Rapid change is something we accept in the technology industry. Innovative new products reach market every week, changing how we lead our daily lives.
Getting the message of those new technologies out to the community is the role of the marketing teams in tech firms. Effective messaging provides leads, and leads turn into sales. But the sales cycle in tech is a long one; products and services are complex and need clear and careful explanation before a prospect will commit to purchase.
That’s why the role of content marketing has shot to the top of the class. Content is still king, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the online world.
The Content Marketing Institute gathered some compelling statistics in their 2016 B2B Tech Content Marketing survey that point to the fact that marketers are “getting it”, and that the traditional role of tech marketing is undergoing seismic shifts. In fact, 93% of tech firms say they’re using content marketing in their overall strategies.
Having said that, the survey also revealed the following:
- Only 30% felt their content marketing efforts were effective
- Only 36% actually use a documented CM strategy
- 60% of respondents say they don’t have any CM strategy or they don’t have a documented strategy
We can see that, while companies are using CM in their marketing efforts, far too many do it poorly. They fail to generate the success that’s right there, waiting to be grabbed.
Let’s remember one thing: content marketing does not guarantee an overnight sale. As tech marketers know only too well, the customer for their product or service isn’t buying a new car; the customer is diligently searching for something that will propel their company forward, and keep them efficient and ahead of their competition for as long as possible. This is why the sales cycle is a long one – and this is exactly why marketers have to keep that prospect interested for the duration of the cycle.
Content marketing offers the chance to do just that. It’s more than providing free information online. It’s about educating, informing and solving a problem for the customer.
A funny thing happens when a customer is educated and informed. They suddenly see how their problem goes away if they use your company’s product or service. They become a willing partner and ally in business.
According to a study by Accenture, 92% of B2B customers begin their search online. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, since B2C firms have recognized the power of online shopping for consumer goods for some years. It’s essential to have a powerful, ongoing presence online so your firm remains in that prospect’s mind.
Here’s one final statistic from the Content Marketing Institute survey last year: 62% of content marketers say that providing compelling content is their biggest challenge.
When a company uses content marketing, that firm needs to ensure the content is topnotch and forceful.
Everyone’s doing it, according to the Content Marketing Institute. But those who do it effectively will be the winners.