- What: DevOps solutions content assets (white papers, fact sheets, blog posts and others) aren’t as effective as they can be.
- Why: The content assets aren’t created with the target persona buying journey in mind.
- Who: DevOps product marketers with a solid technical background but limited marketing training.
I’ve been working on a research project that involved reviewing and critiquing the content assets of DevOps toolchain and Microservices products and solutions providers. While there are many good pieces out there, there is room for improvement.
I am sharing some specific areas of improvement to help the DevOps product marketer add some marketing best practices to their whitepapers and other content assets:
— Whitepapers are mostly top of the funnel assets. Their primary goal is to educate the audience and build thought leadership for your company. They are NOT product pitches, and you can’t cover that up by curating and over-used history of DevOps, benefits of DevOps, or DevOps tools.
If you want to pitch your product, do a fact sheet, or case study or blog and DON’T call it a whitepaper.
— You don’t set yourself apart if you do another whitepaper about the benefits of DevOps. A true whitepaper should talk about an issue the target audience is facing and the solution. The objective is to educate the audience and in the process, position your company as a trusted advisor. You want your whitepapers to offer something that others have not, a new perspective, new approach, more elaborate approach, or at least something that isn’t extensively discussed by others (for instance your competitors).
In DevOps space, you are targeting an audience that already knows the top benefits of DevOps like faster go-to-market and efficiency. You are NOT setting yourself apart if your whitepaper is starting with or focusing on these repetitive points.
— Too much text, not many visuals: This is the fundamental rule of any content, but is even more important for longer pieces like whitepapers. I have seen many white papers that go on and on without a single visual, call-out box or summary sections.
Your audience doesn’t have time to read everything. They skim through, and you need to give them enough summary of points, visuals and call-out boxes to keep them engaged and help them capture the top points without reading the entire piece.
For product markets with limited time and resources who can’t create sophisticated visuals, I recommend using call-out boxes, tables and bullet points that break up the long, boring all-text sections.