Brands create content to generate traffic from the right audience and to convert them into paying customers.
But to do that, marketers have to walk a tightrope by attracting the customer with valuable content.
This strategy can sometimes mean creating content without spotlighting your product.
But there’s a way to move your product to the front row seat and imprint your product on the minds of your audience with product-led content.
Let’s explore why you should add product-led content to your marketing strategy and the steps you can follow.
What is Product-Led Content?
Dr. Fio from Content Folks defines product-led content as “content where the product is woven into the narrative to illustrate a point, solve a problem, and/or help accomplish a goal.”
Product-led content offers clear insights to your audience and gives them an experience of using your product to solve their problems.
Types of Product-Led Content
Here are five types of product-led content:
Product demos: Product demos are videos or other types of content that show how a product works and demonstrate its key features and benefits. These types of content can be effective at helping potential customers understand the value of a product and how it can solve their problems.
User guides: User guides are instructional materials that help users understand how to use a product. These can be in the form of written documentation, videos, or other types of content and can be helpful for customers who are new to a product.
Case studies: Case studies are detailed accounts of how a product has been used to solve a specific problem or achieve specific results. This content demonstrates the value of a product and provides social proof.
Testimonials: Testimonials are video or written accounts from satisfied customers who have used a product and can speak to its value. It builds trust and credibility for a product.
Product updates: Product updates are content that keeps customers informed about new features, improvements, and other updates to a product. It keeps customers engaged and encourages them to continue using the product.
Which Brands Should Create Product-Led Content?
Any brand can create product-led content as long as you solve your audience’s pain point.
For example, as a non-software company, you could share your process or workflow. Growth Machine blog creates product-led content showing how they hire prominent writers for their clients.
In the example below, Grizzle shares a blog post of how they helped a FinTech brand attract more traffic to their website.
Benefits of Creating Product-Led Content
If done well, product-led content directly targets can help you improve the quality of the leads, nudging prospects to click the sign-up button.
1. Encourages user acquisition
Usually, marketers talk about the product to prospects at the bottom of the marketing funnel with the goal of converting them. Product-led content creates and strengthens top of mind awareness right from the first time they interact with your brand. It educates prospects and gives them a sneak peek of how your product works.
2. Boosts customer retention
This happens in two ways.
The first way is to help new customers learn about your product. As a new user, product features can be confusing. So, it’s important to have resources, like documentation, onboarding emails, and blog posts, that can give clarity.
Product-led content also helps existing customers understand how to get more value from your product. For example, Zapier created a blog post about a new feature they built to help existing customers move app data in bulk. Similarly, Hubstaff discussed how brands who use their time tracking software can boost the activity levels of their teams.
3. Differentiates your brand
Your competitors are targeting the same keywords to land a spot on the first page of the SERPs. So, they’ll be creating a similar type of content as your team.
But product-led content can give you the edge to persuade your audience. For instance, Hotjar created a blog post about finding bugs on a new website in three steps using their product features.
This technique works well for small, bootstrapped startups competing with teams with bigger marketing budgets. So while other brands are stuck chasing keywords, product-led content helps your brand win customers.
How to Create Product-Led Content
To create product-led content, you’ll have to understand the product and customer’s pain points. Then, you’ll find the intersection between both to produce valuable content. Here’s how to create product-led content in four steps.
1. Get a deep understanding of your product
As content marketers, we share our attention across building strategy and writing catchy headlines. Sometimes, we don’t pay attention to the product.
In some cases, knowing the product’s blanket value proposition is enough to create content. But it is different when with product-led content. You need to understand how to position the product as the solution. Set up meetings with the product marketing manager or an engineer to gain more product insight.
2. Do customer research
There are two types of customers: existing customers and prospective customers.
Existing customers already derive value from your product. Get feedback from the customer support or sales team about their user’s experience. You may even decide to join a demo call.
With prospective customers, you’ll want to conduct customer research. Read this post from SurveySparrow on how to start your research process.
3. Find the right topics to write about
Content marketing strategies prioritize topics based on traffic potential without considering the product narrative. If SEO is your primary distribution channel, find a balance to earn traffic and to connect with your audience.
The below framework by Ahrefs will help you. A topic score of 3 or 2 gives you opportunities to highlight your product in a natural way.
4. Write the first draft
You want to visually walk your customer through your product’s features. Screenshots and videos of your product dashboard are ideal. Focus on one or two pain points, so you don’t overwhelm the reader.
Product-Led Content Examples
Here are two brands that use product-led content in their marketing strategy. Use their techniques to refine your content ideas.
1. Loom brings anxiety into focus
Loom writes about how to overcome camera anxiety. They described how you can use the “mirror image” default mode to get over anxiety. They also add a screenshot that shows you how to enable a feature.
2. Ahrefs keeps brands competitive
Ahrefs uses blog posts and videos to give its users an immersive experience with their tool. They connect every topic to a feature. For example, in this blog post about competitive analysis, they highlight their Site Explorer feature to find keyword overlap with competitors.
Implement a Product-Led Content Strategy
Product-led content is an effective way to add diversity to your content marketing strategy. It makes your product the hero of the story while solving your audience’s pain point. It also helps you nudge your leads through the marketing funnel. When creating product-led content, look for opportunities to make your product the standard solution without forcing the narrative.