Running a software company takes an incredible amount of work.
Creating a great software product is only the beginning; then comes the challenge of getting the word out and attracting customers, made all the tougher when competing against other software companies.
It’s intimidating, but don't worry. We've got you covered.
This article shares 15 excellent marketing strategies perfect for software companies looking to scale up digital marketing efforts.
The best part?
These strategies are tried and tested, and we've implemented them successfully with our clients at Kurve, where we specialize in working with scale-ups and helping them achieve their growth goals.
Whether you’re a startup or an established software business, these evergreen strategies will help market your software and attract new customers.
What is Software Marketing?
Software marketing refers to the strategies and techniques used by software companies to promote their products and services to potential customers. It involves creating a unique brand identity, identifying target markets, developing marketing campaigns, and measuring the success of those campaigns.
In the software industry, marketing is critical because software products are intangible and complex, making them difficult for potential customers to understand fully. Therefore, effective marketing is essential for software companies to communicate the value proposition of their products and services to customers.
Software marketing faces unique challenges and opportunities. The fast-paced nature of the industry means that companies must constantly adapt to new technologies and changing customer needs. Additionally, software products often require ongoing updates and support, providing continuous revenue streams and customer loyalty opportunities.
Traditional Software Marketing Vs. Digital Software Marketing
Traditional software marketing involved tactics like attending trade shows and conferences, advertising in industry publications, and using direct mail campaigns.
Digital software marketing, on the other hand, uses online channels like search engine marketing, paid advertising, content marketing, and more to reach customers.
While traditional marketing can still be effective, digital marketing allows software companies to reach a wider audience, measure the effectiveness of campaigns in real-time, and tailor messaging to specific customer segments.
Factors to consider before choosing the right strategy
Choosing the right marketing strategy can be daunting for software companies because the choice is overwhelming. However, with a clear plan and the right marketing tools, navigating your software marketing strategy can be an exciting and rewarding journey.
Before talking tactics, it's essential to consider several factors, including your goals, target audience, marketing budget, and resource bandwidth. Let's explore these factors and how they can guide your marketing strategy.
- Decide your goals: Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive conversions? Your goals will determine the type of marketing channels and tactics you choose.
- Finalize the target audience: Identifying your target audience before creating a marketing strategy is essential. Who are your ideal customers? What are their pain points and challenges? This will help you tailor your messaging.
- Create a marketing budget: A marketing budget can help you determine each channel's budget and calculate the expected return on investment (ROI).
- Analyze resources bandwidth: Finally, assessing your resources and bandwidth is essential. Do you have a dedicated marketing team, or will you need to outsource? Do you have the time and expertise to execute the chosen tactics effectively? This will help you determine what's feasible and prioritize your efforts.
Considering these factors, you can craft a solid marketing strategy tailored to your software company's unique needs and goals.
15 Successful strategies to market your software
Now that we've explored the factors to consider when choosing a marketing strategy for your software company, let's dive into some successful strategies to help you promote your software products and services.
This section shares 15 proven tactics software companies can use to build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive conversions.
Let's take a look at each one in more detail.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is an effective strategy for software companies to establish thought leadership, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to their website.
By creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content, software companies can engage their target audience and provide solutions to their problems. This can be done in many forms, including blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, videos, and infographics.
For example, a software company that offers project management software could create a series of blog posts that provide tips and best practices for project managers. They could also produce an ebook that dives deeper into the subject and offers additional insights. By creating and distributing this content, the software company can position itself as an authority on project management and attract prospects interested in learning more about the subject.
Content marketing is also an excellent way to generate leads. By offering gated content such as whitepapers or ebooks, software companies can capture contact information from prospects and follow up with them via email or phone.
2. Search Engine Optimization
SEO involves various techniques and strategies used to improve the ranking of your website on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It can help software companies attract organic traffic to their website and generate leads.
Most software companies find this strategy attractive because
- It allows software companies to target specific keywords and phrases related to their products and services, attracting highly-qualified traffic to their website.
- It is a cost-effective strategy that can provide steady traffic without paying for ads or other marketing channels.
- It is a long-term strategy that can provide ongoing benefits for years, making it an attractive option for software companies looking to build a sustainable and scalable marketing strategy.
There are three main types of SEO:
- On-Page SEO: On-page SEO refers to optimizing individual web pages by changing the content and HTML source code to make them more appealing to search engines. This includes optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, headers, and images. On-page SEO also includes optimizing the website structure and navigation to improve user experience.
- Off-Page SEO: Off-page SEO involves building external links to your website from other relevant and authoritative websites. This includes guest blogging, influencer outreach, and social media marketing strategies. Off-page SEO can help improve your website's authority and credibility, leading to higher search engine rankings.
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO involves optimizing the technical aspects of your website to make it more search-engine friendly. This includes optimizing website speed, mobile responsiveness, and site architecture. Technical SEO can help improve your website's crawl ability and indexability, leading to higher search engine rankings.
Software companies can invest in SEO to enhance their online presence, drive more traffic to their website, do inbound marketing, and generate more leads.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a powerful tool for software companies to reach potential customers and keep existing customers engaged. Certain studies have shown that email marketing can be an extremely effective channel for software companies, with a possible ROI of 4400%, highlighting its significant impact on generating leads and increasing online visibility.
The biggest benefit of email marketing is it allows software companies to communicate with their target audience directly. By collecting email addresses from website visitors, software companies can send targeted emails highlighting their software products' benefits, offering free trials or demos, and sharing case studies and success stories.
Email marketing also allows software companies to stay top-of-mind with their audience. By sending regular newsletters or updates, software companies can inform their audience about new product releases, upcoming events, and other important news.
4. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is another effective strategy for software companies to reach their target audience. In the software industry, many influential bloggers, YouTubers, and content creators have large followings and can drive significant traffic and leads to a software company's website.
For example, imagine a YouTuber who creates software tutorials and reviews for their 50,000 subscribers. If a software company's target audience matches the YouTuber's audience, they could contact the YouTuber and offer to collaborate on a video or tutorial that features their software product. Doing so could lead to a significant boost in traffic and sales for the software company.
Influencer marketing helps software companies build credibility and trust with their target audience. When an influencer recommends a software product, their audience will likely trust them and try it for themselves.
5. Paid Ads
Paid ads are an essential component of any successful software marketing strategy. While organic traffic is significant, it takes time to achieve, especially for new or lesser-known software companies. Paid ads allow software companies to reach a broader audience quickly and cost-effectively.
Google Ads (including PPC and Display Ads) and Facebook Ads are two of the most popular platforms for software companies. Google Ads allows software companies to reach potential customers already searching for relevant keywords, while Facebook Ads enables them to target users based on their interests, demographics, and behaviors.
One of the most significant advantages of paid ads is their flexibility. Software companies can choose the platform, audience and ad format that best suits their needs and goals. In the highly competitive software market, standing out can be challenging. The flexibility offered by paid advertising becomes crucial.
Paid ads also offer highly targeted and measurable results. Software companies can use data and analytics to track their ad performance, allowing them to adjust their strategies and optimize their campaigns continuously. This data-driven approach is critical for software companies looking to maximize their ROI and achieve their marketing goals.
6. Free Trials and Freemium
Offering free trials or freemium access to users can be an effective marketing strategy for software companies. Allowing potential customers to try the product before investing can increase customer acquisition and conversion rates. According to a study by Open View Partners, offering a freemium plan can result in a 33% increase in website visitor conversion rates.
Freemium models, where a basic version of the software is free, are another effective strategy. The Freemium model has succeeded for companies such as Dropbox and Evernote, which have converted many free users into paying customers.
However, offering free trials or freemium access can also come with its own set of challenges. It can be easier to monetize a product if more features are available for free, and it’s crucial to balance offering enough features to entice users to upgrade to a paid version while still providing value in the free version.
7. Free Tools and Experiences
Creating free tools or resources that your target market or audience can use is an effective marketing strategy for software companies. For example, a software company that targets designers can create a design palette tool like the one offered by Pastel. Providing a helpful tool or resource for free can attract potential customers and generate backlinks for SEO purposes.
Free tools and experiences also have the potential to go viral. If a tool or resource is handy, it can be shared within the target audience and beyond, generating buzz and increasing brand awareness. This can be a powerful way to get your product in front of potential customers who may not have otherwise been exposed to it.
Ensuring that the tool or resource aligns with your product and target audience is essential. Creating a tool or resource that has nothing to do with your product can attract the wrong audience (who won’t convert to customers of your software), wasting resources and time.
8. Customer Success Stories
Sharing customer success stories is a powerful way for software companies to market their products. Companies can build credibility and trust with potential buyers by highlighting real-world examples of how their products have helped customers achieve their goals.
Customer success stories provide social proof, which is a significant factor in the decision-making process of many customers. By showcasing how others have successfully used the product, companies can encourage potential buyers to take action.
The success stories must be genuine and accurate for this strategy to succeed; faking or exaggerating success stories can quickly backfire and damage a company's reputation.
9. Video Marketing
Video marketing is an effective technique for software companies to display their products. By creating videos demonstrating features and benefits, companies can capture the attention of potential buyers and build brand awareness.
Video marketing can also showcase customer success stories and help tell the company's story and mission, building an emotional connection with potential buyers.
Any video content is high-quality and professional looking. Poor-quality videos can hurt a company's reputation rather than help it.
10. Partnerships and Integrations
Partnering with other companies and integrating with other products can be a powerful marketing strategy for software companies.
By partnering with companies with complementary products or services, companies can tap into new customer bases and expand their reach. Integrating with other products can make a company's product more valuable and helpful to customers. For example, a project management software company might merge with a time-tracking software company, providing a more comprehensive solution for customers.
It is imperative to evaluate the relevance and suitability of potential partnerships and integrations for the software company and its product. Partnering with the wrong company or integrating with a faulty product can hurt a company's reputation and credibility.
11. Community Marketing
Community marketing involves engaging with your target audience in online communities like Quora and Reddit. By answering questions and participating in discussions, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and build brand awareness.
It's important to focus on providing value to the community and avoiding self-promotion. You can achieve this by sharing your knowledge and expertise and offering helpful advice and tips.
Online communities can help you identify potential customers, understand their pain points, and provide valuable insights into what features and functionality your software should have and ideas for future content and marketing campaigns.
12. Guest Blogging
Software companies can significantly benefit from guest blogging, which can help increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to their website. You can showcase your expertise and reach a wider audience by writing high-quality content for other blogs in your industry.
Choosing blogs relevant to your target audience and with a good reputation is important, and offering valuable insights and practical advice can help showcase expertise and attract potential customers.
Guest blogging can also provide valuable backlinks to your website, boosting your SEO and driving more organic traffic to the landing page.
13. Social Media Marketing
Social media is an effective marketing strategy for software companies to showcase new features, upcoming updates, and customer testimonials. Software companies can keep their followers informed and excited about their products by creating and sharing engaging content on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
For example, a software company can use Twitter to share quick updates on new features or improvements they're working on. LinkedIn can be used to share longer-form content, such as blog posts or case studies. Instagram can communicate visually appealing content, such as screenshots or short demo videos.
Social media can also be used to interact with customers, answer questions, and address any concerns. Software companies can build trust and loyalty with their audience by providing excellent customer service on social media.
The social media strategy and branding must be consistent across all platforms. This can help software companies establish a solid online presence and make it easier for customers to recognize and engage with their brand.
14. Product Demos
Product demos can be an effective way to showcase the features and benefits of your software to potential customers. By providing a hands-on experience with your product, you can give users a better understanding of how it works and the benefits they can derive from it.
When creating a product demo, focus on your product's key features and benefits. Make sure to highlight what sets your product apart from competitors and how it can solve a specific problem for your target audience. Consider using visuals such as screenshots or videos to make the demo more engaging and easier to follow.
Make sure to provide clear instructions on how to access the demo and how to get started. Provide resources for users to ask questions or provide feedback, which can help you improve your product and address user concerns.
15. Tutorials and Guides
Tutorials and guides can be a great way to assist users in getting the most out of your software. You can improve user satisfaction and reduce support requests by providing step-by-step instructions on using specific features.
When crafting tutorials and guides, it is vital to ensure that the language is clear and comprehensible. Use visuals such as screenshots or videos to make the instructions more engaging and easier to follow, and consider breaking up the content into smaller sections or chapters to make it easier for users to find what they need.
Always provide resources for users to ask questions or provide feedback. This can help you improve your tutorials and guides and address user concerns. Finally, consider updating your tutorials and directions as your product evolves to ensure they remain up-to-date and relevant for users.
An effective marketing strategy goes beyond creating a great product. It involves understanding your target audience, creating valuable content, and leveraging various marketing channels to generate demand.
A successful marketing strategy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each software company should tailor their system to their unique product and target audience. Measuring and analyzing the success of each tactic is crucial for making data-driven decisions and optimizing future marketing efforts.
At Kurve, we understand the importance of demand generation in any successful software marketing strategy.
By leveraging our expertise and experience, we have helped countless clients generate demand and achieve their marketing goals.
Want to boost website traffic, drive lead generation, or enhance conversion rates? Our team can collaborate with you to create a personalized demand-generation strategy tailored to your specific requirements.
For more information on how Kurve can help you, please visit our website and see how we can help you scale up.