As content marketing takes center stage for many different industries, telecom brands have unique needs and circumstances that make the approach especially beneficial in reaching audiences with the information needed to make complex decisions.
The proliferation of communication channels and an interconnected network that no longer limits connections to just one or two providers with physical infrastructure in a specific geographic area provides both global opportunities and educational challenges for B2B providers of telecommunications services—wired, internet and cellular.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy based on providing audiences with information using a variety of content formats and distribution channels. Most content used in these strategies leans heavily into providing valuable, useful information rather than being overtly promotional and brand- or product-centric. The benefits of content marketing include generating inbound leads by increasing SEO performance and website traffic.
The types of content created and used in a content marketing strategy can include social media images, thought leadership articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, whitepapers and reports, infographics, webinars and more. Most content marketing today is digital in nature, but the broader umbrella includes traditional print materials as well, including sales collateral used in one-on-one meetings and industry events.
One key hallmark of content marketing is that it eliminates what may have traditionally been silos of “public relations” and “marketing” approaches to reaching the same audience. Integrated content marketing crosses that divide, integrating the two disciplines in ways that create an overarching strategy focused on the same goals. By integrating all tactics and channels under a single strategy, marketers benefit from uniform messaging to all stages of the sales funnel, opportunities to repurpose content and data for multiple channels and greater return on investment for the resources dedicated to content development.
Get a closer look at how JONES has helped telecom brands generate awareness and leads through content marketing: Telecom Industry Marketing Means Staying On Top of Everchanging Trends.
How should telecom brands focus their content marketing?
Three characteristics of the telecom industry make it a perfect fit for content marketing: rapidly advancing technology, complex concepts and a diverse range of target audiences.
Use content marketing to keep up with changing telecom technology.
Under the telecommunications umbrella are several arms of the industry—hardware manufacturers, software designers, transmission companies, data aggregation and analysis, and cloud data storage—each advancing at breakneck speeds. Creating marketing materials in an environment like that requires understanding the technology itself, what it means for customers in terms of real benefits, and what is coming around the bend next.
Telecommunications brands, particularly those reaching sophisticated B2B buyers, need to show they are on top of the latest advancements and constantly moving forward to anticipate the future needs of clients. Today, the growing interconnectivity of the world through the Internet of Things includes everything from Ring doorbell cameras to instantly automated orders of more raw materials for a manufacturer when the system detects that inventory levels, as indicated by reading bar codes on the materials, have dropped to a specific trigger point. What will it introduce tomorrow?
5G wireless technology is just now expanding services that were previously limited to wired networks into the realm of wireless connections, but the possibilities of a sixth generation network are already being discussed with even wider implications. Telecom firms need to be ready to talk about the future, and that’s tough to do via traditional advertising and soundbite culture—comprehensive content like this 5G report from former JONES client Qualcomm is needed to showcase competency and innovative thinking.
Another JONES client, Intrado (previously West), showcased its forward-thinking approach to emergency communications in a thought leadership whitepaper that combined the concept of “safe cities” and advanced telecommunications using the Internet of Things to enhance 911 responses.
An excerpt from that whitepaper included:
Imagine the case of a vicious fight – with individuals potentially having weapons on them – that breaks out in a mall. Smart mobile sensors with IoT technology, AI and geospatial positioning working in context with other devices, such as pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, can stream location and video data to 911 command centers to coordinate police response. Law enforcement will be able to use that in context with the mall’s floor plans to know where to access the building under the circumstances and even what weapons are being used so they can be well-prepared to engage with the perpetrators.
This whitepaper with its innovative approach to the future of telecommunications was just one JONES developed for Intrado’s safety services division based on a series of market feedback surveys that provided a database of valuable industry information along with identifying emerging trends.
Use content marketing to explain complex telecom processes and benefits.
With all that change, the ways in which telecom services work and the benefits they provide to customers become even more complex and difficult to distill down into soundbites and quick commentary. B2B customers with concerns about connectivity, capacity, security and more want detailed information, presented in formats and language that speaks to their needs. And B2C customers need easy-to-understand descriptions of how to incorporate the technology available into their daily lives and routines.
Smart speakers are one of the telecommunication innovations from the last few years that provide tremendous conveniences for consumers, but as Intrado explained in another whitepaper, precisely what the speakers can and can’t do impacts their effectiveness in certain circumstances.
The growing use of smart speakers in homes, including as a way of making calls and initiating communication, meant they would invariably be used at some point for emergency calls, and both consumers and 911 service providers needed to understand how that interaction would play out.
Use content marketing to segment outreach to specific target audiences.
Most telecom companies serve a wide range of customers, with each segment having specific pain points in addressing their telecommunications needs. While the primary solution may be the same, details in how that product or service is deployed will provide different benefits for different customers.
Comprehensive content, segmented by the industry being served, can help telecom brands show that they understand the specific needs of those customers by providing detailed benefits that fit those industries.
Another example from Intrado addresses the specific needs of schools when it comes to telecommunications and responding to emergencies. The whitepaper created for this specific audience included three actionable recommendations schools could implement to improve their emergency response.
Of course, in some cases, effective content marketing for the telecommunications industry will do all three. One example is JONES client Cloudli (formerly BabyTel). Cloudli turned to content marketing as it transitioned to its new name and worked to make inroads into a market still largely dominated by major providers with decades or centuries of name recognition in the telecommunications industry.
Among the content JONES has provided for Cloudli was an ebook that combined all three elements of telecom content marketing into a single piece of content that looked ahead at the needs of the healthcare industry, described how a specific telecommunications technology works, and pinpointed the exact ways in which it could solve a key problem unique to healthcare: HIPAA compliance in communications.
A synopsis of the ebook, included on a lead capture landing page, includes this copy:
Healthcare providers across Canada send 24,000 pages of faxed information daily. In the United States, 75 percent of medical communications still happen via fax. Make sure your fax system won’t drop the ball. In this eBook, we dive into six common challenges in healthcare that IP fax can address with its reliable and proven digital technology.
You will learn:
- Why fax is still the most popular means of communication in healthcare
- Why outdated legacy fax systems are no longer enough
- How IP fax addresses communication needs with secure digital technology
Cloudli packaged the ebook with blog posts, infographics and bylined thought leadership articles on the same topic to create a complete content marketing campaign designed to educate, raise awareness and generate leads and sales, based on the quality of information presented. Other campaigns discuss the same technology, but address other specific customer segments or more general information around IP fax and its benefits for businesses.
JONES is no stranger to either content marketing or the telecommunications world. We have been crafting high quality content for innovative telecom companies for nearly two decades, including campaigns at the cusp of technologies including line-of-sight wireless broadband, texting applications, VoIP communications and more. See our experience, and what we’ve learned over those years about developing content marketing campaigns for telecom brands, in this installment of our Lessons in Marketing blog series.
You’ll also learn more about our approach to developing complete campaigns when you download these resources: Creating A Winning Inbound Program and The JONES Campaign Planning Solution. If you have questions about any of the work we’ve done or how we can support your telecom content marketing strategies, let’s chat. You can schedule a time in my calendar here for a no-obligation consultation.