According to Michael Gerber’s book ‘The E-Myth’ (“Entrepreneurial Myth”) If you’re good at something it doesn’t mean that you are good at everything. If you are going to run a business, you have to be strong in accounting, finance, operations, and really-really good in marketing.
Software executive chairman Tony Zingale believes that software companies must grow fast to survive, and having a clear perception of market opportunity is the button to that growth. According to him, a company’s sales and marketing efforts cannot afford to be anything other than stellar. So how to get this around?
- How do you get your SaaS (software-as-a-service) in front of buyers and decision makers?
- How you can increase your chances of making an online sale?
We already know the answer. Yes! It can be done only through social media marketing. In today’s digital economy, social media marketing of any business is crucial for existence and elementary for thriving! And it will be no different for 2020 and beyond. The purpose of social media marketing is not to sell, but rather to let more people know about your brand.
According to research from the BSA Foundation, software generated $1.4 trillion in the U.S. in 2016, with an addition of $70 billion from the previous year. This growth would not have been achievable in the absence of strategic social media marketing plans.
According to Fronetics’ survey in 2017, 62% of B2B buyers relied on the internet as a central resource when searching for new business solutions. A solid digital marketing plan connects your clients to your offering through social media channels, blogs, websites, webinars, conferences, and mobile communications.
Are you actively doing all of this to get your software service in front of decision makers and buyers? If not, be sure your competitors are!
Put Time and Effort in Content Marketing
“Content builds relationships, relationships build trust. Trust drives revenue”- Andrew Davis - bestselling author and one of the most influential marketers in the world.
All social media marketing strategies are centered around content. A solid content approach can help software businesses build trust with potential buyers, drive more leads, and help convert leads into sales. Away from the traditional sales pitch, content marketing enables you to build context around your product and services. Effective content marketing allows your product to be presented as more than just a sales pitch, it involves the problem that the target audience faces, the effective solution provided and most importantly the brand behind it all.
Tip: A software technology company can gratify humans they are selling to, through powerful and emotion-evoking content.
Provide relevant content
A B2B purchase cycle involves about 12-18 months. During this period, give your customers time and the relevant content to learn more about your company and its solutions. Focus on delivering real value. To do this share a couple of secrets to acquire new customers in the crowded marketplace. Like, what tools you use, how your software and solutions are better than others in the market, what secret tactics you are working on, and what are your future plans? Answering all this through your smart content creation and curation can balloon you over the competition and also boost the confidence of your prospect.
Provide personalized and centralized content experience
Focus on offering personalized content to create custom experiences for audiences with the intent to generate specific business outcomes. These outcomes can include capturing leads, scoring leads, or driving people to a contextual call to action. Also, the individual pieces of content should all come together in one centralized digital experience that’s connected to your brand. For example, having a ‘Resources’ page on your website will drive your audience to one place, and they will be able to find the stories and information that’s most useful to them.
Source: DECK 7
Below are some content types in the form of a graph and on the basis of popularity (according to a research report by Brafton), you can think of creating something similar for your B2B software company to keep your audience interested and falling for your service.
B2B software companies normally offer complex products in a functional space – and they need content marketing strategies to exhibit that.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms Based on Your Target Audience
As a B2B software company choosing the right social media platforms can help you get the best return on your time invested. Before employing social media platforms for your B2B software company, you need to understand your target audience and your overall goal.
So how do you choose the best social media platforms that are perfect for your business?
Tip: Narrowing down your preference to just a few platforms will empower you to concentrate your efforts and get the best return on your investment.
Identify who your audience is
Identify your target audience and profile your average buyer. Be as specific as possible. When you target the wrong audience, you’re wasting your time and money. Reflect on:
Who are your target customers?
What is their income and education level?
What age bracket they fall in?
What are they interested in outside of your product or service?
Define your goals
As a business owner, your primary goal will be to drive sales by attracting customers. While many brands also use social media for building a relationship with customers, solving customer issues and providing live support.
For example, on-demand media company Netflix uses the Twitter handle @Netflix helps to address customer service issues. Not only does it free up their phone lines, but it gives satisfied customers an opportunity to promote their brand.
Find your audience
After the above two tasks of social media, it’s time to find your target audience. For this, you need to discover the platforms mostly used by your audience by looking at the demographics of the users on each platform.
What are some of the successful social media marketing platforms that help software and technology companies stay at the cutting edge of their industry?
In the age of digitalization, your prospects will typically check your social media presence before moving ahead with you in business. So, it’s important to cover all your bases and be religiously social on all the booming social media platforms to increase your chances of making an online sale.
Below are the top three successful social media platforms widely used by B2B software companies:
There are plenty of opportunities to connect and market your solutions on Facebook, you just need to spark your imagination and give Facebook some time to hook up with your customers and give them the sense of your business. There are loads of success stories that establish a solid match between Facebook and B2B companies.
B2B company Schneider Electric practiced Facebook ads to raise recognition of its product with high-quality video content. They witnessed an up to 80% reduction in cost per engagement.
A German patent and law firm practiced Facebook targeting and got excellent results, including a 40% increase in return on ad spent and a 75% lower CPC compared to other paid channels.
Capterra Facebook ad says, “more than 2 million users per month choose the best software for their company.” Showing the exact graph of company success with their solutions on Facebook can work as your business card.
- Create a post related to the software service you want to promote, in the form of a free webinar or whitepaper, which someone will receive when they join your email list. Then utilize audience targeting and Facebook ads to make people see it and sign up. The beautiful DECK 7 page has created a whitepaper promotion post educating on-demand generation in multiple geos, with a ‘Download Now’ call-to-action button.
Source: DECK 7
- Facebook ads work best when there’s an incentive for people to act or sign up!
- If you want to target decision makers with paid advertising on Facebook then tight demographic targeting can be achieved through Facebook’s self-service advertising feature.
- Use your Facebook page to showcase the human side of your company. Post videos and images showing your company culture, client's feedback, customer reviews, successful apps, and tools. Write articles and blogs that are more about educating rather than brand promoting or putting a corporate spin on your image.
Twitter is quickly developing into a useful marketing tool helping B2B software companies get established in the sphere of social media marketing. 87% of B2B marketers are now using social media as part of their strategical arsenal, with 85% of that total using Twitter. Twitter has a wide user base, and doing it right is really important. Here are some of the ways to help you unleash your creativity and get started.
- B2B marketers can use Twitter to get influencers and start communicating with them to establish valuable relationships. Once the influencers are identified, follow them and start getting noticed by liking their tweets and replying to them regularly.
When building a successful Twitter profile, one of the things we aim to do is create a high ratio of “followers” to those we “follow.” Intel
With nearly 4.82 million followers (and following just 1,351), Intel owns an impressive ratio.
- Customer service interactions are growing on Twitter. For this reason, your B2B business must be prepared for others to ask questions and receive a helpful response. At the same time, you should be proceeding questions that users are asking related to your products and solutions. Customer service interactions are growing on Twitter. For this reason, your B2B business must be prepared for others to ask questions and receive a helpful response. At the same time, you should be proceeding questions that users are asking related to your products and solutions.
Casie Gillette recommends searching Twitter for a service or product you offer, “See what people are asking about, what they are saying, and how their peers are responding. Also, check out your competitor feeds to see what they are responding to. If they are using Twitter as a support mechanism, you might find some good stuff in there.”
For example, there’s Dell Cares PRO which provides 24/7 global support and Dell for Business which answers questions from small and medium-sized businesses.
Dell has a social media command center that combines customer conversations around the web, allowing the company to identify issues, address complaints, gather feedback on products, and quickly react to customer needs.
- Twitter empowers B2B marketers to get in front of the right people at the right time. There are lots of souls craving for information on social media. Drive them towards your offering i.e. your products and services.
DECK 7 effectively employs twitter to promote their service.
Source: DECK 7
- Get key insights into your competitors. Use ExportTweet to extract the intel of competitors’ accounts and track their activities on Twitter in real-time. Optimize your Twitter posting schedule according to the models of the latest tweet activities. Observe the trending hashtags and identify which ones are continually mentioned in a day, week or month. Empower yourself with all the insights about a B2B software company’s hashtag or keyword on Twitter with ExportTweet's Real-Time Hashtag Tracking. This will give you deep insight into how your business-oriented hashtags are performing on Twitter.
According to LinkedIn demographics the site has 630 million members, 90 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers and 63 million are in decision-making positions. With this demographic, it is therefore clear that LinkedIn is a clear place to reach these decision makers when trying to promote B2B software product(s) or service(s). With these millions of professionals at one place, it surely opens up the floodgates to leads! Agree? Here’s how marketing with LinkedIn can help you grow:
- A study by the Content Marketing Institute reveals that 97% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing purposes. B2B marketers cannot afford to skip this site when organizing a marketing strategy as professionals regularly check and network on this platform.
Produce and share content that your connections want to see, they’re far more likely to engage with the content that educates them and deals with their pain point and loopholes. LinkedIn allows you to run sponsored ads that show up in people’s feeds. Millions of people are using LinkedIn every day to follow groups for content. You could run sponsored content within those feeds which can be ads for your software business. These can be articles or videos or images that you put into the feed with a call to action that submits leads instantly to you.
IBM topped the LinkedIn rankings with 1.8 million interactions back in 2012, and they haven't slowed down since. They've added nearly a million and a half followers, and over 2.5 million people now subscribe to the company's updates. The technology giant shares a nice mix of stories from around the web and its content hub.
HP rocks LinkedIn with a pretty interesting and diverse collection of content: thought leadership, big data analysis, and branded graphics.
- LinkedIn lets you run InMail email campaigns. Through LinkedIn, you can send people and professionals that you are targeting an InMail message which is much like an email, and actually, it sends you an email notification as well. Basically, you pay per send, but it’s very, very targeted, putting you in front of that perfect person at the perfect time. You can put a call to action in that InMail to carry the conversation and convert right there. If you know the demographics, the targets, and the types of professionals related to your industry, LinkedIn knows the rest.
- Create your own LinkedIn group that revolves around a specific interest. Once you have your LinkedIn group, go out and join as many groups where your prospects are hanging out. Once you're inside the group and approved as a member, stir a discussion and make sure members know about your business.
- LinkedIn lets you run display ads and text ads, which is traditional digital advertising on the LinkedIn platform. So, you can target those particular professionals that you want to get your ads in front of, and then as they are using the LinkedIn platform in various places, they are going to see your ad, your banner, your text ads throughout the platform just like display advertising, but this just happens to be on LinkedIn where your ads are showing in front of that perfect professional at the perfect time.
- Why LinkedIn is powerful from a B2B perspective, is it allows you to do retargeting on LinkedIn. You can put a pixel code on your website, so when these professionals are visiting your website, they are going to see your retargeting ads on LinkedIn. This is powerful because it just keeps you on top of the mind so when your prospects are using tools like LinkedIn, they are seeing you which builds trust in their mind and eventually they will be interested in doing business with you.
Social media is an economical and productive approach to promote your software company. These days, if you are not on any of the social media platforms, it makes you the overwhelming minority. Social media is a huge and vast open marketplace and for businesses, having a strong presence here is vital. If you’d like assistance, feel free to contact us! At Deck 7, we offer an all-round SEO/SMM solution to get the results you need.