You’ve produced numerous guides targeting your money keywords.
Most of these guides are ranking on the first SERP and you are getting tons of traffic. But this traffic doesn’t translate into users — the ultimate goal of any SaaS business.
Visitors stay on your article for less than 15 seconds and bounce. It’s like they skim the article and realize it’s not what they are looking for. But you want them to stay longer on page, engage with your blog posts and possibly even sign up for a trial.
Are you in this situation?
I feel you.
Explaining to your boss why the company blog gets tons of organic traffic that don’t translate into sign-ups can be a difficult situation to be in. After all, they hired you to rank for their money keywords and increase traffic to their blog and you delivered. You were just doing your job.
What if I told you that there is another way to convert these readers into trial users through long-form blog copywriting?
Your prospects consume your content and get engaged so much that they sign up for your product when they are done reading. This way of SaaS content writing is known as product-led content writing.
It involves creating stories that show how your prospects can solve their problem using your product. You illustrate your product solving the problem your ICP is having at the moment such that by the time they are done reading the article, they are convinced that your product is the irreplaceable solution to their problem.
SaaS companies like Hotjar and Ahrefs have used product-led content writing to grow their business to over 8 figures in ARR. They chose to present their product as an irreplaceable solution to the problems their ICPs had and they experienced tremendous business growth. And you can too.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to create product-led content that drives business growth – increasing customer acquisition and retention.
Let’s get started.
What is SaaS Content Writing?
SaaS content writing is the process of showing your target customers how they can use your SaaS product to solve a specific problem without wasting their time and money.
In this product-led growth era, your prospects want to experience your product first before signing up. They want to do research on their own to see which product best fits their problem. So, by the time they are on your Homepage signing up for a free trial or requesting a demo, they already made up their mind to go with you instead of your competitors.
The easiest way to lead them to sign up as users is by creating in-depth guides about how they can solve their problems using your product. When they discover your product as they are looking for a solution to their problem, they will be inclined towards choosing your product when they are ready to buy.
SaaS content writing aims to create these guides that present your product as the irreplaceable solution to your prospects problems without sounding like a hard pitch.
What is Product-led content writing?
Product-led content writing is a product-focused form of SaaS content writing. It recognizes that your SaaS product is the primary driver of your customer acquisition and retention.
If your prospects perceive your product as valuable, they will use it and tell their friends about it. But if they don’t understand how your product helps them, they will move to your competitor. Product-led content writing aims to weave your product into stories that show how your prospects can solve their problems.
So, you illustrate how your prospects can solve their problem using your product in a smooth flow from the beginning of the article to the end.
You don’t want a scenario where the reader only realizes about your product in the final section of the article.
Most readers never reach the bottom of the article. So, you’ll be missing many product qualified leads by playing nice — thinking that if you ask them to sign up at the top of the blog post they’ll walk away.
No. By the time they clicked on the article, they already had a serious problem that they wanted to solve quickly. Why not make it clear right off the bat that you have a product that can make their problem go away?
Fundamentals of product-led content writing
If you are still here, then it means you love the concept of product-led content writing. This technique was formulated by Dr. Fio Dossetto and Victor Eduoh who are two great SaaS content marketing consultants. They noticed that SaaS companies who actively showed how their prospects could solve their problems using their product got more sign-ups and retained existing customers.
They tried it with their clients, got similar results and decided to share this powerful form of SaaS content writing with other B2B marketers.
Here are the principles that guide product-led content writing:
#1 Know your ideal customer
The greatest copywriters in history like Robert Collier and David Ogilvy stressed on the importance of knowing your target customer. When you understand their situation, you can create stories that capture their attention and drive them to perform your desired actions.
Before creating any content, take time to learn the needs of ideal customer personas. You can do this by running customer interviews, listening in on sales or support calls and digging through survey data.
Your target customers don’t care about you, they only want a solution to their challenges. So, you need to first learn about these challenges to make your messaging clear when presenting your product to them.
#2 Know how your product works in specific contexts
I get it.
You are the one who created the product and probably nobody knows its features better than you. But that doesn’t matter. You need to know how a certain feature of your product can solve your ICPs’ problem in a specific situation. Get into the details.
It’s not enough to say that your product does this or that. Tell me a situation where one of its features was a lifesaver to your ICP.
For example, if your SaaS product unsends already sent emails, one of your ICPs can be a freelance writer who pitches through cold emailing. A scenario where your product would be a lifesaver is when the freelancer sends the wrong template to a prospecting list he spent many hours building and cleaning.
When you describe your product’s features in such a context, you are on track to becoming a product-led content marketer.
#3 Forget about vanity metrics and focus on business impact
Hitting targets is fun if you are a data-driven marketer. You set metrics and beat them.
But most of the time marketers obsessed with vanity metrics don’t get great results for their companies. Metrics like marketing qualified leads and traffic may not always translate into trial users and long-term customers.
People who download your ebook do that because they want to use it at the moment. They may never come back. Even worse. They may never open the ebook or the emails your Sales team pressure them with.
You need to shift your focus from vanity metrics to business impact. There are only two metrics that drive a SaaS business forward — customer acquisition and retention. Always ask how your content will help convert a reader into a trial user or make your existing customer love your product even more.
Why you should adopt product-led form of SaaS content writing
Here are the reasons why you should use product-led storytelling:
It supports customer acquisition
When your prospects see your product solving their problems, they are likely to try it out as trial users or become outright customers. Product-led content writing aims to illustrate your product solving your ICPs problems in a smooth fashion.
It supports customer retention
Getting trial users is one thing, but retaining them is a lot harder even if you have a great product. Product-led content writing can help you retain existing customers by showing them certain features of your product they are not aware of but could make their lives easier.
This means you have to learn about the needs of your existing customers and match them with your product. If your product keeps on making my life easier, why would I get in bed with your competitor?
You get competitive advantage
Most SaaS companies are not using this technique of content writing because it’s hard. To create product-led content, you must know your ICPs and the challenges they have.
You must also understand your product’s features and match them to the needs of your ICPs.
Create in-depth stories that illustrate how your ICP can fix a specific challenge with your product. And finally, distribute these stories to places where your ICPs hang out.
These things require you to wear many hats at the same time: product marketer, content strategist and content marketer. When most content marketers see this, they give up.
They say “Thanks, I’ll pass.”
So if you adopt the product-led form of content writing, you are already ahead of your competitors.
How to write SaaS content that converts readers into product users
One piece of content can bring in as much as 1 million dollars in sales if it drives your readers to perceive your product as valuable.
Here are the steps to creating such a piece of content:
1. Identify a problem your ICP has that your product can solve
People will buy your product only when they are looking for a solution to a challenge. So, identifying such a problem is the first step to creating a converting piece of content.
List your ideal customer personas and identify the specific problems they may need to solve using your product. Let’s use Ahrefs, a company that offers SEO tools to help SaaS companies grow their traffic. They realized that SaaS companies create landing pages to convert their target customers into trial users.
But they have a challenge optimizing these landing pages to rank on Google. Ahrefs has an SEO tool that can solve this problem.
2. See how you can weave your product into a story showing how they can fix this problem
After finding the problem that your product can solve, identify ways in which you can illustrate your product solving this problem without sounding like a hard pitch. It’s called a business potential score.
If you can present your product as an irreplaceable solution to your prospect’s challenge, then you have a 3/3. You get a ⅔ when your product helps but it’s not essential. You get a ⅓ when your product can be mentioned in passing. Avoid writing about problems where your product can only be mentioned in passing.
Focus on problems that score the perfect 3/3 or ⅔ with your product.
With Ahrefs, the problem scores a perfect 3/3 because SaaS marketing teams need an SEO tool to rank their landing pages. It is an irreplaceable solution.
3. Create a benefit driven headline that promises to solve this problem
After identifying the right problem, create a headline that draws your target audience into the content with the promise that they will find a solution to their problem.
See Ahrefs’ benefit-driven headline promising to show SaaS marketing teams how to create landing pages that rank:
4. Use story-driven introductory paragraphs to hook the readers and filter the ICP the content is intended for
The goal of the headline is to drive the prospect to read the first line and the goal of the first line is to make the reader move to the second line till the end of the article. So, you need to hook your reader as fast as possible or they will bounce.
The first sentence confirms to them that they are on the right page because it matches the message in the headline. The rest of the paragraphs filter out the rest of your target audience to remain with a specific ICP who you intended to read the article.
You are only interested in closing one ICP with this article. The other ICPs will get their time with other articles.
Ahrefs sets the context right off the bat that this article is intended for SaaS companies by giving Asana as an example of a company creating SEO optimized landing pages. If you are a SaaS company, you already know that this article is meant for you.
If you are not in SaaS, you may be discouraged and choose to bounce. It’s ok. The author is not interested in you at the moment.
5. Use media to illustrate your product solving the reader’s problem.
After the uninterested readers have left, now is the time to show your product in action, reinforcing the promise to help your ICPs solve their problems. You can share a screenshot or a GIF of your product performing the action your reader is looking to solve.
The reader can’t wait to learn how to use your product to solve their problem. See how Ahrefs does it.
6. Use story-driven paragraphs to distinguish your product, add more quotes and stats
This is the section after the introduction where you start defining your points of view, share stats and quotes from experts. You are distinguishing your SaaS product as the irreplaceable solution to your reader’s problem. Ahrefs defines what a landing page is and shows how you can create an optimized landing page using their SEO tool.
7. Insert media of your product solving the reader’s problem
By this point, your readers are already visualizing themselves using your product to solve their problem. To arouse their interest, insert media showing your product fixing the problem your article suggests.
8. Add a CTA inviting the reader to try your product
After showcasing the product in action, follow with a clear CTA asking your readers to sign up for a trial or request a demo. While Ahrefs doesn’t include a clear and separate CTA within the article, it literally asks the readers to use their product before showcasing its SEO tool in action.
Here is a good example of a clear and separate CTA within an article. This is Copper’s article on how to create an Ideal Customer Persona.
9. Add a relevant client testimonial as a social proof that your product actually works
If the reader hasn’t signed up for a trial at this point, then they need assurance that your product can actually solve their problem. Introduce a story showing how one of your customers ( matching the ICP you are targeting) used your product to solve their problem. Ahrefs gives examples of SaaS companies creating winning landing pages using their SEO tool like themselves.
10. Use SaaS copywriting skills to invite your reader to use your product
In your final paragraphs, put your SaaS copywriting skills to use by inviting the reader to use your product. Don’t ask them a question.
The only reason why they are reading your article is to find a solution to a problem and your product can help them do that. See how she rallies the readers to use Ahrefs in the conclusion.
11. End with a CTA to trial your product or request a demo
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. So, end your article with a CTA inviting your readers to sign up for a trial or request a demo.
The Ahrefs article doesn’t do this. But Copper does it so well in almost all of their articles. They end with clear and separated ICPs inviting the reader to try their product.
SaaS content writing is about showing how your prospect can solve their problem using your product quickly. In this product-led growth era, I can help you create content that illustrates how your product can fix a specific problem without making it sound like a hard pitch.
Contact me today if you want product-led content writing for your SaaS.
About the author
Hey, I’m Vincent. I help B2B SaaS brands generate more leads and revenue by writing/refreshing blog posts and web copy. Send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking to hire a freelance writer.