Hiten Shah is no newbie in the SaaS game. Hiten has a well-known track record in building successful software companies. He is probably best known for starting KissMetrics, Crazyegg, and QuickSprouts. What do all those successful startups that he build have in common? They all have an awesome content marketing strategy. Try running a quick Google search on anything related to marketing and tech and you will most likely run into a KissMetrics blog article.
A good content strategy is a great way to boost your company’s brand exposure as well as bring back customers that haven’t converted yet. The trouble is that it’s not easy and it’s a super competitive space.
We had the honor to do a quick interview with Hiten Shah on how you can leverage customer feedback to improve your content marketing.
You can read Hiten’s Blog here.
Us: Hiten, you’re super well known for content marketing and I personally love the strategy you used to build up Kissmetrics’ content in the early days. How do you usually figure out what your readers want to read?
Hiten: I recommend working backwards from what’s already been successful. Additionally from any other inputs you can get based on the people visiting your website and those who buy from you. You can use a tool like Buzzsumo and of course Google search to find popular content for any keyword you can think up. Find keywords related to the type of content you are thinking about writing and analyze the popular content to understand what works and what doesn’t.
That’ll help inform your headlines as well as other criteria such as the composition of the content and where the bar is for quality, quantity and frequency. Additionally you should run website visitor surveys using a tool such as YesInsights or Qualaroo to learn what your blog readers say that they want to read next. It’s much better to inform your content marketing efforts with actual historical data and customer context than to just guess what’s best for your target audience.
Us: How important would you say it is to talk to your customers and get their feedback on the content that you’ve written?
Hiten: It’s critical to get as much knowledge about your customers as you can in order for you to understand who these people are and what they loved, liked and disliked about your content. The only way to do that is to go right to the source. You need to talk directly to your customers to learn what quality content means to them. Not just at the outset of your content strategy, but on an ongoing basis.
Us: What’s your go-to method for engaging with your customers for customer feedback?
Hiten: Talk to them in all the ways that are possible. I like live chat, getting them into Slack and also a good old voice call on the phone or an online method. Everything having to do with content is publicly available and out there, so it can be measured. If you can measure it, you can reverse engineer it. The key to imitating great content is to first determine what content to imitate, since quality is specific to a market or customer.
Fortunately, if you know who your customers are, where they hang out, and how to engage them, you already have your answer. The content you want to imitate is the highest performing content in the places on the web where your customers hang out.
Us: What are your thoughts on guest blogging in 2016?
Hiten: Guest blogging can be particularly useful you want to reach specific audiences who might be outside of your current audience. It takes a lot of hard work, but it can help you build a strong brand.
Us: Lastly, what do you think about the value of NPS? Is it enough for customer feedback?
Hiten: I like NPS to measure customer satisfaction and improvements in the score over time. It’s also nice that there are a ton of benchmarks available for NPS. There isn’t a single source of customer feedback that I would use exclusively. I like to use every method available to me in order to get a holistic view on what customers are thinking.