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Let's face it: Creating effective content can be a challenge for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.
This is especially true when you're trying to create content that's specifically built to inspire immediate conversion, also known as bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content.
Effective BOFU content requires elements that often feel impossible to include without in-depth knowledge about a SaaS product. Have you ever tried to write a technical overview of a product feature for software you've only seen a demo of? Impossible.
However, these elements are critical for giving users the final push they need to convert. Luckily, one 30-minute call can give you all the fodder you need to create content conversion machines.
That call is the subject matter expert (SME) chat. Here, we dive into how to schedule and run successful SME chats and give you tips for working with multiple SMEs. Plus, we'll share some of the awesome results we've seen after just a half hour on Zoom.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) Content: A Quick Overview
A successful SaaS content strategy includes three key content types that span the traditional marketing funnel.
There's content in the "awareness" stage or the top of the funnel (TOFU), where a business must educate potential users and make darn sure they know their product exists. There's also content in the "consideration" stage or the middle of the funnel (MOFU), where they must help potential users see the benefits and value of their product.
What's next? The magical third stage of conversion at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU).
While TOFU and MOFU content is absolutely essential, there's something special about BOFU content. Potential software users are poised to convert at this stage. They've done their homework and have settled on pursuing one SaaS provider.
BOFU content works to inspire potential users to go from initial decision to signing on the dotted line. In other words, it's an absolutely critical piece of the content marketing puzzle.
What Does BOFU Content Need to Be Effective?
Effective BOFU content works to solidify a potential user's decision to pursue a specific product, inspiring them to make a purchase. This means BOFU content must be comprised of specific elements that explain a product's benefits, key features, and the "transformation" it delivers to its users.
There are quite a few examples of these elements, including:
- Customer success stories and testimonials: These elements provide social proof, enabling potential users to be inspired by the successes of others.
- Specific solutions for pain points: Potential users want to see proof of how a SaaS product can solve their problems. A piece of product-focused content tailored to a specific pain point may be all that's needed to push potential users toward the Demo button.
- Nitty gritty product how-tos: Potential users also want to see the product in action before taking the plunge. Defining pain points and developing how-tos featuring the product are effective ways to deliver.
- Solutions to hang-ups involving a product: Potential users will always have at least one or two apprehensions about implementing any SaaS tool. Identifying those hang-ups and providing new perspectives via content can remove the friction between decision and conversion.
The 30-Minute SME Chat: Your BOFU Secret Weapon
The above elements can be a serious challenge to develop when you're not getting down and dirty with the SaaS product on the daily. And if you're a marketing agency, freelance copywriter, or someone on the internal marketing team, you may not have the opportunity to do so.
Luckily, subject matter experts, also known as SMEs, do have a deep understanding of the product and those who use it. You can take advantage of their knowledge through a simple, 30-minute chat between you and the SME.
What is an SME chat? It's a structured interview-esque call where you ask the expert questions about the product, the audience, pain points, and more that pertain to a specific content topic you're writing about. This is your opportunity to extract the "golden nuggets" you need to create effective BOFU content.
The Results We've Seen So Far
Here at Uproer, we find SME chats to be so effective that we've baked them into our content production process. And the results? Crazy good.
- Time savings: Good content takes time. However, it takes even more time when there's a lack of clarity surrounding a topic. By holding SME convos, we've reduced the time (and back and forth) it takes to draft, edit, and revise content. In fact, in many cases, content is written, approved, and published without any revision requests at all. And that's a win for all involved!
- Higher quality content: Through the support of SMEs, we've been able to sprinkle elements such as case studies, customer testimonials, and more throughout all of our BOFU deliverables, improving their overall quality. Plus, these elements add trust signals that Google uses to assess a piece of content's E-E-A-T. By including E-E-A-T signals, we're able to communicate to the Google algorithms that the content can be trusted. Therefore, there's potential for better rankings.
- Additional fodder for future content: During our SME chats, we often walk away with more in-depth information about customer pain points surrounding a subject, additional tidbits about a SaaS product, and more. This information gives us brainstorming fodder for future, human-focused content.
How to Schedule & Run a Successful SME Chat
All of that after just one 30-minute call? You better believe it. But before you start filling your Google cal with SME calls, there are a few key steps to follow for the best results:
- Schedule the call before doing anything else.
- Pick the right SME.
- Prepare specific questions ahead of time.
#1. Schedule the Call Before Doing Anything Else
You'll want to schedule the SME call before doing any other content production tasks. Having a content topic is enough. Don't outline any content, decide on target keywords, or take any other steps before speaking to the SME.
Why? The information you gather during the call will streamline these processes. For example, the thoughts you hear from the SME will make outlining the content piece easier.
Plus, their knowledge will give the content direction. The SME will know what their target audience cares about when it comes to a specific topic. As a result, keyword research is more pointed and simplified. Already have target keywords? That's okay too! Just be sure to remain flexible, especially if your SME highlights a better approach.
#2. Pick the Right SME
Selecting the right SME will ensure you get the most accurate and helpful information. The right SME will be the one who knows the absolute most about the content topic you plan to discuss. Below, we've listed some example content topics and who the SME might be.
|SaaS Content Topic||Who's My SaaS SME?|
|A deep dive into a specific software feature||- Software Developer|
- Customer Success team member
- Product Manager
|A user case study of the software||- Sales team member|
- Individuals who worked directly with the user
|A solution to a common software pain point||- Software Developer|
- Customer Success team member
|A software-focused how-to||- Customer Success team member|
- Support team member
- Software Developer
Still not sure who to speak to? Don't be afraid to ask your main point of contact who they recommend chatting with. They might be able to point you in the right direction and make an introduction.
#3. Prepare Specific Questions Ahead of Time
An SME call should take no longer than 30 minutes. You should prepare specific, pointed questions ahead of time to ensure you can make the most of your chat.
Take some time ahead of the call to brainstorm questions that align with your given topic. For example, if the content topic surrounds a software feature, some useful questions may include:
- What does the software feature do?
- How does the software feature work?
- What pain points does this software feature eliminate?
- What makes this software feature different from the same features found in competitor platforms?
As you prepare, be sure to throw all of your questions into a document so it's ready to go. At Uproer, we're big fans of pre-wiring, which means discussing ideas before presenting them. If you'd like, send that list of questions over to the SME ahead of your call. Doing so will give them some time to think about their answers and give you more time to dig deeper during the chat.
Another Tip: Look to the Audience
The questions you ask during the SME call will differ greatly depending on the topic you plan to discuss. One rule of thumb is to put yourself in the audience's shoes. What questions would they want answered in a specific piece of content? This is also a great question to ask your SME. You might just uncover some nuggets you might have missed.
What About Working With Multiple SMEs?
In some cases, clients will insist that you talk with multiple SMEs or the content topic will require the knowledge of multiple SMEs. In these cases, there may be better options than hosting an SME call. It's easy for short calls to quickly become derailed when multiple voices are competing for those precious minutes.
Use a Content Questionnaire Instead
One option that we've used successfully is the content questionnaire. To create one, add all of your SME questions into a single document, complete with the content topic and the goal of the piece. Next, send the questionnaire to the SMEs you require input from and instruct them to add their feedback directly to the document.
Be sure to give the SMEs a deadline so you can keep content moving forward (2-3 days is typically plenty of time). Using a questionnaire enables the SMEs to share their feedback on their own time and without interruption.
We've found that the questionnaire often results in pages of thoughts and notes. And some of those notes can result in new ideas for future content pieces and campaigns.
Transform Each Stage of the Content Funnel With Uproer
Here at Uproer, we know just how critical creating content for each stage of the funnel is. After all, you must meet potential SaaS customers where they are to convert them into loyal users. Whether you're struggling to create an effective content strategy or just need support developing compelling BOFU content, we're here to help. Reach out to our expert team today!