Top performers in the tech aren’t just taking content marketing more seriously, they’re being more creative with its uses. We’re seeing top performers treat content marketing as a strategic business function, and we’re telling you, it’s pretty cool to witness the creative results.
Take Wistia for example. Wistia ditched the standard resource page and boring blog posts and instead created an almost Netflix-like approach to content marketing with their Learning Center.
But, Wistia isn’t the only company making waves with its stellar content marketing though. By following these seven major trends in content marketing, you too can start to see success.
1. Continued growth of content marketing
According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, half of technology marketers (51%) expected their 2020 content marketing budget to be higher than it was in 2019. Meaning content marketing is experiencing a growth surge.
If you aren’t finding success with your current digital marketing tactics, try thinking outside of the box. Check out these examples of content marketing from technology companies that are really making a splash.
You’ve probably heard of Blendtec’s popular YouTube series “Will it Blend?” It’s a social campaign that’s garnered millions of views, and it’s been more than just that. It’s also been a sly bit of product marketing that harnesses the right kind of content for its platform. Blendtec didn’t just start throwing out these videos willy-nilly. They researched what works on YouTube and it’s truly paid off — their channel has 867,000 subscribers and the top video (Will It Blend? - iPad) has over 19 million views.
Co-creator of the cult classic cartoon Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland saw potential in the online fan communities of the show and decided to use it to his advantage when he created the VR brand Squanch Games. Rather than wait for consumers to start conversations about Squanch, Roiland and his team created spaces on the platforms their audience was already using like Discord and Reddit. The discussion channels aren’t overly populated by advertisements or intrusions from Roiland himself, but both websites are linked on Squanch’s homepage, bearing an official stamp of approval.
2. Content for multiple audiences
The average number of audiences technology marketers create content for is 3.8 — thus, expanding your reach beyond one or two audiences can generate new customers quicker than you’d imagine.
It’s more common for technology companies to reach out to multiple audiences on multiple platforms because what works for one target demographic, may not work for the other. The biggest challenge we’re seeing for B2B technology companies is creating content that appeals to multi-level roles within the target audience(s). In fact, 59% of tech marketers say this was their top marketing challenge. To move past this hurdle, we suggest identifying personas at all relevant levels of the organization and create content for each role regularly.
3. LinkedIn as a distribution platform
Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn as a distribution platform. We found that 97% of technology marketers use LinkedIn organically while 84% of tech marketers use LinkedIn as a paid platform.
There are demographics available on LinkedIn that you may be completely missing out on. As you move to make your mark on LinkedIn, it’s important to note some new features to be aware of that will ultimately help you reach your target audience:
- LinkedIn Live and LinkedIn Events
- Stories Ads
- Audience Insights
- Document Ads
- Products on Pages (where users can leave reviews similar to G2 Crowd)
- AB Testing/Split Testing
- Campaign Manager Lite
- LinkedIn Business Manager
4. Prioritization of customer loyalty
Current customers are just as important as new ones.In fact, technology companies that see the best results are ones that prioritize customer loyalty — 85% of top performers use content marketing to build loyalty with existing customers. On the other hand, only 58% of all respondents say the same.
By focusing your marketing efforts on current customers, you build an infrastructure that fosters retention and even upsell or cross-sell additional features, products and services.
Here are a couple of other ways you can re-market to pull current customers back in:
- Customer communities: Customer communities can be a safe space for people to “talk shop” with peers, share new information about the industry or even collaborate with other professionals. They can also be a great place to announce eBooks or a new whitepaper.
- Nurturing programs: It’s quite common for B2B technology companies to remove existing customers from marketing automation programs. But rather than lump current customers in with new customers, implement a separate nurturing program for them, with touches occurring less frequently. Instead, try highlighting customer success workshops, live events or webinars.
5. Power of case studies
People trust other people, which is why case studies are one of the most powerful ways to convince consumers that your product or service is the right solution. Among tech marketers, case studies are considered one of the highest-performing types of content.
Case studies can help communicate the value of something technical. By introducing real-world examples, you bridge the divide between the complexity of your product or service, the pain point of the customer and the technical understanding of those involved in the purchase. Surprisingly, case studies are more popular with tech content marketers than with B2B marketers — 82% of tech marketers use them versus 69% of B2B marketers overall.
That said, case studies can be a hard area to get right. Here are a couple of tips for creating useful and successful case studies:
- Introduce the solution and benefit of your product or service right away
- Craft the narrative from a peer-to-peer perspective, and then move beyond
- Humanize the content with pain points or direct quotes
6. Digestible content and interactive experiences
We’ve seen a rise in documentaries and other forms of content as companies look for ways to leverage brand affinity marketing. And while this approach has been used by retail companies for years, tech company branding stands to benefit from it too.
Producing content that connects with your audience on a deeper level can provide something your everyday assets (like sales enablement collateral or email nurture campaigns) aren’t able to.. Your product may feel like a tool more than a service most days, but that can be changed by simply humanizing it (hey, case studies!) through an interactive experience or a fun video series. Don’t believe me? Check out these two companies:
One of the first brands to dip their toe into easy-to-digest content, Mail Chimp created a 5-part series called Second Act. The documentaries feature stories of people who were leaving careers to create new ventures. The mini-series highlighted the service that most new companies utilize when starting a business but explained the benefit of it through a heart-warming story of people following their passions.
Yeti was among the first brands to create their very own online content highlighting people’s stories rather than focusing on the product. At first, they simply focused on salt of the earth people who used Yeti, but with time, their efforts have moved more towards telling stories that resonate with their audience and leaving the sales-focus behind.
Both of these companies were able to create content that could be turned into a viral series, pulling customers back in, over and over again. A docuseries doesn’t have to be the answer, either. Creating interactive product tours, interactive ebooks, quizzes or personalized content recommendations are all other great starting points that will resonate with your audience.
7. Use of intent data
Intent data is behavioral data collected about a person’s online activities — which is a combination of topic and context data.
Topic and context data provide insight on who the person is behind an action and what topics they’re expressing interest in. For example, by reading this article, you’re expressing a level of interest in trends for technology marketers. This is considered topic data. On the other hand, we might assume that you’re a marketing professional and are therefore searching for a new approach to digital marketing. That’s context data.
Intent data can be incorporated into your sales and marketing platforms to identify and find in-market buyers. Intent data can also be poured into marketing technology like a MAP or CRM. Additionally, 80% of B2B brands are leveraging intent data to help with account prioritization and scoring for ABM initiatives. Successful technology marketers have found that intent data can not only help their sales teams focus their outreach, but it can also focus their advertising dollars to determine which topics to address within their content marketing platforms like social media.
Go from blah to cha-ching
Whether you choose to implement one or all of the trends above, your digital marketing strategies are sure to go from blah to cha-ching. Just remember that quality over quantity should be a priority no matter which path you take. If you’re looking for a better way to give your customers a memorable and unique content experience, check out our eBook on how to get that extra 1% of a memorable content experience.