“Half of the money spent in advertisement is like to throw money down the drain – I just don’t know what half of the money that is” Henry Ford
From the foundation of AskMeWhy in 2012 to the end of 2014 our digital activities happened more random wise then strategic. Of course we’ve had a website telling visitors, that we are strong skilled in Microsoft Cloud Consulting and SharePoint development. Sometimes, especially in moments of success, we’ve communicated our success stories in a blog within our website and shared it to Facebook. But that was all about it.
Our simple but effective digital strategy
In the beginning of 2015 we’ve decided to put some more effort into our digital marketing activities and to win new customers on this way. We’ve setup a basic strategy and a communication plan for our content marketing. We’ve also made up our minds about what we will talk about in the internet, how often we will talk about it and on which social media platform. But first of all we’ve changed our mindset from “communicating what’s important to us” to “communicating what’s important or interesting to our clients”.
We have decided to publish high-quality content on a regular basis to improve our Google SEO ranking for specific Google search terms like “Cloud”, “Data protection”, “information architecture” and so on. We’ve determined to blog about the following topics which are also in alignment to our business strategy:
- Methodology and development of Microsoft cloud strategies for midsize and bigger companies
- Data protection and security with the Microsoft Cloud Platform
- Solution development with Office 365 and SharePoint
- Success stories and reference cases
We have the impression that the biggest challenge in this strategy was to generate high-quality content on a regular basis. But, in most IT companies there is a lot of know how around that perfectly matches for a content marketing strategy. Fortunately we business consultants are generating this content automatically when we are writing offerings, methodology papers or feasibility studies. So we’ve realized that it only needs a little customizing and we can reuse the precious content from our studies for content in our blogs posts.
As soon as a new blog post is ready, we spread it using our company pages in each social media channels relevant for IT. We’ve decided to focus on the following channels:
- AskMeWhy Cloudpower Blog
- LinkedIn, Slideshare, Google+, Xing
- Yammer (Microsoft Switzerland)
Also we’ve hocked up with other digital active persons and organizations to share our content. In return we’ve shared their content as well. Last but not least, all our employees were engaged to share or like our blog post in their social Networks.
Also very important to us was to win new followers on Twitter – because as a startup you can reach a much bigger community with Twitter than with the other social media platforms. To win your first 100 followers in Twitter is a piece of hard work. You need to search the right followers and you must contact them and ask them to follow you – of course in return you must follow them as well. And, if you get new followers, don’t forget to say “thank you” for following and mentions.
By the way: We are not using Google AdWords because one klick on the term “Office 365” or “SharePoint” will be directly charged to your credit card for 6 to 10 Swiss francs. Instead we’ve made good experiences with advertisements on Facebook and LinkedIn – you definitely get more for the same money.
Results after 6 month?
First things first: We did not win new clients with our digital strategy yet. But what we’ve achieved the following:
- High visibility and very high Google SEO ranking for Cloud Strategy, Data protection with Office 365 and development of Office 365 solutions (you don’t believe us? try this: https://www.google.ch/search?q=datenschutz+office+365
- Very high visibility in Microsoft Switzerland and digital marketing engagement of the Microsoft staff for our Company – mainly on Twitter and Yammer
- 300 followers on Twitter with two to three new joiners daily
- High visibility for cloud strategies, Office 365, Intune, Azure and SharePoint
- Installation of extensive digital Marketing know-how and well-structured procedures
- Some People in the swiss IT market saying “AskMeWhy? I’ve heard of them”
- An Enterprise Architect of a fortune five hundreds company getting in touch with us for our specific skills (honestly.. but this only happened once – yet!)
We are convinced that our digital strategy will lead us to more success and that we will get compensated for our commitment with the Microsoft Cloud Technologies in a while… but we are realistic and do not expect this success to happen before the next 18 month.
We will keep on going…