Technology companies are no different than normal companies, but their products and services are oftentimes very advanced and specific. You can’t simply launch your content out for the entire world to see. It has to find the right target audience in the right context, so that they’ll better understand your product/service and see how it’s relevant to their life or business.
You may think that producing and promoting your content are the only two steps to your content strategy, but there is a lot more that goes into the process. Content strategy includes the content review, planning, creation, delivery, and reporting phases. Each of these five stages is equally important. Below, mbudo explains what goes into the fives steps of your tech company’s content strategy.
1. Content review & management
The very first step in your content strategy is reviewing all the content that currently exists. This is often called a “content audit”. Content could include old press releases, PowerPoint presentations, event & product photos, blog posts, and more. Anything that contains information about your company is content!
Re-purposing and recycling old content with new updates or a fresh twist is the easiest way to create new content. It saves time, money, and energy! Plus, gathering all your content that currently exists allows you to see what content is missing and needs to be written. It’s basically seeing the holes in Swiss cheese – if the cheese were your tech company’s content strategy!
Furthermore, the content review phase also includes content management, which just means how you organize your content. If you can’t easily find or store your content, you won’t know what’s already been written or where your content is when it’s time to publish. Use a Content Management System to house your files and photos in a way that makes sense to your team. Nomenclature is very important! Also keep an updated spreadsheet of all posts so that you can eliminate those ideas from future brainstorming sessions.
2. Content planning
Once you’ve done an assessment of all the content you have, you can dig deeper into filling your content gaps. Identify your audience’s needs, problems, and desires, and how your product or service acts as a solution. What is your unique value proposition? What information can you provide to improve the customer experience? You need to get very familiar with what you’re offering.
Next, the pre-planning stage includes defining several Buyer Personas (BP), or your potential ideal customers with some research or data to back them up. How will your content lead them through the 3 stages of the Buyer’s Journey: awareness (top of the funnel), consideration (middle of the funnel), and decision-making (bottom of the funnel)? You want to generate the type of leads that become customers. And not just customers, but advocates. When someone loves your product/service, they’ll be more persuaded to talk about it. That’s free word-of-mouth marketing.
Remember, each piece of content should speak to a BP and correlate to their stage in the Buyer’s Journey. This way your content is hyper-focused. Types on content to consider include:
- blog posts
- videos – see mbudo’s tips for successfully using video
- case studies
- product demonstrations
- product launches or releases
- customer testimonials
- so much more
After coming up with some new content ideas, you’re ready to start your Content Plan. The Content Plan should be a detailed 3-month calendar or spreadsheet of all the content you will publish (repurposed old content and new content), plus any events or initiatives taking place within this period. Your content leads your BPs through the various stages of their Buyer’s Journey, plus organizes and orients campaigns around any important events. Decide what you will publish, when, and how.
3. Content creation
Before getting started, note that your technology company needs to have a basic web presence. This consists of a website that clearly explains your products and services, with testimonials from customers or experts. Ideally, it should also include a blog to host your content and relevant social media channels to disperse this content. Having a good web presence makes you more trustworthy, as most consumers will look to the internet for more information about what they’re buying and who they’re buying it from. Don’t worry if you don’t have testimonials—add them to your Content Plan for implementation in the future!
Now onto content creation: Your content should not be a sales pitch—unless you’re writing a sales pitch. Yes, the final goal of your content may be to acquire a customer, but most people don’t enjoy reading sales-oriented material. It simply isn’t that interesting and doesn’t necessarily tell them what they want to know. What you want to do is educate your readers/viewers about your product or service and lead them step-by-step through the Buyer’s Journey.
Everything from tone-of-voice to point-of-view needs to be thoughtfully carried out. Are you a B2B or B2C company? The way you communicate with these two audiences may be different. Consider doing some SEO online and link-building. These should both be part of your content strategy, but don’t forget that at the center of everything should behelpful content with an interesting, human writing style.
Keep technical jargon to a minimum, as many abbreviations can sound and look distasteful. You should be explaining things so that even newcomers can understand. That being said, on more in-depth posts, make sure to provide enough detail to aid more informed readers. There are many tips for writing technical content, it just takes time, dedication, and even some fun to improve and create your unique style.
Finally, don’t forget about all things visual. In addition to being well-written, your content needs to look good. Oftentimes, simpler is better. People don’t need to be tricked or entertained by fancy designs and pop-ups (these things may even turn them off). In whatever you’re creating—a downloadable e-book, instructional video, or infographic—make sure that it fits the style of your brand, is easily consumable, and is no more complex than it needs to be.
4. Content delivery
After you’ve written the perfect blog post or created the ultimate product demonstration video, how will it reach your target audience? Make sure to set up your company blog and social media channels in advance. Although it’s ok to have a presence on many different social channels, you may want to choose 2-3 core channels to focus on and strengthen. And make sure not to post the exact same thing on every channel.
However, just posting your content on social media isn’t enough. Think about influencers in your sector, industry blogs you could write a guest post for, paid social ads, search engine advertising, print media like industry journals, etc. If you have email lists, think about delivering your content through a newsletter or email marketing campaign (otherwise, start creating lists from your leads!) And remember to pay attention to relevant seasons and holidays in your region!
There are a lot of methods to get your content out there for the world to see. The good news is there isn’t one best way to deliver content. This comes in handy when recycling content. Turn that product demonstration video into a how-to blog post. Then, gather similar blog posts and organize them into a targeted email blast. If your email blast performs well, turn it into a monthly newsletter. The possibilities are endless!
5. Content reporting & optimization
You might think that publishing your content is where your content strategy ends, but there is a lot that goes on after publication. Other than providing information to readers/viewers and turning leads into customers, companies generally want to steadily improve and reach greater goals. Metrics, analytics, and reports are the way to make that happen. Study the data—many social channels offer built-in metrics and software like HubSpot helps put together the reports that matter to you. (By the way, the team at MBudo is a HubSpot Platinum Member—and we stay on top of HubSpot’s latest advancements!)
You’ll find that your analysis will key you into the pieces that are performing well, and which ones are struggling. Use this information to orient you Content Plan for the next trimester. Identify the trends of your star content—is it all about the same topic, on a certain platform, or in a particular format? Study your niche in the tech industry and take risks with your content. After all, technology is all about innovation.
Lastly, dig deeper into the posts that are lagging behind—maybe they revolve around a past event or outdated service. Is there a new version of this product or service? Do you need to respond to new offerings from the competition? Try updating or repurposing content and see if it performs differently. Content optimization is all about experimentation, trial and error, and addressing any and all changes that arise in the fast-moving world of technology.