You have a successful SaaS product and your customers are happy with your service but you know that you could be doing more when it comes to content creation. A well-thought-out strategy that outlines the benefits of your product is a sure-fire way to increase brand awareness and loyalty. But, if content isn’t your area of expertise, it can be difficult to know where to start.
If you’ve been paying attention to your audience then it’s likely that you already have numerous topics that you feel would be beneficial for them, common questions or topics that you feel will provide value, for instance. But, choosing the order for your posts is where people tend to falter. This is why we’ve created a straightforward guide that will help you to prioritise your technical blog posts and kick start your digital strategy.
The order of importance
You don’t have to be a content creation genius to realise that you should probably post your most important articles first. If there are questions that you receive regularly from your customers or if you’re aware of an information gap in your website that you’re looking to plug, this is a great place to start (plus you can regularly link back to the article or page as time goes on to improve its ranking on google and thereby increase your organic search hit rate). But, that’s the easy part. Deciding on a specific sequence of importance in order to create regular, strategic content is not so straightforward.
When it comes to technical content, there are several of factors to consider. We’ve outlined what we feel to be the most important ones below:
· Business need
How important is it for your customers to have this information? Are your customer service team regularly being asked about it? Does the information have the ability to appeal to a brand-new audience? Consider the bigger picture. Sure, you might want to share with your audience that you came up with the name for the business while you were on holiday in Italy but will this impact your top line? Probably not.
· Time-sensitive information
Is there a launch or event taking place in a week or two that’s relevant for your audience? You’ll want to make sure this information is published in a time frame that gives your audience time to prepare while also being current enough to remain relevant. Don’t be afraid to push back a piece of content by a week or two if a time-critical piece needs to be published in its place.
· Alignment to your brand
This is where we get to the heart of your content. There are bound to be stories and pieces of information that you wish to share but how well do they align with your brand values? Does this information fit with your vision for your company? If you’re unsure, think about the nature of your product or service and your personal values. Do you wish your audience to see you as playful and fun? Sincere and authentic? Knowledgeable and serious? Consider which content feels most “you” and suspend or shelve the content that doesn’t align with your brand.
· Complexity of production
When you’re first starting to create content, it may be tempting to post the simplest pieces first to give you the chance to “get into the swing of things” but be wary of sending out lots of basic posts at once. If your audience is incorrectly led to believe that you solely post short blogs about upcoming events, for example, they may not realise that you also share valuable, data-rich white papers and how-to videos that could help them to solve that problem they’re having. In short, be sure to consider the variety of your users’ experience.
As suggested above, there are likely to be pieces that you can write and publish yourself in an hour and other pieces that you may wish to outsource because they’ll take more time and cost more money. Aim to keep your expenditure steady by considering the cost of your content creation and varying your posts accordingly.
· Risk of slippage
You may foresee potential issues in creating certain topics — maybe it’s necessary to set up a special “lab” environment for your SaaS product so that the writers can play around with it, and setting up such an environment hasn’t ever been done before. This could take more time and effort from the writers and the rest of the team than you originally anticipated so be sure to bear the potential for slippage in mind. On the other hand, if you’re creating a piece of content that’s similar to work you’ve done many times, the risk is low. It pays to plan ahead.
· Availability of team members
You have a team member who always creates great content but if she’s set to start a 6-month sabbatical soon then it’s best to prioritise her content while she’s still around. Consider your team dynamic and how this will affect your technical content schedule.
How to create a ranked list
You’ve taken our suggestions on board but now it’s time to rank your list of content to produce this quarter. How do you do it? It’s really quite simple. Create a Google Sheet (so that your ideas are always accessible in the cloud and you can share and interact with your team members in real time) and make a column for each of the factors above. Give each a numerical weighting of importance (out of ten is a good place to start) and have a total column where you calculate a figure for each piece of content.
The scores you give for each factor will depend entirely on you and your business. For some, you may wish to provide additional weightings. So, if you have a generous budget and need your content to be available straight away, you may wish to give Business Need a 2x factor and Cost a 0.5x factor. Such a business would have a ranked list that looks something like this:
Business Need (x2 value)
Brand value (x2 value)
Complexity of production
Cost (x0.5 value)
Risk of Slippage (x0.5 value)
Once you’ve worked out your scorings for each post, Google Sheets will give you your total. You can see at a glance where your most important posts are and postpone or abandon pieces of content that rank modestly.
Take a look at the example list we’ve created and start your own. Remember to adjust the factors and the weighting according to your business requirements.
So, essentially, creating content is about making lists?
Well, not exactly but forward planning is certainly the creative’s friend. We’ve written previously about how important effective planning is in order to create exceptional technical content and this is no different. The rankings will show you simply and easily where your focus should be. Of course, there will always be additional factors (such as content you want to work on and content you don’t…) but ultimately a tool like this will provide a tangible, real-world number to help you see at a glance what’s most important.
Various studies have shown that we develop ‘decision fatigue’ as the day goes on. The quality of our decision making actually falls the more decisions we have to make so don’t waste valuable decisions working out which piece of content you should focus on next, plan ahead and the answer will immediately be evident.
At Wizard on Demand, technical content creation is at the heart of everything we do. We’ve created these lists for our technical clients to improve the quality of their technical blog posts and we can do the same for you. If you’d like us to prioritise your technical content then get in touch with us today.
And, check out the free resource for creating your own ranked content list here: