Whether you create your own or work with a content marketing agency, digital content – produced according to a well-planned strategy – can offer many advantages for a tech or SaaS business.
Content is the fuel of inbound marketing and a core component of the service Blend offers to our clients. Through our content marketing efforts, we have seen fantastic results for our partners in the technology and SaaS spheres.
You’ll find many reasons why content marketing, created within an inbound methodology, can improve lead generation and marketing ROI for any business. Here are just some of the reasons why a focused, wholehearted content marketing strategy could be hugely beneficial to your technology or SaaS business in particular.
Content adds value without “giving it all away”
Many businesses worry that producing valuable educational content will give away the secrets or services that customers ought to be paying for. It’s an unnecessarily protective and coy attitude for the current state of marketing, and the old adage “you have to give to receive” springs to mind.
Empowering your customers does not weaken your business. By showing off the recipe for your business’s “special sauce”, you can impress your expertise, transparency and value upon potential customers. You establish yourself as a customer-centric, helpful source of information – a brand to be trusted. Trust is a powerful motivator for customers, especially when it comes to making business purchases that may affect the very working of their businesses.
Creating educational content that answers some of your customers’ most common questions can have some positive effects beyond marketing. Content can effectively function as in-depth FAQS; addressing common queries and issues in this way may save your staff time that they would normally spend telling customer after customer how to deal with a simple problem.
Aid Product and Brand Discovery
What if your solution is so ingenious that no one can even imagine such a thing exists yet?
It may sound dubious, but, in fact, many tech companies offer products or services that customers may not even realise they need. If your product is just that special, how can you ensure your ideal customer is able to find it?
Creating useful content that follows the inbound methodology – being relevant to your prospective customers’ needs and pain-points, rather than talking about your product/s – can help you draw attention and gain customer awareness. And by targeting relevant keywords that you know people are searching for, you can bring traffic to your site in the first place.
People may not be searching for your product (yet!) but, chances are, they are searching for ways to solve the problem or issue it addresses. Help them find the answers, and you can help them find you.
Talking of Brand – Help Give Yours Some Personality
Thankfully, the desperate scramble to mimic the likes of Innocent in an effort to sound like your customers’ oh-so-quirky collective best friend seems to be on the wane at last. However, irritating and oft-misguided though this trend was, it was rooted in good practice. Humanising your brand is a valuable endeavour. It doesn’t matter whether you are a B2B rather than B2C company; customers still like to feel like they are doing business with real human beings that they can trust and form a relationship with.
Businesses that create highly technical products may benefit particularly from a little personality, helping them to stand out from the crowd and demonstrating approachability and understanding to customers. Your content, particularly your blog, is a great place to show who you are (dare I say even an opportunity to showcase a touch of humour?)
Engage and educate your customers on complex topics
Many companies in the software and/or wider tech industry find that explaining their product or industry niche can be a tricky task, especially to a layman audience.
Producing engaging, educational content gives you a great opportunity to elucidate your subject area. Tech companies and SaaS businesses are brilliantly placed to create informative and useful e-books, white-board videos and case studies to help people understand their industry, niche and products or services.
In an article for AdAge, GE’s Global Director of Media and Content Strategy, Jason Hill, explained the company's embracing of content thusly:
“We have tremendously high brand awareness but not necessarily a deep understanding of what the brand does. Reason we've got into a brand marketing space is that ours is a story that requires more than an ad. Content helps [us] explain the technology behind the logo.”
Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader
Educating your audience, discussing the current state of the industry, and predicting or investigating future trends all demonstrate a thorough understanding of your subject and a discerning attention to detail.
Again, you cannot achieve this by just churning out blog posts with little thought or effort – your content must be best-in-class, displaying confidence, wisdom and, ideally, innovation or even carefully considered controversy.
In a blog discussing B2B thought leadership, Gordon Plutsky argues:
"Those that have are able to rise to the top of consumer and prospect awareness by using once-proprietary knowledge to establish themselves as thought leaders in their field. They don't give away the house, but they share enough valuable insights to pique audience's' interest and prove they're worth their salt."
Showing your business as cognisant of, and interested in, future developments and trends is particularly useful for older brands that may risk looking fuddy-duddy or obsolete. If you want people to believe that your business is still relevant, then make sure you prove it.
Fuelling your social media accounts with content worth sharing is a great way to learn more about the thoughts and needs of your customers – invaluable for any business and perhaps extra useful for those companies whose products are more niche. Producing and promoting content can help you put your brand where your customers are. The better your social media strategy and the more appealing the content it promotes, the more people will engage with it.
Implemented and executed well, content marketing can have profound results but it needs a serious time, creativity and effort investment. A half-hearted attempt, with corners cut to save time, will end in failure and just waste the time you do put in.
Our introduction to content marketing will help you get started.