As a B2B marketer who loves technology, I’m always looking for new ways to reach my target audience and make their online experiences as consistent and enjoyable as possible.

As marketers, we sometimes get so wrapped up in the messaging that we lose sight of the delivery channels. These include emails, landing pages, web pages, social media, and more. We end up with great messaging and poor delivery.

When developing our marketing strategy, we mustn’t forget about the technologies behind each channel we’ve selected and how we can use those to our advantage.

  • Emails
    Marketing emails are often created with an email marketing service provider such as MailChimp and Constant Contact, or through a marketing automation tool like Marketo or Pardot. We typically use branded email templates with links to landing pages, blogs, webpages, etc., but not all templates are created the equal.

    Many email templates look great at full size, but don’t respond well or at all to different screen sizes/devices. This is where CSS and HTML play a huge role in the delivery of your marketing messages. If the recipient of your email can’t read your email, they certainly won’t click through.

    Working with your internal design team or perhaps an outside agency to create responsive email templates will help to ensure a higher click through rate (CTR) and overall positive brand experience for your email recipients.

  • Landing Pages and Thank You Pages
    Are your landing pages mobile friendly? Is it easy for the visitor to complete the form?

    If you haven’t implemented a responsive landing page template or a mobile specific site (m.yourcompany.com) your email recipient who clicked through to your site will now be faced with a decision: 1) Attempt to navigate the landing page, zoom in, scroll side-to-side, and complete the registration form, or 2) Leave.

    The majority will leave; in fact, 60-90% of landing page visitors will leave1. Not only will you lose potential customers, but it’s also damaging to your brand’s value.

    Implementing responsive landing page templates ensures that your prospective customers can quickly consume the information on the page, easily complete the registration/contact form, and become a lead in your database.

  • Social Media
    We can’t forget about the user experience for social media posts. Organizations will sometimes block social media sites on the company network, so employees access these sites via their smart phone or other mobile devices. Marketers often post links to various online resources, but fail to recognize on what type of device their message is being consumed.

    Sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook have mobile apps, as well as mobile optimized sites, so your messages will display properly in their environment, but when someone clicks on your link, they leave that site/app and are redirected to your landing page. The user should have the same positive experience on your landing page, as they do within the social media site/app.

It’s not easy to predict online visitor behavior or when someone will complete a registration form vs bouncing. As tech marketers, we must provide positive online experiences by leveraging modern technologies in each channel. In doing so, we increase our click through rates, conversion rates, brand perception, retention rates, and ultimately our bottom line.

1SmartInsights Infographic

Marketing to a technical audience offers many unique challenges. Data accuracy, detailed product information, and system specifications/requirements are of the utmost importance, which significantly impacts the creation and promotion of marketing collateral.

When marketing to a technical audience, you must first understand a few key elements:

Where does your audience get their information?
I’ve found that many of the highest converting leads come from two sources: Web Referrals and Organic Searches. These leads are actively searching for a solution to a specific problem, ultimately leading them to online resources available through your website.

Blogs and reviews of your products/services written by unbiased 3rd parties that link to your website, are pure gold. This is the online version of “word-of-mouth marketing” giving the prospective customer confidence in their decision to consider your organization.

When these web referrals begin to generate website traffic and leads, try to develop a relationship with the author. Provide the author with information or access to the newest version of your product to ensure that their review is always up-to-date and accurate. This also helps with branding and SEO.

SEO, technical blogs, and well-written documentation are also key components for generating high quality leads. These resources should always provide detailed information, as well as a call-to-action (CTA) to convert your website visitor into a lead.

What type of information are they looking for?
This will depend largely on what stage of the research process they’re in, as well as personal preferences.

  • Early-Stage Research:
    • Videos:
      Great for SEO, short (3-5 minute) videos-on-demand provide a high-level overview of your product/service to introduce your organization. Promote these videos through social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) as well as on your website.
    • Blogs:
      Also great for SEO, blogs are often the first introduction that a lead has to your organization. These should be well written, provide valuable information, and link to additional resources such as documentation, product/solution pages, videos, etc.
    • Technical/Executive Briefs:
      Short papers (2-5 pages) on a hot topic or area of importance that does not include considerable amounts of technical detail. These can be used for top-of-the-funnel lead gen, as well as early stage nurture tracks.
  • Mid-Stage Research:
    • White Papers:
      Lengthier technical papers (5-20 pages), written on a specific topic for a specific audience. Often used to attract and convert your target audience through paid campaigns with 3rd party vendors, and also used in later-stage nurture tracks, featured on your website, and promoted through social channels.NOTE: Consider the audience of each social network before promoting a technical paper to all of your channels. You may find that your target audience doesn’t follow you on Facebook, but are actively engaged on Twitter and LinkedIn.
    • Webinars:
      Live and on-demand educational videos on a particular topic. These vary in length from 20 minutes to an hour, and may be a simple slide presentation, or also include live demos, Q&A, and polling.Generating net-new leads through webinar registrations is typically more difficult due to the time investment required, however webinars promoted by a 3rd party or co-sponsored with an industry thought leader, help to attract a different audience outside of your existing database. Live and on-demand webinars can be used on your website, featured in mid-stage nurture tracks, and promoted on social media.
  • Late-Stage Research
    • Case Studies: Customer success stories explain the challenges, requirements, organizational impacts, and ultimately the solution that was chosen. If possible, always include the numbers – before and after. These are commonly used by sales to help close a deal through reference selling, but they can also be used by marketing in late-stage nurturing to help potential customers realize the success seen by others either in their industry or with similar challenges. These should be published on your website, and made available as a downloadable PDF for easier sharing and printing.
    • Demo/Quote Request: These are always the best notifications to get in your inbox; a potential customer has requested a live demo or a quote. As the last step in your nurturing process, a demo/quote request indicates a significant level of interest that must be followed up with immediately (<24 hours).Similar to the promotion of a webinar, offering a demo or price request in hopes of generating net-new leads is often unsuccessful. Due to the availability of information on the web, and today’s educated buyer, a demo/quote request will only occur once the prospect has done their research and has added your organization to their short list. This typically occurs after they have read through your documentation, reviewed the technical/system requirements, and determined that your organization may in fact solve their problems.

Remember, what works for some, may not work for others, so don’t be afraid to adjust your marketing mix and promote your collateral in different channels. Benchmark, track, get feedback, and optimize. Technology changes quickly, so should marketing.