If you recently visited the Cloud solutions areas of Websites around the ’net you’ve probably found that when it comes to cloud solutions content — and the mechanisms used to deliver it — each is marching to the beat of a different drummer.
Long pages. Short pages. Short-form content. Long-prose content. High graphics. Low graphics — and everything in between.
While there is no shortage of cloud marketing inspiration out there, inspiration alone is of little benefit when trying to develop a cloud solutions marketing plan. Instead, you need the answers to the real burning questions surrounding cloud solutions marketing including:
What types of content do I need — and how can I meet, or exceed, expectations?
What are the most popular methods of buying cloud products — and do all roads really end with a trial download?
Which sites deliver the best, and most holistic, cloud marketing user experiences — and what are the secrets to their success?
Fortunately for you, we were curious too. So we did the research to get the answers to those burning questions. Then we put what we found into this report.
For the better part of a year, the siteIQ team has burned the midnight oil pouring over the Cloud solutions marketing zones of leading IT industry Websites to find out the ingredients required to craft an effective holistic Cloud marketing user experience. What types of content are required? What page designs and click stream architectures are the most effective? Which sites do it best — and, most important, why does it work?
Our reasoning was simple.
If teams know the types of content they need to deliver a complete Cloud solutions story and the most effective ways to put it together, they can cut through the chaos and clutter and better prioritize projects and resources.
At the end of this rainbow would be an efficient Cloud solutions marketing site that speeds visitors from the landing page to the checkout line. A game plan for content teams to craft and maintain a strong content marketing strategy. The kinds of facts teams needed to communicate with stakeholders and hard-to-please executives with their eyes on the bottom line.
So we set off to crack the code.
To learn the secret to best practice Cloud marketing, and find out which sites do it best, the siteIQ team reviewed the sites of eight enterprise software vendors that are emerging as power-players in the Cloud arena. They are:
- Dell.com, and
We put the sites through their paces using a custom siteIQ benchmark that focuses on 144 types of content and features that market topical business solutions (e.g. Cloud, Internet of Things, Big Data) across eight major categories:
- Website Foundation
- Cloud Product/Solutions Marketing
- Cloud Services Marketing
- Channel Presence
- Call to Action
- Cloud Support, and
- Cloud Training
Then the sites went through a rigorous usability evaluation consisting of 77 questions that examine everything from site consistency, to content thoroughness, to call to action.
Evaluators started their journey on each site’s Cloud Solutions landing page. From there, they followed the click streams to their logical endpoints — usually a product/solution page with a call to action.
Evaluators were barred from looking for Cloud resources on other site pages or zones outside the Cloud Solutions click stream, including searching for Cloud resources using site search engines.
Once all the numbers were sliced and diced, what did we find? We’re glad you asked.
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Class: Best Practices
Websites Profiled: IBM.com, HPE.com, SAP.com, Oracle.com, Juniper.net, Citrix.com, Cisco.com, and Dell.com