82% of IT firms say their top priority is securing new leads in order to build a healthy pipeline of sales.
In the past, you would delegate this task to your sales team who would, theoretically, spend their entire day cold calling potential customers to explain your product.
These unsolicited calls would probably anger a few people too as it would interrupt them in the middle of a busy workday.
But the internet has had a profound effect on the way businesses engage in lead generation
Thanks to inbound marketing, businesses no longer have to engage in spammy and obtrusive tactics to get the word out.
The resources saved from hiring dozens of sales representatives can be spent in firming up your website and strategic content marketing strategies.
If done right, inbound marketing is an incredible growth engine that can hypercharge your IT firm’s lead generation pipeline.
How do I start generating leads online?
Simply put, lead generation is the process of attracting and engaging potential customers for your product.
You want your prospective customers to land on your website, but you also want to leave a lasting impression on them.
This means your content – the visuals on your site, blog posts, social media channels, videos, and infographics should all be top-notch.
This may come across as intimidating, but there are many strategies you can use to make your task easier.
The reassuring factor is that you are in total control of your website and other digital properties you manage (think Facebook pages, LinkedIn channel, Twitter account, and YouTube feed).
This means you can test, optimize, and change what isn’t working.
Here are, in no particular order, 3 tactics you can use to attract more leads to your managed IT website:
1. Use explainer videos
Managed IT services are complex products. The approach towards marketing them can’t be the same as, say, selling winter parkas.
Explainer videos are a great way of diving into your product and making it stand out from the competition.
Since the people landing on your page will already be somewhat familiar with the spectrum of IT services, you don’t have to worry about dumbing down the content to appeal to a layperson.
According to Hubspot, videos are already the preferred form of content with people enjoying entertaining ones the most.
Explainer videos can be about 2-3 minutes in length (don’t overdo it), incorporating a written script of about 200-300 words.
Don’t drone on about the virtues of your product. Instead, use this opportunity to set yourself apart by incorporating nice visual elements and an aspect of storytelling.
2. Use case studies and e-books
When businesses evaluate the merits of your product, they want to feel reassured that what they buy will have a real and tangible impact on their bottom line.
Google’s own B2B blog – Think With Google – is an example of a dedicated landing page for case studies done brilliantly.
While Google doesn’t need to prove its credibility, its blog is well-structured, easy to read, and comes with a ton of useful information that marketers and business owners can use.
This, in turn, fuels its own sales engine as it routes prospects towards its ads and analytics products.
You don’t have to be valued in the billions of dollars to emulate the same approach for your company.
Craft dedicated landing pages for your case studies and e-books.
Invest in social media marketing, SEO, and perhaps paid campaigns to drive qualified traffic towards the page.
Track, optimize, and pivot when necessary.
3. Optimize for SEO
Let’s take a look at that SEO recommendation from the previous section. Creating content is definitely the right approach, but what’s the point of all that effort if no one views it and it’s incredibly hard to find?
SEO optimization is a structured approach to get your website ranking on page 1 of Google for searches related to your products, services, and content.
According to some estimates, there are almost 550,000 websites added to the internet every single day.
Your goal is to outrank these competitors within searches related to your buyer personas. Breaking through this clutter isn’t impossible, but requires a structured approach.
For best results, it’s recommended to have an in-house SEO expert who checks for things like on-site optimization, relevancy, page load speeds, keywords, backlinks, and more.
SEO is incredibly important and it’s difficult to imagine it losing its relevancy anytime soon.
Try to put yourself in the shoes of your target customer and imagine what sorts of things they might be searching for.
Use those keywords in your content posts as well as on-site text so that search engines understand what your business is about.
The aim should be to rank within the top few search results for your relevant keywords.
The overwhelming majority of clicks go to sites that rank on the top 5 of the search engine results page. Anything below that and you’re getting the deadwood.
4. Include contact information and a live chat button
Some of your potential customers will prefer the old-school method of speaking to a human over the phone or directly – as opposed to filling out a form and waiting.
That’s even more crucial in a B2B industry like managed IT solutions. Contact information such as an address and phone number helps establish legitimacy and trust for businesses seeking someone local.
Another method of funneling website visitors directly to your sales team is to use a ‘live chat’ button.
38 percent of users are likely to buy from a company if there’s a live chat option on the site. With live chat, users are more likely to engage your brand if they have an urgency for the service, or if they’re considering multiple providers and would like to receive a quicker turnaround on their needs.
Some custom solutions for live chat options include Zendesk, Clickdesk, and Chatra.
5. Add social proof to your site
It’s a basic tenet of human psychology.
We’re naturally hardwired to follow paths that others have to tread upon and recommended.
Think about it: when you buy something on Amazon, don’t you check the reviews thoroughly before entering your credit card details?
Prospective customers value transparency. So if you prove to them that others like them have tried your product and are happy with it, they’ll be much more at ease and able to trust that they’re making the right decision.
You can achieve this goal by using a number of methods.
One is to add a completely separate landing page for testimonials and user feedback. Ask your customers for their feedback and include descriptions like their names and photos so visitors know it’s a real person at the other end.
Another is to use a customer review widget, such as Feefo. This completely disassociates yourself from the process of gathering and publishing reviews and hands it over to a third-party.
The widget is dynamically updated on your site and users can see it’s powered by an independent body.
For B2B, showcasing a sliding carousel of client logos is a great way to show social proof. Be careful though, you should only show reputable or recognizable logos. As a pro-tip, have different sliders on different pages. So, if you have a page for Government IT Services, show government clients.
While there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach towards lead generation, these best practices are certainly a step in the right direction. Savvy marketers are data-driven so they’ll constantly test and optimize what works.
By incorporating these strategies into your MSP website, you’ll soon have a strong and reliable channel for new leads.
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