We asked our writers for their take on why technology companies need to master content marketing. We’ll be sharing their blog posting in a series called “Our Writer’s Advice.” Here is Robin Halcomb’s perspective:
Driving Technology Sales Forward With Content Marketing
“We need new software for this – get XYZ on the phone!”
That may have been the norm 20 years ago. But today’s technology buyers begin the purchase process by educating themselves about their particular problem and the available options for solving it. You may never get on their radar if you don’t show up early in their search. Here are four reasons to rely on content marketing to ensure your place on the RFP list.
1. Buyers seek content at every stage of their journey
Nearly half of B2B buyers now look to white papers, case studies and other content far ahead of talking to vendors, according to the 2016 Content Preferences Survey Report. And as buyers become more aware of the information available and how easy it is to access, count on this number to climb.
2. Your competition is already there
2016 was a banner year for content creation. According to the Content Marketing Institute, ramping up content offerings was high on the list for more than three-quarters of B2B marketers. Companies that have committed time and resources to content are now showing up in buyers’ searches at every step of the way. What about you?
3. Effective content feeds sales
Want content that really connects with buyers? Have a long talk with the people who have regular face time with your company’s clients, your sales team. There’s no better editor than one who’s stood in a CEO’s office, making your company’s case and deftly handing objections.
Your sales people know firsthand what buyers are looking for, the objections they raise, and how they respond to your marketing offerings. They should be one of your primary sources for creating content that goes to the heart of your prospects’ needs.
4. Google is searching for a few good posts
Trying to keep up with the latest changes to Google’s algorithm? Good luck with that. It seems just when you begin to understand what they want, they change the playground. Underlying all the changes seems to be a genuine quest on Goggle’s part to find content that actually provides meaningful results. So focus on content that addresses searchers’ needs – and Google will find you.
Guiding the creation process
Battlecard or sales sheet? Whatever you call it, this document is the playbook your sales team uses when connecting with buyers. Why not make it a foundation document for creating your content marketing plan?
While the content in the image above is several years old, it showcases how a technology company, in this case NetApp, has used digital marketing methods to drive valuable information to partners and customers. FlexPod, the product featured in this battle card is now considered a global leader in converged infrastructure.
In this example, you can see CFOs are focused on controlling costs. That might suggest a need for case studies, such as one highlighting the cost and risk reduction a client experienced after implementing your product. Or an eBook about how technology reduces infrastructure complexities and costs.
From a concise statement of what you’re selling, to a well-thought-out description of your prospects, the battlecard can be the starting point of a great relationship between sales and marketing.
Content marketing is a proven method for placing your company top of mind when it comes time to purchase. Make a carefully designed and executed program a regular go-to in your company’s lead generation arsenal.