We think a big reason is that you just don’t have time.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do content marketing. One of the best ways to combat the chaos that comes from being too busy is to put in place structures - guardrails that will propel things forward no matter how busy you get.
If you tried to get your blog off the ground but gave up, this is for you. If you haven’t started a blog yet, this is also for you. In fact, this little guide is for any SaaS company that understands the power of content but has struggled to gain momentum because they’re too busy.
We’ll show you how to put a few content marketing structures in place so you can set up a solid foundation in just one hour or less.
Simple structures to help you operate your blog on autopilot
A few key structures will support a successful content marketing program for your SaaS company, even when you don’t have a lot of time or a team to dedicate to it. This will help you get a solid foothold, so you have a foundation to build on when you’re ready to ramp up later.
1. A clear strategy
You don’t need to create a manifesto. Just think through a few important points:
What does your audience care about? You know who your product is for. What sort of questions do they ask? What problem are you solving? This guides what to write about in your blog.
How will you get your content in front of people? Your blog opens up all kinds of opportunities for exposure and lead generation. After you’ve hit a solid cadence of articles, let people sign up to get notified when you publish, for example. That provides an automated way to amplify the effect. SEO should be built into every article, so down the road you can reap the rewards as your blog builds authority. Consider any other channels you have easy access to now.
How will you know your content is working? Your content exists to grow and nurture a base of potential customers. It provides a way for them to learn about you, grow to love you, and then want to do business with you. In your early days, focus on growing awareness and love. Every few months, reflect on things like whether anyone has mentioned your content, or if your team feels comfortable sharing it with customers, for example.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish with content marketing, next jot down how you’ll do it.
2. A reliable process
Focus on the content creation process when you’re just starting. There are five key tasks to map out.
The process can be very simple, but it must be clear to all those involved what their responsibility is. A simple chart like this will help you structure your content marketing.
|Content Creation Process|
|Pitch & approve topics||Add and review topic ideas in a Google Sheet||Writer/reviewer||The start of every quarter|
|Write||Write and submit articles in Google Docs||Writer||On Thursday|
|Review||Review and approve article; provide feedback or edits||Reviewer||By Monday|
|Publish||Publish the article to the blog||Publisher||On Wednesday|
|Distribution||Post to social media; email to team and customers||Publisher||At time of publishing|
As you can see, determining who will fill the roles of writer, reviewer, and publisher are critical.
When you’re a bootstrapped SaaS company, the writer may be a freelancer or a content marketing agency. The reviewer may be a founder or other key person who is dialed into the vision for the company.
Keep tasks simple and lean until your team grows and you can dedicate more resources.
3. Specialized skills and tools
Specialized skills and tools will help your company gain more from its content marketing efforts. It doesn’t make sense for you to invest in these yet, though. Lean on your freelancer or agency to provide them.
Important skills to look for in a writer include SEO and a sense for branding and community building. Be sure to ask writers about their experience and how they can support these areas in their work for you.
Your tools don’t have to be sophisticated when you’re just starting out. Google Drive offers a free suite of tools that many marketers rely on. It’s easy to set up a content calendar in Trello. Designate the tools you will use and stick to them. This will bring structure to your content marketing efforts.
Content marketing success requires more than structure—but you won’t succeed without it
Finding the right voice for your company, writing about topics that your customers want to read, taking a stance—these are all important things to consider in your content marketing.
But sometimes you just need to take the leap and start doing it.
Don’t try to perfect every aspect of your blog. It will only delay your start. Instead, focus on setting a clear strategy, defining your processes, and finding great people to do the heavy lifting for you.