Laying Your Tech Marketing Content Foundation
A Tech Byte from the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing
April 28, 2016
While tech marketers are proven trailblazers in lead nurturing and account-based marketing, when it comes to properly documenting and executing against a strategic content marketing plan, they still struggle, similar to their non-tech counterparts. The new 2016 numbers reiterate this: Only 36% of technology marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy. Not surprisingly, 62% acknowledge that producing engaging content is their biggest content marketing challenge.
Adhering to the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Outlining and executing against a thoughtful and relevant plan allows you to build on a solid foundation.
Luckily, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ "Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing,” offers a tactical course to success, serving as a one-stop resource for content marketing strategies, insights, and best practices. We’ve broken down the most relevant morsels of the guide into specialized bites for today’s savvy technology marketers.
1. Set goals and measurable objectives
A good tech marketing plan must first start with specific goals and measurable objectives. For example, are you aiming to:
- Drive brand awareness?
- Establish your organization as a thought leader?
- Better engage prospective buyers?
- Deepen relationships with current clients?
- Drive higher quality leads?
- Reduce churn and secure renewals?
Regardless where your focus lies, the point is to capture and articulate your goals and determine how you will measure the effectiveness of your content marketing — preferably through an explicit set of KPIs. Once goals are set, you can begin to map out the appropriate content that will speak to each stage of your consumer’s buying cycle.
2. Decide what content to produce
In order to decide what types of content and topics to create, put yourself in the shoes of your tech customers. Your content marketing strategy should focus on creating and sharing helpful relevant content that inspires, educates, solves problems and sometimes entertains. Instead of focusing on making a sale at every turn, focus on helping your customer thru content marketing. IT decision makers are 67% more likely to consider a vendor who educates them through each stage of the buying process. When it comes to a tech marketer’s strategy specifically, “always on” is the approach that wins.
For additional input, go a step further and talk directly with your customers. Find out what motivates them to make a change and what triggers a purchase. All of these insights will aid your development of content that resonates with your target audience, helps solve a challenge and ideally motivates them to take action. If you truly embrace the concept of content marketing, your content should help prospective customers make their purchase decision.
3. Consider A Culture of Content for your Content Engine
- Risk/Willingness to Fail
- Senior Leadership
- Content Leader
- Business Units
- External Partners
- Education & Training
4. Own the conversation
Ultimately, you want your prospective tech buyers — and existing customers — to value your expertise and rely on your business for leading insights, new knowledge and compelling thought leadership.
This starts by developing a deep understanding of tech decision makers across buyer personas—what are the burning questions keeping them up at night? To support this, conduct effective keyword research to identify hot topics and align content accordingly. While your team may not be able to tackle all these areas all at once, try to leverage your business’ sweet spots and unique perspectives to own your part of the conversation and compel your buyers to continually come back for more.
5. Make it a team effort
Marketers are busy, we get it.There may not be not enough hours in the day to complete all the content projects you have in mind to engage tech buyers. But you don’t have to go it alone. Build a team by calling upon a mix of resources including your marketing colleagues, outside agencies and freelance writers. That means you need to remove the communication barriers between the teams members leading responsible for demand gen, social, and PR and work as a cohesive unit. Working this way can dramatically boost the impact of your individual efforts.
Do you have a documented content marketing strategy? It’s never too late to lay the foundation and start one. For more insight on how to produce great content consistently, download The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to Content Marketing.