Lead generation in IT: distinctiveness as your starting point
It’s the big challenge for IT companies that want to generate leads: being distinctive. How to stand out to potential customers? How to position yourself as thought leader in your market? How to campaign successfully? With inbound marketing.. This blog is about how to turn leads into customers.
There’s a strong competition in the IT world. Most of the time, you’re not the only one who offers a certain solution. You can’t just do nothing, because you’ll get easily beaten by competitors that do fulfil their audience’s needs. This is the reason why Halfords eventually went bankrupt in the Netherlands and Hudson’s Bay never even really caught on there. Needless to tell, you really don’t want to go that way.
But getting in touch with potential customers isn’t easy. Adverts are often seen as pushy. Calls from telemarketers are quickly experienced as annoying. Inboxes are often overstuffed with newsletters. According to Gartner, there’s still a big need for information, despite the aforementioned examples. The difference is that people don’t just come to you: most of them do their own online research and then pick the party they like the best. This also applies to the B2B market.
Valuable content is a big help during the decision process
According to Gartner, 77% of the customers say their last buying process was extraordinarily tricky. This means there are opportunities for you to give them a helping hand. You can do this by being visible on the internet and by distributing relevant information online. After all, you have the solutions to the problems these potential buyers experience. But no-one just fills in their e-mail address, so you’ve got to offer them something really valuable in return. This means: sharing knowledge only you have.
As research shows, the traditional kinds of content are still effective to generate leads: customer stories, videos, blogs and whitepapers, et cetera. Recently, new forms have started emerging as well: live streaming, webinars, podcasts. Content also helps to reach other marketing goals, such as:
- More brand awareness.
- Establishing a reliable and knowledgeable image.
- Increasing loyalty.
- A higher turnover.
- More customers for solutions ‘as a service’.
High performers have a sophisticated strategy
The ‘high performers’ – i.e. the most successful companies – rely on a sophisticated strategy. They don’t mess around, but work with a content calendar that enables them to offer the right content at the right moment, through the right channel. A huge perk of contributing content through digital channels, is the possibility to measure its effects. You can immediately see if your content catches on. This helps you to optimise campaigns and substantiate investment choices.
Marketers + AI = 3
Lead generation experts have high hopes for the future when it comes to data analysis and tools that are artificial intelligence-based. These will help marketers to identify potential customers, predict their needs, and build up a relationship with them.
In the short term, most attention will be paid to optimising the website and the content creation. These activities are often outsourced, but according to a lot of IT organisations, it’s hard to find a good partner with the right expertise. One that understands the marketing challenges that IT companies experience. One that knows what’s needed to continuously make your distinctiveness visible. Because this is still the fundament for success.
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