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3 Ways To Create Compelling Content Strategy For IT Professionals

Jan Schauenberg
18 October 2019

Committed IT professionals are constantly looking for helpful information. With new software releases, apps and standards released each year, they have an insatiable demand for accurate, helpful information. Given this need, how can you serve IT professionals effectively with compelling content? The process is simple though not easy. Follow these principles and you will create a content strategy to attract IT professionals to your website.

1. Solve a problem

How many time have you done a Google search to find a solution to a technical problem? I’ve done it many times to find the solution to errors in Microsoft Excel, iPhone malfunctions and unexpected behavior in Windows. In many cases, all I found were poorly written postings on discussion boards. When I finally found a detailed article that solved my problem, I felt relief and bookmarked the website.

Note: if your company has products and services relevant to the article, keep self promotion to a minimum. If the reader feels like they are reading an advertisement in disguise, your efforts will not work out as well.

How to apply this method:

Start with a small IT problem that you have recently solved. For example, it could involve how to troubleshoot a certain type of wireless network problem. Once you choose the problem, write your article with simple step by step directions that explain exactly what is required to solve the problem. If you want to stand out, include screenshots that show the reader exactly what they need to click and which settings to use.

Examples of solving a problem:

2. Publish a resource guide to the best tools and tips

This advanced strategy provides tremendous value to readers by comprehensively defining how to solve a problem. There are two ways to develop guides. First, you can create a curated guide that gathers and comments on resources, books and tools others have created. Second, you can publish an original guide to a topic based on your experience. Both approaches work well.

How to apply this method:

In contrast to the previous strategy, it is best to choose a larger niche when creating a resource guide. For example, instead of discussing how to solve a specific wireless network problem you would write an article covering the tools and techniques to optimize network performance. For the best results, view ten specific resources as the absolute minimum. Many of the best guides often have twenty, fifty or more resources. Once you have the topic and resources, start to write the guide. Organize the resources into subcategories so that readers can easily scan through the material and find what they need.

Examples of resource guides:

  • Best IT Certifications For 2019. Ambitious IT professionals know that certifications are one of the best ways to increase their value at work. That’s why certification guides have become particularly popular in the IT niche. Note how the guide compares and contrasts the different options in terms of difficulty and relative status in the market. That’s a good lesson to follow – don’t simply provide a list. Offer your advice on the best way to sort through the available options.

  • Ultimate Guide to Getting a Raise & Boosting Your Salary. Though this guide comes from outside the technology niche, it is an excellent example. The guide walks you through the process of obtaining a salary increase step by step. Notice the guide’s use of high quality design, scripts and sections that make it easy for the reader to understand each step.

  • The Best Wi-Fi Router (for Most People). Choosing the right technology for your office is difficult. Sure, you can buy products, test them and return them if they don’t work for you. But who has time for that hassle? That’s where the Wirecutter has become successful. They choose a category, test the products and offer multiple recommendations. That last point is especially important because there is rarely a single perfect solution. For example, the high-end camera designed for constant use by a professional is simply too much power for the casual traveler on a vacation.

3. Leverage breaking IT news

Known as newsjacking, publishing content concerning breaking news is tried and true way to earn attention. In the technology field, there are different ways to use this strategy. You can be the first to comment on a positive announcement such as offering your commentary on the ways that a brand-new product can be used. In contrast, you can look offer new perspectives on negative developments such as drawing lessons from a cybersecurity hacking incident.

The main advantage to this strategy is the potential to win fast results in the short term. In some cases, you may even earn traditional media coverage. There are two major disadvantages to this strategy. It requires regular news monitoring to detect news items that you can connect to your business. Second, breaking news has a short shelf life so you should not expect long term interest. There is an exception: if you develop a reputation for providing valuable insight on new trends, you will start to earn a following of IT professionals for that reason.

Examples of leveraging breaking news to create content:

  • KitKit and the iPhone Tweet. This example shows that you can connect your product to breaking news in another industry. The same underlying news story – problems with a new iPhone model – could serve as raw material for the other strategies in this article.

  • Charmin and the Oscars. Can you tie your company into awards? Charmin did exactly that with this Tweet.

These Tweets also demonstrate that creating engaging content does not have take a lot of time. You can go a long way with a creative image and the ability to draw connections between your product and current affairs.

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