- A good B2B marketing strategy goes beyond the marketing funnel to driving traffic
- Developments and changes in grabbing attention of the B2B tech buyers
- Tips and tricks for attracting B2B buyers to your website
Very good, well done. You’re half way to a great B2B marketing strategy. However, you’ve still got one big problem: getting visitors to actually, well, visit your website.”
If your organisation deals in enterprise IT, having great quality content on your website is only half the battle. As part of your B2B marketing strategy, Getting tech buyers to actually visit your website and read your content – or even hear about you in the first place – is just as important. The trouble is that grabbing IT buyers’ attention isn’t easy. In fact, it’s becoming much harder. This is down to a number of developments in recent years:
1. Diversity in the profile of IT buyers
Once upon a time, the enterprise IT buyer was simply the head of IT, or the company CIO. That has changed massively (see this research for more detail) in recent years. With 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 (in addition to the company’s tech people). This makes the actual ‘targeting’ tech buyers part of B2B marketing strategy a lot more complicated.
2. An explosion in information sources
In the past, you could only really stay up to date with developments in enterprise tech through your subscription to Computer Weekly or similar industry magazines. For better or worse, the Internet has massively changed the rules of the game – with an almost limitless amount of content freely available online. As a result, standing out from the crowd, and gaining presence online and getting people to hear about you is much harder.
3. A shift in how decisions are made
Besides having access to a wider range of information sources than before, the experience of making buying decisions is changing, too. Perhaps most significantly – as research from HubSpot highlights – the role of your salespeople is less important than ever in the decision-making process. Even the content on your own website (eBooks, blog posts, whitepapers) will only be consumed by 43% of buyers looking to buy business software.
This might all feel a little discouraging. However, this is also a very exciting time to be in enterprise IT, and you now have a huge array of tactics available to you to reach those audiences. In the past, the best you could hope for was a write up in a computer magazine – and succeeding 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 have people visit their site.
To do this will require a bit of planning and preparation, however. Below, you’ll find a series of simple steps to get going with this.
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 try going a bit further, too – ensuring you appear in the places they consume information more generally. It’s about being present among the sources (and people) that influence them and taking every opportunity to ensure they are aware of who you are.
Personas and market research
Personas are absolutely essential if you want to get tech buyers onto your website. Read more about the what’s and wherefores of creating personas here. If necessary, you might need to do some market research to learn who exactly your B2B tech buyers are and what they’re like. And, 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. Once you have collated three or four strong personas, you will be in a much better decision to start targeting B2B tech buyers.
Harness the power of influencers
I’ve written before about tapping into the power of an MVP in your marketing efforts. Essentially, you should be aware of the people with influence in the community that your product or service is related to – 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.
Curry favour with major analysts
As the HubSpot research above shows, receiving attention from major analysts such as Gartner or Forrester is very valuable for enterprise IT companies, especially if you’re selling a product. There’s not an easy way to do this, but building relationships with the right people in those organisations and making contacts could lead to your product being featured in a research note – and this can pay huge dividends.
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 yourself registered as a partner on Pinpoint. You should also aim to take this further – work towards acquiring Microsoft certification and awards – these will lead to positive press and will give visitors confidence that you’re a trustworthy company.
Reviews are important
A positive independent review is all but crucial if you are to boost sales of your product. Build relationships with tech journalists at publications which will cover your kind of tool, offer free demos and access. If your principal money earner 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 such as Google and Bing.
Publish opinion pieces
Again, this is about getting your name out there. There are numerous websites you can get published on – use them as a means to share your views on tech and build backlinks to your website from a well-respected and popular website. Such sites rarely accept ‘advertorial’ so you need to be saying something original and interesting. Simply having your name out there and talking about certain topics can boost your chances of getting B2B tech buyers onto your website.
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. Nonetheless, LinkedIn offers a good way of reaching your target audience. For example, 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.
Get all your SEO, PPC and organic search checklist up to date
Last, but certainly not least, it’s absolutely essential that you have all your SEO, PPC and organic search criteria up to date. These need constant testing, refinement and improvement.
There’s no denying that marketing your product or service to B2B tech buyers is a complicated game. Nonetheless, with a well-planned strategy, you can do a lot to get those B2B tech buyers onto your website and, once there, into your lead generation funnel. Good luck!