January 30, 2016
In the highly competitive and constantly evolving IT space, qualified leads are critical. It’s impossible for your company to survive without qualified and interested leads. Unfortunately, lead generation for IT companies remains a serious challenge facing the industry, with companies struggling not only to turn visitors into qualified leads – but also to convert leads into paying customers.
To overcome this challenge and ensure your company enjoys a continuous stream of qualified leads, here are the five best practices for IT lead generation:
1. Assess your audience’s behavior. If the right prospects don’t receive your message, you won’t generate the leads you need. That’s why it’s so important to assess how your audience behaves, interacts, and engages online. Are they more active on LinkedIn than any other social networking site? Focus your advertising and engagement efforts there. Do they follow a particular thought thought leader? Look for ways to leverage that person’s influence to reach them. Where do they get their industry news? Share original, thought-provoking content on that site.
You’ll also need to make sure that your buyer personas are on target. We recommend assessing the data you have about your current customers, and making sure your messaging resonates with their needs, challenges, pain points, and goals. For example, your current messaging may be geared towards helping IT professionals cut costs and streamline operations, while your ideal customer is actually more interested in leveraging IT decisions to gain an advantage over the competition. It’s critical that your content and value proposition are aligned with what your target market is actually looking for – and that’s what accurate buyer personas can accomplish.
2. Leverage high-value gated content. A key part of generating leads is offering gated content – such as white papers and webinars – that visitors can only access after providing their contact information, company name, location, budget, etc. When creating this kind of content for IT companies, it’s especially important to educate and inspire your audience with high-level and extremely relevant topics.
For example, if your ideal customer is the CIO of a global organization who wants to use the latest IT solutions to drive company growth, create gated content about emerging opportunities in the industry that buyers can leverage to drive growth, plan for the future, and stay one step ahead of the competition. Once the content is created, position it prominently on your website, in newsletters, and on social media to make sure your audience knows this resource is available to them.
3. Embrace design. Many IT companies are complex organizations that offer a number of different solutions, services, and products to a variety of markets segments. To counteract all that complexity, IT company websites needs to embrace great design and provide a strong user experience. Conversion pathways need to be as simple and clear as possible so your various buyers can establish a clear path to the solutions and resources designed specifically for them. To that end, we recommend removing anything on your website that could distract visitors from becoming a lead – such as empty or dull pages, endless blocks of text, broken images, hard to click navigation, and any messaging that doesn’t support your goal of driving conversions, educating buyers, and building trust.
4. Establish a strong and clear value proposition. As with any lead generation strategy, the goal is to get the prospect to take the intended action, download a piece of content, and become a qualified lead. To accomplish this, you need a strong and clear value proposition that communicates to prospects exactly why they should enter their contact information and consume this content. Tell users and prospects what problems you will solve in exchange for their information, and why your solution is better than the competition’s. Make sure this messaging speaks to your audience’s motivations, so they understand that your product or service offers the precise solution they’ve been looking for.
5. Measure your lead generation results. You can’t improve your lead generation efforts if you’re not sure what’s working and what’s not. Data-driven decision making is always going to be more accurate than guesswork, which is why you need to measure your results. We recommend routinely looking at click-through-rates, conversion rates, leads per channel, and lifecycle analytics to accurately identify what content, strategies, and web pages are most effective in driving qualified leads – and which ones aren’t.
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