Head in the Clouds? 4 Tips to Improve Content Marketing for Cloud Computing Brands
You’ve got an amazing cloud-based service, but now you need to promote it and generate the buzz that brings in customers. But it’s a crowded market, and CIOs and other IT professionals who make purchasing decisions are bombarded with emails from competitors hoping to score a big sale. How do you make your brand stand out?
Ads certainly aren’t going to do it. The ideas are too complex to cover in an ad. Besides, you’re working with an audience that understands ad blockers and isn’t shy about using them. Emails might work better, but between sheer volume and spam filters, there’s no guarantee they’ll ever be opened.
What will make your brand stand out from the crowd is content marketing that conveys credibility and inspires trust by demonstrating your expertise on the topics that keep your audience up at night. What ads can’t do, compelling and relevant blog posts, white papers, e-books, case studies, and social media can do.
Here are a few ways cloud computing companies can create the most powerful content.
Not too long ago, businesses with blogs seemed cool and cutting-edge. Now everybody has one — but not everybody has a good one. Some blogs talk about things their audience doesn’t give a hoot about, some read like ad copy, and others are so poorly written that most readers will give up in frustration after the first paragraph. The good news is, cloud computing companies that do it right have a competitive advantage.
But what does “right” look like? Well, “right” can take different forms in different circumstances, but the best business blogs do have some common characteristics:
- They’re relevant. They get inside the audience’s head and directly address their pain points.
- They’re authoritative. They address the latest developments, offer real-world solutions, and demonstrate expertise their customers just can’t find anywhere else.
- They’re engaging. Not only are they informative and relevant, they pull the audience in with the first paragraph. The writing is just that good.
Blog posts are perfect for addressing focused, up-to-the-minute content, and for offering real-world answers in 400 to 650 words. They’re also ideal for analyzing the latest industry developments or challenges. But the challenge with blog posts is that you can’t just wait for inspiration to strike. You need to post frequently and consistently, so that your audience thinks of you first whenever they have a question.
E-books and white papers
E-books and white papers are perfect for diving deep into critical industry issues that are too complex to cover adequately in a blog post. A lot of people use the terms interchangeably, but there are a few subtle differences. White papers are intended for the real experts. As such, they’re more technical in nature and more research oriented. E-books, on the other hand, are more user-friendly. They still cover more detail than a blog post, but they tend to look less like a doctoral dissertation. They have short paragraphs, clear headings, more casual language, graphics, and other features that enhance accessibility.
In the end, though, the label doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that your content addresses a topic of deep interest to your audience, covers enough facts and research to demonstrate your expertise, and offers original insights. Your goal is that, upon reading your content, the reader will think, “No one else could have written this.”
Case studies are where you put your money where your mouth is. They’re how you show you’ve actually done what your blog posts and white papers suggest. Case studies take your readers through every step of the process for a single client, answering such questions as:
- What problem was the client trying to solve?
- What solutions did they consider?
- Why did they choose your product over other possible solutions?
- What objections did you have to overcome?
- What went well in the rollout?
- What went wrong, and how did you fix it?
- Where is the client today? Are they happy with the outcome? Or would they make a different decision if they could go back and do it again?
- What did you learn from the process?
Think of case studies as your portfolio. They’re your proof that you’ve got what it takes.
Social media is where you reveal you’re one of the cool kids — that you’re in the know and nothing happens in your industry that you don’t know about. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other platform, social media is where you demonstrate that you’re a valuable industry player ... a thought leader. One easy way to do this is by posting a link to a relevant article, adding your own comments and analysis. Social media is also a great way to share success stories, answer questions, and offer advice.
Complex products require complex but clear explanations, and content marketing through blog posts, white papers, e-books, and social media is the best option. Use detailed, engaging content marketing to educate audiences about technology and grow your cloud-based business. The sooner you accept the challenge to create content that will resonate with your audience, the sooner your customers will be interested in the solutions your cloud-based service provides.
Want help with developing your company’s thought leadership to educate customers about your cloud-based service? Our writers take on these challenges every day to develop thoughtful, tech-savvy materials. Sign up for free access to our platform today. We’d love to see what you have in mind.