Is your web presence working for or against you? Ideally, your online software marketing strategy should open new opportunities to generate leads, build loyalty, and increase customer value.
Today’s digital tools make it easy to deliver custom, targeted messaging across the internet. For a software company, it’s a good idea to regularly assess your online presence and marketing strategy.
Tools and advice to help you find clients for your web development, IT, or computer systems design business.
This guide will walk you through several key areas that can help you stand out from the crowd. Including:
- Marketing for software development companies: where to start
- Email marketing
- Website and search engine optimization (SEO)
- Google Ads and other paid advertising
- Social channels
We’ll also include case studies focused on companies that are seeing impressive results from their online marketing strategy. These stories are sure to inspire you to start upgrading your online presence today.
Marketing for software development companies: where to start
Use our tips as a jumping-off point for revitalizing and upgrading your online presence. Each of these techniques serves a unique purpose, but they all rely on authentic, compelling brand messaging to deliver results.
Email is one of the most effective tools for your marketing activities. Providing quality content to targeted audiences is key to success in the current online environment.
At first glance, email marketing may seem like a throwback. Do people actually respond to marketing emails that pop up in their inboxes? The answer is a definite “yes.” Roughly four billion people regularly access email, and many of them respond favorably to email marketing.
Email marketing is a fantastic vehicle for promoting your software offerings. A McKinsey & Company study revealed that email marketing is around 40 times more effective for reaching targeted consumers than social media marketing.
Here are a few ideas for marketing your software brand through email:
- Share tips for using your software effectively or in new ways.
- Cross-promote content you create for social media or your blog.
- Share DIY videos that feature real users exploring elements of your software products.
- Offer exclusive deals to segmented audiences — such as a discount on upgrades for early adopters or frequent buyers.
Referral marketing is an effective way to leverage the inherent trust people have in the opinions of friends and family versus traditional advertising. When we hear someone we know extolling the virtues of a product or service, we tend to be more receptive to trying it.
Referrals can lead to compelling results. According to research conducted by Nielsen:
- 92% of consumers trust referrals from people known to them.
- 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product after learning about it from friends or family members.
- Consumers are four times more likely to buy based on a referral from a friend.
You can generate referral business when people share your content, when customers leave online reviews, when you pursue email marketing, and many other ways. Some referrals will happen organically in response to your fantastic product or service, but you’ll need to actively seek out referrals to benefit the most.
The easiest and most effective way to rack up new referrals is simply to ask your happy customers to refer you to their friends and family. Add a line to your emails welcoming referral business. Create social network posts focused on referrals. Respond to positive reviews and mention how much you’d appreciate customers sharing their reviews with others.
Website and search engine optimization (SEO)
If your website isn’t generating many conversions, take a careful look. In many cases, the issue is common and easy to fix. Our blog post, “4 Reasons Your Website Conversions Are Low (and How to Fix Them),” is a great place to start. The post focuses on common causes of low website conversion rates. Let’s take a quick look.
Unqualified organic traffic
When traffic to your website is “unqualified,” it means visitors are landing on your site but have no intention of buying from you. Often, they wind up there because the website includes keywords that may attract clicks but don’t actually reflect what you do.
When it comes to SEO throughout your site, it’s important to narrow your focus. Use tools like the Google Ads Keyword Planner to choose the most effective keywords and keyword phrases for your niche.
Brand trust issues
Make sure your website tells the authentic story of your brand, through your eyes as well as through the eyes of your satisfied customers. Include testimonials and excerpts from positive online reviews and create quality content that adds credibility to your brand.
It may seem obvious, but visitors are less likely to respond positively to offers that aren’t compelling. Still, many brands miss the mark by overloading customers with information or presenting their story in an uninteresting way.
Work to explain how your software solution solves problems for your clients and why you’re the best developer in your field. Remember to show — don’t tell. Share the how and why of your product, not just a list of capabilities and features.
Conversion optimization issues
Spend time conducting A/B testing on your site. This technique allows you to compare two versions of your website (or a single webpage) to determine which one performs better with visitors. The goal is to identify why potential leads tend to lose interest.
If A/B testing is a new idea for you, not to worry. A tool like Google Optimize will help you get started with simple A/B tests.
Google Ads and other paid advertising
Paid Google Ads and other pay-per-click ads drive traffic to your website from search engine results pages. When you invest in these ads, it’s important to optimize your ads with the right industry keywords. Be sure to conduct thorough keyword research or use a third-party tool like Google Ads by Constant Contact.
Another effective paid advertising method is retargeting. This targets consumers based on their shopping behavior — abandoned cart emails are an example. Consider using an email automation tool to streamline your retargeting efforts.
Round out your online marketing strategy by improving your presence across social networks. Facebook and LinkedIn are good places to start for software developers. You may find success with Twitter and Instagram as well.
Make sure you have a Facebook business page for your software development company, as opposed to a personal page. Business pages allow you to list important information about your brand and to connect to your network using your professional persona.
Similar to Google Ads, you can target paid Facebook ads to users who may be more likely to buy.
LinkedIn is an ideal match for software developers who focus on business tools and programs that benefit professionals. While LinkedIn offers paid advertising opportunities similar to Facebook, you can also leverage your presence on the site by engaging in several ways:
- Write blog posts that show up in user feeds.
- Join LinkedIn professional groups.
- Optimize your profile and content for Google searches.
- Engage in smart networking with compatible businesses and potential customers.
It’s important to maintain a consistent presence across all your social accounts, website, email, online listings, and any other channel related to your business.
These two software development brands leverage online marketing in ways that line up with each of their unique brand stories.
This boutique “digital transformation consultancy” has a strong LinkedIn presence, a well-structured website, and consistent messaging across each of its online channels. For example, upcoming webinars are marketed to the brand’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages and are featured prominently on the Intellectsoft website.
Frogslayer bills itself as a “digital innovation firm,” so it’s especially important that the brand backs this claim with a strong online presence. Frogslayer’s marketing team has developed a distinct website branding style that carries over to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The brand also leverages its memorable, clever name by creating fun, frog-related messaging throughout.
Power up your online presence today
There are many promising techniques you can use to craft effective online marketing for your software development brand. No matter which technique you choose first, remember — no one knows your brand better than you. Funnel that passion into authentic, engaging online marketing.
Our technology services marketing guide, The Download, is brimming with more information about online marketing and actionable ideas that will get your creative juices flowing.