Marketing budgets are on the up. According to The Marketing Budgets 2015 survey, 63% of marketers planned to increase their budgets last year, and 2016 will only go one way. It is a double-edged sword, however – as budget increases, so too do performance expectations of marketers in the technology industry.

According to a recent survey of technology marketers, lead generation continues to top the list of priorities.  Marketers need to make sure they’re taking the right action to stay at the top of their game. Three simple steps are needed to achieve this: work with the technology media, focus on social media and video investment. Here are some ways marketers can maximise budgets and boost lead generation.

Take time for the tech media

Against this backdrop of increased marketing spend, greater scrutiny of results and a stronger desire than ever for leads, marketers should look to work with the technology media to achieve their goals. With more options on offer than ever, including their own brand environments, publications and social platforms, the media is more relevant than ever before. From extending targeting efforts, implementing multi-touch systems and producing content which is 100% relevant, the media is a powerful tool and one marketers should make time for.

With the ream of benefits working with the technology media brings, it’s no surprise that more than 30% of marketers are investing more budget in building these partnerships. However, it’s important marketers find the best fit for their needs to make the most of the relationship. Marketers looking to extend their targeting efforts and engage more with potential buyers, for example, should work with media who focus on multi-touch interaction; those that bring together research and editorial platforms. When the right partnership is made and fostered, the opportunities for editorial inclusion are strengthened.

Keeping it social

Since its advent, social media has proved itself as a hugely valuable tool for marketers. In fact, according to Socialmediaexplorer, by spending as little as six hours a week, more than 66% of marketers have seen lead generation benefits from social media. Quite simply, marketers that don’t invest run the risk of being left behind by their competitors. Social has the potential to reach a massive audience, especially on Twitter. Retweets reach followers’ followers, creating a network effect, with a view to driving audience engagement and bringing the right people back to the landing page.

Marketers should follow the example of leading cookie brand, Oreo. It recognised the opportunity to hijack the 2015 solar eclipse socially by owning the promoted trend on Twitter, whilst many other brands simply tweeted responses to the event. Oreo continued to dominate on social media by using real time digital billboards to show content to millions of people on Facebook. The result? Positioning itself as the brand the most closely associated to the astronomical event. Social is undoubtedly a powerful tool but it’s important to embrace the many types of content that can be created. Don’t let corporation guidelines get in the way and always aim for more than just control. Get involved if you can tell a compelling story and make sure you have a strategy in place. It’s a great way to have regular conversations with your customers and to deliver more messages. Marketers who ignore social do so at their own peril. Don’t ignore and you won’t be ignored!

The video star

Publishers agree video should be used when it’s the most suitable channel and while several publishers acknowledge getting meaningful engagement with B2B video can be tough, some are having success with short-form snackable content that is less than three minutes. Video suits the modern ‘always on’ consumer and is a massive asset for building brand awareness.

According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017. Consumers like video because it satisfies their needs with minimal effort, providing information which is easy to digest quickly. It enables marketers to reach an extremely broad audience base as today’s mobile-first social video apps make them accessible to everybody, wherever they are and whatever device they’re on.

Social video particularly, allows brands to go beyond the promotional and into the creative, instantly boosting brand awareness and engagement and making more leads possible. By investing in video, marketers can feel confident their message is getting out there and leads are getting generated. A win-win situation.

By getting on board with technology media, social media and video, technology marketers have the best chance to succeed with lead generation and make their budgets work hard. Technology brands need to understand that they’re at the forefront of the news agenda and need to recognise that the media is where the greatest experience of working with a highly-engaged audiences lies. Once that is understood, the rest will follow.