Technology is a competitive industry. As a software company, gaining and holding onto attention online can feel like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands. This is a problem when your customers are looking to you to solve their software problems and be a technical thought leader in your field. A software marketing strategy can polish up your digital presence and ensure your customers can trust you as a tech-savvy industry expert.
For many SaaS (software as a service) companies, most of the marketing and sales push happens online. While other industries rely on in-person connections to make sales and sell products, SaaS customers are often making their buying decisions entirely online. And purchasing power has moved online in almost every industry — in the last year, two thirds of consumers were shopping more online than ever before. Customers are doing their own research online to determine the best product or service to suit their needs and solve their problems.
Your digital marketing strategy should position your business to attract more attention from search engines, leads, and customers. So how do you go about attracting all that attention? Let’s dive into the details.
Campaigns vs. Tactics
Every company’s software marketing strategy will look different. While there are tactics and best practices to use when creating your marketing campaign, it’s up to you and your marketing team to figure out how to best position your online presence to capture lead attention and meet your business goals. The first step in any successful marketing strategy is determining what your goals are (here’s a blog post about setting SMART goals to get you started). A common goal we help our SaaS clients meet is an increase in free demo signups.
Once you have your goal in sight, you build your marketing campaign to reach it. Your campaign is composed of all the tactics you’ll use to enhance your current website, content, and sales offerings so you can pull in more leads and see more signups.
We’ll talk about some of the tactics that you can use in your software marketing strategy, but we encourage you to put your strategic thinking caps on and see each of these tactics as part of a larger campaign that contributes to your goals. Campaign thinking helps you see your marketing in big picture, and considers every approach that could be used to reach and sustain your goals.
Strong SEO Practices
Search engine optimization determines how well your website ranks for keywords and search terms that are relevant to your business and industry. Optimizing your website and boosting your search engine rankings is a crucial step in your digital marketing strategy to ensure that you’re getting as much attention from search engine traffic as you can. Having an outdated or unoptimized website is a major hindrance in your ability to gain leads, boost demo signups, and convert leads into customers.
Considering how much of our world is online these days (and how much of the SaaS industry exists solely online), search engine optimization is like a map in a shopping mall. If your store isn’t listed clearly on the map, your only customers will be those who happened to wander by. In our digital world, Google is the map, and your SEO determines how easily your customers and potential customers can find you.
SEO is a topic we could go on about for days. There are many things that contribute to your SEO improvements — backlinking, page headers, meta descriptions, image alt text, the number of words on a page, web content, and much more. Updating and improving your SEO is a necessary part of your software marketing campaign, and determining where your search engine optimization can make the biggest difference depends on where you’re underperforming currently.
Your content encompasses your entire website, blogging, social media, email newsletters, and anything else you’re creating with your company’s name on it. That content can be used to attract and delight leads on their way to being customers.
Web Content & Blogging
Content creation and optimization is a big part of getting your website in tip-top SEO shape and competing for attention in a crowded market. Your marketing strategy should start with taking a close look at the content you already have — is it search engine optimized? Does it speak to your target audience and buyer personas? Is it organized and easy to navigate? Does it answer questions and establish your company as a thought leader?
Start by optimizing your web content to ensure that your website continues to be your best possible salesman. Then move onto your future content strategy with a blogging campaign or high value content offers. Blogging regularly (we recommend at least four blog posts a month) helps you pull in traffic from your strategic keywords and boost your SEO performance. The more you blog, the more you'll reap the benefits. And regular content audits of your website ensures that your messaging is consistent and comprehensive.
Your content should be speaking to your leads at each point along their buying journey, from research to purchase. Once you’ve taken stock of your content, you can determine what web copy changes and blogging topics will help establish you as a trusted industry expert. Fill in your content gaps and revamp any stale, confusing, or unnecessary wording with targeted content that speaks to your buyers and their problems.
Diverse Content Options
Everyone absorbs information in different ways, which means that having diverse content options on your website allows you to speak to every user who stops by. While you may be delivering content primarily through images and written words in the form of web copy, blog posts, social, and email newsletters, using only images and words is pretty boring.
Your website can include videos, infographics, animations, and other interactive and informative pieces of content. The more diverse content you offer on your website, the more engagement you’ll likely see from leads looking for information. Videos are an especially effective form of content that you can use on web pages, in your blog posts, and on social media to explain your software products and offer video demos.
Marketing Automation & Lead Nurturing
Once your website has been optimized for attention from search engines and you have valuable content to walk your leads through their buyer’s journey, marketing automation can really step up your conversion rate. Marketing automation takes the attention you’ve gained from boosting your SEO and the content you’ve created and nurtures your leads through the sales funnel towards your demo signups and product.
Marketing automation and lead nurturing can work hand in hand to keep your leads engaged with targeted emails, blog posts, and web content while also tracking how often those leads are engaging. Lead scoring tracks your leads along their digital journey and moves them through the funnel based on points you assign when establishing your lead nurturing. The more points your leads have, the closer they are to the bottom of the funnel and converting. Lead scoring can help you track where your leads are within your sales funnel and give you valuable information about where your leads might be getting stuck.
While both marketing automation and lead nurturing take strategy and how-to knowledge on the front end to get started, they are a valuable and important part of your software marketing strategy. Your website and all your content should be working for you, whether it’s the middle of the work day or first thing on a Saturday morning. Automation and lead scoring makes that possible.
Get Your Software Marketing Strategy Started
Want help determining the best software marketing strategy for your tech company? Look no further! We’re tech-experts who couldn’t take off our strategic thinking hats if we tried. A GrowthPlan can help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are (and those of your competitors) so you can build the most effective marketing strategy.