How do you build a content strategy for a business with more than one product?
A content marketing strategy should be built around product use cases. It can expand beyond that, but it should always be anchored by the thing that people can pay for. This is simple if you sell one product, but complexity and scale increases for businesses that offer a suite of products.
Here are two companies with multiple products that address this challenge in different ways.
Zendesk offers a handful of products, including its core support tool, a live chat widget, a knowledge base, a call center tool and a few others. Each can be used individually, and all can be used together. All products help with support, but not all are applicable to every business (i.e., a business may offer support by email and chat but not by phone).
Clearbit offers a handful of data enrichment tools. Some are meant for sales teams, others for marketing teams. They also have an API that developers can integrate directly into their own products. Clearbit's offering is flexible—there are a number of ways for many people from the same company to use it.
In each case, the content team needs to recognize all of the ways that people will search for use cases that one of the products solves for, and then build content for it. There are two ways to do this, and to understand them, we need to look at the difference between Zendesk’s and Clearbit’s business models.
Zendesk targets a company’s support team with many different products.
Clearbit sells a data-enrichment product that's customized for the different teams it sells to.
The business model informs the content strategy. In either case, a multiproduct offering means that you need a repeatable template that can be used for each target group.
Because Zendesk targets one team with many products, they should take a product-based approach. To that end, they should segment their content by the products they create. The audience is the same (or very similar) for each, but they need to sell each product on its own merit. This means each product should get a full treatment of top-, middle-, and bottom-of-funnel content.
Because Clearbit is targeting many teams with one product, they should take an audience-based approach. They are selling a very similar product to very different teams. Each target audience needs the full treatment of content, from awareness to consideration to purchase.
The strategy framework is similar for each, in that it’s both horizontal and vertical.
Each “vertical” (i.e., product or audience) gets the full treatment of top to bottom content. The strategy is templated so that it can be repeated for each product or audience.
Here’s what this looks like for Zendesk:
And for Clearbit:
With the framework in place, most businesses can audit existing content to see where the gaps are. In most cases, quite a bit of content is already created, but there are gaps for newer or less popular products.
It’s helpful to organize content in Airtable, tag every post by the target audience (or product), and then tag it by funnel depth. Here’s a sample of what this would look like for Clearbit:
And some visualizations to help content teams prioritize content that needs to be created:
Content strategy for multiproduct companies can get complicated. The framework above can get you started, but here are a few additional things to take into consideration:
This framework can be used for use cases in addition to individual products. Flexible products with many use cases can benefit from dedicated content for each.
You don't necessarily need an even distribution of content for each audience, product, or place in the funnel. The amount of content depends on the quality of the writing and the difficulty of the keywords.
It's not always easy to decide whether a post is targeting the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel—and that's okay. Try to associate each post with the funnel depth that it most closely aligns with.
Some posts can serve multiple audiences. That's okay, too. Just assume that it will make your content audit slightly more challenging.