Content creation services are big business because content marketing is taking root across the spectrum from B2C to B2B companies. However, it’s B2B companies, especially those in tech, that truly need specialized content creation support.
If you know anything about content marketing, then you know the golden rule is: don’t talk about yourself. Instead, focus on the problems that your buyers face, etc.
While this rule is 100% true, I am going to slightly break it. This is because I spent almost a decade as a CMO of an AI startup. I worked with content creation service companies in two languages on a daily basis and I’d like to share some of what I learned.
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Content is King for B2B Tech Startups
Firstly, why is content marketing so important to B2B tech companies? B2B tech companies often sell products that are technically complex and with a fairly large price tag. These two points mean that buyers want to be educated before they make the purchase.
However, innovative B2B tech companies have one further challenge. The most innovative tech startups sell solutions to problems that the buyers don’t even know exist! I like to use the example of Henry Ford to make the point here.
Supposedly, when asked about marketing his first cars Ford replied, “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”. The point is that the automobile solved a problem for buyers but buyers weren’t actively looking for that solution.
This ‘faster horse’ problem perfectly describes the challenge facing innovative startups. Generally, they solve big problems, but their prospective buyers aren’t looking for their product.
To combat this faster horse problem, startups need to generate demand and one of the best ways to generate demand is through content marketing. Good content marketing focuses on a problem that the target buyer faces and positions the company as a thought leader on that problem.
My Story: Content Marketing in AI
Here I will return to my story. I was on the founding team of an AI startup that automated report writing in financial services and pharma. No one was looking for AI automation tools for financial reporting in 2013. But they were reading up about new regulations, reporting requirements and how new technology could help. So, our content marketing focused on regulation and how new innovations were helping companies overcome burdensome regulation.
The content strategy was a good one but our challenge was, how do we find bilingual (French and English) writers to generate top-notch content in what was a highly complicated space?
Great Tech Content is Great but Poor Tech Content is Worse than Poor
It may sound obvious but just as top-notch content can help your business grow, poor content can have the opposite effect. When I worked in the AI startup, I remember working with a very expensive marketing agency. Their content creation services came highly recommended, and they were well known in the space.
When they delivered the first few blog posts, the level of technical know-how, both about AI and about financial services, was so low that the content was less than useless. The writers wrote about MiFID II (at the time a new financial regulation) like a first-year University student researching a term paper. And, their knowledge of AI didn’t go any further than the latest Hollywood ‘robots-take-over-the-world’ film.
In short, I spent a lot of money on content creation services that resulted in useless content that I needed to re-write myself.
Unfortunately, I’m not alone. I was talking to a consultancy that works with microservices architectures and they told me that they simply couldn’t find people who both understood the technology and could translate it into plain English and business value.
Marketing Content Writing for B2B Tech
My experiences working in tech lead me to co-found Nituno, a marketing agency dedicated to working with B2B Tech startups.
The truth is that tech startups need content marketing to succeed and those that do it best are the most successful. Look at HubSpot as an example. A decade ago, HubSpot was a small Massachusetts-based tech startup that worked to track users on websites using cookies.
Today, if you search almost any marketing problem, HubSpot will be on page one of google. What HubSpot did better than anyone else is they learned about their target buyer. They realised that CMOs in fast-growing tech companies were their target buyer so they became the thought leader on all things marketing, so those CMOs would buy their product.
Ten years later, the CMOs of formerly fast-growing startups are now the CMOs of the top tech companies in the world and they still use HubSpot as a resource for all things marketing.
However, to be successful HubSpot needed to build a small army of amazing writers who could quickly understand a topic and then write educational, entertaining, and useful content. HubSpot’s location in Cambridge, Mass and their focus on top-notch content writers is no accident.
Cambridge and Boston are home to some of the top American universities. Those universities produce a new crop of highly educated, intelligent young people with the exact skill set that HubSpot needs. Finding top talent is critical to building a top-notch content creation team.
When I cofounded Nituno, one of the reasons we choose Oxford in the UK, is the abundance of highly educated, ambitious young people who really enjoy writing and translating the complex into the easily understandable for business readers.
Content Creation Services to Scale Up
To return to my own story, after spending a decade building my own content writing team in a startup, I chose to leave the company. Along with my co-founder, my vision was to create a content marketing agency for B2B startups like my former company.
To do this, we built and trained a team of writers in the UK who are ready to write about anything from Microservices, to Talon One integrations, Payment APIs in health care, AI, ML, AML, and everything in between.
The goal for me was to build a team that was plug and play for startups. This means we have video editors, writers and strategists who know the space and can hit the ground running.