I was asked recently "what is the best web software marketing or advertising strategy for a small software company?" I responded with these top ten strategies. Regardless of your niche, your approach should include both software marketing online as well as offline marketing tactics. I'll touch on online strategies here. If your software product is sold primarily via the web, then you can also take a look at these tips for selling software online.
Finally, remember that these web software marketing tactics should be just one component of your larger marketing plan and strategy.
For business software, use of the internet as the primary B2B marketing medium is growing, as B2B buyer survey data shows the internet is the main influence in their purchase decision, emphasizing the important of having a crisp B2B internet marketing strategy. What are some good resources and tips for web software marketing? Well, here's my list (your mileage may vary, depending on your niche and specific target customer):
6. Participate in a webinar. Many of the online magazines and content sites do regular webinars or podcasts with vendors presenting to a online business audience. If it's directed at the right target customer, this could be a very useful vehicle to get the word out in more detail about your product, especially if it's one that benefits from a demo early in the sales cycle. You usually also have access to a list of participants and contact information to follow up with them directly. Alternatively, you could organize your own web conferencing presentation using a number of easy-to-use hosted solutions.
7. Participate in an online virtual trade show. Trade shows are traditionally a useful venue for vendors to demo and advertise their wares. But there can be a lot of expense involved in getting a booth or advertising space, and traveling to a traditional trade show, not to mention the time involved. There are a number of sites hosting online virtual trade shows now, together with online presentations and virtual booths that attendees can "visit".
8. Publish in an online software directory. Find one that is relevant to your niche. There are a number of good ones out there for everything from shareware download sites, to web software marketing directories with vendor/application blurbs and contact info for higher-priced B2B offerings.
9. Publish an e-zine or newsletter via email. But whatever you do make sure it's opt-in: subscribers should sign up on your website or blog, you could reach out to Webinar participants, include a link in an article you write, etc.
10. Write a white paper. The strategy is similar to writing an article, but a white paper can be more explicitly about your company and product or service offering, together with some customer case studies and benefits. You don't need to go to the expense of having a large print job of glossy papers produced - just turn it into a PDF, and there are many online sites that have a section for relevant vendor white papers to download. Find a site that is in your niche, directed at your target customer audience.
To figure out which web software marketing strategies are best for your product or service, try putting yourself in your target customers' shoes for a minute. Think about how they get their information about software or solutions: what online ezines do they read? what forums do they frequent? If you don't know, then I suggest you take some time to further refine your marketing strategy by talking to current or potential customers before you spend time, energy and money on mis-directed marketing or advertising.