By. Sara Faatz
Content marketing is getting a lot of looks in the developer marketing space, and rightfully so. A strong content marketing strategy allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and build trust with your target audience. It also helps you add life and personality to your brand.
But like any marketing endeavor, there is more to it than meets the eye. Having a content marketing section of your plan means more than just throwing a few blog posts on your site and calling it a day.
Your content marketing must be organic and authentic, as well as calculated and on message. But how do you make these fundamentally juxtaposed principles work together?
You start by leveraging your corporate culture.
Every company has a culture, a personality. Like a brand, it is more than a corporate mandate – it is the internal experience. When a corporate culture is thriving, its employees embrace the work environment experience, they are passionate about their product or service, and they believe in what they are doing. Messages aren’t regurgitated marketing fluff, rather they are the mantra of the team.
You may not have thought about it or considered it before, but you are likely already leveraging your corporate culture. If you have been with your company for any period of time it could be something you don’t even notice. It is simply part of your DNA.
True culture happens organically, but harnessing its power in a calculated way for a strong content marketing strategy is where the magic happens. Being able to identify your corporate culture means you can use it to your advantage when creating your messaging pillars. And if your messages are in line with your corporate culture, finding willing participants to authentically execute your strategy becomes a walk in the park.
Based on the premise that it is possible to have an organic and authentic, calculated and on message strategy, let’s talk about what content marketing really is, how to identify the right content, and where to place it.
What is Content Marketing?
Simply put, content marketing is technical knowledge transfer through a variety of media. It is not ads. It is not in-person events. And it most definitely is not “marketing fluff” – developers hate that.
Content marketing in the developer space can include podcasts, video blogs, written blogs, e-books, physical books or whitepapers, infographics, product reviews, interviews, cartoons, case studies, webinars, and more – all with a technical bent.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the word “technical” is important. As we’ve discussed in previous guides, developers do not like the hard sell. They want to be given information and allowed to make informed decisions on their own.
True content marketing does just that – it allows your target developers to interact with your company through a variety of different delivery mechanisms in a non-threatening way.
With the understanding that the content should be technical in nature, how do you determine what is the right content? First you need to understand what you are hoping to accomplish with it. Why are you creating it in the first place? What is your main goal?
Want to win the hearts and minds of the developers? Geek out in a blog post about your favorite feature in the latest version of Visual Studio. Interview a software legend in a weekly podcast. Share the human aspects and stories behind your technology.
Trying to position yourself or your employees as subject matter experts? Host a webinar. Write a book, an eBook, or a white paper.
Do you plan to use your content as a sales enablement tool? Create a killer technical case study.
Want to build awareness of your product or service? Have an industry influencer review your product.
Understanding why you are creating it will help you determine what you should be creating.
With that, you can begin to consider the last piece in puzzle: location, location, location.
Location is just as relevant in marketing as it is in real estate. If you have a beautifully written/designed eBook or a phenomenal video blog, but no one can find it, it won’t do you any good. Similarly, if you have content that is a blatant sales pitch but included in a part of your site or app that is usually reserved for educational, informational, or entertainment purposes, you will quickly lose the trust of your audience.
Location isn’t just about a place on your website or a spot in your app. Location could mean the proper social media properties, relevant third-party site placement (like on CodeProject.com), or even dissemination in the physical world. The right location for your content is driven by what you hope to accomplish with it, your target audience, and the content itself.
If you’ve leveraged your corporate culture, figured out why you’re creating the content (right content) and you’re certain of the location(s) it should live (right place), it’s safe to say have probably built the right strategy. The beauty of the modern world is that we have an opportunity to modify our content and location fairly easily if we aren’t seeing the results we hope to see.
Each time you think about creating a new piece of content ask yourself several questions. Ask yourself why you are doing it, what it will accomplish, and where it will live. If you are satisfied with your honest answers, then go for it. Then monitor and tweak as necessary.
If you’re looking for the right place to publish and promote your content or need to find a capable author to create your technical content, contact us here at Developer Media today and find out how we can help: http://developermedia.com/contact-us/