As technology services firms evolve, the face of marketing for these services has also changed. Technology marketing strategy can no longer be purely about your services, or based on push style marketing.
Content marketing offers a new strategy for IT firms, MSPs and VARs: it is the new face of marketing and is all about respect. Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect that shows an understanding of how your clients research and buy. Some technology service firms that are familiar with B2B strategies understand the importance of a healthy content marketing strategy, but it is still a hazy concept for others. What will make sense to you are the results: having a documented content marketing strategy nearly doubles the chance that your firm is successfully tracking your ROI.
Content marketing services can help your service firm grow by up to 5 times. By highlighting the 4 things content marketing is not, we will help you understand what content marketing is: a planned marketing approach which will educate the prospect and align them towards your company’s services.
1) Technology content marketing is not ‘one size fits all’
Back in the day of interruption marketing, viewers were slammed with information without focusing on a target market. While we still live in a day and age where we are constantly bombarded with information, advertising is no longer what it used to be. In today’s marketing world, you have to understand who is viewing the information your firm puts out there. Who is your exact target audience?
While content marketing strategy for service providers revolves around information being shared, it is more about engaging the people you share that information with. This can only occur if you understand the demographics of your target audience.
In order to achieve this you need to outline a buyer persona for your target audience. Understanding this persona will help you tailor the information you share in your website content and in your blogs to your specific audience, ensuring your content engages this group.
According to Roper Public Affairs, 70% of decision-makers for a business agree that content marketing helps them feel closer to the sponsoring company. Your IT service company needs to develop a relationship with your audience to show that you care about them by catering to their pain points. What problems are they having?
Producing content catered to a clearly-defined audience helps you build a relationship. Through that relationship you can continue to engage the audience and steer them through the stages of the buying funnel. Once you have a clear idea of who your firm aims to target, you are on the right path to developing a stronger content marketing strategy.
2) Content marketing for tech firms does not mean self-promotion
Gone are the days where companies have to sell their services in a sales-pitch advertisement to clients. Eighty percent of business decision makers would rather receive information about a company in articles rather than an advertisement. A successful B2B content marketing agency understands that while self-promotion is a part of content marketing, it is not it’s sole purpose.
By producing captivating content that engages your readers, you are still promoting your business, but in a subtle yet more effective way. To make sure you’re producing useful content for your readers, follow the 80/20 rule. If your content marketing strategy focuses 80% on producing valuable, relevant content your readers can relate to and learn from, you’re doing it right. The remaining 20% can focus on your company or product but in a way that responds to your clients needs and concerns.
If you focus on providing the client solutions rather than self-promoting, they will respond and share your content. Rather than self-promoting, develop an audience that will promote your content for you, and who will see you as an authority in your space.
Although e-newsletters can be a useful tool to keep your clients interested, they can also become a nuisance. What most technology service firms struggle with when it comes to email newsletters is that they lack focus.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is if your company needs an e-newsletter. If so, how can you overcome the random, unfiltered approach most newsletters have? The way to go about this is to again take an educational approach and make the content useful such that the reader comes away learning something new, with your firm being the source of this valuable information.
The breakdown for your newsletter should be 80-90% informational and 10-20% promotional. If you can manage this, your e-newsletter will help enhance the other aspects of your content marketing strategy for responsive action from your customers.
4) Content marketing is not a replacement for SEO
Your content marketing strategy is not a substitute for search engine optimization (SEO). Many MSP and tech firm owners confuse the two, but a great technology marketing strategy actually utilizes both tactics. SEO focuses on keyword strategy, page level, site level and offsite optimization and relies on constant adjustment, link building and fine tuning to remain effective.
Content marketing, while factoring in keyword strategy, is not itself a replacement for SEO. Content strategy and marketing assist with providing relevant and engaging material for the prospects once they arrive at your site, however getting them to the site in the first place requires a high level of SEO that goes far beyond content production and promotion.
Any Inbound Marketing agency claiming that ‘SEO is baked in their content’, or is taken care of by having proper keyword based content is not aware of what is really involved in effective SEO. To get your content and website ranked in the top spots on page 1 for relevant keywords in your industry requires a heavy focus of SEO optimization combined with analytics and highly strategic and ongoing link building. Sadly, most Inbound agencies are very weak in SEO, and therefore assume that Content marketing is SEO. This is far from the truth. Search Engine Land states that Content Marketing without SEO is sub-optimal , and this is stating it lightly.
We believe Content marketing without SEO is highly inefficient and not worth engaging in, if your goal is solid revenue growth. Countless inbound firms often sign clients and lose them after 6-12 months – the reason cited by the client is lack of ROI, and the most common cause is lack of proper targeted traffic and MSP leads (the primary underlying reason being lack of technical SEO). How do we know this? Those clients often come to us after not seeing results at other agencies. Most of our clients are with us 3+ years and continuing, due to consistent growth in ROI.
While content marketing for technology firms has certain do’s and don’ts, it is different for every specific service provider. Modeling a content marketing strategy that works for your firm is key to keeping your content marketing engine running smoothly. If you or your marketing team are struggling to develop a content marketing strategy, get in touch with experts in Professional SEO Services at Jumpfactor.