Best Practices No Matter What Backup Method You’re Using

Any backup and recovery solution needs to have some elements in common. We’ll discuss those first and then talk about differing approaches to backup technology and their vendors.

  • Centralized backup or central backup service levels. Even at companies with multiple backup systems, at the least corporate IT should enforce backup and recovery service levels for every backup system under their control (which ideally is all of them). Centralized solutions are out there, but even if your company is sporting multiple systems corporate IT is ultimately responsible for data protection across the corporation, and should be using tools accordingly.
  • Continuous backup — sometimes. Most applications do not need continuous backup even if they’re mission-critical like Exchange. But Tier 1, high transaction applications definitely benefit from continuous backup. The solution should also offer fast and granular restore services, since what good is backup if you can’t restore on time or at the right point?
  • Backup and restore performance. Cloud backup is notorious for poor backup speeds but even on-premise backup might not have ideal restore rates. Any backup scenario will benefit from dedupe and compression before sending and fast ingestion from the storage target, plus WAN accelerators on the cloud backup side.
  • Compliance and governance. IT is used to retaining backups for compliance – even if the policy consists of “keep everything forever.” Hardly ideal, but at least the data is there. True compliance needs one or more of the following depending on the nature of the data and its regulatory or business priority: 1) Verified backup makes sure the backup has run, which should be standard to every one of your backup and recovery systems. 2) Encryption safeguards your data. Standards universally require encrypting the backup data stream, and some data types and regulated industries benefit from encrypting data-at-rest as well. 3) Access control for users and roles must be carefully managed.


How to Strategize Content Marketing Even if You’re a Small or One-Person Team

General Electric has an incredible content marketing machine, but most of us aren’t GE. The good news is that even small teams and solo practitioners can strategize and produce lead-generating marketing content.

The key to creating a content marketing plan for any organization is an integrated cycle: strategic planning, content creation and distribution, engaging in conversation, and measuring results.

  • Set marketing goals and objectives. Decide what you want to accomplish with a content marketing campaign and how to measure it.  Draw up your buyer personas for your sweet spot and ideal prospects.
  • Create new content and leverage existing content. Collect your existing content, decide what you can leverage, and identify gaps that require new content.
  • Optimize content for search and curate for reuse. Revise both new and existing content for keywords and updated messaging. Break content into pieces to increase reuse. Curate your content so you can easily identify content for future campaigns.
  • Distribute content and engage in conversation. Distribute through your channels: social media, website, publications, the media. Track and engage your commenters.
  • Measure results and adapt content to next cycle. Measure results by your goals and objectives, adapt content accordingly, and begin the cycle again.

This cycle stays the same no matter how large or small your team might be. The only difference is quantity: more resources can create more content. There need not be any difference in quality or meeting your goals and objectives as long as you have reasonably assigned your resources.

Content + Leverage = Opportunity

Customer appetite for content + social media leverage = a tremendous opportunity to tell your company and product story to your market. The more content-driven touchpoints you create and leverage, the more often your customers will reach out to you and the faster they will take advantage of your offering. But there is a hurdle to jump: creating and leveraging top-of-mind content takes time and expertise.

Stories and story structure create compelling customer touchpoints around customer success stories, white papers, industry articles, backgrounders, blogs, websites, webinars, video, podcasts, brochures, and more. Distribute your storied content across multiple customer channels and build your brand even more.

Tell Stories? Me?

Think your copy shouldn’t tell stories? Think again.

  • What if your customer’s story is that their backup software is jamming them up every night? The story they want to hear is about how another IT department at another company was able to install a different backup that worked right away, that integrated with their scripts, that slashed backup times from 14 hours to 14 minutes, and that let them send their older backups to the cloud. The IT department smells like roses. That is the story this company wants to hear. Will they hear it from you?
  • How about this story: What if an IT administrator have put in so many SharePoint systems that she can barely manage to keep them running optimally, let alone help users with advanced features? The story is that a very large investment is turning bad and people are blaming her and her team. She wants to hear a story about she can turn their problems into business gold by deploying an external storage grid, and how she can do it did it quickly with an excellent ROI. That’s a story that she and her team wants and needs to hear. Are you telling that story?If you’re not telling stories like these then why not? IT and executives are too busy to read marketing content as an intellectual exercise. You need to convince them that you have what they really need.

    Stories and challenge-solution/story structure work across a wide variety of content. Let’s look at some examples of content branding using stories:

  • Customer success stories. This is the most obvious type of B2B story. They tell stories about how your customer won their battle using your product and remain one of the most popular content marketing pieces with customers.
  • White papers and industry articles. Customer scenarios are very valuable in a persuasive white paper, and stories make industry articles more attractive and memorable. Yet even without concrete stories, a well-constructed article or white paper tells your company’s macro story of challenge (conflict), solution (journey) and benefit (positive ending).
  • Company Backgrounders. Backgrounders are an excellent way to tell your company story without boring your readers. Tell why your company was founded, what growth challenges it has met, what customer challenges it solves, and share your compelling roadmap. This is the story that grows trust and invites customers to take that journey with you.
  • Blogs. Each blog tell a part of your story. Stories are very helpful in gathering attention for a blog, and consistent blogging over time expands your macro story to customers.