Customer Experience, On Writing, Startup

Content Marketing is really Product Love

photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntie/
photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/auntie/

You’ve probably been to your competitor’s web site recently and reviewed the content they are sharing for first-time and seasoned customers. And have you been to your own Support Site recently to do the same? There are a few things that you can do to make that support experience better for customers, starting with making the content they read better. You can also did a little deeper and seek to understand the searches they make that currently get no results. And you can also think more purposefully about what it means to make a product that people really love (not a product that people like and tolerate.)

Start By Making the Content Better

Ok, so you’ve heard this part before. Find the top ten articles that people actually use (Google Analytics is a great way to find this out, or the stats over the last 90-180 days on your blog if you don’t have a more advanced option) and make a list out of them. Now, read them with a new eye while asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • Why would someone use this article?
  • What would they hope to learn after they had finished reading the article?
  • Are there any statements here that are out of date or just plain wrong?

Now that you’ve read the top ten articles that people are using, you should rewrite them. Consider this a freshening of your content calendar and something you should strive to do quarterly. More frequent updates are probably not relevant, and if you’re not checking what people are reading in your content every quarter, you should be checking more often.

What if I don’t want to rewrite content that’s already there?

It’s a fair point to say that you’d rather not reinvent the wheel. When you wrote this content, it seemed like it made sense, and now it’s still mostly right. Fine – now write the content that your visitors are searching for and can’t find. Again, Google Analytics can help with this, or a simple review of the search traffic against your site.

Imagine that you can write content that beautifully answers the question your customer (or visitor) is asking even before they arrive at your destination. Wouldn’t that be … awesome? If you can make the unwritten article that answers your question one of your top ten most visited pieces of content, you probably plugged a major hole in your content, marketing, or sales funnel. So what’s not there (yet) that people are looking to learn from your product or service (or from you)?

photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/90155419@N00/
photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/90155419@N00/

All you need is love.

Well, not the Lennon and McCartney kind – though that is pretty catchy – rather, the kind of instant realization and definition of what it means to love your product. Whatever that is, you should do more of that. You can write this definition by answering more questions like:

  • What do people like to do with your product or service?
  • What are the things that make them say, “Wow, that’s perfect”?
  • And how can you do more of that?

If no one says awesome things about your product, maybe you should rethink your product. The core of creating an amazing experience for a customer is providing a solution for the problem they don’t even know they have yet, and nailing the pain points that solve the problems they already know that they have. If you can do that in a way that also is friendly, concise, and accurate, you might have a home run.

You can find 47 other ways to improve the customer experience here.

On Writing, Photography

Why I love working in Seattle




Pioneer square

Originally uploaded by gregmeyer

Working in the city of Seattle in the Pioneer Square area is a bit gritty. It’s nothing like gliding to work in the gleaming eastside office towers of Bellevue, pulling into the parking garage, and going up 16 floors of a LEED certified building. Instead, it’s a bus ride filled with people of all walks of life, a walk from the bus stop through a vibrant area of the city, and a reminder that a 100 year old building can be useful again in a web 2.0 (3.0?) world. It’s a bit of a romantic notion, and I love it.

Cities have been around for thousands of years because there is a certain critical mass required by (and inspired by) trade, commerce, and people. Even in the age of the Internet, it’s a great reminder to walk around in the downtown core of a city and see that location does matter. You can surf the internet from anywhere, but you can’t always walk around the corner and find a great restaurant or a place to hang out or see people who aren’t just like you alongside people who might be just like you.

I love the city, even when it’s a bit grungy and smelly. Pioneer Square reminds me that the industrial core of Seattle has come back to life with the information industry of the 21st century, and I’m glad to be a part of that (it also helps on the days when it’s sunny.) Working in other parts of the city might have been an easier commute, but now I feel like I’m part of the neighborhood.