The emergence of Software as a Service as a business model has changed the way people use and buy software completely and irreversibly, and with it, also the way companies market their software. Product-led growth is at the heart of every SasS business (or, at least, it should be!) and impacts the way internal departments collaborate, including how they approach content marketing. After all, a good product can market itself – no marketing strategy can make up for the fact that the product doesn’t work as expected or is lacking functionalities.
At Digital Tailors, we’ve been proposing and implementing product marketing strategies for a number of SaaS products for a while now, so in this article, I want to share our view on product-centric content.
What Is Product-Centric Content?
As the name suggests, product-centric content is a type of content that focuses on the product, highlighting its features, the advantages of using it compared to other solutions (whether those solutions are competitors or internal workarounds), and technical differentiators.
In our experience, product-centric content is specific to technical products (such as developer tools, cloud services, customer service platforms, etc.) or products where you need domain expertise, that are more technical or very niched (FinTech, MedTech, RegTech, LegalTech, BioTech, etc.).
How Is Product-Centric Content Different from Customer-Centric Content?
While customer-centric content focuses on customer challenges, customer needs, and customer context, it focuses on “the problem”, product-centric content focuses on the solution and showcases the product compared to other main players on the market. A few strategies to do so are how-to’s, technical content (as in content that requires domain expertise), and case study pages.
Product-centric content is rarely high-level, and it’s usually written by experts for experts. For example, if we talk about developer tools, the content should be written by a developer, for FinTech apps, the content requires the expertise of a financial specialist, while in MedTech, medical expertise is a must.
Types of Product-Centric Content
- How-to’s – this is a tutorial type of content that is very hands-on and walks the user through how they can perform a specific task using the product. It’s actually the content you can expect to find in knowledge bases – here’s an example from one of our clients Bware Labs, a decentralized Blockchain API:
Still in the category of how-to’s, there are also articles that focus on how to use a technology. Although these articles are not product-related, they can be considered product-centric because they explain the technologies related to the product. Below there’s an example from one of our clients, Bunnyshell, an Environments as a Service platform. The article teaches users how to build a Kubernetes environment independently from their product (although they mention using their product could make the process easier) because this is a problem their users face.
- Product tours – this is also a type of tutorial (usually in video form) that walks new users through a product, showcasing the user interface and main features. SaaS companies normally use product tours to simplify the onboarding process. Here’s an example from Intercom:
- Case pages – pages that showcase the product features in a way that’s custom tailored for the targeted customer (meaning the features/benefits presented are exactly what that specific persona is looking for). Here’s another example of a page that targets developers from Bunnyshell:
- Comparison article/pages – in very competitive niches, it makes sense to have dedicated articles/pages where you highlight how your product compares to your main competitors. This type of content is usually feature-focused (what your product does better and what features you have that your competitors don’t). Here’s an example from one of our clients, Axigen, a mail server, calendaring, and collaboration tool:
- Webinars can be used to build brand awareness and increase user engagement. They not only help you foster relationships with current customers but, depending on the topics you choose, can help you position yourself as an industry expert and attract new (qualified!) leads. Here’s how our client Custify, a customer success platform, uses webinars:
When Is Product-Centric Content a Good Strategy?
As great as product-centric content is, it’s not a good fit for each and every product. Here’s when you should consider including it in your content marketing strategy:
- When you’re a newcomer, you’re in a crowded niche, and your main differentiator is your product. In this case, webinars, comparison pages, and case studies can help you stand out in the crowd.
- When you’re in a market that’s not very well understood, like blockchain, that’s only now beginning to take shape. In this case, webinars can help you educate your audience and position yourself as a subject matter expert.
- When your product is very niched and addresses a specific type of customer (this is usually the case for FinTech, MedTech, AgriTech, etc.). In this case, case studies can help your customers get a feel of what your product can do for them and why they need a product like yours.
- When you have a developer-focused product (a developer tool). In this case, if you have competitors, comparison pages can help you stand out, webinars can help you reach a wider audience, while how-to’s are a must to let users know how to best use your product.
The Benefits of a Product-Centric Content Strategy
- Focus. Customer centric-content addresses customers at various stages in the buyer’s journey, so, naturally, some content will be high-level, and some will go in-depth and be very hands-on. The pitfall when writing top-of-the-funnel content is “fluff” content, content that brings in lots of unnecessary details for your audience. Placing your product at the center of your content marketing strategy allows you to be more focused on what you communicate to your audience and decreases the chances of “fluff” content.
- Specificity. Another characteristic of product-centric content is that it’s actionable – after they consume the piece of content you produced, your audience has the tools to take action. Think of a how-to, for example – after reading the article, the reader has a process they can follow to perform a specific task.
- Faster sales. Product-centric content will bring in better, more qualified leads, which translates into a shorter sales cycle and more deals closed.
- Growth engine. If done right and constant, product-centric content will bring in more results in time, with minimum time investment.
Product-centric content is great for new and innovative products, for niches that only now begin to take shape, or for deeply technical products. But even so, even if your product falls under one of these categories, that doesn’t mean that this is the only type of content you should produce. For best results, product-centric and customer-centric content should be mixed.