June 23, 2022

How To Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy for Your B2B SaaS Brand

Hannah Peritore

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Moving into 2022, we knew we needed a more thorough content marketing strategy to drive inbound traffic, establish our SEO, and build authority. However, finding a place to start proved challenging… That is until we read Tyler Hakes’ case study on growing College Raptor—How We Scaled a Startup from 0 Organic Traffic to 100,000 Visitors/Mo (In About One Year).

Developing a content marketing strategy

At duo, we’re far too familiar with pushing our content marketing efforts to the back burner to make room for our clients.

Most B2B companies understand the delicate balance between client work and company growth all too well.

We knew it was time to find a way to do both.

Hakes’ case study provided such a clear strategy, we decided to adopt it for ourselves.

Here’s the basic idea: 

Content should…

  1. Attract relevant search traffic from prospects
  2. Generate backlinks to improve rankings and search visibility
  3. Gain authority in the industry and grow brand presence through social
But—and this is important—each piece of content does *not* need to meet all three criteria.

Focusing too much on creating ‘unicorn’ content that perfectly balances all three criteria will slow you down and result in precious little content on your site.

Instead, Hakes recommends each piece of content simply fulfills one component of the overall strategy.

And if you come up with some unicorn content every now and again, all the better.

So what kind of content fills this criteria?

For duo, we’re focusing on four main types:

  1. Evergreen: Meat-and-potatoes content potential clients are seeking out
  2. Social/Viral: Buzzfeed-esque content potential clients will like and share on social media
  3. Link-Building: Industry content other marketers, news organizations, or marketing writers will want to link to on their sites
  4. Lead Generating: High-value, gated content potential clients can access in exchange for their email

Hakes calls this the 'B2B Startup Content Strategy Quadfecta.'

One of Hakes’ suggestions we’re really taking to heart is repurposing our blog content into things like:

  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Case Studies
  • Checklists
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Social Posts
  • Whitepapers

People like to consume content in different ways, so it makes sense to present similar concepts in a variety of formats—plus, the more content, the more potential traffic.

Choosing an engaging link-building topic

After producing some evergreen content for the site, we decided to switch gears and try our hand at link building.

Remember, link-building content is different than evergreen, because the intended audience is other people in our industry, as opposed to potential clients.

So we had to come up with a topic related to marketing that other marketers and marketing publications would find interesting.

The goal here is to both establish duo Strategy as a thought leader in the space, while earning backlinks from other reputable websites.

Hakes had great luck turning publicly available data into well-designed data visualizations—particularly maps—so we brainstormed ways we could create something similar for duo.

As a B2B SaaS marketing agency, we wanted to choose a topic related to our clients without directly addressing them.

Ultimately, we decided to gather publicly available data on the top 25 public SaaS companies.

We used Mike Sonders’ dashboard as a jumping-off point.

The 50 Biggest Public SaaS Companies in the U.S. | Mike Sonders

Armed with this list, we went to work gathering raw data like:

  • Company founders
  • Number of founders
  • Year the company started
  • Year the company went public
  • 2021 company revenue

Gathering raw data for an infographic

Where does anyone start when they want to research something these days?

We wish we could reveal some ultimate secret on how we uncovered the founders, their alma maters, and so on—but the truth is…

We Googled.

If you spend enough hours Googling, you can solve any problem, right?

Raw SaaS company data | duo Strategy

Since we were gathering data on the top 25 SaaS companies and their founders, quite a bit of the background information was easy to find.

Company founding and IPO dates were often displayed on their websites or Wikipedia pages.

Since they’re all public companies, 2021 annual revenues were listed in quarterly investor reports or on the investor research platform macrotrends.

Block 2021 Revenue | macrotrends

Acquisitions were also relatively easy to find on research platforms like Tracxn and Crunchbase.

Atlassian Acquisitions and Financials | Tracxn

Similarly, company websites prominently displayed the number of users as social proof for their product.

Our strategy at this point in the process was simply to gather as much raw data as possible. Our hope was to uncover interesting and unique data trends that could be turned into insightful visualizations and infographics.

As you’ll see later, we were able to accomplish this goal. And although we didn’t —or couldn't—include everything in the final infographic, we could not have reached our final product without the full research.

Turning the raw data into data visualizations

With the raw data gathered, it was time to compile it into visualizations.

First, we examined the data types—quantitative versus qualitative—and the completeness of the data sets.

This gave us an understanding of what visualizations would be possible—and which would yield something interesting or useful from within each subset.

We cut everything else.

Next, we needed to create basic visualizations in Google Sheets that could be handed off to our designer and prepared for external eyeballs. 

The simplest way to do that was to trim the fat by:

  • Grouping/hiding extraneous columns and rows
  • Removing data inconsistencies

Then, we duplicated the relevant data across several sheets, allowing us to filter and sort the data in multiple ways without interfering with any existing graphs.

Companies by Annual Revenue Data Visualization | duo Strategy

To ensure the data was visually interesting and interpretable, we removed outliers and imposed caps—as you can see in the example above.

In the end, we settled on including the following data:

  • Map of where the founders went to school
  • Pie chart of level of school completed by founders
  • Bar chart of annual revenue
  • Bar chart of number of additional companies acquired
  • Bar chart of company PPC spend on PPC
  • Scatter plot of revenue and number of companies acquired
  • Average age when founders started their company
  • Average number of companies started by each founder
  • Average company revenue in 2021
  • Average number of founders per company
  • Average years between founding and IPO
  • Average number of companies acquired

Designing an engaging infographic

With the foundational work complete, it was finally time to create the actual asset we could send out to publishers and build links.

As every good marketer knows, presentation is everything.

We knew—regardless of how interesting or unique it was—the best chance for winning links with our data was a winning design.

Since Hakes had such good luck with maps, we created a map of where the founders went to school to serve as the focal point of our infographic.

The Top 25 SaaS Companies of 2021 & Their Founders Infographic | duo Strategy

We surrounded the map with supporting bar graphs, pie charts, and scatter plots.

In the end, we created a totally unique, high-value asset, backed by hours of research.

Final Thoughts…

And that’s where we are in the process.

Once we’ve created a press kit, sent outreach emails, and started generating some backlinks, we’ll be sure to post a part two detailing that experience.

If you want to read Hakes’ entire experience growing startup traffic, check out his case study—How We Scaled a Startup from 0 Organic Traffic to 100,000 Visitors/Mo (In About One Year).

And, if you find yourself in need of a marketing partner to help grow your company, shoot us a message—we’d be thrilled to learn more about your growth goals and explore how we can help.

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