The use of technology in our everyday lives and our working life has skyrocketed, and so with it has come the use of software and SaaS products. We find the products we need online, and therefore digital marketing plays a pivotal role in helping us find what we need. And that is why a solid digital marketing strategy is essential for software and SaaS companies to find success online.
So what goes into a digital marketing strategy that can really make a difference to the success of your software or SaaS product?
Take the time to define your strategy
Software businesses need to generate demand and leads that turns into sales. Gaining visibility online and reducing customer churn is critical to any successful software business.
Nurturing and converting contacts is an important tactic within the software sector. Inbound marketing plays a critical role in how you attract the right audience, and encourage them to begin customers.
Defining your target market
It’s likely you know the kind of people you are targeting, or a particular demographic. But defining your target market down to specific personas can really help define who it is you want to market to, and how you can best appeal to what they are looking for.
You will need to think about who will use your software, and who will be the buyer. How can you ensure your product offering appeals to them, and what messaging would work the best?
In B2B industries, the buyer is often not the same person as those who will use the software itself. The decision maker may have different motives to the kind of person you designed the acual software for.
Your marketing messaging and activities shoud be centred towards influencers, buyers and the C-suite at who you are targeting. Buyer personas can make a real difference into honing what these people are looking for.
- Typical behaviour
Consider the buyer journey as well. Who is purchasing the product, and how long does it take for them to come to a decision regarding actually converting? If it’s low-cost with high reward, the decision is much easier.
But if your software is more of a commitment or more of an investment than the average, then it may take longer. You will need to think how you can take potential customers more efficiently down the sales funnel to becoming a paying customer.
So how can you get people interested, and capture their details? Free trials are a good option, or booking a demo. Your digital marketing strategy should reflect this.
Whatever your “free” or cheap model would be (free trial, trial-to-paid, trial with or without credit card details etc) you need to consider whether this is too high a barrier for your target audience. Perhaps a limited option is the best method, or a freemium model with paid extras. Perhaps a time-limited trial to the full product. But it’s likely you’ve already thought about this, but perhaps you haven’t fully thought about how this plays into your digital marketing strategy specifically.
If you can capture email addresses or other details through a free trial, you can then market more heavily directly to the people who are interested in your software via email or retargeted ads on Google or social media. You can send offers, promotions, new product updates and so on. It may be a longer buyer journey, but it will help build up your customer base.
What kind of content is your audience looking for online? What questions do they ask? What search terms do they use?
Content marketing is an increasingly important part of the digital marketing mix, and therefore it’s important that the content you are writing and putting online is relevant to your audience, and they will actually find it interesting or useful.
Consider creating guides or “how-tos” that solve the problems of your target audience.
A best practice guide can help gain relevant traffic that would be interested in your software. You can then use this on other channels or via paid advertising in order to gain a following and attract customers.
When it comes to selling software, the channels you are active on will determine how successful you are.
With social media channels for instance, each one has different pros and cons along with different kinds of audiences.
Which particular channels or platforms would your target audience be active on, or if you are B2B, take business advice from?
B2B businesses are likely to succeed moreso on LinkedIn. But even business owners are human, and spend time on Facebook and Instagram.
And it goes without saying, for B2C businesses, platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram make perfect sense. But depending on the target audience, they may hang out on different channels.
Ensure your website best represents your product
The software business requires your brand to appear cutting edge. A poor website and unoptimised marketing campaigns simply won’t attract any customers. That’s why your website should reflect your brand positioning as an innovative brand with an essential solution that solves your target audience’s problems.
The best way to ensure customers choose you over competing businesses is through a great web design or ecommerce store, mixed with innovative digital marketing that ensures more potential customers are exposed to your brand, and converting on your site.
Your website and marketing should position your brand and product as forward-thinking, hitting the pain points your software solves, along with highlighting the benefits you can offer to customers. You need to show that you are constantly innovative with new tools, features and updates, which your web design should reflect. Ensuring potential customers can see the competitive advantages your software offers is key, along with your main value proposition, and other unique aspects your software solution provides.
Optimise your website for conversions
CRO, or conversion rate optimisation, is becoming more essential to online success than ever. Most businesses now have mobile-friendly websites (or at least those businesses who are serious about marketing online are).
Your website should be fast, mobile-friendly and have relevant content that answers potential customers’ questions.
Pricing is another important element of SaaS. If you have your prices on the website, how it is laid out should be clear and offer clear incentives for each pricepoint. And then there is the psychology of having a low-priced or even free option, with the middle or 3rd out of 4 options as the most popular option. Of course, if it isn’t your most popular option, this doesn’t really stand – but it’s likely the middle-ground is the best solution for most customers. Then the cheap option will appeal to those who want to try it out, while the most expensive will appeal to those who know this software will solve their issues and will provide the most comprehensive solution.
Testimonials can also help increase conversions, if you can showcase customer reviews or even recognisable brands that use your software.
While you can do all the paid ads, email marketing or social media marketing you want, SEO will still be an important part of marketing your software.
What kinds of terms are people searching for in order to find a product that solves their issue? Does your software come up for this terms? If not, make sure it does by optimising key pages with these keywords or phrases in mind.
Again, page speed has a factor here, and if your site is mobile-friendly will also have a significant role in your rankings.
SEO isn’t a one-and-done solution, so you will need to continually analyse and optimise your site. Especially in the software industry, there’s always new competitors or other businesses who may add particular features that are similar to what you offer. So competitor research in the search results is essential to ensure you stay at the top of the SERPs. Keyword research along with high-quality content should ensure your website becomes a go-to place for valuable information that your audience will see as useful.
At Xanthos, we have significant experience in helping software companies develop their digital marketing strategy to help grow their business.
If you need help with developing your digital marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Xanthos who will be happy to talk you through how we can help.