Every marketer responsible for lead generation at a B2B technology company knows how difficult and expensive it is to generate new contacts for potential customers. And this is not the only challenge marketers face. Building a brand and creating lasting relationships with the target audience is equally challenging.
Technology companies are outdoing themselves with designs and ideas to promote their products or services. In my opinion, offering value to your potential customers is always the most effective way to attract the attention of potential clients. What exactly would that value be? How do you provide it?
Until recently, there were a lot of talks mainly about content marketing as a way to promote your business and generate valuable leads. But remember, content marketing is a very broad term. It can mean publishing high-quality articles on a blog, creating ebooks, conducting research and sharing the results, or organizing webinars, just to name a few examples.
How to offer valuable content in the B2B sector?
Fortunately, there are many forms of content marketing and ways to offer valuable content. I believe that active knowledge sharing will soon become a new trend. People know that they need to constantly learn and upskill, and they are increasingly interested in doing so online.
How can technology companies take advantage of this trend? One of the best decisions is to create your online academy. This may sound like a very demanding project, but it is worth investing time and budget in such an initiative. Another way is to start your certification program, which I will talk about later in this article.
Now let's get down to details and see how to create your online academy.
Online academy as the best B2B lead generation channel
In order for your online academy to meet its two main goals: sharing valuable knowledge and B2B lead generation, you need to align its topic with the problems and challenges your potential customers are facing. I assume, of course, that you know how to solve these problems :)
How to combine these two goals? Define the target audience for the course and list their challenges. Then determine in what form you want to deliver the knowledge - whether it will be videos, or maybe PowerPoint presentations or notes in a downloadable PDF.
Let's say you sell customer service software to small and medium-sized businesses. Your online academy should offer courses focused on how to deliver good customer service. The content you create should be created for small and medium business owners as well as the customer service agents they employ.
Or maybe you sell marketing automation software. Then you should create a marketing automation academy and offer courses focused specifically on this segment of marketing. Make a course about marketing and sales funnels, discuss the topic of email marketing in detail, social media management or teach course participants how to segment leads. There are really many topics you can cover.
If, on the other hand, you offer nursery management software, create a course on how to manage a nursery. Gather best practices from the market, engage educators and nursery staff to share their experiences.
As you can see, the scheme is really simple: when creating an academy, you focus on topics that directly relate to the product or service you offer.
Remember, however, that an online academy is not meant to be a pushy advertisement of the software you sell. You can use screenshots from the tool as examples or even better - give course participants free access to your solution, but the content cannot be focused on it. You have to provide value and at the same time, you can show that you offer an interesting program, never the other way around.