Content can become a source of pressure for tech businesses – they know they need content but how can they create and make the best use of it?
There’s the pressure to come up with content in the first place, but also the pressure to commit to it and to create consistent content that engages with audiences.
To relieve some of this pressure, here are our 10 content tips for tech businesses.
1. Understand your objectives first
Content creation isn’t a case of looking enviously at someone else’s blogs or social media posts and trying to come up with your version of something similar.
Content should be specific to your business objectives and, importantly, to the audience you wish to reach.
Before you plan your content, you must therefore build your content strategy.
This should include:
- Your business case for using content, and what success should look like by achieving your goals this way, as well as identifying potential risks
- Your content marketing business plan, including your specific goals and what value you wish to provide by using content, and relevant opportunities and obstacles.
2. Do your research
Launching into your content creation without research is like flying blind. You need to get a clear picture of who your target audience is.
An excellent way of doing this is by creating audience personas. These are fictional profiles representing similar groups of people in your target audience.
Audience personas can help you shape a content strategy that can connect with people on a more personal level.
They can reveal patterns about how people live and work, and provide the essential data for you to map out journeys for how they discover, buy and use your tech products or services.
You can then begin to plan the type of content that you can deliver throughout these journeys, helping them to move closer to their goals.
3. Plan your content
Once you understand who you want your content to reach, and what you want them to do once they encounter it, you can plan this content.
Content planning is different from content strategy. Planning is about creating the practical structure to support your content strategy.
Without this structure, you can’t ensure the consistency and regularity of your output.
The main points your content planning should cover are:
- Making sure it's high quality (see below) and relevant to your audience
- Assigning dedicated resources to create and share it
- Choosing methods and channels to ensure your content reaches its audience
- Keeping your content on schedule.
Your research should give you a good idea of what your audience is looking for, and the various online channels they use.
Plan your content based on this. Create a content calendar to make sure your content creation aligns with key industry events or other newsworthy items, and that you publish it regularly.
4. Put quality ahead of quantity
Yes, it’s important to gain a firm foothold online by publishing content frequently, but focus first on its quality.
Google rates quality. Its search algorithms rank content according to a range of factors, including the relevance and usability of pages concerning people's search queries.
To rank the best pages first, Google’s algorithms analyse multiple factors to determine how useful they are. They place considerable weight on assessing the trustworthiness and authority of the subject matter.
Basically, you need to know your stuff, and to communicate this depth of knowledge to your target audience. But put your audience’s needs first when you do this. Resist the urge to make your content all about you.
5. Educate and inform
When we say educate your audience with content, we don’t mean you should take on the role of an instructor per se. Rather, this is about giving them knowledge that is useful and of value to them.
If, for example, you're marketing a new app aimed at a specific user group, what content can you create that will address the pain points of this group?
Perhaps you can explore the reasons why they encounter certain issues or explore and explain data that supports certain outcomes.
Remember that Google likes content that answers the questions people are asking.
6. Entertain and engage
Just because your focus is on quality content that answers your audience’s questions doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining at the same time.
Successful content is content that engages with an audience. Various factors will help your content achieve this.
One is storytelling. The more you can use your content to shape powerful narratives, the more likely it’ll be engaging for your audience.
What do we mean by storytelling? One example for tech brands is the case study. This doesn’t have to be a dry record of facts and figures. Use it to describe the obstacles your customer faced, the problems they couldn’t solve, and what the legacy of your answer has been.
7. Use different content formats
The blog or article is a familiar content format, but it must appear readable on-screen.
Therefore, you need to structure it for good readability, with plenty of subheadings, bullet points and itemised lists. If you can break up the text with images, charts, graphs or photographs then do.
But you can also use other content formats altogether. The infographic is an especially effective way of displaying information graphically that is attention-grabbing.
Interactive content, including surveys and quizzes, is also effective at engaging audiences.
Consider other forms of written content such as ebooks and whitepapers, where you can explore topics at length, build your credibility and provide downloadable resources in return for audience data.
Another popular format is video. Our advice here is to keep your videos brief, informative and professional – talking at length while filming yourself on a smartphone on your commute doesn’t make for compelling content.
8. Share and distribute
There’s little point in creating content that no one’s going to see. It’s hugely important to raise awareness of your content.
Your research should show you which social media channels will help you reach your target audience, and therefore where you should be promoting your content.
Consider other forms of content outreach too, such as newsletters and emails, to help promote your content and drive your audience to it.
9. Measure your performance
Content isn't a shot in the dark or something you simply produce at volume with the hope that some of it will stick.
You need to measure the performance of your content against the goals that you’ve set.
- Identify the performance priorities of your content based on your strategic objectives – is it getting your audience to act in the way you want them to?
- Establish content performance benchmarks in your industry to see how your content compares
- Calculate your baseline costs to make sure your content is meeting your expected ROI
- Match key metrics, such as click-throughs, registrations or conversions with your content goals.
10. Get expert input
Marketing is a broad discipline and within this, content marketing is a specialist area.
Content isn’t something you can create, manage and measure effectively if it’s a task you assign to someone who already has a full-time role elsewhere in your business.
Managing it requires dedication, depth of knowledge and experience and adaptability, plus the essential skills to produce the content itself.
In a digital age of mass connectivity, content creation is something you simply cannot ignore or risk getting wrong.
Look for professional advice, guidance and support for your content as you would with other essential aspects of your business.
Want to know more about creating content that wins business? Talk to the Prize Content team today.