Tech Marketing Resolutions
I’ve never believed much in New Year’s resolutions. Maybe that’s an odd opening line for a blog post about “New Year’s Resolutions,” but let me clarify, I’m talking about those resolutions made in January and forgotten by February, such as “lose weight” “eat better” “save more money”. We fail to keep them because they tend to be overambitious goals without any specific guidance as to what steps to take first, second and so on, and lack realistic targets to let us know when we’ve succeeded. The resolutions I do like, however, are what I call “Actionable Resolutions”. They are more specific, bite-size resolutions that make it easy for me to get started, and give me some immediate rewards for having done so. And that’s what I’d like to provide for you.
Most of the marketing managers, sales executives, and business development managers I’ve encountered in Biotech and Technology companies have been using the same tired outbound and traditional tech marketing tactics for a long, long time. (Prior to working with me), they have either neglected or paid very little attention to their online presence, and as a result, the internet is an almost completely untapped resource for new leads. It’s 2013, my friends, and now is as good a time as any to take the first few small steps that could yield some shockingly impressive results. Get started with this short list of Actionable Resolutions I’ve put together. While a few require a consistent, ongoing effort, you could probably complete half before the end of the month.
1. Start a Blog: For many industry sectors, this is one of the best means of improving your tech marketing. Simply put, businesses who blog more frequently get more leads. This is because new content available through your blog is recognized by Google and other search engines and posted in search results above older, tired web pages. If you have a blog, then change this resolution to blog more often. If you post weekly, try to up the ante by posting two or three times a week. If you blog monthly, try a weekly schedule.
2. Start Over With Your Keywords: If you think about it, each page on your website, or post in your blog can only feature 2-3 keywords. If you have already identified 300 keywords, that means you need a minimum of 100 web pages or posts. Use a Keyword Search tool and identify your top 10 keywords. Use those as groups for related keywords. Then make sure you have the best content available as the main landing pages for those top 10.
3. Have a professional review your on-page SEO: It’s a sobering fact that Google alone changes algorithms about 700 times a year. That means that ranking high in search engines is a constantly moving target. Do you really want to solely trust an admin with winning this battle. Using a professional SEO consultant will pay for itself. They can quickly clarify your company’s challenges and opportunities and focus the efforts of your internal staff.
3. Add a Middle of the Funnel Offer to Your Home Page: A key component of effective inbound tech marketing is ensuring prospects information needs are met at every step. Rather than posting more educational content, construct an offer that provides warm prospects with the information they need to reach a conclusion about your products and services. Most companies miss this piece, but in the context of longer B2B technology and biotech buying cycles, often this is what your prospects need to move from “just interested” to “sign-me-up”. Examples include a case study, a video tutorial, a comparison guide, or something else that educates your visitors specifically about the benefits of your solutions compared to others they may be considering.
4. Update and Complete Your Social Media Profiles: Start with LinkedIn, but then expand to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even Pinterest. You can’t ignore social media anymore. Even if you’re not active, make sure that each site at least represents your company’s branding and message. The more people who “like”, “add”, “pin”, “connect”, or “tweet” your page, the more trustworthy and credible your business appears to prospects.
5. Join an Industry-Specific LinkedIn Group: Search for groups on LinkedIn that are discussing topics related to your industry that you know something about. Then it’s easy. Just ask and answer questions, venture opinions, provide advice, and share. Don’t put your sales hat on. It’s more like a book club where you can meet other people and talk about mutual interests. You don’t have to hold back completely, though. Your educational content might be helpful to them. You can send them to your website (and even landing pages) if you think they would find it useful.
6. Create a Video: Educational videos have become a preferred way of learning about everything and anything. When done thoughtfully, they provide a more engaging and satisfactory customer experience that the average white paper or sales brochure. Is there a way you could get started? Can you create a slide show presentation and turn it into a webinar? Can you convince your best customer advocate to sit still long enough to provide a testimonial on your solution? Can you persuade someone in tech support to demo your product’s ease of use?
7. Add Lead Nurturing: You need to be a good leader to guide website visitors to sales-readiness. This requires supplying them with the information they need, when they need it. So bit the bullet, invest in a little software and automate this process. Once visitors register for educational material, you can nurture their interest with timed emails that drip information at a comfortable pace.
8. Review your Google Adwords account: Check for noisy keywords that potentially bring in the wrong traffic. For example, if you’re a biotech company using “cellular” as a keyword, you should probably add “phone” to your negative keywords. Unless of course you’re selling something related to phones. To filter your traffic effectively and ensure you aren’t wasting your adwords dollars on bogus hits from click-happy irrelevant traffic, aim to add about 50 negative keywords to your Adwords account.
9. Look at your website on a mobile device: The trend towards mobile browsing and shopping continues to gain momentum. Now is the time to do something about your mobile presence. Your website should function well on tablets and phones, with navigation that works, and an aesthetic that isn’t frightening. A competent web design professional can rebuild your website using Responsive Web Design practices to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices.
10. Track Your Success Daily or Weekly: What gets measured gets done. If you installed Google Analytics, but are overwhelmed by the information it provides, then it’s not doing you any good. Now is a good time to explore other paid alternatives that provide an at-a-glance dashboard of the key performance indicators you need most. Leads, not just traffic. Conversions, not just page views. And so forth. Actionable data is worth it’s weight in gold. It not only helps you direct your efforts, but also gives you reports that are understandable by upper management.
11. (Bonus!) Prioritize Your Time: On January 2nd, start working on what you do best. But don’t spread yourself too thin. Biotech and Tech marketing can be very time consuming. Consider hiring a team of professionals to outsource a chunk of your marketing to achieve maximum ROI with minimum headache.
Start with whatever seems like the quickest, easiest win and let that success fuel the rest of your efforts. I think you’ll find that setting just a few reasonable goals for your marketing efforts in 2013 can yield the biggest dividends.
As always, if you need a helping hand, feel free to contact us over here at HiveMind Marketing. We’d be happy to sit down and discuss your goals for the year and work with you to find the most cost-effective way to meet them.