- Category: October 2012 - Content Marketing
Do you offer a more or less technologically complex product, or a technology-based service, that provides a solution to a business challenge? Well, then the following could be of interest.
Traditional B2B marketing communications intends to convert prospective clients to customers by describing the characteristics of the product, by putting product benefits into the foreground, and by emphasizing their unique value proposition that hopefully emphasizes the solution value for the user. Content marketing is a fundamentally different approach, by not starting with the product but with the challenges that the companies can master with the offered products and services.
What is Content Marketing for IT and high-tech?
Content marketing offers prospective clients and costumers useful knowledge, help and information from the solution environment of their own IT- and high-tech products, instead of just presenting and praising these products.
Content marketing should reach various objectives, such as:
- spreading content to attract attention and increase awareness of companies and individuals in the relevant "solution space";
- demonstrating knowledge content with the solution competence of companies and individuals and thus establish thought leadership;
- using content to draw interested parties into the B2B procurement cycle (lead generation or demand management) by identifying solutions for open and virulent business challenges and „directing“ them to the purchase decision (lead nurturing);
- publishing content with keywords that make the company and its portfolio findable on the Web.
To achieve these goals for IT and tech, content marketing designs, writes, and produces websites, business media, social media posts and press articles, according to the model of professional journals. For the publication of content it uses all reasonable channels: PR, social media, blogs, own websites and media.
You are probably wondering why you need content marketing for IT and high-tech, since there has always been content in B2B marketing? Well, in this field, marketing content has always been used – for case studies, whitepapers, newsletters, etc. that all belong to the established repertoire of marketing communication. What has changed now, however, is the importance of content in the search and decision-making that has risen sharply in IT and high-tech investments.
Prospects and customers search for content
Prospective don’t want to be approached by advertising or sales people anymore, instead prefer to decide on their own when and how they obtain their information - which they get from Internet sources in the first step. In the next steps of the procurement cycle, they deepen this knowledge and contact possible solutions provider – but only when they have collected enough information for their first evaluation.
Companies that can’t be found in this Internet-based search and procurement process, or do not have the right information at the right time, or don’t have it freely available at the right place, do not put themselves on the short list for any request for quotation.
Content plays a dual role here: it make a provider findable via selected keywords and at the same time demonstrates the company’s expertise in finding solutions.
Huge flood of information and media pluralism are demanding higher quality content for IT and high-tech
The distribution of content has been never so easy and inexpensive, but consequently here is more communication than ever before. If you want to remain visible in the flood of information that sweeps multimedia-based into the offices of the decision-makers, you have to go with the flow first and then fight to stand out of the floating mass. It means serving the relevant channels, in all their diversity, with content that stands out for its quality and efficiency. Just being part of it is not enough anymore, if everybody is already on board.
Social media and search engines require real-time content
Social media and search engines want new content. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ performances are orphaned if readers don’t get interesting content on a daily basis. Besides, Google rewards up-dated content on websites and blogs that meet high quality criteria not just since the introduction of the Panda algorithm. The continuous production of quality content is the never-ending duty of marketing. Just keep in mind that writing a case study every now and then, a product presentation or a new web text message, isn’t sufficient.
Producing and providing content - from the edge to the center of marketing activities
The demand of potential customers for content, as well as increased requirements on content quality and timeliness, has made the production and distribution of content from an edge to a central activity of marketing – and that’s why content marketing is needed today! Effective and efficient content marketing is simply a crucial competitive tool that every B2B, IT and high-tech vendor has to cope with.
By Daniela la Marca