A Must-Have B2B Content Marketing Plan for Software Development Agencies

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Ever feel like you’re shouting into the void with your content marketing? You blog consistently and post on social media, but those qualified leads seem elusive. Maybe it feels like you’re speaking the wrong language or worse, potential clients don’t even see you as an option.

The B2B software development space is crowded. You’re not just competing against other agencies. You’re facing in-house teams, tempting no-code tools, and the ever-present lure of “let’s do this ourselves.”

Generic content won’t help you stand out or convince stakeholders that your agency is the best solution for their complex needs.

It’s time to rethink your content marketing approach. In this blog post, we’ll outline the content marketing plan for software development agencies that showcases your expertise, attracts the right leads, and positions your agency as the go-to choice for solving technical challenges.

What Makes B2B Content Marketing in the Software Development Industry Different?

Okay, but what actually makes B2B content marketing different in your industry vs. any else?

  • You’re selling a premium service: You need to prioritize building trust and showcasing your expertise.
  • You compete with more than other agencies: No-code tools, in-house teams, and freelancers are all the possible paths your client might consider before choosing your services.
  • Your industry is always changing: Your content needs to be timely and react to the latest trends, technologies, and best practices. This will keep your content relevant and valuable to your target audience
  • Your niche is tech-oriented: Software development is a complex field. Your content needs to be informative, educational, and tailored to your audience’s level of expertise.
  • Your sales cycle is long: The decision-making process in the software development industry can involve multiple stakeholders. Your content needs to address the specific needs and concerns of the decision-makers within the organization.

The content marketing plan that includes all of those insights will help you build authority in your niche and maintain a long-term, value-driven engagement with your audience.

To help you visualize the differences, let’s compare your content requirements to those of a B2C SaaS application:

AspectB2B Software Development Content MarketingB2C SaaS Product Content Marketing
AudienceTechnical Decision-Makers: CTOs, IT Managers, Project Leads. Non-technical Founders: May lack specialized software knowledge.End Users: Individuals seeking specific solutions. Demographics & interests matter more than job titles.
Content FocusExpertise & Problem-Solving: Deep dives into technical challenges, industry trends, case studies.Benefits & User Experience: Showcasing ease of use, immediate value proposition, addressing pain points.
CompetitionOther agencies, in-house teams, freelancers: Competition based on skills and reputation.Alternative product solutions, “doing it myself” approach: Competing on price, features, and convenience.
Decision-makersOften multiple stakeholders: Procurement, technical leads, budget holders. Can involve a lengthy approval process.Individuals or small groups: Decisions can be quicker but may be more emotionally driven.
ComplexityInherently complex: Projects can have numerous moving parts and technical nuances.Accessibility: Content needs to be understandable by a wider audience, avoiding jargon.
Sales CycleLonger, relationship-driven: Building trust and credibility is essential.Potentially shorter: Can be influenced by time-sensitive offers or emotional appeal.
Distribution ChannelsIndustry-Specific Platforms: LinkedIn, niche forums, and publications.Mass Market: Social media, consumer review sites, and influencer marketing.
MetricsLead Quality: Engagement, qualified leads, conversion rates.Reach and Adoption: Downloads, trials, active users, reviews.

Additional Considerations:

  • Pricing: B2B software development often involves custom projects with tailored pricing, while B2C SaaS typically centers on subscription models.
  • Tone: B2B content can be more formal and data-driven, while B2C often benefits from a conversational, even playful, tone

Now that we know the differences, we should start building the B2B content marketing plan for your software development agency:

Building B2B Content Marketing Plan for a Software Development Company

The roadmap for your content marketing should consist of several steps:

  1. Defining your target audience: Knowing who you’re going to address in your content is… pretty necessary 😉
  2. Setting SMART goals: Tying content to the overall business goals will give you a better perspective on why you should pursue content vs. other marketing strategies
  3. Defining Formats Available: Picking the formats based on your resources, strengths, and niche will help you see the full scope of content you can create
  4. Finding Content-Audience Fit: Comparing the insights about your audience with your content creation capabilities helps you avoid creating content nobody sees.
  5. Planning Distribution and Promotion: Even the best content won’t work without distribution. Outlining your strategy for it is a must.
  6. Measuring Your Content Marketing Efforts: Defining what “progress” really means for your content is vital to iterating your process and maximizing your content’s efficiency.

Let’s go through each stage:

Identifying Your Target Audience

As I’ve mentioned already, software development agencies usually need to deal with multiple stakeholders and decision-makers.

While defining the target audiences for your content strategy, you need to consider:

  • Which stakeholders might consume your content?
  • How can you tailor the content to address their needs best?

To facilitate answering those questions, you might use a tool you’ve most likely encountered already – customer personas.

An effective customer persona in content marketing includes:

  • Demographics: Job, age group, location
  • Psychographics: Goals, needs, challenges, fears, frustrations, cultural background
  • Buying behavior: Purchasing habits, decision-making process, objections
  • Content consumption habits: Preferred channels, frequency of content consumption, preferred content formats

Here’s an example for a content marketing persona of a non-technical SaaS founder:

persona needed to create a proper content marketing plan for software development agencies

As you can see, the persona includes only the information important for our content strategy. Any information we can’t back up with data or insights from our research doesn’t have a place in this document.

I’m mentioning it because too many times, we’ve seen personas overloaded with useless (or simply fake) info about the customers. The fact your target customer goes to the gym 3x a week might not be useful – unless you sell gym equipment.

To decide if a piece of information is relevant and useful for your content strategy, you can use the DCI framework:

  • Data: Take a raw piece of information about your customer, eg. “87% of SaaS founders are over 40 years old”
  • Context: See how this piece of info applies to your content strategy, eg. “Founders over 40 deal with FOMO about technical novelties”
  • Insight: Match the context to the content you can create, eg. “We’ll provide those founders with a weekly newsletter summary of the latest tech advancements.”

This approach helps you create a laser-focused strategy that responds directly to your customer’s characteristics.

Setting Objectives for Your Content Marketing Plan

Content without a destination is just noise. Before crafting a single blog post or social update, ensure you have clearly defined and measurable goals in place. For software development agencies, effective content marketing objectives often center around:

  • Lead generation: This is the ultimate aim – attracting qualified prospects who have the potential to become clients. Content can be a powerful lead nurturing tool, offering value as potential clients research solutions and move through their decision-making process.
  • Brand awareness: Building recognition and credibility within the software development industry is crucial. Thoughtful content positions your agency as a trusted source of knowledge, making it more likely you’ll be top-of-mind when a need arises.
  • Customer education: Your existing clients will benefit from content tailored to their needs. Educational resources, tutorials, and updates demonstrate your commitment to providing ongoing value, strengthening your client relationships.

SMART Goals: Your Road Map

Use the SMART framework to transform these broad objectives into actionable targets:

  • Specific: What exactly do you want to achieve with your content? (e.g., Increase newsletter subscribers by 20%)
  • Measurable: Trackable metrics are essential (e.g., website traffic, social engagement, conversion rates)
  • Achievable: Be realistic, but don’t be afraid to set ambitious goals.
  • Relevant: How do these goals contribute to your larger business objectives (e.g., driving sales, building reputation)
  • Time-bound: Set clear deadlines (e.g., Achieve 30% increase in blog traffic within 6 months)

Aligning with Business Goals

Content marketing should never operate in a silo. Here’s how to ensure it fits seamlessly with your overall business objectives:

  • Know your sales funnel: Map out the typical customer journey and identify where content can play a supporting role at each stage.
  • Fill existing gaps: Does your sales team struggle to overcome particular client objections? Could onboarding become smoother with better client education? Target your content to ease these pain points.
  • Revenue first: While brand awareness is vital, always consider the potential ROI of your content.

Remember, your objectives may evolve as you gain audience insights and track results. Regularly re-evaluate your SMART goals to keep your content strategy sharp and focused on making a tangible impact on your business.

Content Types and Formats That Resonate

Once you’re clear about who you’ll be talking to in your content, time to decide what you’re going to say to them.

For software development agencies, the most effective formats are:

Case Studies and Success Stories

Social proof is one of the most effective ways to convince someone to buy from you. It shows how you helped other companies achieve the same results your reader desires.

It’s an instant trust builder and a great conversion booster.

Here’s how you should structure your case study:

Psst! You can grab this (and 12 more!) template here

As a software development company, put special focus on the visuals included in the success story. This will let your potential customer experience the quality of your service (without any extra copywriting tricks).

Here’s a fantastic example of a case study from Riseapps:

They lead the case study with measurable impact their efforts made on their client’s business. This helps their audience understand the value behind their work immediately.

Plus, the case study includes stunning visuals. “Show, don’t tell” rule applied to their case studies lets you experience how good their work is.

Whitepapers and E-books

Whitepapers and e-books are great tools for educating your audience about complex topics related to software development.

These should be in-depth, well-researched pieces that provide valuable insights and information for your target audience.

To create effective whitepapers and e-books:

  • Choose topics that are relevant and timely for your audience.
  • Use a professional design and layout to make your content visually appealing.
  • Include data, statistics, and case studies to back up your points.
  • Provide actionable takeaways and recommendations for your readers.

Here’s a great whitepaper example from Inflectra:

They crafted a comprehensive guide about a niche, highly technical topic their audience needs to deal with daily. They can use Inflectra’s resource to make their work easier – which plants a positive assosciation with the author’s brand.

Blog Posts and Articles

Blogging is a powerful way to attract traffic to your website (with SEO) and establish your agency as an authority in the field of software development.

Your blog should cover a range of topics related to software development, including industry trends, best practices, case studies, and more.

Here are some tips for creating effective blog content:

  • Be consistent with your posting schedule to keep your audience engaged.
  • Use SEO best practices to optimize your blog posts for search engines.
  • Promote your blog posts on social media and other channels to reach a wider audience.
  • Encourage engagement and interaction with your readers through comments and social sharing.

Take a look at how Brocoders does this:

Not only they publish their blog posts consistently – the quality of their insights showcases true expertise and a vast knowledge about their target market.

Webinars and Podcasts

Webinars and podcasts are great ways to engage with your audience in a more interactive format.

These formats allow you to showcase your expertise, connect with your audience on a personal level, and provide valuable information in a dynamic way.

Here are some tips for creating effective webinars and podcasts:

  • Choose topics that are relevant and interesting for your audience.
  • Invite guest speakers or experts to provide additional perspectives and insights.
  • Promote your webinars and podcasts through email marketing, social media, and other channels.
  • Provide opportunities for Q&A and audience interaction during the session.

By incorporating these different types of content into your marketing strategy, you can create a comprehensive and engaging content plan that resonates with your target audience. Remember to track and measure the performance of your content to continuously optimize and improve your strategy.

Interactive Content

Interactive content is another effective way to engage with your audience and provide value in a unique way. This includes quizzes, surveys, calculators, interactive infographics, and more.

Here’s how interactive content can benefit your software development agency’s content marketing strategy:

  • Increases engagement: Interactive content encourages users to actively participate and engage with your brand, leading to higher levels of interaction and interest.
  • Personalizes the experience: Interactive content allows users to tailor their experience based on their preferences and needs, making it more relevant and valuable to them.
  • Generates leads: By requiring users to provide their information in exchange for accessing the interactive content, you can capture leads and build your email list.

Here are some examples of interactive content you can create for your software development agency:

  • Self-assessment quiz: Let your potential lead get a score of their business performance or a need to hire your software development agency. Remember to include a CTA at the end.
  • ROI calculators: Help businesses calculate the potential return on investment of using your software development services.
  • Interactive infographics: Visualize complex data and statistics related to the software development industry.

Here’s a great example from GojiLabs that built their Lo-fi UI Kit to attract new subscribers to their email list:

By incorporating interactive content into your content marketing plan, you can enhance the user experience, increase engagement, and generate leads for your agency.

Distribution Channels and Promotion Strategies

Creating high-quality content is just the first step. To ensure that your content reaches your target audience and drives the desired results, you need a solid distribution and promotion strategy.

Every B2B company, including software development agencies, have three key content distribution channels:

Owned media:

This includes your website, blog, and social media channels that you have control over.

It’s important to optimize these channels to drive traffic and engagement with your content.

Make sure your website is SEO-friendly, your blog is consistently updated with valuable content, and your social media profiles are active and engaging.

Earned media:

This involves getting your content featured on third-party websites, industry publications, and influencer platforms.

Building relationships with industry influencers, guest posting on relevant websites, and participating in industry events can help you earn media placements that increase your content’s reach and credibility.

Paid media:

Paid media includes advertising on platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads.

Paid advertising can help you target specific audiences, increase visibility, and drive traffic to your content. It’s important to define your target audience, set goals for your paid campaigns, and track performance metrics to ensure a positive ROI.

In addition to these distribution channels, here are some promotion strategies to maximize the reach and engagement of your content:

Social media platforms for B2B engagement:

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for B2B engagement. You’ll find there a big pool of founders or decision-makers you’d like to target with your content. Plus, thanks to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s easy to identify them:

To achieve success on LinkedIn, you’ll need to prepare a few elements first:

  • Consistency: Building a regular posting schedule increases your visibility on LinkedIn. Post at least twice per week, at similar times, to help your audience get into a habit of consuming your content.
  • Thought leadership: Personal LinkedIn profiles have a bigger reach and visibility than brands. Use your own profile to share content about your company and your audience’s goals or challenges.
  • Networking: Building strong allies with fellow content creators on LinkedIn will help you enhance your visbility and give your content a silent “seal of approval” from other thought leaders.

Ferenc Fekete, the Founder of VeryCreatives (and our fantastic client 😎) uses LinkedIn to showcase his team’s expertise and start conversations with potential buyers of his services:

Twitter and Facebook can also be effective platforms for promoting your content. Use relevant hashtags, tag industry influencers, and engage with your audience to drive engagement and traffic to your website.

Email marketing campaigns:

Email marketing is a powerful tool for B2B content promotion. Plus, your email list is an owned channel to promote your content among people interested in it.

Create targeted email campaigns to share your latest blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies with your subscribers.

While building your newsletter, make sure to keep in mind a few important details:

  • Personalize your emails: Include the recipient’s name and tailor the content to their interests and needs. This will make them feel listened to and appreciated – enhancing to your brand image
  • Segment your audience: Group subscribers based on their behavior, preferences, and stage in the buyer’s journey to deliver more relevant content.
  • Include clear CTAs: Encourage readers to take action by including compelling calls-to-action that direct them to your website or landing pages.
  • Optimize for mobile: Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive for users who check their emails on smartphones or tablets.

SEO and content discoverability:

Optimizing your content for search engines is crucial for increasing its visibility and driving organic traffic to your website.

Here are some SEO best practices for software development agencies:

Keyword research:

Identify keywords your clients put into search engines to research a problem you can solve.

Important: These keywords might include the word “agency” or “services” but also – they might include phrases related to your indirect competition.

For example, a person who might need your services might look for no-code SaaS building tools or a web development freelancer. You should consider how you’re going to tackle those keywords on your website, while presenting your solution as the most suitable for your ideal client.

On-page optimization:

Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and image alt text for your target keywords.

This helps the search engines understand what your site is about. And – most importantly – helps your reader understand if your content is for them before they click the blue link in Google.

Link building:

Build backlinks from reputable websites to improve your site’s domain authority and search engine rankings.

Now, the key here is relevancy. Google bots are getting better every day at spotting websites using shady backlink tactics and buying links from link farms.

Make sure each link you acquire for your website ties back to your core services or expertise.

Also, consider guest posting as a value-driven way to gain backlinks to your websites. By publishing content on established, niche-relevant websites, you increase your brand awareness across the internet. This signals Google bots your website should be shown to more people from this niche.

By leveraging a combination of these distribution channels, you can maximize the reach and impact of your content, driving traffic, engagement, and conversions for your software development agency.

Measuring Success and ROI of Your Content Marketing Efforts

Now that we have a plan, let’s address that looming question: is this content working? Setting up ways to measure your content’s success upfront is crucial to maximize the ROI of your efforts and make sure your content strategy contributes to your overall business goals.

Remember: Content marketing is a long game. While immediate results would be nice, it takes time to build trust and authority in your space. Let’s see what metrics you should track to make sure you’re going in the right direction.

Lead Generation Metrics

Understanding how your audience interacts with your content is like having a secret decoder ring for your marketing strategy.

Specifically, tracking lead generation metrics lets you see what’s working, what needs optimizing, and whether you’re attracting the right kind of prospects for your software development agency.

Let’s break down a few key metrics:

Traffic to your website:

Think of website traffic as the overall pulse of your inbound marketing efforts.

Is it strong? Sporadic? Are you seeing any sudden changes?

Monitoring traffic totals, as well as traffic to specific pages, gives you early warning signs if your content needs strategic adjustments.

Google Analytics is your data powerhouse, offering detailed traffic reports broken down by source so you see where your readers come from.

Conversion rates:

This is where we pinpoint what content and calls-to-action (CTAs) are turning visitors into leads.

A conversion happens any time someone completes a desired action like downloading an e-book, filling out a contact form, or signing up for your newsletter.

Each conversion needs to be tracked within your analytics platforms. A high conversion rate means your content resonates and your CTAs are compelling.

Number of qualified leads:

Not every lead is a perfect fit. Define what a qualified lead looks like for your agency (job title, company size, etc.), and track how many meet your criteria.

Your CRM system comes in handy here, allowing you to score leads based on their actions and data. This metric reveals whether your content is bringing in those dream prospects.

Let’s say you publish a blog post titled “5 Trends Shaping SaaS Development in 2024” with a CTA offering a free whitepaper expanding on those trends. Here’s how tracking the metrics helps:

  • Traffic: A surge in organic search traffic to the blog post indicates you chose a highly relevant topic.
  • Conversions: If the CTA for your whitepaper gets a lukewarm response, you might need a stronger offer or a more compelling CTA.
  • Qualified leads: If most of your whitepaper downloads come from CTOs at the types of companies you serve, you’ve struck content gold!

Remember, tracking these metrics over time is crucial. It’s the trends that truly show whether your content strategy is improving and generating the quality leads your business needs.

Engagement metrics

While lead generation is the ultimate goal, engagement signals tell you whether your audience finds your content valuable and worth their time. Let’s dissect some essential metrics:

Social media engagement:

Likes, shares, comments, and mentions on your social profiles indicate if your content sparks conversations and resonates with your followers.

Most social media platforms offer built-in analytics to monitor these interactions closely. Pay attention to which types of posts (text, video, links, etc.) get the most traction to guide your future content creation.

Email open rates and click-through rates:

These metrics are your window into how compelling your email campaigns are.

A high open rate means your subject lines are grabbing attention, while strong click-through rates show the content inside is relevant and enticing.

Track these over time to identify trends and spot potential issues with your email strategy.

Time on page and bounce rate:

Found within your website analytics, these metrics illuminate how long users spend on specific pages and how many leave after viewing only one page.

Long times signal highly engaging content, while a high bounce rate often indicates a mismatch between the content and the audience’s expectations (or technical issues with the page).

Comments and feedback:

Comments on your blog posts, social media, or via direct responses to emails provide a goldmine of qualitative insights.

Analyze the sentiment behind the feedback, the questions being asked, and specific points of praise or criticism. This direct input helps tailor future content to match your audience’s needs.

Why Engagement Matters

Highly engaged audiences are more likely to:

  • Build trust: Every interaction is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and foster genuine connections.
  • Become loyal customers: People buy from businesses they know, like, and trust. Nurture those relationships through engaging content.
  • Act as brand advocates: An engaged audience is more likely to recommend your services, providing powerful word-of-mouth marketing.

Tools to measure Engagement

Here’s where you’ll find your engagement data:

  • Google Analytics: Tracks on-site behavior like time on page and bounce rate.
  • Social media analytics: Each platform provides insights into post performance and follower interaction.
  • Email marketing platforms: Reports on open rates, click-throughs, and unsubscribes are essential.
  • CRM systems: Help monitor overall customer engagement including interactions beyond content consumption.

Engagement metrics, alongside lead generation metrics, paint a complete picture of your content’s effectiveness. Remember, engaged followers are the fertile ground from which future business grows!

Case Study: How we Increased VeryCreative’s traffic by 30% in 3 months

Sometimes, the best way to understand the power of content marketing is to see it in action. Let’s spotlight VeryCreative, a software development agency specializing in crafting MVPs and custom software for non-technical SaaS founders.

Challenge & Goal

Like many B2B companies, VeryCreative aimed to increase website traffic and, most importantly, generate more qualified leads.

Their existing efforts were somewhat scattered, leaving them unsure whether they were reaching the right audience or providing enough value to stand out in a crowded market.

Content Strategy: Focused and Consistent

We helped VeryCreative devise a tailored content strategy focused on:

  • In-depth blog posts (4 per month): These tackled challenges SaaS founders face, showcasing VeryCreative’s understanding and potential solutions. Think pieces like “How to build a Saas: Non-Technical Founders’ Guide” or “Validating Your SaaS Idea on a Shoestring Budget.”
  • Founder’s LinkedIn Profile: We repurposed blog content into digestible LinkedIn posts designed to foster thought leadership. The founder could spark discussions, network, and position himself as an authority addressing his ideal clients’ pain points.
  • Strategic Link Building (5-6 links/month): We focused on acquiring backlinks from niche-relevant websites (tech blogs, founder resources), boosting VeryCreative’s search engine authority.
  • Lead Magnet Creation: To accelerate lead generation, we’re developing an interactive lead magnet alongside the client to help them attract the right target audience to their website and email list.

The Results: Progress in Motion

After just three months of consistent execution, here’s what VeryCreative achieved:

  • 30% Increase in Website Traffic: More relevant content and improved search rankings brought in a greater volume of their ideal audience.
  • 15+ Backlinks Secured: This built VeryCreative’s reputation as a credible source, driving valuable referral traffic and signaling to search engines that their content deserved visibility.
  • Lead Magnet in Development: With strong audience insights from blog engagement, the freebie took shape, promising a future tool to nurture prospective clients.

Lessons Learned

  • Consistency is Key: Regular content creation is essential for building momentum and trust.
  • Focus on Your Ideal Client: Every piece of content must speak directly to their needs and pain points.
  • Quality over Quantity: A few in-depth, valuable pieces outperform generic content churn.

While long-term results are still on the horizon, VeryCreative is on the right track to transform their content into a reliable lead generation machine.

If you’d like to see what we can do together to power up your lead generation with content – grab a spot from our calendar below:

Kuba Czubajewski

Kuba Czubajewski

CEO and Content Marketing Strategist @ StoryAngled. He helped multiple SaaS companies from various niches generate organic leads with SEO and content. In his free time, he works on his own YouTube channel about the science of creativity. Huge fan of product-led content, cats, and baking.

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