How Inbound Marketing Helps Tech Companies
Inbound marketing is defined as all the efforts involved in bringing prospects to your website, encouraging them to read content and then take action. As old-school marketing approaches of “push” vs “pull” evolve to match consumer behavior, “pull” strategies have morphed into inbound marketing.
- 71% of B2B consumers start their buying process with online search.
- The #1 priority of marketers is driving leads.
- 62% of B2B buyers say they make a purchase decision based solely on digital content
As consumers live more of their daily lives online, inbound marketing has become a requirement for tech companies to meet their marketing goals.
For ARPR, inbound marketing is a core element of our agency’s Panorama Approach, driving inbound prospects with media relations, messaging, executive leadership, lead generation, digital marketing and social media to generate cohesive campaigns. The Panorama Approach is designed for the complete decision-making lifecycle, building awareness at the top of the funnel, then guiding prospects down the funnel to convert into customers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Inbound marketing comprises many components that come together to create a digital ecosystem where prospects regularly see relevant messages, investigate your brand and convert into revenue. The following elements guide the development of an inbound strategy from planning through execution to analysis and optimization.
Audits: Mapping the digital landscape
A solid digital strategy starts with an understanding of the full ecosystem via a digital audit. ARPR examines all brand touchpoints that a consumer may encounter, including paid, owned, shared and earned media, across the competitive landscape. Identifying commonalities and discrepancies will uncover what has worked, areas for improvement and open whitespace to redefine messaging. Outputs at this stage can include buyer personas, social media brand personas, channel strategies and content strategies.
Organic Search: Aligning your content with prospect queries
Search engine optimization (SEO) powers the ranking of website content in search results. In order to reach those 81% of customers who search to begin their purchase journeys, aligning content with user search intent can boost your tech brand’s awareness at a key stage.
ARPR examines search traffic patterns around a client’s current ranking keywords, target keywords, terms used by competitors and those most often used by searchers to create a list of priority search terms. We then integrate those key phrases into site content, press releases, blogs, bylined articles, playbooks, media pitches, executive bios, social media and more to clearly relate your tech company with key search terms.
Determined largely by how other credible sites treat your content, contributing factors to off-page SEO include number and quality of backlinks, referring domains and toxicity of backlinks. A strong media relations, content marketing and social media strategy can help to drive off-page SEO.
How your site is programmed dictates how simple (or difficult) it is for search engine crawlers to explore your site. If a search engine is unable to access content, finds duplicative or confusing pages, or content is slow to load, it negatively impacts your search ranking.
Search engine result pages (SERPs) have evolved to provide organic results that visually compete with ads, including featured snippets, YouTube videos, the “People Also Ask” table and definitions in above-the-fold positions, increasing the importance of a strong SEO strategy. ARPR takes all of these factors, plus on-page, off-site and technical SEO, into account to create an SEO roadmap for optimized performance, creating the content needed to drive results.
Content marketing: The draw that entices visitors
Delivering prospects relevant content drives SEO, provides effective content for ad and social strategies and can convince buyers to share their personal information for lead capture. To drive the content marketing process, ARPR first maps buyer personas to the buyer’s journey, determining content that would be most appealing to prospects at every stage. Early in the process? Blogs, videos and editorial content can help prospects define the problem. Are buyers comparing products or services? Case studies, comparison whitepapers or demos might be most relevant.
The website: The base of your digital ecosystem
Inbound marketing that pulls prospects to your site requires a well-built foundation in order to convert. To that end, ARPR delivers site strategy, navigation and content expertise to optimize or build your tech company’s site from scratch or enhance your existing website. Guiding questions during our process include:
- What conversion opportunities exist onsite?
- How easy is it to find your most important content?
- What tools exist to help your customers proceed along their buyer journey?
- How does your site reflect your current and future-state business?
- What landing page strategy supports your digital campaigns?
Paid Advertising: Quantifying the value of a click
Paid media is an important element of the inbound marketing toolbox. A successful PPC (pay-per-click) strategy could include search ads, social media ads, display ads and remarketing. ARPR leverages buyer personas and needs to determine paid media recommendations, aiming to maximize revenue while driving down costs per click, costs per lead and costs per conversion. Audience research also feeds into ad creative, identifying key messages that will convince prospects of our clients' differentiators.
Each digital advertising channel speaks to audiences at different phases of their buyer journey and requires different strategies:
- B2B shoppers conduct an average of 12 digital searches before making a purchase, so running a paid search campaign can capture prospects at a key point in the buyer funnel. ARPR researches relevant keywords, examines user search patterns and determines bidding strategy. Once campaigns are launched, ARPR monitors and optimizes regularly based on performance.
- Social and display ads require precise targeting. ARPR relies on our buyer persona research to identify prospects and reach them where they spend time online, using job titles, lookalike data and behavior to place media for maximum effect.
- Finally, remarketing ads target previous site visitors and non-converters, reinforcing the problem-solving benefits and driving action.
Performance Analysis: How is this all working?
An amazing marketing strategy is only as good as its results. Successful inbound marketing requires constant monitoring and optimization and then connecting those results to sales. ARPR provides regular snapshots tracking key performance indicators leading to recommendations on improvements. On a quarterly basis, ARPR builds proprietary Impact & Influence reports demonstrating how media relations, organic social media and content marketing align with inbound efforts to drive prospects to convert. Campaign performance analysis leads to more effective marketing initiatives, better results and even awards.
Inbound marketing contains multiple touchpoints through which prospects interact with brand messaging to encourage additional exploration and conversion. A foundational element to ARPR’s Panorama Approach, inbound marketing supports today’s B2B tech buyer with the content they need in the formats and channels that they use most.
See how ARPR can apply inbound principles to your marketing efforts.