For ten weeks, I’ve been running a program for a managed cloud company. What am I doing? I’m turning hands-on OpenStack techies into prolific, successful bloggers. We’re on track to deliver three unique posts – every single week.

And I’m so proud of the program — because it’s making a difference in a new way.

How does the program work? I manage thirty-five developers, technical salespeople, cloud architects, support experts, and administrators, helping them create distinctive, fresh, useful content.

It’s a juggling act with impact.

Our basic goal is to make sure that the content covers the strategic and tactical bases for the company. Supporting expert writers and first-time writers alike, I’m editing posts, fact-checking, and keeping everyone in sync. Every week, experts are on my phone, brainstorming ideas and conducting interviews. I’m reviewing reports and joining calls to talk about success stories, wrapping everything up and keeping executives happy.

And they are happy. All my marketing director has to do is review and approve the posts, get them posted, and schedule sync calls. His GM sent me a very nice note last week, praising the impact of my program.

It feels good to add value. But it also feels good to get unnoticed voices out into the marketplace.

You’ve seen posts from executives or marketers all the time. But it’s more unusual for you to see, across IT, people in the trenches who are publishing posts or articles.

Imagine learning all the best practices and little quirks about an OpenStack project – not from the mind of a marketer who is two steps away from what’s actually happening, but from an architect who has been hands on with the project for years.

It’s unprecedented information to fit your needs and interests.

Not only is this good for the company, the people who write benefit too.

They’re published.

Their experiences have a greater reach.

They’re getting patted on the back and receive kudos for great ideas.

It’s good for their careers — whether staying put, or interviewing for new roles.

Good conversations are happening. New ideas are emerging, both inside and outside the company. There’s a buzz because, for the first time, some people with critical insights and ideas are being heard.

Suddenly, prospects and customers like you are reaching out – directly – and getting in touch.

Elevate | LinkedIn

This program also feeds corporate social sharing. Using Linked Elevate, with the content we’re creating, dozens of people across the company are promoting useful insights, helping audiences around the world. Not only is Elevate extending their reach, it’s also giving us a perfect tool for measuring success. When a program delivers over 1 million clicks in a single month — it’s good to find out.

Across the IT marketplace, there’s a hunger for information that comes from actual experience. It’s why sites like @Spiceworks and @TrustRadius are thriving. Prospects and customers alike, from CIO down to IT admin, want to know the truth. They want to understand what the technology is really like. – warts and all. And that’s what this program does.

Increasingly, buyers and influencers aren’t so interested in the marketing. They’re interested in the experience.

What we’re doing is true thought leadership. And my customer is getting the recognition they deserve. They’re enjoying a 600% increase in earned media value – after four weeks of activity. Not a bad start.

Are you wondering how it works? Drop me an email at and I’ll walk you through it.

Brian E Whitaker is the founder of Zettabyte Content, LLC, which delivers content marketing for complex technologies. You can learn more at


  • Brian excelled consulting on our recent product launch. He internalized our strategy and tactics, executed essential launch deliverables with minimal input, managed additional contractors, provided unexpected improvements, and achieved everything before the deadline. I will use Brian again and I recommend him for your marketing consulting projects.

    Kim McMahon, Partner Marketing, NetApp
  • I was lucky enough to work with Brian on many projects and he approached them all with the same attitude of enthusiasm and detail. A great team player and superb execution.

    Iain Davie, Regional Alliances Manager, VMware
  • I found Brian’s mix of skills to be a rare combination in marketing. He understands what the field and sales people are looking for from marketing, he has a strong grasp of the underlying technology, and he has the marketing sense to put it all together in a package that helps drive the business forward. Plus, he does all of this with a positive and professional attitude that makes him a pleasure to work with on projects.

    Scott Horst, VP of Marketing, Compellent
  • His strong technical focus, combined with attention to detail and an easy communication style really made him a strong asset to support a sales organization. Brian conducts himself professionally with the highest of integrity and remains calm under pressure.

    Ciara Lyons, Manager EMC Demand Centre
  • Brian is the ideal person you want to work with: knowledgeable, understands priorities and what is just distraction, customer-focus, how to get things done – the right way, collaborative, understands how to craft a story that will resonate and he brings a wealth of perspective across geographies, technologies and user pains and benefits.

    Greg White, Senior Manager, Product Marketing / Commvault
  • When you need it done, turn to Brian. During the past 3 years working directly with Brian, I’ve watched him plow through numerous complex problems achieving just the right outcome.

    Michael Grant, Marketing Director, Enterprise Storage Marketing / Dell