We work with several Information Technology (IT) services businesses. These are companies that help businesses choose, install, operate and maintain computer networks and internet services for businesses. Large IT service businesses manage large data centers and, more recently, help companies move and optimize operations on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms like the AWS cloud.
Inbound Marketing Opportunity
More and more companies are looking to outsource more IT services–as much as 100 percent when it comes to cloud migrations. This is a textbook business case for inbound marketing, which aims to help businesses get found by customers looking online for the types of services they offer. IT services are relatively obscure and are exclusively B2B, so the competition for search traffic is not as daunting as it is for consumer products. Keywords like “cloud migration” get a decent amount of monthly searches (3,000) with relatively low competition (.55).
For more information read Superniche: Why It’s Easier for Obscure Products to Get Found Online.
IT businesses looking to outsource inbound marketing can put some of their own expertise to work in qualifying an inbound marketing agency. First, you can ask if the firm has worked with similar types of businesses and if so, what kind of success they’ve had. This will give you a good idea if they are fluent in the language (keywords and content) and trusted sources of information (publications and websites) in the industry. The firm should also know about key events in the business, like AWS re:Invent.
Another way for IT services companies to qualify an inbound marketing firm to use your expertise in networking see if the firm understands website optimization. Website performance is increasingly important to search engines. Slow websites, for example, are downgraded by Google and abandoned by users. Most inbound marketing firms know this, but they may not know what to do about it. Most agencies are familiar with common on-page and off-page SEO best practices. But there are more technical backend best practices like code minification, browser caching and image compression that can dramatically improve website loading speeds.
It is also important for an inbound marketing firm to be able to produce technical content that will attract decision makers looking to outsource all or part of their IT infrastructures. If you’re targeting IT decision makers, this is an audience that knows its stuff and is highly intolerant of fluff, sales pitches and soft facts. Your inbound agency should be able to articulate the value of the services your company provides in a way that decision-makers will understand and appreciate. Look for an inbound agency that values function over flash, and that is capable of the direct communication of information that will help your customers make good business decisions.
On a related note, the clarity of content and communication has a direct impact on lead quality. Your inbound marketing agency should be able to help you quickly disqualify inquiries that are outside your target market. This again requires that the agency understand your business, who it is best suited for, and who it is not right for. A red flag should be flown if you find your sales team complaining that the leads you’re getting from your inbound marketing are off-target.
Not Just Traffic, but the Right Traffic
Sure you want traffic to your website, but you really want the right traffic. Inbound marketing is all about attracting the right visitors to your business online, and delivering the right content to the right buyer at the right time. An agency that understands your buyer persona and their decision making process, and that speaks the language of your customers in a way that builds trust and respect and efficiently scores and qualifies leads will help turn your website and marketing efforts into a lead magnet.