B2B Software Marketing Strategy
NASDAQ has grown solidly during the pandemic which tells us that even during bad economic times, SaaS software solutions are in demand. Modern software drives the economy and society.
In fact, the demand has arisen many ways. The allure of software technology is that it is the route to generating value for business customers. Software is the foundation of most businesses (hotels and travel companies, real estate, property management, accounting, retail ecommerce, etc.). So B2B software providers are the stars of the new economy.
The value offer is impressive, but winning and convincing a new business client is still very difficult, requiring the help of software marketing specialists. There is a challenge in making B2B software sexy, desirable, and the perfect fit solution that buyers demand.
Software developed in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Charlotte, Toronto and Seattle will see stronger demand generation in 2022. Companies can leverage the power of digital marketing to market their software to hard to reach business owners.
In this post, we discuss a good framework to enable strong software marketing campaigns. B2B software buyers are not easy to reach, nor impress. You’ll need an improved software marketing campaign to make an impact in such competitive markets today.
There’s Reach and then there’s Impact
Your challenge is not unlike my own in finally reaching you. I’ve reached you, but I still have to generate a unique impact that shows I have or, or will be a part of a significant business advantage for you.
And while you’re likely considering hiring a digital software marketing agency and working with a digital PR firm to spread the word, you might also look to bring specialists into particularly important marketing tasks. The digital marketing agencies do offer “filler” services but more than likely, it’s only to corral your budget and ensure any value outside their services doesn’t appear on your radar.
Hiring an SEO specialist is one of the most efficient ways to do software marketing beyond adopting marketing software, paid ppc campaigns or other automated services. Take a look at Advanced SEO and some affordable service packages that deliver excellent results. Skills and clever techniques amidst a powered campaign can work wonders.
“The purpose of a B2B software marketing provider: to provide a framework to present your significant UVP to niche customers digitally, via channels that create impact with prospects, to help you maximize revenue and profit sustainably, and scale up a continuous lead pipeline.“
3 Strategies for B2B Software Marketers
To keep your mission simple, let’s examine the 3 keys to high performance in B2B software marketing performance:
- great digital assets (professional presentation of your brand quality)
- strong digital PR (reaching targeted B2B buyers in niche areas)
- strong SEO (building support in all areas for continuous inbound leads)
Software Marketing is more than Marketing Software
Software marketing is more than marketing software, yet as a developer, have you differentiated your product in prospects minds? Will your future campaigns create reach hard to reach prospect and communicate with clarity?
Does your software marketing provider have experience in your sector, are they willing to build expertise, and do they really possess the talent in SEO, copywriting, social media, email and branded digital content to help you win? It’s a big ask, and it’s more likely you’re going to have to assemble your dream software marketing team yourself.
How could one agency possess that much talent and skill?
Eric Siu discusses his lessons learned about software marketing.
Niche Customers are Tough to Reach and Impact
B2B software marketing is much more challenging that B2C software marketing efforts. With B2C, customers are easily accessible and almost frantic in sampling software products. Consumer markets are always a buzz with hype and cheap deals, but of course being profitable in that noisy marketplace is another matter.
B2B is more sedate without as much hype. In fact, tactics that work for consumers may significantly turn off B2B software buyers. These prospects are more cautious, more intelligent and take their time in reviewing a potential service provider. It is after all a high involvement purchase that will affect their livelihood.
The storylines, graphics, and copywriting must be more authentic and provide a more intense and lasting value proposition. Your product sits at the core their business and survival — yet you may have to remind them. If you exhibit brilliance in the marketing content you provide with a solid marketing experience for customers, you can step ahead of the competition. Your competitor’s weakness — they won’t work that hard.
In B2B software marketing, features and benefits alone aren’t sufficient. The reasoning for adopting your software service or platform must be solid, on the money, and well presented. That presentation is much more complex and sophisticated for a buyer who really knows their business marketplace and are experts in IT. This is where expertise is the most saleable benefit.
And reaching B2B software buyers is not easy. They don’t search for solutions on Google as consumers do. And they aren’t big social media users either. However, your goal is to reach them in more sophisticated ways, and too, to reach influencers and web publishers who might promote your software product.
Initially, you should have a clear idea of your target prospects, how your product is more desirable, and how your brand story is compelling.
Two SaaS software developers I’ve had the pleasure of working with are ManageCasa property management software, and eScribe meeting software. Both companies put a great deal of effort into product quality, with their firm belief that the highest performing user experience and work productivity are most important goals.
ManageCasa is a cloud based property management software designed for residential property managers. It is built on the Amazon cloud.
eScribe is a business meeting software meant for public organizations and school boards primarily. It is built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. These two SaaS solutions are the ones I have cut my teeth on in the world of cloud powered SaaS software marketing.
As long as the software marketing agency/specialist can convey the software’s value and significance vs competitors, these solutions can capture a good portion of a billion dollar industry. Yet, as you’ve read in my other posts on advanced marketing strategy, differentiation is a hard battle. Read my posts on military marketing strategy, Advanced SEO and building unbeatable significance, and you might start to believe in the power of marketing for software.
Top Marketing Tactics in Software Marketing
- downloadable case studies – proof is in the pudding. If you can relate success stories in how your software helped similar businesses mastered their challenges and progressed, it’s a powerful thing with business owners.
- branded content – well designed, sophisticated content packaged nicely makes you look professional, streamlined, financially capable and ready to deliver a seamless, friction-free experience.
- free software demos – transparency is king, and giving prospects the opportunity to feel the joy of interacting with the dashboard, how easy it is to use, learn, and manage daily tasks is important. People test drive the car they buy, so a test drive of your software is vital to engage them, make an emotional impact, and get them to visualize your software as their solution.
- paid ppc campaigns – a simple pay per click campaign designed to provide feedback is vital. Using PPC ads, you get immediate, qualified visitors, leads and great feedback in your analytics. You can see what high quality visitors (pay for top ranking ads only) were interested in, and where they lost interest and left the site. The value is in finding out what they want quickly so you don’t waste time.
Make your Target Customer Sound Like a Rock Star
When you’ve identified your niche target customer, promote them like they’re your favorite rock star. Then more of them will want to be that star. Red carpet deals: Offer them a sweet deal to get them on board. That makes your software marketing more likely to start something, especially for your initial B2B clients.
Making your customer a kind of hero is hard for them to resist. It’s an important technique in building engagement, and logically they have to include your product in that dream. Elevate your customer in your ads in different ways to see which brings the best response.
The Complete Marketing Effort
Reaching B2B prospects is a big challenge online. They’re busy managers, resistant to consumer marketing hype, and hard to impress. That’s why a multipronged campaigns is necessary. Even if you dominate Google’s rankings for your specific phrases, or advertise well, it won’t be enough. You need to make impact visually, and continuously to build an image of unequalled value.
That value has to shine through quick in your software marketing campaign — designed to make your product the most significant on the market. The keys are to understand the market leader’s strengths and weaknesses, know how you can win on some value points, and work on those points until you have the prospect attention.
Engage Them the Best Way
How you engage the prospect is important. The how is the medium and message and how it reaches them. Your market research tells you which medium/websites are their favorite. And their social media accounts might offer a direct route too. Webinars, live demos, videos, and business case studies are engaging. There’s a lot they need to cut through before that first phone call.
Reduce your “time to first phone call” by persistent presentation of all the benefits that occupy their mind, reminding them persistently that you can ease their pain points.
After you’ve registered some visibility and introduced them to your solution, your content must impress them.
There is a result, technology, assistance, and benefit they need that sits at the core of their decision making process. Your marketing should be geared to help you find that key compelling need or cluster of needs.
First Job is to Know Your Market Intimately
Many software company managers fail to build the determination to find the key selling factors of their product. Conducting a digital marketing audit is one good way of pushing through all of that, so you can get to that peak insight. The audit and your analytics are a great way to dissolve confusion, self-deceit, roadblocks, and inertia. It lets you get rolling to clarity and certainty.
Not that there’s any magic formula. As you know, it’s a process of working through to get to the few, core things that really make a difference. It’s a lot of hard work, but if you enjoy marketing, it’s a labor of love.
Encourage your digital marketing agency or ad agency to work through these tough issues of core value and deep insights. Their goal should be to help you improve your value proposition and learn how to become the most significant provider. Significance is the single primary objective to winning your software market sector.
The more work you do on the front end, the easier it will be for sales to convert incoming leads. If your sales people have to field basic questions from unqualified prospects, then perhaps your improved B2B software marketing strategy can make their jobs easier.
Learn more about how AI Marketers Services can help your software company build a larger pool of customer prospects using search engine optimization as a key driver.
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