Technology Marketing Content: Nothing But Credibility

Here’s something you’ll never hear:

It’s crazy . . . I was looking online for argyle socks and you know how the web is one thing led to another and I saw your website so I thought I’d look into a cloud based, enterprise-wide CNC manufacturing control solution for my eastern factories and get socks another time.

We know why. There’s no impulse buying in B2B, no calls to a buying action from B2B tech marketing, no syntactic hopping up and down in our content. Technology marketing content isn’t supposed to intrigue, compel, delight, inspire, or evoke any other emotion.

There’s only one thing tech marketing content is supposed to deliver:

Credibility.

Here are some guidelines and principles for creating credible content for your tech markets.

The Market Knows What It Wants

You know all that effort you put into SEO? You did that because your marketplace already knows what it’s looking for. Your job is never to brand and entice the market to buy—we’re talking Network Storage not Abba-Zaba bars. Your job is to prove to the market that you have what they already want to buy.

Make the marketplace believe your offering belongs on their long list, get the prospect into the hands of Sales, and get outta Dodge.

You’re Talking to Experts

The Big Kahuna of Credibility.

Remind yourself, and your writers, that something you learned about your technology the week before is 101 stuff to the expert marketplace you’re messaging. Guard against the venial sin of over-explaining—of telling the marketplace information they learned in their professional cradles. (Preventing that is also the job of your internal SME review team.)

Know What You’re Talking About

Your writers have to understand what they’re writing—not to the level of the engineers that make the products or the people that buy it, but enough to understand the context and importance of their content. Your team will often encounter references to technology, or arcane acronyms, or use cases they don’t understand.

Make them find out about it, and make them do it on their own.

Big Claims Ring Hollow

People blow hype when they have nothing substantial to say. That’s why retail marketing uses it so much—to differentiate products that have no inherent differentiation. Here’s a very common—and egregious—example of B2B hollow content:

We are a leading maker of  . . .

There’s only one leader and half a handful of lesser ones. If you’re not one of them (objectively one of them, not just in the hearts and minds of your staff) don’t say you are.

The market knows when you’re blowing smoke up their buying cycle.

Let Cisco show us the way. Here’s their home page content at the time of this writing:

A firewall leader

Gartner has named Cisco a Leader in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Network Firewalls.

That’s credibility.

Edit the Yossarian Way

I created an exercise for the writers I coach, stolen from bombardier John Yossarian of Catch 22. I call it, as did he, “Death to All Modifiers.” Simple remove all the adjectives and adverbs and see how much value and meaning is left when you’re left with just bare metal.

Read about it here.

Let your market read it.

One little pet peeve: your market can’t respond to that which they can’t read. You know the quickest way to spot a second- or even third-tier company? Read this text to find out.

The quickest way to spot a lousy, amateurish, second rate company is when they put impossible-to-see backgrounds behind impossible-to-read font colors. 

 

Making credibility the goal makes content creation easier and harder. Easier because you don’t have to bang your head against the Cool Content Wall, trying to find ever clever new ways to say the same thing (imagine Flo trying to sell flash storage). And harder because, in the more restricted,  precise world of technology, you still have to produce well-thought, well-written, well-structured, expert content to touch marketplace buttons that open Sales’ doors.