B2B Marketing: It's all about getting tech buyers to your site

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  • Getting traffic onto your website can be a tricky business 
  • But in a competitive digital marketplace, website traffic is more important than ever 
  • Here are some easy-to-implement tips to get you started

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[mks_dropcap style="letter" size="52" bg_color="#ffffff" txt_color="#20a1d6"]S[/mks_dropcap]o, your website is fresh and up-to-date. You’ve filled it with relevant information and clear, compelling descriptions of your products or services. There is some great downloadable content and a well-defined marketing funnel to direct visitors to your ‘contact us’ page. Well done – you’re halfway to a great B2B marketing strategy 

However, you’ve still got one big problem: getting people to actually visit your website. 

If your organisation deals in enterprise IT, having great quality content on your website is only half the battle. Getting tech buyers to visit your website and read that content is just as important. The trouble is that grabbing IT buyers’ attention isn’t easy. In fact, it’s becoming much harder.  

Diversity in the profile of IT buyers

In the past, the enterprise IT buyer was usually the head of IT or the company CIO. In recent years, this has shifted significantlyWith a much wider understanding of technology right across the workforce, IT buying decisions are now made by general managers, marketing executives, sales people and business development professionals, as well as IT leaders. This makes targeting tech buyers a lot more complicated. 

An explosion in information sources  

In the past, workers could only stay up to date with developments in enterprise tech through subscription to Computer Weekly or similar industry magazines. The internet has significantly changed the rules of the game. With an almost endless amount of digital content now freely availablestanding out from the crowd and gaining presence online is much harder. 

A shift in how decisions are made 

The experience of making buying decisions is also changingIn the past, the best you could hope for was a write-up in a computer magazine – and success depended entirely on the whims of the editorial team. Today, even a tiny company with just a handful of staff can get their name out there and generate website traffic. 

Doing this requires some planning and preparation, however. Here, you’ll find a series of simple steps to get started. 

Creating a B2B marketing strategy 

If you’re working in technology, you need to be pretty smart about your B2B marketing strategy and how you go about positioning your product or service. It’s not just about going through the motions or imitating your competitors. Instead, you need to think outside the box and make your strategy a little more precise. 

For instance, targeting your ideal buyer with inbound content on your blog is fine. But you should also try to gain some attention on other platforms, including email, social media and search engine advertising. Here's a look at some of these tactics in more detail.  

1. Personas and market research 

Personas are internal marketing material designed to create a fictional representation of your ideal buyer. They outline the context, industry and job title of your average customer, before going into more detail about the problems they face and the solutions they’re searching for. They are designed to make it much easier for marketers and content writers to target this audience when creating marketing material.  

If you want to get tech buyers onto your website, creating personas is absolutely essential. This might involve some light market research to help you identify the specific context and pain points of this customer. If you want to get them onto your website, you need to find out how they make decisions and what sources they use to make them.  

It’s generally a good idea to create three or four different personas, targeting customers in different industries and job titles. Once youve created three or four strong personas, youll be in a much better decision to start creating content that effectively targets B2B tech buyers.  

2. Harness the power of influencers 

One of the most vital and powerful organic assets you can target is influencers in your local network. As the name would suggest, they’re people who’ve managed to garner a following of people with similar interests and ambitions – often on social media.  

It’s important to be aware of who has influence within your industry networks, whether that’s project management, enterprise social networks or IT consulting. By reaching out to those people on social media, or by getting them to blog about your product or service, you increase the chance of reaching audiences.  

In some cases, this might come in the form of a business transaction, where the influencer is paid to draw attention to your products. As is more likely the case, however, it will require some soft network building, creating a quid-pro-quo partnership that both you and influencer can benefit from, often including mutual promotion.  

3. Curry favour with major analysts 

Receiving attention from major analysts such as Gartner or Forrester is very valuable for enterprise IT companies, especially if you’re selling a product.  

Implementing this tip into your strategy can be a long process – but it’s definitely worth the hard work. Reaching out to the right people in these organisations, and making contacts could lead to your product being featured in research which can pay huge dividends. A good way to get started with this is to feature their research in your digital content, particularly on social media, and see if you can build connections from there.  

4. Get recognition from product creators 

If you sell a product or service that relates to Microsoft products, you need to make sure you’re on the company’s radar. If you’re not already, get yourselfregistered as a Microsoft Partner. You should also aim to take this further; work towards acquiring Microsoft certifications and awards. First and foremost, it gives you valuable skills and experience that’ll boost the value of the services you offer. Secondly, the certifications will give readers confidence that you’re a trustworthy company.  

As well as this, the knowledge that you belong to the network and are Microsoft certified allows you to gain authority in relevant networking circles. Building these relationships will allow you to embark on partner co-marketing strategies that build traction and mutually benefit both of your audiences.  

5. Reviews are important 

A positive independent review is crucial if you want to boost sales of your product.  

Building relationships with tech journalists is an important way of doing this – as well as other reviewers with a significant following. Ultimately, you want to have your product reviewed to help it garner interest. If you’ve got a good relationship with a reviewer, consider offering free demos and access in return for a review.  

If your principal income comes from services, you should still aim for positive reviews online. Ask a customer you have a good relationship with to write an independent review of your service on popular search engines likeGoogle.  

6. Publish opinion pieces 

Publishing opinion-based content is an important way of gaining attention for your brand.  

There are numerous websites you can get published on, particularly for IT specific content. Many sites will offer backlinks in return for a guest blog, which will help increase your traffic and improve your domain authority. 

It’s important to remember, however, that such sites rarely accept ‘advertorials’ so you need to make sure you say something original and engaging. Simply having your name out there and talking about certain topics can boost your chances of getting B2B tech buyers onto your website. 

7. Get active on LinkedIn 

The most common way for B2B tech buyers to find out about technology is by asking their peers. Often this will be face to face, and you can’t really do a lot to influence that. Luckily, an increasing amount of these conversations are happening on digital channels like LinkedIn. For this reason, it’s a great way of reaching your target audience 

There’s almost certainly a handful of LinkedIn groups for the audience you want to speak to – make sure you join those, answer requests for recommendations and spend some time being active within those groups each week. If you work hard to build a presence in the communities where your customers are, you’ll soon see traffic improve on your websites and leads being generated.  

8. Keep updating SEO and PPC strategies 

Last, but certainly not least, it’s absolutely essential that you have all your SEO, PPC and organic search criteria up to date.  

By taking care of your website’s SEO strategy, you’ll ensure that you rank well in search results, thereby generating traffic to your website. And investing in PPC advertisements, you’ll be able to give your website a helpful, paid boost. While each of the points on the list has their place, this method will form the backbone of your strategy, and will need constant refinement, testing and improvement over time.  

 

There’s no denying that marketing your product or service to B2B tech buyers is a complicated game. Nonetheless, with a well-planned strategy and the right tools, you can do a lot to get those B2B tech buyers onto your website and, once there, into your lead generation funnel. Good luck! 

Implementing all these tips can take up a considerable proportion of your marketing time and resources. That’s why plenty of Microsoft Partners turn to the experts at Fifty Five and Five to help generate traffic to their website. Get in touch to find out more.  

Looking to improve your marketing?

We can help! Talk to us about your business and the specific barriers you come up against when trying to generate leads.

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How to create a content strategy

How to create a content strategy in 3 steps

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  • How you can get started creating your content strategy 
  • A 3 step process to help you create content for your audience 
  • Advice about how to improve your existing content strategy 

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Almost all marketers find themselves searching ‘how to create a content strategy’ at one point or another. Content marketing strategies can be intimidating because of the amount of detail that must go into them. But the actual process of routinely pushing out fresh, relevant content can be made much easier by first creating a plan.

Recently we wrote an introduction to content marketing strategies which you should consider reading before this blog. It offers a look at the key components that you’ll need to understand for creating a content strategy, and this blog will cover building out the strategy itself.

We’re going to look the three key steps that will help you define your content strategy by helping you create your own content strategy blueprint.

Step 1 – Decide what you want to achieve with your content

Content shouldn’t be created for content’s sake. Many companies feel like they have to have a blog or a social media page, but they don’t set out a clear goal for what they want to create and why. Your content needs to offer clear value to your target audience, or they won’t want to read it.

Goals

You’ll need to decide why you’re creating content – are you looking to increase revenue or site traffic? Improve your search rankings? Get better ROI on your marketing spend? Identify your business’s most pressing priorities and align them with your content goals. If you want to increase website traffic, you may want to focus on more attractive ad copy. Whereas if you’re looking to improve your search rankings, your priority will be finding and targeting the right keywords. Once you have concrete goals, you’ll be able to easily identify whether your content is effective or not, rather than by using guesswork.

KPIs

To help you track the performance of your content, create key performance indicators (KPIs) that are measurable. KPIs will give you a true idea of how successful your content is by giving you meaningful metrics to monitor. For instance, a good KPI would be ‘To achieve a 20% click-through rate on our monthly newsletter by the end of the year’. This is something that can be measured and that will indicate how your content is performing. Depending on the KPI you choose, you can monitor its performance in different ways.

Content measuring tools

You’ll then need to pick the tools you’ll use to track your content’s performance across different platforms. Google Analytics and Moz are useful tools that’ll help you identify what types of content perform best, and the peak times you should be posting. Hootsuite allows you to post from multiple social media accounts, see analytics and monitor important topics in your industry. You can find a list of all kinds of content monitoring tools here.

Step 2 – Find out who you’re making content for

Whatever you’re creating should target a specific audience. To do this, you’ll need to know exactly who to write for. It’s impossible to create content that will interest everyone, so focus on providing the information that your key demographics need.

Market research

Depending on who your audience are, they’ll want different things. To help you define your audience, you’ll need to find out more about them. Demographics from your website, blog and social media channels are a good place to start. Use email surveys and the form fields on your website to collect information about your audience. Interview existing customers and leads to find out more about what kind of content speaks to them the most, and what they would like to see more of.

Buyer personas

The demographics and market research you collect about your target audience will allow you to create personas. A buyer persona is a fictionalised version of a segment of your audience who you’ll target your content at. For example, if one of your personas is a millennial, you’ll be able to find the type of content that this demographic interacts with online and use that knowledge to influence what you create. Personas should include details like age, profession, their content preferences, their main problems and what they’re looking for. This way, you’ll be able to create content that solves their problems.

Keywords

Your audience will look for content in different places. Social media has a very different purpose than a blog, and you’ll need to know where your audience is to attract them. Look at what your audience is searching for on Google and try to identify the language they use. Google Trends is a good place to start – you can see the specific terms people use to search in your industry and refine your keywords accordingly. Tools like Moz will analyse your audience and identify the industry they’re in, helping you create content that’s industry-specific with relevant keywords.

Content types

Obviously, you’ll need to decide what kind of content you’ll make. Your audience should help you choose – which platforms do they already use? What kind of content do they already consume? Most businesses opt for a mix of blogging, social media, eBooks and whitepapers. To start off, try generating ideas for ten blogs – if you’re stuck for ideas, use a blog idea generator. Social media works best when you’re posting about trending topics, so find out where you can join the conversation with tools like TrendSpottr.

Tone of voice guidelines

The style and tone of your writing should be adapted to your personas – language is key to grabbing a reader’s attention. An easy way to pick out your tone of voice is to choose three words that describe your brand’s voice, something like: helpful, informative, laid back. You also need to decide on the underlying messaging that speaks to your audience. Whether you’re creating blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts or any other type of content, the story you tell about your organisation and what you offer should be consistent and on-brand.

Grab yourself a copy of our “A fool-proof guide to content marketing” eBook!

Step 3 – Create a content posting and measuring system

Organisation is a key part of your strategy. You’ll need to decide how and when you publish, because consistency is key when it comes to content. You’ll also need to know how to make the most of your posts by re-optimising and re-sharing existing content.

Writing process

Now that you know what you want to create, you need to establish a process for writing and publishing. Tools like Trello and Asana can help you create processes with assigned tasks – accountability is important when it comes to content publishing, because otherwise the creative process can be messy. A structured process with at least one round of editing and proofing will ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and when.

Editorial calendar

You’ll also need to know when to publish to maximise engagement. Your engagement metrics will vary depending on what you’re posting and your audience. Key metrics you can measure include page views, total readers, finish rate or shares. A good practice to follow is to check your website and social media traffic to establish when your audience are most active and schedule posts accordingly. Start off by creating a schedule you know you can stick to, potentially three social media posts a week and one blog.

Content optimisation

You should also continue to measure its performance over time. Posting content just once is a waste. Re-sharing your original content is an excellent way of increasing your SEO – the more people engage with your content, the higher your website will rank in SERPs. This is a great reason to create evergreen content like ‘how to’ guides. People will always need simple introductory content and it’ll perform well consistently over time. Tools like SEMrush can help you identify your best performing content. It’s great for your marketing ROI to improve your ranking content as well as posting new content.

How to create a content strategy: there’s no right way

All of the components you’ve created from steps one to three will form your overall content strategy. That’s not to say you can’t add extra components or change the format if you like – the whole point of this blueprint is for you to use and adapt it however you like.

Your content strategy is something you’ll need to develop over time as your business and your customers change. You’ll see how your content performs, then you’ll tweak, then you’ll create something new. It’s a process you need to be prepared to invest time in and see how it evolves. It’s up to you to decide on a process, content topics, and goals. There’s only one rule you’ll always need to follow.

Your content must always provide value to your audience.

As long as it does, your audience will seek you out. No amount of SEO or social media posts will trick people into engaging with you. Your content strategy, no matter what form it takes, should prioritise your audience and what you can do for them. The only way to create good content with value is to solve your audience’s problems. With that in mind, you’ll be on the right track.

Need help creating your content strategy?

Whether you’re just starting out with your content strategy or expanding your existing one, we can help!

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