Technology Companies Can Overcome Content Marketing Challenges

Content Marketing ChallengesFor just about every industry, good content is essential for helping to increase search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website. But technology companies, specifically, need to go beyond that and use content marketing to demonstrate their industry expertise and establish their leadership position. The Content Marketing Institute recently released the findings from their 2015 B2B Content Marketing survey. I want to highlight a few key points and discuss how they relate to B2B technology companies.

1) “70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. Technology companies have been using content marketing long before the Internet and social media. Whitepapers, technical articles, case studies, conference participation, etc. have all been used to create product awareness, educate buyers, and fill the pipeline with leads. But the Internet has allowed these companies to expand their reach and vary their content in the form of videos, webinars, eBooks, slide presentations and more, in order to reach the widest possible audience. For companies that have been slow to adopt these changes, here are a few suggestions on how to repurpose your existing content for the new platforms and develop an effective content marketing approach:Continue reading

How Technology Companies Can Effectively Use Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing for Technology Companies

Technology companies are starting to reap the benefits of an effective digital marketing strategy. Moving beyond the hype, they are realizing that they can effectively use these techniques to educate potential buyers, build strong relationships with followers, and position themselves as knowledgeable and trusted industry leaders.

Traditional marketing is still very important in many technology industries, but in most markets, digital marketing is taking a leading role. Given the long buying cycle for many technology products, companies need to be attentive to customers in each stage of the buying cycle. Customers research products online, listen to opinions from their peers, and spend a good amount of time doing their homework before making a decision. A combination of traditional and digital marketing techniques will help these companies reach the widest possible audience and provide buyers with the information at every point in the buying cycle.

Technology companies should look to add these digital marketing components to round out their marketing mix.Continue reading

Establish Your Company As An Industry Leader

Industry LeaderWhen I’m looking to buy something, where do I start? Like most people these days, I start on the Internet. This is true whether I’m buying for personal use or for business. The Internet can be an invaluable resource to help educate and reassure buyers that: 1) they’re buying a quality product, and 2) the manufacturer is a reliable and trusted source for the product.

Consumers have any number of websites where they can go to get feedback on a product. However, if you’re buying software to run your business or machinery for your plant, Amazon.com is not going to help. You need to look elsewhere, and for me that starts with the industry leaders. By that I don’t just mean the 800 lb. gorillas. To be specific, I want to buy from companies that can lead me into the future. I look for companies with quality products and up-to-date technology that have demonstrated both product and industry knowledge. They should have a good reputation for customer service and must be able to educate and support me through the buying cycle.Continue reading

Content Marketing: What’s Old is New!

Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media in order to acquire customers. Content MarketingContent marketing is focused not on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects. The idea is to inspire business and loyalty from buyers by delivering consistent, ongoing valuable information.” ~ Wikipedia

Content Marketing is not new. It pre-dates the Internet by many years, and has been effective in helping to sell many different products. The Content Marketing Institute has a great infographic showing the history of content marketing. Click on the image to the right to see the full graphic.

Today, content marketing is one piece of an inbound marketing strategy. Consumers are increasingly tuning out the marketing message and looking online to get the information they need, when they need it. Continue reading

Plan For a Successful Trade Show

Technology Trade ShowWhile the number of trade shows and industry conferences has decreased in the last 15 years, they are still an important marketing event for many B2B companies. To get the biggest benefit, you have to plan for the event and follow up to continue the conversation. Here are a few tips:

  • Identify and exhibit at trade shows or conferences that will be attended by both users and decision makers.
  • Consider speaking at one of the breakout sessions about a subject related to the industry and your product, or doing a presentation at our booth. This should be an information and education session that will help demonstrate your expertise to new prospects.
  • Run pre-show e-mail campaigns to let attendees know about your product and your booth number. Include a call to action (CTA) with a link back to a specific landing page on your website. Also, include a registration discount code (these can be purchased from the event organizer) as an incentive for customers and prospects to attend the show.Continue reading

Hire People With a Passion

“… the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” ~ Steve Jobs

Hire People With a PassionSome of the best people I hired were not the ones with the experience but the ones with the passion.

People with a passion enjoy what they are doing, are interested in learning more, are willing to offer ideas, and are constantly looking for ways to make things better. They are fun to work with, easy to work with, and their attitude is contagious. The ones with the persistence to follow through on their ideas can move a company forward in big steps.Continue reading

Market Driven vs. Product Driven

  “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”  ~ Seth Godin

vs.

“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” ~ Steve Jobs

Market Driven vs. Product Driven

I’ve always believed in a market-driven approach to product development. In most cases, I still do. Market driven means you’re building products that customers want to buy. Product driven means that you’re building products then trying to find a market for them. Giving customers what they want makes sense, right? Of course it does, but there’s just one problem – customers are not always good at knowing what they want when it comes to new product categories. They’re great at extrapolating features from existing products to new ones, but not so good at predicting the success of completely new products.Continue reading

Digital Marketing is Personal

When I took programming in college, punch cards were state-of-the-art for all except the computer science majors. You’d hand yourDigital Marketing is Personal and Engaging deck of cards to the computer operator and come back the next day to see if the program worked. If it worked, great. If not, you’d repeat the process until you got it right. But it took so long (in relative terms) to find out if you got it right. Feedback was slow and adjustments took time. There was no direct interaction with the computer. The process was inefficient and impersonal. You had to really like programming in order to see the value.Continue reading

Need Fresh Ideas? Encourage Your Employees!

A number of years ago I was involved with a Lean Six Sigma program – a group of volunteer workers who are trained to identify, analyze and solve work-related problems and present their solutions to management. I was a facilitator to one of the groups in the Encourage Your Employeesmanufacturing plant. After some initial adjustments, the members were able to focus in on major problems affecting their group, develop real solutions, and justify the implementation. The results were real cost savings and productivity increases over the first two years of the program. The key to the on-going success of that group and others like it was the plant’s management team, who encouraged them, valued their input, and made it a priority to implement their suggestions. Continue reading

Getting Quality Followers on Twitter

Quality Twitter FollowersDoes anyone really care what I have to say? Can I say anything important in just 140 characters? The answer is “Yes” to both questions, provided you share information that’s relevant to your followers. If you’re just starting on Twitter, or want to increase your following with people who share your interests, here are some suggestions:

 

  • Make sure your profile is complete, with a good picture and a bio that shows your personality. To attract quality followers, you have to project a quality image.
  • Research the leaders in your field (if it’s for business) or top influencers in your areas of interest, locate them on Twitter and start following them. Some will follow you back, but not all will. From their tweets and profiles, identify who they are following and check those profiles to see it you want to follow them as well.Continue reading