10 Of The Most Shared Posts from SaaS Blogs for Q1 2017 (And What it Means If You’re Marketing Software)

May 22, 2017By

 

Jet Planes

Sharing anecdotes in blog posts is a great way to draw in readers.

SaaS companies are some of the best when it comes to blogging and content marketing.

Just looking in general on my own social media feed I often see people sharing all kinds of posts published by SaaS companies.

And they’re not just writing about marketing. They’re writing about all kinds of topics for all kinds of target clients and customers.

If you’re a SaaS marketer looking for some insight into what makes a great SaaS blog or blog post then you’re in the right place.

I looked at some of the top SaaS companies. Sifted through their post archive from 2017 and looked for posts with the most engagement (comments, shares, views, etc.)

Let’s pull some insight as to why these were popular with readers…

1. 3 Pieces of Career Advice I Would Tell My Younger Self (Salesforce)

First thing about this post is the word count. It’s right at about ~600 words. That’s been kind of a sweet spot that we’ve noticed at Ghost Blog Writers over the years.

When I started the company it just kind of worked out that a lot of blog posts were about 600-800 words. I can’t say for sure why that is, but it’s stayed pretty steady over the years.

You’ll see a lot of great posts that are longer…even much longer (2,000+ word posts). But not every post has to be an epic guide-like post to provide value to readers.

The approach with this post isn’t hugely common, but you will see posts like this once in awhile. And they’re usually popular. I think it’s at least partly due to the fact that people want to learn from successful people.

And here we have someone that’s a success in SaaS sharing a few bits of career advice. And she also works in a bit of storytelling, which is great.

2. LinkedIn Data Reveals the Most Promising Jobs of 2017 (LinkedIn)

LinkedIn definitely believes in content. They have their own blog and they also have a publishing platform of sorts for their users.

What stands out about this post and a reason it’s been popular this year is the data.

LinkedIn has access to some great data. They found a topic that they knew some of their target users would be interested in, compiled it and packaged it into an actionable blog post.

They organized it well. People can read, learn and take action if they’re looking for new careers.

It’s also in list format, which makes for a great post format. People can scan, read entirely or pick and choose the bits they want to read.

3. Workday Welcomes Phil Mickelson as Newest Brand Ambassador (Workday)

This one’s a little different.

It’s just an announcement. A little bit of company news on the blog.

Obviously this post probably did well because Phil Mickelson has a lot of fans and followers. I remember during The Masters he was asked in his press conference about Workday and he was excited to share the news.

But the takeaway here for SaaS companies is not that you need to sign Phil as a sponsor.

You can do different types of partnerships. You can announce partnerships, integrations, etc. You can also co-create content with other brands and use each other to help promote the piece of content.

4. The Homepage is Dead: A Story of Website Personalization (Moz)

This was a really cool post from Moz. They do lots of great posts, but it seemed that this one had more engagement than their regular posts (outside of Whiteboard Friday material).

I think there are a couple reasons this one did so well.

First, it’s a story or a case study. It’s someone with authority on the topic or in the industry telling about a change they made, why, how and with some really good detail.

People like stories. Even if it doesn’t relate 100% to the reader that reader can usually pull out some great insight and take action as it relates to their situation.

The post is also a bit contrarian. The author identified a problem (static homepages that never change) and presented a different option (personalized pages).

Readers interested in conversion or increasing sales or anything related to those would be very intrigued by this.

The title is simple. It’s bold. I think they probably targeted a keyword like “website personalization”.

It works really well.

5. Visual content and the power of memory in marketing (Bazaarvoice)

Pretty straight ahead post. But it had some good sharing stats on Twitter so I thought I’d pull it out.

A couple things that jump out at me about this one…

First, another story right away in the intro. People really seem to like those stories in posts.

Also, some good external links. In fact, quite a few in this one. More than normal I would say for a blog post.

But it’s a good thing.

A common fear with external links is that readers will click and leave your post and site and never come back.

I’ve found that is just not the case.

If you’re giving value to readers with your post they’ll stay. External links add value to your post. You’re giving recommended content to your readers. They’ll likely read your post and visit the external sites. They won’t forget you.

And it’s good to give credit especially for things like research and studies.

6. 7 SEO Metrics that Reflect Revenue Growth and Prove Value (Marketo)

This is a post that has a lot going for it.

SEO is still a huge topic in the online marketing world.

It’s still something marketers are trying to figure out.

So this post provides some insight and takeaways.

Marketo is marketing software. So they know their audience cares about this topic and they’re providing some real value.

There are some great external links to quotes and stats and research. Those always add to a post.

7. Generate More Qualified Leads with Online Meetings (WebEx)

This one’s a little different. It jumped out as a post on WebEx that was more shared than the norm.

I think the main reason is that it turns out to be an infographic.

But simply creating an infographic doesn’t guarantee engagement and traffic.

The graphic has to touch on a topic the audience cares about. In this case the target seems to be sales professionals. They care about closing deals or getting better leads. The graphic is about accomplishing those two things with the help of online meetings.

That’s a nice tie-in for WebEx obviously.

And then there are some great stats. That’s what people want with infographics. Great, scanable stats. Along with perhaps a few takeaways or steps to take next based on this info.

8. Why live chat is better for everyone (Zendesk)

I’ve been seeing more of these “Why…” posts the last few years.

They can be tricky. It seems that people do want to know why they should pay attention to certain things.

New trends.

New technology.

New strategy.

Things like that.

The focus here would be changing the minds of someone or introducing something new. That can be tricky. You have to bring some good information to backup your claim. I think Zendesk does that.

Mixing in posts like this along with more practical and actionable content is a good strategy. People like why, but they also like how to.

Maybe Zendesk will do a followup with something like How To Setup & Get The Most Out of Live Chat.

9. DocuSign update on recent phishing attack (DocuSign)

It’s never fun when a situation like this comes up. But if you’re in the SaaS world you’re probably experience something like this.

The company blog is one channel you can use to get information to users and others in your industry. I’m sure DocuSign also used social media, email and possibly other channels to address the issue.

People obviously don’t want to have bad experiences, but they’re more likely to forgive if the company helps them, provides full disclosure and works through the situation.

This was a good approach from DocuSign. I like the Q&A approach and style. They even had an update on this one, which you can certainly do especially on popular blog posts.

Good info. Directly addressing questions. Providing a plan of action.

10. Want higher completion rates? Get your first question right (SurveyMonkey)

Finally we have a great post from SurveyMonkey.

I want to touch on the format and layout of this post. Great use of headings and subheadings. Great use of a list or a numbered list.

You can quickly scan this article and jump around and easily find the content you want first.

There is also great data to make their point. It’s something very actionable that a reader can implement right away. Start the survey with a multiple choice question.

Really good stuff.

Conclusion

These are some of the most popular posts from top SaaS company blogs so far this year. There is some really good stuff to learn from these posts that you can use for your SaaS blog.

I’m sure the ideas are already coming for you, but I’ll leave you with this final bit of advice…

Focus on the customer. Identify a question they have or a challenge they’re struggling with. Provide an actionable solution. Format the post so it’s easy to comprehend and use.

And you’ll be in pretty good shape.