7 Simple Marketing Strategies for Tech Companies on a Budget
Marketing and sales are vital to the success of any tech company. That’s not news. But let’s face it. Budget matters. Not all companies have the wherewithal to do what some of the biggies do. For instance, Salesforce and Tableau each spent a whopping 53% of their revenue on sales and marketing in 2014, while Constant Contact spent 38% and Manhattan Associates 12%.
But before you laugh or throw your hand up in despair, there are marketing strategies for tech companies on a shoestring that can keep you competitive — and successful. A more typical — and recent — spend on marketing for tech companies is about 15% of their total annual budget, according to the CMO Survey.
And you can do them yourself, or you can hire a digital marketing agency to work with you.
What’s Your Goal?
There’s no sense doing marketing unless you know what you want it to achieve. So consider what you want to achieve specifically — and give it a measurable number so you can evaluate whether your tactics are working.
As Neil Patel and Bronson Taylor observe, sometimes your sales funnel can decide this for you.
If you are converting 50% of all visitors to members, and 50% of all members to users, but you are only getting 200 new unique visitors a day then you should obviously spend your time getting visitors. In other situations you might want to wait on getting visitors until you are more successful at moving people through other aspects of the funnel.
So think about what you want to do — and then keep narrowing it down. It’s not enough to say your want more visitors or a better conversion rate. Look at “your goals as nested hierarchies, and until you reach the ‘nest’ where things can actually be marked off as individual tasks which can be completed once and for all, then you’re not narrow enough,” explain Patel and Bronson.
Establish Yourself, Your Company As a Thought Leader
Whether you offer SaaS, PaaS, apps, or some other tech product or service, establishing yourself and your company as a thought leader in the tech arena brings benefits — including a good-sized leg up on your competition. And, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, although it will take time and effort.
You can use some or all of the marketing strategies for tech companies in this post to help put you in that thought-leader position. But keep in mind: the majority of tech professionals — think those that are considering the solution you offer — prefer “data-driven, educational content.”
Marketing Strategies for Tech Companies
1. Blogs: Attract Prospects Looking to Solve a Problem
When you have a problem, be it with coding or customer service, how do you find a solution? When you know the general solution, how do you decide among alternatives? And, once you think you’ve found the best option, where do you turn?
If you’re like many in this digital age, you turn to Google.
Blogs are a terrific way to attract visitors to your site and brand, and they can be tailored to any stage in the buyer’s journey. At the top of the funnel, your blogs should be buyer-centric, engaging, and informative. At the bottom, they can help readers understand more precisely how your product fixes their problem better than anyone else’s. And, in the middle, they can be about new features you’ve added or what they should consider in their evaluation process.
Blogs focus on education, not selling. Your content sets you up as an expert in whatever it is visitors are looking for. Demonstrate how well you understand their pain, how well you know what can help, and even what downsides or challenges could exist. This begins to build their trust in you and is part of your relationship building.
Pros of Blogs:
Cons of Blogs:
2. Public Relations: Getting Your Name Out There
The second of the marketing strategies for tech companies is public relations, and the “ROI can be incredibly valuable,” especially if you go a hybrid route and “meld PR into SEO/paid media/social media,” according to an article on Entrepreneur.
This is another strategy that works to position you as a thought leader. You can write magazine articles, newspaper pieces and send out news releases about milestone events. Conversely, you could also hire a marketing agency to help out here.
Pricing for a PR campaign can vary tremendously. If you undertake it, all it takes is sweat and tears — and time away from making your product even cooler than it already is. If you hire it out, the cost depends on how long the push will be, what content will be produced and the size of the agency you hire. Lean tech companies should look for a firm that’s similar in size to help keep costs from ballooning, suggests public relations pro Todd Brabender.
Pros of a PR Push:
Cons of a PR Push:
3. Email Marketing: To Further Relationships, Nurture Prospects
Using email is another of the marketing strategies for tech companies. Use email to:
But, it’s important to be able to segment your list and personalize emails so they can target the particular segment of subscribers your want.
Pros of Email Marketing:
Cons of Email Marketing:
4. LinkedIn: Personal, Corporate, or Both
Among the marketing strategies for tech companies is the use of LinkedIn. 94% of B2B enterprise marketers surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute prefer LinkedIn as their top social media platform. And there’s good reason for that:
On LinkedIn, you can participate in groups, post articles, and answer questions — all with the goal of increasing awareness of your company and building it as a thought leader.
Pros of LinkedIn:
Cons of LinkedIn:
5. Organic Social Media: Twitter and Facebook
There are more than 60 million businesses that have Pages on Facebook, but about 87% of posts to those pages never get answered. This gives you an opening. Give advice; answer questions. Provide value.
Twitter has 328 million users, not all of whom you’ll want to target. So, build your list of followers carefully, segment them into lists based on particular hashtags or interests, read some of the questions that are Tweeted, and respond. Sure, it’s OK to tweet about your new piece of content, but don’t do that exclusively. The idea is to build relationships, credibility and establish yourself as a thought leader. Make use of videos, direct messages, and graphics to help your Tweets stand out.
Social media is a place for customer support, for building and nurturing your relationships with prospects and current customers — and it can bring in new traffic. “As people watch your stellar customer support happening in public then they will be more apt to try your product themselves,” say Patel and Taylor.
Pros of Organic Social Media:
Cons of Organic Social Media:
6. Paid Social Media: Facebook
Facebook ads can be a good way to build your subscriber base, direct people to a landing page, create interest in your brand, and more. The average conversion rate for ads on this platform across all industries is 9.21%, although for tech companies that drops to 2.3%. Still, that’s better than the nearly 40% of marketers who have landing pages that convert at less than 1.4%.
Pros of Paid Social Media:
Cons of Paid Social Media:
7. Pay-per-Click: Google AdWords Retargeting
Retargeting refers to display ads that show up on another site being visited by a person who’s already been to your site, and you can do this through the Google Display Network. This means they’ve already shown some interest in what it is you offer. In essence, now, even your ads can be pre-qualified. The Google Display Network is one of the most power-packed advertising tools you can use, and it reaches 90% of global internet users.
But you need a strategy. Who, specifically, will you target? There are many choices, including targeting those who visited:
Pros of Retargeting:
Cons of Retargeting:
Pulling Marketing Strategies for Tech Companies All Together
It can be tough to develop a marketing strategy when you have only a few thousand dollars a month, but it’s not impossible.
It all goes back to your goals. Choose a manageable one. Decide which of the marketing strategies above will help you achieve that. And then, go for it.
Or, give us a call. And we’ll work with you to create the strategy, implement it, evaluate and tweak it. Or join us on LinkedIn and be part of the conversation.