As a technology marketer, you know the value of content marketing. In fact, you’ve probably been producing compelling content for your company on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve even been tasked with creating more in a shorter amount of time. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 74 percent of technology companies are creating more content than they were last year.
When brainstorming content ideas, it can be easy to stick with the tried and true — white papers, blog posts and eBooks. But there’s more to successful content marketing than these staples. You may find branching out with new forms of content helps to delight your customers and brings in new prospects.
Here are five unconventional content ideas that can help technology companies stand out from the crowd.
The technology industry is filled with buzzwords, and, thanks to the blistering speed with which it moves, it seems like more are being created every day. Educate your audience by creating a dictionary of common terms for your industry. This can be especially useful if your company has vendor neutral terms it uses to describe products or processes, or has a subject matter expert who has coined a term you’d like to be widely used.
Regularly update your dictionary as terms evolve or are created. Use these updates to create email content, blog content or social media content. If you track traffic, you may notice certain terms are viewed more than others. Use this information to help inform content for the areas mentioned above. This also gives you an opportunity to showcase your subject matter expertise by expanding on a term or topic.
TrackMaven, a competitive intelligence company for digital marketers, has an extensive marketing dictionary filled with a variety of industry terms. It even has expanded versions of each term where you can see it used in a sentence and get a more in-depth definition.
Your company is likely filled with various subject matter experts. Take a few minutes each week or month to create an educational ‘demo’ or how-to video. These videos don’t have to be long and can be anything from software demos to expert commentary on a common issue. Look for ideas from your support team or users groups. What questions are your prospects or customers asking? Is there a feature users may not know about? Has someone found a new way to use a piece of software? Use these insights to help create your videos. Then promote your videos on your blog, through email or on social media.
Marketing software company Moz puts this concept to use providing tips and advice through its weekly video series ‘Whiteboard Friday'—att Kuno, we can't get enough!
Take the webinar concept one step further by introducing regular Q&A sessions with your subject matter expert or executives. These sessions feature a subject matter expert, either live or pre-recorded, discussing an industry topic and providing answers to questions asked by your audience. Promote your session to customers and prospects by encouraging them to submit questions. Select a few questions and feature these in the Q&A session. Leftover questions can then be used for additional content like blog posts or tip sheets.
IBM does its own version of Q&As offering an overview to a common problem and then doing a Q&A. Don’t be afraid to explore the various Q&A options that would work for you — whether its a Q&A library and community like Moz features or a live version like IBM’s.
Storytelling holds a lot of value for companies, and the case study remains one of the standard vehicles for companies to tell their stories. But many technology marketers struggle to get customers to agree to speak on the record for a case study, which can bring a halt to the whole process.
If you’re unable to get a customer to go on the record, you can still tell their story. Instead of using the brand name in the case study, simply use the industry. An example could be: "A leading retailer saw a 25 percent increase in email subscriptions using [x] software.” Showcase these case studies by featuring them on your site by category (e.g. retail, hospitality, telecommunications).
It can be difficult to keep up with all the news in the technology industry. Be a resource to your customers and prospects by providing them with a weekly or monthly news roundup. News can consist of industry research, news articles and more.
As a marketer, you likely have your eye on the happenings within your industry. When you’re scrolling through the day’s news, flag some of the more interesting vendor-neutral content you find and include it in a weekly or monthly news email or blog post. If your company has subject matter experts who regularly write helpful vendor neutral columns, this would be a good place to showcase those, as well. In addition, news roundups make great content for email newsletters. If your company is struggling to find content for its newsletter or just launching one, it can be helpful to provide the latest industry happenings or helpful articles as a starting point.
When it comes to technology content, it can be helpful to think outside the box. The technology buyers journey often lasts much longer than other industries, and taking a different approach can help your company stand out and remain top of mind.