A glance at the most successful SaaS businesses in recent years and we’ll see one thing in common in most–if not all— of them: they all have strong content marketing efforts.
In fact, we can argue that content marketing is the most important marketing channel in the SaaS niche because of the nature of the SaaS products. Since SaaS products are intangible, potential customers rely on various types of content—blog posts, website content, product descriptions, reviews, and customer testimonials to make their informed purchasing decisions.
Yet, for a content marketing campaign to be effective, creating and publishing high-quality content are not enough. It’s critical to regularly monitor and measure your content marketing campaign’s performance to determine its current effectiveness and to help you make informed, data-driven decisions to optimize your efforts going forward.
In this article, we’ll discuss the key metrics and KPIs to track to measure the success of your SaaS content marketing campaign, and also how you can analyze this data to improve your content marketing and overall marketing strategies, generate more leads, increase conversions, and ultimately increase your ROI.
By the end of this guide, you’d have learned about:
- Importance of content marketing for SaaS businesses
- How we determine success in SaaS content marketing
- Key metrics for measuring SaaS content marketing success:
- Website performance metrics
- Lead generation metrics
- Sales conversion metrics
- Engagement metrics
- Best practices for measuring success in SaaS content marketing
Without further ado, let us begin with the basics.
Why content marketing is critical for SaaS businesses?
While in today’s digital age, content marketing is arguably important for any business across any industry, it is particularly critical for SaaS businesses due to the nature of the SaaS products.
First, SaaS companies don’t sell physical products. Potential customers can’t physically touch or see the SaaS product before they make their purchase. Thus, these prospects rely on digital content: blog posts, online advertising, product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, case studies, and so on, to weigh whether the SaaS product is worth purchasing.
This is where content marketing comes in to provide helpful and informative content to educate prospects about the SaaS product and the benefits they’ll get from purchasing it.
For this purpose, SaaS companies can leverage various types of content from traditional blog posts, eBooks, and case studies to podcasts to webinars and video tutorials to demonstrate the company’s thought leadership and provide value to its target audience.
The second reason is the fact that SaaS products are often delivered in a recurring revenue, subscription-based model. SaaS companies rely on retention to maintain their profitability, and this is where content can help provide customers with ongoing education and training to ensure they get the most value out of the SaaS product, help them use the product more effectively, and encourage them to keep using the product (and continue their subscription.)
To summarize, content marketing can benefit SaaS companies in five different ways:
- Building awareness: creating and regularly publishing high-quality content helps SaaS businesses establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry, building brand awareness and credibility in the process.
- Attracting prospects: with inbound marketing principles in mind, providing relevant content allows SaaS companies to attract prospects and potential customers who are currently looking for information about a particular topic or seeking solutions to a problem related to the SaaS product.
- Generating leads: gated content such as eBooks, research reports, whitepapers, or webinars could be used as lead magnets to help SaaS companies capture contact information,
- Nurturing leads: consistent publication of relevant and informative content can help educate potential customers, build trust, and nurture them until they are ready to convert into paying customers.
- Maximizing retention: content marketing isn’t only valuable for acquiring new customers, but also for retaining existing customers. By creating a steady stream of valuable and informative content, you can help existing customers in making the most of your SaaS product, maximize satisfaction, and encourage them to continue using your SaaS product.
Different categories of metrics to track in SaaS content marketing
Content marketing is certainly a pretty deep and broad subject, and we can define the success of content marketing in many different ways.
With that being said, there are several different categories of content marketing metrics that businesses can track to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing campaigns.
For SaaS content marketing, the most common categories of content marketing metrics include:
- Traffic metrics: metrics measuring the website’s performance related to traffic, including the number of visitors coming to the website, from which sources (organic, referral,) how many pages they visit, how long they stayed on your website, and so on.
- Engagement metrics: metrics that measure how users interact with your content (likes, shares, comments, etc.)
- Lead generation metrics: metrics measuring how effective your content is at capturing prospects’ contact information and generating leads for your business.
- Sales metrics: sales metrics measure how your content marketing directly generates sales and impacts your revenue.
- Brand awareness metrics: measures how effective is your content marketing efforts in increasing customer awareness.
- SEO metrics: these metrics measure your content’s performance in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages.)
Below, we’ll discuss each category in a more in-depth manner, including how to analyze each category of metrics to gain useful insights for the SaaS business.
1. Traffic metrics
Traffic metrics measure the number of visitors (traffic) to the website from various sources, and also the sources of the traffic.
These traffic metrics allow SaaS businesses to understand the content marketing’s performance in attracting potential customers to the website and also help them understand how users are finding the website and also understand how engaged is your target audience with your content.
By tracking traffic metrics, you can identify areas for improvement in your content marketing campaign.
Some examples of traffic metrics include:
- Total website visit: pretty self-explanatory. The total number of visitors to the website over a specific period of time.
- Organic traffic: the number of visitors that came to the website from search engine results pages (SERPs), for example from Google’s SERP for certain keywords without clicking on an ad.
- Paid search traffic: related to the above, the number of visitors that came to the website by clicking on search engine ads.
- Referral traffic: number of visitors that came to the website by clicking a link on external sources (other websites, social media links, links on forums or comment sections, etc.)
- Direct traffic: the number of visitors that came to the website by typing your website’s URL directly into their browser
- Mobile/desktop traffic: the number of visitors who visit your website from different device types
- Pageviews per session: the average number of pages viewed by visitors during a visit to your website
- Average session duration: the average amount of time website visitors spend during a session on your website
Tracking traffic metrics will mainly help SaaS businesses to understand the effectiveness of the content marketing strategy in driving traffic to the website, but also engagement. It can help you identify which content is performing best and allocate your time and resources accordingly.
Tracking these traffic metrics will also allow you to identify potential issues with your website or content marketing strategy. For example, if your traffic metrics are relatively high but your engagement metrics are low (more on them later,) then it’s a strong indication that your content is not relevant to your target audience.
How you can improve traffic metrics
Below are some effective ways to improve your traffic metrics:
- Ultimately, high-quality content that caters to your target audience’s needs and interests is the one driving traffic
- Optimize your website and content for search engines (via SEO best practices,) make sure content is developed via thorough keyword research
- Actively promote content through various marketing channels, especially social media, to drive referral traffic
- Consider investing in paid advertising (search and display ads) to drive paid traffic to the website
- Make sure your website is mobile-responsive and well-optimized for mobile users
- Optimize your website’s user experience so people will view more pages when visiting your website
- Leverage A/B testing to test various elements of your website and to improve your content marketing’s (and other marketing campaigns’) performances
2. Engagement metrics
Within the context of content marketing, engagement metrics keep track of the level of user engagement and interactions with your content. Which types of content you’ve published are driving the most engagement? How are your website visitors engaging with your content?
Measuring engagement metrics will also help your SaaS business identify areas for improvement in your content marketing strategy so you can drive more interactions, engagement, and ultimately conversions.
Here are some important engagement metrics to track in SaaS content marketing:
- Pageviews: the total number of times a web page has been viewed
- Average time on page: how long visitors spend on a specific page on your website
- Social shares: the total number of times a piece of content has been shared on social networks
- Comments: the total number of comments left on social media posts, blog posts’ comment sections, etc.
- Likes: the number of likes (or hearts, favorites) on your content (social media posts, blog posts.)
- Click-through rate (CTR): the percentage of users who click on a link or CTA within your content
- Conversion rate: the percentage of users who take a specific desired action on the users, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, signing up for an email newsletter, etc.
Measuring these engagement metrics can also help you identify potential issues with your content marketing strategy (or your website in general). For example, low CTR might be a good indicator that your content’s CTA is not well-optimized or not attractive enough for your target audience.
How you can improve engagement metrics
Here are some actionable ways to improve your engagement metrics:
- Again, the most important factor is to improve the quality and value of your content and make sure your content speaks to your target audience’s interests and needs
- Incorporate attractive visuals (images, infographics, videos, etc.) to grab users’ attention and improve engagement
- Encourage visitors to comment and share the content on social media. For example, by asking interesting questions or including attractive CTAs in your content.
- Regularly monitor and analyze your content’s engagement performance to identify which types of content are driving the most engagement and which aren’t working. Optimize your content marketing approach accordingly.
- Regularly conduct A/B testing on various elements of your content to optimize your campaign for better performance.
3. Lead generation metrics
Lead generation metrics refer to a category of metrics that measure the effectiveness of content in generating new leads and capturing prospects’ contact information. To be more exact, lead generation metrics measure the number of new leads generated by your content marketing efforts, and some examples of these metrics are:
- Lead conversion rate: the percentage of website visitors that take any desired action to become a lead (filling out a lead form, signing up for a free trial while submitting their contact information, signing up for an email newsletter, and more.)
- Lead quality: the percentage of leads that fits your ideal customer profile (qualified leads) and are likely to become actual customers.
- Click-through rate (CTR): the percentage of visitors who click on a CTA or link in your content.
- Cost per lead (CPL): the average cost you’ll need to spend in order to acquire a single lead. You can calculate CPL by dividing your total expense by the number of leads generated in the effort.
- Lead velocity: how long does it take for leads to move through your marketing funnel, from being aware of your brand to becoming a paying customer?
Keeping track of these lead generation metrics is important because it helps you understand how effective is your current content marketing efforts in generating new leads. As we know, lead generation is critical in building your Saas business’s sales pipeline, and tracking these metrics will help you in making a more informed decision to generate more leads in your future campaigns.
How you can improve lead generation metrics
There are several ways you can adopt to improve your lead generation metrics, including:
- There’s no shortcut to improving your content quality. Consistently create and publish high-quality and valuable content that meets your target audience’s interests while also answering their pain points.
- Optimize your website and landing pages (if any.) Focus on making it as easy and seamless as possible for your visitors to become leads.
- A/B test everything, especially your CTAs (calls to action) and lead forms so you can identify which design/approach is working, and which should be fixed.
- Develop highly targeted campaigns so you can more effectively cater to specific segments of your target audience to boost lead conversion rates.
4. Sales metrics
Sales metrics measure the effectiveness of your SaaS business’s content marketing strategy in driving revenue. Of course, ultimately sales revenue will directly impact business growth.
Tracking these seals metrics will also allow you to identify revenue-related issues with your current content marketing campaign. For example, you may find out that your content generates a substantial amount of traffic but has low conversion rates. This is a good indication that the content may be attractive to your target audience but is not relevant/valuable enough to convince them to convert.
Some examples of sales metrics to track are:
- Sales conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who made a purchase or subscribed to a service.
- Revenue: the total amount of revenue generated from the content marketing campaign.
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC): the total cost of acquiring a new customer through content marketing efforts. Calculated by dividing total content marketing expenses by the number of customers during a specific period.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): the expected total revenue generated by a customer over their lifetime (their whole relationship with your product.)
- ROI: return on investment, the amount of sales revenue generated compared to the total expenses you spend on content marketing efforts.
Measuring these sales metrics is critical for assessing whether your content marketing efforts are effective in generating revenue and driving business growth, so you can make adjustments to your strategy as needed. You can also identify ongoing and potential issues with your content marketing campaigns. For example, if your content marketing expenses result in high customer acquisition costs, then you may want to lower your future budget.
How to improve sales metrics
Some actionable tips to improve content marketing sales metrics include:
- Create conversion-optimized content, but don’t sacrifice quality and relevance. Make sure your content caters to your target audience’s needs and interest.
- Optimize your website, content, and marketing campaigns for conversion. For example, perform A/B testing and conversion rate optimization on your landing pages.
- Include and highlight social proofs in your content, such as customer testimonials, reviews, case studies, and success stories so you can demonstrate the value of your SaaS product and establish credibility with potential customers.
- Optimize your pricing strategy and experiment with different pricing models if necessary. Sometimes your content is already optimal, but your product is simply too expensive. Continually review and optimize your pricing strategy based on these metrics, as well as customer feedback.
- Identify and leverage upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and communicate them on your content. This can be an effective way not only to increase your revenue but also to maximize customer lifetime value.
5. Brand awareness metrics
Measuring brand awareness metrics allows the SaaS business to keep track of the reach and impact of its content marketing effort on the target audience’s awareness of the brand. These metrics would help you understand how well your content marketing strategy performs in building brand positioning and recognition in front of your audience, so you can optimize your strategies to increase brand awareness and maintain positive brand perception.
Some examples of brand awareness metrics are:
- Organic traffic: the number of website visitors who came to your website after clicking on search engine results of your content.
- Social media engagement: likes, comments, and shares of your content
- Search engine rankings: how high your content ranks in SERPs for your target keywords.
- Brand mentions: the number of times your brand is mentioned online (i.e., on social media, blogs, forums, etc.)
- Share of voice: the percentage of mentions and conversations mentioning your brand in your industry (or topic area) compared to mentions of your competitors.
- Content reach: the number of people who have viewed your content through various channels (partnerships/syndication, social media, email marketing, etc.)
Keeping track of these metrics would help SaaS businesses understand how well their content efforts impact brand awareness and engagement, and also help identify issues in the content marketing strategy (i.e. poor search engine performance.) Ultimately, these insights would allow the company to make informed decisions to improve its content marketing strategy.
How to improve brand awareness metrics
Here are some actionable tips on how to improve the SaaS business’s brand awareness metrics:
- Creating high-quality content that can help establish the brand’s thought leadership and reinforce the brand values.
- Building a strong social media presence, regularly engaging with the business’s audience through regular posting, maintaining two-way interactions, and community management.
- Implementing SEO strategies to optimize the website and its content for search engine visibility by targeting relevant keywords.
- Partnering with influencers in the industry and non-competing brands to expand your content’s reach and build authority
- Continuously optimize the content marketing efforts by leveraging data-driven insights to improve its brand awareness performance
6. SEO metrics
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) metrics keep track of the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy in improving the content’s search engine rankings, visibility for target keywords, and especially organic traffic.
Simply put, SEO metrics help the SaaS business understand how well its content is performing in Google’s and other search engines’ SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages,) so it can identify opportunities to optimize the content for better visibility, organic traffic, and ultimately better revenue generation.
Some examples of important SEO metrics include:
- Organic traffic: the number of website visitors who visit your website by clicking your content through organic search results on the SERPs.
- Keyword rankings: the content’s ranking on SERPs for its target keywords and phrases
- Backlinks/inbound inks: the number of links from other websites (external links) pointing to each content. The quantity and quality of backlinks indicate the content’s authority and relevance in the topic area or industry.
- Click-through rate (CTR: the percentage of users who click on your content’s snippet in search engine results. Indicating the content’s META description is attractive and relevant for the target audience.
- Bounce rate: the percentage of website visitors who leave the website immediately after viewing a single page. A high bounce rate indicates that the content is not relevant or adequate in quality for its target audience’s search intent.
Tracking SEO metrics will help the SaaS business measure the impact of its content marketing strategy to search engine visibility and organic traffic. Understanding how the content performs in the SERPs would also allow the business to identify potential issues in its SEO strategy. For example, a low click-through rate is a strong indicator that the content’s META description isn’t optimized or relevant enough for the target keyword or phrase.
How to improve SEO metrics
There are several ways the SaaS business can adopt to improve its SEO metrics, including:
- Start the development of each piece of content with thorough keyword research. Each content should target relevant target keywords and is optimized accordingly:
- The target keyword(s) should be frequently searched by the target audience, indicated by a high enough monthly search volume.
- The target keyword(s) must be relevant to the SaaS business. Not all keywords that are popular with the target audience would be relevant.
- Depending on the available budget and timeline, the competition for the target keyword(s) should be manageable.
- Optimize the content by naturally including the target keywords or phrases throughout the content. However, focus on providing value to human readers instead of overly optimizing the content for the search engine algorithm.
- Optimize title tags, META description, header tags, image alt text, and other on-page SEO factors
- Build a strong backlink profile by proactively reaching out to relevant websites and industry influencers for link-building opportunities.
- Continuously monitor, refine, and align the content marketing strategy to better meet the target audience’s search behavior, search intent, and goals.
In this article, we have discussed how to measure the success of a SaaS content marketing strategy by keeping track of relevant metrics. We have divided the key metrics into several key categories: traffic, lead generation, engagement, sales, brand awareness, and SEO metrics so it’s easier for SaaS businesses to monitor the content marketing’s impact on different aspects of the business.
Leveraging data to optimize the SaaS content marketing strategy is critical for achieving success in today’s highly competitive business environment. Analyzing these key metrics would help SaaS businesses in identifying areas for improvement and optimizing content marketing efforts for greater impact.
Data-driven decision-making is and will continue to be highly essential for staying ahead of the competition and helping the business in achieving its objectives.