When it comes to marketing, we’re mostly used to the idea of creating funnels that represent the ideal sales cycle, starting with the awareness stage, then moving to consideration, and then decision. The cycle can be rebuilt with help from the existing users, who are your brand advocates.
But what if we approximate the idea of content marketing in a circular cycle, also known as content marketing flywheel? Knowing that content marketing is a cycle that attracts, engages, and delights while encouraging advocacy, this model is focused on building relationships with customers.
When combined, content marketing funnels and flywheels can help us understand what the target audience wants and expects and deliver the promised value.
Table of Contents
- What Are the Four Stages of The Content Marketing Flywheel?
- How to Build a Content Marketing Flywheel for Your B2B SaaS Business?
- Why is Flywheel Methodology Applicable in B2B SaaS Content Marketing?
- Flywheel vs. Marketing Funnel: What to Choose?
- Tips on Building a Successful Content Marketing Flywheel for B2B SaaS
- Benefits of B2B SaaS Content Marketing Flywheel Method
- How to Measure the Success of a Content Marketing Flywheel Strategy?
- How to Overcome Content Marketing Flywheel Challenges?
- Conclusion on Flywheel Content Marketing Method
What Are the Four Stages of The Content Marketing Flywheel?
The basic flywheel consists of three stages, but advanced flywheels include one more very important component for content marketing strategies. So, these are the stages:
- Attract – Creating and distributing helpful and valuable content to the potential customers who need to learn more about your brand and offer.
- Engage – Interactive content, surveys, questions, and quizzes so you can detect their pain points and provide them with helpful resources.
- Delight – Delivering great customer experience during every sales stage and even after the sale.
- Advocate – Encouraging your customers to recommend your brand the way they think it’s appropriate.
As this flywheel spins, each stage builds on the previous one. For example, new and valuable content attracts visitors that you engage to build relationships. They become delighted customers who are more likely to recommend, i.e., advocate for your brand to others.
While the funnel is a prediction of the buyer’s journey, the content marketing flywheel helps you generate a steady stream of leads, customers, and advocates around your brand. And the best thing is that this idea applies to many industries, including SaaS, eCommerce, tourism, various types of service providing, etc.
Today, we’ll focus more on the B2B SaaS content marketing flywheel so you can easily understand how to apply it to your strategy and what to expect as a result.
How to Build a Content Marketing Flywheel for Your B2B SaaS Business?
When used properly, the content flywheel results in increased customer engagement and loyalty while boosting your sales and revenue growth.
As we said, the advanced flywheel consists of four stages, but in most cases, the advocacy part comes automatically as your customers are satisfied with the service.
So, in B2B SaaS, you need to consider these content formats when approximating the flywheel:
During this stage, you need to identify your target audience, research their pain points, and plan how to address them through various content formats and channels.
The next step is to create quality content that your target audience expects and appreciates. At this stage, the content may vary from blog posts, social media posts, videos, infographics, or e-books. Surely, you can provide additional materials that address pain points and interests properly.
You should promote your content through social media, emails, or SEO to attract organic traffic.
According to the content marketing flywheel model, this stage involves engagement and nurturing the prospects with engaging content.
When it comes to the most common content formats, you can include case studies, webinars, and podcasts, but also quizzes and surveys, so you can target even more precisely. The qualified leads you generate through the engagement stage are ready to learn more about the SaaS product you offer.
When it comes to promotion, you can use emails and social media to remind potential customers of you. Still, some significant part of the audience is now on your website, expecting something new and even more relevant for them.
In this stage, the customers are ready to purchase or have already purchased the product. They may eventually sign up for a limited trial or use the demo version of your SaaS product. But how do we make sure they stay delighted?
Deliver knowledge resources, success stories, case studies, or real-life examples of how your SaaS product helped someone else scale their business or accomplish success.
Remember, you won’t have as many prospects as in the attract stage, but it’s important to nurture and deliver value even when you have only one customer who is ready to spend their money on your SaaS.
When all these stages are fulfilled, it’s up to you to bring even more value to the existing customers, known as after-sale care, where you move them to the advocacy stage.
The sales cycle doesn’t stop when a prospect becomes a customer and buys your product. Just the opposite, you need to ask for feedback or check if your service meets their expectations.
During this stage, you deliver targeted content to the user directly, helping them leverage more of the available tools and features or even offer some features from the more advanced plans as an award for their loyalty.
That’s how you create loyal customers who will renew their subscription or even move to a more expensive pricing plan while recommending you to other potential customers.
Why is Flywheel Methodology Applicable in B2B SaaS Content Marketing?
B2B SaaS sales cycles are complex and unique since every buyer has different needs and preferences. No matter how hard we try to put them into funnels or, in this case, flywheels, they often move back and forth through the stages, require more attention, and guarantee the service will meet all their specific needs.
That’s why SaaS providers, as well as marketing and sales teams, must nurture the leads over a longer period. The content marketing flywheel strategy helps you optimize the process and set a framework for doing that effectively.
Another challenge is the complexity of SaaS products. Not everyone understands the features you offer. As a result, potential buyers don’t see the real value of your product. The flywheel methodology in content marketing for SaaS will help you plan and create educational content that highlights all the benefits your customers will have.
Flywheel vs. Marketing Funnel: What to Choose?
Since there are quite overlaps, you can create a content marketing strategy based on both funnel and flywheel.
The main difference is that the funnel is a linear model of how your customers move from awareness to decision and purchase stages, while the flywheel highlights the cyclical approach to customer engagement and loyalty.
When it comes to SaaS, you can use both models. With the SaaS marketing funnel, you can approximate the buyer journey and decide what content formats to use to engage those people. The flywheel will help you deliver content to every stage by keeping the need for customer loyalty in mind.
So, when establishing a content marketing creation for your B2B SaaS, you can use both approaches, knowing that you target through the funnel while the content personalization belongs in the flywheel.
Tips on Building a Successful Content Marketing Flywheel for B2B SaaS
Since the flywheel is a content-creation model, you should follow these practical tips:
- Create quality and valuable content for your target audience
- Distribute the content through various channels, including your website, social media, and emails
- Interact with your audience and encourage communication
- Provide excellent customer service through all stages and even after-sale
- Encourage the customers to support you, share your content, or recommend your product
The content marketing flywheel is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. By following the tips above, you can build a flywheel that will help you grow your business and achieve your specific SaaS marketing goals.
Benefits of B2B SaaS Content Marketing Flywheel Method
All businesses, but especially B2B SaaS, may experience significant benefits once they use the flywheel method to segment the content and audience.
A properly used flywheel encourages sustainable growth, as it’s a cycle that attracts, converts, and advocates for you.
When it comes to reduced customer acquisition costs, flywheels help you attract and convert leads at reduced cost since your loyal customers and advocates will help you with that.
Another benefit is the increased customer loyalty, which leads to improved brand awareness. In general, flywheels create sustainable promotion and sales cycles, which helps SaaS businesses grow and improve their online presence.
How to Measure the Success of a Content Marketing Flywheel Strategy?
There are various metrics you can track to estimate the success of your SaaS content strategy.
For example, the website traffic shows that the content marketing flywheel is spinning, while the number of leads shows that the content attracts and converts more potential customers.
If you measure the customer acquisition cost and spot decrease, the flywheel works properly and promotes sustainability in your SaaS business. If the customer lifetime value is growing, your flywheel helps you build stronger relationships with your customers.
Surely, if the net promoter score is increasing, your content marketing flywheel helps you build a base of loyal customers.
How to Overcome Content Marketing Flywheel Challenges?
There are many challenges you may face while working on a content marketing strategy, including the flywheel technique.
For example, it can be challenging to always create high-quality and valuable content for your target audience, as well as distribute it to get in front of the right people.
Engagement is also a time-consuming approach because it takes time to collect all the comments and answers and respond to them appropriately. Providing customer service is an ongoing effort, but it’s also pretty difficult to encourage customers to promote your brand.
You can resolve all these challenges in these ways:
- Create a content calendar to plan the creation and distribution
- Promote the content on social media to reach a wider audience
- Invest in a CRM system so you can track and collect customer interactions
- Offer bonuses and freebies to the customers who promote your brand (more advanced features for the same price, lowered price for 1-3 months, or exclusive access to courses or paid knowledge bases)
Conclusion on Flywheel Content Marketing Method
Flywheel is an effective tactic to deliver content marketing results powered by valuable, relevant, and engaging content. As you add more content and attract leads, the flywheel spins faster and faster, emphasizing the importance of customer support and loyalty.
It’s a shift from the well-known funnel models, offering a more sustainable approach to lead generation and customer satisfaction. By offering delight as the ultimate goal, you go above and beyond your customers’ needs, encouraging them to become your best promoters and advocates – resulting in even more qualified leads ready to explore your B2B SaaS product deeply.