There’s no debating this fact: in recent years, the Cloud, machine learning and AI have propelled entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs alike to build some of the most transformative innovations for workplace efficiency, employee productivity and business continuity that the world has ever seen.
Beginning around 2008, many business tools and processes started to change forever. What used to take a month, could now be completed in a day. What used to take a day, could now be executed in 5 minutes. What once was accessible only in the office, was now accessible anywhere and anytime.
The disruption was real.
You’d be hard pressed to find more than a handful of people (if any, really) who believe that the cons of the SaaS revolution outweigh the pros. However, one often overlooked unintended consequence of it is the culture of “instant gratification” that the SaaS boom unintentionally spawned. No longer would “I Want it Now” only be associated with Veruca Salt’s misguided approach at finding Willie Wonka’s Golden Ticket. Instead, deadlines became real-time, and a new normal set in for SaaS marketers small and large businesses across the globe.
The unenviable precedent the SaaS industry set for its own marketers
Ironically, SaaS marketers themselves may be the ones bearing the brunt of this instant gratification culture. SaaS CMO’s, VP’s of marketing and PR directors, among others, are driven by constant pressures to show measurable ROI. From brand awareness to MQLs, the burden is heavy and stakeholder patience is thin.
But whether you’re the VP of Marketing at a mid-market cybersecurity company that only sells to a finite persona, or you’re the PR Manager of a growth-stage Health IT brand about to penetrate the mass-market, most marketing efforts cannot produce the same breadth of expedited results as SaaS products have proven to for other business functions.
Such a constant sense of urgency has prompted many SaaS companies to adopt a marketing approach primarily driven by inbound strategies using marketing automation tools and account-based marketing efforts at the neglect of traditional PR, social media, and brand identity building. Being surrounded by SaaS enthusiasts all day, this approach isn’t much of a surprise.
While perhaps sensible in theory, in practice such a limited strategy is no more than fools’ gold. Today, 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally (SiriusDecisions). As a result, marketing teams must generate high volumes of content – from thought leadership byline articles to social media ads – to reach buyers at the right place, at the right time and through the right channel. No SaaS product, or products, have that power – yet.
While there’s no silver bullet to SaaS marketing, there is one tried-and-true tactic that is proven to help marketing teams of all sizes organize, prioritize and execute, while at the same time enabling them to manage the expectations and time constraints of stakeholders wanting to be instantly gratified.
Ironic, the industry built on the expediency of the agile methodology and minimal viable product (MVPs) is best suited to market its products and services via the methodical, protracted and systematic approach that only a content calendar can facilitate.
It’s true – the most successful SaaS marketing teams create custom content calendars to strategically attract and nurture prospects all 12 months of the year. Yes, brainstorming and mapping out a year’s’ worth of brand awareness, educational and promotional communications is a daunting task, so ARPR recommends approaching content calendars on a quarterly basis, pre-scheduling quarterly content brainstorms with your marketing team and external partners.
At ARPR, we help our clients customize their content calendars on a regular basis. In doing so, we always make sure that they are:
- Structured so that all of your constraints – from buyer preferences to sales cycles – are baked into the format, allowing you to navigate them at each turn throughout the year.
- Creative with the best content calendars are driven by themes, which naturally guide team members to brainstorm creative sub-topics and campaign plans, while staying on-message.
- Collaborative so that all marketing team functions – from PR to social media to demand gen – can work together to create mutually supportive campaigns and communications.
- Flexible enough that your marketing team can adjust plans in the event of unforeseen company news, industry turns, product issues, etc. – whether positive or negative.
Click here to download our checklist to get all the tips you need to build a calendar that helps your marketing team thrive.
Unlike your technology, there’s nothing innovative about a content calendar. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a game-changing marketing tactic. In fact, many would argue that it is.
Want our help creating your company’s 2019 content calendar? Contact us today.