Thought Leadership Strategy Content Marketing

Turning a Blog into an Industry Voice

By Joey Held

For three years, INK has had the pleasure of working with close partner, Datapipe, a managed service provider (MSP) based in Jersey City, NJ. In September of this year, Rackspace announced it signed an agreement to acquire Datapipe and just last week the deal closed. The agreement is a significant shakeup within the cloud computing world, with the industry applauding the move and excited to see what the two companies can accomplish by joining forces.

As we reflect on our valued time together and our biggest achievements with the company’s communications program, we’re proud of our work that helped Datapipe grow from a small but mighty MSP into a major force in the industry. One of the most significant components of our strategy was taking over and revamping the Datapipe blog.

Before the switch in November of 2015, the company’s blog posts tended to be high-level, self-promotional pieces. While they were informational, we saw an opportunity to do more in effort to position Datapipe as the thought leader it was – a critical component for any company carving out a unique value proposition for itself.

Our blog strategy took a multi-faceted approach and ultimately helped Datapipe in several ways. Here’s an inside look at our work together.

Thoughtful Content = Increased Business Leads

The result of more eyes on the blog? More leads for Datapipe. A critical part of our strategy was staying on top of industry happenings to ensure Datapipe weighed in on important industry news. Good example: back in April of 2015, HP announced it was leaving the public cloud scene because it didn’t think it could go toe-to-toe with Amazon and Microsoft, who were dominating the public cloud space.

We saw an opportunity to educate the industry on public cloud, tying this news to Datapipe’s market strategy, which is all about how cooperation with the bigger players such as AWS and Microsoft, is better than competition. Thus, a blog on HP’s public cloud confusion was born. Going even further, we supported the blog by promoting it on Datapipe’s social channels in effort to increase readership and get more eyes on the content. What was the result? An executive saw the posting on his LinkedIn feed, was enticed to learn more, and reached out to Datapipe sales to hear more about the company’s offerings.

Using content to drive business leads? Check!

Weighing in on Hot Topics

To refresh the blog, we honed in on topics that Datapipe could own within the space based on its deep expertise working with today’s largest enterprises. We identified key trends, like DevOps, automation, and machine learning, then worked with the leaders at Datapipe to craft timely, engaging pieces that solved the problems customers were having. A few highlights include using big data to predict your March Madness bracket, how the cloud helped scientists prepare for the summer’s solar eclipse, and why a song you’ve never heard before can still sound so familiar.

Also, as a longtime trusted partner of AWS – and one of the first Amazon Premier Consulting Partners – Datapipe has valuable insights to share with its readers pertaining to AWS. We leveraged the blog to showcase the relationship between the two companies. For instance, AWS re:Invent is one of the biggest cloud computing conferences of the year. Datapipe is a regular attendee of the event, so alongside our work organizing analyst briefings, sharing on social, and building relationships with media, we developed a series of blog posts previewing re:Inventrecapping keynote sessions and lessons learned at the event, and looking ahead to upcoming trends.

Supporting Customers to Infinity and Beyond

Datapipe does exceptional work for its clients. In fact, that customer-centric mindset is at the core of everything Datapipe does – the company believes Operational Empathy® is so important that they trademarked the phrase. While its customers know Datapipe is there for them, we saw an opportunity to promote that great work on the blog by highlighting the end user’s perspective. Actions speak louder than words, so we worked with both Datapipe and its customers to showcase the company’s differentiators in a way that benefited everyone involved.

We coordinated calls with customers, drafted engaging case studies, and made sure everyone was pleased with the end result. As a part of many of these calls, I can’t help but smile thinking about the consistent message after talking with each customer – the underlying theme of Datapipe’s exceptional service. Operational Empathy® isn’t lip service; it’s something Datapipe truly believes. That customer-centric focus has always been there – INK helped Datapipe tell the world about that mindset.

In addition to ramping up the case study program, we turned these into “client spotlights” for the blog, where we highlighted customers and the problems that Datapipe was helping to solve, providing yet another avenue for Datapipe to share its great work while giving more exposure to its customers. To complement the blogs, we took our promotion efforts a step further by developing bitesize quote graphics to share across social media to drive more eyes and traffic back to the blog.

Check out a few of our favorite client spotlights: Baozun, one of the largest e-commerce retailers in Asia, and The Macaluso Group, a leading-edge provider for pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturers, retailers, and financial services firms.

Thought Leading the Way

There are a lot of great minds at Datapipe – that’s no surprise. However, they’re busy working on their day-to-day tasks and don’t have time to write lengthy, well-researched posts. Here’s where INK stepped in again. We worked with Datapipe by interviewing their thought leaders, gathering their thoughts and drafting the content to get their industry perspectives down on paper. We consider ourselves a partner in every sense of the word – and that includes getting to know our client’s key messages inside and out, and making it as easy as possible to showcase the great talent and POVs within the company.

These industry posts have turned into some of our best performers. Our goal was to have the tone and style of each author come across. For example, compare the value of machine learning to the importance of a personal touch within the realm of automation. These are two different authors with unique personalities. We saved Datapipe executives extensive time and effort and in turn they ended up with posts that they were proud to share.

Go Forth and Prosper

Since taking over managing Datapipe’s blogs, the company’s average monthly blog views have more than doubled. In the first eight months after the switch, we saw an increase in views of 136.7 percent, a testament to improved content engaging more readers.

We’re so proud of the work we’ve done with Datapipe. We’ve helped the company transform the blog into a major platform for its broader industry voice. These posts have had a direct positive result on Datapipe’s business. The lessons we’ve learned continue to apply in our work with other clients, and we’ll keep crafting quality pieces that provide value for their business.