Technical content marketing is the act of ideation, creation, promotion, and measurement of technical content, such as articles, blog posts, ebooks, and other materials aimed at a technical audience.
To be sustainable, your content marketing initiatives must generate specific results such as conversions, increase in market share, and lower customer acquisition cost. Sadly, most content initiatives today don’t achieve these goals, usually because:
1 - Your campaign doesn’t incorporate people with suitable experience, like technical writers, editors, and illustrators.
2 - Your content marketing doesn’t have a sustainable process in place.
3 - Your content marketing doesn’t include adequate quality control, so you are more likely to suffer from poor quality output and results.
Because companies underestimate the importance of solving these issues, they either don’t get the results they were hoping for, or waste time and resources to reach the same result.
Here are some examples of failed technical content marketing initiatives that we see in the industry:
Example 1: A company with a technical software product does content marketing without the right technical expertise (someone without tech knowledge is writing).
Outcome: They publish some posts, but they see no change in metrics such as traffic and conversions after 6 months. Reason: the articles are too high-level, lack depth and don’t “hit the mark” for the target audience. Time and budget are wasted, and the project needs to be scrapped and re-done from scratch.
Example 2: A similar story — a company does technical content marketing without having a qualified technical writer on the project. Unlike in example 1, they don’t even get to the point of publishing the content.
Outcome: The leadership team flags the quality of writing as unsuitable during publishing, and doesn’t allow them to publish more until all issues are fixed. Months of additional work ensue. The VP of Marketing needs to be hands-on to fix everything. The original writers don’t have the right combination of technical expertise and awareness of business goals to address issues flagged by leadership.
Example 3: A company invests in technical content marketing, hires an adequate writing team, but doesn’t figure out a promotion plan.
Outcome: The company publishes content and gets a little traction, but the investment doesn’t seem to pay off. The company then decides that content marketing doesn’t work for them. The company then cuts most content projects and cuts budget, and the VP of Marketing driving the initiative loses stakeholder trust.
Example 4: A company creates some initial content, but the technical expert doing the work has other priorities — creating content is an additional task to their main role as a developer.
Outcome: High-quality results cannot be sustainably produced because of the limit on the expert’s availability. Hiring a dedicated person to take over the content production role takes a long time because of the requirement to write well in addition to understanding the subject matter in depth.
While all of these cases might at first seem different, there are some core underlying factors that cause most of the problems. We have designed our technical content marketing process to address these core issues rather than deal with short-term symptoms.