The IT world is in a constant flux. As hardware sales and services shift to software based models, and processes become more digitized and automated, it’s important for IT companies to evolve and adapt with the industry. As such, the way IT companies market themselves must also evolve. Cold calls and events may still be table stakes for many companies. However, without an online strategy and a number of digital marketing activities, you (and IT companies like you) risk being invisible to your potential customers.
Below, we list the top five marketing strategies for IT companies that will help you reach more customers, garner more leads, and close more deals.
Top 5 Marketing Strategies for IT Companies
1. Thought Leadership Content
62% of B2B buyers conduct a web search as their first step in the buying cycle, while 94% will go online at some point during their buying process. Continuing with the statistics, 71% of buyers will search for generic terms, rather than a specific company. With so much research happening online, it’s essential that you have a presence in search. One way to do that is through producing thought leadership content.
As far as marketing strategies for IT companies go, thought leadership is easily the most important one. Thought leadership content establishes you as an expert on a particular topic through ebooks, blogs, white papers, webinars, podcasts, videos, etc. These content pieces make it easier for potential customers to find you online through keyword targeting (which we’ll discuss next), and gives your company authority and credibility in the topics that your potential customers care about.
To help increase your IT company’s visibility online, you should develop various types of content to answer questions that appeal to those doing research as a part of their buying cycle. A content strategy will ensure that you content is relevant and meaningful to your current and potential customers.
2. Keyword Targeting
Along the same lines of thought leadership content, keyword targeting will help ensure that your content is relevant to those searching topics related to your products/services. Keyword targeting uses specific words and phrases in your content marketing to help guarantee that you come up first in search results for those specific words and phrases. Keyword targeting is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO), and developing a strategy around keyword targeting will help you increase your visibility online.
The goal of keyword targeting is to provide value to your potential customers by predicting the search terms they’re using and providing relevant content that answers their question or provides insight on a particular topic. Keyword targeting is both a science and an art. It takes some experimentation and constant tweaking to get it right. But, it offers a large reward for your efforts: additional leads and new customers.
Personalization is another one of the top marketing strategies for IT companies. The days of emails blasts are long gone. Potential customers want to know that you understand who they are and what they need. They want relevant content regardless of where they are in the buying journey. Providing targeted and personalized emails, webpages, ebooks, and more is how you show your potential customers that you get it. Personalization creates more value for your potential customer without wasting their time.
In fact, personalized emails have led to increased click through rates, personalized websites have led to shorter buying cycles, and the list goes on. Even if you don’t have the tools to create the ultimate personalized buying journey, adding personalization where you can goes a long way.
4. Omnichannel Marketing
Another marketing strategy for IT companies is omnichannel marketing. Customers want information when they are looking for it and in the medium of their choice. Therefore, it’s essential to provide access to your content, your website, and your employees through multiple channels (hence omnichannel—being present in multiple buying/marketing channels). Make sure you have active profiles on social media, a knowledge base section on your website, and if possible, a live chat or chat bot to point potential customers in the right direction.
It’s also important to understand that everyone processes information differently. There are four primary types of learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. When showcasing your products and services, provide multiple ways to learn about them. For instance, if you are describing your managed services offering, you could have a visual diagram outlining the different packages, a podcast interviewing your VP of Managed Services, a blog on the importance of managed services, and a free trial offer of your monitoring services. Each one of these items is promoting managed services while taking into account the different ways people process information.
Marketing can become very daunting if you are doing everything manually. Investing the time and resources into some kind of marketing automation platform will reduce the amount of time your marketing team (or person) spends sending emails, posting on social media, optimizing your website, and ensuring the right content is in the hands of the right people. The more you can automate your marketing activities and create workflows that target certain types of people, the more likely you will reach a potential customer with relevant information right when they need it, regardless of the time of day.
Some marketing automation platforms can be pretty expensive, so we wrote a blog post outlining the types of marketing automation platforms for every type of business and budget. While you may not be able to automate every single marketing activity right this second, prioritizing which activity will garner the most value if it were automated is a great place to start. Along with automation, you get data. So, you’ll know what is working and what needs improvement, both from a content and a content delivery perspective.
The IT world is changing, and while events and cold calling may never completely die off in this industry, it’s essential that the marketing strategies for IT companies evolve. Establishing your company as a thought leader, providing relevant and valuable content, meeting your potential customers at all stages of the buying process, and automating your marketing will help propel you into the future. The IT space is a crowded one—marketing is how you differentiate yourself and imprint your brand into the minds of your potential customers.
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