Bill Crowley, VP, Group Publisher, Data Center Media, TechTarget, ran this lively discussion on producing good online content for IT professionals.
Get your head around the prospect
The Heath brothers call it the curse of knowledge. Whatever way you frame it, there is always a problem when an expert tries to communicate to a novice… empathy towards the uninitiated is hard to maintain. This is particularly true of documents produced for IT prospects: the audience may not understand how your company’s solutions relate to their problem.
You need to remember that it’s about the problem – not about you! So work on really discovering what is the problem – not just going overboard describing all your bells and whistles. As most sales guys will tell you, the hardest task is finding people with the problem and the budget. Remember that most prospects have pain points – understand these and put forward a solution.
Create ‘change the game’ content
If you are developing content for the awareness or interest stage, you need to explain why you are different. While this is not great froma direct response perspective, it can really help you develop a niche and stand out.
Headlines sell the story
Think of where your target is in the buying cycle and frame your headline accordingly. The categories:
- Interest/tech explanation
- Solution/product information
Remember that people are more afraid of failure than they are craving success – play on this. Show how your product reduces risk (could this mean a move away from the often-overused ROI arguments?).
Like a good journalist, make sure there is some action in the headline. Breathe life into it.
Measurement, tracking and nurturing
Check out what is the most popular content for the month. See what is working – both in terms of headlines and content. This information is available on TechTarget sites. However, make sure you don’t judge all content equally – product/solution assets: these have a much lower volume, however given their position in the buying cycle, generally attract higher quality traffic.
Finally, remember that if you do have content for the different stages in the buying cycle, you can leverage this: if someone takes an awareness stage asset, run a nurturing program and use a solution stage asset to make further contact.
BTW, if you want more information, check out the presentations from the TechTarget Online ROI Summit in San Francisco.