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How and Why to Get Your Tech Team Involved in B2B Content Marketing

If your startup sells to B2B tech buyers, you need quality marketing content. 

Instead of a sales pitch, more B2B buying teams want to research your brand, product, and fit without talking to anyone. Proof of this trend is a recent Gartner study that shows 75% of B2B buyers now want a “rep-free” sales experience. 

This means that when they are in the market, your customers expect to be able to read case studies and blog posts, watch your webinars, and see exactly how your solution fits their business needs. They also expect to be engaged, entertained, and spoken to on a level that speaks to their experiences.

What B2B buyers don’t want to do is have to dig through generic (and potentially AI-generated) information on your website to find useful information.

This is especially true for startups trying to win with cybersecurity content marketing or other technical product marketing campaigns like billing systems and IT solutions. Nothing will annoy a buyer with a technical background more than generic or blatantly false marketing content

Getting past these filters can sound scary for young startups who might not have the budget to employ demand gen focused internal marketing teams. Fortunately for smaller B2B tech startups, they actually have a secret weapon. Growth-focused startups have a powerful marketing asset already inside their company  – their tech team. 

Your developers, technical product managers, and anyone on your team with an industry background will have a vast bank of experiences, insights, and opinions that can be turned into incredible content marketing assets. These people, and probably you too, are subject matter experts (SMEs).

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My experience working with B2B tech startups bears this out. From companies with a relatively small amount of seed funding to those that went through multiple fundraising series’ and eventual acquisitions, successful B2B content marketing campaigns always involve SMEs. 

SME insight will help you: 

  • Communicate your product’s benefits clearly.
  • Find angles your competitors are missing for your awareness and lead nurturing campaigns.
  • Make sure your marketing assets pass the “sniff test” from tech buying teams. 

By harnessing SMEs early in your marketing, you can give your startup a unique POV that larger competitors often lack. 

In marketing, it’s easy to get bogged down in various channels, strategies, and processes, but ultimately, brands with an authentic expert-led voice in their content will get heard.

How Startups Can Involve Their Technical Teams In Content Marketing  

Here’s the process I recommend to any startup that wants to involve its technical team in content marketing. 

Start slowly with specific marketing asks

Your tech team is not and never will be, your marketing team. They have a million other things to do before they start coming up with ideas for content, so dumping them into a weekly marketing strategy meeting will not make you any friends. 

A better idea is to schedule an hour a month with relevant individuals, with a specific marketing ask for the meeting. For example, “Does this angle for a blog post make sense?” or “Can you spare an hour to ensure our latest SEO blogs are technically accurate before they go live?”  

You can build more open-ended content marketing processes with your SMEs from these specific asks. Just make sure to treat their time with respect. Eventually, you do want your SMEs to sit in on regular strategy sessions; you just need to get there slowly. 

The ideal endpoint here is an environment where your SMEs will ping you (or your marketing team) with ideas for content, like their opinion on a new tech category or why your brand should talk about a particular IT incident that made headlines recently.

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Elevate thought leaders

For developers and non-public-facing individuals, the benefit of contributing to your marketing efforts is getting their names in front of their peers. This is a career booster for them and a sales booster for you. Encourage thought leadership. 

To do this, quote your contributors in your blog posts and pitch guest articles in their name (which can be ghostwritten by your marketing team) to magazines and third-party blogs. 

This is a great motivator to get more buy-in from your tech team and also increases the chance they will want to distribute your content themselves. 

Share results

If your tech team contributes to your marketing efforts, they should also get to see what is working (and what’s not). 

Particularly in larger startups, sharing the results of marketing campaigns can be a useful way to break down business silos. 

If your developers understand that their marketing contributions are helping win business and grow the company, they will be more likely to contribute in the future. 

Prepare to Have Honest Conversations

Once you start encouraging technical input into your marketing campaigns, you will get feedback. Some of this feedback will be positive, and some will not be what you want to hear. In my experience working as a contractor with companies from fresh startups to Fortune 100 businesses, technical employees can be very direct when it comes to feedback.

When you start leveraging SMEs in your content, you must be prepared for criticism. Specifically, you need to be ready to listen, and just as your SMEs are explaining technical nuances, you need to explain how marketing works and why certain types of opinions or comments are not useful.

Getting input from your startup’s tech team is a lot of work for everyone involved. Do it right, though, and it’s so worth it. 

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