Sure, every B2B technology company wants better marketing results. And most would love to attract the right website visitors that are pre-disposed to becoming great clients. But many fail to achieve their goals because of their foundation…well, it really isn’t much of a foundation. More like a house of cards built with some wishful thinking.
With 57% of the typical B2B buying cycle now over before decision makers talk to any IT company, can your company really afford to be missing from those searches?
In this post, we’ll look at eight prerequisites that a B2B technology company must satisfy to consistently attract the right decision makers to its website.
Use the Right Words in Your Website Copywriting
Novices obsess over their branding and perceived image. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with developing a consistent, professional brand. But branding can’t be done at the expense of copywriting…otherwise no one will find your website.
While your core services pages definitely need to be well planned and researched to meet the specific needs of your ideal buyers, ultimately those static pages are unlikely to be significant traffic generators.
Instead, focus on building a blog with a large stockpile of remarkable, educational content that addresses problems and challenges faced by your ideal buyers.
And blogging with the right on-page search engine optimization (SEO) best practices in mind is critical. First and foremost, optimize for the reader and the goals, challenges, frustrations, and behaviors that you’ve uncovered for each group of readers during your persona research.
Be Very Careful About Over-Optimizing Your Website
Many SEO companies, still to this day, focus on selling the promise of “high rankings” – as if you could put “high rankings” into QuickBooks to boost your profit and loss statement.
Any link-building programs or campaigns need to be very carefully scrutinized to make sure that (a) the intent passes the Google “sniff” test, and (b) you’re not getting very short-lived gains at the expense of long-term blacklisting.
While off-page link building is still akin to campaigning for “votes”, nowadays you need to be super careful about these strategies so your website doesn’t get penalized.
Pick the Right Social Media Channels to Engage In
Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Google+. YouTube. SlideShare. Pinterest. Instagram.
How do you know which are the right social media channels for B2B technology companies? And which are a big waste of time?
The answer? There is no one set answer. Let your buyer persona research take the guesswork out of the process and help you focus your resources on the right channels for the decision makers that you want to reach and engage with.
Don’t Overlook the Critical Need for Content Promotion
Field of Dreams, the 1989 film starring Kevin Costner, lied to us all. If you build it, they will not come! (Unless your website features live appearances from long-deceased legendary baseball players.)
No matter how awesome your blog content is, content without promotion is like opening a fantastic Italian restaurant in a low-traffic location with zero promotional budget or plan. Sure the pizza and pasta dishes are to die for. But if the restaurant needs to have 200 diners on a Saturday evening to cover its overhead and there are currently only 20 diners there on the busiest evening of the week, the restaurant won’t last very long.
Similarly, your blog posts need promotion to give your remarkable, educational content the best chance to be discovered by your ideal buyers.
Why? Because your website in all likelihood doesn’t have a boatload of authoritative, relevant websites and domains linking to it – and many of your competitors do. So in the eyes of Google and Bing, their websites have more “votes” and deserve more of a chance to see how their content performs when ranked on page one for competitive search phrases.
So it’s a real chicken-and-egg dilemma. What can you do in the meantime for your blog content to get found while it’s getting discovered and attracting links from authoritative, relevant websites?
Recognize that some of your blog posts will make it to page one of search engine results pages on their own. But most need a second chance strategy.
Re-Purpose Blog Content as Presentations and Videos
To give your content a second chance to appear where your target buyers are searching, take each blog post and build a skeletal PowerPoint presentation.
In this slide deck, summarize highlights from the blog post and conclude with a call to action (CTA) slide to download a related premium content offer of yours – such as a free eBook, white paper, or guide.
Then place this slide deck, using the same basic SEO strategy, in SlideShare and piggy-back off of what search engines think of SlideShare. At the time of writing this post, SlideShare was ranked by Alexa.com as the 120th most popular website on the Internet.
So in addition to your remarkable, educational content having a second chance to make it to page one of search engine results pages, you’ll also benefit from people viewing other related presentations and being referred to view your presentation, either at the conclusion of the presentation or in the sidebar of the SlideShare website.
Next, take the same set of slides and narrate those slides into a screencast presentation.
The screencast will go into YouTube, the 3rd most popular website on the Internet – where your videos will have a much better chance of appearing on page one of search results, in YouTube search results, and in recommended related videos to watch following a video and in the YouTube website sidebar.
Recognize that PR Has Changed Drastically
10 years ago, most public relations professionals drafted news releases primarily for journalists.
Today, PR experts now need to make sure that their news releases are properly optimized for search engines, social media, calls to action, and other readers besides journalists.
There are even some companies completely doing away with the notion of news releases and simply posting company news on their company news blog.
Host a Podcast
For B2B technology companies with in-house subject matter experts, as well as clients and vendors with subject matter expertise, a podcast can be yet another way to attract a different kind of decision maker to their websites.
Why a different kind of potential buyer?
Because some people like to read blog posts. Some are slide deck groupies, spending a few hours each month on SlideShare. Others love to learn about new business and technology best practices by watching videos on YouTube. And then there are some that enjoy learning from podcasts that they listen to on iTunes.
So if your persona research tells you that a significant percentage of your ideal buyers are podcast listeners, consider hosting a podcast where you can collaborate with industry thought leaders and create content that attracts even more website visitors.
Build Your Own Channel Program
Many think that you need deep pockets to build a channel partner program. But that’s not always the case – especially if you’re primarily concerned with attracting the right website visitors.
In its simplest form, technology companies can use reciprocal guest blogging, joint webinars, and white paper collaboration and co-marketing to kick-off their own channel programs.
Sure you can also ramp it up by offering a referral fee program – if that’s a good fit for you and your partners.
However if your primarily goal is generating highly-targeted website traffic, don’t get distracted by budgeting for frills like expensive trade show booths or schwag.
Conclude Every Piece of Content with a Simple, Relevant Call to Action
To turn website visitors into qualified leads, every piece of content that you create should wrap up with a text-based and even a graphical-based call to action (CTA) for what to do next.
Be direct. Be relevant. Offer something with high-perceived value. And let your lead generation landing pages and forms be the conduit that helps you build a long-term relationship with your website visitors, so you can eventually convert a significant percentage of website visitors into paying clients.
In this post, we looked at eight strategies that a B2B technology company can use to attract the right website visitors.
Which marketing tactics have you found to be most effective at turning strangers into website visitors? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
And to make sure that your website traffic generation is helping you achieve your client generation and website ROI goals, be sure to download your complimentary copy of the IT Channel Inbound Marketing Planning Guide.