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 used online research 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.
So, how do you make the changes your company needs? How do you get people to notice your potential clients? This post will answer those questions and more, by covering all the most important aspects of marketing strategy for software development companies.
Company website and content marketing
Having a website where prospects can find basic info about your company’s products and services is obvious. But did you know that there are ways to make your website not only informative and appealing, but also efficient when it comes to generating new leads?
- Make sure your website is responsive (85% of visitors use smartphones or tablets for online research).
- Make sure your website contains up to date content (90% of visitors say that if they found outdated content, they would assume the company is not trustworthy).
- Make sure you have an up-to-date blog (85% of visitors say that if they found outdated content, they would assume the company is not trustworthy).
- Create white papers that your prospects can download and provide value to them (80% of visitors report that white papers were helpful/useful when doing online research).
These are just some of the aspects relevant to the information your website should contain. You should also:
- Audit your site to make sure it is free of errors, user-friendly , and easy to navigate.
- have a call to action. A variety of options include: filling out a quote form, registering to receive a webinar invitation, downloading a white paper.
- Plan a campaign that allows you to connect with your users and have them share the content you are producing with their friends.
When it comes to content marketing, a great example of how to approach this is to create a blog, with at least one piece of content per week, with an objective to gain organic traffic. Once your content generates traffic, customize your content to what works and what doesn’t, then scale it.
Social media marketing
With 73% of B2B organizations using social media to reach their clients, you should not miss this chance to get your brand out there.
Submit a profile of your company and your products to relevant sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest.
Optimize your social media profiles (including Facebook business page, Twitter profile, Linkedin page, etc.) for the search engines and users, by improving your images, eliminating links that generate 404 errors, having your username and profile name consistent across every site, having the main keywords for your company and products present on the company’s profile page, and so on.
Share your content: blog posts, pictures, videos, infographics, white papers, research, and anything valuable you can share that people will find useful.
- Respond to comments, messages, and mentions as soon as you can.
- Take advantage of professional networks to reach more prospects.
- Reach out to thought leaders in your industry to connect and share information for mutual benefit.
- Partner with relevant influencers.
Distribution of marketing materials
Just like websites, you can make your marketing materials more appealing to your prospects. We will go through two basic examples that you can use to improve your marketing material.
According to the 2016 Email Marketing Benchmark Report , open rates in the United States are around 25%, while click-through rates are around 10%. That means for every 100 emails you send, only 25 people will read them, and only 10 people will click links you provide. You can disagree with these statistics, because for every 25 emails your company sends, at least one person will read them (or they wouldn’t be receiving the emails in the first place). Nevertheless, this still tells us that email marketing can be very effective if done right.
When your prospect receives an email from your company, it should be:
Tailored to their needs (for example, different messages for prospects who are just evaluating you, prospects who have purchased but are not yet retained, and prospects who have purchased and are retained)
High quality content to them (for example, when prospects have already purchased from you, send them white papers, research, audios, and other free content)
Personalized (for example, filtered by geographic region, job position, and/or geolocation)
This is a very effective way to stay in contact with prospects and clients, and get clients to purchase more products from you. One example of this is account executives who call the company’s prospects, to ask about their experience with your product, how they are planning to use it, what results they are expecting, and similar questions.
The point of contact marketing is to improve retention rates, customer satisfaction, revenue collections, and generally getting the customer to purchase again from you.
The most important thing your sales team should do is to follow-up with prospects, without being overwhelming or annoying. If you require a certain number of contacts per week or month, that is fine. Just make sure they are contacting the prospects in a helpful and healthy way.
Approach and personas
Before using these methods, you will need to approach your prospects. To do this, it is important to know who they are, where they are, what they want, where they hang out, what they look for, how to approach them, and many other things.
An intelligent approach will entail collecting some information about prospects, reaching out to them, and providing value in exchange for a business partnership.
How should you collect information about prospects?
- Asking information based on a web contact form
- Listening to what visitors are saying when they visit your website (comments are very helpful and can provide insightful information, if collected correctly)
- Employing people in your sales team to reach out and ask prospects what their needs and challenges are
- Surveying website visitors and asking for contact information
- Facebook ads
- Twitter and Linkedin ads
These are just some of the methods. The more data you have on what the prospect is looking for, the more effective your approach will be.
Reaching out with value is vital because most prospects are already evaluating you and wanting to find value from you. They need to see that you can provide value at the right time. If you approach them without providing value, then you will be viewed as a waste of time and they will never want to hear from you again.
You need to reach out with value in a way that prospects can learn about and have the time to engage with you in a meaningful way.
Reach out in a way that prospects can actually use your content and services. For instance, if you are providing services related to “_______,” you should provide content related to “_______” as well.
The content should be of high quality. If your content is of high quality, it is more likely prospects will want to reach out to you.
You can send your prospects an email and provide them with one piece of content (or a link to your web portal, where they can find more pieces of content) to see what they think.
Reach out with your best content. With 73% of B2B organizations using social media, this is one way to get in touch using social media (and provide your prospects with information they can use, in return for a response).
If your website has a blog…
Use your content to write content that your visitors will love.
Focus on answering people’s questions. (You can ask every visitor to your website what their questions are, or make a simple questionnaire on your website’s contact form. With reports from Google Analytics, you can see what questions people have, and then write content to address their concerns.)
make a simple questionnaire on your website’s contact form. With reports from Google Analytics, you can see what questions people have, and then write content to address their concerns. Try to improve your blog consistently. This will help attract organic traffic. You can know what is working and what isn’t.
- Upload a video on your website.
- Upload an infographic.
- Use video marketing to talk about your company or products.
Create a page on your website with useful resources for prospects. (This can be a page on your website with links to white papers, blogs, books, or anything else you consider to be of value.
Survey visitors to your website and ask for contact information.
Write a follow-up email, after someone visits your website but does not provide contact information (and they have taken time to read the information you provided).
People like to receive marketing materials. It is not annoying if they find it useful. One way to always provide value is to start thinking similar to your prospects. Why are they looking for information on this or that topic? Why should they reach out to your company? How can you provide value if you reach out to them through social media?
Start thinking like them to provide information they will find useful. Consider your prospects mindset when you provide content to them. If it does not seem useful, then it may not be worthwhile to waste their time.
This can get tricky because of the rules governing email marketing. Many people have subscribed to many emails, and they want to know when they are really receiving something of value and not receiving any unwanted marketing material.
That is why it is important to offer only content that is of value. Always keep your prospect’s needs in mind. They are always evaluating you, their options, and causes.
Reach out with personalization
Why? Personalized emails get 55% higher click rate than other email types. It is harder for you to get someone to open an email from you if you are not personal. Personalization can be difficult if you do not have access to your prospect’s information, but you can still personalize a little bit.
You can personalize:
- Send emails in the morning
- Reach out on the weekend
- Send a personalized email at odd hours
Send an email on a holiday, if your prospect is going to be on vacation and might not be expected to work on that day
Ask yourself what you were doing when you received similar emails in the past or what you were doing when you received an email from your best salesperson.
This is very important because if your sales team culture is right, then you will get many opportunities to work with prospects.
You can tell if a prospect is ready to work with you if they are engaged in the same communities as your sales team is. If they are engaged in your communities, it is more likely that they are engaged with you as well.
If your teams are engaged in communities such as Linkedin groups, Linkedin groups, Facebook, and Twitter, then your prospects (at least, the ones who are engaged with your communities) are more likely to work with you.
Your sales team culture can include things, such as how they handle their email. They should never send emails that are not helpful. They should never be pushy. They should never ask for information without providing value first.
They should never try and clickbait prospects. The sales team culture is not as important as the individuals who are part of the team. However, if your team culture is improper, it is less likely they will build trust with prospects.
If you have raised your team’s culture, then your prospects will respond and communicate with you better, and they will become more likely to want to work with you.
Your company culture matters a lot. The first step to raising your company culture is to make sure that sales team values are aligned with your company values. It is easier to work with you if they have a nice experience with you early one.
Many companies miss out on revenues because of culture problems. Individuals who have to sell for your company (whether they are actual salespeople or not) can impact your culture tremendously. They can also raise your sales team culture and help prospects be more likely to work with you.
However, even though it is possible for a single person to greatly affect your company culture, this is a wrong way to handle sales. It is likely that, if a single person can raise your sales team culture, he or she does not believe in the culture. And it is also likely that the culture that person encourages is not to benefit you and your prospects.
That is why it is important for everyone to have the right attitude and the right skills.
Your company culture can be important because it is one way to get a sales prospect excited to work with you.
However, there are two other mentalities your prospects might have. They might have the mindset of “anyone can sell it to me” or “no one can get me into something.” You should always reach out with value because it can help change even the most difficult mindsets.
You should only be concerned with giving value when you reach out to your prospects. If you have to pitch your sales prospects to get them to buy from you, it is time to find someone else to sell into. You should only be concerned with providing valuable content, and if your content is valuable, then they will be interested in working with you.
Your prospects want to know that you are providing content that is valuable. It does not matter if you are providing it for free or if you are asking for anything in return. You won’t realize how important a value is if you