To increase the number of leads you generate for your software or tech business, your lead generation strategy needs to have a three-pronged approach:
- Audience research to understand your potential customers’ needs and refine your targeting
- Relevant content assets that address B2B buyers’ needs to create interest and generate demand
- Knowing how to capture leads at different stages of the buyer’s journey
Assuming that you understand your audience and you’re already creating relevant content assets, let’s focus on what you need to do to capture potential leads on the buyer’s journey.
In this article, we’ll explore what makes lead generation different in the tech industry and share five strategies to help you convert the traffic you’re getting into leads.
How the buyer’s journey affects lead generation
Since tech-based services tend to be an investment for the consumer, the buyer’s journey is essential to understand and properly leverage. The buyer’s journey has three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.
To create awareness, you’ll need to conduct audience research to help you understand the pain points, goals, and objections of your prospects.
Your research will help you identify and prioritize relevant content topics, and then create different digital assets that you’ll distribute to support your inbound marketing efforts.
Doing this will drive traffic to your website and blog. Among the web visitors you get, there are those who will demonstrate interest in your product or service—you’ll need to convert them into leads.
Their interest leads them to commit in increments, first with their time (such as engaging with your content) and later with their money (such as signing up for a paid trial or picking a plan).
Lead generation is about capturing this interest at different stages of the buyer’s journey and requesting your web visitors to commit, either with their time or money.
For example, a web visitor in the awareness stage might read a thought leadership piece and decide they want more and sign up for a newsletter.
Another web visitor in the consideration stage might read your product-led content and sign up for a free or paid trial while another web visitor in the consideration stage might attend a webinar and sign up for a free consultation.
How the tech industry affects lead generation
Lead generation is a powerful tool for any business in the tech industry, especially as most leads are marketed to digitally. With this digital marketing, you’re able to give your leads a real taste of what your software’s all about (and how it stands out from the crowd.)
For instance, if your sales team is speaking with a lead who’s looking for a specific feature that’s in development, your team will be able to give a good snapshot of the incoming feature. Along with this, you can use information gathered from leads to strategize your next steps in software development. If there are features everyone is looking for, why not find a way to offer them?
Plus, software for general business endeavors like data contracts can be used across industries, so your reach isn’t as limited in terms of niche. Each niche may have different strategies for successful marketing, but getting that marketing right will open up new audience segments, generating even more high-quality leads.
With both the buyer’s journey and the influence of the tech industry in mind, let’s dig into some action strategies.
5 strategies for lead generation (plus tools to use)
To generate leads for your tech company, you’ll need to offer something valuable that makes them want to commit to you and stay engaged in return for their contact information. Here are five strategies and lead generation tools to help you generate leads:
1. Prioritize your CTAs based on the desired user flow
CTAs with compelling copy, visual elements, and strategic placement capture the attention of your web visitors and pique their interest.
However, they won’t always convert if they’re not aligned with the steps your web visitor takes to achieve a specific goal on your website.
Since CTAs are meant to guide your visitors toward taking the next step, you need to use a hierarchy of CTAs that align with the desired user flow to reduce conversion friction. Here’s what this looks like in action. In this Field Notes newsletter, David talks about The Best Way to Measure Content Program Success:
The newsletter has plenty of links. However, he has strategically placed links to our case studies based on the desired user flow:
- Read the newsletter
- Click on relevant links, including the case study links
- Read relevant case studies
- Book a free strategy call
Once you land on the case study page, the primary call to action is to book a free strategy call.
That may work for some users who have already read the bottom of the funnel content and are in the decision stage of their buying journey.
However, those who are still in the consideration stage aren’t ready to make such a huge leap yet. For these cases, we have secondary and tertiary CTAs.
Each of these CTAs provides a clear value proposition with a promise of useful content:
The hierarchy of these CTAs guides users through a logical progression from the most critical action to secondary and tertiary actions that contribute to the goals of the page.
Since hierarchy might change based on specific contexts and goals, align your CTAs with the desired user flow to direct readers toward the desired action, minimizing confusion and making the lead generation process seamless.
When building your landing page you might choose to have a different hierarchy compared to an ecommerce website or a mobile app.
Use Miro to create relevant user flow diagrams that will help you decide on where to place CTAs on different pages, their design, and their choice of words.
Keep testing and optimizing the hierarchy you choose to increase engagement and the number of high-quality leads you generate.
2. Share actionable, useful content on social media
While social media platforms allow you to access a wider audience, most users rely on social media to find information, be it news and current events, or products they want to buy.
Their typical behavior will include scrolling through their feed and interacting with content they like, and only stopping when something captures their attention.
So, if you’re already sharing your blog posts on social media platforms without much success, consider sharing actionable content by breaking it down into a template or checklist that your target audience on social media can use immediately.
Actionable content creates a bridge between where they are right now and where they want to be after solving a problem they have, making it easier for them to engage and take action.
On two separate occasions, SearchEngineLand shared a technical SEO Audit Workbook with their followers on LinkedIn. As of this writing, here’s their LinkedIn post promoting the workbook:
Few people engaged with the post, which suggests that most of their users scrolled past it without much thought.
Now, compare that with this post sharing the workbook a month ago (as of this writing):
The same workbook with a video walkthrough makes it feel less overwhelming to engage with, as their audience won’t have to leave the platform to see the workbook or learn how to use it.
Breaking down your content makes it easier for their target audience made up of B2B marketers to engage with it, and sign up to implement what they learn. Here are a couple of comments on the video walkthrough:
If you already have these templates and checklists from the content you publish, share them on social media and, if need be, include video walkthroughs using a tool like Loom to show your users how to get the most out of your templates.
This makes it easier for you to generate qualified leads as people who watch and sign up for the template demonstrate high intent, which makes it easier for you to nurture them until they’re ready to buy from you.
3. Add new content and personas to your case studies
Case studies provide in-depth accounts that demonstrate the real-world benefits of using your product, reducing the perceived risk of paying for your product.
However, your target market is not static, and this is especially true in the ever-changing tech industry. Customer needs change and your product will evolve over time, which means that you need to update your case studies to align with these changes.
To make sure that your case studies are helping you generate more leads, start by reviewing your buyer personas. Are they still relevant to your potential customers? Are they up to date, reflecting the current version of your product and its capabilities?
These questions will help you determine whether you need more case studies.
However, according to Joel Klettke from Case Study Buddy, most technology companies still struggle with creating case studies at scale because “they lack an underlying process and aren’t able to internally align teams to support the creation of case studies.”
To help you start creating a process to support your case study creation, Joel Klettke argues that you need a mindset shift:
“Companies look at these like an asset, and not a program, you need a program, you need a process and systems to inform that program. But if you treat it like an asset, like let’s just go do some case studies, and you hope that great things come out of the other side, you’re in for a world of hurt, and that’s still how most companies do it.’’
This will help you standardize the process of identifying ideal candidates for your case study, the questions you need to ask, your content approval process, and the people responsible for different deliverables during the entire process.
4. Host webinars and events
Webinars and events often focus on sharing valuable insights, expertise, and industry trends. By offering educational content, you position your brand as a knowledgeable authority. One big pro of being in the business of tech is that events and webinars that offer demonstrations of your product are easy to organize and give you a hub of leads.
New leads who register for your events and webinars are genuinely interested in the topic that you’re discussing which increases the likelihood of them being interested in your products.
The information they provide during the signup process allows you to collect valuable data and turn attendees into qualified leads that you will enter into your email marketing automation tool for further nurturing.
On their on-demand webinars page, Airtable asks attendees to share their role and job level:
This helps them to automatically segment their new leads based on their role in the buying process. This way, they can share relevant information and address specific objections they may have.
Based on the lead generation software they’re using, the information they collect also helps them to develop an accurate lead scoring model that helps the marketing team know when to hand over sales-qualified leads to the sales team.
For example, say you’re hosting an event with a significant amount of sales-qualified leads working in cybersecurity attending. You can give your sales team this information so they know to focus on your software’s authorization measures as well as other relevant items when they talk with these leads. Having this knowledge ready may help your team close the deal.
5. Partner with other brands
Being a keyword research tool, Semrush has an audience that is interested in SEO and content marketing strategies. Instead of sharing the strategies we used to grow our podcast, we partnered with Semrush and published a case study on their marketing blog.In our case study, we talked about how we used the Surround Sound SEO Strategy to increase the share of voice for our podcast:
This partnership allowed us to tap into a shared audience, expand our reach, and deliver value to blog readers.
Such brand partnerships might not generate leads immediately, but they’re good at increasing brand awareness.
However, a qualified lead who will read the case study might check out our podcast, listen to a couple of episodes, and sign up for our newsletter.
If you’re looking to generate leads for your tech company faster through partnerships, consider partnering with thought leaders in your niche who have a newsletter:
In this newsletter, Clearscope has partnered with Tracy Wallace to provide a short blurb about Clearscope’s SEO reports feature.
Readers who click on the blue button will get three free SEO reports, an offer that’s difficult to resist for a potential customer, such as a content manager who wants to publish SEO-optimized content.
Hitting your B2B lead generation KPIs requires you to generate both relevant and qualified leads that will keep your sales pipeline full.
If you hit your KPIs but your new leads aren’t qualified or relevant, it can feel like a waste of time and resources. Conversely, if you fail to hit your KPIs, it can feel like you’re stagnant and falling behind your competitors.
However, you now have lead generation strategies that will get you moving and help you increase the number of qualified leads you generate for your technology company.
As you implement the strategies we’ve just discussed, content still remains a consistent element in all your lead generation efforts. If you’re wondering how you can implement an effective content strategy for your tech company so that you can focus on your lead generation campaign across the buyer’s journey, we might be able to help. Fill out this form to book a free strategy call and we’ll be in touch.