How Verbatim Kickstarted Novel's Content Engine

Novel is the platform bringing web3 to DTC by enabling Shopify merchants to generate, mint, and drop NFTs and token-gated products without a single line of code. 

We sat down with Anna Merzi, Novel’s Co-Founder and COO, to jam on her Verbatim content experience. Our conversation covers topics like: 

  1. How content helps Novel bridge the gap between Web 2.0 and web3
  2. The value of high-quality pillar content in emerging B2B tech
  3. Leveraging content to build credibility from day zero
“There are three big segments where we win by leveraging content: credibility, guiding use cases for customers, and painting a picture of who we are at Novel.” 

The Value of Editorial-Led Education for Emerging Sectors

As a part-eCom, part-web3 tool, Novel is building up a brand new ecosystem that the average consumer knows little-to-nothing about. 

The team realized early on that, while there was a ton of demand for NFTs and what Novel was building, no one quite knew what it actually was or what to do with it. 

As such, content has become a de facto guide for Novel users to understand the larger ecosystem and learn how and where they, as brands, fit in. 

Anna highlights some use cases for their resource guides. For instance: 

  • Follow-ups — Every time a Novel team member ends a customer call, they’ll include links to Novel content that’s relevant to the reason for the call. 
  • User support — Novel articles can explain customer support questions in greater depth. 

Overall, strategic content (which can double as user resources) means the Novel customer experience doesn’t stop after the point of transaction or initial onboarding. 

The company can go further to actively educate and guide new users — without the lift of extra support team efforts — throughout their early days in web3. 

How Content Helps Turbocharge Your Sales Funnel

Novel content has grown into a massive part of their educational platform for bringing brands from Web 2.0 to the intermediary “Web 2.5” space, which then leads to web3 down the road. 

For instance, by publishing case studies about existing clients’ experiences with Novel, they can: 

  • Help potential clients imagine their own uses cases for web3 and NFTs
  • Highlight the diverse and impressive roster of names who trust Novel
  • Illustrate how the product would work, step by step, for a new user

At its most basic level, Novel content helps readers understand what Novel is: from their fundamental NFT capabilities to the more colorful partnerships they’ve taken on. 

Other forms of content published by Novel (and powered by Verbatim) include: 

Establishing Credibility with web3 Novices

When you’re in a new ecosystem with confusing buzzwords and technical vocabulary, building credibility is a crucial first step to attracting and educating potential customers. 

Case studies don’t just amp up clients by showing them off on your site. 

They also build credibility with new clients when they see a familiar face or logo — like OffLimits Cereal, Taika, or Frilliance — endorsing Novel and the space as a whole. 

It sends a simple but necessary message: web3 is nothing to be scared of. 

“Social proof works. Building credibility is a huge use case for content.”

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Why Publishing Content is Critical from Day 1

Verbatim first partnered up with Novel while they were still in beta testing. We got them prepped and geared up to go live and go to market with a bang. 

As Anna recalls, it was mission critical to have content up and ready to go both on-site and across social platforms — for three reasons: 

  1. Legitimacy — You’re fighting for credibility from the second you launch. Having a brand voice and robust content engine in place shows you have it together as a company. 
  2. Lay claim in the space — If you’re established in a new ecosystem, your content (and thus your brand) can become the de facto educational resource for the space. 
  3. Proof of value — Content can communicate your raison d'être and prove why your solution needed to be built in the first place. 

Landing pages, marketing pages, and on-site content are responsible for making a positive first impression on potential customers. 

So, having a rich content marketing function — from case studies to how-to guides to interviews with industry experts — becomes critical to early, foundational success. 

“Any brand in a competitive space needs to build high-quality, high-value content ASAP. Content becomes your first point of contact with the outside world.” 

Pillar Content Stands Out in a Sea of SEO

Novel’s premium pillar content sets them apart from the industry norm of content for robots — or, in other words, content that’s written to take up space and serve search engines. 

From the get-go, Anna was clear that Novel’s organic content needed to provide value-add by: 

  1. Telling the Novel story or telling stories through the Novel and web3 lens
  2. Providing tactical guides and on-ramps for both existing and potential clients

Consumers in 2022 can sniff out unhelpful fluff or SEO content from a mile away. 

In her words: “High-quality customers look for high-quality partners.” And the quality of your operation extends to the minor details, including the intent behind your blog posts. 

“Content marketing is now so commoditized that you really have to put out refined, well-thought-out content in order to distinguish yourself.” 

All Good Content Starts with a Conversation

As Novel’s main objective so far has been establishing credibility, they’ve focused on churning out case studies and testimonial-style pieces. 

Moving forward, as they continue growing their audience, that’ll shift to thought leadership and defining Novel’s voice as a forerunner in both web3 and eCom enablement. 

To make that happen, Anna highlights Verbatim’s interview or conversational content model. 

We’ll meet with Novel clients to gather their authentic takes on the platform and industry. This results in everything from user research to endorsements to best practices for operators. 

web3 can be difficult to enter and learn about. You have to embed yourself in the space to really get it. And interview-style content makes it even easier to understand Novel’s work. 

She notes that, after just a few interviews, the Verbatim team was impressively up to speed and able to write with notable domain knowledge — both through Novel’s lens and the clients’ lens. 

Conversational content gives a voice to Novel users, granting them a stage to talk about why they love the product, how they use it, and what their own vision for their company is. 

As Anna tells us, “I don’t think there’s any way to get that other than interviewing.” 

“Verbatim is a high-quality studio for editorial content. They don’t just churn things out like robots. They’re actually thoughtful about it.” 
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