Is an industry facing an audience process and a more complex marketing / sales process than B2B technology? Consider the number of people influencing a sale, the length of the decision-making cycle, the competing interests of the people who buy, implement, manage and use the technology. It's a lot.
Whether or not they have the toughest jobs, technology content marketers feel the challenge of this complexity. In CMI's latest research, 68% of technology content marketers said that creating multi-role content was their biggest challenge.
Despite this, many technology marketers think well of their content marketing programs: 75% say their organization's content marketing is more successful than its previous year's performance level.
Here are some of the conclusions of Technology Content Marketing: 2019: Landmarks, Budgets, and Trends sponsored by IDG Communications, Inc. . The new report examines the responses of 364 for-profit technology content marketers who participated in the ninth annual Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs survey conducted in June / July 2018. Among respondents include B2B (85%), B2C (3%) and B2B and B2C (12%) technology marketers.
Here's what they told us more about how they use content marketing .
The struggle to create content for many roles is real
I mentioned that 68% of technology content marketers say they have trouble creating content that involves multiple roles. And that makes sense, given the many people in separate roles that influence a technology purchase.
This finding is one of the few in which technology content marketers who consider themselves to be very / extremely prosperous (labeled some of the best performers in the chart below) struggle almost as much as others (66 % vs. 68%).
Only one other finding shows a difference of less than 10 percentage points for all respondents. 91% of the top-performing technology content marketers say their organization is committed to creating content to build customer loyalty, up from 82%. % of all technology marketers.
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A difficulty appears at the bottom of the funnel
Only 53% of technology marketers said they used content marketing successfully to build customer loyalty over the previous year. This success is well below the success that they said they achieved their initial funnel goals: creating brand awareness (84%), generating demand / leads (80%) and educating the public (74%).
It is interesting to note that 73% of the most successful companies reported using content marketing successfully at the customer loyalty stage . What is behind this 20-point disparity between top performers and all performers?
One possible explanation lies in the creation of content for the stages of the buyer's journey. Although almost all (90%) of the best performing companies report doing so consistently, fewer technology marketers (62%) are always developing content for specific stages. Since the information needs of users in the early stages differ dramatically from the support needed once they approach or make a decision, tailoring content to your audience audience is a smart decision.
If you're struggling to understand what your audience, potential buyers, or customers need, search for these resources to get help:
Most have tools (literal and proverbial) to meet the challenges
Yes, technology marketers feel compelled to respond to the complex needs of the diverse roles of their audiences throughout their journey. The good news is that they work with many of the tools they need to succeed.
Study of audience
Many (65%) reported using personas and 20% planned to use them by the end of 2018.
And they use various methods to search the needs of their audience: 80% use the comments of the sales team and 71% verify website analysis . Just over half (55%) communicate directly with clients through conversations or customer panels.
RELATED HANDPICKED CONTENT: 5 questions to ask your customer support team to help you build buyer personas
Tactics of feeding and content
Email and educational content take many forms. Unsurprisingly, many technology marketers (64%) reported increased use of video compared to the previous year. But almost as many (63%) said they increase their use of written digital content, such as articles, blog posts, and electronic books . And over a third (37%) said they increase their use of podcasts and audiobooks.
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Marketers in technology companies do not lack content technology. Most technology marketers (85%) reported using social media analysis tools and 82% reported using email marketing software . Other technologies widely used by technology marketers include:
But are technology marketers better versed in content technology than other marketers? Yes, technology marketers have an advantage.
Thirty-six percent of technology marketers described their organization's skills in using content / content marketing technology as expert / advanced. Another 39% described their skills as intermediate.
Compare this to the segment of the business marketing that we have recently explored. Only 24% rated their organization's skills in using content marketing technology as expert or advanced (one-third less than technology marketers), and 38% felt that their skills were intermediate.
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How do you compare your experience?
The marketers participating in this study seem to have much of what they need to overcome the complex challenges inherent in technology marketing. They do the public research they need, they nurture it and they have the technologies (and skills) to apply. How does this compare to your experience working in a technology company (or in content marketing in general)?
Download 2019 Technology Content Report: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends for more details on:
Challenges specific to technology marketing
Budget and expenditure trends
Objectives and metrics used
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Cover image of Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute