There’s a common misconception about technical marketing.
Because it’s built on the premise that the audience has, at the very least, a basic understanding of the technology product or service that is being marketed, traditional tech marketing tends to focus on features and specifications. In fact, technical marketing often uses jargon and “insider information” that other marketing content avoids.
But while it’s true a “Just the facts, ma’am” approach to hi-tech marketing has its place, technical audiences are also seeking meaningful content that addresses their pain points and makes their job easier.
That means your technical marketing can benefit from going beyond the basic facts to provide high-quality content that:
- Explains how and why the technology works
- Offers relevant information that educates prospects and customers
- Delivers an interesting experience that connects with the audience
- Guides prospects through the buyer journey so they can make informed decisions
Giving a technical marketing audience what they want
When marketing technical products, you can be pretty sure your prospects and customers have a certain amount of technical knowledge from the onset. This audience also tends to do a lot of research before making a buying decision.
That means a general overview of your product or service might not do much to impress them. So, then, what kind of content does a technical audience want?
Obviously, the specific content will depend on what it is you do and what you are selling. But in general, to make your technical marketing effective, you need to think about the challenges and issues your prospects and customers are facing — then provide them with detailed content that:
- Addresses a real-world problem the audience is trying to solve
- Demonstrates you understand their pain
- Provides actionable information they can use right away to help solve the problem
- Is mindful of the total solution, not just the aspect of the problem your product or service will solve
Here are a few examples of content created to meet specific audience needs:
- A software company that sells to large enterprises targets the human resources segment of their audience by highlighting one of the software’s side benefits — productivity tools that help businesses attract and retain talent.
- Knowing that, especially for a small business, acquiring printers/copiers often falls to someone who is not an expert, an office equipment company offers a “newbie’s” guide to copier leasing, including terminology to know, terms to look out for, and other helpful tips.
- An HVAC services company serving large residential and commercial customers provides a series of blogs on system troubleshooting tips, and helps property owners and managers optimize heating/cooling efficiency, and avoid unexpected service calls.
What does your technical audience value?
When you’re marketing to engineers and other tech-savvy people, rich content is valuable for not only informing your audience but also building trust in your business as a resource and a problem solver.
So in addition to offering specifications, feature lists, and other nitty-gritty details, you want to offer content that reflects what your audience values, so that customers and prospects will want to consume the content and stick around to learn more.
Buyer persona research can help you determine who is likely to be interested in your product or service, as well as provide insights into what is most important to that audience. Research can also help you determine what types of content your target audience responds to, such as:
- Blogs on best practices and industry issues
- Technical white papers and presentations
- Customer testimonials and case studies
- How-to videos and tutorials
- Educational webinars and podcasts
Make your technical experts available to help your marketing team understand key technical aspects, features, and benefits of your product or service.
Even for content that is not in itself particularly “technical,” having a firm grasp of the product or service technology will help the marketing team create content that speaks to the audience rather than sells to them.
Keep the buyer journey in mind
Prospective customers for any business have different priorities and needs depending on where they are in the buyer journey. Understanding this is vital to offering the right content at the right time.
Especially with technical marketing, the research-savvy audience may have formed some strong opinions about what they want and need before they even visit your website or otherwise engage with you.
Providing meaty, informative, and non-salesy content that respects the prospect’s time and their existing level of knowledge will go a long way in keeping this audience engaged.
For example, don’t assume that all first-time visitors to your website want an overview of your solution. Make it easy to also find specs and technical details, as well as case studies and other content related to how and why a technology solves common problems.
Grab your audience with visual content
In technical marketing, video is an effective tool for explaining or demonstrating a complex product or service that otherwise may be difficult or wordy to describe. An entertaining 2-3 minute video can be a great way to give your audience an overview of your solution or tell the story of how an existing customer has used it to solve a common problem.
For example, one of our clients — a metal cutting and machining expert — turns some of their technical blogs into slide show-style videos for sharing on social media. It’s a great way to repurpose and extend the value of existing content while highlighting the company’s capabilities in a highly visible and easy-to-digest way.
Infographics are another good tool for presenting facts or walking an audience through a process in a visually appealing way. You can even use animated infographics, to up the appeal factor and make facts more entertaining.
Be sure to include a call to action that directs the audience to more information, such as other videos, case studies, product collateral, or a downloadable infographic.
Offer content that educates and informs
Your technical marketing can benefit from offering educational content in the form of tutorials, product demos, best practices webinars, and how-to podcasts.
Afterwards, you can continue to nurture your audience by sharing your webinar slides with registered attendees or offering a downloadable summary of the demo, tutorial, or podcast highlights.
And again, be sure to offer your audience a way to get more information, via links to related blogs, articles, videos, white papers, and other content.
Don’t bury the technical specs
Product specifications are still important and useful to a technical audience. In fact, “techie” details can even influence prospects who are not as technically knowledgeable.
Just look at consumer advertising for automobiles, where race-car worthy engine specs are often cited to impress even those who are not “into” the technical aspects of car engines.
So, as we said earlier, specs and other details need to be easy to find on a website. You just don’t want them to be the only story that your content tells.
Plan for ongoing content delivery
The marketing strategies for technology companies are not so very different from the strategies for other types of companies. Having a consistent, ongoing content plan is what ultimately helps you earn the trust of your audience and move prospects through the buyer journey.
With an understanding of your prospective buyers and the problems they want to solve, you can create technical marketing content that addresses the needs of your target audience — in turn, helping to qualify leads and drive sales.
To learn more about using content to meet your technical marketing needs, Contact HELLO Marketing for a free 20-minute consultation. Call Lauren at 973.214.5942 or email her at [email protected]