I’ve scaled our SaaS marketing agency to a team of over 40 people in the last two years. We now produce hundreds of articles for our clients every month. Along this journey, I’ve made numerous mistakes that cost tens of thousands of dollars.
While we still make mistakes, we’ve learned a lot along the way. That’s helped us optimize our content production process.
This guide provides a shortcut to help you avoid costly mistakes. You’ll learn how to grow an effective content team and discover processes to create high-quality content. After getting the mandatory definition out of the way, we’ll get onto the good stuff.
Let’s dive in.
What is SaaS Content Production?
SaaS content production is the processes you put in place to create engaging content for a sales or marketing channel to promote your software company. A great content production process is streamlined, can be scaled, and saves time.
The content production process can be used to create blog posts, white papers, marketing videos, podcasts, or any other type of content. We’ll focus on the written word, as that’s the service we provide SaaS clients like Writer, Surfer SEO, and others.
Why is Content Production Important for SaaS?
A streamlined process for creating content speeds up the production of content, reducing costs and ensuring quality output. You need to have these things in place for your content marketing strategy to deliver the inbound leads you need to grow your SaaS business.
The right content strategies can pay huge dividends to your business. Take our client Aura who we help with link building. They went from 10,000 visitors to over 500,000 in less than 18 months. SEO is now the primary sales and marketing channel for the company.
Right Inbox is closing in on 500,000 visitors after two years of collaborating with us.
This guide will teach you how to create an oiled SaaS content production machine that can generate those results.
How to Create an Awesome Content Production Workflow
This will be awesome, trust me. We’ll start at the beginning.
Create a Central Knowledge Base
You want a team knowledge base your writing team can refer to. Your knowledge base is where you store things like:
- Editorial Guidelines
- Lessons on how to create a blog outline
- Your templates
- Passwords for editorial & writing tools
- Contact details for your team
- Answers to common questions
The goal is to create a repository with all the information the content team needs. Start with the essential stuff, like the editorial guidelines, and build the knowledge base over time.
We use SuperOkay to host our knowledge base. It’s a paid platform. You can easily host your knowledge base on a free Trello board, though.
Get your team to use a screen video recording tool like Loom to answer questions from editors and writers. You can add these videos to your knowledge base.
Here’s a quick review of the tools we use for our knowledge base:
You must put someone in charge of managing the knowledge base. Get the person to spend up to 30 minutes a week keeping things updated. If nobody takes command of this, it will get outdated and stop being useful.
Hire A Writing & Editorial Team
You’ll need good writers and editors to create great content. Trying to find good people for our team caused me a lot of headaches and sleepless nights. Thankfully, we’ve now got a solid hiring process in place.
In terms of the process, we generally do the following:
- Write a job description and set the rate per word
- Create a test for the writer/ editor
- Review the tests, then shortlist candidates
- Review the CV and interview preferred candidates
The test will reduce the number of candidates to review.
You’ll also get a sense of what people can deliver. That’s handy for shortlisting.
We only review people’s CVs after looking at the test. This way, candidates with less experience who have natural talent get a shot. It also helps us avoid the psychological favoritism that emerges when we come across a candidate whose background we like.
Our writer test is straightforward. We provide a brief and ask the applicant to write 150 words of content. For the editorial test, we get people to edit a low-quality article submission.
Finding a good writer is significantly easier than getting a good editor. We found promoting editors from the content team gets better results than hiring an editor directly.
We use Gohire for recruitment. It’s affordable and gets your job out across 15 recruitment sites. I prefer hiring writers directly rather than going through a platform like Upwork. You get a direct relationship with the person, and you can bring them in-house eventually if you’re happy with the work.
Hiring tools we use:
- Gohire – affordable and gets you lots of applicants
You’ll need a content management system if you’ve got more than one person involved in content production. We’ve used several platforms for managing content over the years. One of my favorite free tools is Trello.
Trello has one of the cleanest user interfaces of any platform.
You set your board up, create columns that align with the editorial process, and create cards for your content. Here’s a snapshot of one of our boards.
Some people prefer Airtable or Monday for project management. You can do lots of clever things with Airtable, which is why I’d suggest it for bigger teams.
Go with whatever option makes the most sense for your team.
I’d suggest connecting the platform you’re using through Zapier with Slack. That way, your team gets notifications about items they need to act on. Saves things from getting lost.
Content Management Tools:
- Trello or Airtable – either tool works great for content management
- Zapier – get the integrations and automation going
- Slack – keep your content team connected
If you’re planning to invest a lot of money in SaaS content marketing, you’ll want to ensure the content you’re creating aligns with suitable keywords. This is where SEO tools come into play.
At our SEO agency, we primarily use Ahrefs for keyword research. You’ll also want a tool to cluster keywords into hubs.
If you’re looking for a free way to do this, I recommend the Wordstream Keyword Research tool and the Zenbrief Keyword Clustering tool. You can use these tools to identify keywords and group them into thematic hubs.
We tend to do SaaS keyword analysis and planning in batches. So we’ll create a focus for the year, create a master keyword list, and then break that list down into chunks. Once a quarter, we’ll review the keyword list and make adjustments to the plan based on the expected output.
For the best results, I recommend turning to a SaaS SEO company like Crunch Marketing. We’ll help you with every stage of content production.
Content Management Tools:
- Ahrefs – my favorite SEO tool
Content Creation Process
The content production process is where your team gets to work. There are a couple of stages to content creation. You have:
- Creation of content briefs
- Writing of the content
- Editorial review
- Writer update
- Second review
- Submission to client
Three teams are involved in content production. We have content support staff, writers, and editors.
Everything is systemized with rules, roles, and procedures in place. That helps our operations run smoothly. For example, there are rules for the turnaround of content. The deadlines we put in place for writers are as follows:
- Maximum three-day turnaround on an article
- Complete changes based on editorial feedback within 48 hours
We have rules and guidelines for our editors and the support staff too.
For a small SaaS company, I recommend you get a minimum of two people involved in the content creation process. You’ll need an editor and writer. As you grow your content team, I recommend splitting your teams out as we’ve done.
But if you’re hoping to run a large-scale enterprise SaaS SEO campaign, the best approach is partnering with an agency. This will just make everything simpler for you.
Below is an overview of the software we use for producing content.
Content Creation Tools:
- Chat GPT – Creating article outlines
- Surfer SEO – SEO content optimization
- Writer – For grammar, plagiarism, and consistent brand guidelines
- Wordable – Uploading content from Google Docs to WordPress
SaaS Content Production Team
We hire staff from all over the world and are a completely remote business. I love this model because I’m not an office person.
Having some flexibility over where your content team is based increases your talent pool. It can also save costs, depending on the salary bands you offer.
If you decide a remote approach works for you, my recommendation is to find team members that have a good overlap with each other. Ideally, everyone collaborating on the same team is in the same time zone. It just makes management easier.
Here’s a quick overview review of our teams and their responsibilities.
You’ll need to establish a system for hiring good writers for your team. As mentioned earlier, we use Gohire for hiring freelancers. We’re hiring staff from all over the world. As you might expect, we hire freelancers from countries with an English education system.
All new writers complete a short search engine optimization and content course before starting. They also get access to the knowledge base and our company’s editorial guidelines.
We have three salary bands for writers. As people gain experience and require less support, they get a pay rise. Those banded tiers improve retention. Only our best writers create on-site content.
We have several Junior and Senior editors at Launch Space. We almost exclusively promote editors internally. It’s just easier as the writers understand our content production process. Plus, you should promote people who’ve worked their socks off creating blog content for you.
We expect our staff to edit about seven articles a day on average. This is a realistic target if the quality of the written content is high.
Outside of the editing work, our team has a weekly meeting to evaluate the writers. Writers who do well and require less editorial support get a pay rise. Anyone who’s struggling gets extra support. We tell editors they should spend at least one hour weekly on calls with writers.
Content Support Staff
Our content support team is involved in keyword research and creating article briefs. The team lead helps manage other elements of the content flow. For example, she assigns content to writers and follows up with people about deadlines.
The team lead for your content support staff needs to be really organized. They’ll be juggling a lot of different tasks.
Our support staff is all based in the same country. I think this is critical. They’ll be coordinating closely with a lot of team members. If you have a remote team, I recommend at least five hours of overlap between your support staff and all other team members.
SaaS Content Production Process
This section will take a closer look at some elements of the content production process. Let’s touch on how to create a keyword strategy.
How to Craft a Keyword Strategy
Search engine optimization is a critical marketing channel for business owners. It helps you connect with potential customers and generate new leads.
If you want to dominate the SERPS this year, you need an excellent keyword strategy. That means having a laser focus on your niche. The reason for this is straightforward; search engines want to provide the best results to people.
If your site is a great resource for all things Instagram, Google will prioritize you for an Instagram-related search term over a general site that covers everything. It just makes sense.
Let me give you an example…
I mentioned Aura, who we’re supporting, earlier. Now check this out:
Notice a thematic trend here?
Scams, hacking, and more scams.
Look at the graph to see how fast they’ve grown their SEO presence.
That’s the power of a clear keyword focus. It’s like a snowball effect.
This is the same reason the only thing we’re covering on Crunch Marketing are keywords related to SaaS. We’re trying to develop that thematic search presence.
When creating your keyword strategy, laser in on your niche. Pick a keyword and cover all the relevant terms. Put those terms together into groups. Then rinse and repeat the process.
There’s a great article here that discusses how to prioritize keywords based on search volume and difficulty. Have a read. You’ll need to implement some of the tips for prioritizing blog articles on your content calendar. It will help you get the best results from your content marketing efforts.
How to Create a SaaS Content Brief
Getting your content brief right is critical if you want the content to rank. I’ll share the steps we go through to create a great brief.
The first thing you’ll need to do is review the content on the first page of Google. We’ll generally use a tool like Ahrefs to review the search results. Look for pages with low authority that are ranking at the top of the search results.
For example, for the keyword SEO strategy, most ranking content on the list has a 90+ Domain Rating. The outsider is a DR 73 site.
Always check out what the outsider is doing to get in the rankings.
Look at the article outline using a Chrome extension like Detailed. That will show you the article outline. Let me show you what I mean.
After reviewing the search results, do the following:
- Pick three or four articles that you like.
- Export the headings from the articles using something like the Web Toolbox tool.
- Paste the headings in a Google Doc.
- Open ChatGPT and enter the following prompt: “Create a new article outline about TARGET KEYWORD with headings from the articles listed below.”
- Now enter the following prompt: “Suggest additional headings to add to the outline.”
- Select your favorite headings. Then enter the prompt: “Add the below headings to the article outline.”
This is a quick and easy way of creating an initial article outline.
You’ll need to refine the article outline manually. It’s also worth checking the results using a tool like Surfer SEO to see if you missed any important headings.
How to Produce Quality Content
Once you have the article outline, you move on to SaaS content writing. If you’ve hired a good writer using the system we shared, creating a great article should be straightforward. Here are some general editorial best practices you should follow:
- Add an image every 300 or so words. This breaks up the monotony of too much text.
- The median paragraph length is 2-4 lines. You can have some one-line paragraphs and a few five-line paragraphs.
- Add a few statistics from reputable sources to support your claims and give the article authority. For example, we usually include at least two relevant marketing and SaaS stats or case studies in our articles.
- Use a tool like Writer for Grammar checking and enforcing your style guide. For example, you can use Writer to ensure headings are always capitalized.
- Finally, write your SaaS content using an SEO optimization tool like Surfer SEO. Then transfer the content to a Google Doc for editorial feedback.
- Create original images for your content if you have the marketing budget.
Following these steps will help you create great content that deserves to rank on Google.
Publish Content Regularly
You’ll get the most from your content marketing efforts by publishing pieces of content regularly to your blog. We’ve seen the types of results this approach generates from clients.
For example, Aura publishes a minimum of 16 SEO-optimized articles per month.
This publication schedule has generated phenomenal results. They’ve grown site traffic to more than 500,000 visitors a year. That’s a hell of a result, and our content agency would recommend you take this same high-volume, great-quality approach to content marketing.
As mentioned, we use Wordable for uploading content to a WordPress blog.
You’ll need to add links back to the new article after publication. That will ensure you’re getting some internal links back to the newly published content.
Regularly Update Older Content
Having a content calendar in place for publishing new content is critical. You’ll also need a process for existing content on your site. That is because Google prefers to show fresh content in the search results.
Our client, Right Inbox, does this. They update 15 old articles every month and publish just four new articles. That’s the right type of balance once you’ve published a large volume of content.
You can find priority articles to update by doing the following:
- Go to Google Search Console.
- Click on the Search Results tab.
- Press on the date range.
- Compare a custom date range.
We normally compare year-over-year search results. List and immediately update any content with a negative value.
Update the articles and change the publication date.
In fact, just updating the publication date can be enough to boost your rankings.
Install a tool like Link Whisper on your site to identify orphan pages and review your internal links too. This is a critical part of technical SEO for SaaS brands. You can use the tool to optimize internal links, adding more links to relevant content.
Building Authority Backlinks
The final stage of the content marketing plan is building backlinks to your valuable content. This step is critical if you want to get your content ranking in the search results.
The best way to secure links to your content is through guest posts or link inserts. Explaining how to do this is outside the scope of this article. You can get some insights from this SaaS link-building guide.
If you need help securing links, you might decide to partner with some content marketing agencies. If you plan to do this, get in touch with us. We can help you secure links from authority sites like Hubspot and BigCommerce that will get your content ranking in the SERPs.
SaaS Content Production FAQ
SaaS content production refers to the methods implemented for crafting compelling content that can be utilized in sales or marketing channels to promote your software. An effective content production process is efficient, scalable, and time-saving. Learn how to create scalable, efficient, and effective content with these SaaS content production best practices.
Content is a vital component of SaaS marketing because it helps companies connect with their audience, build relationships, and drive sales. That makes content a critical sales and marketing channel for SaaS businesses. You’ll discover the processes to create great content in this guide.
To create content for your SaaS company, you need to take the following steps:
Set your business goals
Decide what channels you want to use
Identify keywords that align with the funnel
Prioritize content and align it on a content calendar
Create a content calendar
Promote the content
Monitor the results and make improvements
These are the basic steps we follow when creating content for a SaaS company.
The three content pillars of a SaaS company are relevance, consistency, and value. The content you produce needs to align with the interests of your buyer persona and deal with their pain points. When you do this, you’ll create content that creates a great first impression with your target audience.
If you want to scale your content marketing efforts efficiently, you need effective systems in place to manage your team. This guide discussed some of the critical lessons I’ve learned from growing content teams at our agency. There should be plenty of insights here that you can apply to your business.
Some of the critical elements you’ll need to create content at scale include a knowledge base, a team of great writers, editors, and support staff, a good workflow, plus a content calendar that covers the keywords you want to rank for.
If you want help implementing this system or improving the content creation process at your SaaS business, then get in touch. We’ll provide a free SEO audit and chat about our content marketing services.
Nico is the founder of Crunch Marketing, a SaaS marketing agency. He works with enterprise SaaS clients like Writer, Right Inbox, and Surfer SEO, helping them scale lead generation globally across EMEA, APAC, and other regions.