The 2015 GP Bullhound Northern Tech Awards shone a spotlight on some incredible success stories from the technology scene across northern England and Scotland.
Of course, the tech sector is thriving throughout the UK, but it's great to see northern businesses recognised for their achievements - particularly as we're a north-west inbound marketing agency that helps B2B technology firms to generate leads and grow their business.
Inspired by the innovation showcased at this year's awards ceremony, here are five outstanding tech companies from the north-west (in no particular order) that really understand how to drive growth with B2B content marketing.
Salford Quays-based ResponseTap was ranked at 11 in the Northern Tech Awards' top 50 fastest growing companies. The company uses phone call tracking, analytics and automation software to help businesses evaluate the customer experience from end to end.
There's an impressive straightforwardness and confidence about the content on ResponseTap's website. A simple, highly effective call to action on the homepage instructs the visitor to 'Read the whitepaper - Voice the relationship milestone'. It creates a sense that the company is sharing genuine thought leadership - an impression strengthened by the blog, where complex questions about data and omni-channel integration are treated with refreshing simplicity.
Manchester's Godel Technologies is another company that features in the top 50 league table, having posted revenue growth of 41% last year. It's a software development specialist that offers services such as quality assurance and project-based IT outsourcing.
From a content perspective, there's definitely room for improvement on the Godel website. It's possible the company is still working out its strategy internally (there's nothing to download and it's not immediately clear where to find the blog, for example). However, the authenticity and sheer readability of some of that blog material suggests the firm has a strong foundation to build on. This post by CEO Neil Turvin about a visit to Spotify in Stockholm is a great example.
SMS marketing firm Textlocal was one of the fastest growing companies profiled at last year's Northern Tech Awards. It also placed at number 25 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in 2013 - recognition of the Chester-based company's rapid transformation from bedroom start-up to a business serving 165,000 users.
The Textlocal website expertly uses content to demonstrate how businesses can benefit from its mobile messaging services. The extensive Guides section contains white papers, infographics and video tutorials that walk-through the features of Textlocal's Messenger product. Downloadable material like the Mobile Customer Experience Report is based on exclusive research - a highly effective way to demonstrate deep industry knowledge and original thought leadership in a sometimes-misunderstood space like text message marketing.
Nothing to do with us here at AG! Our partial namesake Axon is a Macclesfield-based IT solutions company and the 23rd fastest growing tech firm in the north.
Axon's content succeeds by taking an accessible and occasionally humorous look at topics like the cloud and IT security while demonstrating a great deal of expertise. The company is clearly targeting prospective buyers with limited internal IT knowledge and resources, and the long-running Axon blog is perfectly set up to cater for buyer personas in that mould.
IT security specialist Avecto was number four in Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 last year. Its Defendpoint product has taken a share of the market by combining three previously independent security functions, including application sandboxing, in one security client.
The Cheadle-based company now has a global presence and there is plenty to admire on its website in terms of both thought leadership and lead generation. In addition to an extensive resources section (blog, infographics, data sheets, white papers), the site is well optimised with many calls to action that persuade the visitor to request a free trial of Defendpoint.
Whether they realise it or not, each of these companies is driving success with the basics of inbound marketing - engaging with prospective buyers on various channels, educating them with content about how to solve their problems and using high-value content offers to generate leads online. It's an approach that works consistently for innovative tech businesses - those that understand the online buyer's journey and recognise the importance of nurturing the relationship with prospects until they're ready to become customers.