Tech marketers have unique needs when it comes to content marketing. While approximately 95% of tech marketers have embraced content marketing according to Content Marketing Institute’s survey, many of those using content marketing do not have a formal documented strategy.
Creating a documented marketing strategy is an important part of being effective, and keeping your eye on the pulse goes a long way toward helping to develop a workable long-term strategy for success.
Effectiveness Of Marketing Platforms And Tactics
In the same report, 75% of tech sector marketers reported that they found in-person events to be effective. The next most effective tactic was the webinar or webcast.
Many companies host webinars to teach prospective buyers the techniques necessary to successfully use and implement the software they offer. This is especially effective when it comes to signing large companies to enterprise accounts.
Blogs were rated at 60% effective – enough to make a significant difference. In fact, as a whole, much of what tech marketers were doing in terms of content marketing was working, at least 60% of the time.
So far as social media effectiveness went, 72% of tech marketers reported success using LinkedIn and 60% of marketers had success with Twitter.72% of tech marketers report success using LinkedIn and 60% of marketers had success with Twitter. Click To Tweet
When this is compared with a rating of only 23% with Facebook and 7% rating for Google+, it’s clear that those in the tech industry are best-served by focusing on LinkedIn, Twitter, and even YouTube while setting aside Facebook and Google+ if they don’t have the time.
Search Engine Marketing And Promoted Posts
When it comes to paid advertising, Search Engine Marketing and Promoted posts had a 56% and 50% effectiveness rating overall.
If you do use Facebook, paid social is going to more important now than ever before due to changes in the news feed algorithm. This is starting to become true for other networks as well, especially if you want to cut through the noise.
Haven’t tried paid social yet? It doesn’t take much of an investment to dip your toe into the water and see how it works for you.
A Few More Stats You Should Know About
According to CMO.com, one-third of Millennials have a budget for technology purchases of over $10,000. Those in this category making purchases report that industry analysts influence decision-making 38% of the time, face to face meetings influence it 36% of the time, and websites influence them 33% of the time.One-third of Millennials have a budget for technology purchases of over $10,000.Click To Tweet
Hubspot reports survey data stating that 81% of shoppers look online before making large purchases and 44% of individuals go directly to Amazon to begin searching for products. 30% of purchasing is done via mobile technology.
The survey also reports that 72% of adult Internet users use Facebook, 25% use LinkedIn, and 23% use Twitter. Marketers start seeing lead generation benefits on social media by spending 6 hours per week marketing there.
Thus, influencer marketing can help you tap into those coming to the Internet to make their tech-purchasing decisions. The audience is there, it’s just a matter of ensuring that your content reaches them.
Now that you know the statistics, what can you do about them?
The first step is to create a documented marketing strategy. Until you do this, you will be shooting in the dark and unable to measure actual effectiveness of efforts against perceived ones.
In addition to taking the time to sit down and work out how and where you will spend your content marketing efforts, there are a few more things you can do to increase your overall effectiveness.
Focus On Showing Your Audience How You Can Solve Their Problems
You know all the cool things your product does. Your audience may read about all the nifty features of your brand new state-of-the-art accounting software. But unless you spell out how your audience’s accounting problems will be solved by this awesome new software, you’re not going to get the response you are looking for.
Just like when you’re putting together your business plan, you want to focus on a problem-solution base for creating content to share with your audience.
Use storytelling techniques to describe how you came up with that really cool feature that takes care of that huge problem many people have by making their time spent with accounting software much more effective.
Develop A Unique Voice
Too often, as I’m browsing through Twitter, I start to have trouble distinguishing between one Tweet personality and another. Moreover, I can’t tell you how many times I click on a link to find that there’s nothing unique about the article I’m reading.
Not only does it seem like something I’ve read many times, but there’s nothing about the particular article that stands out as being something that only that brand could create.
People like it when they feel that they know the person or company behind the blog post. It builds trust in the brand. Especially in the tech sector, it becomes too easy to become “flat” when talking to your audience.
Instead, let your personality shine through in your content a little bit. Help readers to be comfortable with you. By creating a unique voice for your brand, you’re also helping to engage readers with your company.
Note: Don’t go too far toward being informal in your interactions through content. You still want to be professional, but professional doesn’t have to mean “stiff.” It’s okay to have a little fun, share a tasteful industry joke or two, or even write directly to your audience.
Don’t Overdo Things
Which do you think is more effective: spreading your limited time and resources between Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook as best as you can or spending every bit of limited time on Twitter and LinkedIn?
Unless your marketing research shows that your target market is on Facebook, tech marketers are much better served spending their limited time on Twitter and LinkedIn and really using those platforms well.
Remember: One of the key components to successful content marketing is consistency. If you cannot be consistent, you cannot be maximally effective.
Be willing to scrap things that don’t work for your company in favor of things that do work.
Marketers will find that different platforms and tactics work better for their companies than those listed. That’s great! When you find something that works, do more of it, and eliminate the things that aren’t working so well.
For example, if you find that Twitter isn’t effective for your company but Snapchat has been providing huge returns on investment, then spend more time and resources on Snapchat while pulling back from Twitter.
As Jordan Harling advised in our recent article on tips for B2B social marketing, “It’s much more effective to market to where your audience is than where you think they should be.”
Your specific target audience will dictate what platforms and tactics work best. Perhaps white papers are where it’s at for you, but creating webinars doesn’t work in converting leads to sales. That’s fine – spend more time creating quality white papers.
You Don’t Have To Implement Every Strategy You Come Across
As with focusing your energy and time on things that work, don’t jump headfirst into new strategies if you’re struggling to keep up with the ones that are already working.
You risk spreading yourself too thin, losing your unique voice, and reducing the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Remember, statistics can tell you things about how many people use Facebook, that doesn’t mean that your audience wants to engage with you there.
So, it doesn’t make sense to give up what’s working for your company on LinkedIn for a platform that likely won’t be effective for you.
Lastly, Measure Your Results
In addition to ensuring that you have a documented marketing strategy, it’s also important to be sure that your results have been documented and measured over time. Only 72% of marketers report measuring their return on investment. That’s a huge problem when it comes to calculating what strategies have been effective or ineffective for your company.
Instead of relying on evidence, it means that these companies are relying on memory, which can be faulty. Sometimes, the actual numbers for effective campaigns will surprise you – things you didn’t think would be effective are while things that aren’t working seem more helpful than they actually are because you’re spending more time on them.
Create your own statistics for your marketing effectiveness. Track what tactics work the best in converting leads to customers. Track which social media platforms produce the most leads and convert. Track which paid advertisement platforms are the most effective. Only then will you be able to increase your overall effectiveness and meet your marketing goals.
Ronda Bowen is VP of Editorial Services at Creative Mindscape. She also provides editorial consulting services to a variety of businesses and individuals, runs a handful of blogs (including WiningWife®), and serves as Fundraising Director for JB Dondolo, Inc. In her downtime, she’s a distance runner, a foodie, a wine and coffee aficionado, seamstress and crafter, and board game enthusiast. Learn more about Ronda’s various projects on her website.