As a tech-led business, you are in a fiercely competitive market, with many providers and service firms offering high service level performance in terms of:
- Elasticity and/or scalability
On the other hand, a prospect might be looking to break their existing contract in several months and therefore need an occasional “nudge” to influence them to contact you when they are ready for a new provider.
Here are six tips for inbound marketing lead management with some of the returns you should expect from following them.
1. Define Multiple Personas
When most tech-led businesses write content for their target audience, they focus on the technical “speeds and feeds” values. The “ilities” as mentioned above. They work to sell to technology professionals.
For some customers, the decision maker or primary influencer isn’t a deeply (or purely) technical person. They may be looking to outsource that function and contract with a company that can worry about those details. Consider creating content for the influencers:
- Financial executives, CFO’s or management accountants
- Marketing or sales management, possibly looking for web hosting or cloud based e-mail services
- Legal professionals looking for file management, or disaster recovery options for their firm, or a client
It’s great to have technical content. However, there are many influencers from other business functions that could have the “ear” of the IT personnel. They need targeted content too.
2. Remarketing. Pay-Per-Click and Paid Social
Static banner advertising is largely a thing of the past, though display ads, especially intelligent ones, which react to cookies in a previous visitor’s browser, are powerful, as they play to the intent of the buyer.
These “remarketing” ads are like those television or radio commercials that stick in your head and remind you of when you had an interest in a certain product or service.
For Pay Per Click advertising, or paid social posts, broad keywords aren’t a good use of your inbound marketing budget. Go for specific services, and a narrow or ‘exact match’ keyword to optimise your impressions and clicks.
3. Create Effective Landing Pages
Generate gated, thought leadership content accessed via a landing page which:
- Is targeted at a specific persona
- Is relevant to an audience
- Defines where a prospect is in their buying journey
- Has a simple form, asking for only fundamental contact details
- Leads to the content promoted, with clear instructions on how to contact your team for more assistance, but without a bunch of links to content which could dilute interest
- Is linked to a CRM application ideally, or at the very least, an excel spreadsheet which grades/classifies the prospect
Landing pages from social media posts, e-mail marketing campaigns, or display advertising are much more effective than “visit our website” because it maintains focus on the messaging you want to deliver.
Lead pages may seem quite simple, though there is a lot of science to elements like:
- Call-to-action button colours
- The amount of content on a page
- Profile forms
A landing page and the content which leads to it, can generate many leads, or, if poorly undertaken, can be completely ignored. Landing pages are best created by those with the expertise.
4. Create Human Connections
For companies looking for managed technology, they want to be able to trust the people in the Network Operations Centre monitoring their information infrastructure. They want to be confident they can call the Support Line if necessary and work with a competent professional.
Further, customers contract with people they like, trust and connect with. As part of your inbound marketing lead management process, consider telling stories about your employees across business functions, sales, marketing, customer service and technical operations. Video testimonials from customers are great if you can produce them, but videos of your own people talking about their expertise, their commitment, or even what they like for breakfast can also be powerful.
Let your competitors be the cold, impersonal technology company and you, the warm, caring one. Stories about philanthropic causes your company supports, or community involvement are effective ideas (and good blogging material too).
5. Microblogging and Long Form Content
The ongoing argument about content length should be declared a tie.
A variety of social media posts, linking to long-form blogs, whitepapers and/or e-books are good to generate leads. Blogs should be long enough to prove your point, provide insights from your experience and encourage your audience to take action on your advice.
6. Nurturing Leads Beyond the First Interaction
You have captured a prospect’s demographic information and have an understanding of their plans to contract a new services vendor. Finding the right balance between sending your prospects too much information and having them forget about you is an art form.
If you plan on sending e-mail newsletters any more frequently than once a month, provide easy options for your audience to decrease the number of times you contact them, rather than having them opt-out entirely. Lead nurturing e-mails should:
- Be targeted to the receiver
- Offer previews of content you have on your main website
- Not be too salesy, or trivial in nature
- Offer a range of content like eBooks, videos, and blog content
A marketing automation platform can also assist with this.
With all lead management and content marketing programmes, monitoring the success of each tactic is critical. Adopting a content performance analytics’ programme will help you track which content/campaigns are working, which are missing the mark and how your efforts are trending over time.
An inbound marketing agency can help you to optimise your digital marketing efforts over the long haul.
Are you using lead management systems like a CRM, landing page applications or content analytics? We can help you to define a roadmap to increase revenues and ROI.