I’ll make an admission. I used to suck at content marketing. In fact, I treated it as a chore. The output tended to reflect that. However, recently we upped our content game at Taskable, so I thought I'd share some lessons and content marketing tips I learned along the way.
My previous strategy was to think of something I thought might be interesting. Then I would write a full blog on it. Then I would add it to our social media queue. And that was basically it! Sure, it drove some traffic to our website. But, I was missing a huge opportunity. Over the last few months, I’ve reassessed how to approach content. The changes have paid huge dividends for us at Taskable. Now, content is the most critical bit of marketing we do. Here’s how we changed our SaaS content marketing up. We hope it’s helpful for you too.
Connect as much as possible with your target audience.
As mentioned, I used to think of interesting things to write in a vacuum. However, this is analogous to thinking of an interesting startup idea, and then starting to build it before assessing whether there is a market need.
Then one day, I noticed people in forums I was in asking over and over about how to launch on Product Hunt. And each time I would quickly write up a few bullet point tips and share them. I was doing this over and over again. Until it dawned on me that this was a piece of content people needed. I could do so much better than just a few bullet points. The checklist is probably the most successful piece of content I have ever written and is a critical source of new users for us.
Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for other questions I often find our target audience asking of their peers. Often we have some insight or experience we can share ourselves that can be of help, and use this as the starting point for new content ideas.
Again, I used to always go to a blog post as a medium for content. However, blog posts take a while to write. They might also need to fit into a theme.
Much quicker and easier is instead turning that content idea into a post on a forum, or a tweetstorm, or answering a question on Quora. Then based on the engagement and feedback you can dive deeper and turn it into long-form content if there is demand. This blog started out as a post on Indie Hackers for example. Some things flop. But other things get a lot of interest, feedback, and comments, which means you might be on to something. Then it makes more sense to turn it into a more comprehensive blog post.
I generally separated content from the product. But, if there is a way to intertwine the two, then try that out.
For example, Taskable has a checklist/to-do feature. So we've been turning our content into easy-to-follow checklists or reading lists. We post a larger content piece and have a button that lets users quickly add the checklist to their Taskable account. This makes it easy to not try and hard sell what you are working on. Instead you show prospective users a bit of value first. But then make it easy to connect that value to the value of your product.
Simply creating a blog post, adding it to a newsletter, posting on social is a huge missed opportunity. For one thing, most people don’t read your blog or subscribe to your social media.
Most times content is evergreen, so keep sharing it when it's relevant. The nice thing is if you are writing content that people really want, you'll come across people asking questions about it a lot. Then you quickly share your insights, have a discussion about it, link to a longer post about it, and bring people to your website. Turn it into a post in a Slack community. Create a Twitter thread around it. Share your key takeaways in a post on Indie Hackers and link to the full post. You can get a lot of a single piece of content.
What are your pain points with content marketing? Let us know!