Don’t get left behind. The tech industry is an exciting, fast-paced, and competitive landscape that experienced a historic shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which created rapid proliferation and accelerated the adoption of technology. While the overall industry took significant leaps forward, did your branding and marketing efforts maintain the same pace?
Marketing and branding strategy for tech companies adds a layer of complication, as businesses compete to make their mark in a highly competitive industry. How can you break through the noise created by the staggering number of companies vying for your customers’ attention? By establishing a dynamic brand with a persuasive message that makes your value abundantly clear to stakeholders. Easier said than done? Not when you have the right team.
That team will listen to you and your customers to create a robust brand and marketing plan. Using creativity, storytelling, and long-term brand-building principles, your team will help to clearly articulate your value proposition, ultimately building rapport, trust, and confidence with customers.
So, what’s essential to effective B2B tech marketing?
I find that tech companies tend to focus on products and product quality versus a company brand. While products/product quality are key factors in product marketing, it should not be confused with the overarching company brand.
Tech companies need to invest in a robust and purposeful brand that leverages a meaningful or affecting story. Even in a B2B environment, you’re still selling to a person, and people buy based on trust and reliability. Communicating who you are, what you do, and why you do it in an integrated, holistic manner is the basis of a solid brand story.
Your brand is the first impression potential customers will see, hear, and know about you. You want to be sure that first impression is remarkable and identifiable, and followed with consistent branding and messaging. Having a long-term strategy and plan with regular, thoughtful stakeholder engagement will offer lasting impressions and ROI.
Once you’ve built your brand and started generating awareness, you will want to ensure that you stay top-of-mind for your stakeholders.
As technology evolves, so, too, should your content marketing and strategy. When executed correctly, a robust content marketing strategy will not only help continue to build brand awareness, but also turn potential customers into customers.
Whether there’s an opportunity to provide relevant and useful content that, for instance, educates or solves problems, your content marketing needs specific distribution methods for your message to be disseminated to the specific or targeted stakeholders.
Whether you consider digital marketing a subset of content marketing or its own category, this is an excellent channel to reach all stakeholders. A strong digital marketing strategy will further define the specific digital channels that are important to your tech brand and then leverage data-driven insights to plan and execute touch points at every stage of your stakeholder’s journey.
Internal and External Communications
If you aren’t telling your story, someone else will, and are they telling the right story to the right audience?
Internal communications align your employees to your brand, keeping them excited and engaged. The tech industry needs more engineers, which makes employee retention paramount for tech companies. Offering open, honest, and strategic communications to your employees benefits both the company and employees. Don’t skip these important stakeholders.
External communications, or public relations, is the opportunity for your tech brand to participate in important conversations. Third-party coverage or commentary from media and industry or tech influencers plays a critical role in developing brand awareness, promoting thought leadership, and creating demand in the marketplace for tech companies.
Crisis Communications and Reputation Management
I’ve managed crisis communications for a variety of brands and the biggest takeaway to remember here is that the entire world is not within your control. There are occurrences beyond your tech company’s influence that may create challenges. It’s not a question of if a crisis will occur, but when the next one will happen. When crisis situations arise, tech companies need to have strategic plans in place for how to respond and effectively communicate to stakeholders and overcome potential setbacks.
While anything lives forever once posted to the internet, social media is meant to be short-term or short-form content; however, it’s a long-term strategy.
Every social platform or network has a purpose and an audience. The right marketing strategy will help to determine which one(s) are the most important for your tech brand in communicating with stakeholders. Additionally, social media has the benefit of being part of an organic or paid communications strategy.
Social media engagement allows you to further proliferate your brand to increase awareness, share content for thought leadership, and drive traffic to your website. Essentially, social media can help build or strengthen greater trust between your company/brand and stakeholders.
Video is a diverse and flexible medium. It’s highly visual and memorable, and whether your tech brand prefers live action, animation, or a combination of both, video is an easily consumed and engaging experience for a variety of stakeholders.
Video is a must for influential storytelling with strategic impact.
Website and SEO
Often, your website is the first experience a stakeholder will have with your brand. In our highly digital world, web users expect seamless experiences, responsive sites, mobile apps, and other robust digital solutions. Tech brands are held to a higher standard when it comes to site functionality and user experience.
Because I mentioned your website, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the importance of SEO. Boosting your SEO doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There are a variety of tactics you can employ, and as a tech brand, these are excellent ways to use—or reuse—your content. A few examples include:
- On-Page SEO – Having relevant, robust content across your website and properly tagging keyword-rich page titles helps search engines like Google understand when to display your pages in the search results for potential customers researching your brand, products, and services.
- Local SEO & Directories – Refining your on-page SEO strategy to target local searches and pushing out your business information on local search directories can be an effective way to raise awareness of your offerings in local markets and capture buyers that need an in-person touchpoint.
- Blogs Posts – While they do take time and effort, publishing blog content with a regular cadence can further educate your stakeholders, expand your thought leadership, or offer a complementary write-up to accompany your latest video.
- Backlinks – Backlinks help to increase your website’s domain authority and direct more traffic to your website. Basically, backlinks create connectors between your content and your audience. How do you get these? Blogs, podcasts, cross-posting, or hosting webinars are just a few ways to create backlinks and drive more stakeholders to your website.
- Video Content – Adding keyword-rich video titles, transcripts, and engaging thumbnails to your videos can help them appear in search results and drive customers to your website. If your videos are hosted on a third-party platform, understanding which SEO tools are part of the platform is necessary to fully take advantage of their benefit.
A structured, long-term strategy of paid advertisements helps to generate leads for tech companies. By prominently featuring your brand across effective advertising platforms, you’re increasing brand awareness, targeting messaging to specific stakeholders (depending on the ad platform), and increasing sales leads.
In closing, strategic technology marketing and brand-building is key to standing out and resonating with target audiences in a competitive and fast-moving marketplace. If you’re looking for an experienced B2B marketing and creative agency to help you generate attention, create demand, and disrupt the market, contact us to discuss how we can help elevate your brand. And to stay up to date on Spire news, awards, and blog posts, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spire Wire newsletter.
Katie Olivier is an Account Director and PR Specialist at Spire, one of the country’s most awarded B2B branding agencies.