I remember reading Doug Kessler’s now legendary (uh, B2B legendary) Crap: The Content Marketing Deluge SlideShare a few years ago and thinking every marketer in the world must have had some version of this argument floating in their brains. It’s just hard to imagine it being said with more clarity or wit than Doug brought to his. It’s a delightful and easy read if you haven’t yet had the opportunity.
His argument can be boiled down to this:
- Every marketer and her mother are getting in on the content conga line.
- This has led to a deluge of marketing-generated content—some of it good, a lot of it crap.
- Buyer sentiment towards marketing content will sour on account of all the crap.
- But, the brands that truly dedicate themselves to quality content—created from the buyer’s perspective, focused on your sweet spot of knowledge, consistently published, not lazy—will reign supreme in the post-deluge world.
What does all this mean for IT solution providers devising a content marketing strategy? The good news is there has been a big validation in recent years of quality over quantity. Content is as important as ever for IT pros, it’s just a matter of separating signal from noise. If you’re starting at zero with content, you can go a long way with just a few key evergreen assets that do the heavy lifting.
When we talk to an IT solution provider looking to get started with content we usually suggest the following in order:
- Case studies (video or written) – The case study is a content powerhouse, especially in IT. Tech pros like hearing from their peers, getting specific details about use cases and ROI, and they want to validate you as a potential solution provider. A good case study achieves all these things at once.
- About you video – A 1-minute video (animated or live photography)—embedded top of fold on your homepage is a great way to tell your overarching story as a solution provider in one succinct, consumable package.
- Why you 1-pager (or infographic) – For many IT pros, choosing a solution provider comes down to the value-add proposition. This content piece is a key asset, but it needs to capture true differentiators, not just the usual clichés. And try to avoid the dreaded datasheet filled with gobs of copy. Very few IT pros will read it, and they’ll be put off from the start. Try an infographic-style treatment—visual, punchy, scannable and fun.
- Subject matter expert (SME) videos – Your top SMEs—particularly in areas like security, big data, IoT and cloud—bring a human face to your brand and validate your expertise. The loose, casual SME interview video is one of our favorite content formats for IT solution providers.
- ROI calculator (or other practical, interactive tool) – Some of the most appreciated value-adds a solution provider can bring to a tech buying decision is the lower-funnel stuff. Interactive tools like ROI calculators are a great way to bring real value to prospects and position yourself as a true IT advisor. They work great as the centerpiece of a lead-gen campaign as well.
Solve for Killer Content
Lauchlan helps IT solution providers do content, whether it’s 1 asset or a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Check out our Content Is King microsite to learn more.
Pete Fuduric is Content Director at Lauchlan. You can email Pete at email@example.com.