Have you heard? Content is being touted as today’s most effective way to market your company.
Content marketing. It’s a buzz phrase for what we know as sales slicks and brochures, only today it has a different feel.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Today, tech companies’ content shows up in a variety of forms—from blogs, e-digests and podcasts to white papers, videos and case studies.
Using content is a way to communicate valuable expertise and educate customers and prospects without “selling.” By delivering valuable information, companies in the IT space can position themselves as experts in the technology of their choice, which in turn builds trust and strengthens their brand to get the sale.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, a whopping 93% of B2B companies in 2014 use content marketing as a part of their business strategy for brand awareness, lead generation and customer acquisition. Content has become the primary foundation and fuel for social media engagement.
By delivering the right information at the right time to customers, partners and prospects, companies lay the foundation for long-term relationships. Customers and prospects will think and talk about that business more freely, which ultimately leads to new sales opportunities.
In order to connect with customers in a way that resonates with them, technology companies are beginning to understand that today’s B2B customers have a strong desire to consume information.
“Today’s B2B marketers have to embrace the new reality that buyers have infinite access to information about their solutions along with competitive choices,” says Peter Ross, vice president, corporate marketing, TechTarget, a firm that specializes in content creation and lead generation for technology firms.
“That means having a good content marketing strategy that keeps pace with an active buyer’s insatiable content consumption and increasing social engagement so they can consume and share information instantaneously and continuously at all points in their buy cycle.”
This also empowers your customers to become an extension of your marketing arm, by sharing your content across their social networks with a much broader audience than you could do on your own,” he added.
Thanks to social networks, businesses no longer need to appear in a major press publication, employ a top journalist or have a publishing budget for their content to be seen by the market.
Next month we’ll discuss how an effective content strategy can drive social engagement to make your IT company sales ready, competitive and opportunistic.
[ Leadarati helps IT firms drive value and increase opportunities through social, digital and online communications.]