As the demand for technology arises, so does the need for digital marketing. Did you know that 90% of shoppers who visited a store in the last week, say they researched online before that? And tech shoppers spend 74% of their time researching online versus 26% offline? This means that your online presence is crucial for your company’s profitability.
If you’re a software development agency, your products are sold online so your clients are also online. Your goal should be to build great brand awareness through improving brand visibility, providing excellent customer experience, and ensuring your services can be easily found.
According to statistics, 62% of buyers say they can make a purchase decision based on online content alone.Your digital marketing plan should link your clients to you through your social media accounts, blogs, websites, online forums, and mobile communications. Creating and implementing an effective digital marketing strategy for a software company can be a real challenge. To help your company stand out, we suggest you implement a few proven marketing strategies designed for tech companies.
1. Set Goals
No matter if your business model is B2B or B2C, the first thing you need to ask yourself before you start drawing up a digital marketing strategy is “What do I want to accomplish”? You may want to attract more customers, increase your brand’s awareness or promote a new software product you just developed. Whatever the reason, defining your goals and putting them into writing will increase your possibility of success. An action without a goal leaves you with nowhere to go. Having a detailed digital marketing plan is a great way to know what to focus on and where to concentrate your strategies.
.2. Define Your Target Market
Your target market is the group of people to whom your product or service is most relevant and who is the most likely to benefit from it. Based on your target market you will choose the right tactics to drive traffic to your site. When promoting a product, your new software platform, or interface, you should know who will use it, and also who will be the buyer.
For software development companies, and for those focused on B2B, defining the target market can be more complicated because sometimes the end-user is not the actual decision-maker. In such cases, your marketing activities must be directed towards users, influencers, buyers and C-suite executives.You will need to create buyer personas, write targeted content, and design landing pages according to their expectations.
You need to adapt your approach to the audience you wish to target. The effectiveness of your marketing activities strongly depends on defining your customers as accurately as you can by conducting deep research. While doing so, you should focus on the following criteria.
- Demographics (Age, Location, Gender, Income level, Education level)
- Psychographics (Personality, Attitudes, Values, Interests/hobbies, Lifestyles)
- Behavior – purchasing patterns such as price sensitivity, brand loyalty
- Business segmentation – business size, nature of business, structure, etc.
3. Spend Money to Earn
In a survey by Clutch, 75% of respondents say that paid search ads make it easier to find the information they are searching for on a website or search engine. What does this tell you? Do not be afraid to spend. Spend and you will earn. Digital marketing is the new trend for attracting mass consumers. Allocating some of your budget on display ads, paid search ads, or social ads can help you reach your target market and achieve high conversion rates. Awareness of the brand is established. Potential customers will come to your website for further info on their specific needs.
4. Focus on Multiple Channels and Take Advantage of What They Offer
There are different social media channels and each one has pros and cons. Most businesses nowadays try to be active on as many platforms as they can manage, but you need to find which social media sites your users get information from. When it comes to software development, and particularly B2B companies, you have to pay attention to which platforms your target audience seeks business advice from.
LinkedIn is the most relevant B2B social media channel. It is business-oriented and connects professionals from various industries and networks who both offer or look for solutions for their business. Research by HubSpot shows that LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%. Which is almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%). YouTube has become the second search engine after Google, making it a great platform to post your video tutorials and webinars on.
5. Contribute to External Online Communities and Blogs
This is a great chance to increase your company’s exposure and to demonstrate professional knowledge and skills in your industry. This is especially true in the software development and deep programming field, where people are always willing to learn and practitioners are often seeking advice on online communities and forums.
You should engage in guest blogging and link outreach. Your company can offer content to be cited on another blog in return for publishing a guest post on your blog. Аlternatively, you can offer to have your content be linked to from an external website dedicated to the software development industry. You can also contribute to different groups on social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook groups related to the industry you work in. Тhis way, you can get involved in conversations with professionals who can later become your partners or clients.
6. Educate Your Clients Through Tutorials and Guides
Creating and distributing problem-solving content such as “How to” tutorials and “Best practices” guides is definitely a must for your digital marketing strategy. Every business aims to stand out from the crowd and beat the competition. Understand what problems your prospects face and how your products can solve them. Then create educational content which can be distributed through social media, website landing pages or email. In return, you will be able to collect valuable information about your followers like their contact details, which is a great starting point for your email marketing strategy. Email marketing is the perfect chance for you to get to know your customers better. Acquiring a customer’s email address opens the door for you to send out promotional messages from your brand. It helps to start a conversation or to keep clients up-to-date with your latest products.
7. Create a Strong Website
Your website is a good place to showcase your business, as well as product videos and client testimonials. When visitors go to your website they are looking for information regarding your company and offerings.
It’s important to improve the speed of your website, give it a mobile-friendly layout and post relevant content. You can include pricing so you can differentiate between people who visit your website only to find out the price, and clients for whom price is the main purchasing factor.
Software development companies often have the technical know-how to build a website. But there’s a lot more to a website than the code itself. It’s about the corporate brand, web design, user experience, and numerous marketing techniques tailored for conversion rate optimization and increasing the traffic from organic search and social media.
Price and product have always been important factors for marketing. But the customer’s experience can play an even more significant role. The data shows that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
8. Invest Efforts and Time in SEO
Effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies aim to increase organic visitors to your website or blog which can later be converted into leads.
Allocating enough time on strategic business development and SEO at the same time is hardly ever accomplished by anybody. You would probably not have the time to develop the additional expertise. However, your SEO goals can be achieved if you assign this task to dedicated employees/agency and monitor the following steps:
- Make sure your website can be found by the search engines.
- Make sure your website loads fast. Page speed is important both for Google ranking and user experience.
- Make your website mobile-friendly.
- Make sure your website has a reliable and updated sitemap and site structure.
- Pick the right keywords for your content.
SEO may be tricky to master, but it pays off in the long run. The most straightforward thing you can start with is to identify which keywords will bring prospects to your site. You can use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest or Semrush, to understand what words and phrases your target market uses when searching for information or products that your business provides.
9. Get Featured in Industry Websites and Rank Lists – If you don’t;t rank, you tank
There are various industry platforms where your firm can be mentioned and classified among other companies. Platforms such as Clutch, UpCity, GoodFirms, Top Developers, Techreviewer etc. perform analysis based on customer’s feedback to create useful industry rank lists. There are different ways to categorize – location, industry, field or proven skills. Having your company listed there builds trust and strengthens your credibility.
How do you get ranked by those industry platforms? You need to register and verify your company on those platforms. Then, after setting up your profile you can submit client reviews and gather more references.
10. Use Simple Language and Avoid Industry Jargon
In software development, as in any other industry, there are specific terms which you should know and use. The visitors on your website are likely to be unaware of their meaning. If you use too many insider terms, your audience may not be unable to understand and relate to what you are describing.
If friends or family who don’t work in a tech field do not understand what you are talking about, it probably means the language you have used is not clear. Another thing you can do is to create a short questionnaire based on the description of a product or service on your website and then see how many of the questions have been answered correctly.
11. Be Unique
Merely providing valuable and attractive content to your customers, competitors, industry influencers, and practitioners is not enough anymore. You need to find a creative way to present it, as well. In the software development industry, this can be done by posting daily videos, explaining how your product will make your clients’ lives easier, or how it will improve their work.The main reason why videos are becoming a more preferred content format is that they are visually appealing and make the information easily digestible.
12. Invest Efforts Into the Research Process
To support each of your decisions and to understand what stands behind your target audience behavior and what drives the attention of the decision-makers in your industry, you need to do deep research. Studying your customers, your target audience, your competitors and the trends in your industry will give you a better understanding of the current market situation and help define your strategy.
The marketing world is very competitive. People are exposed to many kinds of advertising daily, and if you want to be heard you have to find the right voice. A great strategy to leverage is to collaborate with tech influencers. Influencers play an important role in any field. They are the ones who invent terminology and buzzwords, and ultimately define the market space. As a hot source of useful information and expert opinions, they can help you engage your audience and support them through their decision-making.
According to Topal there are six types of tech influencers you should consider collaborating with: analyst firms, innovators and early adopters, independent analysts, tech bloggers and authors, trade press, and leading IT vendors.
Each group requires a different approach to provide a different degree of authority and different perspectives. Be clear about your objectives and the target audience you want to reach.
Even though implementing digital marketing strategies to your software company can be challenging and time-consuming, you should try and persist. If you need assistance, you can turn to a digital marketing consultant to help you create your marketing strategy.
Your closest competitor might be preparing a good digital marketing plan as well. Make sure that yours is better and that it helps you map out the actions you are going to take to put your company in the limelight.