Content marketing advice from the best. An interview with Cloud TP

  • Cloud TP ranked 6th in our 2016 Inbound Marketing excellence report
  • Highly ranked for their blog and content strategy
  • Interview with their Director of Marketing
Cloud Technology Partners (Cloud TP) ranked 6th in our 2016 Top 50 report, and a substantial factor in their high ranking was the strength of their blog. We spoke to Brad Young – Director of Marketing – to get an insight into how the Boston, MA-based business generates content, chooses topics, and puts together consistent and engaging blog content.

How do you generate new ideas for your blog?

“For starters, we look to our readers. Because we have a very specific target audience, we generally have a good idea into the topics they’re most interested in and we routinely poll our readers to ensure we’re covering the topics they’re looking to learn more about. We also turn to our sales and delivery teams who have a first-person view into the challenges our clients face everyday. We write about their greatest pain points and prioritize our blog ideas based on level of need and how they fit into our broader editorial calendar. Regardless of the topic, it’s also important to keep in mind that building a successful blog is not just about the quantity of content and new ideas, but really the quality. If your content doesn’t resonate with your readers, it’s just noise.”

“We invest the time to really to understand our audience’s interests and challenges. This enables us to then provide them the best practices and advice they need to be most successful. Cloud Technology Partners is a cloud-exclusive professional services firm and all of our content reflects this focus on cloud.  Because we have a consistent theme in our publications, our readers know what to expect when they interact with our brand.”

How did the Cloud TP blog get started?

“For starters, we look to our readers. Because we have a very specific target audience, we generally have a good idea into the topics they’re most interested in and we routinely poll our readers to ensure we’re covering the topics they’re looking to learn more about. We also turn to our sales and delivery teams who have a first-person view into the challenges our clients face everyday. We write about their greatest pain points and prioritize our blog ideas based on level of need and how they fit into our broader editorial calendar. Regardless of the topic, it’s also important to keep in mind that building a successful blog is not just about the quantity of content and new ideas, but really the quality. If your content doesn’t resonate with your readers, it’s just noise.”

“We invest the time to really to understand our audience’s interests and challenges. This enables us to then provide them the best practices and advice they need to be most successful. Cloud Technology Partners is a cloud-exclusive professional services firm and all of our content reflects this focus on cloud.  Because we have a consistent theme in our publications, our readers know what to expect when they interact with our brand.”

Do you currently have a content strategy in place? If so, how did you work to create it?

“Early on, our content strategy and editorial calendar was largely ad-hoc. We would cover important market trends in the blog, record a podcast here and there and produce case studies when major projects ended. Today our content strategy is much more prescriptive. One of the key drivers that helped us improve our publications was establishing a regular cadence for content deadlines. We decided that one podcast per week + five articles per week + one case study per month was the right mix for our thought leadership goals. You’ll have to determine what the right mix of content is for your business.”

“We recently expanded The Doppler into a quarterly print edition. The latest issue was 82 pages and focused on Enterprise Cloud Adoption. Adding a print publication to the equation has forced us to be far more organized with our content strategy and editorial calendar. For each issue our content needs to be finalized weeks in advance of the print deadline and we now actively plan ahead to determine the theme of each quarter.”

“Using the Doppler Quarterly to plan out our entire content calendar also helps us tie in our thought leadership activities with the rest of our company announcements and new service offering launches.”

What’s the one piece of advice you’d recommend for starting a blog?

“Getting your theme right from the start is critical.  Come up with one sentence that encompasses the core theme of your entire blog. Every article you publish should support this foundational message. For The Doppler it’s “Expert advice to help you succeed in the cloud”.

“When you’re thinking about writing something new, ask yourself, “How does this support my umbrella theme?” This will help you stay on track and maintain the consistency that today’s readers expect.”

Get the latest Inbound Marketing Excellence report
Chris Wright

Chris Wright

Chris founded Fifty Five and Five back in 2014, after a long career working for a number of global Microsoft Partners.