Creating targeted content for a startup audience

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Creating targeted content for a startup audience

How to build an audience and a data-driven content strategy at the same time

Takeaways from this playbook

  • To create truly useful content, you need to understand what your audience wants
  • Set up a quick feedback loop to steer your content planning
  • Find the data you need quickly in Ottimo instead of trudging through Google Analytics

Build an audience and a content program at the same time

Shipyard is a seed-stage startup. They need to generate quality organic traffic as quickly as possible for their core audience: software developers.

As Shipyard’s head of developer relations, Marisa Smith understands that software developers and DevOps practitioners primarily engage with high-quality technical content. A big part of her job is to create and distribute this content to Shipyard’s audience.

“There's no point in wasting my time, or the team's time, on content that’s just sitting there, not driving traffic.” – Marisa Smith, Shipyard

Marisa figured out a way to build content and data in tandem with Ottimo. She finds it easier to use than Google Analytics. Plus Ottimo provides performance analysis for each page, and GA doesn’t.

Look for early indicators of success among newly published content

Marisa’s strategy is to track the performance of freshly published content.

“We want to be tracking all of this new content. Which ones are resonating with developers? And which ones are just sitting there?”

She uses that data to design the next batch of content.

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Figure out what works and do some more of it.

Marisa uses Ottimo to quickly see performance results. Instead of waiting an entire quarter to look at performance numbers, or struggling through using Google Analytics 4 on a regular basis, she’s checking the metrics on new content within a few weeks.

Flag content that’s getting early traction

The key here is to collect performance data as early as possible. Marisa uses the “New” performance bucket in Ottimo.

The New bucket doesn’t show every new page on the Shipyard site – only those that have started to generate traffic and engagement.

Design future content based on recent successes

Identify trends in the early performing content, suggest ideas for fresh content based on those trends.

Marisa, for example, identified success among the Community Spotlight posts on the Shipyard blog.

“It changed our workflow. We noticed these Community Spotlight pieces were doing really well. So we started prioritizing them to bring more traffic to the page.”

Analytics for the bootstrapped marketing team

Marisa’s team is designing more and more content based on data-driven insights.

Their successes have started to replicate:

  • Quick insights into target audience
  • More agile innovations in the content program
  • More consistent performance in new content
“Ottimo allows me to minimize the time spent on finding the top performers in my content library. I can focus instead on planning and producing content based on those top performers.”
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