Going Deeper: Long-form Content for B2B Technology Companies
As an enterprise technology company, the complexity of your products and services begs for content that can explain the value of your B2B offerings and the role they can play in larger tech solutions. Because your audience is both sophisticated and motivated, in many cases they’re likely seeking more information than your standard website copy or a blog post can provide.
That’s where long-form content comes in. Of all the different content marketing formats, detailed white papers, attractive e-books, convincing case studies, and smart bylined articles let you dive deepest into your topic.
This richly informative content attracts a wide audience beyond your customer base, including industry influencers. It amplifies SEO, boosts conversion rates, facilitates social media sharing, and builds credibility and thought leadership. Most importantly, e-books and white papers have a well-earned reputation for generating leads. Because of the high inherent value of these publications, customers, prospects, and other readers are usually willing to provide their contact information in exchange for a download.
If you’re ready to harness the unsurpassed power of long-form content, here are several of our top ideas to make it work for you and your brand:
White papers influence readers
White papers provide an in-depth investigation of a topic of interest to a specialized tech audience. Typically 10 to 40 pages long, they’re highly effective tools for influencing decision-makers, introducing products, and explaining concepts to a B2B target audience. A white paper’s ultimate purpose is to educate decision-makers so they can justify the purchase of your product.
The hallmark of an effective white paper is a clear, persuasive, and objective display of facts that validate the central topic. The writer has to be research savvy, adept at collecting a broad range of supporting material, including statistics, anecdotes, and third-party quotes. Charts, graphs, and other visuals are ideal to break up chunks of text and clarify the presentation. White papers should cite sources and may include an annotated bibliography with direct links to the source material.
White papers demand a clear, knowledgeable, and professional style that avoids overt self-promotion or sales pitches. White papers are typically published online in a PDF format and are portrait-oriented for easy download or printing.
E-books offer an attractive alternative
Running between 6 and 12 pages, an e-book is often a perfect alternative to a white paper. Less dependent on supporting research than a white paper, an e-book can adopt a more informal, conversational tone, similar to a blog post.
An e-book’s visual layout may also be more flexible, so you can use either portrait or landscape orientation. Many of the best e-books feature bold visuals and illustrations that help make the topic easier to understand.
An attractive e-book can be particularly useful for communicating complicated ideas to a semi- or non-technical audience that may have trouble following a more detailed white paper. For example, a buyer’s guide can educate end users on your products and those of your competitors by simplifying technical and industry jargon or providing an overview of the marketplace.
Case studies showcase your success stories
Few things can raise your brand status as quickly as highly satisfied customers. A published case study is the perfect way to highlight success stories in the enterprise tech industry. Case studies are similar to white papers, but they artfully combine technical details with powerful storytelling.
Writing a full case study requires solid interviewing skills. A writer gathers a detailed picture of the success story by identifying your customer’s problem, the range of solutions they considered, and how your solution solved their problem, for example by increasing productivity or improving quality.
To enhance credibility, add direct quotes from your customer and your sales rep, support staff, or other relevant team members. Statistics are a great way to reinforce the value of your support and the technological solutions that drove an improvement in revenue, customer retention, or other metrics.
Bylined articles establish your thought leadership
A bylined article enables members of your team to demonstrate their expertise and positions them as leaders who can offer meaningful insights and solutions to today’s tech challenges. Journalistic in nature, bylined articles appear in tech publications and professional blogs.
When you see an opinion piece by a well-known personality on the editorial page of a major newspaper, it was mostly likely written by a professional writer. Although bylined articles are usually ghost-written, you have the right to attribute authorship to a specific individual within your organization.
Submitting bylined articles for publication in media channels that are popular with your audience is one of the fastest ways to transform your executives into industry thought leaders. Beyond the value of the content itself, you will be capitalizing on the third-party clout of a respected media channel.
Members of your team are probably capable of writing this type of article, but many brands prefer to keep their talent focused on critical tasks. It’s often faster, easier, and more cost effective to work with an experienced content provider who can convert your brand’s expertise into the highly polished articles that editors love.
Long-form content is delivering wildly successful outcomes and exponential gains for many B2B tech companies. But each type takes a substantial amount of time to produce — valuable time away from focusing on your core business. If you don’t have an in-house writer who's skilled at producing long-form content, consider hiring a professional to ensure that your next white paper, e-book, case study, or bylined article delivers. That’s where Prose Media comes in. Sign up for a free account and find out how we help you elevate your content marketing results.