In the face of increased competition for attention on digital channels, technology companies in the B2B sector can struggle to reach the right decision makers on the right channels to increase their sales funnel.
There's an old marketing saying that goes, "don't sell a matresss - sell a good night's sleep", and that rings especially true when it comes to marketing IT, software and cloud infrastructure. With that in mind, it is important to know who you're talking to and what you are saying, when you are saying it and where you are saying it. In this adventure we will tweaking the inbound marketing strategy to be more industry specific. Let's get cracking, shall we?
Content Is King
There is a very popular phrase that marketers like to use when talking about marketing. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘content is king quote’ and was made famous by Bill Gates. Creating great pieces of content stuffed with rich media is the fuel pump that feeds the marketing machine. It is the best way to attract and inform prospects.
But with that in mind, we need to understand that not all content is equal. When marketing IT, software and cloudinfrastructure the audience needs to be top of mind. The way we write blog articles, structure social posts and set up lead magnets need to be in tune.
Let's face it. If you're shopping for IT solutions you know what you're looking for. This comes back to the whole "sell a good night's sleep" scenerio we mentioned at the start of this. Your audience is smart. Don't tell them your cloud infrastructure will back up their data and keep it safe. Tell them WHY they need to choose you over your competitors. What problem will you be solving for them, and how. What sets you apart from the rest. Is it your flexible subcriptions, your added control of infstructure? Then tell them that.
Use Rich Media
A big part of the buyer's journey is research. A great way to do this is by creating flashy product videos, infographics and gifs. A great example of this is how Microsoft introduced its latest Surfaces devices to the South African market. They paid little attention to the physical components of their devices (clockspeed, RAM and so on), and cut straight to the chase: it's a verastile machine that runs circles around its competitors thanks to it being able to integrate into the Microsoft Windows ecosystem. How did they do this? By creating review videos on their YouTube channel and adding infographics to their blog posts. All this while catered to specific industries (essential workers, schools, etc.).
Another great trick which is often overlooked in the IT and software industry is the humble gif. Released in 2017, the indie video game The First Tree was released. Its creator, David Wehle had zero marketing budget. His strategy was to create gifs while he was developing the game. These were regularly posted to Reddit. Has trivial as this may seem, creating intersting gifs of his product lead to the game selling over 100 000 copies within its first week of release. There's power in th humle gif. Use it.
What's Your Value Proposition?
Most important to any tactic is to deliver real value. First, if the audience doesn’t get value they will not convert to the next stage of your marketing process whether a signup, download or buy. Even if you can get a lot of people to find your content, a lack of value will repel them from moving further which is the ultimate goal.
So, what is real value? well, it isn’t just the surface level info a visitor can get anywhere. The challenge here is to get over the fear of giving away too much – which many companies are afraid of. On the other hand, you would rather give away a couple of secrets to gain new customers than hold onto them and not acquire new leads.
Make sure to stay active and engaged on social media both prior to and after the event. Encourage employees (especially your sales team) to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to maximize the chances of active prospects attending, meeting and moving further along the sales cycle.
Yeah, yeah we all agree that Instagram influencers are not the way to go anymore. But in the tech space, this can cary a lot of weight. Great examples of this would be Linus Tech Tips and MKBHD on YouTube. Sure, they are the top 1% of tech influencers and you might not be interested in showcasing a server cabinet on their social media channels, if we take a look at their audience we see a different picture. Techies are smart people and want to know why your product is better than the others, especially when an influencer tells them why it's amazing.
Influencers won’t be willing to engage with you if they sense all you’re looking for is some free social media visibility. That’s why developing high-quality content such as whitepapers, blog posts, and webinars is critical for laying the foundation to get influencers on board. Tech influencers want to support things that work. Why? Because they know their audience is smart. Besides, South Africa has some great tech influencers that carry a lot of weight.
Automation And Personalisation
A critical part of staying on top of, contacting, and nurturing leads for enterprise tech companies is employing marketing automation tool. To build a sustainable, and predictable, revenue model you’ll need to have automated systems for collecting leads, building a marketing pipeline, segmenting contacts, and marketing to them on a consistent (and intelligent) basis.
Marketing automation helps B2B enterprise companies nurture, qualify and pass leads over to sales when they’re finally ready. This is essential in the technology space, as both pre-sales and sales cycles can last weeks, months and even years. What tool you use will depend on the size of your company, as well as the nature of your solution and target buyer.
Lead Generation Is The Reason
Lead generation can be defined as the process of attracting prospects and converting them into someone who has an interest in your company's products and services. Modern brands make use of various lead generation strategies such as: Blogging. Email marketing. Social media marketing. Anything can generate a lead if you throw it hard enough... just kidding.
While there are many types of landing pages, they all share a common goal: convert visitors into leads. Landing pages contain forms that ask visitors for their contact information in exchange for something of value, otherwise known as an offer. Now, think about how protective you are of your personal information. What would make a person want to give up their contact information over the internet?
Well, that’s where landing page best practices come in. A targeted, well-crafted landing page with a solid format and sound copy will get almost anyone to submit their information.
Your lead form needs to be readily accessible should your prospect want to convert right away — you definitely don’t want them searching and scanning your landing page to find your offer. “Above the fold” just means that visitors don’t have to scroll to get to the form — that it’s in view as soon as someone hits the page. This could be a form or an anchor link to the form. Even better: design your form to scroll with the user as they move down the page.
It's something we write about a lot (because it's a useful asset to have in your arsenal when used correctly), a strong call-to-action (CTA) can make or break a lead. It is the most important element on your landing page. The CTA button needs to stand out, meaning you should use a color that contrasts with other elements on the page. Be clear about what you want visitors to do, that is, use an action verb that spells it out for them, like “submit”, “download”, or “get it now”.
Lead Scoring Is The Way
If you are an organization looking to generate leads for sales teams, then Marketing Automation combined with lead scoring can significantly improve your entire approach to marketing.
Each interaction that you have with a prospect can attribute points to them. Open an email, they get 5; click a link, they get 10; visit a page, they get 20. Combined with automation, we can consistently reach many people and create a ranking of the most engaged prospects.