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60% of CIOs Think Tech Marketing Is Arrogant – 3 Tips To Stay Grounded

By Octopus Group on 6th May 2015

Setting yourself up for a fall is so easy in content marketing. Thought leadership, tips, product benefits, advice and industry opinions are some of the ways tech marketers try to add value and help their audiences – though unfortunately this expert advice can sometimes be construed as arrogance.

In B2Buyology, a report on business buying trends, 60% of IT decision makers said they were frustrated by the over-confidence of tech vendors’ marketing and sales communications. Trying desperately not to come across as arrogant…here are some tips to avoid sounding like a know-it-all in your content marketing.

1. Back it up with a stat

Sometimes sweeping statements are necessary. They’re hard to avoid and often required to prevent lengthy explanations. The problem is sometimes they’re assumptive and irk people, leaving them asking: “why’s that the case…please explain”.

A stat is a quick way to explain the ‘why’, as it does the job of saying: “it’s not just me that thinks this…here’s the evidence”.

For example, when I sat down and started writing this blog, I knew I wanted to write something about how expertise is a cornerstone of content marketing, but I wanted to convey the idea that it needs to be handled delicately. I backed it up with the 60% stat from B2Buyology to support my view.

2. Create buyer personas to get their POV

Had a conversation recently where it feels as though the other person just talks about themselves? It feels as though they don’t care what you think and as a result they seem too full of themselves.

Buyer personas help you put your audience at the heart of your content marketing conversation.

They are semi-fictional profiles of the typical stakeholders you’re trying to market to, which are based on data and anecdotal evidence. Buyer personas make you stop and really think about why you’re doing a particular activity, and give you a framework to map your sales and marketing plans against.

Draw up a list of questions to tease out the hopes, fears, pain-points and, crucially, the business and stakeholder needs of your ideal customer. What are their job responsibilities, daily challenges, sources of industry information, and goals?

After doing that, think about you how your content marketing efforts can help your personas. What can you do for them that would actually be useful?

For example, Octopus Group is a B2B content marketing agency and many of its blog readers work in the tech sector, so a research report on IT buying, B2Buyology, was created. With this in mind, I thought: how can I share some of its findings and add value in some way? So I decided I’d share one of B2Buyology’s findings – tech vendors can sometimes come across as arrogant – and try to offer our readers some relevant, practical advice.

Which brings me onto my third tip…

3. Be open about what you’re offering

Fancy words can sometimes cover up product and knowledge gaps in the short-term, but, sooner or later, people see through it. Using lots of jargon gives the impression that you think your audience already knows your niche’s terms or should spend time learning them. Not good. Instead, being clear about what you’re offering will help you build trust with your buyers.

B2Buyology showed that 59% of IT decision-makers are frustrated by products and services not living up to their marketing promise, so being open pays off on this point, as well as preventing the arrogance creeping through.

An expert or a know-it-all?

As I mentioned at the start, it’s so easy to set yourself up for a fall in B2B content marketing. Whenever you hit publish or send on something, you’re putting yourself out there and saying that your audience should listen to what you have to say and, ultimately, buy whatever it is you’re selling.

You have to position yourself as an industry voice that’s worthy of attention and confident in its product and service. Along the way, some will find you arrogant, but follow these tips and you’ll have a better chance of keeping your feet close to the ground.

Download B2Buyology for more insight into the buying habits of the IT sector

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