Software companies and startups are everywhere you look. So, if that’s your chosen field, there’s a vital question hanging in the air — how will you stand out? How will you get as many people from your potential audience as possible to see and consider your products and services with all the other options available?
Three words: digital marketing strategy.
Here’s what really matters as part of your digital marketing strategy for software companies.
Tactics for Attracting Your Target Audience
Marketing strategies are not always easy or clear-cut. The best trick to use is to know and understand your end goal for your target audience. This may sound backward, but by starting from the goal and working on the marketing tactics in reverse, you can build the steps you need to arrive at your end goal, helping your prospective customers along the way.
Landing pages? Educational content? Organic search? Social media accounts? All of these marketing channels can be useful in some capacity. It’s important to have the right information on these marketing channels, your potential clients, and which channel or channels will be best for your goals.
You may not select the best option the first time. But don’t give up! You can also hire a professional marketing team to help you with your online presence.
Assess Your Marketing Channel Strengths and Weaknesses
Every marketing tool and channel has strengths and weaknesses. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool for attracting new customers, but it takes time to become effective. You must also be consistent with your content as well.
Ensuring that you have easy-to-read landing pages that are optimized can help to draw new customers to your website and, thereby, your business. If you decide to DIY it, it can be relatively inexpensive. But getting the organic search results you want can take time. One way to reduce this time investment is to make targeted content that is specifically targeting your perfect customer.
Understand B2B Buyers and Develop Personas
Buyer personas help describe your ideal customer, even B2B buyers. Buyer personas are built to summarize the characteristics of prospective customers. By determining the buyer persona that you are likely to work with, you can better help them, improve your software, improve your customer service, or form your marketing plan. It also allows you to design specific content, including blogs, landing pages, and copy for social media accounts that are more appealing to that particular buyer persona.
Knowing that certain marketing tactics will not be effective for every consumer is vital to ensuring the strength of your digital marketing strategy. Email and social media marketing may not work for certain demographics like a simple organic search on a search engine will. It’s all in knowing your target audience.
Think about your target audience. How old are they? What social media accounts do they have and actually use? Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t set profiles up wherever you want, but you certainly shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of interaction if you’re setting them up on the wrong sites.
When content marketing efforts are improved based on buyer personas, prospective customers are more likely to believe as if doing business with that software company is the right decision. The language is trustworthy. They use the right graphics. The general appeal is often greater just from tweaking marketing activities in this way.
Invest in Your Marketing Efforts
Understand that you'll need to have a financial investment commensurate with your goals. As with all business-related items, there needs to be an amount set aside for your marketing efforts, be it social media accounts, email marketing, lead generation, or hiring a marketing team.
Your marketing strategy is a huge part of the success of your business. Without it, your ability to get and retain customers will be difficult. Software development companies and their “thought leaders” continue to pop up. So, your online presence or “brand awareness” must continue to speak to the target audience.
Participate, Don’t Just Sell
When building your digital marketing strategy, focusing on ways to contribute and become a valuable member of your community should definitely be included. This can be done by ensuring that your plans include educational content and just getting involved in conversations on the platform.
Being aware of your audience, what questions they may have, and providing those answers in an easy-to-find and easy-to-read format goes a long way in helping you gain followers, raise brand awareness, and gain more b2b buyers.
Use Educational Content in Marketing Activities
Educational content is a great way to gain a larger email marketing list and upsell current clients. Free or low-cost educational content such as webinars or classes related to your software can be a great way to introduce people to your email list.
This content is a low-cost, low-pressure way for your potential customers to get to know more about the subject without fully committing to the price of full software. For existing customers, free webinars to show advanced features or “sneak peeks” at new releases for pre-sale to customers only are opportunities that could be used.
Another example of the use of educational content related to your software is when you have multiple features or modules for your customers to use, so you can use this content to focus marketing on existing customers who aren’t fully utilizing your product and shows that they are as valuable to you as new clients.
If you have clients, new or old, that are not using your product fully, offering training and educational courses, online or in person, can help. This approach will show how important they are to you, and aid in customer retention.
Create Simple-to-Navigate Web Design
Having an easy-to-navigate online presence that is inviting to your prospective customers is integral in inviting them to buy your product. The number one way to do this is by designing your company website in a way that encourages your prospects to stay on your website. I call this layout style “sticky and clicky.”
This layout design can be accomplished by providing them with comprehensive information that is valuable to them and making it easy for them to click on a link that leads them to the answer to their next obvious questions.
Additionally, the copy is also extremely important to make a sticky and clicky website. You may have noticed that we’re using plain English, not a lot of marketing jargon (outside of the SEO and B2B acronyms).
All industries have their jargon, but that doesn’t mean that the target audience or other readers are familiar with it. Unless you’re getting published in an academic, scientific, or legal journal, plain English is the best bet (unless your software is strictly for use by rocket scientists; we know there are some SaaS companies that serve that industry!).
Content Clusters: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
For your potential customers, that is… Written content is crucial to helping ensure that your customers can easily see and learn about your product. A content cluster helps your site offer what they need.
Strategize your content so that they're in clusters of interrelated and interlinked pages or blog posts. Make sure that each piece of content comprehensively covers the topic that it addresses. Google generally rewards comprehensive content over thin content. This is a vital step in any digital marketing strategy.
Written content that is easy for prospective customers to navigate will help them learn more about what you offer as a software company, making their choice easier when determining where they will spend their money.
Highlight the Extraordinary
Focusing on what your software offers that your competitors do not will increase customer interest. More software development companies and SaaS companies spring up every day. So, it’s crucial that you’re able to highlight the extraordinary in your product, your company, and even in your own story.
You can do this through the proper marketing plan, which includes content marketing. By making your software company stand out, you will be able to retain the new clients who noticed you over the other tech companies because of the work put in to make your brand awareness stand out.
Follow the Data
Digital marketing strategies are all about data. What does the data show you? By looking into the data, you can see what is working and what needs to be improved. You can use the data to plan and tweak your marketing plan, helping to narrow down your target area and figuring out the best way to ensure new lead generation.
Setting up chatbots on your website and through Facebook messenger when messages can’t immediately be returned are more ways that you can help with lead generation. So can starting or being a guest on a podcast. But with social media, SEO, and even ads for social media marketing channels, all marketing efforts can be measured through data.
Outsourcing? Choose the Right Marketing Team
Most software development companies, SaaS companies, and tech companies don't have sufficiently deep expertise across multiple digital marketing disciplines to execute everything at a high level and manage the data for a clear understanding of what’s working.
And that’s understandable because businesses like yours have more important things on their mind: development, testing, and taking care of customers. Then, there’s worrying about getting more customers.
If you plan to outsource your marketing effort, choose an experienced marketing team. Choose one with experience working for others in the tech industry with verifiable results.
Working with a partner, such as Bridges, can drive success for your software company’s marketing efforts. We are prepared to help you draft and implement your digital marketing strategy. Let’s get started!
Jake Fisher, is President and Co-Founder of BridgeRev. He helps our clients with their revenue and growth goals by providing better strategies, better processes, and better technology. He also makes videos and written content to help entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers achieve their own revenue goals. And, he talks to business and industry leaders at conferences and association events.