I published a previous post about how to use a blog to gain conversions for your B2B SaaS company. Then, I published two follow-up posts about just how to create your blog strategy, and how to brainstorm consistently original and effective content. Check them out if you missed them.
One common theme that underpins all of these ideas is having a powerful brand that gives your blog personality and magnetism. It’s what’s going to cut through the marketing noise and help audiences to remember you when it’s time to buy your products.
In the B2B SaaS industry, everyone learns from each other because there’s no established way of doing things as with other, more traditional industries. There’s no academy you can enroll in to learn how to sell SaaS products (yet). It works by people googling, googling and googling again.
This is why content marketing is so powerful for SaaS brands. Great content that shows up in the search results is key to promoting your brand. If you make sure your company’s brand sells itself as an authority in your industry, you’ll be able to attract your target customers.
Brands to learn from
The following brands all sell helpdesk software solutions for customer support teams. Their unique brands showcase their company’s personality and help gain loyal customers.
Being a SaaS company means more than just offering some software and hoping people like it. It means entering into the B2B content space and creating your own identity to stand out from the crowd.
It isn’t about being the edgiest, smartest or most original. It is about being authentic and true to your own mission so that customers trust your authority and ultimately buy your products.
Helpjuice is an example of a SaaS company that has taken a very authentic path with their brand. Their blog content is no-bullshit and written from the perspective of their regular bloggers, who are generally team members.
They’re very honest about the mistakes they’ve made as they’ve scaled their company and also write very candid posts about all things knowledge base.
Slightly different to Helpjuice, Kayako strike a more serious tone and are leaders in the helpdesk industry.
Their blog is focused on the areas of customer support/service, startups and helpdesk software, so they publish very longform blog posts that are incredibly actionable. They also publish long thought pieces about more contextual topics, like the history of customer service.
They focus on a more intellectually-minded audience and are correspondingly more academic in their tone, but never pretentious. All articles are down-to-earth and accessible even to the lay reader.
They’ve openly blogged about the challenges they’ve faced in scaling their company from startup to multinational.
KnowledgeOwl are a company that sells standalone knowledge base software. Their blog focuses on knowledge bases and documentation.
Their voice is searingly honest and down-to-earth, and their content reflects their company’s dedication to customer service.
By sticking to their theme, they’ve experienced a recent rise in their search engine ranking for various knowledge base-related search queries.
HelpScout have gone for an energetic brand and they focus on helping their target B2B customers get more out of customer support. Their blog topics range from help desk tips, to customer service, to directly talking about content marketing.
They use their expertise to create a welcoming brand and have established themselves as an authority in their niche. There’s quite a kick to their branding, which they pull off smoothly.
The common theme
These brands all have one thing in common: humility.
There are no deep dives into really technical topics that scare off the newbies. Content is down-to-earth, accessible, and bursting with personality.
Following their blogs is almost like chatting with a friend over coffee. Move over jargon and technical pretentiousness – the content they offer is hyper useful and actionable aimed at helping their audience overcome obstacles.
And let’s face it, the SaaS industry very young. Your average SaaS customer is probably going to be in their 20s and 30s, so keep this in mind when creating your content.
SaaS is peculiar
Superstar content marketer Neil Patel published a persuasive article about how SaaS marketing is different to every other type of marketing. This is because SaaS companies aren’t really selling a real product, like a shoe. They’re selling the solution to a problem.
Uniquely, they must give away their product – which is information – to prospective customers in order to establish themselves as an authority in their niche. Later down the line, when they’re ready, the audience will buy the company’s product, which is the holy grail of the information they need.
This is also known as ‘inbound marketing’ for B2B companies. Inbound marketing is highly targeted, highly intelligent and highly successful.
The aim is to produce content that is so insanely useful to your audiences, they’re attracted to you as the answer to their prayers. This is in contrast to traditional marketing methods of the broadcasting variety in B2C marketing. Such adverts intrude on as many people as possible in order to net a few customers from the crowd.
Many people are confused between B2B and B2C marketing. This results in their marketing efforts becoming less effective.
Companies waste time with ‘influencers’ and trying to chase bigger numbers of followers, when all that really matters is the authority of their content and its relevance to their audience.
No one cares about numbers of followers in B2B content marketing. Your niche audience for your B2B SaaS company may be big or small, but they’ll also be incredibly specific and loyal. Your blog’s brand must cater to the specific few – not the general masses.
Keep providing your expertise to address your audience’s problems in business, and eventually, buying your product will become the only logical answer.
B2B customers are incredibly discerning and you won’t get away with shoddy content. You must work with internal or external writers who are experts in your field and able to write content in a lighthearted, accessible way.
This post has focused on the textual element of your brand – the words that you use in your blog to convey your company’s personality. There are many other elements to branding, including having the right logo, fonts, colour palette, marketing imagery and so on.
It’s too much to cover here and I’m no graphic design expert anyway, but you can spot some quick trends in how SaaS companies choose to visually brand themselves.
Their branding tends to be clean, simple and use bright colours (which are making a comeback after the previously popular white, grey and black) to communicate a sense of youth and energy.
Just look at Helpjuice‘s white and blue branding, childlike visuals, and lifesaver logo.
Kayako go for a muted colour palette with serif font, and simple but engaging marketing images.
The recently rebranded KnowledgeOwl logo is mesmerising, and again, their colour scheme is white and blue, using serif fonts with a clean design.
Summary of branding style
You should aim to create a brand that is:
Since the number one point is to be authentic, of course there will be huge variation among brands, but there are certain themes that crop up repeatedly.
Some brands are more humorous than others and others are clearly aiming for the “no bullshit” approach. Strike a tone that feels right for your company and reflects your core values and aims.
Of course you can create your brand yourself, as you know your company best. I offer blog writing services which include putting your SaaS company’s brand into words for you in a blog strategy. Contact me now to find out how we can work together.