“Excellence always sells.”
When Earl Nightingale said this, he must have foreseen the modern-day unicorn startup called Stripe because—their stellar product solutions aside—they are the perfect example of what investing in content and community excellence can do for your brand.
- 2.2M monthly visits
- A whopping 47M backlinks
- And a recent $36B valuation.
Over the last decade, Stripe has consistently launched products that are not only loved but also thrive.
It’s no wonder that Stripe is considered the “startup everyone loves.”
But what is behind Stripe’s incredible success story?
What makes it possible for them to gain a distinctive edge over the competition?
What exactly are they doing differently?
We’ll show you over the next few minutes!
In this breakdown, you’ll learn:
- The role of understanding your audience
- How Stripe uses moats to create long-lasting results
- New strategies to make guest posting and influencer marketing work
- And so much more
Let’s get right to it!
Understanding the Audience: Stripe’s Super-Effective Content Marketing Foundation
When most marketers think about content marketing, they think about three things: blog posts, landing pages, and lead magnets.
The team at Stripe understands that content strategy must go much farther than tactics to yield results, and that starts with a deep understanding of the target audience.
For Stripe, that’s recognizing that their audience—developers—tends to hang out in online communities and are likely to choose a solution recommended by a peer over one seen in an ad.
Instead of focusing on bringing in new customers, they work to keep the old ones happy since business snowballs through word of mouth in developer communities.
Take these responses to a “What payment processor do you use?” question on IndieHacker.
Several devs said they use Stripe!
“I’ve been in the payment and fintech space for 5+ years and Stripe is hands down the best at product marketing. They know their target customer so well and build their strategy around that core dev audience.”
It’s no surprise Anand Patel—a dev—said this about them on Twitter.
I’ve been in the payment and fintech space for 5+ years and Stripe is hands down the best at product marketing. They know their target customer so well and build their strategy around that core dev audience. This is a great thread highlighting just that. https://t.co/aJNgg47wcd
— Anand Patel (@anandp29) June 9, 2020
While most content marketing strategies look like this:
Stripe’s looks like this:
The key takeaway here is that they thoroughly understand their audience and the why behind their solutions.
Which is something not many startups can boast.
Marketing To All vs. Marketing To One Audience: Stripe’s Hidden Edge
Naturally, the more leads you can attract, the better. Right?
It’s the era of the niche. If you are marketing to everyone, you are marketing to no one.
Stripe makes it no secret that their preferred audience is developers.
The website is plastered with developer lingo, from the homepage to every doc, post, and landing page.
And it works perfectly well because
- The developers can relate to the messaging.
- Stripe doesn’t waste resources on low-quality leads.
- It attracts only ready-to-convert qualified leads.
- It establishes the Stripe brand as a “household” name.
- It inspires brand loyalty and advocacy.
- It drives focus.
- It makes it easier to understand what the audience wants.
- It makes it easier to improve their solutions, thereby gaining even more edge over the competition.
How to Find and Understand Your One Audience
So we’ve established the benefits of making your audience the foundation of your content marketing efforts like Stripe does. But how exactly do you find your audience? And how can you tell what they want?
Step 1: Understand Your Product and What It Does
Understanding your product is the key to finding and understanding your audience.
It’s the difference between merely listing your product’s features when asked and explaining your product’s benefits.
Ask questions like:
- What is my product/brand?
- What is the main problem my product/brand solves?
- How does it solve this problem?
- What steps does it take to reach the solution?
- What tools/resources are needed to implement my product/brand?
- What prior education/experience is needed to implement my product/brand?
- Who is my product/brand best suited for?
- Who is my product/brand not suited for? (list them all)
These are just some of the questions you need to be able to answer to get clear on your product and who it’s truly meant for.
That brings us to the next step.
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