How To Create Product Content For Your Out-Of-Market Audience

How To Create Product Content For Your Out-Of-Market Audience

Todd Clouser 4 min

How To Create Product Content For Your Out-Of-Market Audience

By: Todd Clouser

 

I was scrolling LinkedIn the other day and saw a comment,

 

"The problem with content marketing is that marketers have made content into marketing."

 

Let that sink in for a moment. They continued by saying,

 

"Good content marketing isn't about marketing, it's about education."

 

First, I understand the sentiment behind this message, I do.

 

But there's a very real trap that you will fall into if you only focus on education without tying the product into your content. People will know and love your content, but have no idea what your company and product does.

 

I've seen some amazing content teams generate millions of views and engagement that led to absolutely nothing. I've even been part of some and learned this lesson the hard way.

 

As a content purist that came from a background of monetizing eyeballs on YouTube through sponsorship dollars, let me be the first to tell you, in B2B SaaS product marketing and content marketing have to blend to drive business-level results.

 

A lot of teams over-index on narrative-based content. In other words, they do a great job at marketing the problem their product addresses, but do a poor job at connecting the dots to how they actually address that problem.

 

Most content marketers view their role as nurturing the 95% while product and demand teams convert the 5%. But the fact is, marketing teams can't be silo'd like that. So let's talk about how you build a show that showcases your product in content that is meant to educate, without ever pitching.

 

How to Build a Product Show (for content marketers):

 

Step 1: Pick a feature

A good product show is not a demo. It showcases a single feature of a product, but it doesn't pitch that feature. The concept of the show should be built around the problem that the feature solves, so it can easily be introduced as part of the show, without feeling like a pitch.

 

Example: Lavender is one of our customers. They had a show with a previous salesperson called 3-Minute Sales School. The feature that they chose to feature was their AI email scoring for SDRs. 

 

Step 2: Understand the problem it solves

This is where we blend the problem and the feature, so it's incredibly important to understand the problem deeply. This is going to be the education that drives the story that will keep your audience engaged, even when out of market.

 

Example: Most SDR email never even gets read. In the example above, the problem that the AI email grading tool solves is that it helps reps write emails that get read (responded to).

 

Step 3: Think of a scenario that will let you showcase the feature and how it helps by involving your audience.

This is a two-part step and both parts are very important. The first is creating a scenario that allows you to showcase the feature without demoing it. That's a no-brainer. But the secret to making this not feel like a demo or pitch is by involving the audience. This may require some solicitation in the beginning, but it's the fastest way to build an engaged audience.

 

Example: In 3-minute sales school the host would take a cold email that someone in the company received and try to re-write it "better". He'd get three minutes to do that and then the AI email scorer mentioned above would pick the winner. You can see how the audience is involved (we use their emails) and the scenario we created was that we used the tool to be the judge and pick the winner.

 

Step 4: Pick a host

Now that you know the problem and how to present it, it's time to find the best person to do that. I like to do this here, but this can also be done at the end depending on your process. In my experience, especially when using limited resources internally, tailoring the remaining steps to the host is the best way to go. But if you are using external hosts you can do the rest first and then tailor all that to the best person to match.

 

Example: When 3-Minute Sales school was created, the first three steps were done before a host was ever chosen. But step 5-8 was all figured out as we went after getting audience feedback.

 

Step 5: Sentiment

This is one of the most underutilized parts of all content, but one of the most important when building die-hard fans. How do want the audience to feel after they consume this content? Inspired, intrigued, entertained? 

 

Example: In 3-Minute Sales School the goal was education, but by including 60+ seconds of bloopers at the end of every episode (and banter throughout), the sentiment that the audience was left with was always enjoyment.

 

Step 6: Format

How are you going to present the show? When we hear "show" we think video. But a show can be audio, written, video, or anything else. What makes the most sense for your idea and the audience expectations?

 

Example: 3-Minute Sales School was created as short-form vertical video to be easily shared on social channels without needing to cut it up for repurposing.

 

Step 7: Structure

Think about any great show, inside or outside of B2B content. There's a structure that is followed that keeps the audience engaged throughout. This can also be thought of as segments, but it doesn't have to be clear cut.

 

Example: In 3-Minute Sales School every episode follows a very clear structure:

  1. quick banter between host and co-host
  2. host reads email
  3. host scores email
  4. host rewrites email in 3 minutes
  5. host re-scores new email
  6. co-host trolls host about his score
  7. host educates audience on why he made changes
  8. outro statement
  9. bloopers

Every single episode follows that exact same format. This makes it easy for the audience to know what to expect and very repeatable for the content team.

 

Step 8: Branding

This is up for debate, but in my experience having individual show branding is much more powerful than using the company branding for everything. Using company branding can work in the beginning, but as you create more and more series, you'll find that they all start to look and feel the same. Incorporate the brand by doing things like "presented by [COMPANY]" but try to experiment. This also allows you to be a bit edgier and take some risks.

 

Creating a good product show is one of the biggest unlocks you can achieve as a content marketer and something I love talking about.

Todd Clouser 4 min

How To Create Product Content For Your Out-Of-Market Audience


Content marketers have to learn how to educate the audience on the problem their company solves AND how they solve it. But how do you create product-led content for an out of market audience and still have them pay attention? This article lays out an 8-part framework to show you how.


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