How Pure Storage Scaled Up THEIR Content Marketing Output While Cutting Down on Stress
modern data storage giant
publishing goals met or exceeded
When Carey Wodehouse joined the Content Studio at Pure Storage as its Senior Manager of Creative Content, she knew exactly what the $1.6B modern data storage giant needed as it shifted into new ways of supplying storage to its customers: more frequent blog posts, more thought leadership, and more content that would reach readers who weren’t familiar with the company.
Initially, Wodehouse describes, “I came on to handle all kinds of creative written content, ranging from long-form thought leadership articles and white papers, to banner ads and social posts, as well as to contribute content to our new SEO strategy.” Yet numerous feedback rounds paired with in-depth and technical topics meant that each article took too long to write for her to gain traction. Early engagements with individual freelance writers posed similar challenges. “It was challenging to ramp up the weekly production,” she explains. “Expectations were high, and our ability to deliver at scale was low.”
A content marketing strategy that should have been simple — one built on frequently published, high-quality content — was proving to be unworkable and exhausting team members in the process.
Since engaging Content Conquered’s Managed Content Service, however, Wodehouse has been able to significantly exceed her publishing goals and play a critical role in the launch of new SEO initiatives at Pure Storage. Further, because the content has been getting “rave reviews” from key stakeholders within the company, Wodehouse has been able to expand the content program to tackle challenging new topics and even produce guest articles for external publications.
Telling a New Story with Content Marketing
Wodehouse’s content marketing strategy was grounded in “building Pure Storage’s traffic and authority through thought leadership and strategic SEO content” to help more people discover the company and its industry-leading data storage solutions.
“All of these modern ways of consuming storage required a lot more messaging and content that could tell this new story,” Wodehouse describes. “It’s not the same old hardware story, which we were really good at talking about. As we’re opening up our audience, we wanted people to feel that, even if they didn’t know who Pure is, they’re going to be interested in this content, they’re going to learn something new, and they’re going to go back to the table with some new information and a little bit more awareness of Pure.”
This represented a change from the company’s previous approach to its blog, which was more centered around sharing company news than attracting new readers. According to Wodehouse, “Around 80% of the blog was Pure-focused content, and 10-20% was thought leadership. We wanted to reverse that ratio.”
Yet the goal wasn’t to publish less news-driven content about Pure Storage. Reversing the ratio of company-centered news updates and thought leadership posts would require a lot of additional content. “Content now is just so numbers-driven,” Wodehouse stresses. “You really do have to stay on top of that publishing cadence.”
Balancing Quality, Quantity, and Reliability
Even though Wodehouse is a professional writer, she found it difficult to balance heads-down writing work with her other responsibilities, which included content strategy, managing editorial workflows, and attending meetings. She needed to get other writers on the team, but she struggled to find the right mix of quality, quantity, and reliability.
Wodehouse had tried contracting with individual freelance writers. But because they were often balancing work for multiple clients, they weren’t always able to prioritize Pure Storage work in the way she needed to meet her aggressive deadlines.
She also tried working with Pure Storage’s own subject matter experts to source the blog articles, even creating a content guide to help them adjust to writing thought leadership, cornerstone, and explainer articles. Although these efforts enabled Pure to slowly start publishing a wider variety of blog posts, it wasn’t occurring at a fast enough rate.
“Our publishing cadence was not what we were hoping for,” she explains, “and at that point, it wasn’t allowing us to really build the visibility of the program, because it was such a trickle. What I really needed was a group that’s organized, that spoke our technical language, that understood content workflows, and that could just jump in and be reliable — and that’s exactly what we can do with Content Conquered.”
Connecting with Content Conquered
Wodehouse was connected with Content Conquered through a mutual acquaintance within Pure Storage, and the new partnership quickly got off to a successful start. “Content Conquered makes my life so much easier,” she notes. “It’s like having additional headcount with less management responsibilities. It’s turn-key for me. I can give them the brief, I can give them the idea, and I don’t have to walk them through it or stay on top of their writers all week long. I can just focus on the output and not the process.”
What’s more, the lengthy feedback rounds that took up so much of her time have decreased, while the whole team is impressed with the quality of the articles. Wodehouse credits this to Content Conquered’s responsiveness to direction and feedback. “I have really appreciated the collaboration, and how I don’t have to do any hand-holding,” she notes. “They take direction incredibly well, to the point where now, there’s almost no feedback on the SEO pieces that come through.”
“Working with Content Conquered is like having a cheat code to content. Being able to work with a company that can manage the process, understand how it works, that can speak content, and then delivers really high-quality content that gets noticed in your company and drives search results has made a major difference for the Content Studio at Pure Storage.”
Content Conquered’s streamlined workflows also make planning ahead much easier for Pure Storage. Now, Wodehouse is able to outline content for the next several months at a time — and know that she’ll be able to deliver on it. “Planning is so much easier and so much less of a black box for me. When I go into a meeting with someone who wants to know what to expect for the next couple of months, even though I may not have the topics nailed down, I know I can commit to that output.”
From Playing Catch-Up to Scoring Content Wins
Since Wodehouse joined the team, Pure Storage has gone from struggling to get blog posts live on time to exceeding its publishing goals. Yet although increasing output was a major objective for the company, she’s quick to note several additional markers of success.
Reactions to the blog posts, for instance, have been highly positive, both internally and externally. Teams have been impressed by the variety of content that’s been published — Pure Storage’s PR department has even been able to syndicate blog posts created by Content Conquered with external publications.
Wodehouse has also broadened the type of content Pure Storage publishes, with a recent diversity, inclusion, and belonging article proving especially popular in terms of conversation and engagement. “It’s opened up bandwidth to tackle new, timely topics we couldn’t focus on before,” she says. “We’re able to deliver content to teams that they didn’t know they could use it as a resource. Content like this works wonders for our team in ways that aren’t even measurable in numbers.”
Creating a Winning Content Partnership
Ultimately, Wodehouse believes that every company benefits from good-quality content for branding and SEO purposes — but that producing it isn’t easy.
“It seems like it should be easy, but it’s definitely not,” she says. “Working with Content Conquered is like having a cheat code to content. Being able to work with a company that can manage the process, understand how it works, that can speak content, and then delivers really high-quality content that gets noticed in your company and drives search results has made a major difference for the Content Studio at Pure Storage.”
“I don’t know anybody who’s not trying to try to get into producing content for their company or to do content marketing better. But not all content is created equal, and not everybody is going to be able to just blend into your program or help you achieve your goals. To find a company like Content Conquered that really gets it is just above and beyond, in my experience.”
Pure Storage (NYSE:PSTG) helps innovators build a better world with data. Pure’s data solutions enable SaaS companies, cloud service providers, and enterprise and public sector customers to deliver real-time, secure data to power their mission-critical production, DevOps, and modern analytics environments in a multi-cloud environment.
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