The need for IT professionals is already high, and it will only continue to increase as information technologies advance. With more and more businesses seeking IT services, opportunities for IT companies likes yours continue to grow abound - but only if prospective clients can find you online.
It's no longer enough to be an expert in your information technology field. You need to increase awareness, improve visibility, and develop your online reputation if you want to compete in a crowded industry. One of the best ways to do this is through inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is about attracting prospects to your IT company, rather than using traditional (interruptive) marketing (where you contact prospects). Inbound marketing is about educating your target audience rather than selling – which allows you to identify prospects early in the buyer’s journey, and position yourself as an industry leader relating to the products and services your IT company offers.
There are 4 stages of inbound marketing, the first two of which are attract and convert.
Before you get into the details of creating your inbound marketing plan, you need to differentiate yourself from competitors. What sets you apart in the growing field of IT service providers? Your strengths and expertise are key components of any marketing strategy.
Low-level workers are not the ones making hiring and contracting decisions, and in the case of choosing a third-party IT service provider, even HR professionals are probably out of the loop. Your demographic includes high-level, C-suite executives like the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), or even the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
How can you target these senior positions with your inbound marketing efforts? Blogs, white papers, and articles in trade journals are a good way to gain notice, as are positive online reviews, all of which attract the attention of top-tier corporate management.
Why do potential clients need your IT services? This is perhaps the most important question to answer before launching any marketing campaign. You must provide needed solutions to specific problems prospective clients face. Even more important, you need to make a compelling argument for why you're a better choice than some of your competitors. Demonstrate how your IT company is already solving problems for similar clients.
This is a major part of modern inbound marketing. As an IT service provider, you offer expertise in a complex technological field. So do a lot of other companies.
Content marketing centers on offering timely, relevant, and relatable materials. This could include educational, informational, and problem-solving articles, infographics, videos, webinars, and more that clients will find valuable. The goal is two-fold. First and foremost, you can prove your authority in your field.
In addition, however, content marketing provides opportunities for optimization, outreach, and connection with your audience in a way that is neither pushy nor demanding. You're offering information without asking for anything in return. This is a chance to build rapport with prospective clients and prove your expertise, potentially truncating the sales cycle.
You needn't go it alone when it comes to inbound marketing. Supporting an on-site blog and social media accounts is a great way to get started, but you should also participate in industry forums and guest-post on well-known information technology blogs and publications. Then, consider other companies whose market might have a need for your services. For example, if your company specializes in mobility management, you could form a guest-blogging connection with virtually any company or publication that markets to executives and entrepreneurs.
When you see the advantages to be gained and you understand the process, you can use inbound marketing to grow your business and engineer future success, even in the ever-expanding information technology field. Individuals and companies are searching for IT services online – will they find your business?
If your IT company is looking to generate more qualified leads, and develop an inbound marketing strategy designed for long-term growth, contact OptimWise today to learn more about our inbound marketing campaigns designed specifically for IT service providers like you. OptimWise can operate as your outsourced marketing team, or work collaboratively with your in-house marketing team to build a sustainable inbound marketing plan with long-term ROI.