Nevertheless, for many different reasons, usually costs, biggest number of technology companies are focusing on digital lead generation for their core or only marketing tool. And while lead generation is very important in certain moment of the company’s development, it requires organizational resources, including significant financial outflow.
Still, depending on the business goals and the development stage of the technology company, the organization must manage a mix of marketing communications tools in order to achieve the highest levels of effectiveness and efficiency of resources. Which are these marketing tools, available to the technology firm?
1. SEM and SEO
2. Content marketing
3. Social media
4. Marketing automation and e-mail
5. Media relations
6. Corporate events
7. Brand management
8. Corporate reputation management
In this part I on the topic of marketing mix for the technology firms we will look at the foundational tools, those without which subsequent marketing efforts would be less effective and efficient. In part II we will discuss the outbound or so-called push marketing options.
The three pillars of marketing – corporate web site and blog, content, and social media
Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
SEM and SEO are digital tools which allow us to attract visitors to our internet domains. It is important to note that these visitors already are most probably on some part of their customer journey or their purchase cycle and if we are not in front of them when they research for information, we obviously miss on the opportunity.
While we will discuss in future blog posts specifically the passive and inbound digital strategies, it is critical for the firm’s management to realize that these marketing tactics are essential for the overall cost-effectiveness of the internet marketing efforts. Firstly, obviously an organization can not allow its brand to be outside page one of Google search results and in such way miss reaching the already on the research path potential customers. And secondly, apart from a few global organizations, all of rest of us cannot allow to miss on visitors on our web site only to spend money to chase them later through lead generation campaigns. Basically, the better your SEO the less the need for advertising spend.
In order for our SEM and SEO to work properly, we need to have established certain minimum level of marketing infrastructure and efforts, which we will discuss in dedicated posts. Nevertheless, three elements, which we call the three pillars of marketing, are critical – corporate web site and blog, content, and social media. Without all the above connected and working together, no point in moving to the next stage of B2B marketing.
I can never stress enough to clients how this is the most critical marketing tool for the B2B and the tech company and how this is one of the most powerful free assets a tech company can deploy.
Content marketing is critical for the SEO success as well as the first step in establishing thought leadership and brand positioning. We will discuss extensively in the future what kind of content and how to deploy it but it is important to remember that for B2B companies it is critical to build trust into their capabilities. And the first step and minimum condition in building trust it to demonstrate competence in the relevant area of expertise; and the easiest and most visible way to achieve this is through content marketing.
The greatest organizational problem with content marketing is that it is very human resources intensive. And the most common reason for technology firms not to use it in sustainable way is because of lack of enough people who can produce the required volumes of quality content. Of course, there are ways to address this and will discuss those in our next blog post.
Nevertheless, companies must consider following best practices if they want to have impactful content marketing strategy:
1. Make content part of the strategic planning process for the marketing communications of the firm
2. Make it about the needs of our communications stakeholders
3. Connect it strategically to support the SEO, thought leadership, corporate reputation and lead generation of the firm
You remember the third column of digital infrastructure. We use social media to amplify our message, to reach greater audience and to engage directly with stakeholders. While the social media landscape is shifting pretty fast, still I would recommend a tech company to use at minimum LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook.
There is a what of discussion among business leaders about Facebook and some are worried about its problematic brand. Nevertheless, Facebook is still the most effective and efficient social media with unrivalled reach. LinkedIn is growing rapidly but it has its own limitations and is probably most expensive of all. Twitter is great for organic engagement, so each one of those has its own strengths which complement each other.
While social media tools are extensive topic, I would advise tech companies’ managers on two things:
1. Establish process for consistent social media engagement – best seven days per week with more than one posts per day.
2. Do not limit yourself to posts on topics related only to your own organization. Many companies will understand digital as the old “brochure” type of marketing – talking only good things about its products. Social media is much more – it is about engagement with many different people, interested in different aspects of our business, industry and society. Therefore, be interesting and engaging by using outside sources of information, through which to engage stakeholders.
Coming to the end of part I 😊
Only when establishing the three pillars of sustainable B2B marketing communications, or as I call them our owned internet domains, corporate web site and blog, content marketing strategy as well as search engines and social media strategies, integrate them technologically and make them humming seamlessly in attracting visitors to our corporate web site or e-commerce domains, we should look at outbound strategies to push our offerings to wider audiences.
I will discuss outbound strategies and marketing options in part II of what marketing communications tools technology companies must use.
Before investing in lead generation and advertising programs take a consider the available resources
SEO, content and the passive marketing tools are critical for the efficiency of the marketing efforts.
Call us to discuss, audit and improve the performance of your passive B2B marketing.
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