At least once a week, two newsletters appear in my inbox that have nothing to do with marketing or copywriting: Further from Brian Clark and the RW rundown from Runner’s World. One is about living your best life, while the other is full of tips & advice for runners. They feed different sides of my body and mind that are also important to me and my business. If I’m not healthy in body and mind, then I can’t run my business and help my tech & sports clients with theirs!
Why am I talking about these seemingly unrelated newsletters to you, my tech content marketing audience? I’m talking about them because they are perfect examples of a key content marketing strategy. The strategy that increases your authority with your readers/audience by delivering value in your content.Let me say that again:
You increase authority with your audience when you deliver value in your content.
Further does this by sending me weekly messages filled with summaries of posts from around the personal development world on a single theme. This past week’s theme was “Experience less of yourself to achieve more”, while some of my favourites include “Find your next great idea” and “Develop an exercise habit with this simple 3-step strategy”. Not every theme resonates with me, but enough of them do that I look forward to the newsletter each week. I’ve learned how to declutter my home, how to be more present & mindful in everyday life, and even got some tips on how to incorporate more exercise into my schedule (something important for me as it helps keep my anxiety issues in check.)
The Runner’s World rundown is another good newsletter for me since I’m an intermediate runner and am always looking for more advice on how to improve. Where the rundown really succeeds is in letting me tailor the newsletter to topics I’m interested in, like training and nutrition. I’m not as big into the shoe reviews as I don’t run enough to need the latest and greatest information every couple of months (since you’re supposed to change your shoes every 500-800kms (or 300-500mi for my English system readers 😉 ) When I need a new pair, I know I can simply go to their website to read about the latest shoes then. As I run longer and more frequently, training is a bigger issue for me, so I need to know about the exercises I should be doing to strengthen the right muscles so that my runs are easy, efficient, and not too hard to recover from.
These two newsletters offer me great value in their content, so I keep subscribing. The same principle applies to tech content marketing too.
The tech explanation for delivering more value
Words, especially all that tech jargon we love, can be confusing and numbing to your audience, causing them to turn off and ignore your message. There’s just too much content coming at them today, and you can almost see their eyes glaze over as they see your content because of all that technobabble. It’s your task as content creator and publisher to capture their focus and deliver value.
Not only that, but it can also have a significant effect on your search engine results too. Search engines like Google place a higher priority on content that provides value, than on standard web page content. To better understand this, let’s look at this machine learning study from Eric Enge at Stone Temple Consulting. Enge wanted to see how well Google’s algorithms “learned” and then filtered search results.
Enge’s team replaced the text on blog category pages with content specifically crafted for the readers. That is, they replaced the generic “SEO text” they had on it (as most websites do on their category pages) with mini-guides specific to the categories on which the content resided. They saw a 68% increase in traffic to those pages and a drop of 11% to the control pages that were left as-is. Search engines are constantly improving their machine learning to better understand human language, so the more quality content you put on a web page or blog post, the better the chances are for the algorithms to pick it up and display it higher in the SERPs.
This is why I advise and encourage my clients to think outside of the box when it comes to their marketing message and the way they broadcast that message. You will always be rewarded with higher traffic, more engaged audiences, and increased brand awareness.
How to embed value in your tech content marketing and increase your authority
Now that you understand the tech mechanics of it, it’s time to get down to the two strategies you can use to embed value in your content marketing and increase your authority with your audience.
Step 1: Inspire your readers
For the most part, inspiring your readers is relatively easy, since you’re happy to talk about the magic of your tech products. But what about those nitty gritty product pages that simply have to give all the tech specs about your products?
By appealing to their curiosity and hunger for solutions to their business obstacles, your inspiration factor increases. It’s not just that your servers can store 2 PBs of data and handle 1.1 GB/sec of bandwidth transfer, but rather, that your customers will not need to buy another server for two years and that it can scale up to take the load of all the new employees you’ll be hiring this year.
The product pages and webinars promote your products and services, giving them the straight-up facts about your products. Consistent blog content and email newsletters inspire your readers with answers to their questions and solutions to their business problems they didn’t realize they had (or that your tech products would solve).
You become a source of inspiration to your readers because they see that you’re listening to them. You’re not just spitting out content or information at them, but you are listening to them and creating content that speaks directly to them.
The best way to demonstrate that you’re listening is by mirroring their problem/obstacle/concern in relevant content. For example, you could:
- Create a blog post series that explains how to solve a common industry problem.
- Highlight your next webinar that is hosting an industry thought leader talking about a relevant topic.
- Participate in a hashtag chat or series by posting relevant content on your social media channels, like a tweet chat on Twitter or a hashtag series on Instagram.
Step 2: Impart secondary value to your readers
This is where many content marketers fail, as they simply forget to take action here or let their efforts fade away. But if you’re able to continue delivering value to your readers in a secondary way, then you’ll increase your authority even more.
Your primary value is to solve the main business issue of your clients with your tech products. So you provide content that helps readers discover, learn, or promote your products in a way that leads to a buying decision.
Your secondary value happens when you move from a simple transactional relationship to the “go-to source for any question I might have about the industry or problems faced by others like me” type of relationship. Your readers see you as THE resource for information and so come back frequently for updates — plus they’ll recommend you to everyone they know when speaking about relevant topics with others.
Final thoughts on value and authority
Everyone can produce content, but not everyone can deliver value in that content. That’s why there are a ton of stagnant tech blogs and email newsletters that only go out once a quarter.
Yet the ones that have invested the time and marketing dollars into their content marketing programs are reaping some serious rewards. You see them pop up as examples in “best of” posts and articles and they’re cited in publications far outside of their industry domain. They understand the value of providing value to their readers and audience.
It’s time to show your market that you understand it too.
Please leave a comment. If you got a knowledge boost from this article, I encourage you to share it with your crowd.