Are CIOs using social media? This is a question we hear frequently – with any C-Suite audience actually. Most recently it came up while we were working with an IT consulting firm to develop an integrated marketing campaign aimed at building awareness and engagement with CIOs and influencers. A critical component of the campaign, as…
In today’s increasingly complex, cluttered and connected marketing environment, B2B marketers have become more sophisticated in their use of content to open a dialogue with prospects and lead them through the decision-making process. This is especially true in high-tech industries, where B2B buyers will often do significant research before even talking to a salesperson.
Not surprisingly, content marketing is playing an increasingly important role in the marketing strategy of many B2B technology firms. In fact, according to a recent article from CMO.com, B2B tech marketers are actually ahead of the curve when it comes to content marketing, especially in their use of social media channels and new content formats, such as virtual trade shows.
However, the growing popularity of content as a marketing tool has led to one of its challenges: now, everyone is publishing and distributing content, including the biggest technology firms, who have entire departments dedicated to generating whitepapers, research reports, webinars and other content. Cisco and Intel have even launched a tech-focused B2B magazine called Unleashing IT to build awareness around core business lines and help sales reps facilitate conversations with prospects.
All this means that it’s no longer enough just to develop content. To break through the clutter, B2B tech brands need to produce content that others are not. This is especially important when trying to reach C-Suite executives, who often hold the keys to the kingdom for B2B marketers. As we examined in a recent whitepaper, C-suite executives in particular are always looking for “fresh ideas from outside their companies.” But in an environment of information overload, the content that grabs their attention is that which they can’t find elsewhere.
To do this, B2B tech firms must make sure their content strategy aligns closely with their brand. Is your brand approachable, innovative, specialized in a certain industry or field? What do you know that no one else knows? In what areas can you credibly be considered thought leaders? The answers to these questions will help firms discover that content niche that is truest to the brand, with content that is most credible and unique coming from the firm.
One strategy for increasing the likelihood that your content will be perceived as credible and unique is making it proprietary: surveys and other primary research can establish credibility even in areas in which you may not already be perceived as an authority. They also provide your firm with exclusive data – a great lead in for starting a conversation with prospects.
As B2B tech marketers continue to push the envelope with content marketing, it’s important to remember that, whichever channel or format thought leadership is communicated through, to really stand out, you must produce content that others are not, content that is truly original and credible coming from your firm. This is the type of content that clients and prospects will pay attention to.