Sales and Marketing Strategy for Software Products – If you are involved in the Software Industry, you most probably would know that custom software development is fast gaining popularity all over the world. Due to globalization and the Internet technology boom, this software development has become a very lucrative profession where a lot of people have got a lot of scope for betterment and great earnings.
Today we’re going to cover the best marketing strategies for technology products and software companies.
Software Marketing Strategies for Software Companies
Here is our list of ten recommended software marketing strategies that should be a starting point for most small/medium software product firms. When deciding upon which strategies to build your marketing plan, consider how these align with your goals and target customer needs.
Focus is important for any small business, so try to select 3-5 key strategies that will be the primary focus of your marketing efforts. Choose them based on which strategies best support your business objectives and meet your target customer needs and interests.
Drive Inbound Marketing through your Product or Service Website
Unless your target market is not online (eg, the elderly or homeless), your primary marketing software strategy should be via internet marketing. The goal should be for your product or service to come up when a prospect does a Google search, visits a forum or a blog, visits key websites in your industry, reads articles online, etc.
Make it Easy for New Customers to Experience your Software
Include a free trial (time-limited or with reduced features) or a free basic version of your software to allow prospects to immediately experience it. If it is not possible to provide a free version, then at least provide some means for your prospective customer to experience the software: an interactive demo or video, for example.
Likewise, it should be as painless and fast as possible for new customers to start using your software once they decide to purchase it. If your software allows it, the entire process should be done online (as a download, or an online service).
Cultivate Existing Customers for New Business and Referrals
Remember that your best prospects are usually your existing customers. They should be a key part of your marketing software strategy. Plan a regular email newsletter, get active in your customer forum, create how-to guides and case studies that highlight new ways existing customers can use your products or services.
Establish a Partner Ecosystem
Build a network of partners who have complementary relationships with your target customers. These do not have to be technology or software providers, but they could be. Also think about other professional services your customers use (accountants, lawyers, consultants), industry influencers, and top-tier influential customers.
Maintain an Ongoing Interaction with Customers
For example, you could establish and participate in a customer forum, or arrange regular events for your customers (in-person events or online webinars). The point is to keep the dialog open, keep your brand foremost in the mind of your customers and prospects, and gather valuable market research on your customers’ needs in the process.
Develop a Channel Program
You could identify resellers, OEMs, distributors, or consultants who could be a valuable channel for your software. You could also establish an affiliate program. Make sure there is sufficient training and incentive for your channel partners to actively market and sell your software.
Offer Complementary Services or Products
Consider what other services (training, customization, consultancy) or side products that you could market to either help sell your primary software product, or provide opportunities to upsell.
Use Segmentation to Target Different Sub-Markets
Create separate landing pages depending on the different keywords that different sub-segments might be using, and craft your messaging on each of those landing pages accordingly. You could take the segmentation as far as creating separate products, or stay with a single product line and just vary the messaging depending on your audience.
Differentiate Yourself with Niche Marketing
The idea here is to slice up your target market until you are targeting a niche where you have a unique differentiator or advantage.
For example, what if you have just developed the best contact management software out there (or so you think…)? Marketing that as a horizontal software product targeting basically, everyone would be a real challenge. But think about what niche it may be most suited for (what need drove you to develop it in the first place?) may allow you to come up with a unique solution (e.g., contact management software for energy traders).
Leverage Customer Case Studies and Testimonials
One of the most valuable software sales tools is the customer case study, especially when selling B2B. Think about creative ways to use real-world case studies and customer examples throughout your marketing to communicate your message and make it real to your prospects.
Original Video Content
Video content as a marketing tool is becoming extremely prevalent with technology companies to introduce their solutions. While someone might not have the time to go through a product or company datasheet, almost everyone has the time to watch an entertaining, engaging two or three-minute video about a solution that might be of value to them.
Here are the main areas to focus on when producing video content to market your product or solution:
While your technology is probably complex, robust, and overall impressive, when using video to market your solution, you should focus on telling a compelling story. Walk the viewer through how your product helped a specific customer get from “A to Z”, how your company started or how a team developed a specific feature. Hook people with a good, easy-to-understand story first, then dig into specifics with them later on sales calls.
Just because you’re in the B2B enterprise space doesn’t mean that your videos should be dry and technical. You should instead aim to create engaging, entertaining content. Creating videos that are particularly funny, humorous, or enjoyable will help you stand out from the crowd. Take New Relic, for instance. The most popular video on the New Relic YouTube channel isn’t a webinar or tutorial, it’s a funny rap video about coding made by one of their employees.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Op1i0B8-dJA
Your video content strategy should also make room for educational content. This can include things like tutorials on how to use your solution, product demos, webinars about industry trends and best practices, or “how-to” style videos. Webinars are particularly useful because by requiring people to exchange their contact information to register, you’ll be able to build your contact database and engage in marketing or sales activities with those contacts in the future.https://player.vimeo.com/video/49239326
There are few things more powerful from a technology marketing standpoint than your target buyer saying to themselves, “That solution worked for another company just like ours, so maybe it will work for us too?” Client testimonials serve as reliable, peer-to-peer endorsements for your brand to prospective customers. And if your solution serves multiple verticals, you’ll want to collect testimonials for each sector, if possible. This Salesforce customer testimonial video with Dunkin’ Donuts hits the nail on the head because it’s targeted towards their retail prospects and has a brand that’s well known in the industry.https://www.youtube.com/embed/tl1t5lnIHM0
Create Animated Infographics
Most enterprise B2B companies have been producing infographics for some time now. They’re an easy, colorful way to present facts and information about your company or industry to potential buyers. However, more marketing-savvy tech companies are taking things a step further by producing animated infographics. These short 1-2 minute clips contain all the information that you would typically present on a traditional infographic but in more of a “slide by slide” format set to music. Animations are then added to help bring the statistics to life. This animated infographic about video marketing stats by Insivia, for instance, contains much of the same data and visual elements that a normal infographic would have. What makes it stand out is that it’s able to walk the viewer through the details more engagingly and entertainingly. That’s what animated infographics are great for, not just presenting numbers but telling a story with them.https://player.vimeo.com/video/190786598
Create Animated Explainers.
Animated explainer videos take the product, service, or solution you offer and illustrate it to B2B buyers in a fun, digestible format. Check out the animated explainer we created for Binary Defense. Rather than having to spend the time scrolling through a datasheet about what it is, the problem it solves, and how it works, viewers get a clear picture of what their vision product is in under two minutes. And what’s more, since the video is light and engaging, viewers are more likely to watch it through to the end and retain more of the critical information you want them to remember.https://www.youtube.com/embed/4YJE3wRWq6oAs a general guide, you should focus your videos on being between 2-15 minutes in length. Testimonials and product overviews will tend to be shorter at around 2 minutes while demos and tutorials should be on the longer end.
- Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19%.
- 54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues weekly.
- Including video in a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
- Four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than reading about it.
The point with video and animation is this: give prospects entertaining, bite-sized chunks they can consume to get to know your company, your technology, and your customers. Once they begin to understand (and trust) all three, they’ll be more ready to engage in a sales cycle.HUBSPOT
“73% of B2B marketers report positive ROI results from video content.”
Strategies for Internet marketing of software products must be two-pronged, covering both the direct marketing and the whole field of marketing activities, providing directly related to the product. There is no single approach to successful market development of software products in this rapidly changing market. Even if your organization does not give priority to marketing strategy for its software product portfolio, you should probably start thinking about how to estimate effectively potential demand for your product, planning global marketing campaigns.