Amplify Your IT Business Marketing Like a Champ by Unifying Online & Offline Strategies

Amplify Your IT Business Marketing Like a Champ by Unifying Online & Offline StrategiesThe average IT business owner has multiple options in their marketing toolbox for getting their message out. There’s social media, online advertising, local radio, postcard mailers, and so on. But often these strategies are done in silos without any real integration, which can lead to missed sales opportunities.

Consumers are already integrating their shopping habits, which means your message should follow suit. In a survey of 1,500 shoppers of all ages, 83 percent say they use their smartphones while shopping at a physical store.

By combining the power of your offline and online marketing strategies, you can amplify both to get better results and drive more of the types of leads you’re looking for to boost your IT business.

Why Harmonizing Your Sales Message is Important

Not only can the integration of online and offline marketing help you create a cohesive message across your marketing channels, it can also keep you from making major marketing mistakes, like McDonald’s did back in 2012.

Integration Fail

A lack of offline integration was one of the reasons McDonald’s had to stop a major online marketing campaign in its tracks shortly after its big launch.

McDonald’s wanted to encourage followers to tweet out their inspiring stories about experiences at their restaurants using the hashtag #McDStories, but as soon as they launched this online effort, the hashtag was quickly converted to use for McDonald’s horror stories instead.

Had they done an offline connection by explaining more about their concept in stores, for example on their drink cups or bags, perhaps consumers would’ve had more guidance and the effort wouldn’t have gone horribly wrong.

Getting Started with Unifying Your Message

Before we get into tips on how to bring your different marketing channels together, we need to start with the buyer’s journey. Thinking about where your buyers go and what you’d like them to do will give you the road map you need to plug online and offline channels into the mix.

First, begin with understanding what your customers are doing and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my ideal buyer route? (i.e. Find my IT shop on Google > look at my website > visit or call my shop)
  • How do leads initially find you and where do those touchpoints lead them?
  • What influences your customers both online and offline (i.e. your store signage, your social media posts)
  • When people visit or call your IT shop, how did they first hear about you?

Next, look at your marketing from their perspective by going through your marketing channels with a fresh eye. For example, start from looking at one of your social media posts, click the call to action, where does that land you and does it match the message just clicked on?

Here are some things to consider that can help you provide a more cohesive experience for the consumer:

  • Does your messaging match when they move through the marketing chain?
  • Are leads being given enough information before being asked to purchase?
  • Do you give them a chance to identify their needs in your sales funnel?
  • Is a visitor’s online and offline experience with your IT business consistent?
  • Do you offer a smooth transition if someone finds you offline and want to purchase online, and vice versa?

Tips for Unifying Your Online & Offline Marketing Worlds

Once you see the power in presenting a unified experience between your offline and online marketing worlds, you’ll realize that it’s actually easier to present an integrated campaign rather than trying to do your marketing piecemeal, a channel at a time.

Here are tips to get you started with a fully integrated marketing plan.

Make Use of Teaser Advertising

Teaser campaigns take advantage of people’s natural curiosity by building anticipation of a particular event. They also offer a perfect way to integrate both offline and online marketing channels.

For example, if you wanted to promote a new mobile device management software that you just became a partner reseller for, you could do it something like this:

  • Create your teaser message series and accompanying graphics
  • Add a call to action to be “the first to hear the announcement” and give a landing page or email address
  • Send those out on postcards
  • Put up in store banners
  • Advertise on social media
  • The day of, use a dedicated landing page as well as in store banners for the announcement

Here’s a great example of a teaser message from the hotel industry.

Teaser marketing example

Use an Online CTA in Offline Campaigns

The Call to Action (CTA) is one of the bedrocks of any good marketing, whether it’s done online or off. By using an online CTA on offline campaigns that directs people to a URL either through text or a QR code you can fluidly integrate the two mediums.

Over 90% of people that read your headline also read your CTA.

A big benefit of driving those offline leads to a specific webpage is that you can more easily track your marketing campaigns and see what’s working. Just make a specific page for each campaign, rather than using your main website pages. This also gives you the ability to create an easy-to-remember URL that may be shorter than your SEO-optimized ones.

Here are some examples of driving offline connections to your online landing page to give them more specific lead-converting info:

  • Adding a QR code to a postcard or paper brochure
  • Podcast advertising offering a coupon if they visit “yoursite.com/special”
  • Adding an online URL to your sales receipt that offers a special deal on a future repair or upgrade
  • Pre-loading a desktop link to your Office 365 or Cloud Solutions landing page onto any refurbished PCs you sell

Want to do the reverse?

Here are some examples of driving traffic in the other direction, from online to offline:

  • Adding a printable coupon to a webpage to be used “when you bring in your PC”
  • Making an offer of an “IT security chat over great coffee… on us!” on a social media post
  • Using a CTA with your phone number (You’re probably already doing this one!)
  • Offer a way for a visitor to schedule a house call or on-site visit from your website.

Bring Offline Events Online

Do you give Office 365 workshops or trainings for cybersecurity in your IT shop? Expand your reach by also offering an online version of the same class. All it takes is someone to run video and watch for any online comments during your Q&A.

This is a great way to take advantage of Facebook marketing through their live stream video feature and gain more traction on social media. It also means that you can basically offer unlimited seats at your workshop, getting more lead potential from your time and effort.

video marketing

Here are some eye-opening statistics from Tech Jury related to the benefits of video live steaming:

  • 96% of people say they’ve watched an explainer video for a product/service
  • 79% of consumers say that a brand’s video convinced them to buy software or apps
  • 40% of people say that video increases their chance of a purchase on mobile
  • Videos generate 1200% more engagement on social media than text and images
  • Over 1 in 5 Facebook videos are Live and watched 3x longer than pre-recorded ones

Create a Mobile App

A great way to marry your online and offline marketing is by offering a mobile app that basically will follow your leads around and be with them pretty much wherever they go.

There’s no denying the power of mobile in today’s retail and sales environment. 79% of smartphone users made a purchase using their phone within the last 6 months.

Through a mobile app, you can do things like:

  • Allow coupons to be used on a mobile device at your shop instead of having to be printed out.
  • Make it easy for a customer to take a photo of a computer issue and automatically email it to you with a service request.
  • Include a store locator with GPS directions to your shop.
  • Give customers easy access to reviews about your business or a particular software or hardware.
  • Allow guests to take photos of in-store experiences and share them with a click on social media.

88% of consumers doing a local search on their smartphone visit or call that business within 24 hours.

You can also offer advertising on your app from other local businesses, for instance, make it easy for your app users to find a great cup of coffee or bagel nearby.

Use Online-to-Offline (O2O) Commerce

Have you ever ordered something online at Walmart or Home Depot and then went and picked it up in the store later that day? Then you’ve experienced O2O commerce.

It’s a simple, but effective way to offer a consumer the convenience of shopping how they like and making the whole process as time efficient as possible.

You have to wonder why online retail giant Amazon wanted to purchase Whole Foods and get in to the “brick and mortar” business when their online sales are so strong. It’s a testament to the importance of the physical shopping experience and how important it still is, no matter how many gadgets we have.

To take advantage of online-to-offline commerce at your IT business, you could offer the ability to purchase online the following:

  • Refurbished computers/devices that can be picked up same day
  • Home or office on-site tech support visits
  • Managed IT packages
  • Memory or other hardware parts and the installation fee
  • Fee for computer training classes

Doing Online/Offline Right

In order for your integration of online and offline marketing to work well, there are a few rules of thumb to follow that will ensure you do it right.

Use Consistent Branding

It’s important that you keep your branding consistent across all marketing efforts, whether someone’s on your website or in your shop. That means having your own style guide that dictates the colors, fonts, images, and “voice” that you use in all your marketing.

Whenever you see Lego online or off, you can instantly recognize the brand, and that’s exactly the feel that you’re going for. Find some great tips on branding here.

Use Hashtags Wisely

Hashtags are the new calling card for marketing campaigns these days. From Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke to #TweetFromTheSeat by Charmin, hashtags can go viral and get your business noticed if you do them right.

They’re also easy to print on brochures, postcards and flyers to have offline customers take your message online. For your hashtags, you want to:

  • Use one that you attach to your business, i.e. #NeedaGeek2Go
  • Use them for a specific marketing campaigns, i.e. #FixedMyiPhone

Track Cross Channel Conversions

Knowing how your customers are finding you is vital to understanding what’s working and what’s not in your marketing efforts. If someone comes in your shop, simply ask them how they found you. They could’ve seen you on Twitter through a hashtag you used, and that online to offline lead source is important information to know.

Google Analytics is a great help for tracking your online conversions from a variety of different sources.

It’s All Marketing… So, Don’t Over Think It!

Once you’re more mindful about the connection between your online and offline marketing, planning for both to coincide will come naturally and will give your leads and customers a better experience.

How do you connect online and offline marketing & sales? Let us know in comments!

8 of the Best Ways to Use Google Analytics for Your Tech Business Website

For most tech businesses, their website is the main place they generate leads and new customers. So, knowing where people go when they’re browsing your site can help you improve poorly performing pages, find which calls to action work best, and identify where traffic is coming from.

Google Analytics is one of the best tools you can use to gain valuable insights into what’s happening on your site, but many find it overwhelming because of all the data you can find there. They aren’t sure which reports are going to help them the most.

If you’ve ever struggled with Google Analytics, we’ve got some reporting tips for the best ways to get the most out of it to optimize your website performance and understand how visitors are interacting with your content.

The Most Helpful Analytics Areas for Site Performance

Google Analytics is by far the market leader when it comes to traffic analysis tools for websites. It currently has 56.4% of the market share, with the closest competitor, Facebook Pixel, at 8.5%.

Once you get the code installed on your website, going into the interface for the first time can be a little intimidating – there are so many different report types – and it can bring to mind “too much of a good thing.” But knowing which reports to use first for the most valuable website information can reduce the complexity and help you familiarize yourself with the interface at the same time.

Following are some of the best ways you can use Analytics to help you gain actionable insights about the people visiting your tech business website every day.

1. Track Conversions

One of the most important things to know about your website is which conversion methods are working and which aren’t. For example, you may have two different pages with an offer for a free IT security check, but how do you know which signup form is converting better?

By setting up goals in Google Analytics you can track each of those pages separately by sending each signup form to a different thank you page that you’ll designate in the “goals” area of Analytics.

To get started:

Go to the administrative settings, and under the website view, select Goals. You can then set up a total of 20 different goals for various activities you’d like to track on your website. Some examples would be:

  • Contact or signup forms
  • Sales through your online shop
  • Appointments scheduled
  • Emailed referral links
  • When someone plays a video on your site
  • Newsletter signups
  • Shares of social content

Once your goals are set up, they start recording conversions, which you can track in the conversions area. Not only can you see which conversion methods are getting the most hits, you can click into them to see thinks like, whether Google PPC or Google organic is bringing in more conversions or which keywords a PPC lead source used to find your site in the first place.

2. Geo Location of Visitors

Knowing which cities your site visitors are coming from can help you know where you need to focus your advertising. In Analytics you can look at multiple demographics of your audience, and one of the most helpful for marketing decisions is their geo location.

Choose Audience, and then Geo and Location. You can view by country, state, or city to get an overall view of where everyone that visits your site is located, and where you may want to add more marketing.

 

Google Analytics Geo Location

 

3. Identify Your Best and Worst Performing Pages

Which of your site pages are inviting interaction and which are losing people after a few seconds? Google Analytics gives you all the data to understand where you can improve your site content to reduce your bounce rate and drill down into top-performing content.

By viewing Avg. Time on Page, you can see if people are really reading your latest blog and which blogs garner the longest dwell time. If a page has a high percentage of exits, and it’s not a contact form or ‘thank you’ page, that could be a sign you need to work on it and write better content to keep visitors from leaving.

To see this area, go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. You can also look specifically at your landing pages to identify those that aren’t performing well.

4. See What People Are Searching on Your Website

Many IT business owners will put a search bar on their site to help users get to the information they want faster. But they don’t always know what their site visitors are searching for. Knowing that information can help you optimize to better serve those visitors.

For example, if you’re seeing that the number one search on your website is for cloud-based backup help, it can be a catalyst for potentially signing up as a reseller for a top backup application, if you’re not already. You might optimize by creating a dedicated product page for a cloud-based backup program as well as incorporating more blogs on the topic.

Track what people are searching on your site by going to your admin settings, then the website view. Click View Settings > Site Search Settings.

 

Google Analytics Site Search

 

Once it’s tuned on, you can enter in the Query Parameter field, the word or words that designate internal query parameters, such as term,search,query,keywords. This article provides a full step-by-step.

5. Use Custom Dashboards & Reports

A common complaint of many a busy tech business owner is, “I don’t have enough time to look over a bunch of reports every day!” Using the dashboard in Google Analytics, you can set up custom reports and dashboard graphs that show you the most important things you want to know at a glance.

Just go to the Customization area and you can choose to add a dashboard that you customize yourself, use the starter template, or choose from a whole gallery of dashboards that other Analytics users have created.

All the gallery dashboards are rated by users so you can easily find the most useful. Analytics dashboards that are currently showing in the top 5 are:

  • Occam’s Razor Awesomeness
  • New Google Analytics User Starter Bundle
  • Content Analysis Dashboard
  • SEO Dashboard – Finding Top Content and Keywords
  • Social Media Dashboard

Reporting is also customizable and it’s easy to save a report in multiple areas of Analytics based upon the view of variables you’ve set. What’s especially handy is that you can set any reports you find particularly helpful to automatically run and email to you on a timeframe you set. So, you save time not having to pull up the program every day and just get the key information you need sent to your inbox.

6. Set up Analytics Alerts

Have you ever had your website go down in the middle of a busy day and had no idea until a customer later tells you they had trouble accessing it. Using alerts in Google Analytics can help you keep an eye on things and immediately know if something is amiss or if there is a particular event that happens that you want to know about.

Set up Alerts in the administrative settings, under the website view, look for Custom Alerts. You can receive alerts by email or text message. They can be set up for any number of different website triggers. Here are a few examples of how you can use them.

Get alerted when:

  • Traffic slows or drops off entirely
  • You’ve made an ecommerce sale on your site
  • One of your conversion goals triggers
  • Site traffic falls off or increases for a particular city

7. Find Slow Loading Pages

Does it seem like you’re losing people when they get to certain site pages? It could be because your page loading time is causing them to leave. Many visitors are browsing from a mobile device these days, which exasperates the load time issue.

People just aren’t going to stick around if your site pages take too long to see. Pages loading within 2 seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, but if a page takes 5 seconds to load, bounce rate increases to 38%.

You can use the Site Speed area, under Behavior, to get an overview of your page load times and see individually how each page compares to your site’s average page load time.

Analytics also offers Page Speed Suggestions to help you optimize and reduce load time.

8. Optimize for the Natural Flow of Your Visitors

Does a visitor go to your main page first, then your managed services page, about us page, and then drop off before visiting Contact Us? Knowing that can help you optimize for the visitor’s flow pattern for your sales funnel by doing things like adding a contact form to your other pages or beefing up your about us page if it’s got a high percentage of exits.

Under the Audience area of Analytics, you’ll find Users Flow at the bottom. This is an incredibly useful chart that lets you see exactly which page paths your visitors take, and which pages cause them to want to explore more.

You can look at the flow pattern for your entire site, PPC leads, organic leads, or any number of other different filter settings to really get to know your audience and how they interact with your website.

Gain Powerful Insights to Help Your Business

Once you get into Google Analytics, you realize that it has many powerful reporting insights that other companies try to charge for. If you focus on the most helpful areas of Analytics first, you can get what you need without getting overwhelmed and then dive in a little deeper as you have time.

Do you have a favorite report or insight from Google Analytics? Share it in the comments!

 

The Amazing Power of Infographics to Educate & Generate Leads for Your Tech Business

The Amazing Power of Infographics to Educate & Generate Leads for Your Tech BusinessIt’s hard to beat the power of visuals when it comes to getting your message across in an engaging way. Studies have shown that internet readers pay closer attention to images carrying information than to plain text only.

Infographics can transform a boring step-by-step guide into something more engaging and easier to understand. Beyond helping to educate, Infographics make an excellent addition to the content marketing toolbox of any tech business.

Do you think infographics are too complicated to do yourself? Not so! Many new online tools make it simple to create stunning infographics that you can use to strengthen your content marketing strategy and to help brand your business.

Getting Started with Infographics

Infographics predate the internet itself. The combination of text, statistics, and images to relay information has been used for things such as explaining the economy of England in the 1700’s and promotional signs at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Today’s infographics take multiple forms, combining text, visuals, and information in a variety of ways to give us information that’s easily digested and in a way that is perfect for today’s shorter attention spans.

The use of infographics is about more than just data visualization, they’re often used as lead magnets, educational aids, and as sharable content meant to take your company’s name and URL along with it wherever it ends up.

Infographics have been shown to increase website traffic by up to 12%. (HubSpot)

So, how can you work infographics into your content marketing strategy? What are some of the benefits you’ll see from investing your time and effort?

We’ll start with some tips on how to create infographics, then discuss where you can use them in your IT business marketing strategy.

How to Make Infographics

You don’t have to be a graphics pro or even know how to use Adobe Photoshop to make infographics. There are multiple tools online that offer a drag-and-drop style interface and let you edit pre-set templates to make attractive infographic visuals.

First let talk about some of the elements you’ll need to consider when creating an infographic:

  • Type of Information: Is it a step-by-step? Office 365 benefit statistics? The type of information being displayed will dictate the best format to use.

 

  • Audience: If you’re writing to a residential audience, you may want to use friendly icons and fun images (like a happy computer). If it’s a commercial audience, you’ll want the infographic to look more business-like.

 

  • Colors/Fonts: These will go along with the audience type, but also consider colors that reflect your brand. While they don’t have to match exactly, you don’t want your infographic colors to clash with your own logo either.

 

  • Branding: Make sure there is room in a corner of your infographic to display your IT business logo and website URL. You want your infographic to be shared, so you should have your company displayed on the graphic itself.

 

There are several online tools you can use to make infographics from pre-built templates or from scratch. Many of them are free, and some offer a free trial or secondary paid “premium” tier for more features.

Here are some of the top sites that offer the ability to design infographics pretty easily (no design experience required!):

  • Venngage (Free option, Premium is $19/month)
  • Canva (Free option, Pro is $9.95/month)
  • Piktochart (Free option, Pro is $24.17/month)
  • Adobe Spark (Free option, Individual plan is $9.99/month)
  • Infogram (Free option, Pro is $19/month)

Ideas for Types of Infographics to Make

Once you’ve decided to give infographics a try to bolster your IT business marketing, your next decision is what to make. Here are several ideas to help with infographic content targeted to IT customers.

Educational Content

Visuals have been found to improve learning and retention by 400%, which make them an excellent way to relay educational content, which is one of the most popular types of content searched online.

People use the internet to learn just about everything, and the “How-To” topic has steadily remained in the 90th percentile of search interest (measuring level of popularity of a search term between 1 and 100). According to Google Trends, the search term “How to make my computer faster” has a popularity that consistently ranks in the 85-90 range (out of 100).

By creating educational infographics, you can both add value to your website by offering “self-help” content, and you can draw more visitors looking for technology related how-tos.

Some ideas for educational infographics you could make for your IT business:

  • How to install memory
  • Steps for making a computer faster
  • How to customize your Windows 10 Start panel
  • How to create a business continuity plan
  • Using Accessibility Settings on Windows/Mac
  • Steps for checking if an email is real or fake

Comparison

A comparison infographic can help give people the information they need to make a choice between two or more things. These can be product or software focused, like a Microsoft Teams vs Slack comparison, or one that compares the costs of break/fix services versus having a managed IT services plan.

IT business example of comparison infographic

Comparison infographic example from Venngage.com

You can use a comparison to both educate and promote products and services. For example, if you’re a reseller for particular anti-malware software, do an infographic comparison with that product and a product with less features.

Statistical Infographic

People love to reference statistics to back up a specific point, so statistical infographics and very sharable can help you get backlinks to your website for SEO purposes while also putting your brand in front of more eyes.

Think of some statistics that your clients might be interested in, such as the latest cyberthreat data or the most popular mobile phones by market share.

One way to create a statistical infographic is to pull data points from a recent publicly available report, then cite the report source at the bottom of the infographic. Some you can try are:

Tips & Tricks

Tech tips are a great way to grab someone’s attention and position yourself as a trusted expert. An infographic format makes the perfect way to serve up bite-sized pieces of information. Tips will also have sticking power as a “go to” reference for doing something faster.

Some ideas for tips & tricks you can use for an infographic include:

  • Google search tips
  • Top keyboard shortcuts for Windows/Mac
  • Windows 10 tricks for (insert a target market, like Accounting Firms)
  • Tips for setting up social media security

Using Infographics to Your Advantage

Once you have your infographic completed, it’s time to deploy it to help generate more business. Here are some of the ways to use your infographics.

Social Media Content

The visual style of infographics make them perfect as sharable content on social media and can help your message and business name reach more people.

According to SearchEngine Journal, infographics are liked and shared over social media 3x more than any other form of content.

If you’re making an infographic for social sharing, keep in mind the image requirements for a particular platform. If you’re using one of the longer style infographics, then you may want to make a thumbnail image to post on social media with a link to your page with the full infographic.

Lead Magnet

Lead magnets help you build up your email marketing list by asking website visitors to exchange their email address for the chance to access your great content. All styles of infographics work well as lead magnets.

lead magnets for IT sites

Email marketing has one of the best ROI’s of any type of marketing method, generating approximately $38 for every $1 spent. So, the more you can build up your email list the better chance you have at bringing in qualified leads and new business.

Email Newsletter

And speaking of that email newsletter, it’s a great place to introduce a new infographic and offer additional value to those that subscribe. Including an infographic with a product comparison can help you generate repeat business by introducing current clients to a new software or service offering you have.

Press Release

If you’ve put together a particularly informative infographic, then it could be worthy of a press release, which can get your business mentioned in local media, magazines, and other publications.

An example of a press release worthy infographic would be if you created an original report and infographic about technology challenges that’s based upon your own data collected by surveying over 100 businesses or fellow IT service providers.

Blogs

Website blogs are one of the main cogs in any content marketing and SEO strategy and infographics fit in perfectly with the blog format. Use your blog to discuss the items in the infographic in more detail (being sure to use plenty of related keywords). Your readers get the best of both worlds, an easy-to-read infographic version of the content and a more detailed text version.

Brochures/Presentations/eBooks/White Papers

Once your infographic has been introduced and is out there generating some traffic, a great way to repurpose it is to add it into pertinent sales brochures, presentations, eBooks, or industry white papers.

An infographic can help you break up long areas of text, add a pop of color and interest, and provide helpful back up information that fits in nicely with larger marketing pieces.

Expand Your Content Marketing with Style

The human brain can process entire images in as little as 13 milliseconds. So, why not take advantage of the power of infographics?! They can market your business in a whole new way and nicely compliment your longer-form content.

What’s your experience with infographics for marketing your IT business? Share your story in the comments!

Why is Branding So Important for Your IT Business Site?

Why is Branding So Important for Your IT Business Site?Branding is one of those terms that’s tossed about in marketing conversations, but not everyone truly understands what it means. It’s more than just a logo and the colors scheme you use. Branding is about helping your potential clients know what to expect from your tech business.

Your branding is sets you apart from the competition and projects the personality and expertise of your business and gives people a reason to remember you.

If you don’t pay attention to branding for your company, you run the risk of blending into the background when potential leads are looking for the types of services you offer and missing out on sales.

What is Branding, Exactly?

Branding drives sales and helps position your company as the one someone remembers (and calls!) when their computer crashes in the middle of the workday. But before we start getting into the benefits, let’s talk about what branding actually means.

Branding includes several persona elements that make your company unique. While a logo is one of these, it’s just one part of your “brand.” Key elements of your brand include:

  • Your logo
  • Your color scheme (used in your logo, website, etc.)
  • Your website personality or voice (straight-forward, humorous, etc.)
  • Your values statement
  • Your slogan
  • Your names for products/services

We’ll call all these elements your “brand persona” and once you develop it you should use it consistently across all your marketing.

71% of companies cite customer confusion as the biggest negative element of inconsistent branding.

Why is Branding Your IT Site Important?

What’s the difference between a company that brands themselves well and one that doesn’t? Let’s take a look at two ice cream brands to illustrate the point.

The first example is Ben & Jerry’s. When you hear that name, you’re probably already thinking of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds, and cows on rolling green hills. Their brand evokes feelings of fun, funky, hip, and approachable. Ben & Jerry’s brand is memorable and you can spot it instantly because they’re consistent across all their products with look and style, down to the fun fonts they choose.

business branding example

Now think of Great Value ice cream, which is the store brand sold by Walmart. Can you remember what the package looks like? How about the types of feelings the ice cream evokes? It’s not as memorable is it? And, the only feeling you may get from it is cheap. That’s because Walmart doesn’t really need to put money into branding their generic products.

You want your tech business to stand out and be a “Ben & Jerry’s” rather than a more forgettable “Great Value.”

Branding is vital to a company and can make a huge impact on their bottom line. Below are reasons that you want to take time developing your company brand.

Makes Your Company Memorable

We’ve already been mentioning this one…and it bears repeating. When a potential customer is searching through computer shops and comparing you with your competitors, you want your company to be the one that is most memorable.

It takes just 10 seconds for a person to form an opinion of a brand, and you can either be the one that evokes positive emotions or the one that’s forgettable. Good branding makes you memorable.

memorable branding

Builds Trust

Using branding consistently tells a customer that your company is reliable. If your company is consistent in your branding across all your marketing and customer experiences, then that customer is going to assume you have your act together and are also just as trustworthy and consistent when it comes IT support and service.

Drives Sales

Being recognizable and standing out from your competition is going to help you generate more leads and more sales. According to Forbes, consistent branding across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23%.

Encourages Customer Loyalty

A loyal customer can be worth 10 times as much as a single purchase. When you have a specific brand persona, customers enjoy being part of your “tribe” and will tend to be very loyal.

Think about the types of movies you like to watch. If you’re Marvel fan, then you have probably seen multiple movies in the franchise from Iron Man to Black Panther to Captain America. Marvel has a very specific brand and it’s one that fans (comic/ticket/merchandise buyers) are proud to be associated with.

One example of clever IT branding (before they were bought out and watered-down by Best Buy) was the Geek Squad. We saw them spring to popularity when they were young and independent, and their “Men in Black” style was something cool that people wanted to be associated with and stay loyal to.

If you give customers a brand they can hang on to, they’ll be loyal repeat customers, and refer you to others too!

Attracts Top Talent & Fosters Pride

With a brand that makes heads turn, you’ll not only attract new business, you’ll attract top talent as well. This means you can have your pick of the best IT technicians in your area because they’ll want to be associated with your brand.

Great branding also fosters employee pride, which is like a “circle of life” to any business. Happy employees = happy customers = happy business owners.

Helps You Attract Your Ideal Customer

If you brand to match your ideal customer type, then you have a much better chance of attracting them. When you know what your key customer persona for your sales funnel is, work to position yourself as a perfect match for their needs through your branding.

For example, if you are trying to generate more corporate accounts and get away from residential computer services, then a logo showing a computer with a band-aid on it and text headers in comic sans font, won’t help you do that. Instead, you’d want something a bit more professional to attract a business client.

Tips for Branding Your Tech Business Website

So, beyond picking a logo, what should you do to brand your IT business? Here are some tips that can put you on the right track to being memorable.

Be Mindful About Your Color Scheme

Just picking a basic two-color scheme might mean your website looks like a bunch of others to a customer. Be mindful about the colors you choose and do a little research on what colors mean to consumers and how they’ll project your brand voice.

Brand colors improve brand recognition by more than 80%.

Common color psychology:

  • Red: Energy, Danger, Action
  • Orange: Creativity, Adventure, Enthusiasm
  • Green: Money, Health, Generosity
  • Blue: Trust, Harmony, Stability

Having a scheme of four colors that are complimentary, will give you plenty of options for your logo, website borders, and other elements. Make sure you use the same exact color code every time you use one of your scheme colors. This will help with recognition and consistency.

Our tip is to pick one color that you really like, find the Hex color code, then use a color scheme generator to generate complimentary colors to fill out your scheme.

Find Your Voice

One of the most important aspects of branding is your voice. That means how you present yourself in print, digitally, and in all the marketing you do. Your voice projects your company’s personality.

Here are two examples of different brand voices (one is friendly with a sense of humor and the other is professional):

Example 1: XYZ Tech is filled with passionate geeks that really know their stuff! Whether you have a computer crash in the middle of a project or are looking for a backup and data recovery plan that works no matter what, we’ve got your back! You bring the pizza, and we’ll bring the IT talent!

Example 2: XYZ Tech has Microsoft and Apple Certified technicians with years of experience serving small and medium business IT needs. Whether you have a system that goes down and requires immediate attention or are concerned about secure backup and recovery solutions, our team has the knowhow and expertise to meet any technology demand.

How you present your voice should match your imagery, photos, videos, and other marketing collateral so they all work together in concert to solidify your brand.

Be Consistent Across All Platforms

Consistency of course is vital to building that trust, so you want to ensure you’re using your branding in the same way across all marketing platforms, including:

  • Website
  • Uniforms/shirts
  • Brochures
  • In person
  • Customer emails
  • Videos
  • Memes/images
  • Social media
  • Letterhead, quotes, invoices
  • Business cards

It takes a customer approximately 6 to 8 interactions with a brand before they turn into a viable sales lead. You want to solidify your brand and have those leads remember you, and you do that by showing them a consistent company persona with every interaction.

Research Your Competition

The best way to stand out from your competition is to see what their brand personas look like. Go online as if you were your own customer and search for your services to see what competitors come up.

Then visit their websites to see how they present their brand. This can give you ideas on how to hone your own branding and how to stand out from other competing businesses in your area.

Show Off Your Brand

Once you’ve worked hard on your branding, you want to show it off and start getting that recognition going throughout your community. There are several ways you can do this. Here are a few ideas:

  • Partner with other local (non-competing) businesses for a flyer or business card swap
  • Volunteer as a team and wear matching logo t-shirt or hats
  • Give out logo mugs to customers as a thank you gift
  • Create sharable content in your brand voice (infographics, eBooks, etc.)
  • Offer a series of tech tip videos, all consistently branded

Better Branding = Better Business

The time and attention you put into designing your brand – from the colors to the images to the voice – will definitely be worth it and will make a positive difference in your customer experience, lead generation, and loyalty.

How would you describe your brand? Let us know in the comments!

5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Kill Your Computer Business Reputation

5 Social Media Mistakes That Will Kill Your Computer Business ReputationIf you want to grow your business and engage potential customers where they’re spending their time, then social media marketing is a must. If you’re not making good use of social platforms, it can be a costly mistake for your computer business.

The average time per day that people spend on social media is 2 hours and 22 minutes. And part of that time is devoted to purchase decisions. 54% of social media users report using it to research products and services.

But just signing up for a social media account and posting when inspired, isn’t going to be enough to get you traction on these important platforms. You’ve got to devote some time and effort to it and avoid making some of the key social media mistakes if you want to take advantage of what social has to offer your IT firm. [Read more…]

Why You Should Segment Your Tech Business Email List (and How to Do It!)

Why You Should Segment Your Tech Business Email List (and How to Do It!)You just received a sales email meant for electricians, but you’re an IT business, so you hit “delete” without reading more. That’s just one example of the problems with a non-segmented email list. Speaking to each subscriber’s distinct needs can make your emails and newsletters a more successful sales tool.

Your tech business customers aren’t all the same, so your emails to them shouldn’t be either. Some may be seniors with residential IT needs, others may be virtual working professionals with tech needs closer to those of small businesses.

Segmenting your email list matters when it comes to ensuring your email efforts are as successful as possible. According to online marketing firm HubSpot, emails designed to match the needs of the subscriber generate 18 times more revenue than generic broadcast emails. [Read more…]

How Can I Create Effective Sales Funnels for My IT Business?

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A good sales funnel for any IT business should address these key questions:

  • How do leads find me?
  • What is their next step?
  • What triggers them to become a customer?
  • What happens after the sale?

Matching your marketing and nurturing strategies to a well thought out sales funnel can reduce the gaps that sales dollars may be slipping through and can help you integrate all your marketing efforts into a cohesive strategy to drive more business. [Read more…]

How to Use the Power of Testimonials to Bring in More Sales for Your IT Business

When a customer gives you a testimonial, it not only feels great hearing that they’re happy with your IT services or products, it can also be a very powerful marketing tool to drive new business.

According to Social Fresh, customer testimonials are the most effective form of content, with an effectiveness rating of 89%. People trust testimonials and reviews as much as a personal recommendation, which means they’ll be much more likely to choose your company if you have them.

[Read more…]

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important website strategies to use if you want to have your MSP website found online by potential customers.

Unfortunately, you can’t just put your site up and expect it to naturally show up on page one or two in local area searches for “IT help” or “computer shops.” It takes some optimization on the back end to help it communicate better with Google’s search algorithms.

By using some simple SEO techniques that are considered “low hanging fruit,” you can have a significant positive impact on your search rankings without needing to spend days or weeks trying to code your site with meta tags. [Read more…]

Tips for Making Video Promotion Impactful & Engaging for Your IT Business

Video MarketingEveryone is buzzing about video these days, and it’s because video has evolved to become a vital tool in every company’s marketing plan. Simply adding a video to an email boosts click-through rates by 200-300% and having one on your homepage can increase conversion rates by 20% or more.

In this digital age, people like to watch videos and can take in much more information from a few minutes of well-designed video footage than they can trying to read through several pages of text.

If you’re like many IT business owners, you’ve probably been working videos into your mix of marketing activities. But you might not know the best practices you should be following to get the most out of your efforts and create a video that engages and converts the viewers.

Are you fully utilizing the description area in YouTube? Are you ending with a splash screen with your website address, but no call to action?

Before you upload your next promotional video, you’ll want to take a look through our tips of the best practices to help generate a successful video marketing campaign.

[Read more…]