Marketing Tips Every Software Vendor Should Know


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Marketing isn’t every company’s bread and butter, and software companies often find it more difficult to achieve than other industries. Additionally, since many software companies, particularly in the channel, are smaller businesses run by a tight, core team, there may not always be money in the budget or expertise in the staff to fully and confidently execute on marketing strategies.

However, marketing doesn’t have to be as hard as it often seems from the outside, and even a little bit can go a long way.

Hire, Train, or Recruit a Social Media Professional

This doesn’t have to mean you go out and hire a top-dollar social media maverick who can spin Facebook posts into gold. Perhaps there’s someone already on your team ready to step up to the plate and learn this new craft.

In today’s globalized, digital society, social media is crucial. It lends credibility to your brand (because many younger buyers are skeptical of companies that lack a social media presence), provides you with a platform for publishing content and information for your customers, and allows you to build your voice.

Signing up for every social media platform is completely free, and there’s no reason your business shouldn’t be on the big ones.

Now, to be completely candid, social media marketing isn’t simple, nor is it incredibly easy to see ROI. However, much like having a website, consumers expect a credible business to have a certain level of online presence, and a business without a good website or good social media presence will repel potential customers immediately.

Print May Be Dead But the Written Word Isn’t

Print advertising is now considered to be a relic of the past, in terms of efficacy and reach. While there are some exceptions to this rule, digital advertising is much more effective and, often, much more inexpensive.

You may have heard the phrase “Content is King”. This is because consumers and the general public still crave reading material that educates and enlightens them, as well as informs their buying decisions. They don’t want to read an advertisement about why your brand is the best, because they see through that as biased and unreliable information. However, if you can explain in an informative, brand agnostic manner, why they should purchase something, you can earn their trust and set your brand up as an expert in the field.

Nothing Beats a Face-to-Face Interaction – Even Digitally

This may seem counterintuitive to those who haven’t grown up in the era of social media and digital interactions. But much like a face-to-face meeting was once the norm for sales in the past (think door to door salesmen, or direct marketing booths providing demos), there is a new evolution to this that can be equally as effective.

It’s video.

Folks want to put a face to a brand, and feel there is a human behind all that digital bluster, and there’s no greater way to accomplish that than through the use of video. It doesn’t matter if you produce professionally done content in a studio, or if you record a small live video on your cellphone – consumers enjoy and interact with video on a large scale.

Learn to Determine ROI

In a study we did with independent software vendors within our database, we learned that many software companies struggle with marketing because they don’t quite know how to determine what worked and what didn’t. This is understandable.

While it’s important to truly dig in and learn how to calculate and determine digital ROI from marketing campaigns, we’ll give you a bit of a crash course on what tools to use, and how to get started.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics measures traffic and user behaviors on your website. It contains tons of website intelligence to help you understand not only which areas of your website are the most popular with your users, but also which devices they’re using to view your website, and which browsers they’re using on those devices, to name only a couple. This is important for determining how successfully you’re driving traffic to your website, your blog, or any other platform. You’ll be able to see a breakdown of how your visitors found your site – whether it was from an email, a social media post, a Google search, or an advertisement you bought. This is key to figuring out your ROI, because you can determine how many people you’re attracting from your business from anywhere on the web, which helps you narrow down where you’re generating traffic most effectively. Keep in mind, however, that while traffic doesn’t always translate into sales, it builds awareness and strengthens your presence in your industry. You can’t become a household name if no one’s seen your website.

Social Media Analytics

When you set up your social media platforms, familiarize yourself with the back end. Facebook spits out regular emails updating you on your company’s standing, and you should peruse those when you receive them. Additionally, the back end will show you everything from which posts are performing best organically, to how you stack up against selected competitors. LinkedIn and Twitter also provide in-depth analytics, and you should take time to learn each platform individually. This will be key to determining ROI on paid advertisement, content, and anything else you do on these platforms.

Email Analytics

While you’re working on upping your social media and inbound marketing game, I’m sure you’re still performing regular outbound techniques as well. First – it’s crucial to know that if you’re looking to purchase email lists from third party companies, that you pay serious attention to the ROI on this. You’ll want to know exactly how many emails bounced, how many were opened, and how many had internal links clicked. You can use a variety of tools to determine this, but you’ll want to pay very close attention to the success rates of these purchased lists. We recommend generating your own organically, and cultivating that list as your company goes. It’s also important to shed addresses that are bouncing, because they can skew your success rate numbers, and at times even effect whether or not your emails will be blacklisted as spam by certain email platforms.

 

As a marketer in a crowded, competitive space, you’ve got to protect the business you have and win the busi­ness you don’t have, even though your marketing budget is squeezed harder every year. That means finding low-cost, high-return ways to attract new potential custom­ers and open new opportunities.

Whether you’re big or small, well-established or just getting started, these ideas can help you grow your business without exhausting your budget. Try them in different combinations; the key is to diversify marketing efforts by attempting different activities. When it comes to marketing, there’s no silver bullet—but there are ways to do more with less.

 

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