Content Marketing ·

Product-Led Content by Masooma Memon

Bernard Huang

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We hosted Masooma Memon for a webinar on how to craft product-led content.

Here are our biggest takeaways from Masooma’s talk:

  1. Educate your readers.If you don't, no one will.

  2. Be reader-centric. Don’t sell, educate.

  3. Problem and solution flywheel. Call out the reader’s problem then provide a solution.

  4. Avoid feature bloating. Depth over breadth. Go deep on a feature versus covering all of them at the surface.

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About Masooma Memon:

Masooma is an accomplished freelance content marketer who specializes in working with B2B SaaS brands. Her client roster includes industry giants such as Vimeo, Shopify, GatherContent, and CoSchedule. Masooma's expertise lies in crafting, refreshing, and repurposing long-form educational top-of-funnel (TOFU) content as well as product-led content that resonates with target audiences and drives results.

​Masooma was listed among Semrush's Top 100 Content Marketing Influencers in 2022. Her marketing newsletter, The Content Workshop, has been featured in Forbes' list of must-read marketing newsletters.

Follow Masooma on LinkedIn:

Read the transcript

Masooma: So my favorite coffee, I'm going to start with a confession. And it's that I am not a very coffee person, coffee friendly person. And until recently, it's just until recently that I realized that I am a coffee person. But before I did that, I went from shop, coffee shop to coffee shop to ask people, ask the baristas over there, what's a coffee with the most amount of milk and the fewest expression of shots.

Like I wanted to keep the caffeine low and the milk high. And I wanted it to be sweet. So there's one shop that I would coffee shop that I went to not going to be naming no names over here. And I asked the lean, lanky guy behind the counter, like, what's this? I asked my question, and he looked at the other guy beside him.

And he says, stellar. Yeah, the other guy looks at him with this, you know, look that says, how the hell am I supposed to know that you are behind a coffee counter and you cannot tell me which coffee is best for me. I forgot all about it. Moved on. Right. But then I went to another shop and I asked the same question, what's the coffee that would suit my taste right there has to be some coffee that I like.

So he says. You'd either like a latte or a cappuccino, and I can sweeten your drink with a pump of vanilla. And I'm like, that's a good one. And since then, I have been going to that very shop, which by the way, is Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Spanish Diced Latte has become my go-to coffee. Right.

And I would have never found that though. I just recently found it, and it was all thanks to that barista who told me the exact coffee that I would like, right? This is exactly where you want to start when you're creating a product led content. You want to master the product that you are selling, that you want to market, right?

So this is where we're going to start. But before that, let's. Look at what's on the menu. So we're going to talk about exactly where to start, what documents you will need to scale, scale product-led content production, and then how to map PLC throughout the content funnel, whether it's okay to talk about your product on top of the funnel brand awareness pieces, right?

And I've got tons of examples for you as well, and then mistakes to avoid, right? First things first, the basics. Okay. What is product led content? So, it's content that educates about your SaaS tool. The key word here is it educates, it does not sell. Why I emphasize on educate is because when you educate, you take a naturally take a reader first focus.

And when you take a reader first focus, you come across as less salesy and more educational. You show that the benefit of the reader is at the center of your content strategy, which is exactly how your product-led content is not going to be cringe. Because It's very easy to talk too much about your product and come across as someone who keeps talking way too much about themselves, right?

If product led content that is overdone were a personality, it would be someone who talks so much about themselves that you would probably think that that person is either a narcissist, the content itself is a narcissist, or someone who is not confident about themselves. And that is why they're talking so much about themselves, right?

So the focus has to be educational and on the reader, right? Despite product led content's name, it's not going to be product focused. You're going to talk about your product, but in a very educational way, right? Then comes why exactly you need product-led content. See, the thing is, there is a lot of risk.

You could go on talking a lot about your product. Or you could be underselling your product. You might not be talking about it, but you still need to be talking about your product. Now, there's a right way to do it. And then there is a cringe way to do it, right? But we will get to that part before that.

You need to be talking about your product and why exactly you need to be talking about your product so that you can tell your product story. You can tell the itch that your product scratches. You can tell what problems it solves. You can tell how it solves them and exactly who it will benefit, right?

Because, like they say, empty, closed mouths don't get fed. So you have to talk about yourself. It's marketing, right? But again, focus is going to be on the reader. And when you talk about yourself, you drive conversions, right? Because you're talking about yourself in an educational way. You're telling people how we can help you eventually.

They would obviously be like, okay, they're solving a problem. They. Can help me, which is why we're going to try the product, which brings us convert conversions, right? Within product led content. When you talk about the features, when you cover the features that your tool offers, the features, the problems that these features can solve, right?

You build an excitement for your product. So when users to be read your content, which is very well written, keeps the focus on them. And keeps the focus on solving their problems. You kind of build that excitement. You show them product tutorials. You show them exactly how your product has helped other people like them.

And so you build excitement, which eventually drives conversion. And as a result, you draw, you unlock. Not only product users, but also more product users. Now, how this happens is content is not for top of the funnel or users to be, but it is also for people who are your paying users. So when you're talking about covering more features, telling more ways to use the product, you're giving your paying customers more reasons to use your product, right?

Which is exactly how you increase the amount of time people are spending in your app. You increase retention. And because people are, start using your product so strongly within their workflow, they won't churn. The odds of churning are fewer, right? So altogether, product-led content helps you with brand awareness, which is basically product awareness.

It tells what you do, how you help, the itch you scratch, and what you stand for, exactly who you help and who you don't help, right? It helps you acquire people. Like the coffee bean and tea leaf dude, he just, he did not only acquire the sale, but he also retained me. So that's user retention. And then you also reduce activation time, which basically happens by again, educating people.

So, I'll give you an example, and it will make more sense. All of this will make more sense, all of these benefits. So, when I was first starting my content business, I did not know which project management tool to use. For all the client work that I had my had with, in my pipeline, right? I had to think whether I'm going to be using bullet bullet generals, or I'm going to be using sticky notes.

So what can I do that can keep everything together in one single source of truth? That is where, when I was searching for Kanban boats and I came across Trello. What Trello did was I read a blog and they told me that we can solve this problem for you. I was like, okay, good. I came across more of the blog content and I was like, okay, it seems like they can solve a problem for me.

They have a Kanban board that can arrange where I can arrange and organize and manage. All my client work, right? So, the first thing that the content did for me was brand awareness. I found out that there is something, a Kanban board, a project management tool, which is Trello, right? And then I read one piece, two piece, three pieces.

And then I was like, okay, the screenshots tell me the board is easy to create. And it has blah, blah, blah features. And so let's give it a shot and a sign up, which is customer acquisition, right? But when I get into this exact, what we say tool, I can immediately and easily set up a board. Why? Because I read all of that content and it told me that setting up is going to involve one, two, three D steps.

That's it. And the first aha moment within the app, wherein I use the app because when a user cannot use the app immediately or get a job done immediately within the app, they're going to churn, they're not going to come back and they're not going to turn, if they're a free user, they're not going to turn into a paying user, right?

So it reduced the activation time for me. The third benefit for the benefit, I kept reading the content. It's really good. If you haven't read it, by the way, they write in a very, the brand voice is very friendly. And so it got me back, and I was reading about them. That's where I discovered checklists in Trello.

I discovered custom fields in Trello. And now I use more of these features within my workflow. So not only am I creating cards on the Kanban board, I am also using their checklist. I'm also using the custom fields. And if I have to, if I'm working with any other contractors or with any other folks from for other services for my business, I can easily, you know, collaborate with them within the board.

So I discovered all of these new features besides the main feature problem that it was solving with their product, which Is the fourth benefit of product-led content. It increased user retention for them. I'm not going to churn. I'm almost going to be seven years in my business, and I'm still using Trello, right?

So now back to where we started. How do you master your SAS tool, which is exactly where your product-led content starts? This is you, of course, the onboard you, you're going to be you have to go for creating product led content. You have to go beyond the product demo. So besides the screen share that we do this, it has to be curious.

How you can do that one is to use the tool yourself. So if it's a tool like clear scope or Trello or ClickUp or Miro. Anybody can use them, right? The marketer who is marketing, it can also easily use it, right? So, use the tool yourself to learn it. There is a lot of difference that you will notice in the content that you write in the understanding that you have about the problems you solve for your product, and even in the issues that you have within your product, that you can tell your product team when you use that tool itself, right?

So use the tool. That's one. If it's a sort of tool that you cannot use, say it's a sales CRM. You cannot use it. You're not a salesperson. You're a marketer. How are we going to use it? So you're going to get behind the shoulder beam, go to the people within your organization who are using the tool. And if you're telling me people within your organization are not using the tool that you're selling, then I don't know how you'd create that product.

I've got it because the point is your product has to be so good that you drink your own champagne. It's as simple as that, right? So go behind the shoulder. Talk to them as salespeople, like continuing with the example of a CRM. Ask those salespeople exactly how they're using the tool, when they're using the tool, and what they're doing with the tool.

So you have to find out exactly which, which points in the workflow they're using the tool. And if there is something not clear, be very, very curious, ask questions, make internal friends within your workspace and ask them the questions about your product. The stronger your grip on the product, the higher your product, your product led content will convert.

That's a guarantee, right? Then comes the third way. You question product marketers. You ask them what each feature does, how it works. Most product marketers, most product marketing teams have in-app recordings of users using the app. You can also ask them for access to those and see how exactly users are using those features.

Again, another way to learn about your product, to master your product, right? Once you've done all this research work, you put on your documentation hat when you're going to. The reason you need to document is that it's going to make it easy for you to create and speed up production, and it's going to be easy to scale production.

So whenever you're creating content, I'm sure all of us are well aware that you need, if not. Not an in depth brief. If you're not a big fan of in-depth briefs for internal content, okay, you do need a content plan, right? When you create a content plan, these documents that you create are going to come in very, very, are going to be very useful for you because they're going to tell you exactly which feature to include.

Talk about within your content, right? And then whenever you're ready to scale production with with, with an in house writers, external writers, you can pass on these documents to them so that they can learn about your product and write about it. Otherwise it's going to be tons of back and forth between you and them, asking them, asking you, what does this featured feature do exactly what use case.

The content that you end up creating when your writers or you are not clear about the product, what it does, and it should scratches, it's going to be very superficial and it's not going to convert. That is why you need to document it all. The first thing that you will need to create is a feature cheat sheet.

Now, within the features cheat sheet, you need to add, you need to go under each feature. Right? Map out what that feature does. That's the first thing, exactly what it does. It might have one or two use cases. Go look at that feature, study it, use it if you can, or watch how people are using it and then say what it does, right?

Then it comes who is the exact target user, then why should the target user be using it? Like they could be using any other feature, or they could be doing it manually. Why do they need to use your product feature? So you need to enlist those benefits, and best, if those benefits come, you collate those benefits from customer-facing teams who know that your target customers, users, are already getting these benefits.

You're using a voice of the customer. To plan your product-led content and then where exactly in the workflow they should use it. Now, let me give you an example again. If it's a CRM tool, let's say, right. What does it do? There are many things that a CRM tool can do. Like it can provide, it can serve as a source, a source of truth.

A single source of truth for all the sales sales reps, right? It can show you what the deal sizes are, how big they are, which deals are at risk, and all of these things, right? So you have to find out which feature does exactly what within the c r m and example that we are talking about. Then who does it?

Who is it for? Who does it hit? So what the c r m can be used by Bo, a c r m can be used both by sales reps or by the sales managers. So you need to find out which features serves whom and then how anybody could be doing it manually. Like, why do they need to use a CRM? You need to explain not only the benefits of the CRM itself, but also the benefit of the feature that they're using.

Why do they, for example, need to track deal sizes? How is it going to help them succeed? Or how is it going to help them achieve their goals or get better at whatever they're doing at work? Right. And then where in the workflow should you use? So, if it's real tracking, where does a rep need to use the deal tracking feature in the workflow before nurturing the lead after nurturing the lead?

So exactly where in the workflow by the end of it, your presentation your features cheat sheet will look something like this, where you talk about what exactly the feature is. What it does, that is the, what pain point it solves, who is it for and when they should use it. And then add a link to the knowledge library so that the team that you create content with can easily see the steps to use this feature itself.

Right. And you can also create feature explainer tutorial. So these are bite-sized videos. When you work with in-house writers, you have to. Often, we have to explain what a feature does. And when you do that, you can simply create a small loom with your screen recorded video, where you explain what the feature does.

Right. When you do that, save that video itself, add it, add a link or in the feature cheat sheet doc, and you have anytime anybody asks you, Hey, I don't understand exactly how this feature is going to help us, or how am I going to use this feature? Like, how do I tell the reader where to go from point A to point B to be able to use this feature, just link them to the screen recorded video that you created for another writer, and so you're documenting your processes, which helps you scale your product led content.

Now, six more documents that you need. One besides the feature cheat sheet is SWOT analysis, which is a strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats analysis. So when I said, when you try your own product, when you drink your own champagne, when you ask the other team members how they're using your product, you learn what the strengths of your product are.

You also learn what its weaknesses are. And if you can, you should also consider. Using your competitor to competing tools so that you can find out exactly how they're better than you. What is lacking within your product, which helps you create content that is transparent. Honest. It doesn't say we do everything under the sun.

That kind of content may get drive conversions for you right away, but it won't drive. It will increase your risk of churn because, let's say, if I wanted a certain feature and I don't get it within the app, stop paying for it. When the next cycle comes, I could just. Right away, John, I could just right away say, I'm not going to pay any more for this tool because it doesn't solve to say, I say, I wanted a mobile app and not just a dashboard app, right?

And if the mobile app is not available, and you said we have everything under the sun, you're losing me in the long run and you're losing my trust. And not only that, you're also using my word of mouth because I'm going to go tell everybody else that this, this tool, they're not honest about anything.

They just, their marketing is strong, yes, but their tool from the inside, it did not help me much. So, you need a SWOT analysis, right? And they needed a positioning doc. How exactly do you want to talk about your product? This is very important. You need to lay out points around how we talk about competing tools, how we talk about our own product, how we talk about how we describe each feature and exactly what problems we're solving.

This is extremely key because when this document helps because when we, when Writers are creating content. What happens is if you don't tell us how you're positioning your doc, they're going to be lots of back and forth edits. You're also going to create drafts yourself that are probably something that the product team might not agree with because they're like, we're not positioning the product like this.

Or let's say the stakeholder leadership, stakeholders, the leadership does not agree with how you're talking about the competing tools or why you're talking about the competing tools. So. Positioning doc is a lifesaver, right? Then you need to compare it comparison here with sets. These are not very necessary, but they depend on the exact product you have.

So for example, products like super say it's a creative as a service, right, and they compete against creative agencies. And freelancers, what they do is they create visuals, brand visuals in bulk, right? So within this comparative asset, what they do is they explain exactly why you should be working with us and not freelancers or with us and not creative agencies with us and not with us, why we're DIY tools with us and not with internal creators.

This kind of document makes a strong case for you, and you don't need it only on the website you need it with. You need to have this handy when you're writing content because every time you make a case within the content, say, solve, ask answering questions the readers have like why not work with a freelancer and why should I get your service.

You just go back to this document and weave the answer throughout your content, right? Then you need, also need a data led competitor analysis. For this, you need to be working with your data analyst team. And these are supremely powerful because every time I use these with my clients, we create some seller content.

I mean, it's content that we are proud of. And I say this as someone who's not very proud of the stuff that she creates. I'm always very, very much. Picking mistakes around things I'm doing, or I'm very judgy about the content that I'm creating. So if it's something good, it's because of the data led competitive analysis, which looks something like this.

So UserGems is a tool that helps you track, gives you warm leads, and fills up your pipeline. It's a sales tool, right? And what it does is it tells you the people who change jobs, right? So let's say if I'm targeting clear scope and Travis changes the job, he has been a past customer of mine, which he has actually been.

And so he changes the job and goes to another company that I am targeting. So if I go to that company via Travis, I can say that, you know, Travis is more likely going to convert because he knows me already. So this is, this is what user gems does. And the same thing LinkedIn can do as well. Right.

LinkedIn sales navigator can also do for sales reps. So what user gems does, it makes a case for itself using this data led analysis, where they say that we did a test and this is how our tool is better, and this is how LinkedIn sales navigator is not better than us. Right. No, that they did not badmouth the competitor.

They just gave you solid data that explains why our tool is better than. The other option that you might be considering, right? And we have used this resource in several of the block pieces product-led block pieces that we have created. So this is usually, this is actually a game changer, right? Once you start production and when you're ready to scale product-led content, you can also create three more types of documents, which are CTS that convert.

It's a small sheet where you include all the CTS that have been converting for you, the language that you've been using, etc. It helps you convert more with product-led content. And then, of course, you've created product-led pieces yourself. Include them as examples with other internal and external writers that you work with, and future explainer videos that I talked about, tutorials that you create while you're working with other writers.

Make sure that you include them in one widget library so you can pull them out whenever you need to create your product-led content. Now, onto the meaty bit. Production. There are two extremes of one spectrum over here. People who overload product mentions and people who underload product mentions.

So, if you're underloading your mentions, let me tell you, it's okay. It's marketing. We can mention the product. And I think Hodja also did research where they found out that their readers were more open to reading their product-led content, and they were actually welcoming it. So it's okay to talk about your product, right?

And it's basically okay because. you are positioning yourself as someone who is solving a problem that a reader has. So if I were reading a blog post and it's solving a problem, like if I am reading a blog post from let's say ConvertKit, right? And I am looking for an email delivery service, email platform, right?

And I, it tells me that we do this, this, this, and The current provider that I'm using is not giving me strong enough analytics. And so I need to convert. This is actually your sketch, right? And I need to find a new tool, email marketing tools. So ConvertKit tells me we have strong analytics within the blog posts.

They mentioned it. And they show me a few couple of screenshots as to why their analytics are helpful. So they're helping me. They're solving They're not talking about themselves, they're helping me as a reader, which is why you need to amp up those product mentions if you're underloading them. If you're overloading them, it's okay, but there's a right way to do it.

And you have to make sure you don't come across as cringe. So how do you make sure you're not overloading product? One is to take a reader's focus. You have to put it in your head that you're not selling or marketing the product. Change that mindset. Make it about the reader. Half of the job is done. Then, three more ways to take a leader-first approach.

One is you lead with empathy. Now, every time you plan your block pieces. Whatever content you're creating, whether it's product-led webinar pieces like Miro does or anything like that, right? You lead with empathy. You ask yourself, what are the questions that readers have? And after you've written those or planned that piece, ask yourself, did I over talk about my product?

Because if you put yourself in your readers shoes, you have to honestly answer these questions. Did I over the product? Is the CTA? Because after you're done reading a post, look at the CTA. Is it relevant? Is it a step that someone would take at this point? Would you be taking this as a reader yourself? If, if your answer is yes, keep it.

If your answer is no, if you're honestly answering this note with a no, you don't need that CT over there. So, you have to lead with empathy. Then, for TOEFL pieces, when you're creating product-led content, what you're going to do is touch on other solutions. Also, you have to tell your readers why there are other solutions.

There are other solutions that they can try. And then exactly why your solution is best. Let's take a very basic example over here. Let's say we're talking about Todoist. It's a to-do list-making app, right? And if they're giving me a tofu piece and they want to sell their product to me, what they're going to do is they're going to tell me that you have two to three options.

You have sticky notes as an option to make a to-do list. And you have a notebook where you can keep it right. And then you have our tool. So they're going to list out. All the solutions in a narrative, right? The first one, sticky notes. They're very helpful. Lots of people love them. The problem is scattered.

You have no record of the work that you've done. This leads to the next solution, which is to keep it in a notebook. You have it all in one together. The problem with the notebook, you cannot look it up online while you're working. You cannot collaborate on your to-do list with your team. Problem, solution, to do list to do list.

So you see, you give me all the solutions, and you tell me why those solutions are not good. And then you tell me why your solution is good. And you are basically touching on all the solutions. You're not selling, you're just educating me, right? You're just educating the reader. This is exactly how you empower the reader also.

So whenever you're writing product led pieces, whether that's top or tofu, whether that's a tofu piece, it's completely okay to include product mentions in top of the funnel content provided the key to doing that. However, you make sure that your content is very actionable. So if you were, let's say, telling me how to make an SEO strategy, you give me an.

actionable list of things that I need to do the first half or in the first quarter of the piece, you convince me, you know, my problem and you have the answer to it. And you dive deep into the steps that I need to take, whether they involve the pro of your product or not. So by the time, say by the third step, like when I'm, let's say I'm planning my content and I'm reading, how do I plan my content?

And they tell me the exact steps to take. The blog tells me the exact steps to take. Right. They give me extra little things, and I'm just going to read that blog, and I'm going to feed at the end. I'm going to leave. I'm feeling very empowered. I can do this, right? You have to leave your reader feeling fully empowered.

Like, yes, leave them with happy feelings. I can do this on my own. Right. And within that list is clear scope. It tells me. You can create your outlines with it. And when I mentioned in ClearScope, I am okay with it. I am, I am totally okay with it. And I'm also going to try you to, the reason being you just gave me the answer to my problem in a very extravagant way, you told me what to do.

And yes, ClearScope is going to help me in my workflow. So why not? So you see, you're solving problems. And that is exactly how you're mentioning your product in between, like squeezing it in between without coming across as salesy, all the approach is simple. You're empowering your reader. You're telling them exactly what problem you solve, right?

Product led content for it's throughout the funnel. You can add it. You don't need it within Within the deeper funnel stages, which is the middle funnel and the bottom funnel only, but you also can add them in the top funnel, which is awareness pieces. So besides the thought leadership piece, whatever you were targeting, you can talk about your product, but there's a way to do it.

And. Within the top of the funnel pieces, what you have to do is you have to make sure you don't end up with a signup CTA, because at this point, you're only making your reader familiar about, about your product, you're going to only tell them what your product is done because there are tons of people I know they're writing a teardown

within my newsletter yesterday, and we saw a very big name actually, and they were telling people how to make to do lists. And at the end, the CTA was. Take your to do list to an, to the next level with our tool, but you never talked about your tool. You never told me what your tool does. And then, at the end, you're telling me what features you have.

Do you think I'm going to convert or any reader is going to convert? They're not going to convert that way. So for the tofu pieces. As a general rule, don't end up with a product sign-up CTA. It's irrelevant. It's never going to convert. And if you were to be empathetic, put yourself in your reader's shoes, you'll see that even you as a reader won't click on that CTA at that point.

You're only new to that blog. So you don't need to. Two ways you can create product-led content in the top final stage. One is you weave in a mention and two is you inform or educate. So this is an example of how you can weave in a mention. So this was a piece on the Vimeo blog that I wrote, and it was about.

X ways you can use video in your marketing, right? And I think this was the second last or the last piece point as a list pointer in the listicle itself, where we talked about create screen recorded videos. These are the types of videos that you can create for your marketing. And I talked about what these videos do.

And then just one line where I said with screen record with Vimeo record, you can create these videos free. It's free. I'm not selling. It's free. You can use it if you want and stay from your browser. No downloading the tool. That's it. So it's a very small snippet, or you can do a complete big full product led piece for the tofu pieces as well.

So what is a block content strategy is a very highly googled keyword, right? And it just took this and They listed all the steps that you need to do, and within those steps, they were also telling that you can either do it manually, you could do the keyboard research manually, or you can use R2, and here is how.

They know that they are adding, they are adding screenshots, shots, and they're telling the exact steps to take, so they're empowering their readers, right? That's exactly how to nail product and content in the top final stage. Then comes the middle final stage and the bottom final stage. These deeper stages are where you create case studies, where you convince people.

You create comparative comparison pieces ClearScope versus XYZ or Ahrefs versus SEMrush, all of these pieces, right? So this is where you create a product led content that actually converts, right? The key here is you don't badmouth other tools because that only shows you have poor brand values. When you have a tool that is what we say that you're confident about, it actually solves your problems.

You don't need to be badmouthing about others, right? Also, in addition to sharing who you are for, tell who you aren't for. Right? So a lot of people are like, how are you going to do that? That's going to turn away people, but no, if you're going to convert people who you aren't for, they're eventually going to turn, which is not going to be helpful anyway.

So for example, the example that I said about me needing a mobile app, and not just a desktop version, and they don't have a desktop and they don't have a mobile app. And so if you're doing a comparative piece, you tell the reader. We don't have a mobile app. If it's an urgent requirement for you, please go ahead.

Choose someone else. And we are not the, we are not the ones that are going to solve your problem now. Okay. You did not get the immediate sale. That potential lead was very highly interested in buying your product, but the exact words that you use that we don't have a mobile app, turn them away. You lost a sale.

Not what? You did not lose the sale. That person is going to go talk about your product with others. Tell them you were honest. So whenever someone else, so if let's say it just was for me, as emerge was not for me, but I like the content. I'm going to go tell my network. I actually liked give it a try.

It's not bad. So, so it's. You have to be careful about the word of mouth you're generating because that is a strong driver of leads and users, right? So we have an example of a very good, cool way of doing product-led content, which is how your own team uses your own tool. So how Hotjar uses Hotjar.

Shows your champagne is so strong you have to drink it, right? That you are drinking it, right? And there is nothing more convincing than a team using their own tool. Which is, which makes this type of content high converting, right? Then we have powerful content, right? You don't want to be talking about, we have done this.

We have done that use data. Like I showed within the user gems data led analysis, right? Use data and use. Social proof. Use your customer's words. I'll give you an example. This piece from UserGems that I wrote for them is on five reasons or why our customers love UserGems. So we collated all the examples from the reviews that they had.

And we put together not just five features people love about user gems, but five feature features people dislike about user gems and within those dislike features, we also told them exactly what we are doing about them disliking that feature. This is honesty at its best, right? You're being transparent, and being transparent within your product-led content is great for driving conversions, right?

Okay. So you've mastered your product. You've documented details. You learned how to write that kind of content that converts, right? And you also have the documents to scale it whenever you're ready. What are the mistakes that you need to be avoiding to make sure that you're driving the most conversions?

One is to avoid feature bloat. And this is extremely common, even with some very well known names. What it does is you talk about too many features. Sure. Your product is good. Sure. It's solving lots of problems. It has a ton of good features, but your reader is new to it. You are old to it. You have to slowly, it's like going on a date on the first date, proposing that person.

That's not, it's not going to cut it, right? It's not going to work because. You have to slowly introduce the features that you, that can, that can solve a reader's problem. So you have to keep it to one to three features within the pieces that you're talking about. The reason being, you don't want to overwhelm the reader because when you overwhelm readers, they become confused.

And when they become confused, like, what does this product do? And this is, this kind of a mistake is a very common in Huge tools that have not just one solution, but a lot of solutions. So they're help they, they help, they're helping creators as well. They're helping marketers with a separate tool suit and they're helping, they have an OTT O channel as well, service provider.

They have screen recorders as well. So, they have a vast suite of tools. Right. And within the post they're talking, we also have this, we also have this, we also have this target reader is gonna be confused and confusion leads to inaction, which is why you need to avoid feature load. Another thing you go on talking about what your product does, but you don't show your product, you have to show what it does using screenshots, short, really short tutorials, exactly how the feature works, where to click to get.

The following result, right? Those kinds of end product GIFs as well, or GIFs, whatever you prefer calling it, because those work better than screenshots. They let you, they show you exactly what step to take, and you don't have to squeeze in too many screenshots within a short paragraph, right? And even so, exactly showing how your product works, right?

So you have to show your product in action. This. Exactly. If you avoid this mistake, what you're going to do is you're going to create a lot of excitement about your product and reduce activation time. So the Trello blog content that I read, it showed me screenshots of the Kanban board of this, of the checklist and all of that, which is why I was easily able to use it.

Right. So you have to show your product and then poor CT positioning. We talked about it in the tofu piece where you're, you're talking about, you're not talking about your product or you just meant just slipping in one mention and then closing it with sign up for a product. Right. You're losing readers a better, much stronger way is to lead them to another content piece.

So, you are capturing them within your content funnel. You're like, okay, I'm going to read one piece, two piece. I've done that a lot with the data box block. So I used to, they have so many internal links. They wouldn't say sign up for a product at the end. And they would say instead, rather say that as a related guide, here's an advanced guide on this topic.

Right. And that is what keeps me within their content funnel. And. Although I'm not using that tool, I'm talking about them, right? So that's word of mouth. So, you have to be sure about your CTA positioning. And sometimes what you can do is include CTAs within the text list, text based CTAs, it don't have to be big banners itself.

It's okay to have big banners for the, for people who are ready to convert, but it's okay to include CTAs within, not just. We have a mindset that CTS come toward the end of the post, you know, they can come toward the middle as well, provided you're positioning it very naturally in a very conversational manner.

It's all awesome.

Travis: Thank you. That was fantastic. Yeah. I took a lot of notes as well. And some main takeaways. We actually have a couple of questions coming, coming through already. Yeah, I think the feature bloating definitely has been guilty of that in my past. But it's one thing, it's just like, you talk about too many things and you talk about nothing.

But we can go ahead and jump into the questions. The first one we have from May tech, how to find, how to find a balance between showcasing the product and not providing all of the details to competitors.


Masooma: Like, is that a problem if you, if your competitors are like reading it? Why is that a problem? Like, I don't see a reason why you would want to hide. Maybe it's, it's the nature of the tool itself. In that case, you want to do gated webinars for product-led content instead of blog posts so that they're not publicly available.

How's that?

Travis: I like that. Yeah. It reminds me of this quote. I can't remember who actually said it first, but it's like if you don't train your employees, like, are you afraid of them leaving? It's like if you don't train them, they stay like what's worse. I think it's like, You'd rather over communicate what your product is to your customers rather than being concerned about your competitors knowing exactly what you do and why you're better than them.

Yeah, because

Masooma: yeah, as long as you're driving conversions, you have your customers and you're regularly talking to them and they're very satisfied. You don't need to worry about competitors, though. I understand her concern. The concern over here is that maybe leadership is not aligned with it. Then again, internal marketing comes into play over him.

Travis: Yeah, I completely agree. And then Ravi asked for the top of the funnel content. If I've mentioned product or shown a workflow in content, is it okay to conclude with a product signup slash free trial

Masooma: CTA? Did she mention that it's a top of the funnel piece? Yes. Yes. And has it taken a full approach of talking about how to do something with your product, or is it just a product slip in?

If it's a product slip-in, I would recommend not going with a product signup CTA or just including a banner-based CTA at the end of the sentence where you are. Finish talking about your product, and then go on with the rest of the blog post. Right. And, but if it is a top of the final piece, that is how to make outlet example, how to make outlines with a clear scope, it's okay to include a direct CTA in the end.

Because you're completely answering the problem with the product.

Travis: Oh, perfect. Yeah. And I guess piggybacking on that too, it would be If you aren't able to actually have like a direct product CTA, would you recommend including a lead magnet on those top of the funnel content pieces? Or is it better to kind of keep them in that content kind of workflow and just push them to another piece?

That's similar.

Masooma: So you're asking me whether to include a lead magnet within those pieces, correct? Yeah. Is the lead magnet extremely a product focus, or is it a reader focus helping them solve another related problem? Very relevant problem to the topic they're reading. Yeah,

Travis: probably would be reader-focused, like very relevant to that single piece of content or thematically relevant to the category of content

Masooma: included.

Cool. Because if you look at course schedule, they do it really well. Oh, yeah, it's a good example. Yeah, and yeah, and they have driven lots of benefits from lead magnets. A lot of us go wild about not including lead magnets or gated content within our content. But I don't mind them. There is a way to do them right.

And which is, of course, making sure that the offer is very, very relevant. That the reader cannot say no to it.

Travis: Yeah, nice. And then a couple more questions. For content comparing your tool versus one or several competitors, what is the best content format? As in like a blog post, landing page PDF. And what would you, can you come

Masooma: again?

Can you

Travis: yeah, for, for a constant, like a piece of content that you're comparing your tool versus like any of your competitors, is it better to have that as like a blog post or a more formal kind of like structured landing page?

Masooma: Works both ways. Landing page, repurpose the landing page into a detailed blog post.

This way, you're capturing traffic from everywhere.

Travis: Okay. So kind of do

Masooma: both. Yeah, do both. The landing page could be, doesn't need to be as detailed as the blog post, because I'm a big fan of repurposing that content. So... There are different ways, different angles you can take to the comparison that you're doing, right?

So you can go in extreme detail, and then you can also do you know, short infographics on it, or LinkedIn cursals on it. There are tons of ways to do it. And when you're repurposing it, you can also easily test what's working, what's resonating with your audience, and find new ways to create these competitive

Travis: pieces.

Oh, interesting. Makes a lot of sense. And so far as the last question in your opinion, should you use comparison tables in your content? Like the typical, like feature by feature competitor as a columns. And it's like the checkboxes for what people have and what you have.

Masooma: If you want to use those, you can go ahead, test if they're working for you.

But the problem with tables is that they might not display very well for mobile users, for smartphone readers, right? And if they're not displaying half of the, half of your content's job is not accomplished. Like you are not able to do the job that you wanted to do over there while you had the reader on the page.

So, I might as well let go of that table. Nice.

Travis: April was sending in another question. If you did both a blog post versus a landing page for competitor comparisons, how would you avoid keyword cannibalization?

Masooma: In that case, I would recommend you do a landing page. The reason being, I think it would be very, very easy, easy to use for sales enablement as well.

So you can pass it on to the sales team.

Travis: Yeah, I've seen other people do it too. Like they'll have the blog post that goes into really deep detail on that comparison. And then they'll have, like, the sales enablement piece. It'll be like a PDF guide. I think it's just one pager. Just like the landing page, just like in a PDF form.

So that's, that's good. Awesome. It's all the questions we have. So thank you so much, Miss Suma. I want to give you a short time to kind of, you know, last, last parting words. And, of course, everyone will send out the recording tomorrow with the recap. But Miss Suma, do you have any last parting words before we give everyone their day back?

Masooma: Before the parting words, what was your takeaway? You've almost forgot to share that

Travis: with me. Yes. Yeah. My, so I had three main takeaways, like the feature bloating one. I think that's, that's something I've been guilty of in the past. Like I mentioned, but like the two ones that kind of stood out to me is the problem solution flywheel.

I think it's a good way to. I guess, get the reader focused idea in your head. We're kind of creating product-like content that first addresses the problem, and then the solution is like an easy, honest way to get to talking about the product because you're just focused on the solution. And then the second one is.

Regarding like middle of funnel content, sharing, like who you aren't for is a really interesting, like I've had some success with that in the past, like at other agencies, it's like identifying who your ICP is not as a good way to kind of one reduce bad leads, but then also get like more buy in from your, your, your target.

So that's a really good kind of takeaway for that style of content in that kind of like area.

Masooma: All right, that's great. It was a ton of fun doing this. No parting words exactly. I hope you found value and that this was actionable enough for all of you to apply whatever you digested over here into the content that you're creating.

Written by
Bernard Huang
Co-founder of Clearscope
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