Unifying SEO and Content Marketing for Tech CompaniesBy ZM Peterson • Mar 20, 2020
SEO has become a massive industry over the past decade, with total market size reaching $80 billion [source: 99firms.com]. If you’re not doing basic SEO, then you should be. At minimum, you’ll get yourself placed on Google Maps and in search results for a few choice keywords. However, you’ll need more than simple on-page SEO techniques to broaden your reach on search engines.
Content marketing for tech companies and SEO have been disjointed, particularly in highly technical industries like electronics/semiconductors, specialty software, oil and gas, and Industry 4.0. If you’re a B2B tech company, you’ll see the highest SERP and sales growth when you unify your SEO, content marketing, social media, and sales strategies. Here’s why you should focus on developing a holistic SEO and content marketing strategy, and why content marketing for tech companies is so critical for driving growth.
How can SEO, Content, and Social Media Marketing Work Together?
At a basic level, SEO and content marketing can’t be considered separately. In my experience, many tech companies that go on a content campaign think they’re great at SEO. They produce meaningful engineering content, post it to their company blog, and share select articles on social media. They’ve done the on-page SEO properly, and they may see mixed results for a number of reasons:
- Some technical content marketers only see success on accident. When you start a content campaign, see a few pages rank, and start seeing some traffic growth, it’s easy to convince yourself you’ve been doing it correctly. It’s possible that success was only an accident. Without a holistic strategy, there’s no guarantee you’ll see continued growth.
- Content gets engagement by ranking for target keywords, but it doesn't convert. Focusing on SEO without solving specific problems for the audience can produce traffic, but traffic does not equal more sales. For tech companies, I’ve seen this happen because the content doesn’t engage a technical audience and doesn’t provide real insight.
- A page may be high-converting, but it gets low traffic. This is a better result than the previous point because at least you’re getting sales. However, the right SEO-driven content strategy can help you expand your reach in SERPs, ultimately driving engagement and sales.
Strategies and content marketing formats for tech companies.
For tech companies, content marketing is about more than producing whitepapers and blogs. Similarly, SEO should be about more than stuffing keywords in key pages on your website and asking for backlinks. Effective SEO and content marketing for tech companies is all about identifying topics that help your target market solve their tough technical challenges. To get the most out of your content, you need to integrate your SEO and content marketing strategy with a social media and sales strategy.
An Integrated Strategy for Tech Companies
An integrated SEO, sales, social, and content strategy is all about getting as much value as possible from your content. The diagram below shows a flowchart for an integrated SEO, social, content, and sales strategy. This is particularly important for tech companies, but it requires real thought leadership and identification of the best social channels for your content. If you can identify and vet the right keywords, as well as get your content in front of the right audience on social media, you can see high engagement and traffic, ultimately leading to sales.
A holistic SEO, social, sales, and content marketing workflow for tech companies.
Content marketing for tech companies can provide multiple benefits if executed within the above workflow. However, content shouldn’t be placed on your website just to fill up pages and target keywords. Your content needs to have a purpose. For tech companies, this means helping your target audience solve difficult technical challenges.
Effective Content Marketing for Tech Companies Helps Users Solve Problems
Content marketing for tech companies needs to do more than hit some choice keywords and build a simplistic narrative around an industry issue. Most "SEO companies" (I use that term lightly) focus on the bare basics: spammy backlinks and spammy on-page SEO rather than meaningful content that solves technical challenges. Emotionally-driven content and basic on-page SEO may be fine for B2C audience, but technology content needs to be SEO-friendly and action-oriented. Here are the primary goals of content marketing for technology companies:
- Showcase your industry leadership. Don’t rehash the same 5 tips in your blogs, guides, case studies, and whitepapers. Address the oldest and newest challenges faced by your audience within the context of your product’s capabilities.
- Provide actionable solutions. You need to provide actionable advice that helps your audience solve real technical problems. If there is any advice I can give around content marketing, it is this: your target market should be able to implement your solutions with your product as soon as they buy it.
- Don’t make blogs a hard sell. Your blog is the cornerstone of your content strategy. Everything on your blog should be SEO-friendly, ready to be shared in professional groups on social media, and address questions from sales leads. You'll build more confidence in your company and products if you focus on providing real solutions. Engineers don't want to feel as if the only thing you care about is taking their money. Show how your company can help them solve difficult technical problems, and you'll earn their trust.
- Make mid-funnel content application based. Application-based mid-funnel content allows you to showcase your product’s workflow. You can also do double duty and show how it solves a difficult technical challenge within the industry. You can make this content branded within the meta title and description. This is much better than making mid-funnel content feature-based, which will simply overlap your technical docs and won't showcase how you help engineers solve real problems.
If you can implement the above points within an SEO strategy, your content will be engaging and extend customer lifetimes, as well as having broad search engine reach. So far, I’ve only been referring to written content on your website, but all the points I’ve mentioned above apply to podcast and webinar content. Any content you produce should fit within the workflow shown above if you want to see the greatest benefits.
At Northwest Engineering Solutions, we’ve designed and built hardware and software platforms for large enterprises, startup companies, and the world’s largest eCommerce company. We also provide content marketing for tech companies, including the world’s largest EDA software companies, Japan’s largest filter glass company, PCB manufacturers, and a plethora of smaller companies. Because we’ve likely used your product, or we’ve created similar products, we know how to best market your product and communicate its value. No other SEO/content marketing company can provide this level of insight for your audience. If you’re interested in learning more about NWES and our digital marketing services for innovative tech companies, feel free to contact us for a consultation.