In 2023, growing your organic traffic is easy and cheap. You just automatically generate hundreds of pages, make sure Google indexes them, and sit comfortably to collect the checks - checks that will never come. If there’s something that this approach won’t bring you is true growth.
With tighter budgets and rising customer standards, converting your organic traffic isn’t so easy anymore. You’ll need to move beyond encyclopedia articles and generic tips and start giving your users something concrete and truly solution-oriented.
Enter product-led content.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- What is product-led content
- Why it works
- First steps you can take to pivot to product-led content fast
Let’s dive in!
What Is Product-Led Content?
Product-led content addresses users’ pain points while introducing a product in a seamless and valuable way. This product insertion is not a hard pitch, and it doesn’t feel like an interruption. Instead, it shows that your product is the best way to get from point A to point B.
But a product-led approach isn’t just reserved for step-by-step guides and customer stories. Any piece of content where your product is the source of value is product-led.
Common formats include:
- Benchmarks & reports using original data - Best for positioning your brand as an authority, reverse link building
- Programmatic SEO collections sharing templates & other artifacts - Best for acquiring users with a very specific use case
- Use case landing pages - Best for helping users get a clearer sense of the impact your product would have on their workflow
- Product comparison pages - Best for bringing visibility to your competitive advantages
- Case studies - Best for illustrating how your product helps your clients to succeed IRL
- How-tos & step-by-steps - Best for illustrating your product’s actual impact in real-life workflows
Why Product-Led Content Works
There are many reasons why content programs fail. One of the most common is a lack of strategic focus, which leads teams to chase keywords loosely associated with their niche, even if they’re unrelated to their product.
This keyword-chasing leaves teams little room to introduce their value proposition because they’re spending too much time discussing challenges that their product doesn’t solve. If you want to learn more about this specific issue, check out our guide on content-market fit.
In this section, we’ll focus on why a product-led approach is far more promising than a keyword-oriented one.
- Engages the right users at the right time
- Makes your product’s value clear
- Facilitates value moments
Let’s take a closer look.
Engages the right users at the right time
Product-led content puts your product before your users when they’re most interested, in a way that resonates with their current goals and pain points.
Here’s an example: Let’s say your product is an automated QA platform. A potential product-led content piece could be centered around low-code testing. If a user’s looking to learn more about this process, they’re probably:
- Already engaging in some sort of low-code testing, or about to
- Feeling intense pain or uncertainty about the general process (or specific steps)
- In the market for a solution that can simplify this process
Clearly articulates the value of your product
Product-led content makes your value proposition more concrete by tying it to a real use case.
This is usually achieved by:
- Seamlessly inserting your product into a step-by-step process
- Adding a quote from a client explaining how the product helps them get from point A to point B
Facilitates value moments
Value moments (also known as “aha moments”) are specific points in your user’s journey where they feel your product is the best solution for addressing their pain point. The sooner your users get to their first “aha moment”, the higher the chance of conversion. And the more often your users experience these “aha moments”, the higher their satisfaction and the lower their chance of churning.
Your product-led content should help you facilitate these aha moments. Whether by assisting goals-oriented onboarding or by bringing visibility to new/underused features.
How to Start Creating Product-Led Content Today
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the important part: What steps can you take to start implementing a product-led approach today?
- Connecting with your product, customer success & sales teams
- Auditing and revamping your current content
- Reviewing your customer stories
- Focusing on specific use cases
- Take ideas from your help docs
- Conduct a programmatic SEO proof-of-concept
Connecting with your product, success & sales teams
Having a solid understanding of how people use your product is essential. Get together with your product, success & sales teams, and get their insights on three key aspects:
- Common use cases
- Common pain points
- Objections and friction
Success and sales are on the frontlines, conversing with potential and existing customers, and helping them make the most of their product experience. So they're a great source of insights into how users interact with your product and the issues they face. Additionally, product teams can help you understand your product in-depth and prioritize features and use cases to promote.
To keep your strategy nourished with relevant ideas, create a solid information stream between these user-facing teams and you.
Auditing and revamping your current content
Users and Google love updated content. If you have useful, well-written, and competitive content that isn’t converting, adding a product-centric angle could be the way to go.
Before creating new material, assess your current content, and analyze which ones are good candidates for a product-led revamp. Get started with content that’s:
- Close to your product
Review your customer stories
Referring to your customer stories in your product-led content may be the easiest way to get started.
Earlier this year, my team and I worked with an up-and-coming product in the enterprise-level B2B SaaS space. When we proposed a product-led approach, our client had two key concerns:
- Their product’s killer feature hadn’t been fully unrolled yet
- Their UI was due for a redesign
Consequently, two of the most common product-led content formats (product showdowns & how-tos) were out of the question. But that didn’t mean that a product-led approach was impossible.
If you have client success stories, you don’t have to go for soon-to-be-outdated screenshots and damning product comparisons. You can use these stories to bring concreteness to your value proposition and inspire your user to take the next step.
Write for specific use cases
Your product-led content should be useful by itself. Don't just write a long ad.
Focus on two goals:
- Engaging users through genuine insights into their specific use cases
- Helping them understand why adopting your product is the rational next step in their journey
To achieve it, make sure that:
- Your article provides valuable insights beyond your product insertion
- Your product insertion makes sense logically and narratively
- Your product is framed through jobs-to-be-done and pain points, feature-dumping leads you nowhere
Take ideas from your help docs
Help docs are a great source of ideas for product-led content. They’re packed with how-tos, best practices, and specific tips on common use cases.
Product teams want to get these insights in front of users as quickly and efficiently as possible. If your help docs are organized correctly, you'll easily find the inspiration for your next article there.
Conduct a programmatic SEO proof-of-concept
Programmatic SEO is one of the best strategies for creating product-led content at scale. So it may be time to consider a programmatic collection.
Commonly, product-led programmatic collections are used for:
- Product comparisons at scale
- Integration directories
- Highlighting product features for specific user segments
- Addressing specific pain points through simple answers or artifacts
Your Product-Led Content Team Is Here
Since 2021, we’ve helped dozens of B2B companies across 5 continents to grow with product-led content. We’ve seen time and again how product-led content can drive conversions, increase customer loyalty, and improve brand value.