According to a new report from Spiceworks, technology marketers are missing the mark when it comes to engaging IT buyers.
The How to Win Friends and Influence IT Pros report states that IT pros want to have honest conversations with their peers and brand reps when they make buying decisions. However, technology marketers place social engagement at the bottom of their priority list. The study also found that 95% of IT pros use targeted forums and communities to research products, although only 60% of technology marketers use these channels.
I attended SpiceWorld 2014 in Austin and had the opportunity to sit down with Sanjay Castelino, vice president of marketing at Spiceworks, to ask him about these findings.
According to Sanjay, technology marketers are measured by how many leads they bring in. However, focusing on lead and conversion metrics can make your marketing impersonal. It also comes across as salesy – which IT pros hate.
Sanjay recommends that technology marketers do the following to engage IT pros:
1. Focus on engagement, not leads.
Not everything in marketing is about getting a lead. It’s about building a community of people who are interested in you and what you have to say. For example, you may have people in your community who would never buy from you but would refer you to others.
When you focus on building an engaged community, you’ll also fuel your lead generation efforts. Sanjay recommends that you measure your return on engagement.
“IT pros respond to engagement marketing, but they don’t respond in a linear way,” says Sanjay. “They don’t go from your tweet to a landing page to a ‘buy now’ button. One challenge for vendors is to figure out how to measure their return on engagement.”
To measure engagement, you can track the following:
- How many people you’re reaching with your content
- Whether these people view your content on a repeat basis
- How many people engage with your content (sharing, clicking through to other content, etc.)
When you look at your long-term results, you can measure how many of these people are becoming leads.
2. Don’t be afraid to have fun.
Marketing to IT pros is not always about discussing your product. You also want to show that you like the same things that your community likes – and these things may have nothing to do with your product or work. For example, showing your love for Star Wars and Game of Thrones can get you big points with the IT crowd.
“Don’t be afraid to have fun,” says Sanjay. “Brands need a broad variety of content to engage IT pros – from educational to fun.”
3. Keep it simple.
You can’t say everything in a single interaction. Instead, pick the most important message that you want to communicate. Focusing on a single message will make it easier for IT pros to remember what you said.
And finally, remember that content marketing is about long-term results.
“The most successful content marketing focuses on building a long-term audience rather than getting results from a single piece of content,” says Sanjay. “When you take a broader approach and put out lots of content, you’ll have people come back to engage with you again and again.”
3 Ways To Leverage This For Your Business:
1. Read the post 11 Red Flags That Your B2B Content Is Boring to see how to make your content engaging.
2. Download Content Marketing Quick Fixes. This will help you improve your content which will encourage people to engage and share.
3. Click to share this article on Linkedin. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.