and procrastinate, btw.) 

A word on paraphrasing and patchwriting

Everybody paraphrases because, well, everyone needs to. This is true when writing about something which is factual, based on research by other organizations, or just something very niche and technical.

However, paraphrasing, like writing, is also an art.

When you paraphrase some parts of a published content piece, take care to avoid patchwriting. Patchwriting means making slight changes in the original text and passing it off as your own. Patchwritten content is basically plagiarised content and does not have any value in your overall content strategy.

If you find that your content pieces are full of patchwriting, don’t worry. Instead, use it to your advantage. Patchwiriting is a good way of understanding the essence of your primary source. So, it is alright if it makes its way into your first draft. Once you re-read your content and actually grasp the message, it becomes easier to give it your own spin and paraphrase it.

Also read: Patchwriting as a Technique: ” I’m trying to paraphrase, but I can’t get far enough from the original language to make it my own. What can I do?”

Repurposing content: yay or nay?

So, you’ve written a killer blog post. And now you want to repurpose it as a listicle, infographic, video, or interactive image. Is repurposing content the same as plagiarising content? Not at all! As long as you follow a different format, it is considered unique.

Also read: Google: Same Content in Different Formats is Not Duplicate.

The bottom line

Are you ready to energize your content strategy with high-quality, original content? Go ahead! Use the tips given in this blog and start creating.

Welcome inspiration from every source you can find. Read the news, watch advertisements, read our blogs, and go visit your Chrome Bookmarks. (Yes, we all have a list of blogs-to-read which are starred and forgotten.)

Then take that old wine, add a dash of your own flavor, package it into your brand’s unique bottle, and serve it up with confidence.

How to Create a Highly Successful B2B Blogging Strategy (+ 5 Examples)

how to create a successful B2B blogging strategy

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes


For a whopping 55% of marketers, blogging is the number one inbound marketing strategy. Without one, you run the risk of generating abysmal brand awareness. This automatically brings down your organic web traffic, eventually snowballing into poor conversion rates.

On the other end of the spectrum, B2B marketers who dedicate time and resources to blogging witness 13x more positive ROI than the ones that shun the idea. But you already know all this; else, you wouldn’t be here reading up on how to create a high-value B2B blogging strategy.

The ultimate goal of deploying a B2B blogging strategy is to publish “valuable” content. Doing this generates organic web traffic, which ultimately leads to higher conversions. 

Not sure how to craft B2B blogs that establish you as a thought authority within your domain? It’s not that hard, as long as you know what blog strategy works and how to create it. The result of following a set procedure or strategy will ultimately help you churn excellent original B2B blogs.

The 6 Fundamentals of a Successful B2B Blogging Strategy

Know that drafting a blogging strategy is like drawing a map. You must consider all elements to write optimum blogs that connect with your audiences. Simply writing on hot topics that you think trend in your industry is never enough.

So, you must first identify your true audience and match your blog content with their needs and challenges and how your product helps solve them.

3 Key Pillars to Focus on When Drafting a B2B Blogging Strategy | Source

Here are the six penultimate steps you need to create a brand-new blogging strategy.

Step 1. Nothing More Critical Than Defining Your B2B Audience

There’s no point figuring out blogging intent, topics, frequency, SEO, etc., until you know who you are blogging for. Therefore, the very first step to creating a blogging strategy is to identify your target audience.

You can do it by:

  • Researching your competitors. Not all of them, of course. Pick the top five brands within your industry and figure out who they are targeting.
  • Looking at your own customer base. Who are your top customers? What are they buying from you? What do they have in common? Segmenting customers this way will help you scout leads with similar purchase intent. Observing the solutions they buy will also help you figure out the challenges they face. This can later assist with your blogging topics.
  • Investing in psychographic databases that allow you to dig deeper. It helps you go beyond the limitations of demographics, firmographics, etc., and lets you understand your prospects’ purchase triggers and motivations closely.
  • Creating Ideal Customer Personas (ICP) – At this final point, you combine all the data collected to develop an ICP. Here is an example of what your B2B ICP should look like.

build-your-customer-persona
What can your B2B ICP reveal? | Source

B2B ICP Example | Source

After you have figured out:

  • Who your current customers are?
  • What do they gain by using your offering?
  • What are their common qualities?
  • What are their common challenges?

It’s time to move on to the next step.

Step 2 – Time to Select Your Blog Categories  

“You put hours of work into each blog post, and you don’t want it to disappear into the black hole of your archives. Without defined blog categories, your content quickly sinks out of view — only to be found by endless scrolling.”- HubSpot

You can’t straightaway jump from figuring out your audience’s intent to specific blog topics. But, you can identify broad themes and categories emerging from customer and prospect research – the challenges they face and solutions they searched for. This will eventually help you identify topical buckets.

At this point, your marketing and content strategy team can get together for a “brown paper” exercise. Primarily used for identifying process flows, you can also leverage it to brainstorm different blog categories and topics within those categories.

Check out HubSpot’s blog categories:

Source

Lastly, remember that every popular B2B blog will usually have a maximum of 10 categories. Any more, and you will confuse the viewer.

Additional Read: 9 Best Free Brainstorming Tools for Entrepreneurs

Step 3 – Choose Your Content Writing and Managing Team

No matter how excellent your content strategy, which includes the blog topics you choose and the sites you host them on, if you don’t have an experienced content partner, your strategy is bound to fail.

Before moving forward, ask yourself the following two questions:

  • Who will write the blogs? Will it be a professional third-party content partner or your in-house team?
  • Who will be accountable for different roles within the blog strategy?

Based on the number of resources you have and the size of your marketing team, you can decide how many people can hold responsibilities. It will bear well to hire people for the following roles:

  • At least one blog manager who oversees all writing tasks – be it in-house or with third parties. They can assign deadlines and distribute topics to different resources. To ensure seamless centralization of your blog, provide them with a robust SaaS project management solution.

Tools to use

  1. Trello
  • Blog categories and topic ideation individual or team.
  • SEO expert to provide the right keywords and advice on effective insertion practices.
  • A team of writers and editors.
  • A content strategy team to figure out the evolving content needs of audiences. They can also manage the editors and their calendars.

At this point, you should also figure out the design of your blog posts to share with the writers.  

Resource: Download Free Blog Templates  

Additional Read: Take Your Marketing Efforts to the Next Level with a Content Partner

Step 4 – Write “Valuable” Content

Up until this point, everything you do is to create compelling content. We simply can’t stress the importance of creating high-value content enough. It’s what will attract readership, turn them loyal to your blog, and hopefully garner conversions.

Sure, attracting new readers is always more difficult than maintaining current subscribers. However, you must create content for both these categories, as it is your present subscriber base who can become your brand’s advocates, thus ushering in newer subscribers.

Nifty tips for creating valuable content

  1. Always choose a topic that readers want info on but is hard to come by on the web.

  2. Create multi-layered content, meaning: don’t write purely textual blogs. Include images, videos, resources, free tools, etc.

  3. When writing for a B2B audience, write at least 1000 words. Experts say the ideal blog length in 2021 was 1500 to 2000 words. Doing this lets you pack in more information, but more importantly, search engines also rank substantial long blogs higher on their pages.

  4. Do not sound “salesy.” Make your blogs fun and educational. Go for an 80-20 ratio, where 80% is educational and 20% is product related. Simply put, avoid discussing your product pricing every chance you get. Work on educating your audiences to establish a name for yourself. Provide them free tools, share “how-to” tutorials, etc.

  5. Always Include CTAs. You can insert a Call-to-action along with all the pithy content you publish. Calls-to-action or CTAs inform the readers of the next step they should take after reading the blog. Effectively placed and relevant CTAs can boost conversions.

Use CaseHubSpot’s blog is a universe of crisply presented information. From “infographics and videos to how-to posts, they essentially showed other B2B brands how to leverage blogs to create a loyalty base and grow their brand. Keeping their readers central, their different blog categories divided between marketing, sales, and service content is the gold standard of valuable B2B content creation. 

Step 5 – Insert the Right Keywords and Phrases

Know that that web is a noisy ocean, and drowning in it is not hard. This is why you need an on-point SEO keyword strategy for your blog. Inserting relevant keywords and phrases in your content will improve your brand visibility.

Google and other search engines will spot your blog carrying all the keywords readers are searching for and will rank you higher on their search results.

But, finding the right keywords can be challenging. Therefore, start by using seed keywords. These can come from your topical buckets, are more generic and are usually a part of a blog title.

For example, by reading the title of this blog, you can assume that B2B blogging strategy is a keyword. However, assumptions alone are not enough to insert the right keywords.

You can hire an SEO team to help you search for the right keywords to go into your blog or use SaaS tools for the same. You can also use the SaaS tools provided below to start researching keywords within your domain.

Tools to use

  1. Keywords Everywhere (free)
  2. Moz Keyword Explorer ($99 per month)
  3. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer ($99 per month)
  4. AnswerThePublic (Paid after 3 free searches per day)

Step 6 – Determine the Frequency of Your Blogs

How many blog posts can you publish? How many should you publish?

Your competitors can go from publishing once a week to posting multiple times within a week. Certain B2B brands might even post 15-16 blogs per month in the hope of increasing followers.

However, smaller brands may not have enough resources to match this figure. And, them churning more quantity than quality becomes an unsustainable practice, which ultimately costs subscribers. If you are one of them, remember that quality ranks above quantity in B2B blogging.  

So, don’t publish for the sake of it; else, you’ll end up with insipid posts that don’t add any value to the reader. Instead, publish one post every week or once in ten days without compromising on the content consistency and quality. 

5 Examples of Highly Successful B2B Blogs

Learn from the best in the biz! Here are five brands that have got B2B blogging right.

1. DELL

Dell’s corporate blog is nothing short of perfection. It captivates you the minute you visit, with its overwhelming choices of relevant blogs laid out in a neat and user-friendly layout. Know that this blog is heavy on tutorials.

It also discusses several “how to” articles explaining Dell features in detail. This blog is a valuable resource for tech enthusiasts and customers who have questions about Dell’s products and services.

Posting frequency – 2 to 3 times per week

Check out Dell’s corporate blog

2. Salesforce

Not many know that Salesforce is one of the longest-running B2B blogs out there. Successfully gathering subscribers since 2007, this blog takes a more informal tone with its readers. This is the brand’s way of providing a human touch to the blog.

Even though the content here records the latest trends in online sales, it still retains its old blogs without archiving them. Although, the writers keep updating these evergreen blogs. Each post has a singular CTA that invites newer subscriptions.

Posting frequency – 4 to 5 times per week

Check out the Salesforce blog

3. GE

Didn’t expect to have General Electric or GE on this list, did you? Well, it is quite popular and provides exciting and futuristic articles related to electrical engineering, healthcare services, etc., to its readers every week.   

All the blogs on GE are closely linked to their four businesses: healthcare, transportation, energy infrastructure, and aviation. However, all GE posts are written by industry experts who write in a persuasive tone. This is also why they don’t post as often as the other brands on this list.

Posting frequency – since most industry experts write for GE, their posting frequency is ad-hoc

Check out the GE blog

4. SAP

This blog features a tonne of user-contributed posts on different categories like – technology vision, SAP’s products, and services, latest news and updates, etc.

Since SAP has thousands of people working for them and an additional squad of experts as consultants, they can generate high-quality user content. A smaller business must consider hiring a content partner to achieve the same result.

Posting frequency – since SAP features tonnes of user-generated content, they post every day, that too, more than once

Check out the SAP blog

5. Neil Patel

Often touted as an SEO guru, Neil Patel has a raging blog following. His blogs talk about boosting web traffic organically, which is something most B2B businesses crave. No wonder his blog has established its thought authority and now provides highly valued insights on SEO across multiple industries.

Posting frequency – 3 to 6 times per week

Check out the Neil Patel blog

Additional Read: Less is More: Why I Wish I Never Wrote 4,784 Blog Posts

Ready, Set, Launch!

Even though corporate blogging is a way to have a voice online, it is not a traditional marketing tool. Once you accept that and release it from the shackles of press releases and corporate news, it will start generating a return on the investment.”

– Paul Boag (Bestselling author | presenter | CRO specialist)

So, using these B2B blogging strategies as a starter toolkit, forge your own. Figure out your target customers and what they are reading these days. This will help you create your topical bucket. After which, dig into finding and inserting the right keywords and publishing as frequently as you want.

And, of course, don’t forget to refer to the five B2B blogs and tools we have shared for your benefit.

Happy blogging!