American’s tech sector is booming along with the rest of the economy.
And most of them, primarily B2B and IT tech companies, are using sophisticated content marketing strategies to drive that market share, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
Technology and IT companies sell complex products and services that involve many departments in the buying process. Well-executed content marketing can help educate consumers who need to know the ins, outs, and particulars of every feature and nuance of every tech solution.
Cloud providers, ethernet switches, and anti-virus software don’t just sell themselves. They need clear, concise educational content, an authoritative voice, or an alignment of values with the ones doing the buying. Y’know—all the stuff content marketing excels at.
Here’s how IT and B2B tech companies are leveraging content marketing strategies to drive market share and sales growth:
They’re using content to establish thought leadership: Lenovo is known for their black, boxy business-oriented laptops, desktops, and servers, with revenue in the tens of billions of dollars. But they still needed to spread brand awareness, specifically to IT departments in small-to-medium businesses. To do that, they built TechRevolution, a content hub with hundreds of educational articles about cloud computing and data protection, and dozens of videos from top Lenovo experts and thought leaders.
You’d hardly know it’s a Lenovo-branded site, it looks so much like a regular tech publication. But the effort paid off. The content, written mainly by marketing and sales team members, boosted the company’s lead generation, engagement with users, attendance at events, and revenue.
Hitachi Europe achieved similar results with its Social Innovation Stories site, comprised of articles about how Hitachi tech can improve farm communities and turn seawater into drinking water.
Content marketing is all about building trust with an audience by granting a solution to a problem. With content that establishes authority of certain subjects (such as desalination) or proves the effectiveness of a product or technique, your customer base will genuinely believe in you and follow you through the sales funnel.
They’re enlisting influencers and SMEs to engage markets. Tencent is one of the biggest companies in the world. Despite a slump in its gaming business, a trade war, and a $178 billion slide in value (equivalent to a whole Netflix), the Chinese tech firm is still in line with the growth of Facebook. Besides games, it’s responsible for the WeChat app, Internet services, payment systems, and e-commerce.
It also runs an annual innovation summit where, before his death, Stephen Hawking appeared on video to talk about interstellar travel and warn attendants of the troubles facing humanity and its future. The video, and Hawking’s doomsaying, caught on like wildfire, especially in Chinese social media where resident pop star Karry Wang reached out to the professor with over 30 million followers watching.
This confluence of two major SMEs engaged tens of millions of users with a couple of short videos. Tapping a young subject matter expert with a prominent following could be all you need to boost shares and revenue, without the need for a big budget traditional advertising campaign.
They’re taking a stand on social issues. This dovetails with the first section of this article, which talks about using content hubs to establish thought leadership. While brands like Lenovo and Hitachi mention social innovations in their content hubs, brands like Cisco put corporate social responsibilities front and center in their About Us sections and dedicated content hubs, where they describe conversation efforts, bringing relief to disaster areas, and connecting unconnected cities.
If your company cares about a cause, let your audience know. Sharing concerns for social issues humanizes a brand and builds a community around your company and its solutions. This type of connection helped Cisco gain enormous market share at above 50 percent globally in Ethernet switches and routers. They are literally connecting people through the Internet.
They’re using resource hubs with a variety of valuable content. StartApp is a startup that gathers consumer data and user insights and sells it to companies like Mattel, Yahoo, and Yandex. It has several things going for it, including a clean, modern design with an attractive white-and-green color scheme and youthful vibe. The user experience is uncluttered, easy to use.
And the content is comprehensive, with a resource hub full of educational, valuable articles, case studies, white papers—even a podcast. It’s a textbook example of a firm knowing the type of information its audience wants and then hitting every content type, consistently. Regularly updated educational content attracts current and new customers, particularly decision makers and planners who may be sales-qualified leads. It’s worked for StartApp, which was named one of the fastest growing companies back in 2015.
These are successful companies driving a lot of the market share in their respective niches. But you can take after them and perform similar feats on your own budget level, too. Like any worthwhile relationship, it takes time building relationships with customers. Content marketing strategies are long-term plans that focus on providing relevant, high-quality content to customers looking for solutions that suit their needs. With your content, you’re just helping them make their decision.
Need help helping your customers? Contact S&G and we’ll devise a campaign marketing strategy fit for your market.