Write for your audience
When writing a case study, white paper, blog post, tweet, or any other type of marketing material aimed at growing your business, do you ever stop and ask yourself “why should they care?” Sure, your business is a certified partner and preferred vendor with software companies X, Y, and Z, and you offer a wide range of solutions designed to fit any pain point but why should they care? What makes you different? Why is today different? Can they afford to wait another year before leveraging your solutions? If not, then why?
Way too often the marketing content that floods the digital stream of stimuli for IT managers, CTOs, CIOs, and other decision makers is bland, full of jargon, irrelevant, and actually causes adult-onset A.D.H.D. (not really, but I wouldn’t be surprised). Sure you may have a managed solution that will help their IT infrastructure to recover quickly in case of disaster but so what? This is a problem in the back of the minds of decision makers, but how do you move it to the front? Make it real for him or her.
To use the disaster recovery example above, I may ask why should they care, and you may say “because we have the solutions in place to help” or “because disaster is a bad thing and our solution will make it not as bad”. If these answers are applied to the content marketing strategy you’re going to end up with a whole lot of self-promotion that will get lost in the abyss of the ocean of self-promotion where today’s marketing lives.
Tell stories that hit home
Instead, start with a problem, we all know that IT disasters are bad but did you know that for the average small business they can lose up to $8,000 per hour and large businesses up to $700,000?1 Did you know that the average time it takes to recover from the disaster is 18.5 hours? When you frame the topic of conversation in a way that is relevant to your intended audience you immediately answer the original question of why they should care. They should care because when disaster strikes, they will lose thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars an hour and it can take most of a day to recover. With your solution they can cut that time in half, or by two thirds, or whatever your solution can do, all the while saving them money.
We are the ABC Company and we have XYZ solutions look at us, versus, we are the ABC Company and when an inevitable disaster hits your company, and believe us it will, our XYZ solution will help you to quickly recover and save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only one of those answers the question, “why should they care?” As you move forward in your content creation for your marketing strategy, try to have empathy for the reader. Decision makers are very busy people, so get to the point, show how your company can help, and don’t waste their time. As more people are saddling up for the content marketing game, the space is bound to be loud and messy. Make an effort to set your content apart, create content that doesn’t waste time, gets to the point, and answers the question “why should they care?
Example of telling a story:
The Farmington Hills office of SIS wrote this true story to help their client understand the critical importance of a disaster recovery plan. The DR plan is critical, but as this story illustrates, the testing of the plan is most important. SIS understands their ideal client and what keeps them up at night…
On a Sunday in early July of 2017, a form of ransomware slipped through a Google Drive document and brought down a major us-based energy company with thousands of employees. Normally when attacked by ransomware, as the name suggests, a demand in the form of payment is required in order to retrieve the stolen data, but this case was different.
In late June there were various reports of a new wave of ransomware attacks, referred to as a slew of different names including Petya, exPetr, Petrwrap, and NotPetr. After further investigation it was determined that while the virus demanded a ransom once it had infected a system, it was unable to determine the user paying the ransom so this virus is really a wiper disguised as ransomware. It takes your money, and still destroys your data. Although they are some of the rarest kinds of malware, wipers are incredibly destructive and have seen a spike in occurrences in recent years.
Attacks were concentrated in Eastern Europe and Ukraine in particular. A business in the energy sector was attacked by the virus not long before this incident and was written about in the European media. Then a few weeks later, through a shared Google Drive with the business, the virus leaked and wrought havoc on the company’s servers. Due to the fact that the victims were using Windows 2003, a very outdated operating system, the patching was not in place, vulnerabilities were everywhere. With no disaster recovery strategy in place, the company was brought to its’ knees from a data storage standpoint….Complete Story
Written By Jim Schoenle Jr – Staff Writer and Content Strategist