Hiba Amin, a fractional growth marketer and founder of Sandia Consulting, is used to being a team of one. She’s worked in SaaS as an in-house marketer for the better part of a decade, mostly at early-stage startups, including at Hypercontext (formerly SoapBox), where content was at the heart of everything she did. 

It was Hypercontext that solidified Hiba’s love of content, with company co-founder Brennan McEachran pointing out that content is one of the only channels where you can keep growing even if you stop investing (compare this to something like advertising, where not investing will generally halt your momentum). 

The thought of having such a lasting impact was appealing to Hiba, who also loved the excitement of being hands-on, interviewing customers and creating content that was truly developed for them. Brennan was right: Hiba’s legacy has endured, with people continuing to reach out about articles she wrote there.

“When you produce content that has the customer at the heart of it,” Hiba says, “it’s going to keep delivering value to the business, to customers and to your own personal brand.” 

Read on to learn about Hiba’s empathetic approach, how she deployed template libraries to great success and why she thinks the content world needs more exclamation marks than ever. 

Be in Your Customer’s Corner

When the pandemic began in 2020, Hiba found herself suddenly working from home, full of anxiety as she watched waves of layoffs hit the tech industry. Brand content was hyperfocused on remote work best practices, the new trending topic.

“I remember being so frustrated,” Hiba recalls, “because, as I was having conversations with customers and other marketers, the constant was that everyone was anxious about their jobs. Everyone was anxious about performance and the looming pandemic. And all of these businesses suddenly became remote work experts. It felt so tone-deaf at the time.” 

Instead of writing yet another piece about how to lead remotely, Hiba wanted to write something that was more emotional and spoke to what she and others were struggling with: how to manage teams in a crisis. Though it wasn’t exactly in line with the company’s SEO goals, she was convinced this was what customers needed to hear. 

Once the piece was published, Hiba saw a wave of strangers adding her on LinkedIn and thanking her for putting out something relatable. People told her it was the exact thing they needed to read, which cemented a conclusion in Hiba’s mind: Keywords and acquisition goals aren’t always everything, and being an empathic marketer is important. Showing customers you’re in their corner builds trust and will help you in the long run. 

“Sometimes your acquisition goal can take a pause for a week,” Hiba says. “In the long term, that was a key moment for us to build really meaningful relationships with customers. We built community. People felt like, ‘This company really gets it. I see myself in the pieces they’re putting out.'” 

“When you produce content that has the customer at the heart of it, it’s going to keep delivering value to the business, to customers and to your own personal brand.” 

The Power of Template Libraries

Hypercontext didn’t create template libraries or content marketing OKRs, but they did develop a winning marketing strategy using them. A look at the company’s goals library lets you browse by role, walking away with any number of goals you can further customize to your own job. 

The idea to templatize originated in Hypercontext’s meeting agenda-focused product, as the team saw value in helping managers by attaching agenda-related templates to blog posts. Leaders could use these templates right away, whether they needed questions to ask during a remote 1:1 or a document for holding weekly marketing syncs. 

“Templates are such an actionable thing that you can basically copy and paste and apply to your job that day, that hour even,” Hiba says. Contrast that to typical how-to articles, which can take much longer to read, digest and figure out how to apply to your work. 

Templates started driving ideal customer profile (ICP) signups for Hypercontext, prompting the company to continue investing. Because SEO was the company’s biggest channel, building a huge template library built domain authority and contributed to a high volume of longtail keywords. 

The template library concept can help plenty of other companies, however. . 

“Even beyond SEO, template libraries are still incredibly viable pieces of content,” Hiba says. “and I don’t think you can just go to ChatGPT and type in something like, ‘What should I talk about in my 1:1 meeting?’ There’s so much nuance and lived experience there.” 

Template libraries are just one way to provide realistic, unique solutions to your customers that teach them something new and reduce their cognitive load in some way. 

If you want to brainstorm topics for your line of business, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are people searching for?
  2. What are customers asking for when we talk to them?
  3. What do customers need help with? 

Exploring these questions can lead you to a template that will help your customers and attract new folks to your site. 

Customers Just Wanna Have Fun! (Or, the Argument for More Exclamation Marks!) 

Hiba loves exclamation marks at work and in her personal life. She’s a fan of showing enthusiasm — after all, if she’s creating something that’s going to help folks, why wouldn’t she be stoked? And why shouldn’t they be excited about it, too? 

If you’re on TikTok, you’re already aware that users respond to the silliest, most irreverent content, and brands are shifting accordingly. People love unserious content because it feels like a more genuine connection with a company; they’re not being talked at or sold to. It feels more like a conversation they’d have with a friend. 

Audiences today increasingly view the people running things as extensions of the company’s brand. For Hiba, who’s so often been a one-woman show within companies, she’s had to let her personality shine through in her content because she was also the human side of the company. 

Every job is different, and some really do require a more serious tone. But there are many brands, especially in SaaS and tech, that can stand to be more human and informal. “The customers you’re marketing to want to have fun,” Hiba emphasizes. “They want to be creative! Marketing just doesn’t have to be so serious anymore. We can — and should! — have fun with it.”