Lead Generation for Technology Companies - What Do You Need to Know?
Technology lead generation is growing, and the art of being able to attract new, relevant audiences in the technology sector is a big industry.
However, technology lead generation has changed massively over the last few years, affected by the global pandemic and changing technology buying habits.
Finding the right audience for B2B marketers running technology lead generation campaigns is a considerable challenge. You're competing with hundreds of other businesses in the same sector and targeting tech-savvy professionals who can tell when they're simply being 'sold to.'
But there are ways to cut through the noise, stand out, and engage new audiences for your products, which is what lead generation for technology companies is all about.
What Is Technology Lead Generation?
B2B technology lead generation is an essential marketing tactic designed to help technology companies reach the right buyers for their products and solutions.
Ultimately as a tech marketer, you want your marketing campaigns to reach and resonate with the right technology decision-makers. You want to fill your CRM or marketing funnel with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) ready for further nurturing.
It may sound simple, but reaching the right technology decision-makers through lead generation is one of the biggest challenges for marketers. In this complete guide to technology lead generation, we’ll help you answer the following questions:
- Why is lead generation for technology companies important?
- How can you target the right technology decision-makers for your products and solutions?
- What technology lead generation strategies are the most effective?
- How can you choose the right technology lead generation supplier to work with?
When you have the answers to all the questions above, you’ll be on your way to generating high-quality and relevant technology prospects for your company.
Technology Lead Generation – Market Growth
Statista forecasts that lead generation and digital advertising spending will grow to $3.24bn in the United States alone by 2023, while Demand Gen Report’s 2022 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey found that 72% of respondents will have increased their marketing budgets by up to 20% throughout 2022, despite the uncertain times.
Those increased budgets are being spent on content marketing, account-based marketing (ABM), and event marketing, among other clever lead generation tactics.
There are several reasons for the growth. Not least because many industries in the technology sector are growing, and the need to find fresh audiences is growing with them.
But it's also partly because B2B customers are now prioritizing 'self-service' product research, meaning they want to research everything about your products and solutions before they contact you.
Therefore, targeted lead generation techniques, such as content syndication lead generation and ABM help you reach your technology buyers at the right time in their buying cycle, taking advantage of this trend.
Why Is Technology Lead Generation Important?
The technology sector is vast and overlaps with every other industry.
There is endless potential for suppliers of technology products and services to find new audiences to sell to and grow their business – with specialist information technology lead generation, B2B lead generation for fintech companies, lead generation for martech businesses, automotive lead generation... the list goes on.
Finding your audience amongst potentially millions of businesses is crucial to your success. You need to target niche industries and specific job titles.
Most importantly, you must tailor your approach to your customers' needs.
LinkedIn's Age of Agility Global Report found that half of all decision-makers get involved in the earliest stages of the technology purchase process, including problem identification, vendor research, and shortlisting. In addition, it says one in three buyers have already done independent research before contacting a technology vendor.
LinkedIn's report also suggests marketing plans must match customer journeys, and you should aim to identify:
- The steps your customers will take in their research.
- How long the customer journey will last (40% are over a year, according to LinkedIn).
- And finally, what you need to do to hold their attention.
The report concludes that marketers should focus not just on generating leads but on building a solid brand, to hold the attention of those prospects once they become MQLs. We see this as combining your demand and lead generation campaigns into one clear strategy.
There are many types of B2B lead generation for technology companies with services and enhancements designed to help you reach the right people at the right time.
Crucially, you should spend time finding the right lead generation supplier. A reputable lead gen company should have a good understanding of your industry and be able to help you pinpoint precisely which businesses to target, ensuring you're reaching the right people and getting those people engaged with your brand.
A high-quality and trustworthy lead generation company should be able to talk you through its complete lead generation process so you're not left questioning how your leads have been generated and whether they are relevant to your products and services.
Effective Lead Generation Strategies for Technology Companies
So how do tech companies successfully generate leads?
TrustRadius' 2022 B2B Buying Disconnect Survey, made up of results from technology buyers, found that free trials, user reviews, community forums, and analyst reports are all showing growth in usage within B2B lead generation campaigns, while product websites are showing a decline.
The trends point to a 'self-service' mindset from customers who want to do their own research and feel in control of the buying process. They expect to do almost all of their research online.
This is great for the technology sector, which naturally lends itself to some really innovative B2B lead generation services, which we're now going to explore.
How Can You Reach the Right Technology Decision-Makers?
We live in an information and research-heavy world. Technology professionals use the internet to find the answers to their problems, and we find the key to effective B2B lead generation lies in providing those answers to their questions.
That means dangling a carrot for decision-makers: a juicy, educational carrot. If that carrot takes the form of valuable content that gives them the answers they need – such as a whitepaper, research report, case study, or eBook – it will be snatched up by your target audience, and they'll happily give you their business card details in return.
Plus, educational and helpful content provides an awesome brand-building opportunity, helping you remain at the forefront of your prospects' minds throughout their buyer's journey.
So the question is, where should you dangle that metaphorical carrot? Well, where they are expecting to find it, of course! So, let's explore some of the most effective lead generation strategies for technology companies in more detail.
Content Syndication Lead Generation
First up, if you're a tech marketer and you're not already using content syndication for lead generation, this section is for you!
B2B content syndication is when a 3rd party lead generation specialist publishes your content – such as an eBook, whitepaper, case study or research report – for professionals to download in exchange for their business contact details.
Good lead generation companies for technology that are both trustworthy and transparent will have content libraries specifically geared to the sector you are targeting.
We at Headley Media, for example, have content libraries in 60 countries under six brands – IT Corporate, Cybersecurity Corporate, HRTech Corporate, MarTech Corporate, FinTech Corporate, and Electronic Pro. Our brands allow our clients to attract leads from the right markets.
The more valuable and relevant your content is, the more likely it will generate strong leads that will convert. If you work with a good supplier, they should be able to give you guidance on what content to use.
A good B2B lead gen company can also warm your content syndication leads up for you before they go to your Sales team by exposing them to more of your content or by adding intent data targeting to analyze how far along their buyer's journey are and how 'ready' they are to talk to Sales.
Local Language Lead Generation
Next up is Local language lead generation, which helps you reach audiences more authentically in multiple countries or regions.
Localized lead generation involves running your campaigns:
- In your target audience's local language - spanning further than just translating your campaigns, but considering cultural differences, too.
- On country-specific lead generation websites for a more authentic and personalized experience for each of your target audiences.
Taking marketing and lead generation localization seriously will help you resonate better with each of your target audiences.
A local language lead gen specialist can help you translate your lead generation campaigns, everything from creating or translating your landing pages and emails to advising you on the best types of content to use, depending on the kind of lead generation campaign you're running.
ABM Lead Generation
Account-based marketing (ABM) lead generation is another great B2B lead generation strategy that helps technology companies create more focused campaigns.
To run a successful ABM lead generation campaign, you'll need to create a target account list (TAL). Your TAL identifies the most lucrative companies for your business and the target accounts you want your marketing campaigns to reach.
To run an ABM lead generation campaign, you'll most likely work with a lead gen specialist cane to help you create or expand your TAL if required.
ABM lead generation works best when your Sales and Marketing teams are aligned. Excellent communications with your Sales team will help you identify the target accounts to include in your TAL, ensuring your ABM lead gen campaigns are focused on the right people.
Audience Intelligence Strategies
Audience intelligence strategies are another great way to enhance your technology lead generation campaigns, as they provide you with more information on each lead.
Here are some examples of how you can enhance your lead gen with audience intelligence:
- Profiling questions are designed to help you get to know your audience better by including additional questions on your campaign's gated form, such as "What is your biggest challenge with [insert topic/technology]?" or "What is your focus for [insert time period]?"
Qualifying questions help you determine if a potential lead is the right person, for example, by including questions on your gated form such as "Are you looking to implement a [insert technology solution] in the next [insert timeframe]?" or "Are you the decision-maker?" The difference with qualifying questions is that there is a 'right' or 'wrong' answer, and only people who give the 'right' answer will qualify as a lead.
- Intent Data Targeting, which layers intent data to your leads, enabling you to understand the relevant topics your prospects are actively researching. Intent targeting enhances your lead generation by helping you to identify when your prospects are more likely to be in an active buying cycle.
BANT questions are designed to help you understand more about your prospects' current buying position. 'BANT' stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe. To learn more about BANT lead generation, explore our Soft-BANT lead gen campaigns.
Lead Generation & Display Ads
B2B Display Advertising is an effective way to keep your brand front of mind with your target audience. By combining your B2B lead generation campaigns with display advertising, you'll be able to capture the attention of your target audience across multiple channels.
Displays ads combined with lead generation are a great way to create surround-sound messaging that helps you stand out against your competitors.
For example, our Headley Display campaigns work alongside any of our lead generation services to deliver a 360-approach to our clients' lead generation campaigns.
Using chatbots or live chat on your website is an easy customer service win and can drive up conversions. You can use them to capture leads at the most effective moment by placing them in strategic spots on your site, such as halfway down your homepage or on a certain landing page.
Offering a Free Tool
The technology industry lends itself very well to this effective lead gen strategy. A free tool available on your website could be as simple as part of your existing software package, with a call to action to get a live demo of the full suite.
Live & On-Demand Demos
Offering to show potential customers your product in action is a great way to capture their interest and their business details. Even better if your product has a unique selling point that will wow them when they see it.
Social media and search engine advertising allows you to be very precise in who you're targeting. And as it's usually based on the cost-per-click model, it's very easy to budget for. It's not perfect for B2B targeting, but it can allow you to do some clever B2C demographic targeting that generally converts well.
However, when considering technology lead generation strategies, finding solutions that offer more than a pay-per-click model will help you create campaigns with a guaranteed ROI. For example, content syndication lead generation typically works on a pre-agreed and fixed cost-per-lead (CPL) basis. The benefit of running your technology lead gen campaigns with a fixed CPL is knowing exactly how many leads your campaign will generate before it begins, helping you to better manage your budget.
Short-form videos– think TikTok and Instagram Reels – are an exciting way for brands to be creative and show a playful side, attracting a bigger social media following and brand loyalty, which can be leveraged for lead generation over time.
However, long-form video, particularly if it's instructional or educational, is a great tool for technology marketers. The more valuable a video is, the more it's worth gating it for lead generation. At Headley Media, a lot of our clients use video content within their lead generation campaigns.
Choosing a Trustworthy Technology Lead Generation Supplier
Your B2B lead gen supplier should thoroughly understand the unique challenges faced by companies and readers in your target audience. After all, business needs vary significantly in different technology sectors.
Below are some of the biggest sectors in the technology industry. Does your business fit into one of these categories? If you're thinking about lead generation for fintech, for example, you should check that your supplier can offer you a content library specifically to generate leads for fintech business.
IT Lead Generation
Lead generation for IT companies is a growing sector: IT professionals are always refreshing their knowledge with the latest industry whitepapers and technology information.
Cloud computing, IT security, SaaS, big data, data warehousing, storage, hardware, email management, network services, mobile computing, and telecommunications are all vital parts of the sector that your lead generation for IT services could be focused on.
Cybersecurity Lead Generation
Cybersecurity is now a non-negotiable investment for businesses across the globe, and cybersecurity decision-makers far wider than just IT departments.
However, reaching the right influencers involved in cybersecurity is a challenge. Cybersecurity lead generation techniques can involve content syndication lead generation, email marketing, and social media marketing, however, one thing remains the same; it's important to choose a cybersecurity lead generation agency that is reputable and transparent.
MarTech Lead Generation
If you're reading this, you're probably already very aware of the challenges tech marketers face, because you are one! However, marketing technology lead generation can focus on email marketing, market research, analytics, automation, SEO, strategy, video marketing, and many other products and services that need to reach marketing and technology decision-makers.
FinTech Lead Generation
Finance professionals are not only becoming more involved in technology purchasing decisions, they are asking more questions and becoming part of the early-stage research phase. Therefore, FinTech lead generation is a very important part of the technology lead generation puzzle.
The finance sector is highly professional, and decisions are often made using data. Fintech lead generation services should offer high-quality content for decision-makers in cloud computing, financial security, banking and lending, insurance and pensions, accounting software, management accounting and reporting, payroll, and tax software.
HR Lead Generation
How do you generate HR leads? By offering up-to-date information on HR's biggest topics: HR and people management, employee benefits and rewards, bonus structures, health insurance, leadership, HR strategy, payroll management, employee training, recruitment, and workforce management. For example, Headley Media's HR lead generation brand, HRTech Corporate, connects you with the right decision-makers involved in HR technology purchasing.
Electronics Lead Generation
Electronic lead generation is aimed at electronics engineers, design engineers, R&D professionals, and technical management. Look for aerospace lead generation and automotive lead generation companies, as well as specialists in the military, analog, communication, components, electromechanical, power, test & measurement, and optoelectronics industries.
Can You Trust Your Lead Generation Company?
When running your technology lead gen campaigns, you need to be sure you've chosen a trustworthy lead generation agency.
The key is transparency: the best B2B content syndication vendors own their content libraries and can show you exactly where your leads come from. By choosing a trustworthy lead generation company, you can be sure each lead has willingly signed up to hear from you, and the supplier has authenticated the details of each one.
A low B2B cost-per-lead (CPL) is always tempting, but a list of cold leads who have never heard of your business and have no interest in hearing from your business is entirely worthless.
Look out for the supplier's Reader Journey: shadier players in the industry might be buying leads from unknown 3rd parties, and not authenticating their leads, so won't be able to show you this.
A reputable technology lead gen agency will be able to show you exactly what the lead generation process looks like from the leads' perspective. For example, at Headley Media, we run our campaigns 100% digitally so we can show you every stage of our readers' journey.
To choose a lead generation company you can trust, use our ungated Quality Lead Generation Checklist when doing your research.