What’s Agile Marketing and How Can It Help Content Marketers?

We interviewed Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell, Senior Manager of Content Marketing at Planview, to learn about how she and her team use Agile Marketing to ensure they can be responsive to changes in the marketplace. Read her interview.

Interview with Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell of Planview

We interviewed Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell, Senior Manager of Content Marketing at Planview, to learn about how she and her team use Agile Marketing to ensure they can be responsive to changes in the marketplace.

We also talk about the challenges facing content marketers in the age of AI and ChatGPT and her advice for those just starting their careers in content marketing. Read her interview below.

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell interview

Liz Maxwell, Content Marketing Manager, Planview

Name: Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell
Job title: Senior Manager, Content Marketing
Company: Planview
Location: Nashville, TN
Degree: BA, English and Education

Fun facts about Liz:

🎵 Your favorite musician/band is: Needtobreathe
Tea, coffee, or something else?: DIY pour-over coffee in the morning and some sort of tea (most likely green!) in the afternoon
👉 We’ll often find you: Seeking inspiration for our next meal from my favorite food bloggers and cookbooks – the winner is often Cookie + Kate
🛫 Last place you’ve traveled to: My home state of Michigan for some good winter snow
🗨️ One of your all-time favorite quotes is: “Be stronger than your biggest excuse.”

How did you begin your journey in content marketing?

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell: It has definitely not been linear in many ways. I studied elementary education, and then I taught for four years at an elementary school for kids with learning differences. 

I loved those kids and loved the job of teaching, but when I looked at it as a longtime career for me, I thought, “Oh, that’s not it. There’s something different.” It was a private school, so I was able to transition into the advancement office, and that’s where I learned fundraising and other skills as a publication manager and writing specialist. 

I had a wonderful mentor there who had worked at major PR firms and took me under her wing and really taught me how to write and edit and think about the customer or the client.

Next I became a director for an eating-disorder awareness, advocacy and education non-profit. It let me combine my passion for reaching that group as an outgrowth of my own journey with my education background to create curricula for programs on positive body image. 

But it still didn’t feel like the right career. A friend of mine reached out and said, “Hey, we’re starting this tech company. We just hired a new Chief Marketing Officer—what do you think about coming on board?” The startup was LeanKit (which was eventually acquired by Planview), and that was 10 years ago. I’ve been in the B2B marketing space ever since.

What’s the biggest content marketing challenge you’re facing?

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell: The biggest challenge has been navigating the team and company growth we’ve seen in the past year. At Planview, we’ve been practicing Agile Marketing since 2019. As a result, we have six cross-functional go-to-market teams right now, including four that have an embedded content strategist, plus two more that need content marketing support. So we’re churning out lots of content.

We also acquired two companies this past year. The larger one came with a sizable number of employees, and, of course, a sizable amount of content – blog posts, articles, and assets like ebooks and infographics. Anytime you’re gifted with that much content, you have to rebrand it, and you have to look at it from a messaging standpoint, too.  

Can you explain what Agile Marketing is for those who haven’t heard the term before?

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell: Some of the key elements of Agile Marketing are creating visibility into work, workflow and capacity; releasing work iteratively, and building adaptability into programs. It’s unlike traditional marketing in many ways, one of which is that your planning cycles are shorter. Usually you’re planning in quarterly increments rather than annually so you can adapt your programs based on business and customer needs. 

You still have goals for the year, of course, from an Objectives and Key Results (OKR)  standpoint. But what you’re creating in January for a plan, it can change based on what you learn throughout the year. 

Another big thing about Agile is not planning over and above your capacity so that you can get the work done that you commit to get done. It may sound very odd, but a healthy Agile team will not be a team that plans at 100% capacity. You would try to plan to 60, 70 or  maybe 80% of your capacity knowing that unplanned work pops up. The reason this is done is to improve predictability and alignment on the work that has the greatest value to the business.

There are many more nuances, of course—these differences speak only to the planning part of Agile. 

What are your biggest content marketing wins over the past 12 months?

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell: In the earlier half of the year, we had a big focus on conversion copywriting and learning the art and science of it: writing copy that converts. At the core of that philosophy is understanding your customer down to the Nth degree and knowing what makes them tick so that you understand their pain points and aspirations. Then you form your copy around that. 

It was great to go to meetings with what we were learning and to be able to run tests for email copy, social ads and landing page copy and be honest about our successes and be honest when we failed. It helped us upskill—which is always good—and then gave creative minds a way to be creative, which is good for helping creatives be happy.

Do you have advice for anyone starting out in content marketing in this age of AI and ChatGPT?

Liz Llewellyn-Maxwell: My advice to a beginning content marketer would be to get as good as you can from a skillset standpoint at the things that still require human-to-human empathy and partnerships:

1. Get good at understanding your personas.

And it’s not only because of the AI component. It’s because that’s how you’re going to make your stakeholders most successful in their goals—when you can provide them with copy that compels your audience to trust your brand and ultimately buy your products or services.

For example, we’re content marketers. We create assets. It’s like building cars without an engine. You have demand generation, you have social media, you have the website to be the engine. The people behind those operations are the ones that are going to take an asset to where it’s going to have an impact. Everything that you do to form partnerships with those folks is going to make you even stronger in your role.

2. Change your mindset.

Get out of the mindset of, “I’m a content marketer, and I have to have all of the answers from strategy on down to execution.” No, sometimes you just have to know the right people so you can go and work with them and lean on your demand gen counterpart, for example, for their analysis.

This mindset can also extend to the idea that you have to write everything. Lean on freelance writers, on AI tools and your subject matter experts to craft the copy. And then focus your time on being an exceptional editor.
 

3. Get to know the person who understands and analyzes the data.

Ask them to teach you how to do the 101 analysis that you need to be able to do. Learn how to set up an A/B test. Learn what makes a good hypothesis and what doesn’t.

4. Get out there and test things.

There’s an idea, especially if you are a writer first, that all of your writing has to be perfect and that’s where people see your value. But what’s important is how effective that product is going to be, not how perfect that product is. Get it out there, test and learn what happens, and then revise it if you see it is underperforming or not resonating with your audience. 

P.S. Want more marketing insights?

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Speaking of customer stories, have a look at our 2024 Customer Story Trends & Insights Report, where we surveyed 115 customer marketers to gather their insights and experiences with customer stories.

Here’s a preview:

Content Marketing for Brand Awareness—And How to Measure ROI

You know that strategic content marketing drives brand awareness and revenue, but can you prove it? Learn the 4 steps to measuring brand awareness ROI—and see what measurement framework we use with our customers.

Updated March 2023: You know that excellent B2B SaaS content drives brand awareness and revenue, but can you prove it? Show your boss that you understand how to use content marketing for brand awareness by tracking 5 key metrics—and check out the brand awareness ROI measurement framework we use with our customers.

Need a hand writing your B2B SaaS marketing content? Check out our content writing services.

High-quality, actionable B2B SaaS content is the best way to educate customers and foster strong brand awareness. In fact, 80% of B2B marketers say that building brand awareness is the top goal achieved through content marketing.

While it’s clear that using content marketing for brand awareness is an important factor in driving sales, its overall effect on revenue can be hard to pinpoint. 

At Uplift Content, we understand what SaaS businesses need to elevate their brand awareness—and the answer is content. Need a hand writing your B2B SaaS marketing content? Check out our content writing services.

In this post, we’ll discuss why you should use content marketing to increase brand awareness, and also cover how to approach calculating the ROI of your content marketing efforts.

Topics:

  1. What is brand awareness?
  2. What are the 4 levels of brand awareness?
  3. Different ways to achieve brand awareness
  4. How to use content marketing to increase brand awareness
  5. How does content marketing increase brand awareness?
  6. What is brand awareness ROI?
  7. How to calculate brand awareness ROI
  8. How we track content marketing for brand awareness at Uplift Content

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the extent to which your target audience is familiar with your company and its products or services. It measures the degree to which your target audience recognizes and recalls your company name or logo, and the level of association they have with your brand.

Brand awareness is an important metric for SaaS companies to track since your target audience is more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand they are familiar with and have positive associations with. 

For this reason, companies must invest in marketing and advertising efforts, including content marketing, to increase brand awareness, build a strong brand identity and attract new customers. 

What are the 4 levels of brand awareness?

To understand how brand awareness affects a customer’s journey, we’ll need to explore the different stages of brand awareness.

This model is based on David Aaker’s brand loyalty pyramid but has been adapted to demonstrate the brand awareness journey of a modern brand. 

4 Levels of Brand Awareness

Starting at the bottom and working our way up, here are the 4 stages of brand awareness: 

1. No awareness

Your target audience has no knowledge of your brand at this stage. This is where all new brands start out. Here, you’ll need to focus on marketing channels that get your name out to a wide range of people—we’ll discuss how later on!

2. Brand recognition

Your audience recognizes your brand when they see it. They may not know anything about your brand or what you do, but they’re aware of your logo, name, color scheme or other key visual cues.

3. Brand recall

If your audience thinks of your brand when they need a product or service you offer, this is known as brand recall. For instance, you may think of Zoom or Google Meet when you’re thinking about video conferencing. In SaaS, achieving brand recall means you’ve established the trust needed to convince B2B customers to trust your product with their business operations.


4. Top-of-mind

This is the stage where a brand is the first one that comes to mind when a consumer thinks about a particular product or service category. Top-of-mind is achieved when your brand is established as a thought leader in your field or has successfully marketed your product as the best-in-class. 

Want to hire an agency?

Check out our list of 11 top content marketing agencies for tech companies in 2023.

Different ways to achieve brand awareness

In this post, we’ll discuss in detail how to use content marketing to increase brand awareness, but there are a few other ways of achieving it as well. These include: 

Paid advertising

This is the oldest trick in the book. You can use advertising to get your brand and its products in front of a wider audience. This can either be through traditional means—such as TV, radio, print ads etc.—or through digital advertising. Online advertising can often help you reach your target audience more efficiently. 

Social media marketing

Social media platforms offer companies a unique way to connect with potential customers. Viral marketing campaigns help expose your brand to new audiences, while you can use other forms of social media content to educate your existing audience on the products or services you provide. 

Public relations

This involves generating media coverage and positive publicity for the brand through various channels, including press releases, media pitches and influencer marketing.

How to use content marketing to increase brand awareness

As we touched on previously, customers need to know that your SaaS company exists before they can buy your products or services. Creating content full of rich stories is an essential part of driving brand awareness. 

By providing potential customers with educational information on relevant topics and pain points, you establish your company as a trusted expert in the field, and boost the awareness of your SaaS product.

How does content marketing increase brand awareness?

Content marketing done right means you present your brand as a trusted authority in the pain points and problems your product solves for. 

Let’s look at an example. If your company has an all-in-one marketing platform for real estate companies, you can publish blog posts  that educate real estate companies on marketing best practices for real estate. Your target audience will find your posts when searching for tips on how to up their marketing game—and will learn about your brand at the same time.  

This valuable information about relevant problems that your target audience is experiencing is key to presenting your brand and its products as the solution to their pain point—driving interest and ultimately sales. 

And consistently producing and sharing high-quality content that is aligned with a company’s brand values and messaging can help to reinforce the brand image and increase brand awareness.


You may even be able to build a regular readership from the content you publish. Semrush launched their online blog to rank well in SEO-related search queries, but many founders and SEOs regularly read their blog posts for new insights. Building a loyal audience like this can help drive repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.

That’s why we recommend using content marketing for brand awareness. High quality content keeps your audience coming back, which further increases your brand awareness ROI. 

What is brand awareness ROI?

Brand awareness ROI is how you demonstrate the value of your brand awareness activities and how those activities impact opportunities and  sales. 

Building brand awareness and educating your target audience on your brand and what it represents will make other marketing and acquisition channels more cost-effective. For instance, a business owner is more likely to click on a display ad for a CRM tool like HubSpot if they’re already aware of the brand’s position as a market leader. 

How to calculate brand awareness ROI

Quantifying and calculating the ROI of brand awareness is sometimes easier said than done. The impact of increased brand awareness may not be immediately measurable or directly tied to a specific revenue stream. 

The key to measuring brand awareness ROI is figuring out the number of potential customers who were exposed to your brand thanks to a piece of content you created, and how that exposure influenced opportunities and sales. 

How to Calculate Brand Awareness ROI

Here’s how to calculate brand awareness ROI:

1. Track key metrics

Brand awareness can influence a wide range of KPIs and metrics. With this in mind, here are 5 metrics you can track to demonstrate how you use content marketing to increase brand awareness:

  • direct traffic to your website
  • earned media hits
  • external links to your website
  • blog shares
  • social media engagement
  • search volume

2. Put the metrics/data to work

Use your favorite analytics tool to create goals, and track conversions and opportunities that resulted from your website’s direct traffic.

3. Track goals for referral traffic

Set up and track goals for your referral traffic to determine the effectiveness of your earned media hits and external links.

4. Track social engagements

Use a social attribution platform to track how your social engagement drives conversions. 

How we track content marketing for brand awareness at Uplift Content

Our measurement framework has a section specific to brand awareness ROI. Here’s what it looks like:

We’ve broken down our goal of increasing brand awareness into 3 KPIs:

  • organic search
  • social media
  • referrals

For each KPI, we track a series of content marketing metrics. Here are 3 few examples:

1. Organic search

We measure the number of organic search sessions, lead gen from organic search, non-branded keyword clicks and click-through rate per page.

2. Social media

We measure the number of social sessions, lead gen from social and number of shares.

3. Referrals

We measure referral sessions, lead gen from referrals and the number of inbound links. 

Every 3 months, we analyze this data to see what changes we need to make as we use content marketing to increase brand awareness.

Boost brand awareness with better content

Want help creating content for brand awareness? Check out our content writing services.

Product Marketing Content Strategy: 5 Steps to Generate Results

Product marketing content is all about providing the right information at the right time to generate demand. As a SaaS marketer, you need compelling product marketing collateral in your toolkit to convince potential customers that they can trust your product’s quality and usefulness.

Updated March 2023: Product marketing content is all about getting the right content in front of the right people at the right time to generate demand. But do you have a strategy in place? When was the last time you updated it?

In this post, find out exactly how to create an effective product marketing content strategy. Here’s what we’re going to cover in this post:

1. What is product marketing?

2. What is product marketing content?

3. How to create an effective product marketing content strategy

What is product marketing?

Product marketing uses product experiences to move leads through the buyer’s journey to complete a sale. You need to thoroughly understand the needs of your target customer so that you can most effectively promote and sell your product to that target customer.

Product marketing covers everything from your go-to-market strategy to your positioning, messaging and how a prospect understands and experiences it. It keeps existing customers informed and interested, and it attracts new customers by solving issues they didn’t know they had.

What is product marketing content?

Product marketing content is content that positions your product in the market, shares its value proposition, and highlights key features and capabilities. It also demonstrates to potential customers that they can trust in your product’s quality and usefulness.

Popular types of product marketing content

Popular types of product marketing content

Case studies: Create stories about your most successful customers. Describe how your product has helped them solve their challenges, and don’t skimp on specifics: concrete data is important. Check out our case study writing service.

Testimonials: Reach out to your most satisfied customers to collect their thoughts on your product in their own words. Use testimonials in case studies, social posts, and on your website.

Blog posts: Write informative, but not overly promotional, content that drives inbound leads by helping your readers solve an issue (by using your product). Be sure to include a call to action to learn more about your product. Check out our blog writing service.

eBooks: Demonstrate your expertise and offer guidance on subjects your audience cares about. eBooks are great follow-ons from blog posts and allow you to dive deeper into a particular solution while capturing leads. Check out our ebook writing service.

White papers: Create white papers to establish your company as a thought leader, while at the same time providing value to your target audience and identifying leads for your sales team. Check out our white paper writing services.

Landing pages: Create web pages that give your customers a place to start learning about your product. Landing pages can be great jumping-off places to link to other product marketing content like product sheets, white papers, how-tos and case studies.

Product sheets: Highlight the main features and benefits of your product in these easy-to-digest one-pagers.

Paid ads: Direct advertising is a valuable (though expensive) part of any product marketing strategy.

How to create an effective product marketing content strategy

Whether you’re just starting out with product marketing or you’ve been using the same approach for a while, it never hurts to revisit your strategy to make sure it’s up-to-date, innovative and engaging for your prospects and customers—no matter when or how they intend to buy.

5 Steps for Creating a Product Marketing Strategy

5 steps to creating a product marketing content strategy

1. Define your target audience and buyer persona

2. Prioritize helpful over promotional in your product marketing content

3. Determine competitive positioning and messaging

4. Eliminate jargon in your product marketing content

5. Give your prospects answers to their questions before they even ask

1. Define your target audience and buyer persona

Define your target audience for better product marketing content

Defining your target audience is the first step towards creating a product marketing content strategy that drives results. You want to narrow down the industries, company sizes and job titles that are most likely to be interested in your product—then tailor your content to them. 

Who your content is for will determine what medium and style will be the most successful. If your target audience works long and unpredictable hours, a live webinar series will barely get a handful of attendees. If your target audience is primarily Gen Z, I Love Lucy references aren’t generally going to land.

After you’ve defined your target audience, go even further by creating buyer personas. Why would your target audience buy your product? What challenge are you hoping it will solve for them? Once you have fleshed out your personas, you can create content that engages them, provides them with helpful information and anticipates their needs.

2. Prioritize helpful over promotional in your product marketing content

Prioritize helpful over promotional in your product marketing content

Nearly 80% of product marketers say communication is the top skill needed in their role, which demonstrates how crucial it is to create content that builds a real connection with your audience.

No one wants to hear about how great your company is, so you should avoid creating product marketing collateral solely for the purpose of promotion.

The content needs to relate to your prospects on a human level by helping them in their work and adding value to their lives. This is an excellent way to show your audience not only that you believe in a product, but that you’re committed to proving its worth the right way.

However you choose to connect with your audience, be sure your product marketing content is relatable and useful. This will help you turn more readers into customers.

3. Determine competitive positioning and messaging

Determine competitive positioning for better product marketing content

When developing a product marketing strategy, it’s important to do thorough research of other companies in your market that offer similar products to yours. This will allow you to figure out what unique qualities or features of your product to showcase in your messaging. 

Your product marketing content, like your product itself, will need to stand out. Whether it’s a uniquely appealing format, a novel solution to a problem other people are solving, or a solution to a problem nobody else is solving, you need to figure out how to get the edge over your competition.

What does your product do that your customers can’t find anywhere else? Keep your message focused on the parts of your product that can create concrete improvements in your buyer’s experience.

4. Eliminate jargon in your product marketing content

Eliminate jargon in your product marketing content

In the B2B SaaS industry, one of the biggest communication barriers is the overuse of technical language. This seeps through into product marketing content and can confuse readers. It’s no surprise that jargon is a problem, though, considering that over 21% of product marketers never actually speak with their customers. (Don’t be part of the 21%!)

It’s essential to communicate in a way that will resonate with your prospects when developing content, but to do that, you first need to understand your audience. From there, you can create content that gets your message across in simple, short and straightforward sentences.

If you’re unsure whether potential customers can easily understand your product marketing content, sit down with someone outside of your industry and have them read your work. Ask them to identify each sentence that is confusing. You’ll be amazed at the insights you can gather from this exercise.

5. Give your prospects answers to their questions before they even ask

Give your prospects answer to their questions for better product marketing content

Truly customer-focused product marketers have a knack for meeting their audience’s needs in a proactive, intentional way. To hone this skill, practice identifying what questions your potential customers may have, then answer these questions in your product marketing content before anyone even asks.

For example, when first-time installations of Zoom’s mobile app increased by 728% in March 2020, the company had to act quickly to deliver information to its audience on topics ranging from bandwidth to security.

While this is a unique example due to the circumstances, it demonstrates the importance of understanding what matters to your prospects and customers. If you know your product and your audience well, you can communicate the right information to illustrate the potential and value of your product.

For this writing practice, put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. Look at your content and assess the information gaps. Think about what other information you should include to ensure you’re answering all the questions a prospect might have about your product.

Need a hand with your product marketing content?

More than 78% of product marketers believe case studies are the most powerful sales enablement tool, but this type of product marketing collateral can take a lot of time and effort to create.

If you need help developing product marketing content, check out our B2B content writing services. We work with high-growth SaaS companies like ClickUp, WalkMe and Okta.

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