Content Marketing: A Big Boost for for Big Data
Over the past decade, big data has become one of the hottest topics in the field of information technology (IT). In 2013 revenue from big data was $10 billion. By 2017 it’s expected to hit $53 billion. With that kind of market potential, more players are entering the game. In 2016 alone, the global economy will invest $232 billion in big data connections.
The only thing that could slow down big data is ignorance. A lot of potential B2B customers don’t fully understand what big data is, or how it can help them. And it’s not surprising. Given the complexity of the subject, how can you explain to potential users what structuring a data center or utilizing predictive analytics means, and what it can do for them?
The answer is content marketing. Why? Because while you may be into data mining, you’re not the only one that’s hungry for data — your target audience wants to see the full picture through materials like blog posts, e-books, white papers, and case studies. But the content needs to be good — to translate daunting technical concepts into smart, clear, engaging content that people can understand. But let’s not get carried away with how hard it is to write good content — even when it comes to big data, little steps can go a long way.
To understand what’s possible with content, take a look at these key insights:
1. Blog posts help potential customers get to know big data
Blog posts are the perfect length (450 to 600 words) to introduce people to big data. Write a series of posts focusing on topics that people want to know more about. If your company provides big data storage, you could:
- talk about the best way to choose the right storage system for different uses
- discuss the impact of big data in a particular industry (or two)
- offer best practices for data set protection
Or, if your big data company provides analysis rather than infrastructure, your potential customers would very likely be interested in:
- recent trends, such as deep learning and the use of in-memory databases
- advice on data project management
- new tools for visualization.
High-quality blog posts are a great way to keep your customers engaged, demonstrate your expertise, and boost your search engine optimization, leading to higher rankings in search engines.
2. Social media spreads the word and shares news
We’ve all heard that using social media can boost your brand, but with so many brands socializing on platforms like Twitter and Facebook these days, how do you make sure you stand out so that the right customers can find you? Here are a few useful tips:
- Use #hashtags: Not just the obvious #bigdata but ones that link to issues your audience is interested in, such as #M2m, #internetofthings, or #datascience.
- Chime in: If there’s big news about big data and everyone is talking about it, make yourself part of that conversation. Big data is so important these days, there’s plenty to comment on.
- Pose questions: If there’s not a current conversation happening, start one. Ask people what surprised them about their last data project, or what challenges they face? You’ll not only be engaging potential customers, but you’ll end up with some great ideas for new blog posts, too.
- Cross promote: Have you updated your company blog lately? Post that link on Twitter and Facebook, and drive interested customers to your site. Don’t forget to add a great image and a relevant #hashtag.
3. White papers, e-books, and case studies dive deep into the details
Once you’ve made introductions and covered the small talk, it’s time to move past the chit-chat to substantive conversation. That’s where white papers, e-books, and case studies come in. Here are some ideas to get you going:
- A case study walking readers through the process of planning and implementation: why a company chose to pursue a big data solution, how they chose their vendors, what they learned from the resulting analysis, and how optimizing those insights affected the bottom line.
- An e-book that takes an in-depth look at privacy concerns and the still-evolving international regulations that are being enacted to address those concerns.
- A white paper exploring how the influx of information from the Internet of Things will change big data even more.
The advantage of this long-form content is that you can be as technical and as detailed as you need to be, which isn’t always possible in other forms of media. By offering more technical content, you’ll be able to establish yourself as a thought leader. Even if customers don’t buy right away, they’ll be thinking of you when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
But don’t make the common mistake of being so technical that no one can digest what you say. Even a white paper and e-book should be clearly and thoughtfully organized, and written in a way that both informs and engages the reader.
“Great,” you say to yourself. “But how am I supposed to do all this?” You might be tempted to do all of your content marketing in-house. But to do this you’d either have to drag valuable employees away from their responsibilities, hire additional staff, or work with freelancers. Remember: Just because someone can write doesn’t mean that they can write high-powered content that will grow your business.
The expert writers and editors at Prose Media have written white papers, bylined articles, and blog posts on everything from credit card fraud detection and NoSQL to data analytics strategy and time-series databases for big data clients. We’re adept not only at the logistics of content strategy but also at the more nuanced, artful side of writing content that engages your particular audience. Let us handle the whole process from ideation to publication so you can get back to what you really care about — developing big data solutions for your clients that really work. Sign up for free, no-obligation access to our platform today. We'd love to see what you have in mind.