7 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Software Companies
by Mike Khorev
As the internet evolves, digital marketing is becoming increasingly complex. More than 80% of people use the internet to find products and services before making an actual purchase. Whether you have a string of successful programs under your belt, or you’re steering the ship on a promising new software company, choosing the right online marketing strategy for your company is going to be crucial over the coming years.
A recent Fronetics survey in 2017 found that 62% of B2B buyers relied on the internet as a core resource when searching for new business solutions. A good digital marketing plan links your clients to your offering through social media, blogs, your websites, forums, and mobile communications. Are you doing enough to get your products and brand out there? If not, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re competitors are.
In this article, we’re highlighting 7 of the most effective digital marketing strategies that software companies need to adapt to maximize their online presence. Let’s start with the most effective one:
1. Invest in SEO
Most tech experts understand the technicalities of putting a usable website together but creating pages that attract good traffic and perform as a refined sales process is a completely different ball game. And it’s a game where the rules are constantly changing. Google releases updates to its search algorithm every day. The best SEO experts will be those with years of experience but are also constantly up to date with the latest changes to Google’s search brain.
The trick with SEO is to focus your efforts on pursuits that’ll yield the greatest gains. The best places to pour most of your long-term attention are:
- Technical and on-page SEO to enhance your website relevance to target keywords
- Creating 4-10 quality backlinks per month
- Content marketing to spread awareness (we’ll get into this more below).
- On-site blog posting at least once a week.
One of the most crucial steps in SEO is getting a first page ranking on search engine results for terms (keywords) that your customers are using to find solutions like yours. Here’s a good list of the best keyword research tools available right now. Once you’ve identified the keywords that are gaining traffic, you can create optimized landing pages, 5-10 quality blogs related to these search phrases, and add links with keywords reach anchor text in your content that point traffic toward your main landing/product pages. This is the main strategy to achieving higher ranks in Google.
2. Paid advertising
In 2016, Google released a report showing us that 28% of online searches convert into a sale. People use Google to search for things they’re ready to buy and paid ads to put your pages at the top of search results. Paid advertising has become the second-best performing lead generation channel for most software and SaaS businesses after organic search and SEO.
Why is it so popular? Paid advertising is scalable, very measurable which makes it predictable, and provides a proven ROI if handled correctly. Google Ads are a great place to start your first campaigns. Besides the standard text ads you’ve no doubt seen at the top of nearly every search you’ve ever conducted, you can also access more advanced retargeting strategies. These features allow you to advertise to users who’ve already visited sites relative to your market or have searched for your specific keywords in the past.
Exploit multiple social channels
Choosing the right social platforms is vital. Here are the world’s largest social networks and what each is good for:
LinkedIn is highly relevant if your software is primed for the B2B space. Users on LinkedIn are looking for business solutions. A 2017 report by LinkedIn suggested that 80% of B2B marketing leads from social media come through the LinkedIn network.
Facebook and Twitter
These platforms are great for engaging with your target audience and promoting your content. They both offer powerful paid remarketing systems that allow you to grow a following quickly.
Youtube has become the second largest search engine after Google so it’s the best place to post video tutorials for your software, webinars, and entertainment content. Video demos and pre roll ad campaign will give people insight into your solution while also actively driving traffic to your website.
4. Outreach and quality link building
Guest blogging is about creating content for other websites that are already receiving large volumes of traffic. You can provide help and guidance on topics within your expertise or offer a new angle on topics that are related to your product. Do it often enough and your posts will expose your brand to large audiences within the software development space. You’ll also have the chance to place a link to your pages from an authority website which is a great for SEO.
Landing a guest post on one of the biggest tech blogs out there is a tall order, but there are multiple levels of influential sites you can work with. You can also contribute to different groups on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. Aim for groups related to the software industry and you could be reaching thousands of potential users that you know are likely to have an interest in your product. This tactic can also be executed by SaaS, software, IT and tech digital marketing consultants who have more experience of doing it the right way.
5. Create tutorials and guides
Creating content that aims to help people solve problems is a powerful weapon that software companies can certainly jump on. “How to” tutorials and best practice guides are a must if your solution is complex or tackles a unique problem. Companies look to invest in new software products because they want a means to step ahead of the competition. The more you try to position your brand as the answer to their concerns, the more signups you’ll see.
Not only is helpful content great for exposure and awareness, it’s a great way to collect the email addresses of leads. Email marketing is the perfect way to develop deeper connections with your customers. Mailchimp is the largest email marketing platform in the world so it’s a great place to launch your first nurture campaign. You can also check Mailchimp alternatives if you are looking for other features or more affordable pricing.
6. Differentiate your software to others using comparison guides
Developed a product that has a leg up on an existing market leader? Create a webpage comparing your solution to your competitors and optimize that page to rank on the first page of Google and attract search traffic for your competitors brand searches. You’ll feed off the mass of users searching for their brand while exposing the advantages of your new solution as an alternative.
Avoid being too pushy and aim to provide a balanced review to help the reader evaluate the comparison with clarity. Make it obvious that you’re overly biased and you’ll turn people away quickly.
7. Build impactful reviews
You can solicit independent third-party review sites as well as work to increase the level of reviews you gain from users. Search for “software directories” or review sites and add and verify your profile there. Websites with a good number of user reviews will usually rank on the first page of Google because of their affiliation with these giant software companies and their domain authority.. These sites will provide good exposure and increase the credibility of your offering.
Use your content marketing channels to build reviews from real customers. Leverage your social media accounts to actively t ask happy users to review you on certain platforms. You should also be doing this with outbound methods. For example, using your CRM database to build a targeted list of customers, then sending a tailored batch of emails asking your users to leave you a review. Offer incentives like prize draws to increase the number of recipients that bite while ensuring the reviews remain unbiased.
That’s our 7! We hope this list of effective digital marketing strategies for software companies has helped spark a few light bulbs for you. It’s now more important than ever for software companies of all sizes to stand out by upping their digital efforts or working with growth marketing agencies like Northpeak. Knowing your options is half the battle, the other half is actively chasing the ideas on this list!
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