How to Achieve Team Alignment for Successful Product-Led Content Marketing

22 May 2024

Customers avoid testing products to determine if they will be useful to them.

Rather, they are looking at your content to tell them if your product will help them achieve their x problem.

The irony is that most brands' content sounds like this:

“Revolutionize your workflow with our AI-powered features”

Pretty vague, boring, and of course, no unique benefit to the target audience.

Conversion starts suffering once your target audience can’t figure out how your tool will help them.

Your saving grace at this point is team alignment.

So, in this guide, you will learn why team alignment is important and how to use it to improve product-led content marketing.

Why Team Alignment Is Important for Successful Product-Led Content Marketing

Product-led content marketing involves creating and distributing content that directly showcases the value and capabilities of a product. This type of content demonstrates how your product can solve specific problems of the target audience.

In plain words, your product is the hero of your content.

To achieve this kind of marketing approach, your content teams must know what and how to use your product.

However, most SaaS content teams don’t have a technical background, so they might not know how your product fits contextually to the ideal workflow.

This means that to craft product-led marketing strategies, all teams need to talk to each other. This check with each team will ensure that the product is being communicated with 1 unique voice.

This product communication between teams is what is referred to as Team Alignment.

These are ways to spot content that has been produced without the team’s alignment:

  • No explanatory screenshot of product capabilities
  • The features of the product seem like those of competitors
  • Content is more like a sales pitch rather than educational or instructional material
  • Content fails to address common customer pain points, objections, frequently asked questions, etc.

Once marketing teams start operating in silos, conversion starts to suffer.

Your audience will quickly understand if your product will help them once marketing teams have cross-functional communication with sales, product, and customer success teams.

The benefits of this are as follows:

  • Addressing customer needs and pain points in content
  • More efficient use of resources and avoidance of duplicated efforts
  • Consistent messaging and branding across all customer touchpoints
  • Smoother and more cohesive user experience throughout the customer journey

5 Practical Strategies to Achieve Team Alignment for Successful Product-Led Content Marketing

I know it’s tempting to create another strategy based on marketing advice you get on socials. However, aligning team members is a foundation of conversion-based marketing.  Below are some practical steps you can follow.

1. Talk to Customer Success Teams

Out of all the teams of a company, the CS teams are daily interacting with customers, receiving feedback, questions, and complaints. So, they know the common pain points and areas of confusion that customers face with the product. A talk with them will save you months of digging through review sites to know which features customers like and which they find confusing to use.

With this, you know what knowledge gaps your content needs to address. You also know the features that customers already love, so this is an opportunity to upsell and cross-sell complementary offerings or advanced functionality.

It will be easy to show how your product can solve audience problems because the CS team can provide real-life customer stories, use cases, and examples of how the product has helped overcome specific challenges. These relatable narratives can be woven into your content, making it more compelling to resonate with your target audience.

2. Talk to Sales Teams

Sales reps also deal directly with customer acquisition. So, they hear the same objections and concerns repeatedly from prospects. Also, talking to the sales teams will give you in-depth knowledge of competitors' offerings, strengths, and weaknesses, which you can later use as a differentiator.

Positioning and messaging is a skill that comes with the role of sales. Talking to this team will also help you align the content of the product to answer the objections and convince the target audience to buy.

Most marketing teams are guilty of passing unqualified leads to sales mainly because both teams operate in silos. Madhav Bhandari the head of marketing of Storylane, has his fair share of such experiences. After he synchronized both teams, he observed that sales and marketing alignment is important for revenue growth.

It will be easy for sales to convert leads coming from marketing if sales report all their findings to the marketing team, and in turn, the marketing team has to use those findings to create content that uses the product to convince the potential customer.

It will become easier for sales to upsell the product because the potential customer has already been educated on the product’s capability.

3. Talk to the Product Team

I know it is a mixed reaction to ask questions to the development team. However, you need their input to know how the product fits contextually in real-life scenarios.

Just like the name implies, "product-led content", you need clarity from the product team on the specific use cases. Again content marketers don't need to be subject-matter experts before producing a product-led piece. Asking product teams for technical details will do the legwork. Specifically, you should ask them how features work, their limitations, and best practices for using the tool.

One underestimated benefit of team alignment with the product team is that content can be given to them to fact-check if there was an omission. Also, you can request for specific screenshot/screen recording of how to achieve x task. This media can then be used in crafting product-led content.

Aligning with this team will ensure that the product demos, tutorials, and other instructional content accurately showcase the product's capabilities.

Document All Your Findings

Definitely, you’ve been asking these questions in your mind;

  • “Won’t I be disturbing them?”
  • “Will they have time for me?”

From my experience, people are available to talk about the amazing product they are trying to grow.

Nonetheless, you have to do some background checks on the product and the industry first before booking a meeting with them.

Then you make sure to ask direct and relevant questions. If you are on a call, record it to make sure you don’t omit any information. When referencing these recordings, notice the words and style they’re using.

You don’t need to be booking meetings with these teams every time you are creating content. That is why you need all the product findings from each team in one place.

If you don’t know where to start, I use the Content Marketing dashboard by Lashay Lewis. Each section of the template has already been crafted for each team above. Otherwise, you create your list of questions for each team.

I once encountered a company that saw no need to fill out the questions. So, you might encounter brands trying to rush the process or don’t see a need for this alignment. So, executive buy-in is important to really achieve successful product-led content marketing.

The best thing to do if there is no alignment and teams are not forthcoming is to request to speak to each team individually and then ask them the questions on a call then transcribe the call. This way, they don’t know you are getting the same information they refuse to share.

You need to develop trust with this team so they can give you all the information you want. You must fight for this information because really product-led content prioritizes internal research better than doing a Google search.

5. Start With BOFU and JTBD Content

Now, it's time to put the information to use. It is advisable to start from bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) and jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) content because you can easily insert your product as the hero to solve the problem.

Besides, people interested in this type of content have buying intent. I must warn you that the search volume is small. However, the ROI for this type of content is usually high because it focuses on the specific problems, use cases, or "jobs" that your target audience needs to accomplish.

You can convincingly talk about your product to this small group of your target audience who are actively researching solutions to their problems and are closer to making a purchase decision.

6. Have a Slack Group Chat (or Similar Collaboration Channel)

I know there are lots of communication strategy that helps teams collaborate. But consider having an ethical collaboration channel for all team members including the content marketing team.

Ideally, you want to include designated representatives from each team (product, sales, customer success, etc.) rather than inviting entire teams to keep the channel focused and efficient. This curated group will ensure that the right subject matter experts and decision-makers are involved in the collaboration process.

This centralized communication channel serves as a hub for knowledge sharing, enabling teams to exchange insights, feedback, and updates in real time.

Bonus Tip:

Talk to the founders. I can imagine that they will be fast to say “the next big thing in the industry” and its variations.

Persist on getting the pain point they were trying to solve and for whom they were trying to reach.

It will help if the founder(s) is very opinionated. You will get so much information on the product and how it intends to uniquely solve specific problems.

Just make sure to stalk them 1st…in a good way. Check their podcast appearance and social posts. Some things might have been answered.

For example, this post by the Butterdocs founder has enough product-led content.

Image of the post by ButterDocs founder

Your job is to get this information in a document. Next, you position the content to match the different segments of customers.

Remember, team alignment makes customers trust your product more since they’ll be seeing aligned content at various touch points.