IT professionals love robots. They can chat for hours about R2-D2, Data and K-9.
However, they don’t feel the same about robotic marketing.
I attended SpiceWorld 2014 and had the opportunity to sit down with Jennifer Slaski, executive director of marketing communications at Spiceworks. She offered advice on how technology marketers can make their content more human.
“I believe that everything you need to know about marketing you learned in kindergarten,” says Jennifer. “However, many marketers get caught up with jargon, campaigns and metrics. They forget that people want to interact with people – not robots.”
Jennifer recommends the following three steps to make your technology marketing more human:
1. Ask questions and listen to the answers.
Technology marketers often feel pressure to be really smart and know all the answers. However, this can create a disconnect between your marketing message and what your customers want to know. Customers appreciate when you ask them questions and really listen to their answers. When you take the time to do this, you can drive an effective marketing strategy.
“To me, it’s a failure to roll out a campaign without asking someone in our community what they think about it first,” says Jennifer. “There’s a humility in admitting that you don’t know something and had to ask. However, it’s also very freeing.”
2. Don’t obscure your message with buzzwords.
IT professionals want information that will help them solve their problems. As soon as they sense marketing BS, you’ll lose their trust. You don’t need to impress them with acronyms and buzzwords. They prefer straight language that tells it like it is – which is why they look for recommendations from their peers when researching products.
IT professionals will also tune out if they think that you’re not taking them into account. Take the time to get to know them, so you can speak to their likes, problems and needs.
3. Infuse your content with personality.
One of the biggest challenges in B2B marketing is talking about complex topics without sounding boring. Jennifer recommends that you weave stories into your content. This makes your marketing refreshing and helps you connect with readers.
“You don’t need to write in a serious, academic way,” says Jennifer. “You can educate your audience while entertaining them and making them laugh.”
You can even make your legal content more engaging. While you may not be allowed to change the legal text, you can bookend it with more conversational language. This allows you to spice up your content while preserving its legal integrity.
You can also make your brand more human by sponsoring events that bring your community together. For example, the IT professionals who attend SpiceWorld think of it as a family reunion.
“It’s amazing to see IT professionals come together at SpiceWorld and hug each other,” says Jennifer. “Seeing the connections every year blows me away.”
Jennifer stresses that marketers must make connections with their customers to be successful in the future.
“Marketers need to get out from behind their desks, laptops and Twitter feeds,” says Jennifer. “They must talk to their customers and get to know them as people – not demographics.”
3 Ways To Leverage This For Your Business:
1. Read “11 Red Flags That Your B2B Content Is Boring” to learn how to make your content more engaging.
2. Download Content Marketing Quick Fixes. This will help you improve your content, so your target audience will want to share it and interact with you.
3. Click here to share this article on Linkedin. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.