Consumers and businesses both use the internet to learn about products and services, research their options, and buy the items that best fits their needs. This applies to all industries, but right now, we’ll focus on software companies.
Online marketing has a lot of benefits when it comes to cost, service, and the speed of the sales cycle. And unlike many other products that need to be delivered, your products can be downloaded and used within minutes. In other words, you could go from introducing a product to acquiring a satisfied customer in a matter of hours—an advantage that most businesses don’t have.
On this page, you’ll find out why internet marketing for software is so useful, as well as a few ideas for starting to build your online presence.
Any good marketing plan includes a broad mix of channels, but the Internet is taking an increasingly larger portion of that mix. Many marketers now realize that digital methods have distinct advantages over traditional ones, like:
Advertising and direct mail allow you to deliver your message, but customers don’t have a way to respond unless they pick up the phone and call you. Online marketing allows consumers to ask questions, share their opinions, and even recommend your products to others. In other words, the task of driving the marketing conversation belongs to both of you.
Most traditional marketing campaigns focus explicitly on sales. The marketing materials show consumers a product, then ask them to buy it. On the internet, sales and leads are driven less by hard sales techniques and more by the value of the education or entertainment provided by the marketer, which creates a better customer relationship.
With traditional marketing, you could spend weeks implementing a campaign and another few weeks waiting for a purchase or call for a demo. In that same time, you could send several emails and post dozens of tweets—generating hundreds of sales and leads along the way.
It’s hard to imagine any business not benefiting from internet marketing, but software companies in particular have the advantage of being able to complete the entire sales process online. Potential customers are already using the device they’ll need to use your product, so it makes sense to approach them there. Here are some other benefits of internet marketing for software:
Unlike traditional marketing tactics, which may or may not be measurable, Internet marketing is easy to track and monitor. With the right analytics tools, you can find out specifics—like how many people found your blog on a tech site, how many people clicked the “Request a Demo” link you tweeted, and how many search engine users saw your PPC ad. With these detailed analytics, you can easily see which parts of your marketing strategy are working, and which ones you can eliminate.
Your primary focus with any marketing strategy is sales, but the Internet also allows you to provide information and education that resonates with potential customers. This creates an opportunity for you to position your company as a trusted source of guidance and information.
Your customers are using your product while on their laptops or mobile devices, either online or off. If they’re online, they may run into trouble while using it, but they can easily reach out to you via email or social media to get their issues solved—something they can’t do on traditional marketing channels.
Now that you know what internet marketing can do for your software company, it’s time to put a strategy in place. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Most users like to try software programs before buying them. Offer free demos of your program whenever and wherever you market it. Submit a shareware version to software directories and offer a trial version on your own website. The trial version can be for a limited time or provide access to limited features, as long as it shows users how they can benefit from buying the full version.
People prefer to buy from companies they trust, and one of the best ways to earn trust is by providing useful information to your potential customers. Create resources that include helpful tips and knowledge, even if they aren’t directly related to your product.
Consumers can find this information via search engines, and will gradually start to think of your brand as a trustworthy source of information. Then, when it comes time to make a software purchase, you’ll be a natural choice.
Aside from content on your site, you should also consider running off-site advertisements. One of the best ways to do this is with pay-per-click, or PPC ads.
If you run PPC ads in search engines like Google, users who search for terms related to your company will be shown your ad either above or beside the natural results. And like the name suggests, you only have to pay when people actually click on them and go to your site. Unlike traditional methods, like print and billboards, where you pay just to get your message in front of people, you only have to pay when potential customers take action.
Although every business arguably needs Internet marketing, for software companies, it’s a no-brainer. You have the opportunity to advertise and make sales all in one place, which can make the task of marketing much easier.
If you’re not already taking advantage of the Internet’s many opportunities for marketing, now’s the time to get started. And if you need help creating a strategy, feel free to contact us. Our talented team is more than happy to help you start using the Internet to grow your business.
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebpageFX can improve your online performance.