Let’s say you’re a B2B tech company wanting to target the C-suite of enterprises with 500 to 1,499 employees. You aim to develop content that doesn’t just catch their attention, but engages them to the point of opening conversations and generating sales. Sounds great so far, but how do you develop relevant content when your target audience spans a range of different industries? Each sector has its own specific challenges, and generic content just won’t cut it when you’re trying to grab your target market’s attention.
A smarter approach is to look up. Go vertical. By focusing your go-to-market (GTM) activity on specific sectors you can gain attention and engagement by directly addressing the pain points of each one.
In this blog, we take a look at how vertical marketing enables your content to be personalised, relevant and compelling for your target audience. With 69% of buyers saying that a personalised offer empowers them to obtain more value from their vendors, it’s an approach that’s increasingly popular.
It sells to be specific
Talk about how great SD-WAN is and you might get a bored CTO to half cock an ear. Target the healthcare sector, talk about how SD-WAN is transforming the infrastructure of historically slow and inefficient hospitals, and you’ll have healthcare CTOs not just listening intently, but keen to hear more. Back that initial content up with a webinar on how to address the challenges facing the healthcare sector going in to 2021, and a video showing the impact in a real-life hospital setting, and you’ve got the engagement that marketers dream about.
Content that directly speaks to a customer’s needs, relieves purchase anxiety and points them in the right direction has a measurable impact, with a 16% commercial lift compared to content that failed to address these areas.
Engage buyers at every step
Vertical strategies align with the inbound marketing methodology that’s proven so effective. A vertical approach adds value at every step of the customer journey. Buyers may already be interested in a blog discussing the rise of cloud computing, but centre that content around how cloud architecture is currently impacting a specific industry and what your predictions are for that sector over the next 5 years, and that sector’s buyers are far more likely to open the door to you.
With content that consistently adds value and contextualises wider trends for your target sector, you can establish your business as a trusted knowledge partner. Before you’ve even started to steer them towards a sale, your prospective buyers will be coming to you for your views on the market and what lies ahead. And your credibility can extend beyond the C-suite decision makers, because your content can be discovered by sales teams, market researchers and any number of interested parties.
While your competitors are trying (and failing) to catch attention with their blogs and social posts about their new product launch, you’ve become a trusted source of information. You’re in a position to have personalised conversations with the key decision makers in your vertical, talking specifically about how these emerging technologies will directly affect them.
More prospects, more opportunities, more conversations
This focused relationship-building can also have measurable impacts on acquisition costs. By going vertical, your content can bring in more (and more engaged) leads, better conversations and bigger business, so while the initial outlay may be significant, the return on that investment is greater than more horizontal approaches. In 2020, MSPs targeting specific verticals have seen more revenue growth and at greater margins than those without a vertical focus.
What’s more, taking a vertical approach and understanding exactly how an industry uses your services or products can open up new opportunities, by revealing applications that you’d never even thought about. Equally, you may be able to identify ways you could modify your offering that result in a new, even more effective solution for a target vertical.
A vertical focus also provides a good foundation for account-based marketing (ABM). We’ve talked before about how to go about ABM, and one of the biggest obstacles is engaging new contacts that are relatively cold to your offering. But with a vertical strategy, you’ll already be positioned as a trusted knowledge partner, so starting those personalised conversation is much easier. Creating effective, account-targeted content is also far easier if you have a solid basis of industry content to build on.
With so many benefits to be gained, can you afford not to look up and go vertical?
For more details on why vertical GTM strategies work and how to achieve vertical GTM success, download our eGuide The Power of Verticals.