Let’s say you’re in charge of marketing for a B2B tech company, one that makes servers and micro-servers, processors, software development tools and chips. After a careful review of your company’s complete product index, you might start to wonder, “How did I end up here?” How do you take a company whose products and services are about as exciting as a trip through the yellow pages to the next level?
How Intel Took Tech from Boring to Breathtaking
That was the challenge for the marketing team at Intel two years ago. They considered many of the marketing strategies you might consider for your tech company: highlight the depth of their tech offerings, showcase their thought leadership, boast on their success. But those things had all been done, and, frankly, none of them hit the mark—until someone in the room came up with a great idea: instead of focusing on the superiority of our products, why don’t we show how those products impact people’s lives?
The result was Intel’s “Meet the Makers” series, five less-than-2-minute videos, each profiling someone around the world who used Intel technology to change lives—like Shubham Banerjee. He used Intel products to create an affordable braille printer. Like the other people featured in the Intel spots, he used Intel products to make the world a better place. The takeaway: memory boards are dull, but what they allow people to do is not.
It’s About Value—Not Specifications
Intel’s “Meet the Makers” campaign was successful because the marketers behind it understood that tech marketing is less about what their products do, and more about the value those products create. That doesn’t, of course, free marketers from the obligation of understanding what their companies’ products do—in fact, you can’t communicate value unless you thoroughly appreciate the nature of your product and service offerings.
Every tech company is different, and each must gain traction on the basis of its own distinctiveness. That said, here are 4 tips that will help you enhance your inbound marketing campaigns and convey the value inherent in your products and services:
#1 Create Buyer Personas
One of the challenges tech marketers face is effectively segmenting their inbound marketing campaigns. One of the best ways to segment your campaigns in by creating buyer personas. Hubspot describes the value of this strategy:
“Buyer personas…are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers…Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.”
Buyer personas will help you understand the motivations, needs and pain points of each market segment you’re targeting, so you can successfully convey value to them throughout the entire buying process. They enable you to personalize your marketing in a way which is consistent, engaging and meaningful to your target customers.
#2 Stay on Top of Key Trends in Your Industry
Change in the tech industry is rapid. It’s important to be thoroughly familiar with the latest tech trends in your industry. You should be a regular consumer of online tech journals, like TechCrunch, PC Magazine and CNET, as well as the tech sections of The Wall Street Journal, Wired and CIO. Staying on top of emerging trends will ensure your content is relevant and useful, and provide key intelligence on what your competitors are doing.
#3 Size-Up the Competition—Continually
The products and services your company offers don’t exist in a vacuum—they’re part of a larger context which includes key competitors. It’s critical for your inbound marketing success that you know what your competitors are up to—what new products or services they’re planning to roll out, and how they’re marketing those products and services on their websites and social media sites. If your competitors offer newsletters, sign up for them. If they’re active on social media, follow their conversations and make note of the common questions and comments their audience leaves on their social media platforms and blog posts. This will give you valuable insight into what customers like, dislike and want more of from their products and services.
#4 Measure and Repurpose Your Strongest Content
It’s important to measure the success of the content you create, however you define success. If, for example, content is aimed at lead generation, measure how many qualified leads it generates. Knowing which content is most effective, allows you to repurpose it to maximize its impact.
If a published study gains traction, you can repurpose it as a blog post or an infographic. Your customers have different preferences for how they consume content—repurposing content in different formats increases the number of customers and prospective customers who consume it, extending your reach and expanding the value your content conveys.
Whether your tech company is B2B or B2C, you’re selling more than products—you’re selling solutions. You’re selling value. Successful inbound marketing campaigns convey value by showing they know a lot about their customers’ wants and needs, delivering relevant content, and effectively showcasing their competitive edge in way that matters to their prospective customers.
McAllister Marketing is a full-service agency specializing in inbound marketing strategies that attract, convert and retain customers. Tech companies hire us to help them better showcase their solutions and optimize their customer-appeal and conversion tactics. To learn more about the ways we can help you create integrated inbound marketing campaigns to grow your business and boost your sales, contact our team of experts today.