In their most recent (2013) report on B2B software companies use of content marketing the CMI found that the segment had a torrid love affair with the channel.
North of 90% of those surveyed were engaging in some sort of content marketing and 53% had plans to up their budgets. Alas, a mere 38% of B2B software providers felt they were effectively carrying out their content programs.
So what gives? Why the ineffectiveness?
We get the love: as a B2B software firm, you need a strong foundation of effective content to improve your search engine rankings, generate leads and build up trust with prospects. So how do you create good content and get out of being in that 38% who feel they aren’t hitting their goals?
Here are 4 content creation tips for B2B software companies:
B2B software content marketing is about playing to a niche
Most B2B software companies serve highly specific niches with very particular products. Your content needs to carefully targeted and written in a way that reflects and deploys the correct industry norms and jargon. Everyone loves to hate on jargon. Let us go out on a limb and say that, in terms of content creation, B2B software companies should embrace the abtruse, “for the few” language of their niches. You ain’t slinging Coca-Cola!
Specific problems by specific creators
B2B software firms benefit from inbound marketing partly because of the narrow degree of problems their offerings purport to fix. Content also has to be hyper-specific and focused on these issues – a problem that can sometimes be managed matching humans and specific topics. We’ve seen successful software firms assign writers (or request that their agency use specific writers) to address specific topics. Simple solution, but one that has worked for years for major news organizations. You can’t expect everyone to know everything!
Think syndication and repackaging
Most B2B software companies operate in fields where there are established industry trade publications. Creating and publishing blog content that can easily be repackaged and pitched to the big industry journals is a great way to gain wider readership. This technique also allows your execs (assuming the articles go under their bylines) to become industry thought leaders. Prospects love to buy from thought leaders, it makes them feel safe.
Use keywords only when needed
Most B2B software companies are web savvy and know about SEO. While this is a great advantage, the temptation to try and game search engines can be a curse. Don’t overuse keywords because they will make your content spammy. The gang at Google will catch on and your rankings will suffer. Add keywords only when there is a relevant context and when they won’t annoy human readers.
Content marketing works for many segments and industries. However, B2B software companies represent an especially good fit. The key is to embrace the highly segmented nature of the business, the problems of specific buyer personas, and the jargon of the industry a firm services.