Software Advertising and Marketing

This page provides helpful tips for software advertising and marketing. Whether you are selling consumer or business software, follow this guide to software marketing to increase sales of your software.

software marketing, software promotion, promotion, marketing

Before you do any software marketing, it is important to have a marketing objective and strategies. No, that doesn't necessarily mean spending weeks writing a detailed marketing plan (although having a marketing plan is a good idea, and this software marketing plan template can simplify the process). Just pull out a piece of paper, or open up a new document on your computer, and take a few moments to answer the following questions:

  • What do you want to get out of your software marketing efforts? New customers? Increased revenue? Increased market share? New markets?
  • What does your target customer look like, and what is their pain point that your software helps with?
  • What is your unique value proposition? What makes your product the best at solving your customer's pain point as easily/cheaply/quickly as possible?
  • What is your customer's buying decision process? Where do they look for information to solve their problem?

If you answer these four questions as honestly as possible, then you can plan software advertising and marketing that will drive real business results.

Your marketing strategies will vary depending on how you answer the questions above. Just to take two extreme examples: if you're selling a low-priced consumer downloadable software or shareware, you should focus your marketing online where those customers will see your product. If you're selling high-end enterprise software, you still need to have your key messages visible online and at various events as well as key publications, but your sales and marketing will also focus heavily on networking, partnering and building relationships.

Bottom line: there is no one-size-fits-all in software marketing.

Software Advertising and Marketing for Web-based or Downloadable Software

If you sell low-priced client software or a web-based software service, then most likely you should focus the bulk of your software marketing online. First, you must have a professional website with tons of search-engine-optimized (SEO) content that brings plenty of traffic. The key to good search engine traffic is ongoing SEO, new and updated content, lots of content pages, and plenty of links in to your site from other sites. Make sure you have a primary keyword for each page, and that is included in page titles, headlines, and throughout the content (but not too much!).

Second, consider submitting your software to software download and submission sites. For example, upload.com will make your product available on download.com and a network of a couple of dozen other major download sites. Take some time to write the product description and other information for the submission – remember this is content just like any other online, and it should be SEO and enticing to your visitors.

Use affiliates to market your software for you. The easiest way is to make your software available through affiliate partners like cj.com and shareit.com, and allow other partner members to market your software in return for a small commission.

Make sure you have a software blog, and use it to post information that is of interest to your target customers, updates about your software and your company, and helpful tips on how to use your software more effectively. Keep it informational (it's OK for the occasional post to be "salesy" but not all of them) and link it back to your main website. Also participate in other blogs and discussion forums where your target customer audience is participating, but keep your comments on-point and avoid any perception of "spamming" the discussion or pushing your software.

Finally, your marketing should include gathering customer testimonials and case studies from satisfied users of your software.

Software Advertising and Marketing for Enterprise Software

If you sell software or software services to medium or large businesses, then chances are you have a longer software sales cycle, your product is not an impulse purchase, and it’s not sold completely online.

In the case of marketing enterprise software, it is still critical to include the web software marketing strategies above in your marketing plan (although submission and download services are probably much less relevant). Increasingly, gathering information online is a first step in the enterprise software purchaser’s decision making process. See this article for more on effective B2B internet marketing. In addition to online marketing strategies, enterprise software advertising and marketing must include getting your key messages through to your target customers in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Advertising or writing case studies or articles in key trade magazines that your target audience reads,
  • Participating in industry events, tradeshows, and/or webinars,
  • Making sure you have professional marketing materials such as brochures, business cards, etc that include your key software tagline and marketing messages that clearly communicate your unique value proposition. Consider writing a case study and include testimonials where possible.
  • Develop partnerships with complementary vendors or service providers, and put together some joint marketing programs.
  • Consider including some direct mail marketing for your software.

For more suggestions for software advertising and marketing, take a look at these ideas for web software marketing, and offline software marketing.

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