Marketing B2B tech companies is challenging.
For most, it requires investing significant efforts in creating awareness, generating leads, and closing sales. For B2B tech startups, you can also add the pressure that comes along with launching a new product, as well as the lack of resources to invest in marketing in the first place.
However, even without a big budget, you can still spread the word about who you are and why you’ve gone into business. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to pull out all the stops from day one. But with the right strategy, you can still put a robust framework in place and garner considerable attention along the way.
Being smart and stretching every dollar can go a long way in putting your business on the right path. Here are five inbound marketing strategy tips any tech startup can use to grow awareness and get quality leads.
1) Market through your experts
Whether you’ve recognized this or not, you already have one of the most valuable resources at your disposal when it comes to your marketing strategy: your employees.
Outside of the benefit of already being on your payroll, many employees also have an intimate knowledge of your products and services. That level of insight can be key to educating your audience and convincing them of the perks of doing business with you. Cultivating those internal thought leaders helps your experts grow and build authority in your industry, driving visibility and trust for your brand.
If you’re still not convinced, consider this: employees have ten times more followers and get eight times more shares than their company’s social media accounts. That’s because people don’t trust the brand as much as they appreciate the people behind it.
Even if not every one of them has the writing skills necessary to capture attention with high-quality, optimized blog posts, they can still generate ideas and create outlines. A professional writer can use it to develop compelling copy, turning thought into practice, and with any luck, conversions—all while saving you money.
So, support your experts. Have them build an online presence and market through them. Encourage your top-notch employees to manage social accounts, take speaking engagements, and publish articles on your business blog. They’ll become the best brand ambassadors you’ll ever have!
2) Use strategic calls to action to capture leads
Inbound marketing relies on creating content with a purpose. That means every piece should do more than just deliver a message—it needs to be the right message, in the right way, to the right people, at the right time.
That’s possible if you guide your visitors through a buyers’ journey, which aims to convert strangers into prospects and leads and, eventually, paying customers.
To reach that, you need clear calls to action (CTAs) to convince people to move in the right direction. Think about it as a strategy, in which every CTA is part of the story and makes it clear for the readers what you want them to do next.
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Lead generating calls-to-action deliver a message at the right moment. Adding a well-designed CTA button to your article templates can increase revenue by up to 83 percent in one month.
Make sure that every time people arrive on your page, they have clear instructions on what they’re supposed to do next. That way, you maximize your chances to build long-term business relationships, which are crucial to B2B tech startups.
3) Promote your content
The value of your content primarily depends on the number of people it reaches. Even the best article, eBook, or white paper is worth close to nothing if no one reads it. Hence, the golden rule of inbound marketing: If you create content, you need to promote it. Otherwise, you’ll see little to no return on your marketing efforts.
As a tech startup, your content is the perfect tool to build awareness and establish your brand as an authority and a solution in your industry. If you don’t share your content with the world, no one will know you exist, and it’ll be hard for you to break into the market.
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Close to half of business decision-makers consume between three to five pieces of content before contacting a salesperson. If your well-researched articles aren’t among them, no one will knock at your door.
As a guideline, you should put a bare minimum of 20 percent of your effort/money into promoting your content. In a perfect world, content creation gets only 20 percent of the resources, leaving 80 percent of the budget and efforts for promotion.
Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, three perfect pieces of content promoted through multiple networks can do way more than a ton of blogs and eBooks that wait quietly on your website to be discovered.
4) Set up automation
Tech startups don’t need a lecture on the importance and benefits of automation when it comes to business operations. If there’s someone out there who can make the most out of human-machine collaboration, it’s you.
Marketing a B2B tech company requires a sophisticated strategy across a wide range of marketing channels. Chances are, you don’t have the time or bandwidth to do all of that manually.
On the other hand, CRM and other marketing software enables you to create workflows and optimize communication with potential clients. Automation refines your marketing by allowing you to design a buyer’s journey and build content around it.
Of course, you still need to put in some time and energy toward setting up your automated processes correctly. Once you’ve done that, automation allows you to scale your business as much as you want or need. You’ll be able to send emails to ten, 100 or 1000 people with relatively small costs and without increasing the working hours for your team. It’s a cost-effective way to open and keep conversations, remain relevant, and provide constant value.
Moreover, automation also enables you to segment your audiences and target marketing messages on a deeper level than manual processes. On a large scale, it helps you to increase ROI and close more deals.
5) Have your content ready in advance
Startups are synonymous with hard work, tight deadlines, and unforeseen issues that often crop up unexpectedly. Events and the launching of new products and services require a lot of attention and effort. If you’re able to find time for content creation in the process, it will pay dividends in the long run.
Make sure you create content ahead of significant events. Don’t wait until a day or week before the launch to start writing a press release or compelling post, especially those with high conversion potential. The pressure of time constraints and last minute details will inevitably distract you. So, you’ll end up with delivering low-quality content that doesn’t generate the buzz you need.
Not only does having your marketing materials ready in advance guarantee better content, but it can also boost your SEO strategy. When you have the chance to work on your B2B content strategy and integrate the right keywords and links, you’re more likely to get excellent results.
Content strategy is a long-term play, not a one-time show. So, make a plan and give your team the time necessary to craft the right content for each business event.
The success of your B2B tech startup depends on how well you can craft a strategic marketing plan. Of course, this plan will change over time as your business grows. But having a clear image of where you are and what you want to achieve can make the difference for your brand.
- Use all of your expert resources to create well-supported, top-notch content ideas. Then bring in the professionals to whip it into shape to be both compelling and optimized for search engines (if you don’t have them internally).
- Make sure to use CTAs to direct visitors to other helpful content or down into the funnel.
- Automate to save time and money.
- Put a content strategy together and plan so you don’t compromise quality when things get hectic.
It may all seem a bit complicated at first glance, but once you put the framework in place and see the first results, it all becomes easier. And remember, inbound marketing is a long-term investment meant to position you in the market and help you build valuable business relationships. So, even if you don’t see results overnight, that doesn’t mean you’re not already on your way up!