The CMO’s Guide to Creating Efficient Marketing Strategies for Software Companies
The software development industry is one of the most competitive markets in the world. Without proper marketing and sales development strategies, it’s impossible for software development projects to get off the ground. These strategies need to be focused on building visibility, improve the software company’s search presence, and creating valuable content for target consumers.
The target customers are out there – searching for solutions, benefits, and great deals. Software development companies need to reach out to them by building solid inbound pipelines. Creating comprehensive digital marketing strategies is the only way to increase the volume of leads these companies receive.
In this article, we’ll explore the best marketing strategies for software development companies. Here are the key elements of an efficient marketing strategy that we’ll cover in this article –
- Sales Prospecting
- Content Creation
- Website Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Product Testing and Free Trials
Sales prospecting is the process of defining and finding potential buyers and clients, i.e., prospects. This is the first step that software development companies should take after launching their products. Reach out to as many target customers as possible, with the aim of registering them into long-term sales funnels.
Sales Prospecting for Software Development Companies – Key Points to Remember
- Identify everyone who can benefit from the software that you’re offering. The long-term aim is to convert these prospects into customers.
- Assess what needs, and pain points your software is addressing; share this information with your customers or brand partners.
- Software clients are always looking to hear from software development companies, especially when they’re looking for products that help them improve their business. Inform them how the software will benefit their business. The more detailed this explanation, the higher the chances of lead generation.
- Most consumers and decision-makers at companies prefer email communication. Use short, personalized, and to-the-point emails to share important product-related information.
- Timing is critical for creating successful sales prospecting strategies. Assess your target audiences’ budgets, future plans, etc. Strike when the iron’s hot. For example, if a target company has recently secured a lot of funding, design your prospecting funnel around their commercial plans. Tell them how, why, and how quickly your software will benefit their long-term objectives.
- Software buyers like knowing who they’re talking to before they initiate sales-related conversations. Make sure the software development company’s website and LinkedIn profile are optimized for visits from target buyers.
These are the prospecting basics every software development company should follow while launching its marketing programs. Define your target customers, reach out to them with personalized content, track your rejections/approvals, and make prospecting a habit. The more you follow up with potential prospects, the higher your chances of generating sales.
Investing in content creation allows software development companies to educate their customers about important topics and product-related details. More importantly, it allows these companies to gain search engine authority. To get the best of these benefits, software development companies need to create two types of content –
These web pages are purely for SEO purposes. They should feature full of multiple relevant keywords and “Contact Us” forms. For example, if the core function of your software product is helping small businesses find the best wholesale deals on the internet, your landing page should be titled “Price Optimization Software for Small Businesses.”
Any leads who search for that term will be redirected to this landing page. Search engine leads are highly valuable for software development companies as they have extremely high close rates.
The aim of this content is not to bring search engine authority to the software development company’s website. It’s not to talk about the company’s software products either. It’s meant to provide customers of this industry with unique insights and relevant information.
Surprisingly, companies that share this type of content via blog posts rank much higher than companies that don’t have valuable information to share with target customers. Thus, creating supplementary content is part of every successful SEO strategy. It’s the easiest way for software development companies to demonstrate a sense of authority among target audiences.
- Use longer keywords that are related to the core keywords.
- Discuss the most frequently asked buyer questions in blog posts.
- Respond to client queries, claims, and complaints.
- Share relevant industry-related information, even if it doesn’t directly concern your company or your product.
- Integrate images, videos, quizzes, infographics, etc., into your content strategy. For example, create “How To” videos explaining the key features of the software.
- Provide links to your landing pages in the supplementary content.
- Encourage members of the workforce to write helpful third-party articles. For example, your team’s chief software developer can write an article entitled “5 challenges every software developer will face in 2021.”
- Provide links to other websites that feature relevant or important information. Bear in mind – the primary aim of supplementary content is consumer education. So, if there are articles that you feel will benefit your target consumers, don’t refrain from sharing them.
- Ask third-party outlets to publish similar content under your company name. Publishing branded content helps software development companies get in touch with people who are not familiar with the brand.
Software development companies should have highly functional and easy-to-use websites. No customer will trust a software development company with a low-quality website. The company website should also be optimized for search engine websites. It should be the first result whenever target customers search for services or products your company offers.
- Add calls to action (CTAs) on all web pages. For example, every webpage should have a ‘Buy Now’ option. Users should be able to navigate quickly to conversion pages as soon as they open the website.
- Customize the content on all web pages, making it more sales-focused. If needed, use infographics and videos that inspire website visitors to take action.
- Make sure no page on the site has broken/unresponsive links.
- Don’t describe product features – provide strong value propositions instead. Describe how the different features of your software will benefit the consumer.
Conduct thorough SEO research every week. The way the average search engine user behaves changes all the time. SEO is a never-ending effort. A software development company’s website can’t ever be perfectly optimized. Keep assessing the website’s analytics. Repeat the elements of your SEO strategy that are working. Improve the ones that aren’t.
Social Media Marketing
It’s very easy to gain initial traction via social media channels. During sales prospecting, the company should identify its key targets. Then, by posting content regularly, software development companies can establish direct lines of communication with target audiences.
- Post regularly using automated social media posting tools.
- Identify key influencers in your niche. Partner with them and attempt to engage with their followers.
- Use hashtags to gain access to different communities on social media websites. For example, if you’re launching a data management software tool, use hashtags like #bigdata or #datamining on Twitter. You’ll quickly get noticed by other major players in this niche.
- Ask employees to respond to user queries. Ask them to open accounts on all major social media platforms. Inform them that respectable behavior on these platforms is mandatory as they’re representing the brand on these platforms.
- Use paid ads to inform more people about the company and its core products. Facebook ads, Google ads, and LinkedIn ads are the most effective for software development companies.
- Include links to company websites on every social media post.
Software development companies can rapidly increase their target customer base by spending as little as two hours a day on social media platforms. Identify the types of posts and content that work the best on each social media platform. Analyze the results every week or at the end of each social media campaign. How many leads did the social media efforts generate? Set higher targets with each post.
Product Testing and Free Trials
Software buyers love nothing more than free trials. They don’t want to waste their money on substandard software tools. That’s why software development companies that are confident about their products should never shy away from providing free trials. An even better way of showcasing your software’s best features is by asking third-party reviewers to test your product for free.
- Tell video creators and influencers in your niche to review your product.
- Ask them to share their unbiased opinions about the software.
- Ask them to compare the software to similar products. This type of information will empower your target audiences to make rational purchase decisions.
- Provide free trials of 7 days (or more) to the viewers of the content creators reviewing your product. If possible, give them access to premium features of the software at discounted prices.
If the test results and the reviews are positive, encourage interested consumers to sign up for free email courses. Free email courses will attract more subscribers to the company’s website. From there, the company can work towards converting these subscribers into loyal customers.
Once these marketing efforts start generating leads, nurture them into customers. Keep engaging with each customer. Software development projects can only be successful if the company continually builds new relationships with potential customers.