A Common Content Marketing Struggle For Software Companies

April 1, 2014By
Social Media Over Content

What is up with this content marketing thing?

Through GBW, I come across many software company founders and managers. They’re some of the most eager when it comes to building a content marketing platform for their business. Those from established and new software companies understand that content marketing can be a great way to bring in new customers, which is essential for growing a business.

Not all, some of these founders come to GBW with an idea about strategy for their content program. The strategy is to write about how their product is the answer for their target customers’ frustrations. Saying this makes sense, but content marketing is the wrong place for it at least in terms of the content you publish in the form of blog posts, articles, etc.

In this article I want to describe a strategy that has worked for software companies, including GBW clients, when it comes to finding the right balance in a content marketing strategy.

Talking About Your Software Company – Website Content, Advertisements

Blog posts really aren’t the place to talk directly about your software. It’s not that you shouldn’t talk about your software or that people don’t want to hear about something that can help them.

Over the years, people have come to expect that blog posts and similar formats are for content that is entertaining and helpful. “Helpful” in this sense is something non-promotional at least in terms of something you’re selling. It can be a small distinction at times, but it’s an important one.

For example, an analytics company can share all kinds of insight into how people can use analytics to improve their websites. But if they were to talk only, mostly or even a little less than often about their product on their blog they would likely lose their audience. On occasion, I’ve seen it work on blogs especially when it comes to announcing new things with the software. But mostly, people expect things like tactics, strategies and action steps on a more general level than you would be doing if you were talking only about your specific product.

That kind content, the kind that talks about your product, is made for the other pages on your website. People expect to read about your product on the product pages, the home pages and the FAQ pages.

In fact, you better do a good job with the content on those pages. I see a number of sites putting these pages up and leaving them alone. Make it a point to look at these pages every six months or even every three months. A lot can change in that time including your knowledge of your target customer and their interaction with your product, company and sales process.

Analyze that relationship and work to make your website sales content as compelling as possible.

Just don’t do it on your blog.

Content Marketing – Blog Posts, Articles, Infographics, etc.

Now back to the type of content you should be putting on your blog. It was mentioned a little bit earlier, but we’ll repeat it here.

Your blog is for topics related to your products. It’s for the type of content that your target customers care about, but it’s not specifically about what you’re selling.

You can work in a few mentions here and there. You can do a few company updates and talk about new things, but you’re much better off with using your experience and knowledge in the industry to help your customers with the frustrations they’re experiencing.

For example, Buffer, an app I use and recommend, started to build their company by blogging. Do they write about their service? Only on very rare occasion. They found success by writing about Twitter and providing tips and strategies for their target customers to use on Twitter. Now, the blog covers more topics that the people at Buffer know about and that their target audience cares about including: productivity, social media, business and more.

Buffer is a great example of how you can grow your business with content marketing.

Have you struggled with content marketing for your software company? You might not have the wrong approach with your content. You might simply be publishing the content in the wrong place. People have certain expectations for the content they consume and if you step on those expectations you risk losing their interest. Hopefully the distinction in this article can help with your content marketing strategy.