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During times of economic uncertainty, companies naturally look for areas to cut costs, and they sometimes make the mistake of trimming marketing activities in place of other “must-have” initiatives. However, while this may free up the budget in the near term, it almost always has a higher long-term cost in the form of dried-up sales funnels when you need them most.
Fortunately, in today’s digital economy, there are many low-cost ways technology software companies (TSCs) can continue marketing to prospects to keep their sales funnels active throughout the year. Follow the tips below to ensure you make the best use of your limited resources.
- First, Focus on Your Story
As a software creator, you likely spend a lot of time in the weeds of improving your product’s functionality, and compatibility and keeping up with software patches. While this is essential, these are not the primary messages your prospects want to hear from you. Instead, they’re more interested in your story.
You need to create and tell a compelling story explaining the idea of the software, what it offers customers and how it helps businesses stand apart from their competitors. For example, you could walk the recipient of your message through how your product helped a specific customer accomplish “X,” how your company started or how your team developed a particular feature. Hook people with a good, easy-to-understand story first, then get into the specifics later during sales calls.
One tip to keep in mind when developing your messaging is the “Law of Reciprocity,” a term coined by social psychologists describing our human tendency to do something nice for someone who has done something nice for us. This principle applies to marketing, too. It may not happen immediately, but eventually, the more value you provide, the more prospects will rely on you for high-value content and give you their time in return.
- Leverage Social Media
Many TSCs underestimate the power of social selling on sites like LinkedIn via paid advertisements and organic outreach initiatives. Marketers commonly neglect organic social selling because they assume that sales reps are already doing it. However, the reality is that because it’s time-consuming and often undervalued by management, it’s not being done. For this strategy to work, your company leadership must be on board because it requires a long-term plan to educate prospects and turn them into customers. Having an “always-on” approach and leveraging valuable content that you can get in front of your target audience consistently over time is the best way to ensure that your pipeline never runs dry.
Additionally, IT companies must craft creative social media posts that cater to their customers’ needs. Personalizing and constantly optimizing your software company’s marketing campaigns will help you connect with the audience and strengthen your brand’s reputation.
Pro Tip: Turn your employees into brand advocates. Studies show that potential customers trust a business’s employees more than journalists, advertisers, and CEOs. So, getting your team involved in distributing your content on social media can win you more than just improved organic reach.
- Modernize your domain name strategy
Many companies default to a .com name when selecting a domain. However, your preferred name may not be available due to the saturation of websites with the .com top-level domain (TLD). For example, a DomainsBot, Inc. study revealed when people search availability of their preferred two-word domain name, they find an exact match only 13 percent of the time. Moreover, due to this lack of availability, .com names are often long and challenging for consumers to remember, which could decrease web traffic.
Before settling for a domain that doesn’t exactly match your company name or brand, consider opting for a descriptive TLD, such as .ai, .io, .dev, or .app (there are hundreds to choose from). A descriptive TLD allows you to use both sides of the dot to pick a domain name that communicates what your business does, for example, edit.photo or edit.video, with a shorter, more memorable name.
Additionally, a descriptive domain can anchor a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy with the most-searched keywords in your space in the URLs, guiding content development for each webpage.
Use Case: Choose your descriptive web domain wisely.
Consider how you can make it easier for prospects to find your products online. In the examples above, software developer Rik Schennink pondered the task users want to achieve with his software, “edit a photo,” which led to his search for a matching domain. Within the first three months of launching the site, it’s been on the first page of a Google search for anyone typing in “edit a photo” or a similar query. “And now, one year since the site’s launch date, it’s averaging 100,000 visitors a month – and that’s all organic traffic, says Schennink.
- Create an omnichannel customer experience
An omnichannel customer experience is no longer just a “nice to have;” it’s a must for many modern organizations. And that’s because customers don’t have just one way to interact with your brand—they can find you via a Google search, social media, and a B2B app forum, just to name a few. As you build both a physical and a digital brand presence, ensure each channel is aligned with the others to prevent brand fragmentation. A successful business avoids sending different messages on different channels, reducing the brand’s impact in the market. For example, a café startup could choose a domain, such as fresh.coffee, to go with its business name: Fresh Coffee, Inc. Using a descriptive domain name allows the company to communicate more succinctly who it is and what it does. It also makes the domain easier to remember and share with others.
Today’s customers expect a frictionless experience with your brand. Providing a variety of integrated channels allows them to interact with you however is most convenient for them while maintaining relevance. The good news is customers are willing to pay for a better experience—up to a 16% price premium on products and services, plus increased loyalty, according to PwC’s research.
So, what exactly constitutes a great experience? At the top of the list is personalization. According to a Twilio Segment report, 45% of customers say just one impersonal experience is enough to abandon a brand. Even as technology improves and automation becomes more prevalent with self-service checkouts and online ordering, the second something goes wrong, customers want to talk to a person, stat.
In Conclusion: Maximize Your 2023 Success
As 2022 comes to a close, it’s time to ensure your 2023 marketing strategies are set up for success. Like many software companies, there are likely a lot of competitors claiming their software is better and cheaper than the rest. To stand out from all the noise, remember to start with your story, including why you created your software and how it’s helping real customers solve real challenges. Your personal story will be the foundation for the other tips mentioned in this article (leveraging social media, modernizing your domain strategy, and creating an omnichannel experience). And it will pave the way to greater profits—and customer loyalty—in the new year.