Tech-based companies are having to change their strategies across the board with the effects of Covid-19, throughout their organisation. Traditional sales methods have either disappeared or changed significantly, like exhibitions shifting to online (some tips here), Using video conferencing is vital for your sales organisation to function, customer visits are scarce and therefore you have to engage in other ways.
To try and help we have put together a list of tech digital marketing priorities for 2021. As a marketing agency that only focuses on tech and technical organisations, these are where we would spend our money this year.
1) Generate as much quality content as you can
Quality content still delivers, and more than ever is vital to success. Connect the hot industry topics with SEO evaluation to create your focus and priority list. Then connect your thought leadership team with excellent technical content writers. Why? Thought leadership will drive your target audience to consider your thoughts (solutions/products) when they are in the evaluation stage. Plus it will help the SEO results of your website, helping to drive inbound leads. The more quality content you create the more competitive online you will be – but make sure you have a strategy!
2) Carefully consider the user journeys of your website – and the new call-to-actions for 2021
Your website needs to deliver. It needs to stop people from going back to Google to find a competitor. It needs to engage quickly, get the user in the area of the website that meets their needs quickly, enable them in what they need to know and cross-sell where needed. People don’t like to be sold to, they are not after the sales team, they want help in learning the subject so they can make an informed decision. How can you help them? Be that informer! What tools can you provide them that will help in their knowledge quest and guide them towards you as a project partner?
3) Get the bigger picture on SEO
You need to be investing in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it takes time and is an ongoing task. It never sits still. You need to understand what the competition is doing, in terms of doing well, badly, and not at all. You need to have the target audience’s perspective. Gain this through your thought leadership team, by evaluating online SEO tools, and ideally if you can qualify things with a friendly and knowledgeable target audience that is a bonus, to qualify your SEO focuses. SEO is not a black art, it is time, tools, strategy and knowledge combined.
4) Utilise content fully, recycle, add imagery, rewrite.
To create a decent piece of content takes time, so it needs to be utilised effectively. Firstly always map it to your SEO, secondly make sure you include decent imagery and infographics to enhance press use and engage the user (enable the user!). Then consider creating different versions of the same article to spread it wider and online but maintain SEO effectiveness, maybe one article for your website and one for LinkedIn for example. Also, review the articles you have already written, can they be updated and used again? Did you create an article in 2018 that is still very relevant but needs updating with technological advances?
5) Embrace infographics that quickly enable and engage
Mentioned above these elements should be in almost all of your content. They help engage and connect the reader to the article. They can hook in the skim reader, but also qualify to the deep reader. They make you look professional and technically aware which is important in our industry. Infographics should be appreciated by both the technical team and the marketing team in your organisation. Connected to the success of your infographics is consistent and clear iconography – they should be mapped out (labelled and controlled) for your organisation
6) Utilise Automation and Intent if you have big budgets
There are more and more marketing tools available that automate tech marketing, which can bring advantages for inbound leads, but you must have the right budget for them to function, and importantly the fundamental foundations must be in place. Automation is setting up a series of marketing actions and communications – quite a few for success – and behind those actions and communications need to be a very solid call to action. This could be well-written tools such as whitepapers and guides, or technical configuration tools that help enable a customer. For results that do not just deliver unsubscribes you need all the forementioned to be created well.
You do need to consider the moral and GDPR aspects of intent marketing. Yes, it can be very clever in developing new data, new target contacts, but how you are creating that data could be seen by some as questionable – although if your communications are genuine and strong that may not be an issue.
7) Make sure your marketing agency is engaged with your CRM and your sales team
Your marketing agency needs to have a full understanding and be fully aligned with your sales strategy and understand how your sales team functions. Sales and marketing must be a team. A key component of that is connecting digital marketing with your CRM system – segmenting data effectively (can that be developed further?), how are your sales team forecasting (can we connect in leads, opportunities and campaigns?), what marketing integration is within your CRM system (can we utilise it more?), can we hook in IP tracking into your CRM system? And more…
Talking to your sales team and product specialists can ensure marketing delivers sales opportunities.
8) LinkedIn use is vital but must be strategic
Your LinkedIn company page is in effect your second website – it should be considered in that way. In a B2B world, your activity on LinkedIn is important. You are being evaluated as an organisation, how you act and what level is your innovation at – and what core tools and messaging are you currently talking about – an industry barometer in some ways. You cannot overdo content on LinkedIn because your followers will only see each post once in their feed. But you should focus on quality over quantity. Make sure there is a strong image with each post. Ensure the tone of voice is open and engaging. Use blogs on LinkedIn as well as smaller posts – these will help with SEO as well as generate LinkedIn traffic.
We would encourage paid promotion on LinkedIn, through follower adverts, sponsoring posts and also carrousel adverts. Each should be carefully tested, and don’t spend a lot of money without testing each one.
Ultimately LinkedIn allows you to reach a wider audience, especially in a tech marketing world.
9) Connect your “people” to your audience
The long-used term “people want to buy from people” is still true. But how those people communicate and how we portray those people has changed. It is less often a physical human to human connection that we get, so we must engage target customers in another way. This needs to be done through imagery, through quotes in thought leadership, through news and blog articles, through profiling the team. Ultimately, giving the target customer a flavour of who they are dealing with. But there does need to be a balance. Yes, we need to portray the team effectively, but we must educate regarding solutions and products, connected to challenges that users face.
Do consider video and photography to help with this process.
10) Educate, enable, build trust and reasons to engage early in the sales cycle.
This highlights a lot of what we have talked about above – but it is vital. Your target audience wants to enable themselves; they want to be seen as knowledgeable in their organisation, feel assured they are making a correct decision, do not want to feel pushed but are happy to be guided – you get the picture. Think partnership rather than a customer in some cases. Why would a customer want to partner with you? Why would they want to learn from you? How can you position your organisation as a trusted advisor?
Think about the tools you can provide online. How can you get into the customer’s sales cycle early? What knowledge are your customers looking for? There are many opportunities.
If you would like an experienced tech marketing agency to evaluate your current marketing status, to consider opportunities for improvement, or simply need an organisation to generate content please do not hesitate in reaching out.