Hire a Technical Writer and Other Secrets: 5 Ways To Use Content Marketing in the IT Industry
Hire a Technical Writer and Other Secrets: 5 Ways To Use Content Marketing in the IT Industry
As a leader or manager of an IT company, you may have used technical writing services to create internal documentation for your staff members. What if you could hire a technical writer to reach your ideal customers through content marketing? Working with strategists from digital content marketing companies, a technical writer can make your products and services more appealing to your target market. Combining elements of customer service, buyer education and consumer interaction, content marketing promotes your company’s growth in several different ways.
Advantages of Content Marketing in the IT Industry
The introduction of the internet to the general public caused a seismic shift, changing marketing in the IT industry and beyond. No longer was marketing a one-way street. The interactive nature of the internet caused consumers to expect more. Finally, they weren’t just a passive audience, but active participants in the exchange of ideas and information.
Clickable ads filled the World Wide Web, yet consumers were not content to simply click slick advertisements. They wanted reliable, useful information, catering to their myriad interests. Content marketing evolved to fulfill the information needs of consumers — and to refine assertive sales pitches into slow, subtle dances that attracted potential customers by making them feel valued.
Content marketing has many advantages over traditional advertising:
- Targeting specific consumer groups
- Fostering interaction with consumers
- Building trust with current and potential customers
- Establishing authority for businesses
Television, radio, print or even internet ads can’t come close to the level of interaction and trust built by content marketing. Traditional advertising is like an impressionist painting that conveys concepts and feelings in broad strokes. Content marketing, on the other hand, is like a multi-part blockbuster series filmed in HD. It supplies a steady stream of dependable information in full color and great detail.
Connect With Customers
Content marketing allows your target audience to communicate directly with you, helping you to better understand your customer’s needs. Instead of hiring a focus group to comment on your latest product or service offering, you can get comments and critiques from any number of consumers. The personalized interaction allows consumers to feel that they have a voice and that their concerns are being heard.
For all its advantages, content marketing can be a complex undertaking. The success of this interaction depends almost entirely on your company’s response to consumer comments. This requires strategy, planning and writing expertise. SEO writing companies and technical writing services have the tools needed to benefit your IT business by taking full advantage of content marketing techniques. Here are five ways your IT company can use content marketing to prosper.
1. Launch a New Product With Help From SEO Writing Companies
Just look at the first page of a Google search and you’ll see the success of SEO professionals. These digital marketing experts know how to draw customers in. They hunt for the best keywords and analyze search trends. They keep abreast of every change to Google’s algorithms, so they know which strategies no longer work — and which strategies can catapult your company’s listing to the top of the search results.
When it’s time for you to release a new product into the market, don’t do it without the fanfare of well-planned content marketing. SEO writing companies have the experience and insights to plan a content marketing strategy that will bring your new release to the attention of your target market. Their efforts can attract customers who need your new product the most and are the most likely to buy it.
SEO writing companies work to spread the word for you. Depending on your intended audience, they might use a combination of content types to launch your new offering, such as:
- Press releases
- Social media postings
- Blog posts
- White papers
- In-depth product descriptions for your virtual store
They’ll even write meta descriptions with keywords to please both search engine algorithms and human readers. These carefully worded meta descriptions for assets such as blog posts serve an important dual purpose: They’ll propel your listings to the top of the search pages and compel customers to click on them.
2. Introduce Yourself to a New Audience Through Dynamic Content Marketing
You’ve pivoted with the times, yet no one outside of your most loyal customer base seems to know it. Even if you had the good business sense to phase out magnetic tape manufacturing and move into offering virtual tape, deduplication appliances or cloud storage solutions, many of your potential customers could still be unaware of your forward-thinking actions. How can you use content marketing to tell the world about your new direction?
You might consider guerrilla marketing techniques as an icebreaker. Correctly executed, these unconventional marketing stunts can attract the attention of potential customers who might never have noticed your brand before. However, such offbeat tactics are not a complete marketing strategy.
Tune Content Marketing to Your Audience
A well-planned marketing strategy requires consistency. The same new audience attracted to the inoffensive humor of your brand’s blog might be turned off by off-color jokes in your social media posts. Consistently providing useful content that suits your audience’s sensibilities will encourage consumers to interact with your brand and possibly become customers.
The strategic expertise of SEO writing companies can get your message out there, building engagement and trust with your audience. By analyzing your audience and their most-used sources of information, SEO content marketers can build customer personas and develop a strong content strategy for your IT business. They’ll target the proper social media channels and write the most appealing types of content for your corporate website, drawing new visitors to your virtual doorstep.
3. Hire a Technical Writer To Showcase an Under-Performing Product
There’s nothing more frustrating than putting your blood, sweat and tears into developing a product, only to find that it never catches on with the customers it could help most. While there are many reasons that a product might not sell as well as expected, one reason could be that its target market was not sufficiently reached. Content marketing is an effective way to tout the benefits of an under-appreciated product so that existing and potential customers will take notice and consider giving that product a try.
A technical writer can furnish content marketing assets such as white papers and case studies to bring an unnoticed product into the spotlight. A white paper describes a problem faced by your customers, details their pain points and then explains how your product is the natural solution. Case studies can be like Cinderella stories for your overlooked product. Like extended testimonials with more background, they give your potential customers real-world examples of how your product saved the day for some of your existing customers.
When you hire a technical writer for this purpose, you can also commission content such as a series of blog posts delving into different implementations for your product. A technical writer could also create an e-book featuring your product, which potential customers could download simply by providing their email addresses. And, once you’ve collected the email addresses of interested parties, you can use an email marketing campaign to transform customer interest into purchase intent.
4. Use Creative Content Marketing To Change Your Reputation
IT giant IBM once suffered from an image problem. Formerly an indomitable force in the IT industry, the IBM of the early 1990s was seen as a plodding, turgid dinosaur. Under the inspired leadership of Lou Gerstner, however, IBM took a radical turn. In addition to implementing significant internal changes, such as massive layoffs and reorganization, Gerstner steered the company toward a new reputation as a caring provider of helpful products and services.
IBM used the game-changing “Solutions for a Small Planet” advertising campaign to improve consumers’ opinions of “Big Blue.” Showing how well IBM helped small- and medium-sized businesses, the campaign was launched through print, radio and television. The internet content published in conjunction with the campaign was perhaps the most irresistible expression of IBM’s new message.
IBM created a rich, detailed storehouse of online information for its customers — including technical guides, white papers and case studies. With separate sets of content appropriately addressing IT developers and business leaders, IBM made its content marketing assets accessible and practical for customers at varying levels of technical understanding. The company’s investment in content marketing made IBM’s solutions more enticing to customers, giving them solid evidence of the picture painted by the “Solutions for a Small Planet” ads. IBM revolutionized its reputation by connecting with businesspeople in a way that hit close to home.
Apply IBM’s Marketing Lessons
Your well-established IT company could be seen as old-school or inflexible — and not responsive to the ever-changing needs of its IT customers. A stodgy or indifferent reputation might be impeding your sales. Well-planned content marketing can change your company’s reputation from “venerable” to “innovative.”
Presenting a consistent brand personality throughout your content marketing is key to successfully changing your business’ reputation. Your company’s brand personality must reflect the varied preferences and needs of your target market, which often consists of both IT specialists and their nontechnical managers. Computer engineers tend to prefer deep dives into product specs. Many other consumers, however, might find the same highly detailed product documentation dry, tedious and even arcane.
Content that targets only software developers is less likely to appeal to the managers or business owners who make purchasing decisions. Find the most attractive ways to showcase your company’s offerings for the software engineer and the C-suite executive alike. Consider the types of content that might appeal to potential customers across the spectrum of the business world. Whether you use SEO writing companies or hire a technical writer to generate your content, make sure that these specialists understand both your business and your customers. Otherwise, they might misrepresent your company or attract the wrong audience.
5. Leverage Technical Writing Services To Provide Better Tech Support
If your tech-support process is convoluted, customer frustration will mount. You may not be able to budget for enough support staff to field every customer call in a timely manner. Self-help technical support resources could be more efficient for both you and your customers. Rather than opening problem tickets and playing phone tag, your customers could start trying fixes immediately. A well-developed knowledge base requires fewer help desk workers to resolve your customers’ technical issues, thus saving your company money.
Thorough, actionable product documentation can create a win-win situation. The downside? Your employees may not have the time or writing skills to produce straightforward documentation for your customers.
Hire a Technical Writer for Knowledge Management
Distill the deep knowledge of your subject matter experts by using a technical writer to translate his or her expertise into customer-friendly content. Trained to work with SMEs, a technical writer has IT experience and specialized training in written communications. In addition to creating documentation for your customer knowledge base, you can hire a technical writer to compose long-form guide articles for your blog. These guides use a conversational tone to lead your customers step-by-step through in-depth processes, such as software or hardware configuration.
Knowledge base documentation and guide articles offer technical solutions. They also build trust with consumers and demonstrate your company’s authority in the IT industry. In this way, they are simultaneously technical support and content marketing assets.
Once these knowledge resources are in place, they can be used by an unlimited number of customers. You could get someone on your staff to update the guides and knowledge base documentation in response to product changes. In many cases, it might be more productive to hire a short-term technical writer to update existing documentation.
Optimize Your Content Marketing
Relying on carefully selected technical writing services and SEO writing companies generally makes more financial sense than tackling content marketing in-house. It also makes more efficient use of your company’s time. Get the maximum benefit from your content assets: Engage marketing professionals to design and execute a masterful content marketing strategy that will make your IT business thrive.