Product-led content can be an essential part of your marketing strategy if you’re looking to build trustworthy and long-term relationships with your clients. And it’s the best way to present your product without coming off like a sales pitch. However, if you want to create high-quality product-led content, you’ll not only need a top-notch writer, you’ll also need someone who knows your product.
In this episode of Content Logistics, Fio Dossetto, the Editorial Lead at Wildbit, joins our host, Camille Trent, to discuss the secrets behind crafting product-led content. Fio starts by giving a pretty interesting explanation about what product-led content is and how it can benefit businesses.
She also talks about SEO as part of content marketing and explains why companies should optimize their content. As she says, it is not necessary to create a lot of new content; you can use articles you already have and optimize them.
You create product-led content to help customers solve a particular problem. So, this type of content is not just about optimization and keywords. Remember, behind every piece of content is a human being, so let your customers feel that.
“If you take the top sales rep and you pair them with a writer, you’re ready to produce product-led content forever.”
What Is Product Led Content?
”Product content is easy to define and talk about when you’re looking at it. So if this was a video call or had some artifacts to look at, it would be clear what product-led content is.
So for everyone who’s listening, we’re going to talk about the movies for a minute because I think it works well as a point of comparison.
So, there are different ways that a product can be seen in a movie. There are three different levels of product exposure if you want. So let’s say a food processor, like a KitchenAid. There’s what we call level one, where the KitchenAid is in the background. There’s a scene and the characters, and in the background on a shelf, you’ve got your KitchenAid. You can blink and miss it because it’s not part of the story, and your attention is not directed to it.
Then, there’s a level two where your attention is now actively directed towards the KitchenAid. For example, one of the characters is next to it and moves it or makes a comment about it or just looks at it directly.
And then there is level three, where your KitchenAid is becoming an integral part of the story. So, for example, you have a character, who’s invited people over for dinner, but something goes wrong. They are super delayed, and now it looks like it’s going to be a disaster. They only have a couple of hours to feed this group of people. And now KitchenAid is there to solve the problem brilliantly. And you have a montage of how it works. You see how it chops, how it mixes, how it helps save dinner. And so, the KitchenAid speaks to a job that the character needs to do.”
You Can Move Mountains When Leadership Believes in Your Ideas
”There’s plenty of success stories about SEO, but I think what also is important is that you have buy-in from your leadership. Just because there are a lot of success stories outside doesn’t mean leadership is comfortable or confident in your ability to replicate it. And so, in our particular case, they understood what we wanted to do, and they did back the plan, and they gave us the freedom to do what we were trying to do.
Even after the first one or two months, we had technically nothing to show for it, but they knew it; they trusted us. And that was lucky. I think not all content teams are in such a position. They are asked to prove results much sooner. Which is tricky if you’re using SEO because it takes time.”
How to Prioritize Product-Led Content?
”I watched a course called Login for business back in 2017, produced by Tim Soulo of Ahrefs, in which they introduced us to a business prioritization framework where they would assign a score to every content idea that they had in their pipeline. They would assign a score from zero to three. Zero is a topic or a piece of content where there was no way to mention the product. A score of one would be the product that could be mentioned in passing. A score of two will be the product helps, but it’s not the central one, and a score of three is the product is an irreplaceable solution.
And the general gist of that course or that particular section of the course was to build and bring long-term traffic to your blog or whatever you’re trying to grow, including a YouTube channel.
That led me to start applying this score to every piece of content that came into the Hotjar pipeline. So I was the editor at that point, and I could decide together with the content strategist which topics to prioritize.”
A Good Writer Is Valuable, But They Need Help to Create High-Quality Product-Led Content
”You need the writer, and hopefully, the writer is also knowledgeable about the product. You can use your sales team if you have one. If you don’t, you can also use customer support because they are the first to hear about problems and issues and stuff that is popping up.
So if your organization is ample and complex, you might have salespeople – please talk to them. Try to talk to customers yourself. So you get an appreciation of your own of what their main pain points are. Interview a couple of customers, or if there are sales calls, you get in and listen. So you do need all of that.
And I think it’s tricky again and again; this goes back to why this is so hard to do. If you have a brilliant writer, whether in-house or freelance, who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the product and, or the customer, they will write fantastic pros, but they will not do much for you. And I found, for example, that it’s hard to outsource this kind of content to freelancers.
So you asked me what I would need, and I would say a writer, independent and proactive; that’s great. If they can interview experts and use that content to do the right thing, that’s fine. And of course, side note, because we had picked SEO as our distribution methods, you also want somebody to understand how to do that.”
SEO Is Important But Don’t Rely on It Entirely
”You grow in different ways, and SEO is one of many available distribution methods, and it takes time to grow, but once it grows, it keeps growing, and it keeps growing in the background while you do other stuff. So even if you’re focusing on SEO for a month, you can still distribute it elsewhere in smaller snippets, on social or even use paid advertising or newsletters.
I think that SEO if done well, is a reliable driver of traffic. It may not be enough to build a brand. So you may want to think about other stuff that builds the brand and perhaps speak a bit more immediately to the heart or do something more human. If you take a controversial take to your SEO content, it does both at the same time, and that’s the best place to be.”
A Final Piece of Advice
”First, look at how people are doing it, so you understand this line between being helpful and being salesy or pushy. And second, start small. Start from what you already have. See if there are opportunities to retweak the narrative of existing content you have to bring some of your product.
If you are starting from something, try to optimize it instead of having to dream up the new machine. You don’t have to go from zero to 100 right now. You can go from zero to one to two, and then slowly make your way up to new content when you have the time and skills and the resources at your disposal.”