Using online marketing has a lot of advantages for the IT industry. Why is online marketing so promising for the IT industry? And how do you generate leads for your IT company? We give you 5 steps to generate more leads with online marketing.
Since the rise of the internet in the late 80s and early 90s, it is impossible to find companies not focusing on online marketing. Most companies will only use offline marketing if they can make a combination with their online channels. The developments in the industry grow at lightning speed and online marketing budgets continue to grow. Online marketing is popular. It is cheaper, easier to target and better to measure than offline marketing. And the most important thing is: the customer spends more and more time online. No company wants to miss these online marketing opportunities.
Lets take a closer look at the IT industry. Customer movement from offline to online did not miss the IT industry. IT companies used to get the most leads out their network, but in recent research a lot of IT companies say their website is now the most important source for leads. The Dutch ICT industry is also still growing: the expectation for 2018 is a growth of 6%, and the expectation for 2019 is that the industry will grow by another 5%.
The growing IT industry and the customer spending more time online, are two important reasons why online marketing is interesting for IT companies. Using online marketing differs from industry to industry. How can you use online marketing for your IT company? We give you a step-by-step plan to generate more leads in 5 steps.
Everything begins with a strategy. You always need a strategy to win a game. This also counts for online marketing for IT companies. Set goals: what do you want to achieve with online marketing? For example: how many leads, conversions or clicks do you want in a month. Think about subjects, products and services you need to focus on with your online marketing. Consider which online marketing tools you want to use and determine your budget.
Do not forget to think about your communication strategy. Your target group also includes people who do not have IT knowledge. A target group survey divides your target group in two subgroups. Besides IT professionals, there also managing directors, operational managers and senior employees looking for a solution for an existing problem. The challenge is to keep your communication as simple as possible, so that the less technical people understand what you offer.
Good content is key to win potential customers for you through online marketing for IT. Another benefit of strong content is ranking in the search engines. The idea of strong and relevant content is to give the reader something that is valuable. Therefore time and attention must be spend on content. At Leadgate, for example, we recently published multiple e-books. The e-book Marketing Strategy contains all the blogs we wrote about developing a marketing strategy, but we also have e-books for online advertising, website optimization and marketing automation.
In advance, think about your content calendar, the subjects and the forms you want to offer content in. Examples of content that work well in online marketing for IT are product sheets, fact sheets, whitepapers reference cases, templates, blogs and trials.
Now that you have your strategy and content, you can start with online advertising. The goal with online advertising for IT is to generate leads who fill in their contact details in exchange for content. The order value is higher in the IT industry but the acquisition process takes longer. That is why you first want to generate leads: people interested in your product or service. You will get the most return on LinkedIn Ads and Google Ads. These are the platforms where most B2B leads are generated.
With LinkedIn Ads you push content to your target group (pushmarketing). The target group sees your ads appear in their timeline. The specific targeting options make LinkedIn Ads interesting for B2B advertising. You can use the job title, education and skills of your target group to specifically target your ads on LinkedIn. Make the most out of it by concentrating your message on your target group and create different ads focused on subgroups.
Google Ads belongs to pull marketing: the target group is already actively searching to solve an existing problem. You just have to find out on which keywords you need to advertise. Do some research in advance. Imagine yourself being the customer. Discover underlying needs to adjust your ad text and your keywords on.
You wrote catchy ads, good job! But on which page does your target group end up after the click? This is where website optimization starts. Make sure the content of the landing page matches your ad text and your call to action. With a relevant landing page you ensure a higher conversion rate and you rank higher in the search engines.
Tip: with marketing automation software you can build special landing pages aimed your conversion goals, without distracting menus, texts or links. This will increase your conversion rate. Make sure you have an attractive website that has a clear and user-friendly structure. Website optimizing is all about testing. Apply A / B testing to see what works and what does not.
Now that you have generated leads with online advertising, and optimized your website, it is time for lead follow-up. With online marketing for IT, the best way to do this is with marketing automation. Marketing automation is making leads warmer by using ‘lead nurturing’. When someone downloads a piece of content, for example a whitepaper, he of she goes through a workflow of e-mails. Gradually this workflow, leads receive automated e-mails. When they finished the workflow, the leads are ready to be approached by your sales department. The most important benefit of marketing automation is the ‘automation’: you only have to build a workflow once and then it is just monitoring and optimizing.
Having strong references is decisive in the IT industry. Switching system or service provider is not a small decision, especially not for large companies. An IT decision often affects the entire infrastructure of a company. That is why a company wants to be sure that their choice is future proof. References from successful customers who choose that product or solution in a similar situation, with positive results, can give that extra push. Therefore you need to make sure your website has a graphically attractive reference database at a clearly visible place.
We wish you good luck and a lot of leads!
Your IT company could use some help with online marketing? Leadgate is an online marketing agency with focus on IT companies. We understand your business because our specialist have experience working in the IT industry. Because we offer online marketing ‘as a service’, our services can be adjusted to your needs. Are you curious about Leadgate. You can contact us without obligation, or take a look at our website.