Building an Effective Knowledge Base

5 min readMar 30, 2022

One code every Product Manager I know is trying to crack: how to do more with less.

Not everyone thinks about a Knowledge Base as a conduit for increasing output. Most treat it as an afterthought. An annoyance that is, at its best, a way to get support off of your back when questions arise. It’s when you begin to re-think the purpose and utility of a KB that you realize there’s much more to it than that.

A strong Knowledge Base can be incredibly fruitful for your company, but it takes work to build. It’s important to plan out your KB to maximize the benefits and ROI you can obtain from a KB.

We see mistakes from companies that rush to build something but don’t keep their audience in mind.

By planning out what you want from your KB in advance you can set yourself up for success and maximize your ROI for that work. Let’s look at some strategies for how you can do so effectively.

The Planning Phase

Think About Your Audience

Before you write a single article you should take the time to answer a basic question: why am I building this KB? Who is it for?

Are you targeting existing customers/clients or potential prospects?

Are you trying to help answer common questions about your products?

Do you want to focus on specific features of your platform or on educating users about the broader industry?

Is your audience technical or more high-level?

Is your audience expecting something information-heavy or more lighthearted and conversational in tone?

Thinking about and answering these kinds of questions is going to help you narrow in on what you need to build in order to best serve your audience.

Define Success

What would it mean to your company to have a successful KB? Fewer support tickets? More prospective customer conversions? Capture some baseline metrics around what your goals are and think critically about how you can improve them. Once your KB is out in the wild, track those metrics and see what kind of impact it’s having.