The Comprehensive Guide to Lead Generation in the IT Industry

Some may argue that defining lead generation in the IT industry is not that easy, primarily because of the long conversion cycle, the complex service being sold and the multiple decision-makers involved.

That being said the formula for getting high-quality leads is rather straightforward – providing high quality and relevant content to your customers.

The complexity arises when it comes to the lead source. There are many sources to get leads in the IT industry but it’s important to choose the best one that meets your business requirements.

There are a plethora of strategies that you can deploy to form a lead generation focused marketing plan. Keep on reading to learn more about some of them.

The Website As the Defining Feature of Lead Generation in the IT Industry

Your website is by far the most effective marketing channel you have but might also be the most ignored. While most marketers focus on paid advertising, syndication, remarketing, they often overlook the value their brand’s website can provide.

In the complex world of IT marketing, your website should be the defining feature of your lead generation strategy.

Your website best reflects your personality, brand values, and content that you want your customers to consume. While your brand website can stand on its own as an effective marketing channel, it is also deeply integrated with other marketing strategies.

Your paid ads lead to your website, SEO is deployed to get more traffic to your website, high conversion landing pages are hosted on your website and so much more!

So, spend some time fixing and optimizing your website. Here are some quick fixes that you should prioritize –

  • Providing personalized offers to previous visitors or customers based on CRM data.
  • Using custom messages across the website based upon behavioral data.
  • Using webpage overlays to provide quick and seamless opt-ins on entry and exit.

Dive Deeper Into Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most direct ways to communicate with a prospect or customer. And if done well it is also the one with the highest ROI.

It also allows you to influence multiple decision-makers with similar messages, at the same time.

The heart of any email marketing campaign lies in the email marketing lists. Unlike other channels, you have complete control over your email list and it is well worth the time and effort to keep your email marketing database updated and in sync with your buyer personas.

There are many ways you can leverage email marketing –

  • Send email blast newsletters with the latest news and updates about your business.
  • Send special and exclusive thought leadership content.
  • Send lead magnet focused emails that provide an eBook, client case study or more.
  • Send nurture emails that move your leads through the sales funnel.

Get right to the point when it comes to your email messaging. Convey your product benefits, provide valuable content, and appeal to the rational side of your customers in your emails.

It is also worthwhile to segment your email lists according to each stage of the buyer’s journey. Emails going out to prospects at the bottom of the funnel should have whitepapers as lead magnets, whereas blogs and brochures work better for the top of the funnel prospects.

Use Modern SEO Strategies

SEO or search engine optimization is quite possibly the most impactful driver of leads in the B2B industry. While there is a general understanding of how SEO drives more traffic to your website and influences leads overall, lead generation is still viewed as an entirely separate strategy.

Evolving search engine algorithms and a changing marketplace is placing new demands on SEO lead generation. In this new environment ‘user intent’ takes center stage. User intent is the true purpose behind the keywords your customers and prospects are punching into search engines.

User intent can either be to inform someone about a new topic or to make a purchase.

Being cognizant of this can greatly improve your keyword and content strategy. Your keywords should be determined by user intent and your sales funnel.

  • Start with making a list of keywords using Google keyword planner or Google Trends. Use terms that are relevant to your industry/product/service.
  • Google your keywords and figure out the degree to which the user intent is to inform or make a purchase. Track this on a spreadsheet.
  • Organize your results according to your sales funnel. Keywords exhibiting inform intent are top of the funnel and the intent to purchase is bottom of the funnel.
  • Review your existing content against these keywords. Make sure that content using those keywords reflects the true user intent behind it.
  • See any content gaps? Start filling them in by creating new content!

Fine Tune Your SEM

A lot of the research that you do for SEO can easily be transferred onto SEM or search engine marketing. SEM is the paid side of search engine ads and Google is the king when it comes to paid advertising on search.

Paid search is a great way to drive B2B lead generation. Even if no conversion takes place, once in your sales database that lead can always be nurtured.

Leverage the SEO keyword research that you did to inform your SEM keyword selection. But be wary of bidding for highly competitive keywords. Those can be expensive!

To avoid wasted clicks and optimize spends do try out the following features in Google Ads –

  • Geotargeting – allows you to target ads by zip code, country, city, and more. Using this feature can help you exclude locations where your target audience does not live.
  • Ad Scheduling – can help you restrict your ads to certain times of the day or week, allowing you to further control spends.
  • Negative Keywords – can block specific search terms and reduce wasted spend. Analyzing the Google search term report can reveal the keywords that can be assigned as negatives and other long-tail keywords that you might want to replace it with.

Lead generation in the IT industry is an exercise in endurance. You need to stick with the prospect for a long time (months to years!) delivering a message that resonates with them at each stage of their buyers’ journey, all the while using a multi-channel approach to deliver that message.