In today’s competitive business landscape, low-cost strategies like inbound marketing hold the key to small business growth. However, many small business owners continue to believe that online marketing is simply “too expensive” or “too complicated” for their businesses – when these statements could not be further from the truth. You do not need “special skills” to drive revenue growth from inbound marketing. If you can send an email, you can successfully market your technology company online. Online marketing success is derived from your ability to consistently deliver value to your core audience. It’s that simple.
Today’s hyper-connected customers use digital media to communicate with companies, build brand relationships, make purchasing decisions and even complain about poor customer service. These customers expect companies to not only deliver value online, but to also deliver an experience. As a technology company, your customer base assumes (rightly or wrongly) that your business has an inherent familiarity with online marketing and all things digital. Consequently, your current and prospective customers will expect an even higher level of quality online interaction. Don’t let them down: follow these three tips to effectively market your technology company online.
1. Create an online destination, not a website.
Your company website should be more than a simple “about us” page and online product demo – it needs to be an online destination that customers will want to visit more than once. In order to create the ultimate online destination, start by defining your customer base. What are their needs and interests? How can your website meet these needs through creative engagement and build a relationship? Inbound marketing is most successful when your business creates and shares content through its website that is original, relevant, insightful and – most of all – easy to consume.
2. Leverage co-marketing relationships to drive web traffic.
Depending on one web presence is dangerous; even if your website is packed with useful, interactive content, your customers will only be able to find this information if they find your website. This narrows your company’s prospective reach and limits the effectiveness of your material. Don’t wait for customers to stumble upon your website – leverage the power of co-marketing to bring new customers to your online destination. For example, join an industry group and contribute a guest blog post to the group’s website or offer a free whitepaper excerpt for the next e-newsletter. Growing your co-marketing network will drive highly qualified traffic directly to your website.
3. Connect with customers on their preferred social network.
Sure, Instagram and Pinterest may be two of the hottest social networks, but for most technology companies, that’s not where their customers are spending their time. When it comes to social media, focus your efforts on one or two social networks that will reap the biggest rewards. For example, LinkedIn may not be “sexy” in the world of social media, but it’s the best network for generating B2B sales leads. More than 33.4 million professionals use LinkedIn each month – are your customers active on LinkedIn? In order to leverage the power of LinkedIn (or any social network), do more than simply build a profile. Maintain an active presence by sharing and curating useful content with customers. Ask company members to join relevant LinkedIn Groups and build new networking relationships with individuals who may influence potential customers, as well as reconnecting with past industry contacts and colleagues. Use Quora to establish your business’s online reputation as an industry thought leader by answering questions.
Technology companies fail when they focus solely on their product and forget to differentiate themselves to prospective customers. Online marketing provides technology companies with an important opportunity to differentiate their services through the creation of an online destination that goes beyond a singular product. Segmenting the marketplace and focusing on key social media channels and affiliate marketing partnerships will further help technology companies maximize the power of inbound marketing.