Reaching the right decision-makers is imperative to the success of a B2B tech start-up. Unfortunately, many organizations aren’t as adept at marketing as they are at developing technology products and services.
Marketing services from an in-house team or consultant can help tech startups bridge the gap between them and their target audience. Content marketing is particularly powerful. According to data from Demand Gen Report’s 2020 Content Preferences Study, B2B customers are increasingly looking for educational content and richer content experiences. More than 65% of those surveyed rely more on content than they did last year to research their purchases.
These numbers present many opportunities for marketing-savvy technology companies. However, some organizations make certain mistakes that sabotage their success. Here are five examples.
1. Not Having a Strategy in Place
A content marketing strategy is an essential part of your broader digital marketing strategy. A digital marketing strategy without content marketing is unlikely to meet with any success. Without content, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for you to improve brand awareness, build your customer base, and engage your target audience.
Some firms do use content, but not strategically. They are trapped in the old, pre-digital mindset that it’s enough to create content, distribute it widely, and wait for something to happen. Unfortunately, no matter how well-researched and interesting your content is, you won’t get the results you want if there isn’t a strategy behind it.
By its definition, content marketing is a strategic approach that involves creating valuable, relevant content that resonates with its audience. For a tech company to reap the benefits of content marketing, it’s critical to have a well-defined plan in place.
Some factors to consider when you’re creating your strategy are:
Identify the people you want to reach, and create buyer personas—research-based archetypes of your target customers. A buyer persona allows you to empathize more deeply with your target customers. It provides you with valuable insight into their needs, objectives, preferred communication channels, and the type of content they want to see.
Further research on your target customers’ needs, wants, and expectations can help you identify the types of content that would fulfill them and at which stages of the buyer’s journey they want access to this content. After that, you can refine your strategy accordingly.
Your Business and Marketing Goals
Your content strategy’s goals should align with your business objectives. For example, if you aim to attract more leads, consider how you can use content marketing to achieve this. Perhaps you can optimize your content to improve organic reach, or perhaps you can create shareable web content—like infographics and videos—to cross-post on social media.
Once you’ve identified your goals, document them. Make sure they’re relevant to your organization’s overarching mission and vision to keep your strategy focused.
Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs allow you to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy and ensure you’re on the right path. Commonly tracked KPIs are overall traffic to a website, time spent on a website, click-through rate, organic rankings, and social shares.
Your in-house marketing team or a B2B tech PR firm can provide valuable assistance in identifying the KPIs you should be tracking to determine the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
2. Churning Out Trend-Focused Content
Some B2B tech start-ups make the mistake of posting too many time-sensitive pieces on their website. Capitalizing on trends via content with short-term relevance is beneficial in that it increases traffic for a set period. However, most of your efforts should go into creating content that is continually relevant and fresh.
Evergreen content never goes out of style. Its effects on ranking are long-lasting. To give your readers the most value, create content that focuses on a common problem your target audience faces and provide information on how they can resolve the problem. Content like this helps build trust in your brand and establishes your reputation as an authority.
3. Using Tech Jargon
Some firms use tech jargon heavily in their content. While their aim might be to impress readers with their knowledge, this rarely works. Keep in mind that not all stakeholders—people with buying influence in their organizations—are familiar with tech marketing language. As a result, jargon-heavy content might just bore them or put them off wanting to learn more about your business.
Instead of trying to impress them with how much you know, focus on letting them know how you can help them. Clear language gets the point across more quickly, and it’s much more impactful than paragraphs full of buzzwords. Distill your message and focus not on how amazing and revolutionary your startup is but how much better their business will operate with your products or services.
Marketing to B2B customers is uniquely challenging. However, creating a clearly defined strategy, identifying your KPIs, understanding your customers, and using clear language can help put you in a better position to attract and retain clients.