The pandemic forced many businesses to rethink how they marketed and sold their products and services. This is true of both B2C and B2B companies. The biggest change was figuring out how to do business while working from home. In-person sales calls had to change to virtual sales calls. Companies switched from customers coming to their brick-and-mortar stores to adding an ecommerce site. And what happened? They adapted.
After a few months of forced change, companies learned how to refocus their teams towards marketing and selling completely online. Now, it seems like everyone is competing with your company online. So how can you stand out when marketing your products online? The answer is that you can stand out by creating a unique product content strategy.
Product-Led Content Strategy
Let’s break this down into two parts.
What is a Content-Led Marketing Strategy?
A Content-Led Marketing Strategy is using different types of content to change how people behave. This content:
- Educates them
- Enlightens them
- Entertains them
- Inspires them
In other words, the content helps them see, hear, understand, feel something new when they experience it.
What is a Product-Led Content Strategy?
Product-led content is any type of content that strategically weaves a product into the narrativeand uses it to illustrate a point, solve a problem, and/or help the audience accomplish a goal. ~ Dr. Fio Dossetto
However, most people are not very good at creating content in which their product is the star in the production in a way that seems natural and interesting. Product-led content isn’t the hard sell or infomercial type of advertising. It’s also not content that talks around your product but never even says the product name.
Instead, product-led content marketing persuades the audience by:
- Getting their attention
- Explaining a problem they have
- Identifying a solution
- Describing the benefits of the solution
- Giving them a call-to-action (CTA)
The goal of product-led content is to turn your product into a solution. That means you need to do some market research to find out what problem you can solve for your prospects. Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can create a survey to learn more about them using Google Surveys.
Best Type of Product-Led Content
You know your audience best, and which type of content is their favorite to engage with. According to Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs 12th annual report on B2B Content Marketing, the B2B content assets that produced the best results in the last 12 months were:
- Virtual events (58%)
- Research reports (48%)
- Articles less than 3,000 words (48%)
- Case studies (39%)
- Videos (38%)
- In-person events (37%)
- Articles over 3000 words (32%)
You can use all of these types of content in a product content strategy, although in 2022, the top content marketing investment is in video (69%).
Video is a good choice because it gives you the opportunity to weave your product into a story where the product is the solution to a problem, helps the viewer reach a goal, or can illustrate your point. And also, people love to watch videos, which they can do just about anywhere as long as they have access to the internet.
Why is Product-Led Content Effective?
There are several reasons why product-led content is effective.
1. It demonstrates how to use the product.
Describing the features and benefits of your product is helpful, but some people can’t picture how they can use the product from a list of features. If you can show them someone actually using the product in a story, video, or case study, it helps them visualize themselves using the product.
2. It creates more qualified leads.
A person that converts from product-led content understands how your product can solve their problem. They are ready to try your product themselves. This lead is far more valuable than someone who just wants to know something or get a freebie.
3. It sets up a free trial.
A person who clicks a link in an article about very specific pain point, and realizes that your product can assist them, is likely to be someone with that exact problem. They understand how your product can help, and are close to making a purchase.
This is the best context for a conversion and why product-led content usually has a higher conversion rate than other top of the funnel content.
How to Create Product-Led Content
While you may think you know all the reasons customers buy your product, it is a best practice to survey your clients to learn why they buy your product, and how they use it.
- Establish the problem that a person is trying to solve. Frame it from the customer’s standpoint instead of your own. Make a list of your product’s benefits, then select one, look at it from the customer’s viewpoint to see what problem it solves. Create content around this single pain point.
- Agitate the problem to demonstrate why it needs to be solved. Specify how the problem is affecting someone with statistics, storytelling, or a compelling lead-in.
- List potential solutions to this problem. Create a list of solutions to the problem that includes some that your product solves. Then show how it works using a variety of media like images, video, screenshots, step-by-step demonstrations to illustrate your product’s usefulness. Let them know how well your product works, how easy it is to use.
- Invite users to book a demo or a free trial. Add your CTAs here to invite users to try your product for free. Once you get someone to try your product for free, it’s much easier to convert them to buyers.
- Convert free trials into subscriptions or sales of your product or service. Once a person has a chance to use your product for free, and see how great it is, then they won’t want to give it up. This is the perfect time to convert their free trial into a sale.
Are You Ready to Create Product-Led Content?
Product-led content is not really new. Instead, it is a solid, reliable way to convert leads into customers, visitors into subscribers. And it’s an opportunity for you to stand out from your competitors who are just doing the same old thing with their marketing. Show how your product can fix a problem and become a solution. Let them try it for themselves. Tell them why yours is a better solution than your competitor’s. Create content that will convert.