May 21, 2024

Technical Content Strategy: What Should You Write First?

You know you want to write more technical content for your site to help build awareness and trust with technical buyers. But where do you start? What topics do you write about? In this article, I’ll hit upon some strategies you can use to flesh out your technical content strategy and develop a robust content backlog.

Creating a technical content strategy

If you’re selling a technical product, chances are you already have documentation. Content in your technical content strategy will look a little different from technical documentation. Docs are aimed primarily at enabling new and existing customers to solve problems with your product and deepen their commitment to your platform. What you write here is driven primarily by your top-line use cases.

Once you’re ready to expand your content library beyond documentation, you’ll want to start thinking about additional strategic forms of content. .This usually takes the form of  blog posts or other full-length articles designed to draw the attention of people unaware of your product.

Strategic content can be wider-ranging, addressing topics relevant within your industry. In fact, most of it shouldn’t be overly focused on your product. The goal is to provide useful information to technical decision-makers and establish your company as an authority in its field of expertise.

Before brainstorming topics for your technical content strategy, you should have a good grasp of your audience and for whom you’re writing. I’d recommend checking out our content strategy quickstart if you haven’t yet done this. The quickstart will walk you through:

  • Identifying your audience
  • Defining the roles you’re targeting
  • Identifying your audience’s pain points (i.e., what problems are they trying to solve?)
  • Defining the topics you want to write about
  • Matching content ideas with search keywords to maximize unbranded clickthrough traffic from search

Technical content strategy: what to write

But what, exactly, do you write about? What topics are most relevant for your business?

For this article, let’s assume you’re a B2B tech company that creates a Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tool that builds, tests, and deploys software app changes through an automated deployment pipeline. How would you go about developing a technical content strategy?

Here are a few places to start thinking about what to write first:

  • Core technical concepts for your product
  • Related technical topics for your product
  • Complex technical use cases for your product
  • What your competitors are writing about
  • What people on social media are discussing
  • Existing content that needs a refresh

Core technical concepts for your product

This is the easiest place to start, as these topics come right from your product’s features and main use cases. A CI/CD tool company will want to talk about concepts core to maintaining a CI/CD pipeline, such as CI/CD itself, build automation, build artifacts, automated testing, security testing, CI/CD pipeline security, etc.

You can also write about direct or indirect competitors, such as open source projects. A CI/CD pipeline product, for example, might offer some interesting content around the features  - and the challenges - of Jenkins, the industry’s most popular open-source CI/CD framework.

The challenge here is that, in developed markets, most of these top-level keywords will be crowded and hard to rank for in search engines. Just writing a post on “Jenkins” as a keyword won’t get you far.

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Screenshot from Ottimo showing a 70/100 competitive rating for “jenkins software”, making it a tough term if your goal is search engine traffic.

This is pretty normal for popular products or open-source initiatives. The first page of results is often dominated by the company or org who builds the project. By contrast, you stand a better chance of ranking for a long-term keyword. In this case, “Jenkins alternatives” sees less overall volume but is less competitive. That makes it more likely to generate more clickthroughs to your site.


Related topics for your product

This is the most fertile ground for innovation. Engage with your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to understand what other technical topics interest potential customers and provide useful content.

Developers, architects, platform engineers, and engineering managers interested in CI/CD software are also interested in a host of other topics related to application development and deployment. Some common questions people in this field have might include:

  • What’s the best way to deploy my apps to a cloud service, like AWS or GCP?
  • What’s the difference between “serverless” and “containers”? Which is better for my app?
  • What’s the difference between two similar-sounding cloud features? (E.g., should I use Amazon Elastic Container Service or AWS Fargate?)
  • Which of these two cloud features performs better in scenario X?
  • How do I manage cross-cloud deployments?

Complex technical use cases for your product

Don’t forget to mine the direct experience of technical team members for interesting and engaging content. Did one of your Solution Architects or Developer Relations experts recently complete a complex integration project with a client? Did a Technical Support Engineer help a customer re-engineer their app for better performance? These are all great experiences that you can - and should - work with your SMEs to develop into compelling content.

What your competitors are writing about

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s also an effective organic traffic strategy.

You can use a tool like SEMRush - for free! -  to see what keywords your competitors rank for. Look for keywords with a decent search volume but a low (below 50) keyword difficulty (listed as KD here in SEMRush) for which you might compete.


You’ll be shocked to learn those Jenkins folks have “jenkins” pretty well covered.

Need more help using competitive content to fill out your own strategy? Use our SEO competitor analysis template to help guide you through the process.

What experts in your space are talking about

Sites like Reddit, YCombinator, StackOverflow, Hashnode, and are great places to see what issues experts in your space are top of mind. Work with your SMEs to identify trending discussions that would make great article content. Keep an eye out for new technologies or trends that you can hop on early before they become well-trafficked search terms.

Existing content that needs a refresh

In the rush to get new material out the door, don’t forget your existing blockbusters. Use the techniques I discussed in my last article to identify which of your existing articles you should return to the backlog for a refresh. Keeping existing hits up-to-date is a great way to increase organic traffic and extend the shelf life of your initial investment.

Boost your technical content strategy results

Creating high-quality and compelling technical content that also ranks well for organic search isn’t easy. Most of the tools available to help are overly-complicated. Few offer any help when it comes to long-term content maintenance.

That’s why we created Ottimo, a content analytics app that turns your data into decisions. Using Ottimo, you can understand at a glance which content’s performing well and which needs some additional love. You can also use Ottimo to research new topics and build your technical content strategy. Give it a try today or contact us for an in-depth demo.

We’re *actually* here to help

We’re marketers who love spreadsheets, algorithms, code, and data. And we love helping other marketers with interesting challenges. Tackling the hard stuff together is what we like to do.

We don’t just show you the way—we’re in this with you too.

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