Regardless of how content marketing has evolved over the years, it has always been about connecting with potential buyers. The biggest challenge content marketers in the technology space still face is finding fresh and relevant ways to engage their target audience. However, with the right method and message, you can forge strong connections with prospective buyers and increase interest in your technology firm.
In marketing technology firms, there are many ways to connect with a target audience. Our research shows some of the most effective online marketing tools to do just that (see figure below). This graphic shows how effectively these tools perform in average growth firms compared to high growth firms.
Today, we are going to focus on five specific tools to engage your target audience in 2015. Let’s jump right in.
1. Create an eNewsletter
This falls seventh on the list of most effective online tools. A weekly newsletter is a great way to consistently connect with your target audience on their own turf. By sending quality information straight to their inbox, you can position your firm as an industry expert. Subscribers will look to your firm as a trusted resource for knowledge on technology trends and information on new developments. Thanks to the accessibility of email, your audience can receive your newsletter directly and choose to read it during a time that best suits their schedule.
Your weekly newsletter can take on several different formats depending on your individual firm and the specific goals of your marketing. Here are a few common formats you might want to consider:
- A “best of the web” roundup: Your subscribers might not have a chance to follow the blogs of all the best thought leaders in your industry. By creating a summary email that offers a snapshot of the best on the web – whether weekly or monthly – you can keep your audience connected while establishing your firm’s role as an authority in the industry. Not to mention the goodwill you’ll establish by posting others’ blogs – which in turn increases the likelihood of them sharing yours.
- Industry news: Similarly, sending an email update that summarizes major news developments for your industry gives your subscribers the ability to stay on top of what’s happening, while simultaneously positioning your firm as an information source.
- Blog recaps: Sending out a newsletter recapping your firm’s blog posts for the week or month is a great way to drive traffic back to your website and remind your subscribers what they’ve been missing if they haven’t checked in for awhile. Make sure to provide links to the full articles in case readers want to click through.
Regardless of what format you choose for your eNewsletter, just make sure it’s compelling information that will motivate your subscribers to continue reading content on your website. Monitor your email metrics (open rate and click-through rate, to start) and analyze these metrics to prevent list fatigue. And remember – the main purpose of your newsletter is to connect with and educate your audience, so avoid being overly self-promotional in your outbound message.
2. Write Guest Blog Articles
Guest blogging on high authority online publications that already boast a large readership can help your firm tap into new audiences. Pitch guest posts to likeminded industry leaders to boost engagement with your content and drive traffic back to your website. By guesting posting, you can essentially “borrow” the audience of another firm and introduce them to your firm’s unique perspective.
Blogging on other websites also increases backlinks to your own website, which can help boost your search engine rankings and increase your firm’s visibility in search. So, in addition to connecting with you’re a guest blog’s audience, you will begin to connect to new prospects who find your firm through an organic search.
Take another look at the graphic at the beginning of this post and you’ll see that high growth firms rate blogging as the second most effective online marketing tool. But the benefits of guest blogging don’t stop there. Publishing posts on other online publications helps to position the leaders within your firm as experts in the marketplace. Cultivating thought leaders within your firm is a great way to establish your authority and connect with new members of your target audience.
3. Host Webinars
Utilizing different mediums of content allows your firm to connect with your audience while keeping the flow of information fresh and engaging. Because it is a substantial time commitment, webinars are perfect content for your middle to bottom of the funnel prospects. Webinars also allow prospects to hear information directly from your subject matter experts.
Not only do webinars give your technology firm another way to display your expertise, but they also provide an opportunity to interact directly with your audience through the closing Q&A. They can also confer continuing education units (CEU) to participants, which your audience will appreciate.
4. Introduce a FAQ Section on Your Website
As a technology firm, you likely have products or services that involve a complex understanding of technology or complicated processes that might cause confusion with your clients. To bridge that knowledge gap, try introducing a FAQ section of your website.
By putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and anticipating the questions they may have as they approach your firm, you can explain your product or service while limiting frustrations.
5. Include Testimonials on Your Website
While clients certainly want to know what you have to say about your firm, they might find even more connection when reading what your clients or customers are saying about your firm. Getting a different perspective – even one you endorse on your website through testimonials – lends credibility and authenticity to the promises you’re making.
Video can be an especially helpful format for testimonials because it makes the client satisfaction instantly visible and verifiable. Your audience can form an even stronger connection to an image of an actual person speaking directly into the camera than they would to a written testimonial. By featuring testimonials on your website, you give your audience the feedback they seek, but on your own terms.
Forging better connections with your target audience creates stronger relationships and builds trust with your buyers. By using a variety of different methods and messaging to establish connections, your firm can reach a broader audience and cultivate lasting, beneficial relationships that turn into business opportunities.
Learn more about the most effective online marketing tools to engage with your audience in our research, Online Marketing for Professional Services: Technology Edition.