Users of the internet churn out 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That is the equivalent of filling 10 million blu-ray discs, the height of which stacked would measure four Eiffel Towers on top of one another. Every minute, Google performs 3.6 million searches. This volume of data is significantly affecting every aspect of human life. IDC’s 'Third Platform' of social media, cloud computing, analytics and the Internet of Things has impacted how and what people share, and with whom, as well as how they consume information.
People are much more likely to scroll through a news feed on the train to work instead of reading the morning paper over breakfast. People want shorter, more easily consumable units of information that are available anywhere and at any time.
Because individuals are connected throughout the day, they are being constantly bombarded with content – and organizations are finding it harder to get noticed. Individuals receive 10,000 brand messages a day, according to the American Marketing Association.
What does this mean for high tech businesses? The ability to write compelling content for a variety of audiences is non-negotiable in today’s digitally driven environment. It is of the utmost importance to tell the right story to the right audience. As with any communications campaign, the goal is to meet key business objectives, whether it’s driving website traffic, increasing engagement with audience segments or pushing leads into the sales funnel.
To get more exposure in an over-crowded field, try these seven tactics:
1. Make Your Story Work for You – Take advantage of natural human curiosity by sharing the unique story of how your organization came to be. By sharing the history of the company, you inform readers about the 'why'—the market need the founders saw—and the 'who'—the qualifications they have or had that make them worthy of customer trust. We all want a story we can connect with and relate to.
2. Blogs and Guest Appearances – Influencers dominate their market, and your goal is to become or remain one. An expert can become a thought leader by developing a blog that consistently delivers innovative insights and/or by sparking interaction and engagement across social channels. In addition to your own channels, you can connect directly with audiences through influencers with an already-established reach. Writing guest posts for an influencer’s blog is one way to increase reach and connect with new prospects.
3. Recycle Your Content – Instead of re-inventing the wheel each time, one article or white paper can be repurposed in multiple ways to great effect. Share infographics based on statistics from the white paper on Facebook. Use an excerpt for a blog post. Tweet key findings or attention-grabbing opinions. This creates consistent messaging in formats that are tailored for each channel.
4. Gauge Your Reach – Trackable links can be incorporated into your media efforts to help identify whether you are reaching the audience you intended to and what types of content are resonating with people. These links can be embedded in blogs, social media posts, press releases and other digital content.
5. A Holistic Approach – A multi-pronged approach to brand awareness involves a mix of owned, earned and paid media. So, continue to create great content for your site and your social channels, but add in paid content, advertising and earned media such as product reviews by influencers and features in established publications. The combination of these efforts is sure to maximize your reach and yield the strongest results.
6. Keep a Close Watch on Video - Every minute, Buzzfeed users watch almost 60,000 videos and Netflix serves up the equivalent of 69,000 hours of streaming video to its customers. Businesses have an opportunity to connect with customers and prospects using live or produced video on their website, social media and video portals including YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram, Vimeo and Periscope.
7. Make Real-Time Connections – Businesses and influencers can connect with their audiences in real time thanks to the accessibility of live streaming and the option to push live updates or notifications via mobile. Tailor your content to match your audience’s interests while incorporating feedback and opinions to build a sense of community.
Though the media landscape continues to shift in significant ways, this new environment offers multiple, ongoing means of communication and interaction with customers and prospects. The tactics listed above do represent a coherent strategy that takes a lot of work, but it’s table stakes for today’s messaging efforts. Team up with internal or external content specialists, or a mix of both, to create content that offers value while demonstrating thought leadership and differentiation to help your company stand out in a noisy world.