Inbound Marketing for Software Companies

Inbound marketing for software companies is an important and necessary technique. Sometimes called "pull marketing", inbound marketing helps you draw in potential customers (or eyeballs), rather than pushing your product using outbound techniques such as cold calling, cold emails, or broad-based advertising ("push marketing").

Keep reading to learn why inbound marketing is the best approach for software and SaaS firms, and how to apply these techniques to improve your marketing strategy.

Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers. - Seth Godin

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What is inbound marketing?

Seth Godin said “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”   

This is the essence of inbound marketing -- START with engaging your prospective customers, understanding their needs and delivering that via content and helpful information that attracts them to your products.

In contrast, outbound marketing STARTS with the product, and then tries to get customers with cold calls, rented email lists, and other "push" techniques.

What are examples of inbound marketing for software companies?

Inbound marketing is all about attracting visitors to your software or SaaS solution via content that pulls them in.  Make sure to focus on four areas of content:

  1. Your website and other platforms where you sell your software, 
  2. Third party content platforms, such as blogs, video sites such as Youtube or Vimeo or TikTok, podcasts on Spotify, or software review sites, 
  3. Search engines such as Google, 
  4. Social media platforms.

The challenges of traditional marketing

Traditional marketing techniques include running broad-base advertisements such as TV or billboards, cold calling prospects, and purchasing lists for mass emails or direct mail.  Unfortunately, these "outbound" techniques are increasingly expensive, and just don't work very well any more.

Challenges with Outbound Marketing

  1. Increasing costs, 
  2. Privacy rules like GDPR, 
  3. Ad blocker technology, 
  4. Ad “blindness” (users have come accustomed to ignoring ads),
  5. Inability to target your marketing,
  6. Interruption marketing erodes trust,
  7. Sales pitches are received with skepticism,
  8. Limited touchpoints.

The benefits of inbound marketing

What are the benefits of inbound marketing for software companies?

Honestly, inbound marketing is a necessity for software or SaaS firms today, it is not optional.  It is the reality of how future customers start their buying journey, and if your brand isn't visible they will go to a competitor's that is.

These are just some of the benefits of inbound marketing for software companies:

(1) Engage your buyers “where they are”

Over 80% of buyers start their purchase journey using a search engine like Google. This is why inbound marketing is so important - how do you capture that search traffic to your website, rather than to your competitor’s?

(2) Inbound is significantly cheaper than outbound marketing

Hubspot has found that inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing, and inbound campaigns result in 54% more leads.

(3) You can establish thought leadership & trust

As a content-led strategy, inbound marketing delivers useful, helpful content that educates and makes your prospect’s life easier without "sales pressure". You are seen as a trusted partner not just a vendor.

(4) Develop 2-way customer relationships

Engaging early with your customers creates a 2-way relationship which provides opportunities for post-conversion success down the road, such as upselling, testimonials, and reviews.

(5) Improved search engine rankings

All that extra, free content will boost your SEO and bring visitors to your website.

(6) Brand awareness

Your solution and your brand will be visible across all channels that your customers use.

(7) Ability to target niche sub-markets

Inbound marketing provides opportunities to hyper-target and personalize your message to sub-segments of your market in a way that is just not possible with outbound techniques.