Liz talks about content writing for ISVs with Bernadette Wilson, who is a regular contributor to the DevPro Journal and has 20+ years of experience as a journalist, writer, editor and B2B marketer.
In this interview, Bernadette explains how she began her career in writing, and what it is like to create content for such a fast-moving industry. During the conversation, she talks about what motivates her to write about ISVs, highlights some of the challenges she faces, and offers up solutions to overcoming them.
At the end of the interview, Bernadette discusses the biggest mistake that ISVs make when writing their own content, and provides useful tips for them to improve.
Listen to the episode on Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, Pocket casts, RadioPublic, or Google Podcasts.
- How did Bernadette start writing about ISVs? [0:57]
- What she likes about writing content for ISVs? [3:21]
- Main sources of information when writing about ISV [3:58]
- What are the challenges of writing for ISVs and how to overcome them? [5:31]
- Are there enough content for ISVs? [6:20]
- What are the common mistakes of ISVs when writing their content? [8:04]
Listen to another episode with Bernadette Wilson where they discussed How to Create B2B Software Content that’s Fun – Is it Even Possible? here.
Liz Lemarchand: How is it that innovative software solutions have the ability to change the world yet they don’t sell themselves? How is it that I know my target market but I’m not able to generate enough sales opportunities? How do I even get started to create visibility for my brand when I’m not an expert in marketing? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. Welcome to SMplified: Software Marketing Made Simple!
Hi everyone, it’s Liz from MediaDev today. I have the pleasure of being joined by Bernadette Wilson who is an ISV content writer for the Dev Pro Journal and for those of you who are not familiar with the Dev Pro Journal, it’s a fantastic industry publication for software leaders.
So hi Bernadette, thanks for being here today.
Bernadette Wilson: Thanks very much.
Liz Lemarchand: So I wanted to know when and why did you start writing about ISVs?
Bernadette Wilson: I see, uh, well, several years ago I was an associate editor for Business Solutions magazine. And part of our audience was ISV’s, so that’s probably where my experience began and where my interest began in that area. If we wrote about the solutions themselves, the technology so we could have articles on features or trends. But we also wrote about how businesses in different industries were using those solutions, which I thought was really an interesting area to see how you could apply it and then in addition to that, any time we polled our audience, our ISVs would tell us that they wanted more information on running their businesses as well.
Things like marketing and sales and capitalizing on the software as a service trend at that time and so I started to develop a full picture of an ISV business and after I Left business solutions, I worked for a technology marketing agency so I had the opportunity to work directly with some ISVs as they try to really define their brand image and elevate that image.
And as they use content for their inbound marketing campaigns or even for printed sales literature, and so I’ve had the opportunity to write content for ISVs in just about every capacity and now through Dev Pro Journal and my work on my own.
I feel like I have a really good picture of some of the challenges that I SV face and I’ve developed a really great respect for them because what I see is that they’re behind disruption in virtually every industry and it’s really exciting to see the ideas that people have. And then if these are the ones that are making it happen so that’s kind of where I am right now.
I’m really excited to watch the progress that we’re all making, you know, Courtesy of ISVs.
Liz Lemarchand: Great, yes, and things are changing so rapidly, aren’t they?
So what do you like most about your job?
Bernadette Wilson: I think the best thing for me is that I get to learn something new every day. I can go from writing about marketing one day, you know, the best way to optimize content on the website for search engines, and the next day I can be writing about an emerging blockchain application, so for me, it’s really fun to always be writing about something new and learning something new.
Liz Lemarchand: Great, I feel the exact same way so I can understand that. What are your main sources of information when writing about the ISV community and topics that interest ISVs?
Bernadette Wilson: It DevPro Journal, we go to the industry thought leaders. A lot of companies that ISV partners with, whether they’re hardware vendors or distributors, payment processing companies, or just different people that would be partners, a lot of them have teams that focus on particular industries.
They might have a government team or manufacturing team, and so we look to them to kind of provide insights that can help ISVs with those industries.
But we just actually had a series of articles published through June on DevPro Journal, but we had some really good insights into ISV opportunities in industry 4.0 and IO T and even mobility and healthcare. So we like to go to people that are, you know, their feet on the street.
They’re talking to people every day, and just to give people or give ISVs that insight that they have, and then, of course, we go to known resources on the web for marketing or sales advice, just to try to consolidate that all in one place and make it digestible for ISVs.
Liz Lemarchand: Right, So what is challenging about writing for ISVs or how do you overcome those challenges?
Bernadette Wilson: For me, I think the biggest challenge is that it’s happening so quickly. So if I kind of put my nose down and I work on a particular topic and a week or two goes by, I could miss something in a different area because there’s always a new security concern or a new technology or so what I try to do is just stay subscribed to a bunch of RSS feeds or for media outlets or Google alerts or newsletters and I just try to keep current as much as I can with what’s going on so that our information that we provide can be current, as well.
Liz Lemarchand: Do they do enough content out there for ISVs?
Bernadette Wilson: I gave a lot of thought to this and I think there’s plenty of content out there, but I think you know you can find all kinds of things that people need and you can find all kinds of information on emerging tech emerging technologies but what I think is missing is something that pulls it together specifically for ISVs.
You know they’re busy people, and you don’t necessarily want to go to an industry source that deals particularly with retailers, and then try to decipher it and see what the opportunity might be so and that’s one of the examples I was thinking about. Like we know retail is up against massive changes and they’re trying to accommodate new demands from consumers.
They just want to shop differently and have greater conveniences. And everybody knows that. And then everybody knows that the Internet of Things is emerging. But putting those two things together and really saying how that could help a retailer from a retailer point of view, I’m not sure that that’s available in too many places, but that is what DevPro Journal tries to do. We try to fill that gap and write specifically for the ISV.
In fact, that’s one of the articles that we put together in June, kind of. Where the IoT opportunities might be and how they can help retailers provide better customer experiences and that’s something else we’re always open to new ideas.
So if somebody wants to reach out to DevPro Journal and say they want to see more content on a particular topic, we’re happy to put that on our calendar.
Liz Lemarchand: Great, So what are the common mistakes that you come across when you talk about how you do a lot of reading yourself and you obviously write some very interesting articles because of the alerts and the things that you’ve said that you follow. But have you seen any common mistakes or what do you think ISV’s have to work on when it comes to content creation?
Bernadette Wilson: Yeah, I do see a few things that we could probably all do better, not just ISVs and I think the biggest one is writing for your audience. I think that ISVs because of who they are and what they do, they tend to focus on the technology and sometimes the things I read are highly technical, but if you’re trying to market to someone that’s not at another ISV up here, then it’s not going to have the impact that it would if you could actually just speak to that audience and let them know the value that you can offer them.
So I think it’s important to remember that you only have a couple of seconds to capture someone’s attention. So the thing to start off with is how you can make their business more efficient. How you can make their products better, how you can make them more profitable, and then maybe second come in and explain the technology in terms that that audience could understand and remember.
It might be a retailer or a warehouse operator. And not somebody that’s familiar with coding software. Oh, and it’s also important to get a really good picture of that person that you’re writing to. I mean, we call it the marketing persona because if you’re writing to a middle-aged male transportation company owner that isn’t really that familiar with technology, it would be a very different kind of article than if you were writing to a young female digital native marketing professional because you would not say the same thing to them and the way you would say it would be different.
And I know it’s a struggle if people have an application that can be used across a wide variety of industries and by a wide variety of users. But what you really need to do is target that content to who you’re talking to, and to have its maximum impact and it’s also a challenge to maintain your brand image while you’re doing that, you know, to make sure that you’re true to your brands though.
Those are the things I think that we could all do better at and then just a reminder that good writing is important. I sometimes talk to people that kind of downplay it, but it really is because you want to use proper grammar. You want to say things in a way that makes sense, you know, that the reader can understand, that they’re readable because if you don’t, it really could have a negative impact on your brand image.
Liz Lemarchand: Great, well thank you so much, Bernadette. Is there anything else that you want us to end?
Bernadette Wilson: Oh, I just invite everybody to check out the DevPro Journal ’cause we’re adding new content pretty much every day and we hope that ISVs will find it useful and just give us a look.
Liz Lemarchand: Great, thank you so so much.
Bernadette Wilson: OK thanks.
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