Marketing through knowledge has gained vast popularity for enterprises and startups, alike. Creating educational content for your community, otherwise known as content marketing, has become the preferred method of marketing for a number of reasons. Instead of enticing a potential customer for a few seconds with a witty tagline or flashy banner, cloud content marketing engages potential customers through news, industry awareness, expertise, and storytelling. Educational content’s purpose is to arouse an audience’s curiosity, leaving them with more knowledge and questions about the subject. Conversely, traditional marketing methods, like copywriting, have a specific and usually very direct call to action. As a result, the reader will either take action or not, leaving the company and potential customer with very little room for engagement. Promotional content has its purposes in marketing, but education is not one of them. Writing content that educates rather than promotes has proven to be an effective way for cloud computing vendors to build customer relationships resulting in more than just sales, but community, as well.
Why Cloud Computing Companies Benefit from Educational Content
Creating educational content should be the favored marketing method for technology, and especially cloud computing vendors, because they work in an industry that’s full of innovation. IT companies consist of R&D professionals, developers, and engineers who are continually researching the latest cutting edge technology. IT professionals appreciate information they can trust and educational content is a tool that speaks to their specific audience. One of the reasons why content marketing is so beneficial for cloud computing vendors is because it establishes trust with its reader. Educational content is so important that developers have created content sharing communities, like Reddit and Hackernews, that filter promotions and focus on quality technological material. Blogvertisement is a gimmick that IT professionals see right through and immediately reject being it projects a feeling of being tricked into buying a product or service. Educating a potential customer about how and why you developed a product or its impact on the market and users is a much more genuine approach to selling your services.
Educational content is more valuable than advertorial content in the long run. Ads are temporary and stay online for however long you pay. Published content, on the other hand, is more permanent and can be accessed again and again. Although educational content may not bring customers instantaneously, it has the ability to shape the entire industry with words. When a company continuously writes about their own market, they are essentially bringing that market to life on the web. When a consumer or company expresses interest in buying a product or service, they will most likely do some research about the industry, which is where all of your educational content online really pays off.
How Educational Cloud Content Should Be Done
All cloud computing vendors ought to have an active blog that should be nurtured with rich, relevant content on a weekly basis. Here are tips for maintaining a vibrant blog:
- Don’t act alone– Involve as many employees in the company as possible. Every employee comes with a unique background and diverse knowledge about the company. All employees can be leveraged as contributors for blog posts. Utilize their knowledge.
- Brainstorm– Create a blog topic brainstorming session. Once again, utilize employees and keep a backlog of ideas so post generation is one step easier.
- Create a community– Write about the industry: upcoming events, partnerships, and who is doing what, even if it means mentioning a competitor.
- Backlog– Content writing should be made a priority. Create a schedule and stick to it. Every week a contribution should be made, a post should be in the works, another being reviewed, and one being published. If you follow this timeline, you will generate a post a week. If you have the capacity to do more, keep a backlog of posts ready for publishing.
- Follow SEO guidelines– Use hyperlinks and mention names, companies, services, systems, and products. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an art of its own and goes hand in hand with content marketing. It is important to have an SEO expert review every post, maximizing Google search results.
- Graphic– Always have a well illustrated icon to accompany your post. This helps when it’s time to distribute and it just might be the graphic that gets you that click.
Remember, you want your blog to be a source of knowledge for your customers, potential customers, partners, and really the entire industry. Even if the reader does not turn into a conversion, you want them to leave your blog thinking “these guys are really experts at what they do. I trust them.” Cloud computing vendors never really know when that trust and education will benefit them in return. Marketing through knowledge is a long term investment in the future of every company.