Posted at Oct 10, 2019 12:37:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share
It's true that IT marketing success relies on inbound marketing. Yet many imagine this is an end goal in itself. What do you do with all those sales leads you are generating? Marketing isn't just about producing traffic. It's about doing something with all that traffic. Strategic marketing for IT companies must involve a streamlined conversion process for turning those leads into clients.
1. Produce Traffic
You need to find your audience. Or rather, you need them to find you. This means developing an SEO strategy and sticking to it. Few organizations are going to sign you on immediately after finding you. They need to know they can rely on you, that you're worth the cost, and that they can entrust the backbone of their organization's operations to you.
That level of trust and faith takes time. IT marketing success is not overnight. It builds on itself over time. That means your audience has to keep coming back for more content. Content means blogs, articles, white papers, videos, etc.
Often, IT companies imagine content should only react to recent news. What's the most recent ransomware scourge, or the latest data breach in the news? People will be searching for keywords related to these events in those moments. Content that covers these items is a good way to attract new visitors, but that content is also inherently time-limited in its relevance. Its value will decay over time.
That's why you also need content that tackles organizational issues. Strategic marketing for IT companies needs to include regular informative content. How do organizational leaders learn about disaster recovery and business continuity? How can they understand the steps of a data migration better? What should they look to when selecting cloud services or operations management software?
This is the content that will stay evergreen and get those new visitors to keep on coming back. Its value will increase over time as it climbs search rankings. Don't overlook that evergreen content in favor of just responding to what's in the news now.
2. Convert Visitors
What use is that traffic if you don't have a plan to convert it into leads? Use calls to action to get visitors to fill out conversion forms. Present high-quality gated content that requires they fill out a conversion form in order to read it. Such content might include white papers and webinars.
The gated content needs to be attractive and interesting. It needs to promise that it will teach visitors something they don't know, or help them understand a concept or process better. Then it needs to deliver on that promise.
Conversion forms should not be overly long. Don't ask for information that isn't important in converting and following up on that lead – name and title, organization name, email and phone number. Asking why they searched for this content can help you segment leads into different groups for more accurate follow-up content. Provide a drop-down menu or text box and keep the questions polite and to the point. If it takes someone 30 seconds to fill this out, it's already getting too long.
3. Close the Lead
This can take time and require patience. Converting a lead to a sale often takes as many as 13 touches. You can rank leads by lead scoring, but when dealing with substantial traffic, you'll want to start segmenting them into groups as well.
Remember that most prospective clients aren't looking for fully managed IT out the door. They may decide on that, but what motivates them toward that is often more specific. It may be a migration, security concerns, training issues, inefficient processes, incomplete business continuity plans, the list goes on.
When you email them or serve them retargeting ads, use the data you collected in conversion forms to apply precise advertising and content to precise groups. An executive concerned about business continuity is more likely to click on content about disaster recovery than about managed IT services. A manager wanting better supervision of device-level security is more likely to click on content about operations management than about hybrid IT services. You see how gathering some quick data on conversion forms and grouping leads into categories assists you in closing that lead. This process can also be automated fairly easily.
Track your conversion tools so that you can assess what's working best. Teams all work in slightly different ways, so what's ideal for you may be different than what's ideal for another IT company.
4. Follow Through
When meeting with the client, the sales team should have all the data your marketing service used. This allows them to focus on the client's concerns immediately rather than going through the same basic questions they've already answered.
Supply the same level of service that you rightfully expect your marketing agency to provide to you. Develop a unique strategy that directly addresses your client's needs, give them a realistic schedule, and communicate with them regularly. Every industry knows that repeat customers are the ones that drive your business and enable it to grow. Come through for your client and they will remain a client.
In the market for a new IT marketing agency? Contact THAT Agency today. Our team of marketing pros can help you position your business for IT marketing success.