Although software products are extremely popular, knowing how to market them properly is essential. You can have the most incredible, revolutionary software product in the world, but if no one knows it exists, it will never reach a wide audience.
While marketing a new software product involves all the basic principles used in promoting any new product, there are some unique considerations to think about when planning your campaign. Here’s how to effectively market a new software product.
Understand Your Positioning and Competition
The first step in successfully marketing a software product is to know the market as well as you possibly can. How many people are likely to be interested in your product? What’s your competition?
You should conduct focus groups and surveys during this phase of product marketing. You should also get access to as much data as you can about the market so you can better understand it before you start developing content.
Consider the Product’s Differentiators
Once you understand your software product’s position in the market, you need to think about the features that will help it stand out from the competition. What are your differentiators? What makes your product unique?
For example, there are lots of nursing apps out there, but they don’t have all the same features and benefits. Some of these apps are designed to help employers manage nurses and their schedules, for example, while others are designed for nurses to use directly.
If your software product has the same overall purpose and intended use as a competitor’s product, then you need to determine what sets yours apart. What do you do differently from your competitors? If you don’t do anything differently, what do you do better?
Find the Audience
The age-old advice of “if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one” definitely applies in the software market. People have different priorities and needs, and your mission is to find the people who prioritize the features your product offers.
You need to know your audience better than you know yourself. Take the time to understand what their values are and what they care about. This will help you create content for your campaigns later on.
Choose Your Core Marketing Channels & Content Types
After you’ve identified your main audience and ideal customers, you need to think about where and how you’ll market your product. Where does your audience spend time online? Are they on social media, and if so, what platforms?
Depending on the type of software you’re selling, you might need different mediums to attract potential customers. Video content, for example, can be extremely powerful for software products, as it allows you to explain some of the features and get people interested in what your product has to offer.
Don’t forget the element of storytelling, which is critical for any marketing campaign. Software can seem like a practical product, but people buy with their emotions. If you want to make more sales, you should harness the power of a good narrative!
Plan Your Campaign and Develop KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Now that you have enough information about your product’s positioning, you can start setting goals and planning your campaign. Plan out your content in advance and make sure you’re promoting the product consistently.
Setting goals is important for any product marketing campaign. However, it’s important to be realistic about what you can expect from your campaign — especially if your software product is brand new and just hitting the market.
When you plan your campaign, make sure you’re deciding on what KPIs you should pay attention to. Different goals require different KPIs!
Track and Adjust
As your campaigns run, it’s important to collect as much data as possible. Once enough time has passed, you’ll be able to see if what you’ve been doing is working, or if you need to make some adjustments. Don’t get too discouraged if the initial results aren’t what you hoped for—you now have more information for promoting your product and adjusting your marketing strategy.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Becoming a programmer is a great career choice, but the world of online marketing is incredibly saturated. To stand out from the crowd in the software marketplace these days, you not only need to have an excellent product, but you have to differentiate it and get it in front of the right people.
Chances are good that someone else has made a similar product already. That doesn’t mean success isn’t possible—after all, there are many variations of project management software (Asana, Monday, Trello, etc.) on the market, and each has their own devoted following. However, it does mean that you can’t rely on simply filling an unmet need in the market—you have to get creative.
If you’ve got a good product, that’s a great start. From there, you need to approach the process in a way that’s informed by data and in line with today’s best marketing practices.