How to build communication strategy for IT-companies?
Why would an agile IT company need a digital strategy? Can’t you just test different hypotheses and adjust your approach and solutions as you go?
Let’s be honest, launching endless tests without risking your budget and reputation is possible mostly for giants. Moreover, it can be accomplished only for certain industries, such as food or beverages. For example, Genki Forest, a Chinese beverage maker selling its products in 40 countries. Its revenue in 2020 was $450 million. As such, they are capable of testing novelties every day — while 95% of the products don’t pass beyond the testing stage.
For small and medium-sized businesses, this approach often leads to budget loss and disappointments. You should keep in mind, things can be successfully executed only when planned based on the analysis or experience. Below we break down the Voypost case to show why small and medium-sized businesses require digital strategy.
Voypost was originally founded as a logistics startup. Its goal was to create an international community of people who would help with parcel transportation. Let’s say one needs to send something to Germany, but they’re wary their package would get lost, crumpled, or it’d cost a fortune. This sender can find via the app someone on their way to Germany, who could take their package. Voilà.
Then the founder of Voypost realized that he had gained so much experience while creating and developing his startup that he could share his knowledge with others. After a while, Voypost re-emerged as the company that develops MVPs and digital products for startups.
The company started growing, but they were using the same channels and tools, and didn’t know how to move on. They also were no longer satisfied with the quality of the clients and wanted to scale. Hence Voypost commissioned us to develop a communication strategy.
Worth noting that it’s actually cool of them, since the best way to solve the problem is to prevent it. It’s much easier to build a good digital communication system with a plan, rather than trying to break in without a strategy and then redo and correct everything.
It was important for Voypost to communicate their corporate values and how they make complex things simple. We played around with things that everyone is familiar with and can’t stand: unskippable ads. Voypost communication was built on the tagline: “skip overhead and start your project”. Don’t worry, attend to your business, while we take care of the technical parts. We will lift the burden from your shoulders.
What’s important is not only visuals and client’s wants and wishes, of course, but also to develop communication in a way that truly distinguishes our client from the competitors.
Our objectives were to:
- Analyze the market, the competitors, as well as the current position of the company.
- Make a list of recommendations
- Develop a communication strategy based on these recommendations:
- construct the portrait of the customer;
- choose necessary communication channels and tools;
- choose the format of communication;
- define a tone-of-voice;
- develop a content plan;
- calculate the budget;
- Completely update the website design;
- Create content for publications according to the content plan.
Disclaimer: Obviously, we can’t show the whole strategy, but we’ll share some classified data in accordance with our client 😉
Here is what communication strategy for Voypost looked like:
- Client Profile
- Segments of the target audience
- Search for the service
- Clients’ stories
- Why do they need the service?
- How do they choose?
- Who are the competitors?
- Their advantages and disadvantages for clients
- Barriers and drivers of the customers
- Digital path of B2B clients
- Communication stages
- Communication channels
The Niche: Which channels bring results
- Contextual advertising
- Content marketing
- Content Sections
- Structure of the main page
- Structure of the sections
- Key messages
- Target promo
- Social media
- Topics for publications
- Communication directions
- Messages and letters
- Contact base
- E-mail newsletter
- Contextual advertising
- Content marketing
- Cases and their structure
- Target promo
- Social media
- Motivation and Content: Content for Clients and HR content
- Subject list
- Content plan
- Style of content
- Video marketing
- Next steps
Strategy development must start with an analysis. We understand that sometimes companies aren’t outright ready for a digital strategy. Some prefer to get a full picture of their situation and general recommendations before developing a full-fledged plan of action.
To ease our clients’ pain we now provide an option to receive marketing analysis as a separate service. If you’d like to know more about this option, please leave your info and we’ll contact you to provide more details 😁
Marketing analysis helps to understand what resources you need and how to allocate them efficiently. What do other companies do?
What do they spend their money on? What social media do they choose to publish the content on?
What kind of content do they post?
Which sections do their websites consist of?
It is essential to understand why customers turn to the company. How do they make decisions? That’s why we create a detailed client profile.
To begin with, who is Voypost’s client? We compiled some clients’ stories. Here are some of them:
Then we investigated what stops and motivates them.
Based on this data, therefore, we drew up a customer journey.
We managed to outline some insights from the audience:
- Clients are afraid of not being unique for the contractor. Notwithstanding most are looking for a contractor with experience with similar projects. At the same time every client holds a notion “but my project is more complicated”. So communication has to persuade the customer that your company fits them perfectly as you make complex things easier.
- Some clients are ready to start but still hesitate to actually begin developing their idea and launch. Because of that even the simplest task looks super difficult. You want to delay it. Quite often, however, “later” means “never” as you can always find an excuse.
- Some clients are not ready to start development, because they imagine how they would have to control every step of the professionals (or they faced this problem before), so they refuse to even start. We’ll show this clients’ nightmare and the alternative — we will offer working with a team that doesn’t need you to overlook it.
Each insight we have accompanied with a visual and a message that contained values and unique selling propositions from Voypost.
The goal of Voypost’s communication strategy is to find new customers and to build their HR brand. Having identified the style and way of communication that are suitable for such purposes, we have selected the necessary tools with specific individual tasks for each.
Following is the style and tone-of-voice of the brand.
The next step of the strategy was a new big corporate website.
Before starting to work on a website, we go through preparations:
- Research and analysis of the website structure in this niche: competitors and websites with prestigious prizes like Awwwards.
- Visual analysis: we look which trends within visual solutions prevail among competitors and sites from related niches
- Development of a functional prototype: drawing up the structure of the future design and breakdown of blocks into components.
- Visual concept: designing a visual for the desktop.
- Adaptation of the design for mobile devices.
- Refinement and preparation for delivery to the developer.
The goal is to provide users with comprehensive information and motivate them to leave an application.
Our task was to change the structure of the website to correlate it with what customers expect to see on the developer’s website, add information important to them, add content sections (at the very least a blog) that will help raise the website in Google search results.
You can check the whole website here!
Blog and social media
IT copywriting is different from other types of copywriting. The topics they write about are very specific. Usually the target audience is developers and decision makers: CEOs, CTOs, and marketing directors. As such, technical copywriters write for an experienced audience — in many cases, more experienced than the very author of the article.
That is why initially we were looking for an IT copywriter with good English. Unfortunately our cooperation with a freelancer didn’t work out. So we had to get into the nuts and bolts on our own. After all, the main requirement is to have research and analytical skills. A copywriter is not a developer, so they may not know all the intricacies of IT, but they can conduct a thorough and quick research (as they know how to use Google effectively 😉). Furthermore, a proficient level of English comes in handy.
After analyzing many IT blogs, social media profiles and forums, we discovered the preferred style for such articles and posts. Brief and accurate, objective and to the point.
Technical texts differ from entertaining content and do not use many stylistic means of expression. It’s better to avoid passive voice and indefinite nouns, complex constructions and subordinate clauses. Try to shorten prepositional phrases, as well.
Copywriting isn’t just about typing words, though. Nobody will read a primitive and boring text piece. You should logically structure it with a proper sequence of sentences, and not overload your reader with information.
Design is significant too, of course. As illustrations for the text we used generative graphics. Such a brand identity approach became the next step after the emergence and development of dynamic branding, more variable and flexible.
If wood, concrete, glass and steel were the main materials in the 20th century, then in the 21st century it was the code. Algorithms are the foundation of generative graphics. The results of these algorithms can be completely random, generated in part, or fully by a controlled flow of specific data.
A very suitable style for an IT company, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, small and medium-sized businesses often perform without a long-term plan. They incorporate isolated solutions instead of complex ones. Alternatively, they simply borrow from competitors (while there might be a combination of tools that allows for them to work or they operate on a completely different budget). The advantage of digital is that it can all be revealed. An audit can show the client exactly how much and where his competitors are spending. What is their approach, what people say about them. There might be something that the competitors have not yet talked about — and your client can.
Especially when a company is growing, it needs a strategy to adequately allocate its resources. With the strategy, the company gains an understanding of the budget needed, what tasks can be done in-house, and where they require some external help. For example, Voypost decided that they can cover targeted and contextual advertising themselves.
Our collaboration led to excellent results. We attracted new and, most importantly, high-quality leads to the client.
Your audience is the judge, jury, and performer of your brand. You need to understand what drives them. In addition, analyze both your competitors and the industry as a whole: their positioning and values — this is all invaluable information in decision making for your own brand. A marketing agency can help you with this. Soloviov Marketing Agency offers in-depth marketing analysis, communication strategies — and can help with its proper implementation.