Have you tried inbound tactics but failed to produce results? Perhaps you published blogs, SEO optimized your website or emailed your existing list of clients with little to no effect..?
You’re not alone. Most companies hear good stories about inbound marketing tactics but when it comes to actually implementing the practice, they find that nothing comes of it. It’s usually either down to the strategy not being properly aligned to the businesses, or the results not being tracked through the marketing and sales funnel to prove the ROI.
The inbound marketing process
Why is inbound marketing effective for technical companies?
Before we dive into our inbound marketing best practice for technical companies, let’s take it back to basics.
Inbound marketing generates high quality leads by providing valuable content that assists potential customers through the buyer’s journey.
Some examples of typical inbound activities are; content downloads e.g. ebooks, blogs, email marketing including nurturing leads and social media.
By providing informative content that reflects your innovative products or services, you can help your business to stand out in the industry:
- Effective blogs can teach and explain complicated concepts or features in an easy to digest format. This helps to improve product understanding.
- Buyer personas can help you to specifically target the right audience with the right messages and information to meet their needs
- Workflows guide people through the sales funnel and makes less work for your sales team.
- Lead nurturing reduces the need for outbound outreach. You will save money on unnecessary ad campaigns!
Here are the top 5 inbound marketing best practices for technical companies
1. Develop buyer personas
Are you confident that you really know who your customers are? Identifying and knowing your audience and using this information to create buyer personas is essential to any successful inbound marketing strategy.
Buyer personas are generalised representations of your ideal customers and should be developed using insight from your customer database and market research. By understanding who your ideal customer is, you can then tailor the content and messaging that you create to appeal directly to your target audience. When creating your buyer persona, it is key that you make sure your ideal buyer persona provides answers the following:
- Who are they? Think about their demographics
- Do they currently use your technology?
- How tech savvy are they?
- What features are important when purchasing a technology product?
- What are the common objections to purchasing a new technology?
- How often do they upgrade/replace their current technology?
2. Create valuable content
Creating valuable content and creating it frequently is a golden opportunity for technical companies to really connect with their audience and show off their expertise.
The engineering and technologies industries can often be a minefield of complex terms and acronyms. Keep in mind that your audience may have varying degrees of knowledge. Therefore, creating content is the perfect time to lose the unnecessary jargon and make the complex simple.
Developing content that discuss the latest technology trends or webinars that demonstrates how to use fascinating technology is a great way to create audience awareness. However, as you move further down the sales funnel content that provides the answers to the what, how and why of a technology product can add value and help to convince potential customers.
3. SEO optimize your content for search
Your customers are definitely searching for solutions to their problems on Google.
Put yourself into their shoes and think about what questions they’d ask. You can use use various online tools to find commonly searched keywords in your industry. For example, they might ask:
- How does X new technology work?
- What is the difference between (your competitor) and (you)?
- How do I xxxx? (your business is the answer!)
Once you’ve decided to the right keyphrase for your content, you need to optimize the content by adding the keyphrase into prominent areas of the website including the title, url and headers.
4. Use well thought-out calls to actions
For a technical company, a call to action (CTA) provides the perfect opportunity to provide higher-value downloadable content that demonstrates how your product can solve a potential customers problem. By using a CTA to provide the content, you can successfully generate quality leads for your business.
Example offers that you could use as CTAs:
- Free trial
Your CTA should be the first thing a visitor sees when the click on your page so make it obvious! By using a contrasting or bright colour and making it big enough to stand out you can catch the visitors attention. Additionally, action-orientated words that clearly indicate what the CTA is offering should be used.
5. Nurture your leads
In technical industries, the purchase value is often higher, and this can mean a longer sales cycle. Therefore nurturing leads through to conversion is essential. Not all leads will be ready to buy straightaway, and some may take longer to nurture than others.
To nurture your leads the ‘inbound way’ you should work with your prospects rather than push them to purchase. Using an email workflow automation is an effective way for tech companies to nurture their leads that will keep your business in the customers minds. When carrying out an email workflow automation you should:
- Tailor your content– educational and solution orientated for top of funnel and solution orientated for middle of funnel
- Establish a personal connection by nurturing person to person not company to company. What are they looking for in your technology?
- Don’t over promise. Don’t overestimate what your technology can provide
- Use specific language that clearly explains what the benefit of your product. Now is the time to introduce more technical aspects.
- Assign a value to your technology
Ready to run your own inbound campaign? Don’t hit “go” until you’ve looked at our checklist, ‘How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign‘