Giving a hand to marketers by using an insights-driven content creation process

Marketing and product management: a love story

During my career as a product manager, I have always had a good synergy with the marketing department. Without marketing, nobody knows about that product you are investing so much energy in, so it’s always great to have good marketing people around to let the world know about what you have to offer.

On the other side of the story, marketers are often hungry for quality content and material to share with the target customer, always looking for educative, attractive information to share in the marketplace to attract traffic, generate leads and finally bring customers in for your product. Often times, the product manager’s knowledge of the buyer persona, the market and the product is a great asset that, when shared with the marketing team, has a massive impact on the quality of the content created and the results generated.

A practical case: putting PMs to work for marketing

Something I am recently working on for the marketing team here at Audiense is a data-driven process to produce quality content based on product usage and an audience analysis of the products we want to promote. Let’s see a practical example of how this can work:

Step #1: who are we talking to?

One of the first questions we have to ask when trying to create quality content is “who is my content going to be written for?”. Time to define our data-driven buyer persona! In that sense, we have a list in Hubspot with all buyers and users for our products, so it was easy to find them on LinkedIn and get a list of roles and companies they work for. With this first iteration, we already knew we have 66% of brands, 83% B2C, the top verticals and top roles (mostly marketers). With this info, we already have the basic info about who we’re talking to.

Step #2: what problems do they have?

I know we want to jump straight to writing about how awesome our product is, but if you only talk about you, you won’t ever engage your audience. You need to know what worries your audience to be able to relate to them, use their language and talk about things that REALLY matter to them. So what worries your target audience? In our case, we used data from this survey to 6.000 marketers (with an extra validation step, surveying a reduced subset of our prospects) to extract a few key insights about their challenges and goals: they mostly worry about lead to customer conversion, traffic generation, and lead generation. If you talk about these issues, you sure have your audience’s attention.

Step #3: how are they trying to solve those problems?

Out of all million ways to achieve their goals, there are some that presumably your product will be able to serve (at the end you are building a product that solves a customer problem!). I’m talking about your product use cases and it should be easy to tie them to the top of mind problems…but the key question here is: which of your product capabilities are closer to the customer’s top of mind problems?

To answer this question in a data-driven way, we set up an in-app survey using Hotjar with a single question for all our visitors: “What’s your goal today?” this way we immediately found out what they are using our product for. Three use cases quickly stood out: audience intelligence, finding influencers and media strategy definition. This helps focus on what’s really relevant.

Step #4: creating a repeatable and scallable model for content creation

Once we had all this data, we came up with some formulas to generate sentences that inspire each potential new article to be written for the target audiece. Here are some of the formulas:

  • (how| why) + feature + (helps|allow) + use case + to (achieve|solve) + (challenge|goal)
  • (Improve|increase|achieve) + goal + by + feature + use case

Let me show a couple examples. In our case, our features or values for our product Audiense Insights are consumer insights, social data, and audience analytics. Top use cases are audience intelligence, finding influencers and defining media strategy. Top challenges and goals for our target audience are converting leads to customers, generating leads, increase traffic.

When you put all that into the mixer/formula, you get the following results:

  • “How to increase your website traffic by finding the right influencers with consumer insights”.
  • “Why social data helps you define your media strategy to attract the right leads”.
  • “Increase your lead to customer conversion by using consumer insights to better understand your target audience”.

Sure, too long for a blog post title! But interesting and detailed enough to inspire articles that will educate, resonate and attract your target audience.

Conclusions

I just wanted to share how insights-driven product management can translate into a valuable asset for marketing teams and encourage PMs to reach out to their marketing teams to keep synergies growing, increasing the quality of the education and justification material we share with the market and help the business bottom line.

Please let me know if this helped, or if you have any questions or feedback

Cheers!
Juan

Anex

Some have asked about the tools I used to do this analysis. Here they are: