TechComm 2020: Get Ready to be Part of the Content Era

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#tmaldous #LavaCon TechComm 2020: Get Ready to be Part of the Content Era Tom Aldous, Acrolinx http://www.linkedin.com/in/tmaldous http://twitter.com/@tmaldous http://tmaldous.com

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Great Job Jack!

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About Predictions

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We Were Promised This

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We Finally Got This

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They Predicted This

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We Finally Got This

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They Predicted This

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We Finally Got This

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Now It’s My Turn, But First

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We’re Drowning in Content Every Sixty Seconds 140 blog posts 600 new YouTube videos 570 new websites 168,000,000 emails 98,000 tweets

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But for Marketers, It’s Not Enough in 2013

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“Creating & distributing great content – findable, relevant, valuable, engaging – to attract and acquire a target audience in order to drive profitable customer interactions.” “Content Marketing” Definition

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And They’re Succeeding since 2013

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This won’t end well… “Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge.” by Velocity Partners

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Why Has Content Become so Important?

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Relationships Now Built on Content B2B buyers complete from two-thirds to 90% of their buying decision before they engage with the vendor. – Forrester Research Until then, buyers rely only on content to influence what they think of you.

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Technical Content Matters For almost 89 percent of buyers, high-quality technical content is either important (33 percent) or very important (56 percent) to their initial purchase decision. – IBM Survey Your technical content influences buyers even before they become customers.

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Technical Content Directly Drives Revenue Documentation “is actually feeding top-of-the-funnel activity… Some companies are reporting that documentation is bringing in over 50 percent of their qualified leads.” – “The Evolution of User Manuals,” Forbes Your technical content may even matter more than promotional content.

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We’ve Entered the “Content Era”

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Technical Content Drives Customer Satisfaction Too According to a survey, 72 percent of respondents indicated that they would rather find help on their own, without calling a help line. – Forrester Research Technical content matters more than ever to satisfy our DIY customers.

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Are Customers Satisfied? Nope. Only 1 percent of consumers feel that their expectations for a good customer experience are always met. – Harris Interactive Survey

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What do Customers do about it? 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. – Harris Interactive Survey

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Your Time Has Come!

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Technical Information at Point of Sale “How documentation will save the world of CXM” by Digital Clarity Group

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Social Engagement “Professional writers now have tools to collaborate with their audience easily… “… we are witnesses to the age of information shifting to the age of interaction…”

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Titles are Changing Content Designer Content Developer Information Experience Designer ?

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Why? Because Responsibilities are Changing: At EMC, technical writers create blogs & white papers to promote their technical content At Microsoft, technical writers develop videos & infographics At Juniper Networks, technical documentation has merged with marketing to become the company’s “content engine” Lines between TechComm & Marketing are blurring – even disappearing.

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Marketers Need Your Expertise They need what you can do for content: Intelligent Multichannel Dynamic It’s time to build alliances with Marketing.

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Position Yourself to Your Executives

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Speak to Executives in Their Terms, Not Yours You should offer: Better customer experience Better customer support Greater customer satisfaction Geographical expansion Accelerating time-to-market Lower exposure to liability Lower costs/higher productivity You can back it up with: More consistent touchpoints Improved findability & comprehension Higher content quality: more understandable & consistent Lower translation costs Faster editing & translation Greater content accuracy Less work for SMEs, editors, reviewers & translators

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Cutting Costs is Not Enough Almost every internal request for investment promises to cut costs. More important is your proposal’s contribution to your company’s high-level goals.

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Deliver Relevant Metrics Driven by Facts, Interviews & Surveys Not this: How many words we write How many pages we publish How many rewrites we endure How many releases we support How much more work we’re doing than before This: Customer satisfaction Customer surveys Customer engagement (e.g., page views, time on site) Comparisons to industry benchmarks How we could serve company’s goals even better

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My Prediction The Content Era is finally arriving Your ability to communicate clearly, objectively, and appropriately for your audience is more important than ever What we do is going to be most valuable to Marketers Get ready to ask for that big raise

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Thank you! tom.aldous@acrolinx.com