The Power of Content Marketing for IT Services
Technology and the services that connect them all have seen massive growth in the past few years. And we are just getting started. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we are now seeing software that teaches software how to write better software.
Content marketing emerged early on as a driver of technology and IT Service company marketing strategies. It was resisted at first because many product folks and engineers thought of marketing as a bad word and akin to lying. IT people don’t want to be marketed to (aka sold to or lied to), they would say. I was called a “marketeer” by many of these product engineers early on in my career. It was not a complement.
But content marketing helped to change the conversation. Technology and IT Service buyers need to be educated on the context of new technology. Content marketing helped engineers to see that marketing could be helpful. Creating and publishing content that answers the questions on the minds of your prospects and customers is how you start to build trust, get measurable traffic to your website, and leads for your IT services.
The Big Picture of Content Marketing
I define content marketing as a marketing strategy that consistently publishing customer-focused content on your website that allows you to reach and convert new customers for your business.
So ads, product promotions, lies of any kind, and brochures do not fall under the realm of content marketing.
Content marketing is more important in industries where the educational needs of the buyer are high. That’s why Technology, healthcare, finance and IT Services see the highest penetration of content marketing. Because your buyers demand it.
- Content marketing is an affordable way to reach and convert new clients to your IT Service business
- Publishing helpful content that educates your audience is more effective than more traditional forms of paid advertisement
- Keeping a consistent and quality content marketing schedule is critical to achieving Compounding Marketing ROI
So we’ve assembled a list of what you need to know and how to implement content marketing for your brand to maximize the value of your content marketing efforts for your IT Service business:
What You Need to Know For Content Marketing Your IT Services
Know Your Audience [WHO?]
The first step in deciding what content to write is understanding who you’re writing it for – your buyer persona.
For a B2B IT services, your target audience is usually business owners and technology leaders. But as I love to say, Personas are great except when they suck. What they call themselves, how old they are, your fake names for them – aren’t going to help you create great content.
WHAT Are They Interested In?
You need to focus on topics of interest. What are their top challenges, concerns, questions. What kinds of things are they interested in? What are the hottest topics in your industry.
WHY do they care?
You need to answer the WHY for your persona and how it related to your business, like we did here. (and many other ways!) Why is privacy, security, cloud, digital transformation important?
WHEN to publish
Our research shows that businesses that publish more than once a week, see 4-5x more traffic and leads than those who publish infrequently or not at all.
It’s also important to remember that your buyers are searching for answers to their top business challenges every single day!
And of course I love to say that Google is looking for your website to have a heart beat, a cadence, a rhythm that it can see from regular blog posting.
If your IT business is a start-up or a longstanding pillar of industry, you got to where you are by excellent technicians, service people, and sales reps. Experts in their fields of study and champions of excellence.
But they probably aren’t writers. If you haven’t already, you’re going to have to track down quality writers with proven blog-writing (or even journalism) experience. Ideally, you’re looking for people plugged into the tech or cybersecurity spaces to fill out your website and enhance your content marketing efforts.
But hiring blog writers directly is expensive and time-consuming. You can always try and hire freelancers or work with a writing agency.
There’s pros and cons to both, but you have options when considering content creation for your digital marketing efforts. We believe outsourcing content gives you an advantage because you can get the best of all worlds: experienced writers, less cost than full-time hires, less hassle than finding the write ones.
However, blog writing isn’t the only type of content you want to consider in your content marketing. These days videos, animations, demos, customer testimonials are also important.
Take this example from SaberVox Cloud Software:
By using good expert analysis and real-world application, they explain why you need their services. Leading your prospect to this natural conclusion is the whole point of content marketing! Make sure to hire experienced videographers or content creators to advise you and execute similar content.
HOW to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy for IT Services
Using the framework we provided here should be a good start. Or just call us and we’ll handle it all for you. But whatever you decide, you should consider:
- Who you are writing for? What questions do they have?
- Where you are publishing? Your website is the best way to attract new leads.
- Who does the work. Finding someone to build your content strategy and expert writers is key
- How often will you publish
- Where will you distribute the content? Can you automate some aspects of promotion?
- How will you measure results
HOW MUCH Value Does It Deliver
Half the battle of content marketing is measuring the results and being able to read your analytics for insights into your audience. There’s a couple key metrics you need to keep track of how well you are reaching and converting new customers.
Traffic on your content includes the number of eyes and users getting to your website. Important questions to consider during analysis include where are my viewers coming from, how many are there, and what are the demographics I’m the most popular with. These answers will tell you about the raw viewership of your content marketing, giving you a solid base to work from.
Engagements refers to the sharing, commenting, and interacting done with your content across social media. This includes things like comments, likes, and conversations surrounding what your page has published. Higher engagement makes social media platforms more likely to put your content in front of fresh eyes.
Conversions on your content include how many viewers are actually becoming customers via your content. After all, the whole point of this is to convert your prospects into returning, loyal customers and clients. This metric will help you decide which of your content is best for overall viewership, and which gives you the best shot at increasing your bottom dollar.
These metrics should drive your content marketing strategy. You have to be able to look at the trends in the content you produce online and read between the lines. Some of the things you do will work better than others. Figure out what does – and do more of it.
Know Your Website(s)
If you’re in IT, you know that good UI (user interface) is crucial to the overall experience of a viewer. After all, who would want to call you to implement IT Services if your web experience is terrible?
Furthermore, knowing what your social media following and presentation looks like is important to keeping up your brand image for clients and prospects.
We’ve worked with dozens of companies working on a relaunch of their website and put together this checklist of things you want to consider.
But your main website isn’t your only website. Your social media channels are powerful distribution tools meant to share your services with the world. IT services lend themselves best to more professional avenues like LinkedIn and Facebook.
Check out what industry leader Tata Consultancy Services is doing on LinkedIn. With over 10 million followers, they are amplifying their brand voice and in turn distributing their content to prospects and customers all over the world. By effectively utilizing a professional platform, they are able to boast their authenticity and credibility for all to see.
As an IT Service company, you probably don’t have to be on Snapchat, but identifying your communities across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can put you in a place where the conversation already is.
IT services is a tough field to set yourself apart from the competition. In a research-oriented business, you need to be able to put the information your prospects need to convert right in front of their faces. By knowing your audience, creators, analytics, and websites, you can boost awareness of your services today! Go get to it!