"If I Were the Head of Content" @ Helius Labs (Part III)
Showing you exactly how to build a go-to-market (GTM) content engine that drives growth
At ease, Captain!
This is a series where I place myself in B2B SaaS & Web3 startups as their new Head of Content, and share with you what I would do in my first 30 days.
Today, I’m covering Helius Labs.
Helius Labs are the remote procedure call (RPC) providers on the Solana network that helps developers build scalable solutions on the network.
In this post, I cover:
How content marketing catalyzes massive organic growth
Part I quick recap + a real case study mockup
Part II quick recap + a real SEO-led content strategy mockup
The elements of a strong GTM-content engine
How content marketing influences GTM activities & strategic growth
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(01:37) What You'll Learn
(02:34) Quick Recap
(03:39) Part I: Case Studies
(04:58) Bonk Case Study Mockup
(07:30) Part II: SEO-Led Content
(09:10) SEO-Led Content Strategy Mockup
(15:05) Part III: Creating a GTM-Content Engine
(17:41) The 3 GTM-Content Levers
In case you missed it:
If I were the Head of Content at Helius Labs, this is what I would do in my first 30 days, Part III.
I'm super excited to bring you the final installment of this series, particularly for Helius Labs. And I just want to say thank you to all of you for the incredible feedback I've gotten. The DMs, the messages, the emails, particularly from folks at Helius, as well. Mert, the CEO of Helius, has been very vocal with me and has given me a ton of feedback and has loved the things I've been producing. So, I'm super happy to be able to contribute and add value.
In particular, I think there is a lot that Web3, especially in the B2B space, can be doing and taking from the playbook of B2B marketing in the tech space to really accelerate growth in this space. And this final sort of video is a call to action I received from Mert himself, where he was like:
"Hey, clearly you're talented, clearly there are things that we could do together. However, I just don't even know what kind of work we can have you do. Could you just create something as an example of something you think would make sense to publish?"
And so, I of course said yes, and what I say is like this part of it is really more of a very basic high-level plan with a couple of examples of the type of work I could do if I really was the head of content at Helius. So, really excited to kind of wrap this series together and sort of deliver a couple of assets that I think could be helpful in sort of turning the wheels, in particular of what content could do for an organization.
So with that, let's just dive right into it.
Okay, so we have the title card and then what you'll learn here is really how content marketing catalyzes massive organic growth as an integrated and strategic go-to-market partner.
Right, so the biggest thing that I preach about at Content Captains or just in my career that I have used to catalyze massive growth has been not just becoming some sort of content engine where we are simply a service center and we just take orders and we produce content and we call it a day. I think that is one element of a great content engine, but I think if you want to really create a go-to-market content engine that really catalyzes growth across multiple channels, content has to be an integrated and strategic partner.
I've done it in two organizations in particular, in tech startups, and it's absolutely worked and helped. And I think it's a model that I have not seen done elsewhere and I think if we were to do that at Helius or really any other web3 org, there could be a lot of growth that occurs from that type of partnership.
So, to give a quick recap…
Part one was around case studies, right?
This was a very low-hanging fruit I found on Helius' website. They have an incredible sort of "built with Helius" section, however, there is a lot left on the table, in particular, from a storytelling standpoint. We could be doing impact storytelling, we could be doing so many different things in the case study realm.
There's also part two where I talked about SEO-led content.
There a lot of organic growth could be driven by having an element of the content engine be dedicated to SEO-led content.
And so, lastly, this part, I'm putting all those pieces together, showing you a couple of parts or examples of the work that we could be doing, and then really putting it together to show you how creating a go-to-market content engine really works and why it's an effective mechanism for growth.
So, if I were you, I would stick around to the end to really see the value there.
As a quick part one recap for case studies, again we talked about this being a low-hanging fruit for 5 different reasons.
Number 1: It's conversions, right?
Case studies are great bottom-of-funnel content, and they're also great go-to-market assets, so conversions are going to skyrocket with really great storytelling.
Number 2: It will also silence the haters.
We know that there is a lot of beef in the ecosystem, in particular between Solana and Ethereum users, and so very important to just simply, to some degree, ignore that noise and just really focus on the good that we're doing and the good that Helius and Solana are doing to build businesses.
Number 3: Then you have to lean on sort of community branding.
It's my third reason. If you get on Helius' website, there's a lot of community-based language in there, and that's sort of the ethos that we want to build the brand off of. Case studies are going to be really easy, low-hanging fruit to do that and instill sort of that community vibe and excitement.
Number 4: The fourth reason is obviously you can educate users, right?
So, you can learn specifically how your features and products affect a web build.
Number 5: And the last thing is the organic growth.
They have a really incredible page with "built with Helius" that has a bunch of different images and logos of different projects. However, they're just images, so none of that is driving organic traffic, and they're not ranking for anything particular to their partners, which is a very easy thing to change from a web dev perspective that has radical ROI.
So, obviously, there's that. And so, you know, Mert asked me, can I make a thing?
And the answer is yes, I can make a thing.
Here is a very low-level sort of wireframe, using Bonk as an example, in particular, to showcase what a case study could look like on the Helius website.
So this is what the Helius website looks like as soon as you get on their blog, and then this is just sort of like a culmination of some of my favorite case studies I've seen on the internet, in particular in the B2B space, that really highlight values.
So here on the above-the-fold experience, you have a very nice image, very clear it's about Bonk, very clear that Bonk boosted transaction volume by 29% using Helius, and then you can discover how Helius Labs' RPCs, webhooks, and APIs help Bonk scale their products all while reducing transaction latency by 40%.
So, above the fold, you get these really nice impact stats that immediately resonate with someone who is trying to build on here. Obviously, you have the standard stuff there, more data again, we're trying to drive impact here, so it's super important for us to showcase what in particular it is that we're doing. And then you have very basic sections of like the challenge, the solution, the results. You can have an easy CTA here like "How it works", maybe we send them to like a video page or a feature page that showcases how Helius actually works, but then you have the narrative, right? So like, what's the challenge? Okay, that's the challenge, and what's the solution that Helius Labs provided? And so, what are some of the results, right?
Then we have some more case studies that we can showcase based off of, you know, the "how" or a "built with Helius" section, and then this is their footer. So, this is just a quick wireframe of a case study I put together. Feel free to read this. I think I'll attach this to both the email and the email I send Mert with all this stuff, but the big TLDR here is these are the types of assets that like completely dominate the B2B space, and there's just so much good that comes out of using case studies.
Again, I said all those five reasons. I think there's plenty more reasons why case studies are a powerful mechanism, but here's just a quick example of a story that we could tell. And I should note as well, like there's so much growth opportunities for like or additional opportunities for like better design, like we could add quote blocks, we could add videos to this, we can have like data blocks, like it can be interactive. There can be a lot of things here, but I just wanted to at least showcase like, look, this is something that we could put together relatively quickly and would immediately start having a dramatic ROI on the website for sure and, you know, attracting users.
Now, part two, we talked about SEO-led content, and so, in particular, in my opinion, SEO-led content will maximize long-term growth by attracting high-quality users and partners, becoming a resource hub for their category, and positioning Helius as the Solana RPC provider.
The biggest takeaway I have for SEO-led content here is that if you look at Helius' organic performance right now, it is very clear to me that it is basically non-existent, still ranking for only about 702 keywords. The organic traffic is extremely low on a monthly level over the last six months to a year. It's pretty obvious to me that there isn't an organic SEO-led content mechanism or engine at Helius right now, so this is why it's such a low-hanging fruit and there's so much opportunity.
Looking at the 1 to 3 organic keyword rankings on those top pages, they are very low. A lot here goes to show that these are all they're ranking for: just a bunch of random words that are just populated on their website, but there's no real strategy behind the words that they're ranking for. I looked at the top organic competitors based on what Ahrefs considers to be their competitors. Helius itself is almost barely visible on this graph, which goes to show that even from the ones that Ahrefs considers competitors, Helius is really low on their competitor list. Again, just a lot of opportunity here for organic-led growth.
So, if we think about how we can organize ourselves, one of the rebuttals I'm here to talk through is like, "Hey, I don't know what work we can give you." It's not about giving me work; it's actually about letting me get into the sandbox and just play around because we can do a lot of great stuff with the green light and pretty fully autonomous.
Okay, so SEO-led content, let's think about it in 5 pillars:
I organized these pillars from left to right, being really top of funnel to middle of funnel to bottom of funnel. So if one of our pillars is crypto, we just want to give high-level cryptocurrency web3 keywords to drive organic traffic and backlinks to relevant media. In particular, we're just trying to educate on the crypto space itself. Those types of keywords are going to be things like "what is web3?" and "what is crypto" - very basic stuff, but that could be added to the blog very easily and you can start ranking for some of those keywords and start driving organic traffic.
Then we can start getting more specific, particularly around Solana. This is the ecosystem we play in, so it's like "what is Solana?" "How to build on Solana?", etc. You get relevant keywords that are specific to your website, specific to your business, while at the same time driving that top-level, or excuse me, organic traffic.
So, as you can see, as you get closer to more hyper-specific keywords, the monthly traffic might be significantly lower; however, that targeted traffic might drive more targeted traffic and close users. So, things like RPCs, Webhooks, the things that actually Helius provides, and of course, some of the value that it provides as well. We can do value pillars. There's a lot of different things we can do there.
Then we can do tools. Right? So like widgets and things of that nature. These are like marketing tools, templates, or even guides with very targeted keywords. So it could be something like an RPC configuration widget, an API explorer sandbox, a benchmarking tool, or even a comparison tool against other competitors and building on their platforms. There's a lot of things that we could figure out through some good keyword research there.
Lastly, just the stories. I think hyper-specific keywords for customers and partners alike, plus it's kind of a catch-all for storytelling. So some keywords could be like case studies, builders - not necessarily ranking for case studies but let's say Bonk's case study as an example. We would want to rank for Bonk, we would want to rank for a couple of Bonk's features because if we're ranking for that, we're snatching some of that traffic. It would be very clear that when a user was searching for something around Bonk, they might be builders themselves. I don't think anyone is just casually looking up what Bonk's products are and how they were built, so if they are, then they are going to find our case study and it's going to be a great win of highly targeted traffic.
Same thing with case studies on features - when we have a feature launch or something of that nature, it's important to have all of the SEO figured out that way we can actually target those keywords depending on the feature that we're dropping. There's lots of stuff that we could be doing together.
Now, to put this more visually, what are some of the things that we could do having these content pillars and having that keyword research be the foundation of the work that we do on this prong of the content engine?
There are three different things: keyword mapping, web pages, and content creation.
From a keyword mapping perspective, once we get an understanding of all the keywords that we want to be ranking for specific through pillars, then you can start optimizing very low-hanging things like meta descriptions or alt text for a lot on page optimization.
These are things like what is the homepage alt text, what is the homepage meta description, what is the header on each of those pages on the website, what are the subheaders on each of those pages, and what are the words we're trying to rank for, in particular, across the website. Because just putting stuff up on the site and not having this small foundational element into the health of the website and what keywords we're trying to rank for will deteriorate the opportunity for us to be growing over time.
Then you have website pages themselves.
It could sort of influence the pages that we build. Do we need to add more feature pages? Do we need to have a 'how it works' section? Do we need to add value pillar pages? There's a lot of different things that we can do once we start really looking at it through this lens, and of course, it will involve and infuse into our content briefs. What kind of briefs are we going to be writing? What kind of things do we want to write on the website, blogs, onboarding documentation, things of that nature? All of these things can then get affected by all of the keywords that we're bumping.
And of course, then we have the content creation side, which leads into the go-to-market content engine.
This is just one element of how we attract highly qualified users by being really thoughtful about the keywords and things that we're doing in the website builds and the content that we're creating, in particular on the website. But of course, this also influences the go-to-market content engine.
So for part three, creating a go-to-market content engine.
To me, a go-to-market content engine is a marketing organization and process that produces content that both attracts highly qualified leads and supports go-to-market activities. Now, if we look at this from an org development perspective, or you know, just like I wouldn't call this an organizational chart because really what I'm trying to showcase here is how a go-to-market content engine supports everything in the business.
In particular, let's start with the North Star. So we have a couple of co-founders here, right? We have Nicholas, Mert, and Liam. They are sort of the North Star, right? They are envisioning the strategic direction with the go-to-market found inputs of where Helius is going. Well, wherever they want to go, it needs to go to marketing, right? So now we have the marketing function. We have Jarrus here, who is the creative marketing guy, and then, of course, JP, me, the head of content. We could work together and whoever else is missing in this chart, work together to sort of create that content engine. That content engine is to generate traction, accelerate growth, and drive revenue by feeding the machine with content that is attractive.
And so from a go-to-market perspective, then we have the acquiring and retaining of those highly qualified users. We have Deepa, who is the head of business development, and she's going to help acquire those users. Then we have Owen, the developer relations individual, who can then help us retain, upsell, and do those things. And guess what? This is a continuous flywheel because the information that we gather from new users can inform our ideal customer personas, who our super consumers are, who our best customers are, things of that nature, and those suddenly the North Star continues to get influenced by go-to-market found inputs, and then it goes back to the content engine. Then we can produce the go-to-market assets that attract those types of individuals and allow us to actually get the users that we want.
So that is how I see content engines, right? So instead of it being just a service center where we simply take orders from all go-to-market teams, I actually think that a content engine should be dual-pronged. There's that one element that's very service-oriented, so it's like when Deepa needs one-pagers or emails, or like when Owen needs an onboarding video to help support the dev relations and all those types of things, of course, we've got to sprint up being able to do that. But at the same time, we can help guide the category, the positioning, the messaging, and all those different things of the North Star and specifically create content that is driving narratives and driving users that are very targeted for our goals.
The last piece I want to showcase is how the content engine works with the three different levers that it has.
The first lever is to run the business stuff.
We've talked about this a bit from the SEO side, like you have the SEO articles, web pages, digital reports, and all the run-the-business content that simply allows a startup like Helius to be out there, to be attracting users, to be driving narratives, to be getting placements. These are just the run-the-business type of content that we could be building 24/7, just on an automatic cadence, editorial calendars, things of that nature.
Then you have the second lever, which is closing deals.
This is where Deepa's role kind of comes in. I'd work very directly with her and anyone else on the team to make sure we have great relationships and understanding of what it is that each of us needs, in particular, to win new users. Whether that's case studies, value decks, showcasing different impact stats, one-pagers, whatever it may be, we'll work together to identify what some of those gaps are from a content engine.
And then the last thing is key sprints.
There's always going to be key sprints, and you have to have a content engine that's capable of sustaining that. For example, if the Jupiter airdrop is coming, what if we all got into a room together for 30 minutes to an hour and just talked through what it is that we think our users are going to experience with the heightened transaction and volume? What are some of the things that we can do to support them? Do we need to have a support staff ready? Do we need to have onboarding documentation, emails ready? Do we need to have video content at the ready? Do we need to host a webinar? There are all these different things that we could be doing to support these types of things, and these are some of the key strategic sprints that I think a nimble and robust content engine could support, like feature releases. We have a new feature coming out; we better sprint to that thing. We want to go to market and make the biggest splash possible. We want to drive organic keywords and things of that nature. So key sprints are super important there for feature releases. And lastly, any trending topic or thing that needs to be addressed, I think there could be a key sprint there.
So that is the general premise of how I see a content engine being built and how I believe it can support Helius's growth both in the short term and the long term.
One thing to note here: if I'm missing any individuals, I did not mean to do that on purpose or anything like that, so I mean no offense. This is just what I was able to find on LinkedIn. Otherwise, this is relatively what a very basic breakdown of what content marketing can do, in particular, in the web 3 space and the B2B space. But if there's any takeaway that I'd like to leave you with, it is that marketing is like a new, emerging, and continuing to grow field that I think is only going to continue becoming more and more important and more deeply integrated with go-to-market activities. So if we do this early enough, I think there is a lot of short-term growth that we could be having, and a lot of long-term growth that we could have.
This also involves a lot of forward-facing positioning and getting ready, posturing for the future, particularly if Solana, or when I should say Solana, continues to grow and become as big as we anticipate it to be, and of course, as big as Helius can be.
The basic premise is, I have no intention of ever joining any organization to just simply create content for the sake of it, but rather, creating content that drives the needle, moves the needle, and has a dramatic impact on the organization.
So, if you're ready to build something, let's get after it because hopefully some of these examples showcase the type of work that we're able to do.
Anyway, if you have any other thoughts, questions, concerns, let me know. Drop it in the comments, email me. Otherwise, thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoyed this.
Thanks for reading,
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