Content marketing is a powerful and proven SaaS marketing strategy. It’s effective whether you’re a startup with a small budget or an enterprise company using advanced strategies.

In particular, content marketing offers significant value for brands launching new products or features. At every stage of your promotional strategy and at every stage of your customer acquisition funnel, content marketing can be used to boost the success of your product launch.

Here are five ways to pair content marketing with your product launch strategy. 

Drive Search Traffic With SEO-Focused Content

Content marketing typically works hand-in-hand with SEO. So, it would be natural to start promoting your new product or feature through keyword-focused content marketing. Both the product page and supporting blog material should be carefully targeted at high traffic, relevant keywords. 

The compounding effect of SEO is what makes content marketing so powerful, writes Ben Cotton, a solutions enablement lead at Google Workspace. The value of the content you create is only going to increase as time passes. This makes it much more effective than PPC advertising, for example, which only provides value while you’re spending money. 

It’s important that you don’t try to hard sell your product through blog posts, advises marketing coach Jessica Thiefels. Instead, offer high-quality, helpful advice around specific topics and only mention your product when relevant or in a call-to-action at the bottom of the post, she says. In doing so, your content will come across as an informative article rather than simply a sales page. 

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lose focus on your product, though. Kevin Indig, director of SEO at Shopify, recommends you prioritize keywords that center around your product. Doing so makes it easier to write the content and guarantees that the traffic you get from Google will be high-quality and potentially high-converting.

The selection of keywords should be strategic for best effect, first focusing on topics that are most aligned with your products or services and then on keywords that are likely to convert.

Tim Soulo, CMO at Ahrefs, ranks blog topics, pairing the score with estimated traffic potential. Topics score three points (out of three) if the blog post is about “an irreplaceable solution” to the reader’s problem; two points if the product helps significantly; one if the product is only tangentially related; and zero points if there’s no correlation.

The more value you provide to the reader, the more targeted your keywords will be. 

SaaS marketer Sujan Patel recommends that brands focus on keywords that have “commercial intent” and tie in with customer pain points. Consider what the searcher wants to find from their query and what Google currently displays. Then, create content that delivers on that need. When you reach people who know they have a problem, and know it’s a problem your product solves, it becomes much easier to convert them. 

Raise Awareness and Build Backlinks With Guest Blogging

Acquiring organic traffic from Google isn’t always the quickest strategy, but you can speed up the process by writing guest posts for other blogs. 

“Guest posts on trusted sites give you a stage to present your brand message and value propositions, which expedites the customer journey for your products and services,” writes Robert Katai, a product marketer at visual production platform Creatopy. In other words, you don’t have to wait for traffic and potential customers to come to you, you can go out there and find them yourself.

Customer service platform Groove used guest blogging to reach more than one million people and generate a significant number of trial signups. The impact of guest blogging on sites like Buffer, Copyblogger and Shopify has been tremendous, says the company’s CEO and founder Alex Turnbull.

You’ll want to accurately measure your success if you use guest blogging as a strategy. There are several metrics to track, says Natalie Slyman, a content and social media manager at email marketing platform Benchmark Email. Referral traffic is an obvious one and will show whether your guest posts are sending visitors your way. But you’ll also want to track things like social shares, the SEO rankings of each blog post and any qualified leads that result from your efforts. 

hands on a laptop; saas content marketing tips concept

Build Hype Ahead of Launch With Teaser Content

Press releases are important, but your blog can be just as good at building product awareness.

People get so caught up in innovative marketing strategies they forget about basic strategies like blogging, writes John Lincoln, cofounder and CEO at marketing agency Ignite Visibility, who recommends blogging “at least once a week.”

This is exactly what HubSpot does ahead of a new product launch, notes Meghan Keaney Anderson, CMO at The Wanderlust Group. In the weeks leading up to a launch date, HubSpot publishes a series of articles around the new feature’s topic. This gets their audience thinking about related marketing strategies and primes them to look for a tool that can improve their results. 

Constantly communicating your new product or features through your blog and email channels can even help you steal customers from competitors, writes SaaS growth mentor Daniil Kopilevych. By notifying both potential and current users about a new product or new features, you make sure you “stay on top of your competitors’ users’ minds.”

Stand Apart From the Competition With Comparisons and Reviews

Speaking of stealing customers, part of your content marketing strategy should focus on differentiating your product and winning users from rivals. 

Comparison posts are a great way to position your product, highlight differences between you and the competition, and build trust with potential customers, writes Melissa Randall at Lean Labs. Honesty and impartiality (at least as much as possible) are key if you want to be considered a trusted advisor, she adds.

Avoid creating thin pages that fail to accurately compare products, writes Dev Basu, founder of Powered By Search. Your prospects aren’t stupid, he says. They’ll quickly see your marketing motives if you fail to offer a detailed comparison. A great way to add more depth to your comparison pages is to interview your new customers. They’ll be able to tell you exactly why they chose your product over a competitor and point out the features that matter most. 

This kind of content is ripe for paid and organic search marketing, writes marketing strategist Jonathan Bentz. “Having pages like this should also allow you to run search ad campaigns centered around alternatives to your competitors and take top positions for searches that include the word ‘versus,’” he says. 

laptop displaying charts; saas content marketing tips concept

Sell and Retain With Content That Makes a Business Case

Soft-selling your product is important when targeting high-traffic keywords. But a slightly more direct approach can pay dividends, too, particularly when converting users from free to paid subscriptions (and making sure paid users stick around). 

Creating how-to content centered around your product is a great way to show businesses how they can maximize the ROI of their investment in your product, writes B2B marketer Elise Dopson. This is especially true for products with multiple features. Many businesses might purchase your product for one specific feature. Showing them what else your product can do will help drive retention rates. 

You don’t have to stick to the written word for this kind of content, advises Sleeknote cofounder and CMO Emil Kristensen. “Your content marketing strategy should include video tutorials to help users understand your product,” he says. “For example, CoSchedule [a provider of work management software for marketers] has video guides to help beginners learn blogging, email management, and social media management.”

You can even integrate content marketing into your product. Ahrefs uses this strategy, explains Si Quan Ong, the company’s customer success manager. A notification within Ahrefs alerts all users — premium and freemium — to new content. This generates a lot of engagement because users know the content is going to help them use the platform to improve their marketing.

Content marketing is not just a promotional tool. It’s a 360-degree strategy that works throughout your marketing funnel to promote your product.

Images by: You X Ventures, Benjamin Dada, Carlos Muza