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How Can a Virtual Data Center Differentiate with Remarkable Content

Part of persona research involves uncovering the buyer's journey.As cloud infrastructure becomes more mainstream and commoditized, it can be really challenging for a virtual data center to differentiate and stand out from the pack.

Since most CEOs don’t strive to have their pricing power stripped away and their profit margins beaten into the ground, it’s critical that you have a differentiation strategy for your virtual data center services.

In the following excerpt from Lead Generation Best Practices for Colocation Data Centers, you’ll learn how you can create remarkable, persona-driven premium content.


Figure Out and Stay in Control of the Buyer’s Journey

During buyer persona research, you’ll map out the buyer’s journey that goes from lead to client. It’s kind of like “follow the yellow brick road” from the Wizard of Oz.

When you understand the buyer’s journey, you can prioritize the content formats that are most likely to propel your leads through your sales funnel. Without this research, you’ll waste a ton of time and resources, and end up really frustrated.

So again, each buyer persona needs its own optimized lead generation offers. However, for most virtual data center service providers, when you really look at common behaviors, goals, and pain points, there usually are only a handful of personas -- often just two or three.

And again, each buyer’s journey stage requires its own lead generation offers.

However, regardless of how many buyer personas are created for your data center, there will be, in nearly all cases, only three main sections of the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision making

Know Your Buyer Personas

To get the best lead generation and sales acceleration results, you will need content developed for each buyer persona and each buyer’s journey stage.

So let’s say, for example, your data center does extensive buyer persona research and uncovers three ideal buyer personas:

  • Chris CIO
  • Dave IT Director
  • Frank CFO

You’ll end up with something like a tic-tac-toe board with 9 boxes. Across the top row, you’ll see the three buyers’ journey stages. Down the left hand column, you’ll see the names of the three ideal buyer personas.

Know Your Buyer Personas


Now, your personas and their chosen names will vary. What always needs to be done is in each of the boxes, the cells in the worksheet, you need a lead generation offer -- at the intersection of the buyer’s journey stage and buyer persona.

Differentiate Between Premium Content and Non-Premium Content

Premium content powers lead generation. But what exactly is premium content and how does it differ from non-premium content?

Comparing premium content to non-premium content is kind of like comparing a fancy lobster dinner, in a fancy waterfront seafood restaurant, to a can of tuna fish in the grocery store. They’re both food. They both come from the ocean. But one has much higher perceived value, both in terms of the raw ingredients and the dining experience. So, it commands a price that’s 10, 20, or maybe even 30 times higher.

Premium content is content that’s so insanely invaluable to a particular buyer persona that the reader “pays” for it by providing their business-card-like contact information.

Premium content is also sometimes referred to as “gated” because it’s secured behind a form and landing page.

And premium content -- that has a very high perceived value in the eye of the beholder, the buyer persona -- converts targeted website visitors into leads.

Some popular examples of premium content include:

  • White papers ‒ White papers are usually utilized in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Downloadable planning guides ‒ While downloadable guides are also typically an awareness stage premium content offer, the guide’s content and context may sometimes shift it into the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Webinars and on-demand webinar recordings ‒ Webinars are most often positioned as consideration stage premium content. However, it depends on the content and context. Webinars can sometimes also be excellent premium content to use in the awareness stage and decision making stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Needs assessment ‒ By the very nature of how labor intensive it is, and how it is delivered one-on-one, a needs assessment is universally considered a kind of offer that’s used in the decision making stage of the buyer’s journey.

Create Non-Premium Content to Drive Traffic

Your non-premium content has to be remarkable too. It’s just a different kind of remarkable.

The goal for non-premium content is for the content to be so valuable to a particular ideal buyer that the person has a very strong desire to get his or her hands on “whatever else” you have to watch, listen, or read; for example, your Premium Content.

Some popular examples of non-premium content include:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcast episodes
  • YouTube channel
  • Twitter profile
  • Facebook business page
  • LinkedIn company profile 

Non-premium content helps attract website visitors to the premium content for your virtual data center services. So, even non-premium content has to be pretty gosh darn remarkable! 

What has your firm done to differentiate and make itself more remarkable? And do your prospects actually perceive this differentiation, or is it just wishful thinking? Let us know your take in the Comments.

If you're in the data center, mission critical or cloud services industries, or you sell to the data center industry, don't miss our weekly update newsletter -- Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute (DCSMI) Update Newsletter. Get notified about new reports, events, podcasts, and blog posts. 

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Topics: Data Center Colocation

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