It probably comes as no surprise that 82% of IT Tech firms say that their top management priority is securing new leads. What may surprise you is the plethora of ways to generate these leads and how inbound marketing uses your website and automation to make it happen.
It’s great to have current clients send leads your way, or to gather leads through a networking event or through a mutual friend. These word of mouth leads are great, but they target only a small percentage of the business you could be receiving.
When people are heading to the internet to understand what they need, they are making purchasing decisions while they research. Having a well thought-out inbound marketing campaign is essential for any MSP or VAR marketing initiative in order to take advantage of those people that land on your website as part of their research.
Inbound marketing is a comprehensive and integrated approach to lead generation that will rev up your IT / MSP business.
Rank Higher to Get More Traffic
The 2015 ITWorld Census reports that 58% of Chief Information Officers are planning to increase their hosted services. They could be sitting at a computer looking for you right now. Can they find you?
MSP marketing should include integrating SEO into everything that you do so you can maximize your potential for higher rankings. You want to come up ahead of your competitors when someone searches for specific keywords on Google.
- Hubspot reports that 60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results
Ranking for keywords like “Managed IT Services”, “IT support”, or “business it support” means that you’re one step ahead in winning the race against your competitors.
Whether you are offering disaster recovery, managed services bundles, life-cycle management or general it consulting, there is localized search volume for all of these services in Google and if you are not ranking for those keyword terms, the business is going to your competitors on the first page.
Leverage a Well-crafted Website that Educates with Targeted Content
Beyond making sure your site ranks in the search engines, once a visitor makes it to your website they need to stick around and get engaged.
This is where having an inbound designed website, with information for all stages of your buyers, becomes critical. The site must be responsive, fast, and should contain a range of content and media. Hubspot reports that businesses with 401-1000 website pages get six times more leads than those with less than 100. SIX TIMES.
Understanding website wireframe creation, execution, and maintenance requires in-depth SEO knowledge as well as thoughtful attention to who your buyers are. IT content marketing is not simply pushing out content, it’s making sure that you are providing the right content for the right audience at the right stage of their buying cycle.
Providing educational resources from their information gathering stages through to the purchasing decision stage keeps your brand top-of-mind and gives them something to present to decision makers. Additionally it builds a level of trust and comfort by positioning your company as an authority in your industry and market – this is of particular importance when selling technology and services.
One of Gartner’s Top 10 High Tech Predictions for 2016 is that six billion things will be requesting support by 2018. This growth explosion in connected devices is going to require the support and assistance of experienced and qualified IT technicians. You know you have great managed services, and your employees know you can provide that support. However, if your website doesn’t reflect that in your service offerings or blog topics, then you’re missing out on an entire segment of people looking for your services.
Create More Conversation with Potential Leads
Leads need to be nurtured through the buying process. People don’t just land on your website with the intention to buy, they’re looking for information. Giving them that information, attached to a low-risk offer that collects their email address, allows your marketing team to open a dialogue with website visitors.
One example of a tech company using lead generation is Microsoft. While there are a number of resources that they offer that are completely open-source, including source code to interact with Azure products, they also offer white papers full of useful information on the benefits of moving to the cloud.
For these in-depth resources, however, they require more information from you.
“Rethinking the Benefits of the Cloud” is a great resource for any employee to consider, or take to their decision maker to provide statistical research and data on the benefits of cloud computing.
Microsoft’s marketing team is now going to watch this lead and follow-up. While they don’t send any immediate follow-up emails, notice the disclaimer before you can click download; “Microsoft may use my email to provide special Microsoft Azure offers and information.”
Those emails will be tracked.
Based on a number of different metrics such as open rates and interaction rates, you could be identified as a high-quality lead and they’ll reach out with other offers that might interest you, or maybe a sales representative will get in touch with you.
Jupiter Research says that relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than generic broadcast emails. This is where inbound strategy plays into the race.
- 50% of your leads are qualified, but not yet ready to buy
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads
- Still, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales due to a lack of nurturing
This is why all of your leads are placed in an email lead nurture track that provides them information that is relevant to their job role/company/stage in the buyer’s journey until they’re ready to purchase.
Convert High Quality Leads with Scoring
Gathering leads from a highly engaged website audience is great, but not all of those leads – even the properly nurtured ones – are going to be ready to hand off to the sales team.
Lead Scoring in MSP and VAR marketing helps you to determine the level of engagement of a prospect. By tracking their clicks, visits, opens, and other digital behavior, you can automatically identify all those leads which are highly engaged, and ready to speak to a sales rep. This makes for a highly efficient process.
For IT marketing, a great quality lead is someone who has interacted with your website on numerous pages, understands the complex services you offer, and has decision making power within their company.
Revenue growth for managed services was expected to top 58% in 2013, according to Computer Dealer News. Additionally, MSP and IT firm prospects tend to have a long buying cycle, sign for longer term retainers, and therefore take their time deciding on a vendor they are most comfortable with.
In order to take advantage of this continual growth in managed services, lead nurturing coupled with targeted content is even more important for MSPs looking to grow. Automating your lead scoring to determine if they should be handed over to sales or sent back into the nurturing track will ensure that your company is on the fast-track for business growth.
The real payoff, however, comes in using all of these tactics in tandem to educate your website visitors, gather leads, and nurture them to conversion. If you’re interested in leveraging the top marketing tools to accelerate your lead generation and maximize your ROI, download our Top 7 Must Use marketing tools for IT / MSP firms here.