There are many different marketing tactics, strategies, and methods to choose from for an IT business. Yet, when we don’t have an unlimited budget, and time, to do all of them. A huge factor of your marketing plan should also be about choosing the right strategies and tactics that are the most effective for your business.
The five most important -and effective- marketing strategies every IT companies should consider:
1.Inbound Marketing: Attracting Prospects Looking For Solutions
Why is and especially content marketing extremely popular nowadays? There are many reasons, but arguably the biggest one is our behavior on the internet: when we are looking for a solution (including a solution for our boredom that is entertainment), most of us turn to Google.
If your solution is valuable for them, you will be perceived as an expert on your subject. Now, will you be more likely to buy from an expert or a totally random guy you haven’t heard before? If you are like most people, the answer is already obvious, and that is where the idea of inbound marketing comes from: valuable contents equal credibility equals a more likelihood of conversion.
Discussing inbound marketing here won’t give it much justice. The key principle here is that your content should focus on providing education and information, not only about your products or services but also about your niche and industry in general.
Depending on whether you serve Business to Business (B2B) or serve Business to Consumer (B2C) as an IT company, . Generally, B2B content should focus on problems that affect your audience and the solutions (mass-targeted), while B2C contents should be more personalized and you may consider using more fun and entertaining approaches. B2B content should generally focus more on data, and B2C content should focus more on the emotional aspect of how the prospect is feeling.
Also, inbound marketing is closely tied to SEO, so .
- Inbound marketing is a great way to generate more traffic and if your contents are centralized, you will have a more indexed page (great for SEO)
- Arguably, regularly posting relevant and valuable contents is the most effective way to build credibility in this saturated marketplace
- You can recycle your content for your email marketing campaigns (more below) and even use that content again in other platforms with some editing without getting penalized
- Remember that inbound marketing is about organic traffic, which can take a long time to develop. Consider this a long-term strategy and expect six months or more before you see any significant results
- Regularly producing original, unique, and valuable contents can be really tough, so do your homework
2. Social Media Marketing
The social media environment has evolved significantly ever since its rise to popularity in early 2000. The biggest change in a marketer’s point of view is how the organic traffic . So, many marketing experts think that social media marketing today should put more emphasis on paid advertising.
Yet, there are still some benefits to organic social media marketing. Obviously, the biggest benefit is cost, since organic traffic is totally free. So, the question here is, can we get a significant amount of organic traffic worth our invested time? The key here is not to solely focus on getting more traffic and promoting contents or products, but to build relationships. A lot of Facebook business pages never answer any posts, this is a gap you can take advantage of.
Use your social media channels to showcase your customer support excellence, if more people can see how you give excellent support in public, they might be more interested in trying your product. Be creative with your posts: use videos, direct messages, and images to help your posts stand out.
Key considerations to organic social media marketing:
- It is totally free except for time and manpower
- Aim to attract influencers by building organic credibility
- It can be hard to measure results, and some of the results won’t show up immediately. If you have a major time-constraint, you might need to consider paid options
- The key here is properly segmenting and targeting your audience. Also, look at how your closest competitors are doing
For paid options, most major social media platforms have their own advertising features. Facebook Ad is still the most popular (and effective) option among others, with a higher conversion rate. According to , the average click-through rate (CTR) for tech company Facebook Ads is 1.04% and the average conversion rate is 2.31%, which is still relatively high by today’s standard. As a comparison, .
Here are some key considerations for paid social media marketing:
- It is true that with every single year, the social media marketing environment is moving towards pay-to-play. If you haven’t invested in paid social media channels, it’s probably a good time to start
- Proper targeting is the key to maximize your social media advertising campaigns. If not managed correctly, social media advertising can get really expensive, real fast
- Yet, social media advertising and especially Facebook Ads is still relatively more affordable than Google AdWords.
- Don’t neglect the importance of A/B testing (Facebook offers free A/B testing feature), and you should constantly monitor your ads and adjust them when necessary.
3. LinkedIn Marketing
Although LinkedIn is technically a social media channel, we decided to make this a separate section, showing the importance of LinkedIn as a marketing channel especially for IT companies. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- There are many, many tech professionals on LinkedIn, which is the primary target audience for IT businesses
- Many of those IT professionals also rely on recommendations from their LinkedIn network for their purchase decision
- For B2B products and services, half of the buyers used LinkedIn when they make a purchase decision
The good news is, LinkedIn marketing can be completely organic -thus free-, but you will need to invest some time before truly seeing the results.
Here are some key considerations:
- Actively participate in groups, answer questions, and post valuable contents regularly. The goal is to increase awareness and credibility of your brand
- You can leverage and reuse contents from your blog without getting penalized. You will probably need minor tweakings. As a general rule, publish the content to LinkedIn after it has been on your blog for at least a month
- Publish portions of valuable contents and link it to your site/blog. You can, for example, publish portions of press releases, white papers, etc.
- Build personal and professional connections to build credibility
- It is important to have an authentic voice, the idea is to be helpful and avoid hard-selling
4. Email Marketing
Yes, even in 2018, email marketing is still very effective, if not even more important than before thanks to the market saturating.
Yet, here are some ideas of how you can use email marketing in an IT company environment:
- Thanking them for subscribing to your newsletter
- Education of your products, services, and specialties without hard-selling
- Invite your audience to your live events and webinar
- Encourage engagements, for example by asking how things are going
- Inviting them to view another piece of content based on what they have viewed/downloaded before (this is where drip campaign can be useful).
Here are some considerations in planning your email marketing campaign:
- Email marketing is still a very affordable strategy with amazing ROI. According to , you get $44 out of every dollar you spent
- Plan how you will integrate landing pages and call-to-action (CTA)s with your emails
- The hardest part of email marketing is, arguably, building your email list. Think of ways to capture email addresses, such as giving offers in exchange for their addresses
- Be creative, people get a lot of emails in a day, and so think of ways to stand out
Retargeting, in essence, is display advertising targeted to those who have already visited your site, or triggered other actions related to your brand. There are two main ways to do a retargeting campaign: Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
Why is retargeting especially important nowadays? Because the audience has already shown interest in your brand, your content, or your product, and so there’s a higher chance of conversion, making retargeting more cost-effective.
Here are some of the key considerations for your retargeting campaign:
- Studies suggested that retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert
- It is relatively easy to set up a retargeting campaign both with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, refer to our in-depth guide for details
- Retargeting doesn’t attract a new audience, so you will need to pair it with other tactics for lead generation
The most important thing you should consider in any marketing strategy is whether you will make money with your investment, a metric we call Return on Investment (ROI). So, when choosing the right marketing agency for your IT business, consider agencies like who monitor your progress, measuring the right metrics, and adjust their strategies whenever necessary to make it cost-effective and bring you the greatest return.
There are obviously other strategies that can be effective. Yet, the 5 we shared above are solid building blocks for you to build the rest of your strategy on.