There's something software developers need to know...
There's a foundation for content marketing that will lead to the success of their companies when followed to the letter.
It's a foundation that revolves around identifying your target audience, creating content that people care to read, and whatever comes after that.
Here at Growth Generators, we call these the content marketing commandments.
They're 10 pillars of content marketing that you can use to create a solid base for your software company's brand awareness campaign.
And the beauty of it is that these rules work for all software developers, whether you're a startup still learning the ropes of content marketing or an established company looking to expand its customer base.
Here we go!
#1 Thou Shalt Create Content That Offers Value
The software development industry is super-competitive.
In the United States alone, there are over four million professional software developers. In essence, this means you must have a thought-through marketing strategy to stand out or at least gain a significant share of the market.
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to get noticed by your target audience… but there's a catch.
You have to create valuable content that educates your readers and, most importantly, entices them to click the share button.
We're trying to say that generating high quality and engaging content consistently establishes your brand's credibility. It also helps builds trust with the audience and strengthens your reputation.
Besides, a McKinsey & Company study found that consistency is essential to keeping your customers happy as they move through the value journey with your business.
Other benefits of creating high-quality content include:
- It helps increase your audience retention rate.
- It leads to improved social media traction.
- It helps generate leads. Content is an excellent way to guide potential customers through a landing page.
- It helps improve conversions
- It enhances your SEO efforts
- It helps build authority
#2 Thou Shalt Deliver BIG Ideas Using As Few Words As Possible
No one wants to read long, boring sentences.
As a software developer who wants to sell your brand to your audience, you're better off using a few words that drive the point home when creating content.
We're living in a world where 280 characters equal a fully-formed thought can get more engagement than a thirty-two-page ebook.
When you atomize your content, it gets consumed more.
Put differently, content marketing is all about being brief while communicating your message in a precise, laser-focused manner.
The question then becomes; how do you make sure that your content is explicit and straight to the point?
By avoiding fluff.
Here's a rundown of what to keep off:
- Stating the obvious
- Wordiness – You can use editors such as Grammarly to get rid of overblown language
- Passive voice
- Irrelevant information
Additionally, be sure to plan your content before putting pen to paper. Outline your post and brainstorm for a couple of minutes. Most importantly, don't forget to edit after you've completed your article.
Remember, avoiding fluff doesn't mean you shouldn't write long posts.
No. The idea is to make sure that your content isn't boring.
#3 Thou Shalt Talk To Your Customers
Building a content marketing strategy as a software developer involves more than considering the type of content you want to generate.
You must know who your audience is, how to speak to them, and where to find them.
Why is this important?
The key to creating a successful content marketing campaign is to ensure everyone who reads your content feels like you're talking to them directly.
And, when your audience connects with your content, you'll generate more traffic, leads, and customers.
You should know what your target audience is struggling with, their pain points, and fears. On top of that, you must understand the outcome they'd want, their ideal solution, and their wildest fantasies.
How do you do that?
You create a buyer persona.
For starters, your buyer persona as a software developer is the persona you're targeting with your content.
More specifically, this is a semi-fictional character that best represents your target audience or people you'd like to gain from your message and, by extension, convert into customers.
Sure, creating a buyer persona requires some research and a bit of guesswork, but the aim is to develop a character that will happily engage with your content.
Need help with creating a buyer persona? MakeMyPersona will get you started.
#4 Thou Shalt Write For People And Optimize For Google
If you want to build an online community that consumes your content religiously, you must be smarter with how you write.
See, one of the biggest challenges you can face as a software developer trying to make his/her mark on the market is to write content optimized for SERPs yet appealing to the people.
Indeed, SEO is one of the most misunderstood topics online. Still, creating SEO content isn't the hardest thing to do.
There's a catch, though...
Before you optimize your content for search engines, you have to understand that people come first.
So, how do you write content that attracts traffic and ranks well in SERPs?
While there's no alternative to writing great content, you still need to do the following three things to drive people to your website;
- Optimize keywords with lots of searches
- Produce evergreen content
- Build a reasonable number of backlinks from trusted and authoritative websites
Additionally, it would help if you mastered the art of storytelling. Here, you can weave your company's story into your content to gain your target audience's attention.
Other ways to ensure that you optimize your content for humans is to use humor and case studies. In fact, a Content Marketing Institute study found that B2B buyers prefer reading case studies and research-based content.
That said, here are a few tips to help you make sure that your content is SEO optimized:
- Place keywords in your headings
- Write in a way that answers your customer's questions
- Leverage featured snippets
- Be creative with meta descriptions
- Add alt text to your images
- Identify effective keywords when looking for content ideas
- Include keywords in your content naturally
- Make your posts longer and scan-able
- Optimize images to improve the page load
#5 Thou Shalt Be Specific
Here's how content marketing works … make specific claims and back it up with explicit content.
As stated, there are millions of software developers out there. Some have huge budgets, and it can be hard to compete against them if your offer isn't unique or if you’re on a tight budget.
So, if you want customers and competitors to respect your brand, you should talk stands and speak in absolutes.
If you make software that helps business owners automate invoicing, you should create content that makes bold claims as to why your product is better than others in the market.
You can, for instance, create a post titled "The Only E-invoicing Software You'll Ever Need to Use."
As you can see, that's a super bold claim right there, and it's your job to persuade your target audience about the claim using content.
Here's to make your product claims believable
- Focus on the benefits over features
- Be as specific as possible
- Target your reader's emotions
- Leverage testimonials
- Write conversationally
- Create a slippery slide
- Create the feeling of exclusivity
- Prove the value of your product
- Establish your brand as an authority – you can do this by highlights its history, highly trained staff, etc.
- Provide the "reason "
#6 Thou Shalt Differentiate The Reason People Buy Vs. The Reason People Stay
Of course, you want to sell your software to as many customers as possible. You want to generate lots of revenue.
But you should know one thing.
Your customers will quickly forget the real reason they bought your software when they fulfill their needs.
For this reason, you should speak to both your customers and prospects when creating content about your product or brand.
On one hand, you want to remind customers of your software's benefits to their business. The idea is to keep them buying from you.
If your software is available on a subscription basis, you want to give them a reason to renew month after month or year after year.
At the same time, you must keep looking for new customers to grow your business – and that's why you need target prospects with your content.
Here are incredible tricks that'll get customers and prospects interested in your brand:
- Be biased about your software
- Sell the dream – something like "with my e-billing software, your customers will always pay you on time"
- Pique your reader's curiosity
- Highlight past success to show what your software can do
- Make your customer and prospect feel respected
- Create a sense of urgency – short term offers, communicate scarcity, etc.
- Be a valuable resource
- Keep the conversation with your audience alive – connect on social media, request for feedback, etc.
#7 Thou Shalt Not Propose Marriage On The First Date
The last thing that you want to create is content whose only purpose is to sell.
Sure, you want to solve your target customer's pain points with your content. Even so, you should create your content in such a way that it moves a prospect through the value journey from awareness to conversion.
- Seventy percent of your focus should be on message.
- Twenty percent should on arranging the sequence of your messages.
- And the remaining ten percent on targeting.
Make no mistake about it. We're not saying that your content shouldn't target the right audience.
We're saying that with the right message, it becomes relatively easier to convert your prospects.
The point is, you should aim to create truly compelling, well-timed content to lure potential customers and keep the old ones coming back.
When prospects and customers know they will get value by using your product, you can be sure they'll not buy more from you but also spread the word.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, to generate content that attracts and retains loyal customer;
- Create shopping-related content.
- Create post-purchase content.
- Create between-purchase content.
#8 Thou Shalt Promote Your Content
Think about it for a sec...
If you spend hours organizing an event but fail to tell anyone about it, what will happen? Of course, no one will turn up, and it'll be quite a sad party.
But, if you spend enough promoting the event and generate excitement among those likely to attend, there's a high chance your party will be a success.
The same is true for your content.
You can create the best content on the internet, showcasing your software development company, and what makes it stand out, but if you don't promote it, no one will know about your brand.
There are several ways you can get your content out there, including;
- Breaking down your content into a blog post series
- Sharing on various social media platforms
- Launching targeted social ads
- Republishing your content on other channels such as Reddit, Medium, etc
- Notifying your subscribers about new content
#9 Thou Shalt Be Authentic
Here's the thing...
As a software developer trying to create a name in the saturated market, you don't want to tell lies about what your product can do.
When creating content to help grow your brand, always tell the truth.
Remember, the primary reason for using content marketing to create awareness about your company is to convert readers into buyers.
When done correctly, content marketing is an excellent strategy to generate leads. But, what happens when you finally convert these leads only for them to discover you lied about your product.
A couple of things will happen...
One, you will have to deal with unsatisfied customers asking for a refund of their money.
Two, you risk getting negative reviews that will, in turn, harm your brand's reputation.
Do you know what happens when people can't trust you?
You will start to lose customers. Most notably, you will stop attracting new customers and eventually run out of business.
#10 Crack A Joke … Once In A While
The truth is, it can be quite a challenge to insert humor into content that talks about software development.
But guess what? … the best marketer can pull a joke at a funeral! Seriously!
And, don't have to be the funniest marketer to make your reader grin from ear to ear here and there. At times, it boils down to your choice of words.
Humor allows you to sell your product without outwardly selling something. That way, your target customers won't feel like you're taking money right out of their wallets. By appealing to a customer's emotions, you're engaging them and, most importantly make them remember you.
While you can use humor in your content, make sure that you understand your audience so that they are offended.
Want some inspiration? No problem!
Here's a joke to get you started:
When you give us the money, you actually get the product. How shocking!#thesoftwarecompany
The Bottom Line
Any serious developer should embrace content marketing as part of the overall growth plan.
Keep in mind that the more the people who know about your brand, their easier it is to generate more qualified leads.
With 72 percent of marketers admitting that content marketing increases engagement and leads, you don't want to be left out.
Need More Content Marketing Advice?
If you're a software developer thinking about launching a content marketing campaign for your brand, we're here to help.
GrowthGenerators is committed to making sure you start and implement your content marketing strategy correctly.
February 10, 2021
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