written by
Dayana Mayfield

Teardown: How ClickUp Combines Content Marketing & Product Marketing

Content Marketing Teardowns 8 min read

Have you ever been impressed with the content of ClickUp? Us too.

We’ve been noticing their Instagram posts for a while. When they promoted their virtual event LevelUp, we thought, all right, thats it. Time for another teardown!

Table of contents:

ClickUp: where content meets product

Old school content marketing dictates that you can’t sell your product with your content. Instead, it should merely drive interest in your product. And this is true. After all, Jell-O recipes include plenty of ingredients that aren’t Jell-O.

But what happens when your customers need and want tons of content about your product? What about when your top users live and breathe your product every single day?

ClickUp is an excellent example of a company that produces more content featuring their product than not.

That works well because:

  • ClickUp users need ongoing product education
  • There is a freemium plan to convert interest quickly
  • The tutorials (in a variety of formats) show how different ClickUp is from its competitors

Product-market fit and UX differentiator

It’s impossible to look at ClickUp’s content marketing strategy without first understanding what makes this company and its product unique.

Product-market fit

In his article 3 Things I Learned Bootstrapping ClickUp to $20M ARR in the World’s Most Competitive Industry, Founder and CEO Zeb Evans shares the secret sauce behind ClickUp’s rapid success.

clickup content example

Marketing ads fuel to the fire, but product is the fire.

ClickUp gets most of its users through word-of-mouth and referrals. They collect user feedback and ship updates weekly. The product truly is built for what users want. It’s intended to be a far better experience than most task management software on the market.

Natural Product-Market Fit creates faster and more sustainable growth than artificial - Zeb Evans, Founder & CEO of ClickUp

Enjoyable UX

Creating yet another project management tool might have seemed like a bad idea. But the ClickUp team knew that the tools out there weren’t enjoyable to use, so there was a vast market potential.

They set out to build a tool that would actually make people more productive instead of feeling like extra work.

I’m a huge design and user experience person. It became insanely frustrating for me to use JIRA and Asana. I felt like no one was paying attention to details, to the things that actually mattered to make people more productive. Most importantly, I felt like Asana was far too little, whereas JIRA was way too much in terms of complexity and features set. - Zeb Evans, Founder & CEO of ClickUp

ClickUp: product education content

ClickUp has invested an enormous amount of resources in building content that teaches potential users and paying customers to use their product.

clickup content example

That includes their onboarding guide, blog posts, tutorial videos, webinars, vetted consultants, and more.

Industry-specific webinars

clickup content example

ClickUp offers live webinars often on how to train your team. They also have on-demand webinars on how to use ClickUp for different industries and business types.

That helps potential users understand the product much better than a generic webinar.

Project management tool comparisons

clickup content example

In their Hierarchy Guide, ClickUp offers a comparison chart between their product and significant players. They show you how these competitors stack up in key areas such as workspaces, checklists, sub-tasks, folders, and lists.

A quick view of ClickUp’s Hierarchy Guide reveals the app’s flexibility compared to product management tools that only offer lists or boards.

Their on-demand demo

clickup content example

ClickUp’s on-demand demo is an excellent example of how to satisfy the needs of different leads. People can opt for the beginner, intermediate, or advanced version.

All of the content that ClickUp creates on other topics that aren’t related to their product perform better for the company. These content pie have tons of product-specific resources to drive traffic to.

In essence, they have a myriad of ways to welcome people deeper into their funnel.

Deep dive into their virtual event LevelUp

Much has been made of the need to host successful virtual events in 2020. Let’s see how ClickUp approached their online event, LevelUp.

LevelUp sessions to inspire your live event

Need some inspiration for your own virtual event? As with everything content, ClickUp does a mixture of product-specific content and productivity-specific.

ClickUp teaches other content marketers that they shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to put their product front and center.

All of their sessions centered around these categories:

  • How they use their own product
  • Key features with a significant impact
  • Their own marketing strategy
  • How different customer segments can use their product
  • Thought leadership for their industry

ClickUp influencers sharing tips with their business owner user base

ClickUp made sure to include content for their main user segments (software companies and small business owners). They separated these user segments into specific sessions.

One such example is their #BOSS Panel, which featured ClickUp business influencers sharing their tips for maximizing the app.

As you can see, they got plenty of love in the Zoom chat from new and old customers alike.

Asking users to be part of their episodic series

ClickUp used their live event as an opportunity to get their users involved in their content marketing and social media marketing. They encouraged ClickUp users to upload a 60-second video of how they use the product.

clickup content example

Their content is a reminder that when your customers win, you win too. When your customers get more out of your product, they increase their results and your retention rates. So don’t leave product-specific content out of your marketing plan.

ClickUp: impressive Instagram content

In a similar vein, ClickUp puts its product and team front and center on their Instagram, to great success.

ClickUp has high engagement on content for a B2B Instagram account

Compared to most B2B Instagram accounts, ClickUp has a high level of engagement. That is true even when compared to B2B SaaS apps that have more followers than they do. They average 350 likes per Instagram post.

What content ClickUp posts on Instagram

So what do they post on Instagram?

Click up has three main content categories on their IG:

  • (Left grid) Their team - ClickUp posts pics of their team that show off their personalities and adventures alongside. The captions include insight into what this person does and how their work impacts ClickUp and their users.
  • (Center grid) Click Tips - ClickUp is a notoriously complex and full-featured project management system. Instead of shying away from this reality, they help users learn more about what the product can do each and every week.
  • (Right grid) Cool quotes - We’ve all seen the same cheesy quotes all over Instagram. The ClickUp team has managed to select quotes that are actually thought-provoking and relevant to their audience of professionals and small business owners.

SEO strategy

While most of ClickUp’s user base comes from word-of-mouth and incentivized referrals, they’re currently ramping up SEO as well.

Key rankings

ClickUp has some very valuable rankings for key phrases with a lot of search volume, included “task managers” and “free project management software.”

Too many SaaS companies count themselves out of the short-tail SEO game and instead tend to only play the long-tail game.

Make sure that you’re targeting a variety of keyphrases: short tail and long tail. For your long-tail keyphrases, write long-form guides.

ClickUp: content categories

ClickUp has seven main content categories. They intermingle these to keep their blog fresh and exciting with content for both experts and beginners.

ClickUp publishes one blog post per day. Over 90% of them target a specific keyphrase, so it’s clear that SEO is a crucial part of their strategy to keep dominating the competitive project management market.

Partnership marketing

As mentioned, ClickUp grew in large part due to the power of word of mouth.

Because it’s so different from tools like Asana and Trello, users were excited to share it with their colleagues and friends.

ClickUp has also been wise to incentivize sharing.

Referral marketing

Their referral marketing program offers rewards whenever someone takes action. If someone you refer signs up, you immediately get $1.50. When they upgrade to an Unlimited yearly plan, you get $10.00.

This program is an excellent fit for people sharing ClickUp on a 1:1 basis via email and DM with people in their personal network.

Affiliate marketing

ClickUp also has an affiliate marketing plan that’s popular with business influencers and affiliate marketers.

That is a fit for business coaches, course creators, and strategists that teach others how to work productively online.

The future of ClickUp in terms of content marketing

So, what’s next for ClickUp? What will this powerhouse launch soon?

Lucky for us, we got a sneak peek.

During the LevelUp event, the ClickUp team shared exactly what they’re putting more resources into going forward.

  • Original podcasts - ClickUp will soon add podcasts to their marketing mix, and interview productivity thought leaders and top customers.
  • Educational content - ClickUp will continue to create multimedia content on how to maximize the platform.
  • Episodic series - ClickUp will be looking for more ways to feature their users’ businesses and how they use ClickUp.

The final word: Want to know how to use content to support your product marketing strategy? Get inspired by what ClickUp’s doing!

Our other teardowns to inspire your content marketing strategy:

StoryChief is a content marketing platform that helps you release better blog content faster. Learn more.