Content marketing is a marketing strategy that operates from the premise that less sales-y, more inherently valuable content will be more effective at capturing attention and building trust with customers and prospects.
A hosted status page represents a real-time report of application uptime (often capturing both present/immediate status and uptime percentage overall). It can also contain information about upcoming scheduled maintenance and any other information you’d like to communicate to your end users.
It’s easy to see how the transparency provided by a hosted status page can help build trust, but what value could a customer or prospect find in a hosted status page that would make it good SaaS content marketing material?
Your Hosted Status Page as Content
Because your hosted status page can keep track of application uptime issues by component (e.g. geographic regions or products, depending on how your servers are structured), it provides a natural framework by which to target specific populations within your customer base. While you won’t have something new to say to each audience every week, once per month or two it can be valuable to share historical uptime status as a chart (especially in comparison to previous time periods or industry averages), upgrades included in recent scheduled maintenance, and any comments users themselves may have offered that are worth sharing more broadly with your community of current and prospective end users (if you use a tool like Disqus that allows for such feedback).
Communicating via Hosted Status Page (Status Page as Delivery)
Arguably, the hardest part of content marketing is getting your message out there. It is definitely not an “if you built it, they will come” scenario – you need to put in a lot of work distributing your content through channels your target audience is likely to discover. A hosted status page will not increase your reach in this manner, but it can increase your engagement.
End users can subscribe for updates and alerts via their preferred communication channel (e.g. email, text, twitter), meaning that they are more likely to notice and consume your content. The challenge here is that these alerts should only relate to performance or accessibility issues (including updates or upgrades to your application), or you are using the channel disingenuously and are likely to negatively impact your relationship with your end users.
By keeping the message appropriate to the channel however, you can ensure your end users stay excited about the continuing improvements to your application’s performance and that the foundation of transparency and communication you’ve built continues to strengthen your business relationship with them.
Going Beyond SaaS Content Marketing
Tomasz Tunguz has outlined 9 Marketing Disciplines of Great SaaS Companies—content is only one of these nine. The others include Evangelism (leverage enthusiastic users), Customer Lifecycle (upsell/cross-sell to unlock the other 50%+ of revenue potential from existing customers), and Communications (brand strategy, brand narrative and public relations).
A hosted status page helps develop both the brand narrative (transparency, reliability, partnership) and the customer relationship necessary to capitalize on these key aspects of effective SaaS marketing.
You can get a free trial of the StatusCast hosted status page tool here.
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