101 Marketing Ideas for Technology & Software Companies

We've compiled a list of 101 ideas and tactics for tech companies to reach, engage, and convert their audiences.  Jump to #1 right now.

Now, our approach always recommends being extremely strategic and not just executing activity to feel like things are happening. 

It's imperative that you:

  • Segment and prioritize target audiences to deliver personalization and increase the effectiveness of campaigns.
  • Integrate tactics together to build multiple touch points and a progressive funnel.
  • Develop messaging that captures and convinces prospects the what and how, but most importantly why of doing business with you.
  • Define key performance indicators (metrics), understand your critical path, and build a strategy to properly assess success as well as logically evaluate tactics to optimize.

That being said, it is always impactful to have ideas especially when developing an integrated strategy.  So, enjoy our huge list of technology company marketing ideas and tactics - you can even pin them and share the ideas you like most.

Targeted LinkedIn Connection Requests

LinkedIn is the key social platform for business and your audiences utilize it in a wide range of ways. The greatest opportunity is being able to target on specific firmographic data such as revenue, job title, job skill, education, and many more factors.

With the right tools, you can segment audiences based on those factors to find specific individuals in companies that fit your criteria to then initiate connection requests as well as follow-up messages.  They key is to be strategic rather than spammy - understanding what's in it for your audience and giving value first should be the crux of the plan.

Check out a service like Link4Leads to simplify the process.

Services Animated Explainer Videos

Animated explainer videos are well known for software to deliver a quick, engaging story about the problem, fix, and outcome of your product. And stats show video is great for marketing.

Technology companies can utilize animated videos whether you sell products or services to explain the benefit and process of how you work. It's all about telling an engaging story that is clear, concise, and comprehensible.

If you can explain the concept of one of your offerings well in a one-minute video, it can be leveraged in a wide variety of ways to drive leads and close deals.

Create A Live Video Show Series

Don't be afraid to get on camera and talk - the easiest is to use a buddy system and have a slide deck to talk from.

The great thing about a live show is that you present yourself as an expert, create content for search, and do something your competitors are not.

Check out our live show on SaaS.Coach:

SaaS Coach Show, Ep. 12: Search optimization for SaaS Websites

Download the Killer Saas Website Guidebook at https://saas.coach/

Posted by Insivia - Strategy, Digital, Marketing on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Send a Press Release About A Client

Your greatest asset is a successful project or happy client.  You can talk about one of your clients while inserting subtle information about how you helped them achieve what you are promoting in the press release.

The great thing is that it boots the relationship with the client, potentially brings them value, establishes validation, and can reach a wide audience.

Talk about how they are growing or innovating, but then mention how your product or service helped them do that. Once you have the release send it out to local media and post on press release sites.

Create Job Opening Landing Pages

Search optimization can bring some amazing targeted traffic to your site.  A smart tactic can be creating highly targeted pages for job titles and roles.

Not only can this bring you more candidates but often prospects will search for roles they need to hire that will deliver a specific solution. By driving them to your site you may have the opportunity to convert them on a download, webinar, demo, or some other action even though they were looking to hire an individual.

Pages like "Data Architect", "Director of IT", or "SAP Specialist" that have job role, responsibilities, skill, and more could bring a lot of visitors with a pain and need.

Social Media Trivia

Social Media is a community - whether LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Quora or any other platforms - they are not just places to spread your content but also engage with audiences.

To that strategy, you can encourage interaction and engagement with trivia, polls, or other audience feedback tools.  Asking a question on LinkedIn about who was the first company to develop a VoIP product could spark interesting feedback and even debate that puts your name and post in front of a lot of your connections' connections.

For B2C technology companies, these types of tactics should be bread and butter. It's ok in B2B to try to engage or even have fun - B2B buyers are people too and want to interact. 

Film Client Interviews

This tactic is for validation and awareness. A client telling a story about their challenge, experience working with you, or providing insight on the industry you are targeting is a great asset.

On your site, this helps increase validation for prospects in their due diligence process, increases conversion for early buying cycle visitors, may be promoted by your client and posted on channels like YouTube to create awareness.

Film Industry Leaders

Industry leaders are influencers - and not always the ones on Instagram sharing vacation photos.

These are the thought leaders, group organizers, speakers, or other people who have a valued opinion to your target audience.

Find these people and reach out. Often many are very happy to share their knowledge and expertise. It doesn't have to be in person either - leverage a tool like Zoom to hold a video call and record the conversation.

Not only will these industry leaders help share this content but it will be valued by your target audience while also connecting an industry authority to your brand.

Host an Industry Roundtable

Getting clients and prospects together to help them connect, share insights, and solve problems puts you in a powerful position.  

Hosting roundtables can be done at conferences, in different cities, or even virtually (we've got another idea on this specifically).

The key is to increase the demand by promoting it correctly and using the power of names by seeding it with a key attendee. Also, make sure it is valuable by leading the discussion and having an agenda ready.

Create A Library of Terms with Your Own Spin

Search Optimization is a lot about having more content that is focused around a specific topic as well as being valuable and relevant.

A simple approach is to develop a glossary of terms where each has its own page. To expand on just the meaning, you can add additional insight, links, and insights from others around the web.

Sometimes people just need to know what something means and you could be that source in your industry.  best of all, this tactic can help increase the overall search rankings of your entire site.

Build A Solution Readiness Self-Assessment

For technology companies selling services or products, sometimes it is important for customers to understand if they are right for your solution.

A self assessment helps a visitor understand if they are ready for your solution but also can serve as an education tool to help you get prepared buyers as leads.

This is a great lead magnet that can drive visitors both in search but also be used in advertising campaigns.  Add gamification or budgeting to make the process more interesting to prospects.

The key is that at the end, you want to offer something to the visitor of greater value to submit their information:

"You scored an 8 out of 10 and are ready to leverage Virtual Desktops in your business.  Now download our Virtual Desktop integration guide to understand the process."

Try a service like Content Kangaroo for creation of great content.

Develop A Joint Educational Event with Partners

One big challenge for any company is to reach people outside their existing lists or network - and not do it in a cold way, like advertising.

A great option is to leverage other people's lists and the equity they have built with them - what's the price? Sharing your contacts with them.

A joint event is a great solution to not only reach new people but also be able to establish yourself as an expert while being verified by your partner company.

Costs for these types of events can be minimal and both companies can market to their existing lists to get a range of new faces in the crowd for both.

Also, a joint event can attract more people as it gives a two for one education session.

Start a Niche Podcast

Podcasts are all the rage. And as a replacement for radio with often an entertaining or educational spin, they offer a lot to those that like to consume content but not always be looking at a screen.

The great part about podcasts is that numbers show a sophisticated audience and the mechanism for delivery allows people to subscribe and continually be fed your content.

The best tactic with a podcast is to make it niche and targeted rather than broad. A podcast about marketing - there are plenty - while a podcast about marketing for Software companies is not only less competitive, it reaches the exact right audience you most want.

One way we have used podcasts is as part of a content repurposing tactic - film a live show, convert to a podcast, create a transcript, write and article, and then create some related graphics. It allows you to take one topic and reach people in multiple ways.

Hold a Virtual Topical Roundtable

The great thing about conferencing software is that you can bring a group of people together on video, hold a discussion, and even record the experience.

A great tactic is to select a common pain or interesting topic for a group of like-minded people and moderate a discussion.  The content that comes out of the experience can be really useful for marketing and you can find out specific needs of your audience.

As an example, send VIP invitations to CIOs of hospitals to talk about how Artificial Intelligence will affect healthcare IT in the next 5 years. Or for the same audience hold a roundtable talking about the challenges of data visualization in hospital systems.

Send Out High Quality Promotional Products

Make an impression. If you have a limited target market or want to go after a small set of prospects, then utilizing higher-quality promotional items can stand out.

Create either a unique marketing piece or even a luxury gift. With thee you may only send out 50 but the goal is to make a big impression.

This example below was a pizza box sent out by Google with a cool message, guidebook and more.

Become A Hashtag Hero

Hashtags categorize social media posts and help the social media community discover similar content.  Many users utilize them to view feeds of specific topics that they are interested making them perfect to reach target audiences that are interested in something.

On LinkedIn, users can subscribe to various hashtags and get alerts for new content with those hashtags.

Hashtags also are a way to help optimize your posts for searching.  There is a science to picking phrases people will utilize for feeds and categorization as well as search.

Create A Mini Documentary

Video is powerful and on the web we are used to short or very informational videos.  But people love a great story no matter what line of work they are in or what position they have.

Everyone loves movies and there is an opportunity to tell your story in a really, unique and interesting way.

One great example is even a company who backs a documentary created by someone else. A jucier company is behind the documentary Fat, Sick & Almost Dead which talks about how to lose weight by jucing.

Mailchimp has create a series of documentary-like stories about businesses across the country.

Offer A Free Live Support Specialist

People need help and when you can deliver it, that creates brand equity and leads.  Consider offering a free live chat open to anyone to get answers on a specific topic. 

Have a managed IT business? Then offer a live chat for anyone with VoIP issues.  Just make sure you get contact information to put someone in a funnel.  Is a solid lead with a known problem worth 10 - 20 minutes of a support person's time?

Design A Valuable Infographic

Infographics help explain concepts, process, or data in unique, concise, and impactful ways. There are many visual learners out there that struggle to grasp a concept written in five paragraphs, but consume infographics with glee.

These are great not just as viral content that gets shared, liked, and linked to but also as tools in the sales process to help you communicate what you do or the importance of things to your prospects.

Consider building a mix of infographics about your offerings as well as industry data. They can take a lot of effort but also provide a ton of value.

Build A Library of Statistics & Quotes

When we are thinking about search optimization, it is a lot about creating focused content that people are searching for and that they will share or link to.

People are always looking for statistics and quotes for various topics and you can become that resource. With a little effort in data entry, you can build a library of statistics or quotes where each has their own page, includes some background information, and links to similar content for cross-linking.

Our quote, “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results,” has tons of inbound links and shares which brings us traffic that finds other valuable content.

Being a resource is never a bad tactic.

Guest Blog For Partners & Industry Sites

Writing for other websites is an easy way to build inbound links and leverage the exposure of other sites for your own brand awareness. Simply reach out to partners, industry sites, or even other online media publishers and ask if they are looking for content. 

One important key (and this should always be the case) is not to phone it in and create a mediocre piece of content.  If you create something great for this other site which gives their visitors value and brings them traffic, they will as k you to write more.  We are always trying to reach new audiences with our expertise and messages, so being able to access other existing audiences is valuable.

Finally, when you choose the right sites, you can segment your approach and tailor the topics to what is most important for that audiences.

Create An Industry Survey & Report

Business always want to understand what is going on in their market and be able to benchmark themselves to others. As a third party that supports and industry, you can help facilitate that.  Offering a survey online and then producing a report that provides information about the industry without specific names is valuable.

There are many companies who do this as a business, but if your are targeting an industry, this can be a great way to drive traffic and conversions.  Offering an industry benchmark report is something that a targeted audience would be willing to give their contact information away for.

To expand this, you can build marketing tactics around the report to promote being part of the survey (and therefore getting the report for free in return), sharing new insights throughout the year via email to stay in touch, and even a personal discussion to review the report with prospects and what it might mean for their business.

Just as an example, if your are an IT firm focused on accounting firms.  Create the “State of CPA IT” that compiles data on what systems CPAs are using, the percentage of clients using online portals, and much more.  As an accounting firm, the data you can collect would be extremely beneficial and worth connecting with you for.

Let A Customer Take Over Your LinkedIn Posts

Got a great customer that loves you and is socially savvy?  Let them take over your LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook for a day and tell the story of a day in the life as your customer.

You could hand it off to them or hang out in their office for a day to reduce their effort.  People love customer validation and this makes it look like you have a great relationship with your customers.

Run A Giveaway With A Vendor, Partner or Client

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Even people in business don’t mind the occasional surprise. Technology companies can offer products from their vendor or services in tandem with a partner.  If you have great vendor partners, asking them for some giveaways that can be used in a promotion is typically a no-brainer for them as it gives both companies exposure.

To go further down the chain, you can offer a subsidized prize or content for a client out to their audience. in this case you can reach an entirely new audience of a client that is an advocate for you.

Turn A Presentation Into A YouTube Video

Many companies develop presentations for a wide range of uses including sales, internal training, speaking, or marketing.  A simple re-use of these that can be valuable is to record a voiceover presentation using those slides or even automatic slides with music.  Create these videos to post on your own site as well as on Youtube - make sure you create an engaging title, keyword-rich description, and links back to your site.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your presentations - typically these are great assets that shouldn’t sit on the shelf to only be used in certain circumstances.

Make An Instructional / How-To Video

Just because you show someone how to do something, doesn't mean they have the patience, time or skill to do it themselves.  Show your audience how to an install that part, configure that software, or solve their big technology issue.

It makes you look like the expert and then they will call you when they realize its not worth their time.  These types of videos not only build brand equity with your audience but are fantastic for search optimization. How-to videos have a high likelihood of receiving shares and inbound links.

A smart move in marketing is to share more than competitors are willing to — today there is so much content out there and much of it isn’t that valuable. If you are able to go a little bit deeper, it can really produce an impression and traffic. The key to remember is that even if you give a lot away, most people will need help and it leads to more business than not.

Run Pay-Per-Click Advertising on Google for Competitor Names

Ok, so people tend to have mixed opinions on this approach but in reality it’s just smart marketing.  If someone is searching your competitors name, then there may be a high likelihood they are either a prospect or client for them that could be a prospect or client for you.

The nice thing is that often these campaigns can be relatively inexpensive because they are not as competitive. If you feel really confident, you can even send the visitors to a page that compares you with competitors.  Often technology services business steer clear of this but it is something that prospects would love to see and understand.  For technology devices or software products, this really is an expected tactic and one way or another people will find comparisons - its always better to control the message.

So, consider running PPC campaigns for competitor names or names of alternative solutions to yours.

Get Listed - Everywhere

The amount of online directories, social media channels, forums, communities, and other online platforms is massive - most people don't even realize how many are out there.

For many industries, especially in the technology space, there are directories that categorize companies and even provide reviews. One example is Clutch which provides detailed information and third-party reviews of companies.

All of these sites are like real estate and not only can you reach the audiences that visit those sites but it can help with search optimization in some circumstances. If you don' have your business listings on Google and Bing, do that first and then get all of your social media accounts setup and filled out. In addition look for communities or sites like Quora or AngelList.

Now, this is just a sampling, but here are some directories to check out.

https://www.techdirectory.io

https://www.techonline.com/directory

http://www.boogar.com/resources/informationtechnology/index.htm

https://techpoint.org/tech-directory/

Finally, here is another list of 100 different sites to list yourself and this one as well from hubspot of 50 business directories.

Build A Target Market Microsite

There are a few different types of microsite and a few great reasons to consider building a microsite.

First the types we look at:

  • Product or solution focused. If you sell a number of products or devices, creating a separate site for one or each can help create focus for SEO and conversion.
  • Educational. Another type of microsite is to pick a specific topic and provide the most in depth educational content on that topic.
  • Industry. Narrow your site down to target the needs of just one industry across multiple products and solutions.
  • Community. Creating a microsite with the sole intention of building a community and discussion around a topic.

These types of sites can even be used together. As an example, we have a microsite just for SaaS and Software companies that is focused on educational content and community building.

Next, microsite can be valuable for the following reasons:

  • Search Optimization is about having relevance which is often determined by how specific and related the topics on the site are.
  • Conversion. the more personalized a site is to an audiences needs, the more likely they are to engage and take action be cause the content resonates with them.
  • Inbound links. A focused site gets inbound links from other sites of similar topics which is great for SEO.

With microsite you can either increase sales or leads. This really is a smart marketers tactic.

Start A LinkedIn Referral Program

LinkedIn is a powerful B2B channel and can be used in a wide variety of ways.  There are actually programs out there that can help you leverage your existing connections to drive referrals. Often companies do not spend enough time cultivating referrals and just rely on the random ones that happen to come in.

The goal with these tactics is to leverage connections that should already be warm relationships.  The key to these tactics is to build the messaging and process correctly.  You really want to make sure that you are saying the right things to increase the likelihood of getting a response and utilizing tools that make the experience easy, trackable, and successful.

Write A Book

Authors are seen as experts for the topic they write on and a book can instantly give clout and validation to what you are saying.  many smart business owners write books to help present that instant validation with the world.  In the business world, writing a book is not as much about selling the book and making money as much as using the book to grow their core business.  Here are some benefits of a book:

  1. Listed on various sites including amazon.
  2. Instant validation when shown on your website.
  3. A great leave-behind for sales.
  4. One of the best ways to get speaking engagements.
  5. List building for purchases or even materials created around the book.

Writing a book can be either a very time-consuming process or expensive, but has the ability to pay off.  Even if it costs $30,000 to write a book, the value it can bring over a 3 - 6 year period or more can pay back over and over.

A book also has a lot of opportunities for content reuse and expansion into other materials that can drive SEO as well as leads.

Create An Online Course

To close deals, we need to prove our expertise. Prospects do their research and due diligence prior to making a purchase decision. And there is no better way of demonstrating your expertise than by creating an online course.

Software companies, technology services companies and devices have the ability to create online courses that teach while also building a large ecosystem of targeted prospects.

Hootsuite, a social media management software, for example, offers free social media marketing courses on Hootsuite Academy. More than 250,000 people have taken these courses, many of which have become paying customers of their software.

"For Moz, educational content and helping marketers succeed has been at the forefront of our mission and the best way we've found to grow our community and our customer base." -Rand Fishkin, Founder, Moz

Develop A Deep Article

We talk a lot about short attention spans in marketing and web design. If you read some of our great content on conversion optimization and usability, you know that we are fans of short, powerful, and scannable content. The key thing to understand though is that the pages of a website are different than people looking to do due diligence or looking to learn. This is where longer, more in-depth content comes in and why google ranks deeper content higher for search queries around questions - its about intent and people don't look to get questions answered by weak, watered-down explanations.

Many companies don't want to put the effort or money into writing more valuable and in-depth content. Longer and more robust content does well on search engines and can be a great source of leads - our article on marketing for technology companies gets hundreds of visits a day and drives consistent leads into our own business.

A deep article is often 3,000 to 6,000 words, includes media, quotes, statistics, and lots of outbound links.In our deep articles we also include interactive charts. Yes, it takes time and money to create these deep pieces of content, but they can pay off in organic traffic for years as well as increase the search rank of other content across your site.

Coordinate An Employee Activation Program

Your team has a wide audience and not encouraging them to promote your content and services is a missed opportunity.

But, just asking people to post more doesn't work.  You need to build a strategic, coordinated effort and leverage software to streamline the process for employees to get involved.

Don't miss out on the exponential netowrk that your entire team has access to.

Facebook Ads Can Work For B2B Technology

Pain-based advertising is appealing to target audiences as they scroll through Facebook in their off hours. People are wound down for the day, but will notice a message about a solution to a problem that faced that day or will in the morning.

Just be smart about your targeting and message to be effective.  You can even tie in LinkedIn remarketing to ensure you re-engage with the perfect audiences.

 

Create Public Slack Channels

Slack communities are digital congregations which are very similar to Facebook groups. However, as you may know, Facebook groups don’t have the option for instantaneous communication. You also can’t attach files from your computer or Google Drive to share wit the community.

If you’re not a fan of social media but still want to keep up with your industry, joining a Slack community can be a great idea. These communities are excellent for providing you with up-to-date information.

Here are some resources to get involved in slack communities.

What is a slack community and the importance of slack communities./

Find A Slack Community

Personally, we've found some amazing invite-only as well as public slack communities that are full of great information and contacts. One key is to make sure that you are treating it like a community and giving - no one wants the sales, sleazy person who is just there for themselves.

Build A Budgeting or Cost Comparison Calculator

A great interactive experience that you can add to your site to drive traffic and build your lists is an online calculator. Often these are budget calculators, estimators, or comparison calculators. The basic premise is that a visitor fills in various fields as well as makes other selections to then see a result real-time.  You see these all the time in the form of mortgage calculator for banks.

You can see our own marketing budget calculator which allows people to put in their revenue and select information about their business to see an estimate of what they should spend on marketing.  Once they complete the calculator and see a real-time result, they can then submit their contact information to get a deeper report on making a marketing budget.

Receiving links and shares is often built on the premise of creating value. When content can be deeply personalized to an individual like a calculator, it is a high-value experience because the content and information is unique to their specific scenario rather than being generic for a wide audience.

The key to conversion is offering something of higher value at the end of the calculator. Obviously a visitor came and spent the time to use a calculator, so there is some need - that is your opportunity with the right download, webinar or list signup to get them into your marketing ecosystem.

Use Geo-targeted Ads During Relevant Events

Geo-fencing is a targeting strategy used to blast a digital banner ad to a specific location, usually an area of one mile or less or broaden it to include nearby hotels and restaurants.

After establishing your geo-fence, demographic, psychographic and contextual targeting help filter the crowd and put your message in front of your target audience. These targeting strategies look at everything from the apps someone has installed on their phone to the articles they read online. Implementing a geo-fence campaign is an easy, cost-effective way to reach a hyper-targeted event audience–even if you aren’t there in person.

Landing pages are a key part of online advertising (which includes geofencing) because you need a way to collect and measure conversions. When integrated with a tactic like LinkedIn remarking, that can help you really hone in on the right people and continue to reach them.

Send Handwritten Notes or Fun Gifts To Key Prospects

A handwritten note can really stand out to prospects or existing customers. Whether you are trying to get a prospect's attention, make an impression during the sales process or build your relationship with an existing customer a handwritten note is a great way to do it.

The awesome thing today is that there are services to help you do that. Check out one like InkPact that allows you to send handwritten notes online.

One solution we love to use is LovePop that has popup cars that really create an impression. Sending one of these with a handwritten note will really standout to anyone you send them to.

Host An Awards Ceremony Or Online Awards

Companies are always looking for awards to get PR - that was even one of the other ideas here in this list. But, many companies have also built their own awards and even held award ceremonies.  If you are targeting doctors offices, could you create an award the best innovation in technology for medical instiutions.

This can be combined with ideas like a focused industry microsite to reduce the barrier of being driven by a company. The opportunity is that the CTA or ask to prospects is not aggressive and can help you collect contacts.  When done right you can build targeted lists to nurture over time to build interest in your offerings or company.

Spinout A Loss Leader Standalone Product

Take a small part of one of your offerings that has high-value to customers and low to medium cost for you to sell turn-key online.  It could be an audit or assessment, a tune-up or optimization, or a consultantion.

The key is to find something that is of value and is very easy for your target audience to say yes on. This is the land and expand approach. Get in the dorr and build a relationship while competitors are taking months or years trying to get huge wins.

Offer A Valuable Workbook

Your customers would love a fill-in-the-blank book that walks them through the strategy or planning process for your service or product implementation.

It's ok to give this away. I makes them trust you, gets them invested in the solution, and creates the next logical step into buying.

Create Your Own Magazine

One of those tactics that used to be popular like direct mail but now is less utilized, a magazine is an amazing opportunity to reach your audience in a unique way. Similar to creating a blog or online resource center, a magazine just transforms your great content from digital into a physical experience.

It’s a powerful thing to deliver something physical to prospects and clients especially when we move away from trying to sell into a space to try to inform or educate. When done right, a magazine will be pages through, shared with others, and kept on a desk for a good period of time.

The best approach is to treat it like one of your own favorite magazines and look to give to the reader - give them new information, give them entertainment, new insights, a behind the scenes view or something else that makes them get value and enjoyment out of interacting with it. A magazine is a lot about building brand equity more than being a conversion piece.

This doesn’t mean you can lead prospects to more content online that then funnels them into campaigns, but if you want a magazine to be effective instead of thrown away, then focus on delivering real value that will be remembered.

Develop A Referral Kit for Current Clients

As mentioned in Tip #30, referrals are a key aspect of growing a business but many companies do not have a clear plan or approach to building referrals and instead wait for them to come to them. One of the key strategies with referrals is to make it easy for your existing customer or contact to both think of a referral as well as provide it.

One big mistake people make is to generally ask for a referral - “do you know anyone who could use my service/product?” - but the issue is that it takes a lot more effort to think without any parameters. What you want to do is be specific - “do you know any owners of manufacturing companies over 10M in revenue that could be looking to improve their cybersecurity?” - this makes it much easier for prospects to focus their thinking and produce a result.

A referral kit is often a tool that helps give a customer criteria about what you are looking for, but also provides some materials or a process to provide a referral.  These kits can be online and include a form that customers or contacts complete that then puts their referral into an automatic process. A kit can also include materials that a customer can give to a referral including business cards.

The key here is to think through tools, approaches, and processes that significantly simplify the process for your contacts to think and provide referrals. We’ve actually develop some interesting online referral portals for our clients to improve their referral strategy.

Develop A Partner Program

A partner program can be a smart tactic for any business to employ. It isn’t easy, but it can significantly scale your revenue if you build it correctly. Partner programs are so powerful that even multi-billion tech companies including Microsoft, VMWare, Oracle, eBay, Hubspot and thousands of others use it — often technology companies are a channel partner.

There are a few steps to look at when you are building a partner program:

  1. What is an offering that is appealing to a partner model? Is shared revenue viable? Can it scale? Are you able to white-label if needed? There are a lot of strategic evaluations that need to be made.
  2. Define the revenue model.
  3. Determine your angle. Why should partners want to sell it and what messaging helps they sell it?
  4. Who are ideal partners? Like all marketing, you want to target potential partners intelligently.
  5. Create a sales process that will work with partners and begin to put together materials.
  6. Build out the tools needed - a platform, forum, documentation, support process and more.
  7. Develop a marketing program to find partners.

Creating a partner program is a big idea but it can drive massive growth for your business.

Commission Original Research

Reach out to your local university. Contact specific colleges or departments. Recruit data scientists, statisticians, and economists in the making. Provide them with something they want (e.g. money, a recommendation letter, prestige, experience, etc.).

Ask them to create original research data on your behalf (in exchange for the thing they want). Ideally, you're answering questions the industry, your prospects or partners care about most. Provide them with the research credit, then advertise your original research (displayed on your website) to prospects.

Repurpose Existing Content

Creating high quality content is a key strategy in marketing and sales. Content is the hub whether it is writing for a blog, posting on social media, sending a newsletter, supporting sales, and many more strategies to increase search optimization, visits or help close deals. 

If you are doing it right, your content should take time and effort to really make it valuable but it doesn’t have to be just for that one piece that you developed. Repurposing content is a great way to utilize what you have created and turn it into something new - try some of these ideas:

  • Convert a video into an article.
  • Turn a series of blog posts into a podcast
  • Break up a white paper into bite-sized social media graphics.
  • Take a presentation and make a webinar or video
  • Combine blog posts into an online course
  • Convert an article into an infographic

And that is just a sampling of ideas.  One of the tactics we take is to sort our content by the most popular based on visits and shares and then focus on creating complimentary or repurposed content from that.

Apply For Business Awards

Best workplace, great culture, lots of growth, top CIO, great intern program... there is no shortage of awards out there in your local area, in magazines and across the globe. 

One challange can be completing all of the award criteria so build out your library of submission information to make it easier and easier to process.

Check out a few of these business awards:

  1. Best in Biz Awards
  2. DREAM BIG Awards
  3. Ernst & Young: Entrepreneur of the Year
  4. Innovation Project Awards: Best Small Business Innovation
  5. National Small Business Awards
  6. The SCORE Awards
  7. Small Business Influencer Awards
  8. The Stevies: American Business Awards
  9. Thrillist
  10. Good Food Awards

Often there are many in your local community that you can find or in target regions you want to penetrate.

Sponsor A Targeted Podcast

Podcasts have become extremely popular. In idea #13 we talked about you creating your own podcast to a niche audience. Whether in addition to or if you are not ready to create your own podcast, sponsoring one cane reach the right audience.  The great thing about most podcasts is that the have regular listeners allowing you to have multiple touchpoints, they have limited sponsors and ads to be more impactful, and most importantly the audience is very targeted.

Look for podcasts that would have listeners that fit your target audience. Often this tactic is not local, so it does fit better to target a type of person, people in a specific field, or people with a topical interest that are not restricted by a region.

Check out a platform like AdvertiseCast to find out how to sponsor the right podcast for you.

Ask Customer For Google Reviews

Google reviews are not just for your local pizza shop.  Having reviews provides a couple of benefits for your business starting with increasing your visibility in Google. Google wants to present relevant, valuable and trust-worthy results to its searchers and a review signals that.

Next, reviews display as part of your listing in results and the display of stars and a higher count of reviews is shown to cause people to click on the listing more. Seeing those starts and review count act as link bait because people want to see a listing with reviews over one without.

Finally, if you are able to compile a quality rating, it provides instant credibility and validation before someone even hits your website.

The great thing is that it can be easy to send out a link that sends clients straight to your review section. One successful approach is to include it in any follow-up emails or customer satisfaction programs. Do not be afraid to ask.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile For Key Phrases

LinkedIn is growing to over 600 Million business professionals and many of those are using LinkedIn every day to search and find people. To help the chances of you being found, it is smart to optimize your profile for key phrases that you want to be found for.

Put yourself in your target audience's place, and imagine the keywords they're using to find someone like you to fill a business need. Try searching within your own network using the most likely keywords your target audience is using, check out the LinkedIn company pages of competitors, and while you’re at it, check out their websites as well.

LinkedIn gives you suggestions for adding sections to your profile. Take them whenever possible, since adding these sections increases the opportunity for you to use keywords that will help you to be found. For example, people commonly leave out the Summary Section. This is a mistake. Make it a great, keyword-rich pitch for how you can help organizations or individuals.

Some other tactics include:

  • Add keyword-rich “functional descriptions” to your job titles
  • Have a keyword-rich headline
  • Use all 50 slots in the skills section
  • Pay attention to the organization name and make sure it matches the company
  • Fill in the job descriptions
  • Have as complete a profile as possible
  • Gather recommendations

Ask A Client To Write An Educational Article From Their Perspective

Content is at the center of a lot of the ideas and tactics we have talked about. It is the counterpoint of marketing as it influences Search Optimization, drives social media, fills email marketing, supports sales, and so much more. Our goal is to create valuable and interesting content which sometimes can be difficult to do.

One approach that tends to be both valuable and interesting is to have your customers share their perspective - it could be about their industry, how they utilize a solution you provide, future predictions, or even their own processes. The key here is to not go with a sales approach but education from the customer perspective. Hopefully customers will buy in for the exposure themselves including backlinks to their site for SEO.

Create Regional Landing Pages for SEO

Some technology companies are focused on specific regions and often people search this way as well. Terms like “Cleveland IT firm”, “Pittsburgh Analytics Consultant”, or a wide range of other specific region targeted terms are often used to find businesses. We often see these terms as extremely good lead generators because they have an intent that is often someone in a researching or buying mindset versus a term that is more educational or informational.

So, how do you target phrases like this?  Well, to start your site should use those keywords throughout and you should be building links from local websites that also have regional focus. But another tactic is to create specific landing pages for regional terms you want to rank on. As an example, we are located in Cleveland, Ohio and have a specific page deep in our site focused on the term Cleveland eCommerce and have been able to gain #1 ranking for it.

The page is not meant to be fluff either. While we do make sure we use the term often that we are targeting, we try not to do it in a way that is spamming. Instead the mindset is that we want to actually create a page that if someone is looking for Cleveland eCommerce that our page is a good resource for them. In some cases we do even link to competitors on these regional landing pages because that is a signal to Google that it is a good reference for the search term. We are ok with that as long as we are the main site they are visiting first and we have the #1 ranking.

Don’t be afraid to create several of these pages for regional terms you want to rank for. just make sure that the content is unique and valuable - never just copy and paste the same text over and over with a few words changed.

Create A Comparison of Products or Solutions Against Competitors

People love simple side-by-side comparisons to help understand what they are considering better. When it comes to products, especially technology products, comparisons are common place. In many circumstances, those comparisons are done by third parties but there is opportunity for you to control the conversation by creating them yourself - often that comparison might be foundational information for a third-party writing their own.

For services business, there is opportunity to compare the difference between companies by displaying key buying factors or unique aspects of the offerings. Many services companies steer clear of direct comparisons, but just like products it is better to control the conversation than letting it control you. Also, this is the exact type of information that prospects are looking for to make a decision.

Don’t be afraid to go big or different either - building interactive content, including media, adding filters, presenting data, infusing testimonials, or other unique ideas can not only make it more valuable but help you tell your story better. This comparison - whether for products or services - is great for lead generation and sales. Consider for lead generation offering a deeper exploration of the comparison in exchange for contact information from the visitor.

Build A Board Of Industry Experts or Advisors

A board is way more than a marketing tactic but can actually help drive awarenss and leads.

Building a board is about finding a group of people who can provide wisdom and insight as well as expertise and connections.  Often, great board members come with a powerful netowrk of people and often a mechanism to communicate with that network.

Invite board members that help give valuable advice on how to grow the business but also look for the opportunity to supply them information, posts, and assets to help promote the business as well.

Create A Series of Quote Images For Your Target Audience

Simple graphics are great eye-catching tools to distribute on social media. Combine that with wisdom, inspiration, or expertise and you create a dynamic piece of media that catches attention, builds an impression and can even drive clicks.

In addition to quotes, you can look to utilize statistics or other powerful bite-sized information that will capture attention.

Create your own statdard look and brand the pieces so that you get the value of name recognition.

Create A Checklist - Or Even An Interactive Checklist

Checklists are valuable pieces of content.  They simplify the articulation of information, can be actionable, and provide the prospect with value.

There are a lot of different types of checklists you can make as well:

  • Process Checklist
  • Readiness Checklist
  • Success / Completion Checklist
  • Quality Assurance Checklist

All of your technology services or products, can leverage some sort of checklist that provides value but also often can help the prospect be aware that they don't have the expertise or time to complete everything necessary themselves.

DIY'ers look for checklists and then realize they need your help.

To take it a step further, offer the checklist on your own site with the ability to complete and save or download it.  This type of experience keeps them on your site and brings them back.

Build A Free Tool or App

Could you take a valuable document or need of your target clients and turn it into a tool or app that builds leads?

Consider if you provide maintenance services for technology products and you built a tool that allows companies to keep track of all their systems and their end of service dates.

Building a free online or mobile app that provides a great solution that aligns with your core offerings  is a great way to get people to provide you their information or even give you access to them when they need your services or products.

Offer Articles To Writers

There are writers for publications looking for help to meet their next deadline.  Create a series of articles and send them out to writers offering exclusivity for them to repurpose the content.

One key goal is to make sure that you are mentioned in the article as a quote or resource.

Making other people's jobs easier is not only a way to get a first article but to potentially build a long-term relationship with someone who can help you get more mentions and backlinks.

Design A Really Smart B2B Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing allows you to show ads to visitors who have come to your site. Done right, you can even target visitors that have completed or not completed certain actions on your website.

Remarketing ads can be displayed on Google Display, Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms by adding a tracking code and then configuring your ads.

If you choose the right pages or actions to target your visitors with remarketing ads, it can both help drive lead generation but also reinforce your brand during sales.

Often remarketing is a smart tactic when joined with other campaigns as a way to bring people back or remind them of your brand.  There is a valuable window of time after someone visits a specific page on your site that they are a ripe opportunity.

Build An Affiliate or Partner Program

An affiliate or partner program is based on revenue sharing. The affiliate, or promoter, offers your products to potential customers using their site. When a customer purchases your product from an affiliate’s site, the affiliate receives financial compensation.

The affiliate can provide a long-term revenue stream. The performance-based commission mitigates risk and your product is being seen by an audience. In short, instead of paying for advertising, you are offering a commission on sales made through a partner’s efforts.

Often this can be setup in an automated way as well for products or even services to track and distribute funds.

Create A Badge for Clients To Put On Their Sites

Let associates, affiliates, or clients put your badge on their site to show their affiliation with your brand. This can mean direct referral traffic which search engines consider “organic” backlinks to your site.

The badge is similar to your logo in that it represents your brand. Having a well designed official badge can add credibility to your company or brand and entice new visitors. Think of a badge as a visual stimulus. It’s more powerful than just a text link and it can leave a long-lasting impression.

When done right, you can provide code that is a link back to your website with specific "alt" text that creates an inbound link to boost search optimization.

Start Your Own LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn groups can be leveraged to your advantage and used as a highly effective platform. These groups can be used to reach a highly targeted group if leveraged correctly.

The key to a successful LinkedIn group is engagement. Share industry developments, share relevant news and stories, discuss new trends, or new products. Engage with your members by offering thoughts, liking comments and responding to questions or relevant statements. Maintaining a LinkedIn group is like having a ready made audience curated for your business.

A smart tactic is to make groups niche around an industry, technology, product, or something else specific. Niche groups attract people because they help narrow down their conversations and content to be focused.

Setup Open Office Hours For People To Call or Visit

Open up time weekly or on a monthly basis and allow interaction with potential customers or current clients. You can answer questions, respond to comments, or discuss how they use your product.

This establishes you as an expert and in a position to give first.  Engagement gives your company a person to connect with and people are more likely to do business with a personal connection and a face.

These sessions can be held virtually or even in person and should be surronded by other marketing and touch points.