50% of content marketers say their biggest problem is creating content consistently, and 54% say that producing engaging content is a challenge, according to a Content Marketing Institute study. Product companies already have a wealth of varied content available to them that they may not be fully exploiting – the user documentation. According to IBM 88% of purchasers use technical product information to make their purchasing decisions, so this type of content is also engaging for potential customers. Companies that make their user documentation available online report that it generates 50% of leads. So if creating engaging content is a challenge for you, your technical product information should be a part of the content strategy for your inbound marketing. Here are 5 ways publishing user documentation can support your inbound marketing strategies:
Well written user documentation is keyword rich and has dense interlinking; both of which improve SEO results. If your technical authors follow good practice, the content will be updated frequently in response to customer feedback and as new features are developed.
Providing credible and varied content
Well written user documentation is well structured, concise, and jargon free. It will also be accurate and factual, so is considered a trusted source of information. Purchasers value this type of content when evaluating a product for purchase. This is especially true of technical and enterprise products where integrations with existing systems are key concerns.
Building post-sales relationships
Customers are often neglected after they have signed up. Providing them with useful information about how to get the most out of the product they have just purchased is a great way to keep them engaged and build a relationship. This can help build stickiness, improve revenue per customer, and ensure they renew. A robust documentation production process will include producing a variety of quality documents as new features are developed ready to be fed to existing customers on a regular basis.
Building a social community
Quality user documentation is well structured, granular and self-contained. This makes it ideal for sharing. The variety of content – concepts, tasks, use cases – and of media – text, video, images – make it an ideal ingredient for a content marketing strategy. In addition, the user documentation is a good seed for comment and discussion, and so can be used to build engagement.
Developing customer insight
The user documentation, by definition, covers all features of a product. By monitoring which information customers and potential customers are viewing, the product management team can gather insights that help build a better understanding of the customer.
Marketing teams that need additional content already have a readily available source of content to support an inbound marketing strategy. If this content is locked away in Word or PDF documents, it is not easily accessible for use in marketing campaigns. By developing a product documentation process in conjunction with the marketing team, the user documentation can be used as part of a content marketing strategy. So at no additional cost, marketing teams can overcome their challenge of producing content, while increasing lead generation, customer loyalty and engagement, and provide product management with additional customer insights.