Content Marketing Strategy for SaaS: Who Is Your Target Audience?
As you develop your content strategy, it's important to know that not everyone will benefit from your SaaS platform. As you create content, you must tailor it to speak to those who will benefit from your SaaS offering the most: your target audience.
But who is your target audience? How can you define it? In this guide, we take you through the necessary steps to define your audience so you can create content that converts.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Target Audience?
- Why Defining a Target Audience Matters
- Who Is Your Target Audience? # Steps to Find Them
- Next Steps: Creating SaaS Buyer Personas
What Is a Target Audience?
Your target audience is the specific group of people you hope to engage or whose needs you intend to satisfy by creating content. If you're a SaaS business, these are the same people your platform was developed for.
People who do not fit your target audience are less likely to find your content interesting or valuable. For instance, if you offer an accounting solution, your target audience may be accountants, small business owners, and other consumers with accounting needs.
A person with no accounting needs will likely have no interest in your content because it offers no value to them. Beyond needs, your target audience will be a group that also shares common traits.
Some of these traits may include:
- Education level
- Marital status
The more target audience traits you can identify, the more accurately targeted and personalized your content marketing can be. The better news is this: the more personalized you can make your content, the better your results.
Why Defining a Target Audience Matters
An effective content marketing strategy requires that you first identify and define your target audience. Defining your target audience allows you to create SaaS buyer personas for researching your audience’s preferences and needs.
Insights gained from your research will help you launch a content marketing campaign tailored to engage and convert the right people. Let's dive a bit deeper.
#1. Helps You Connect With Those Who Need You Most
Most businesses perform content marketing to connect with their target audience and convince them to take desired actions. Defining your target audience reveals the people who need your SaaS product the most and are most likely to benefit from your content.
It also provides insights into the preferred content type and platforms of prospective customers most likely to convert.
Once you know what your target audience prefers, you can focus on creating content that matches their unique preferences. Taking this approach will increase the effectiveness and ROI of your content marketing campaigns because you're giving target audience members what they want.
#2. Informs Content Planning
Content planning involves outlining the content topics, publishing schedule, and distribution channels for your SaaS content strategy. Without a well-defined target audience, creating an effective content plan becomes difficult.
As we’ve pointed out, defining a target audience provides insights into that audience’s preferred content type and platforms. Once you have this information, you can create a content plan that increases your chances of reaching and engaging the right people.
While consumers generally prefer visual content like videos, how they consume it differs between demographics. For example, consumers between 18 and 24 prefer short videos posted on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. You can use insights like this during content planning to strategize content creation and distribution.
Understanding your target audience will also help you make well-informed decisions regarding content cadence. This refers to how frequently you should post content and the best times to post on different platforms for optimal engagement.
You can only learn this by first identifying your target audience to understand their preferences and habits.
#3. Optimize Ad Spending
According to Marketing Evolution, the number of ads that fail to engage a target audience cost businesses about $37 billion yearly. Defining your target audience helps you avoid similar losses. It accomplishes this by revealing prospective customers who want your product and content.
Targeting your content at such individuals increases your chances of getting your desired results, preventing you from wasting your digital marketing budget. Besides saving money, you also get a better return on investment when you target your content at the right people.
When targeting content at a specific group, you spend less than when targeting content at a larger, unspecified audience. For instance, social media platforms charge per impression if you run an ad to promote your content.
Targeting the general population with such an ad means more people will see it. However, only a small fraction of people will convert. You can save serious cash when targeting your ads to that specific audience.
Who Is Your Target Audience? 5 Steps to Find Them
Now that you understand how knowing your target audience can benefit your brand, you only need to figure out how to find your target audience. Below are five proven steps for accurately identifying your target audience.
#1. Start With Your Current Users
Before looking outside to find who to target with your content, start with those who already use your product. People within this category already consider your product valuable and would like to learn more about making the most of your product.
You only need to figure out who these people are and what sets them apart from others. How can you do that? An easy way to start is by conducting client interviews or customer surveys to discover the characteristics your existing users have in common.
The characteristics may include age, location, interests, profession, stage of life (teens, parents, retirees, etc.), language, and more. With this information, you can create an audience persona and target subsequent content creation at individuals who fit that persona.
B2B and B2C SaaS companies can employ this step. However, the user characteristics to consider will differ. For instance, while B2C companies may look at characteristics like age, gender, and location, B2B companies may focus more on characteristics like business size, job title, field, and solution of interest.
#2. Dig Into Your Data
Another way to identify your audience is by digging into the data you're collecting from your marketing efforts. For example, you can take a look at your current website visitors.
These visitors engage with your existing website content, meaning they like what you already have. Identifying the characteristics that set these visitors apart from other individuals can help you identify your target audience.
Visitors to focus on are those who do more than browse your content. You want visitors that actually engage with your content by sharing, liking, or commenting on your posts. Other visitors to look out for are those who sign up for your newsletters or download your whitepapers.
With a tool like Google Analytics, you can gain different insights into your website visitors, such as their location, topics of interest, search terms, and more. You can use this information to build a user persona and target subsequent posts at individuals who fit the persona.
You can also get similar insights from your social media pages by analyzing users who view your existing social media posts.
#3. Tap Into Your Team
Your content marketing team can gain target audience insights by speaking to colleagues in customer-facing roles, such as sales and customer support. These customer-facing employees interact with customers regularly.
Your customer-facing staff can provide insights into the shared characteristics of the customer types they work with the most. These common characteristics may include gender, ethnicity, income range, and education level. You can compile these characteristics and use them to develop user personas for your target audience.
#4. Examine Your Competitors
Your SaaS business likely has at least one competitor that offers a similar service or product. Since your competitors are targeting the same customers as you, they’ve likely already done some or all of your target audience homework for you.
Do a bit of competitor research to identify the kind of customers who interact with their content. Your research should answer these questions:
- Who makes up your competitor’s target audience?
- Is your competitor reaching specific groups of your target audience that you don’t know?
- Where does your competitor advertise?
- Is your competitor resolving target audience pain points that you are not?
Your answers to these questions will help you identify ways to improve your SaaS content marketing to engage and satisfy more of the right target audience. The more competitors you assess, the more information you can gain to understand members of your target audience and what they want.
#5. Monitor Online Discussions
Social media and online forums, such as Quora or Reddit, are excellent for finding your target audience. Search these platforms for conversations about your brand, product, competitors, or industry.
Identify the people having these conversations and analyze them to identify character patterns and common traits, such as demographics, behavior, and purchasing habits. You can use the information to develop user personas of people interested in your brand or product.
Next Steps: Creating SaaS Buyer Personas
A buyer persona (or audience or user persona) is a detailed and fictional description of your ideal customer. Each buyer persona represents the individuals who make up your target audience.
Knowing your ideal customer is essential for content marketing because it gives you a clear picture of who you are making content for to achieve your goals.
With this information, you can tailor content to resonate with your target audience and drive them to take your desired actions. The insight also simplifies identifying the best platforms to post content to reach your target audience.
How to Develop an Audience Persona
Now that you have your research completed, it's time to build your audience persona. You can do so in just a few steps:
- Start with demographics: Go through your data and look for common demographics that your target customers share. This could include everything from job title to marital status. Take note of these common demographics. We suggest creating a Word or Google Doc document to keep everything in one place.
- Consider your audience's goals, pain points, and emotions: Next, dive into your audience's needs, wants, fears, goals, and pain points. In other words, what's driving them to subscribe to your SaaS product?
- Include how your platform delivers: Within your persona, include a description of how your platform delivers on those goals, needs, pain points, etc. Aim to answer the question: How does our platform serve our persona?
- Include where your audience hangs out online: You'll also want to include the places your audiences like to hang out online. For example, what are their favorite social media platforms? What websites do they frequent? This will help you create content that's specific to their habits.
After following these steps, you should begin to see your persona take shape. As you work, be sure to focus on the humanity of your persona. Give the persona a name and include a brief description that discusses your persona's demographics, needs, and unique attributes.
Depending on your business and target audience, you may need to develop multiple user personas to represent different segments of your audience. Also, you should update your user personas as frequently as necessary to accommodate changes in your target audience.
Audience Persona Example
Let's dive into a sample audience persona. Say your SaaS company provides an automated time-tracking app specifically for software developers. Your audience persona may look something like this:
Chris is an experienced and busy software developer. Driven by delivering high-quality work on time and on budget, he finds that traditional methods of time tracking are tedious and time-consuming. He wants a simple time-tracking method that allows him to focus on his work while delivering accurate billable hours for his clients.
- Gender: Male
- Age: 31
- Location: Denver, Colorado
- Education: Bachelor's degree
- Job Title: Software Developer
- Income: $95,000 - $110,000
- Family Life: Single
Favorite Social Platforms/Websites:
- To accurately track time without losing focus on his work.
- Delivering accurate invoices to clients.
- Spending huge amounts of time compiling and editing timesheets for accuracy.
- Sending inaccurate invoices to clients that result in him losing money.
- A time-tracking solution that's simple to use.
How We Help
Our SaaS company provides an automated time-tracking solution that does the heavy lifting on behalf of developers. Our platform automatically tracks the time developers spend on various desktop and website apps. All time entries are placed into an easy-to-read timesheet that can be used for accurate invoicing.
Using Your Audience Persona
Your completed audience persona will give you a better picture of who your target audience members are, and you can use the information for content creation and distribution.
For example, your target audience may enjoy using platforms like TikTok. You could create short-form video content that discusses their pain points while showcasing your SaaS solution. As a result, this would engage your target audience and lead to conversions.
Besides helping you identify the content to make and where to publish it, your audience persona can provide insights into how often to post content, keywords to use, and more.
Reach Your Target Audience With Cohley
Identifying your target audience is key to developing and executing a SaaS content strategy that delivers the best results. Once you’ve identified your target audience, let Cohley take care of the other aspects of your content creation.
We help SaaS businesses achieve content marketing goals by connecting them with professional content creators. Within our network of content creators, you'll find many who can provide you with custom user-generated content that matches your target audience and brand voice.
To learn more about how Cohley can help you simplify content creation, schedule a consultation today!
Written by Parker Dietz
Parker is a staple in our marketing team - Our Marketing Manager brings with him an intimate knowledge of the platform, and is our go-to on technical topics, and user behavior. With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.