What is a technical content marketing agency? And why do I need one?

What is a technical content marketing agency? And why do I need one?

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There's no shortage of marketing agencies out there—each one with a slightly different structure offering any variety of services. Digital agencies, SEO agencies, PPC agencies, CRO agencies, inbound, outbound—all the acronyms, in all directions. Many of these agencies supply content marketing services as a feature under their umbrella of broader offerings. But for brands who work in very niche spaces and require a specific type of expertise, a conventional agency doesn't fit the bill.    

Before we break down what a technical content creation agency is, let's look at what content marketing does and why. At its core, content marketing tells a story with the right words, in the right place, in the right format, and in a way that keeps an audience coming back for more.

Content marketing is a strategy that centers around blogs, whitepapers, videos, and other collateral. The goal is to drive traffic, build community, engage audiences, build credibility, and—ultimately—increase revenue.  

It seems simple enough. But tech brands have very fragmented and specific needs, making it challenging to produce content marketing that can support your goals with the necessary expertise.

 

So, what’s the difference between generalist agencies and niche agencies?   

  

Here’s where the big split from a traditional agency comes into play. A conventional content marketing agency can provide a writer that performs as a jack of all trades. They won’t necessarily have the expertise needed to write technical content. Content made for technical practitioners requires practitioner writers. It’s the only way to create content that attracts and nurtures tech readers.   

If you alienate your audience with inauthentic content, you won’t find them moving through your conversion funnel. Good content is good business.    

Why do such niche technical content marketing agencies exist?   

 

Top-down solution and tool purchasing is a dead practice. Instead, companies have evolved to see developers as visionaries and architects of digital transformation who have an end-to-end view of the processes and solutions that a brand adopts. Tech departments have a collaborative and consultative relationship with business management.     

When your marketing efforts are aimed only at the top, you miss gaining the sway of technical practitioners as decision-makers and change drivers. Herein lies the challenge. It's tough to market to tech practitioners! It's a whole other ballgame. Your content writers are probably experts at writing to the C-suite—but when you segment your audience and write to tech personas, you're going to need a different skillset and a deep understanding of the tech.

"Developers should be considered technology buyers because they have a strong influence over purchasing decisions. Between 70 percent and 79 percent of developers feel they have either significant or complete influence over purchasing and procurement decisions, including decisions related to the modernization of legacy apps, cloud adoption, and cloud vendor selection." 

IDC

A technical content marketing agency zeroes in on creating content specifically for technical audiences, typically writing for software developers, programmers, and engineers. Technical content marketing has a scrutinizing audience that can easily pick up content written by someone who lacks authentic expertise.

Good tech content writers are practitioners in their fields and can get down to the nitty-gritty of things and create useful and practical content. They can produce valuable tutorials that solve real-world problems—and incorporate code samples and screenshots to create a hands-on reading experience. A tech-geared agency can provide instant access to vetted, expert writers. 

"Brands should always look for familiarity w/ their industry. If an agency doesn't know how to navigate the vertical = bad news."

@lucasmillerwsu

The Epic Battle of Freelancers vs. In-house vs. An Agency   


We’ve identified one of the keys to success: writers who are skilled practitioners in their fields. But where can we find writers capable of handling tough topics? There are a few different paths we can take.  
        1. Freelancers:
          Finding a good freelancer, especially in services marketplaces, feels like the wild west. It can lead to questionable quality and unpredictable delivery—and unpredictable is a word you don’t need near your content strategy. Finding, recruiting, hiring, and managing is a tedious process and a resource drain.

        2. In-house:
          In-house can go two ways, and both have pitfalls. One option is for marketing teams to rely on tech departments to write at the technical level required to suit their audience. This can quickly turn into a recipe for disaster when tech teams become overloaded. Plus, they may not be the best writers! 

          Another option is to hire in-house content writers. Unfortunately, this is hard to do in a niche tech space as you need someone with expertise who is also a good writer. Even if you find your unicorn, you still have to consider the larger overhead compared to hiring an agency. Plus, this solution isn’t easily scalable—just try to find two unicorns!

        3. Content Marketing Agency:
          An agency provides continuity and a safety net for your content marketing efforts by easing the production process’s heavy lifting. In doing so, marketers have more time to get strategic and focus on the big picture instead of being bogged down in production.  

          As a technical content marketing agency, we may be a little biased here. However, we’ve worked with our fair share of unreliable freelancers and have seen the effects of putting too much on our tech department’s plate. (Hello, burnout!). We’ve been there, and we know the bumpy road firsthand.
 

Tech content services: Do one thing—and do it well.  

An experienced tech content marketing agency has in-house talent beyond just writers.  In this piece, we’ve pinpointed that the ideal writer has the knowledge needed to teach, inspire, and engage others within tech spaces. The caveat: this knowledge doesn't guarantee that they're a good storyteller or strategist. That's where the rest of the agency team comes in!

By working with a technical marketing agency, you extend your team by having instant access to a company entirely dedicated to tech content marketing. 

Content writing is only part of technical content marketing. The backbone of the process is having a good strategy. An agency leverages the industry experience of a team that understands the consumption habits of practitioner audiences and guides the overarching content strategy. Having a dedicated content team means you benefit from a documented and fine-tuned process. 

It’s important to have the mindset that content marketing is not a campaign. It’s an ongoing business strategy. The agency-to-client relationship is a long one—one that includes building rapport and deepening our understanding of your brand. Think about it like this: a partner versus a vendor.
 

How do I know I need a tech creation agency?


Do you find yourself reaching for the bottle of Advil too often? That may be a good indicator that it’s time to get off the unpredictable freelancer marketplace and look to an agency. Common challenges that a tech content creation agency addresses:     

If any of these are a little too relatable, it may be time to explore your options. Let’s have a chat and see what amazing things we can create.    

Elisa Cerquozzi
elisa.cerquozzi@contentlab.io


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