Why Your Tech Brand Needs To Be Bigger, Bolder And Braver
It’s an incredible time to be in tech or telecommunications; every day there is news of 5G, IoT, and Blockchain making an impact. But that also means there is more competition than ever, spread equally between B2B and B2C.
As a result, we're stuck here. Tried and tested marketing isn't hitting the spot anymore, blogs aren't gaining traction and no one's interacting on social media. There are two reasons for this: There's more information out there than ever, and every company is a ‘tech’ company now. It’s hard to get noticed.
So what should we do?
Even when you’re a badass, innovative startup, or a well-established enterprise that’s been smashing it for 10 years, algorithms are evil, people aren’t loyal, and expectations are through the roof. We also already know that outbound and traditional marketing isn't as great as it once was. So we turn to inbound marketing.
The problem with that is the same as the problem with tech - everyone’s doing it!
But in tech, you're not really doing what everyone else is doing. Nor should you be in marketing. This is where you show your customers that you’re different. Make quality content. Make Useful content. Make it you.
It’s never been more important for stories to be bigger, marketing to be bolder and voices to be BR4V3R. All three of these intertwine and create something great. They create you.
Not just ‘you’ on the polished surface, the ‘you’ that’s been crafted under the watchful eye of a designer in the digital surgical room that is better known as Photoshop, or ‘you’ that’s suffocating under five layers of Instagram filters.
No. Your stories and your tone voice are the bread and butter of who you are and thus what you can give your customers. Your story is the reason people buy into your brand.
Lots of people fall into the trap: create great content, watch ‘em flock. But as the space becomes more and more saturated, you have to do more. Especially when your ideal customer probably met a cool guy at CES last year that could given them a sweet deal on a similar product.
Give prospects a reason to choose you that's more than just your product.
If you’ve got this really cool solution that fills a gap - crack, or gulf - in the market, shout and scream about it! Create on-brand messaging and content that reflects your game-changing mindset and problem-solving initiative which led you to the solution in the first place.
I bet you’ve got a nice and fancy logo that some high-end creative whizz spent a million hours constructing. While that’s great, don’t worry - I’m not undervaluing the importance of logos in branding, what happens when you remove it? Who are you then? Can you pick your copy out of a lineup of logo-less sites? We hope so.
Break through the barrier. It’s difficult to create content that will break through that barrier; right now, you’re just adding to the vast amount of noise that is created daily.
The vast amount… Which brings me to my next point. Specificity is everything. There are over 4 million blog posts published on the internet every single day. 4 million blog posts. In one. Single. Day. No wonder video, webinars, and podcasts are taking off. So be very descriptive, put a lot of effort into what you write, and for the love of tech, don’t churn stuff out for the sake of it.
Don’t write what fits your cluster topic if it’s not working. Don’t write because your content calendar tells you that a 5,000-word blog is due before Tuesday 11 am. Write to add value. Write to give your audience what they need - not what you think they want. I know what you’re thinking - you’re in a big corporate where there are at multiple tiers of approval before you’re allowed to do anything, never mind completely uproot your tone and style.
But without something bigger, bolder, and braver, you’re going to get lost in the algorithms. Plus, your tone and style is not my tone and style. It doesn’t have to be short and chatty. But like I said, it has to be you. Build something that reflects your brand; even if it's slighty more corporate. Just be creative with what that means.
Tech is cool. Tech is also technical. Which one is going to keep you top-of-mind? Cool is relatable, desirable, rememberable. Getting bogged down with technical language and product-based content is normal too, you want to highlight your great work after all! But inbound is about people. B2B marketers in the tech and telco space sometimes forget about this.
Emotive, powerful marketing is just for B2C Right? Wrong. The role of emotions is exactly the same. It’s time to start creating humble, human and customer-centric strategies. Put people are the core of your selling.
Two examples of brands smashin' it
Thirsty? Grab a Bluebottle Coffee
These guys have created a quiz for coffee lovers to match up with their perfect caffeinated beverage. Using ‘an algorithm formulated by a team of coffee pros, engineers, and sensory scientists’, you’ll discover the perfect coffee for your personality.
The blog announcing this also includes a link to an ebook, which is a more traditional method and caters to those looking for in-depth information while reinforcing Bluebottle as experts. In the past, they’ve also added real value to everyone, not just existing customers, through coffee brewing classes on Skillshare. Even though these guys are consumer-focused, this out of the box thinking can be replicated to suit your brand.
Using Skillshare instead of just plugging your own webinar is a great tactic - it gives you exposure to a ready-made community. You really can hit your target audience on the head. I’d say it’s pretty much a modern equivalent to a guest post. But better. Especially for your customers: it’s going above what’s expected to add value.
What about Maersk?
The rise of social media and the internet changed the traditional buying process, as I’m sure you’re aware. Maersk were stuck in a cycle of pushing out content focused around research studies and blogs. Like many B2B spaces now, that is only catering to a certain audience.
So what did they do? Maersk dug out an archive of old photos and stories and began pushing them around the web. They created Facebook groups for container enthusiasts and tailored their activity on social platforms to what they thought their audience would want.
Now, we all fall foul of this. Who pushes their content out without adapting it for a particular channel? It's a simple one but key in optimizing your presence across platforms, all based around your buyer personas. Bear in mind that Maersk’s efforts were supported by that larger, human-centric campaign that held adventure and curiosity at its core. Again, appealing to people.
Don’t think just because you’ve segmented your audience on email that that’s the end of it - you have to get inventive over social too. As one teacher told me, aged seven: If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly!
Everything you do should be unique to every channel while targeting a unique audience. This means you can get personal, really get to know your audience, and build a community.
Go forth and prosper
When optimized across channels chosen based on your personas, it’s easy for your stories to be BIGGER. For your marketing to be bolder. For your voice to be BRVR. Revisit your bread and butter. Are you a Flora, Clover or Lurpak type? Whatever it is, don't forget to let the world know.
If you take inspiration from these examples and make sure you answer those key questions, and you’ll be on your way to making waves.