Posted at Oct 24, 2019 4:58:00 PM by THAT Agency | Share
A good IT lead generation agency can list hundreds of strategies to develop and close leads. The key is in narrowing down which of those strategies works best for each situation. Lead generation strategies for IT companies can be surprisingly different from one organization to the next. Are there strategies that work for everybody? These 15 strategies are the most effective and reliable:
1. Tutorials & Guides
Potential clients are constantly upgrading. New standards and laws mean that they need to stay on the right side of compliance. This can be a headache for them, so they're always trying to learn more about the process. One of the best lead generation strategies for IT companies is to provide step-by-step tutorials and guides that make these processes more accessible.
They want to leave more informed, so don't just tell them what to do. Give them a little bit of the reason why and how each step prepares for and impacts other steps. That helps them get a grasp of the entire process, while building trust in your site as a source of information.
They may also want to share these steps with coworkers and subordinates. Incorporate easy ways on the site to bookmark, share, email, print, and link these guides.
2. Software Guides
This builds on the last idea. Not every client will be looking for a how-to guide on a larger process. Some will simply be looking for the right software to implement. This software might deal with their workflow, their operations management, or their marketing.
These guides should highlight what different pieces of software do and what roles they handle efficiently. Compare like software to each other. Different situations might call for different software – every organization has different needs.
Don't just say one or another is the best if they're comparable. This is transparently self-interested. There are ways to convince someone to switch to your software in order to follow a strategy that the software strengthens and the other doesn't. You can criticize a competitor's software realistically, but choose to build the value of your own software and people will react positively. Just tearing down your competitor's will seem desperate and dishonest.
Again, the goal here is to make a complicated topic easily digestible. You want the lead to leave feeling more confident and better informed. That makes them more likely to seek you out again.
The best IT lead generation agency will be able to implement interactive tools on your site. A lead can use these to track their progress on certain processes. They can use these in conjunction with tutorials and guides to track implementation. They can refer back to the original article from the tool and you can highlight new articles that might inform them further.
By assisting them with tracking a complex process, and providing resources to easily read up on it, you build their trust and have them coming back to your site regularly. Their daily work becomes attached to your knowledge because you've provided them both the information and the tools to easily manage what was previously unmanageable. If you can do this for them with your site, this speaks to what you can do for them in terms of IT services.
This level of involvement can be capitalized on even more quickly than the slow-build of email follow ups and retargeting. All you have to do is contact them and ask if they have any additional questions about the process they're tracking, and you have a conversation going that can easily lead into services.
4. Conversion Forms
Provide easily accessible blogs and articles to hook visitors and foster trust. Make more complex white papers, e-books, courses, and webinars into gated content. All a potential client needs to do to access them is to enter some basic information. Name, title, organization, and email address should suffice. Ask them why they're accessing the information and provide a drop-down box or text box where the answer can be given quickly. This helps you segment your leads and direct more precise follow-up content to them.
Avoid making these forms overly complicated or asking for too much information. Anything extraneous will raise a red flag and could stop them from visiting your site altogether. Keep the form quick and to the point, and then give access to the content.
5. Email Marketing
Once you have this information, it's easy to group leads together by their reason for accessing content. You can segment by topic and even rank leads. It's then easy to automate what content gets sent to each list. You send disaster recovery articles for those interested in business continuity, operations management for those interested in managing devices across their organization, lead generation content for those interested in sales solutions, and so on.
You can even run courses by email. This helps familiarize potential clients with information at a deep level. It takes a lot of work, so it should be limited to groups that are sizable and high value leads that have visited repeatedly.
The level of information you give here has to be helpful, and it has to be supported by documentation and tools you provide. That makes it an investment, so plan ahead and track the process well so you can assess its usefulness accurately.
7. Chat Plugins
Chat plugins have a very useful role. Don't think of them as replacements for your human team. Despite the name, the purpose of a chatbot isn't to have a conversation. It's to help narrow down an inquiry quickly to provide visitors with useful information.
Use chatbots with a purpose. Limit their presence on pages where it's more useful to have a human team member respond. Chatbots can help generate leads; they shouldn't be used to handle existing customers. Support requests should be referred from the chatbot straight through to your support team.
8. Direct Contact
Not all leads will need nurturing. Some will want to contact you directly because they have a precise situation and are aware you can help. This can happen because of previous experience with your services, or because of referral or reputation. Include options for direct contact on your conversion forms.
Most potential clients will need to be nurtured, but those looking for your services now would much rather be able to contact you directly on a subject. These customers are already likely to give you business, so always provide a direct contact route for those who want to cut to the chase.
9. Transparent Pricing
Not everything can be uniformly priced. Cloud services, SaaS monthly packages, and other elements can be. Feature pricing pages that highlight what each package offers.
You can hide your pricing until later in the process, but for every lead you tease along just so, you'll waste time on several others that were always destined to bow out when they saw the pricing. An IT lead generation agency knows that generating leads isn't just about number of leads, but also about the quality of leads. If you're wasting time on leads unlikely to convert, that's time not spent with leads that are likely to do so.
If an organization is likely to disappear the moment they see the pricing, they're likely to do so at any step of the process. Don't shove pricing in anyone's face, but do make it accessible for those interested. Make it transparent to them so you don't waste your time on low quality leads that are unlikely to convert. Moreover, leads that continue engagement after seeing your pricing are much more likely to do business with you.
10. Tackle the Topical
Organizations are generally looking for more process and solution-oriented information. This forms the backbone of your inbound marketing strategy because it builds value and climbs SEO rankings over time.
That said, you shouldn't feel as if you have to avoid discussing the topical. A good example of this is the WannaCry ransomware outbreak back in 2017. You can develop some content that can capitalize organizations searching to learn more about these more precise events. You can use these articles to talk about how ransomware spreads, what industries are most targeted, and what protects organizations from it.
The event at hand will vary – it might be a data breach dominating the news, a major organization facing a GDPR fine, a court case about privacy law, or the release of new software. Don't let content about these more topical events completely interrupt your regular content production, but do find ways to fit them in as soon as they're written.
This content can produce leads when it's informative and helps the reader understand the situation better, but be aware that more topical content won't build value the same way that “evergreen” content will. It's to capitalize on that moment, whereas the rest of your inbound marketing strategy is about consistently building value.
11. Test Your Mettle
If you make claims, back them up. Be willing to test your software and services. There are third parties that can do this and give you the results. Now, don't do this if you're not set up to do well in this kind of testing – that's just a waste of your money. If you know that you can meet your claims, then it's a good investment. You know have an unbiased third party confirming your claims.
12. Content Aggregation
Don't be afraid to feature other content that you find interesting and informative. You won't be able to cover everything, but you can highlight what's particularly interesting to you. This can be a weekly feature of the industry content that you find most helpful, interesting, intriguing, or even funny.
You can give a brief description of what in each link is interesting to you. A regular content feature like this is easy to put together. If clients come to rely on you as a trusted source for sharing interesting news and articles, then they'll visit that feature every week. They'll look forward to it.
Make sure new links open a new window – you don't want them leaving the site entirely. Also, don't feature content from your direct competitors.
Sometimes a guide, tutorial, or even interactive tool can be intimidating. Quizzes aren't. They're fun, yet they can also reveal where someone isn't completely prepared in their IT needs. Lead generation strategies for IT companies have to get creative in order to separate themselves. A quiz can feature much of the same steps and information a guide can, but in a way that checks whether the prospect is fully knowledgeable or prepared.
Reveal the answer to each question with a link to content that can help them learn more and a call to action to read or view it.
14. Video Content
Another item that intimidates many IT companies is video content. It's one thing to run down a step-by-step guide, but video content brings many points alive.
Now, video content won't be as detailed. Your videos shouldn't be 40-minute epics. They should be concise and punchy. You'll often have to link more in-depth written content. The purpose of the video is to create another efficient avenue to get clicks. Search engines are increasingly prioritizing pages with video content, and it's already one of the most efficient lead generation strategies for IT companies.
15. Product Giveaways
This can create a large number of leads quickly. Just be aware that not all these leads will be high quality. Everyone likes something free, though, and it's a way to jump your lead generation with immediacy. Entering the giveaway should require them to fill out their information, of course.
It's not a long-term tactic, but it can serve as a jump-start as you build those long-term strategies and nurture leads. It can also help accelerate some previously existing leads. Any entrant who's already a lead is paying attention to your site, and that's a good sign to prioritize them in email marketing and retargeting.
Ready to put these lead generation strategies into practice in marketing your IT business? Contact THAT Agency today for assistance.