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In this write-up, we have discussed the definition of product-led storytelling and the best ways to use it to supercharge SaaS user acquisition.
Product-Led Storytelling is the new buzzword in the SaaS industry. Many SaaS companies can vouch for the fact that product-led storytelling supercharged their ability to acquire new customers. According to industry experts, product-led storytelling is the art of attracting and acquiring new customers directly through their SaaS content. While some business owners see it as a game-changer, a lot are not yet sure whether they should jump on the bandwagon of product-led storytelling or not.
In this write-up, we will be discussing the meaning and definition of product-led storytelling. Further, we will discuss the ways in which you can use it to supercharge your user acquisition.
Product-led storytelling is a form of content marketing in which the content is focused on and built around the SaaS product.
Content marketers focus on creating discoverable stories about their SaaS product to help users understand how the SaaS product offered by the company can help them overcome their specific challenges.
In today’s digital age people approach Google for finding a solution to their problems even before they approach their friends and trusted people. This growing tendency of people trying to get a solution to everything at the tip of their finger in a split-second provides companies a golden opportunity to tell their product story. Once a user searching for a solution for their problem stumble upon your product story they are more likely to get interested in your product.
Without a doubt, your product-led story needs to be interesting and captivating for the audience to be fruitful for you. Once a user gets hooked to your story the chance of them transforming into a paying customer increases many folds. The reason behind this is a no-brainer – they are already searching for the solution and your product story promises them a solution.
Those who are already using the marketing strategy of ‘product-led storytelling’ consider it a very important tool. It is because one might have an incredible SaaS product but the word needs to go out to the people who would need that incredible product. Though there are other methods and all of them have certain benefits, product-led storytelling works a little differently. It captivates the user with the elements of a story and at the same time promises them a solution for their problem.
In the words of Ben Horowitz “You can have a great product, but a compelling story puts the company into motion.”
By the way, psychology says that human beings can be easily motivated or influenced by stories. This is the reason a child’s education begins with stories – even before they get their first book. And, your motto is surely to influence your audience and motivate them to subscribe or sign-up for your SaaS product.
Product storytelling is an art that most B2B organizations fail to exploit to the maximum use. Effective product storytelling is all about having a story product story narrative and the art of having the right SaaS storytelling framework. These product-led storytelling examples that we will enumerate below can also be termed storytelling for product managers.
Let us get started.
DocSend is a SaaS tool that is used to send attachments and documents. It provides the right information to the users to create real-time actionable analytics. It utilizes a freemium pricing model. But the important thing to understand here is that DocSend does not totally depend upon its product to acquire new customers. The company uses effective product storytelling as a medium to become discoverable amongst prospects. It creates discoverable stories that its target audience can search for on search engines. While the readers look for a solution to their problem, the company subtly introduces its product.
MailChimp is a very well-known brand that needs no introduction. Thousands of SaaS organizations use MailChimp. Do you know MailChimp acquires new customers? The very first thing that the company does is heavily invest in creating and promoting search engine discoverable stories that their target audience search for to resolve their problems. Next, MailChimp publishes thousands of helpful resources, nothing but a collection of stories featuring their product. They even utilize documentaries, short videos, and podcasts to spread their popularity amongst their target audience. And since these stories are best suited for social media, MailChimp promotes them on different social media platforms.
At this point, you might be thinking about whether a product story is different than a brand story? Of course, it is! Both of them have their utilities. But, from the point of view of acquiring users, product stories seem to be working more efficiently than brand stories for most businesses.
A brand story informs users about brand value, mission, and vision. It promises the audience to help solve their problem. On the other hand, a product-led story tells the user how exactly the product is going to help them with their problem.
In a nutshell, a brand story is not a useless thing but a product story serves the purpose of user acquisition in a better way. It can work efficiently as the primary tool to acquire and activate users.
Now that you know how incredibly beneficial can a product story be for your SaaS business growth. Let us have a look at some top tips that can help you implement it like a pro. Always remember storytelling is an art and your story needs to be really captivating for the audience or else your story will be scrolled up without user engagement.
If you are into content marketing, you must know that people’s attention span is continually degrading. And, if you fail to hook your audience in the first few seconds you lose them. So, it is important that the first sentence of your story is captivating for the audience. It can be something surprising, something scary, or something that touches the heart. Your first sentence needs to be such that it compels the audience to read the next sentence.
You might need to present some facts and figures about your product feature to your audience. Instead of presenting those facts and figures in a plain boring way you should include them in your story in interesting ways. Stories make it easier for people to remember facts and figures. Who does not remember the story about gravitational force? You can make your product unforgettable for your audience if you successfully implement your product features in an interesting product story.
The aim of creating a product story is to motivate your audience to buy or subscribe to your product or at least take a free trial. So, if your story does not have a call-to-action you will most likely not achieve your goal. Your story must have the element to stir your audience into taking the action for solving their problem through your product.
It will not be enough to tell your audience to take action for using your product. You need to create a sense of urgency through your story. If your audience does not feel the urgency to buy or subscribe to your SaaS product they may search a little bit more and find your competitor. Giving your audience the chance to visit your competitors’ websites is not the best business decision. So, make sure that your story invokes a sense of urgency.
Every SaaS product has multiple features and the target audience of every business has a varied persona. This means you cannot have just one product storytelling about each of the features of your product and targeting each of your audience. The best strategy is to create multiple product stories. You should choose one specific feature of your product and one ideal customer type that can be benefitted from that feature and weave your story around these two. This approach will enhance your discoverability on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) when someone searches for a solution to their specific problem.
When we focus on something there is always a chance of overdoing it. While you try to make your product story interesting do not forget that the purpose is to introduce your audience to your product and not to entertain them. It is important to keep your story short, crisp, and to the point. You do not need to add thrill, romance, or suspense to your product story.
Create original stories. The search engine algorithm is becoming smarter every day. Copying someone else’s story can attract penalties to your website and you can miss the top ranking on SERP. And there is no point in sharing a story or any content if you cannot organically reach your target audience. So, the best thing to do is to be original. Get your creative juice flowing to weave original product stories without copying anyone.
Product-led storytelling might seem different but at the end of the day, it is a part of content marketing. So, while you are paying attention to creativity, do not forget the SEO strategies you have learned for content marketing. Ranking high on the search engine result page is important for visibility and discoverability. So, you will need to implement search engine optimization tips and techniques in your product stories as well.28
Storytelling is a time-tested method of captivating the audience and making them emotionally involved in the story. Binding this method with your product can help you hook your audience and make them invest in your product to solve their specific problem. But, for this strategy to work fine, you need to be creative and efficient in the art of storytelling. The above-mentioned tips can help you weave the most profitable product stories for your SaaS Company.
Shivani is a talented CS manager with the skillsets to elicit, scope and manage end-to-end B2B SaaS project delivery. She has a keen interest in depicting her learnings in customer success by writing resourceful blogs and articles.
Published March 30, 2022, Updated January 06, 2023
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