The Kissmetrics Content Marketing Secret

Quality comes from loving your people. As a startup, you’re low on budget and resources, but you’re high on enthusiasm. You started your company because you experienced the pain point first hand, and you want to help people like you succeed. Content marketing is how you operationalize your passion and turn it from a characteristic of your personality into marketing. When you love your people and that love comes through in the content, they recognize that as quality and they tell their friends about you. Your direct and search traffic grows, and you have the beginnings of a content marketing engine. That’s why high-quality content marketing all begins with these three questions:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • How should you engage them?

Once you know who your customers are, talk to three of them. Figuring out where they hang out can be as simple as asking them, “What blogs are you reading?” To learn how you should engage with them, ask them, “What’s the most frustrating part of your day?” What your people tell you gives you the context you need to define what quality means to your customers, and points you in the right direction for getting your content in front of your people. It allows you to get feedback and improve.

Case Study: KISSMetrics

Kissmetrics began with this framework, and applying it led us in an unexpected direction. Around 2009, we were still building our product—an analytics platform for marketers. We were looking for a low-cost way to reach our audience before our product was ready, with a low budget and limited resources. Doing some basic research, we found out that analytics folks in the Omniture and Google Analytics ecosystems, as well as a broader audience of marketers, hung out on Twitter using the #measure hashtag. These were the exact people that we wanted to engage with. They weren’t just talking about online marketing—they were actively looking for fresh information. They had real problems that needed solving, and we knew we could play a role in solving them. But first we would have to show people that we knew what we were talking about. We started sharing links under #measure, and we would share anyone and everyone's content, as long as it was genuinely useful and quality. We became the go-to Twitter account to follow for marketers to learn more about analytics. Over time, we grew our Twitter following to 200,000+ people, all 100% organic, without spending a dime. Because Twitter was exploding in popularity during this time, we were able to grow an audience faster there than we ever could have on our own blog. When we were ready to launch our blog, Twitter also gave us a huge base of people to kickstart it with—and a concrete, tested idea of what they wanted to read. By answering the 3-question framework, we were able to find our market, and get a sense of what quality looked like for it. The next step was to drill down on quality.

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