Brands as Newsrooms: Tech Companies Leveraging Content Marketing

October 24, 2013 // By: // No Comments

Marketing Communications     

Historically, the goal for publicists has been to secure ink for their clients in top publications by pitching story angles or new announcements to journalists, providing them with key messages and waiting for their articles to appear in print. Today, however, there is a shift from relying on this traditional model, as brands are empowered to create and disseminate their own content through online newsrooms and a host of digital and social channels.

Content marketing has gained momentum in recent years and for good reason: companies can now bypass traditional media as the gatekeeper by creating branded experiences in real-time that spur conversations and engagement. Specifically within the technology industry, content marketing offers brands the possibility to engage with their audience and generate chatter on a more consistent basis than ever before. In the past, technology companies could see a huge spike in interest and buzz surrounding new product launches with lulls in between while consumers waited for the next big thing.

What are some things to consider when putting together a successful content marketing plan and what are some technology companies doing it right?

Tailor content to the platform: Corporate blog? Tumblr? Youtube? With so many platforms at a brand’s disposal, it is important to tailor content to the appropriate platform. For example, Twitter demands that brands make a big splash in a short amount of time before a post migrates down the newsfeed. For a campaign with greater longevity, Youtube or a corporate blog are good options.

Who is doing it right? Dell has begun a #DellLove campaign in which employees create weekly videos thanking individual Dell customers for positive feedback. These short pieces are then posted to Youtube and Tweeted out. Not only do the videos provide an opportunity for customers to put a face to Dell and feel personally connected to the brand, they also allow Dell to address questions and recommend products. The result? More than 200 quick and easy to produce videos with a reach of over 4MM as well as a hashtag that can be used across platforms.

Keep the frequency and consistency of content distribution steady: Finding the right balance for pushing out content is key: being a “one hit wonder” isn’t preferable but neither is inundating the audience. Those in charge of content marketing need to create a posting schedule and stick to it. If the plan is to blog once per week and post to Tumblr every other day, it reflects poorly if the schedule falls by the wayside when things get busy. The audience is all but guaranteed to take note. A magic formula in terms of how many posts tech brands should have per week or month doesn’t exist, but it’s important to note that pushing out content daily isn’t necessary. In the beginning, content marketers may have to try out different combinations of platforms and frequencies of posts to find out what is just right. Above all, the focus should be on crafting meaningful, engaging content that the target demographic will appreciate.

Who is doing it right? “Samsung Village” resembles a newsroom more than what it actually is – a company-run blog. By posting frequently and using a smart blend of company news, interviews, human-interest stories and commentary on current trends, the content is fresh and engaging.

Make it work: Content takes time and money to produce. It’s in a brand’s best interest to extend and repurpose the content whenever possible. When releasing a new study, it would be a good idea to also create blog posts, infographics, videos, Slideshare presentations, webinars and downloads like guides or checklists ‑ in addition to a standard white paper overview. This allows the company to engage with a greater number of existing and potential customers and stay top-of-mind with the target audience.

Who is doing it right? Verizon recently released its 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). In addition to full study findings and an executive report, Verizon put out a video overview, one-sheeters on specific topics of interest like speed and sophistication of attacks, study infographics and a RISK Team Blog, featuring commentary by the minds behind the DBIR. All of these online touch points enhance Verizon’s thought leadership without the need for the company to constantly churn out new research. Bonus: when downloading the report, individuals are prompted to enter in contact details, thus creating a useful sales lead generation database.

Content marketing is here to stay, putting added pressure on technology companies to curate and cultivate relevant content that speaks to specific targets and showcases their personality. With a strong content marketing plan, tech brands have the power to make consumers stop, take note of their products and services and increase engagement. When executed thoughtfully, content marketing allows brands to bypass the traditional media gatekeeper, put forth a softer sell and in the end, strengthen existing customer relationships, attracting new customers and deepening brand loyalty.

About the Author

Julia Covelli

Julia Covelli is a senior account executive working on personal tech and lifestyle brands.