A well-conceived knowledge base can act as a useful virtual self-service portal for your customers. If you’re confused about why you should invest time and effort into creating one, look at the following statistics:

  • As per Forrester, customers prefer knowledge bases over all other self-service channels.
  • According to Forbes, around 40% of customers prefer self-service over human contact.
  • Research by Social Media Today predicts that an overwhelming 91% of customers would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.

Clearly, you’ll find many takers if you have a comprehensive and strategic knowledge base integrated into your website or chatbot. In this blog, we will understand what it takes to create an impactful knowledge base–complete with tips, strategies, and hacks–that are equal parts educative, convenient, and useful for the customers. Let’s jump right in.

How to Effectively Draft Knowledge Base Content 

Let’s start by understanding the steps you need to do to create an insightful and actionable knowledge base content:

Step 1: Think About the End Goal of Your Content.

Will your knowledge base be instruction-driven, or is it there to address the basic FAQ-type questions that your customers are facing on a daily basis? Do you need to include product-driven demos and how-to videos, or will PDF-type documentation suffice?

You can answer all these questions and more once you have the end goal/strategy/purpose of the knowledge base nailed down. So collaboratively think about why you need a knowledge base in the first place before you start working on the content.

Step 2: Speak to Your Customer Service Team to Understand What Kind of Content to Cover.

As a rule of thumb, get your CX, marketing, and sales teams involved when brainstorming about the kind of content to include within your knowledge base-from the range of topics to the content format. For example, you can ask the CX team about some of the most common pain-points, queries, challenges, and misunderstandings of users and build knowledge base content that covers all these topics, as Dropbox’ Featured Articles section demonstrates below:

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Pro tip: If you are using helpdesk software, you can use a tag or custom field to flag the most-pressing customer queries and integrate it in real-time within your knowledge base.

Step 3: Have a Proper Structure and Layout in Place. 

Once you have the list of hot topics in place, you can think about the kind of structure and layout your knowledge base should showcase. There are literally thousands of layouts you can play with. However, the trick lies in building an intuitive, organized, and logical structure, as Yoast’s knowledge base demonstrates below:

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Despite the length and breadth of topics covered, every article is neatly categorized based on various services and functionalities that the platform provides. Basically, try to group similar information together so that your customers can easily find what they’re looking for in one place, as Asana does via its top-3 categories: the basics, the functionalities, and the leadership tips on using the product effectively:

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Step 4: Look at the Existing Forms of Content.

You don’t always need to start from scratch when building a knowledge base. Chances are that you already have a plethora of content to choose from. This includes FAQs on your website, internal documentation such as policies, etc., customer guides, live chat interactions, social media posts, product images, etc. that you can draw inspiration from and use as ammunition for your knowledge base content as Dyson’s knowledge base showcases below:

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Just make sure to reword the content, keeping it as crisp and relevant as possible, and look for duplication/inconsistencies that might be easy to miss.

Step 5: Create New Content Consistently.

Once you have a clear blueprint of the content forms, structure, layout, and type, all you need to do is work on creating new content. This ensures that your knowledge base is always current and addresses the user’s needs in real-time. To bring more authenticity to the content, make sure to rope in subject matter experts who can build on the approved outline. Also, ensure that the tone of voice and language used remains consistent and are in line with the branding requirements. 

You can also create an “In this article” section which outlines what customers can expect from the page to make the reading experience convenient. Rail Europe does this effectively:

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Pro tip: Make your knowledge base content SEO-optimized by using the right keywords. You can also use terms and phrases that your customers use often in relation to your brand to ensure that the content feels familiar and relevant to the reader.

Plus, make sure to include the problem statement followed by a clear and simplified step-by-step process, and conclude with the result that the user should get in the end. You can also include related resources such as similar articles, questions, or topics.

Next, let’s look at some of the most important factors you should consider when creating a knowledge base from a general perspective.

Factors to Keep in Mind while Creating a Knowledge Base

  • Update and refresh the content on a timely basis: As mentioned earlier, if your knowledge base contains outdated information, it’ll create a negative brand effect. So make sure to keep revisiting the content and promote topics that are most current.
  • Create a dedicated team/person who will be responsible for making changes and owning the knowledge base.
  • Use proper formatting–complete with bullets, related links, sub-headings, bold and italics, and short paragraphs–to boost visibility and readability. 
  • Avoid any unnecessary distractions and place the most important information first. Chronology is extremely important.
  • When designing your knowledge base, embrace time-tested design hacks such as using contrast and white space as Lyft does expertly:

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  • As a gold standard, comb through your customer interactions to use catchphrases and terms that your customers use most often. The idea is to ‘get into the customer’s mindset’ and use their words/language to boost content readability. For instance, Canva uses phrases like “Something’s not working” to gain the customer’s attention:

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  • Promote your knowledge base in-app or on specific pages on the website (such as Product page, Checkout page, etc.) by using specific tools. You can also embed your knowledge base within your chatbot support tool, as Evernote demonstrates below:

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  • Always includes a Search bar to make it easier for customers to find the information instantly and easily.

Finally, let’s look at some of the most critical challenges that you might face when building a knowledge base.

Challenges while Creating a Customer-Centric Knowledge Base

In this section, we will understand the top three challenges you might face when creating a user-centric knowledge base:

  • Your knowledge base goals might not align with what the users want. For instance, you may have a worded FAQ section in place when users really want to see how to use your product, especially if it is complicated to use in the first place. Hence, time and care should be taken to narrow down on the right goals and strategies that genuinely address the user’s needs.
  • The content included might be inaccurate or worse, irrelevant. This often happens with knowledge bases that focus deeply on the product features but not enough on how the product will benefit the reader. The content needs to be user-centric and should demonstrate user benefits at all times.
  • Issues of team coordination and collaboration can lead to a disjointed knowledge base that feels (and reads) incomplete. This will further leave the reader confused and frustrated. In such a case, you should always include a Contact section at the end of every page to allow users to get their queries addressed instantly.

The Takeaway

The ultimate mantra of a knowledge base can be summed up as: “Empower your customers to help themselves as quickly and easily as possible.” This can only be done if your knowledge base is customer-centric, up-to-date, and value-driven from the get-go. So embrace the tips and hacks outlined above, and build a knowledge base that benefits your customers as well as employees for years to come.


Ashwini is passionate about business, entrepreneurship, eCommerce, emerging technology, and digital marketing. She is working with Acquire as a digital marketing expert. She is a free soul and adventurous scholar who spends her free time with herself and loved ones, music, as well as watching and playing sports. She is ocean addicted and on roads being a thrill-seeking traveler to get new experiences as she looks at life as our very own works of art.