So you are a marketing manager or owner of an IT company/software development company/outsourcing software house, whatever you call it. You know you have to do marketing for your company, but how the hack should you do that?
Here is another ultimate guide on B2B tech marketing, but this time baked with experience from a marketing manager who has built multiple marketing engines for IT companies that bring leads every day. There will be basic and advanced stuff delivered in short, meaningful paragraphs without a fluff.
Table of Contents
Marketing teams types and composition
There are a few types of marketers in B2B tech marketing you should be aware of to know who you are and who you should hire:
- T-shaped generalist marketer. This is the person who has one strong skill (e.g. content marketing or PPC), but also is aware of other marketing activities and can basically do everything. It’s a result-driven kind of person, that shouldn’t be micromanaged and will bring results itself. It’s good to hire such a specialist to build at least some sort of marketing.
- Content marketer. This person loves blogging, knows that content is a king and that it must convert. Great hire if you want to focus on content marketing and build a content production machine.
- Demand generation specialist. This marketer knows how to get traffic, not always the right kind of traffic and not always knowing what to do with that traffic.
I’d say that small IT companies that only start doing marketing, should hire Generalist marketer (preferably content marketing as a main skill). When inbound marketing brings some results, you can start thinking about hiring a content manager to boost your content and SEO efforts, while a generalist could focus on more strategic tasks, CRO, email marketing, and other.
After you see positive ROI on content and good conversions on the website, there is a need to hire somebody who can bring you more traffic (via advanced SEO, Google Adwords, Linkedin ads, or other). This will be a demand generation specialist.
As the company grows, heads of each department (content, demand gen, etc.) start to hire other, more specific roles like SEO, SMM, PPC, content writing.
In small companies, small tasks can be easily outsourced to freelancers on Fiverr: content writing, link building, design, programming. In big companies, it usually happens in-house as volumes increase.
Tech marketing tech stack
- SEO: SEMrush
- CRM: Hubspot, Pipedrive
- Analytics: Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Hotjar, Google Tag Manager, Google Optimize
- Content: Grammarly, Semrush content toolkit, Fiverr
- Email marketing: Autopilot, Convertkit, Getresponse
- Social media: Coschedule, Buffer
See more tools here: https://jorhna.com/b2b-marketing-tech-stack/
Try to find your niche or pretend you have one
Whether it’s a technology niche like React.js or AI, industry like healthcare, or types of business like startups or enterprises. You should find your niche for two major reasons:
- It’s easier to build a content marketing strategy and outrank competitors (general topics are too competitive)
- It’s easier to convert and close deals since you have authority in a certain technology niche
Understand Your Target Audience
Define the ICP. Yeah, for tech B2B it’s CTO, CIO, founder of a startup, and anybody willing to buy a piece of code. But maybe somebody else? The buyer persona also depends on the niche. In Cybersecurity it can be CISO, in ecommerce – Ecommerce Manager.
Here is a detailed guide on how to define your ICP.
Understand Your Competition
To build good B2B technology marketing for your IT company you should be aware of whats going on in the market. Check their websites, understand you are no different or even worth, understand how to be at least on the same level, or best, differentiate.
Analyze their traffic using SemRush, Ahrefs, Similar web, subscribe to their social networks, email newsletters. There is also a great tool called Competitors App.
Build a Decent Website
I am not talking about the WOW-effect-tons-of-animations-creative kind of website. I am talking about the website that looks decent, describes your value and services, and makes it easy for people to contact you. Your website should also load fast and be SEO optimized from a tech standpoint.
Pages that describe what exactly your company does is the first you should put on your website. Even if it sounds obvious. There are few things to consider.
If you want to rank in search engines for services keywords, make sure you focus on local SEO keywords(SERVICE in LOCATION), e.g. “mobile app design in Houston, Texas.” This will increase your chances to rank in top positions and people will convert much better since your service will be exactly what and where they are looking for.
You should have a call to action on the first screen and multiple calls to action down the landing page. Also, make sure to include some lead magnet about the service to get contact information of those who are not ready to buy yet.
Case studies and client feedbacks
Case studies and client feedback create social proof about your services. Technology buyers want to hear that you are able to deliver what they are looking for, that somebody has already worked with you and everything was, at least, fine.
Basically, a case study is a story about how you solved somebody’s problem with your solution. I recommend diving deep into details, as potential clients, especially C-level technicians will spend their time reading them to understand your level of expertise and if your services match their needs.
The IT Blog
Nowadays, there is no marketing without a blog, especially for B2B tech companies who have to build thought leadership.
The contact us page
This page is pretty simple with a contact form to send requests for information. However, it can be enhanced with social proof, badges, and a description of the process that will happen after contacting you. This will increase conversions.
You can also add the ability to book a meeting via Calendly or Hubspot, but be ready for lots of unqualified leads.
Get listed on directories, consider sponsorship
The main ones are Clutch and Goodfirms. If you are a small software house, you probably won’t get any organic traffic, however, try to find new, low-competition categories or locations, where you make it to the top. Or do sponsorship, we’ll talk about it in the advertising section.
Create content. Do SEO. Be patient.
Don’t write another technology comparison post. It won’t bring anything even if you beat the enormous competition. Again, look at your niche. Solve real customer problems. Think like your ICP. Usually, the content that brings a little of traffic converts the best.
At first, you might do SEO yourself, just follow best practices, but when you have, let’s say 50 articles, consider hiring an agency or specialist to do an audit for you and optimize the article to bring more traffic. It won’t cost as much as you think.
Across all possible channels with the targeting audience.
- GrowthHackers (for startup audience)
- niche Quora spaces
- Facebook groups, or some forums, like ‘proptech gurus’
It will give you some traffic and engagements with your business.
Use Lempod to increase engagements and awareness on Linkedin.
Create leadmagnets and CTAs on blog
It’s a common thing to say “traffic doesn’t convert”, but have you tried to convert it? I see many blogs that are trying to get SEO traffic but have no clue what to do with it.
Include your company’s experience and case studies in articles. Put some calls to actions, make offers, and collect email via relevant ebooks or whitepapers, then nurture them via email marketing.
Email Marketing for IT Companies
Email marketing is the main tool of communication with the audience for tech companies. Yes, it still works. It’s dying, but it won’t die soon. It can start with very personal emails to close deals and end up newsletters and promotional email blasts.
For small companies I’d recommend using it as a remarketing tool.
Social Media Marketing For IT Companies
Every IT company should be using social media for promoting its services, content, and culture. For you as a tech company, social media allows you to be in sight of your buyer persona.
Linkedin Marketing For B2B Tech Companies
Bet, most of your leads generator via social media will be coming from Linkedin. The audience there is ready for business relations, they are interested in new connections and opportunities.
As a tech company, you should create a company page, as well as personal profiles for the CEO, CTO, and lead gen team. Personal profiles drive more engagements on posts, which is good for organic traffic, and allow networking.
IT company page on Linkedin allows you to run ads and have a separate branded platform, separated from personal profiles.
Don’t lose the opportunity to connect with people, like and comment on their posts and make personal connections. It creates lots of opportunities if done consistently.
Facebook Marketing For IT Companies
While the majority of IT decision-makers are on corporate social networks like Linkedin, you can leverage Facebook to demonstrate your culture. It’s more for building the HR brand of an IT company, but can also be used as a great channel to distribute inspirational, motivational, leadership content that your ICP will love to read in their spare time.
Facebook ads are still the most cost-effective solution for paid content promotion and lead generation.
Twitter Marketing for IT Companies
For Twitter to work for your IT company, you’ll need to spend lots of time on the platform. Since Twitter has a fast pace, you should be posting at least 5 times per day, and consistently engage with other Twitter users, be part of conversations and trends.
Few tips: follow people regularly, use many hashtags, and follow trending discussions.
Instagram Marketing for IT Companies
It’s a great platform to show your internal culture and promote your brand on the local market, build an HR brand. But it’s not a place for B2B lead generation and marketing of your IT services.
Advertising For IT Companies
Paid advertising is the last thing you should do to promote your B2B technology services for several reasons: usually, you’ll just burn your budget, it’s a liability, not an asset, it requires a big buck to see results.
However, you might feel that you know where your prospects convert and how and want to give your traffic a boost. That might be a smart move.
Here are some of the options to consider:
Google Adwords is a good investment if done right. That’s why you should never do this alone. Hire an agency, and better get a referral. For IT companies the good agency is Kraftblick.
The budget for keywords targeting should start from $3K/month for 3 months to see some results. If you don’t have $10K to spend on Google ads, don’t even bother yourself with it.
But you can also do remarketing via Google ads to get visitors back to your website. Try promoting lead magnets or targeting those who visited but haven’t submitted contact form with a ‘get a quote’ CTA.
Sponsorship on Clutch, Goodfirms, etc.
Sponsorship that will bring you around 400 visitors per month will cost you around $3000. Use SEMrush to find top-searched categories that are not on hype, e.g ‘ios app development in Boston’. It will cost less, you rank higher and have good leads.
Can work for promoting your content, definitely not selling. But usually, this marketing channel works badly for B2B technology companies.
It’s a must-have for an IT company to set up a Google Analytics account and set up custom goals via Google Tag Manager, to track every form submit, scroll, button click.
Install Hotjar, to see how visitors use your website and where they drop off.
Use UTM tags to track traffic from each social media profile and specific channels, campaigns.
Use Google Optimize to run A/B tests, personalization, and increase conversion rates. Never settle for less, experiments will cover new lead generation opportunities, increase your conversions, and will help you generate more leads for less.
Marketing for B2B tech companies is challenging. It’s a long run that needs courage, patience, and experience. I wish you good luck and big accounts. Crush it!