Marketing Checklist for Software Developers & Designers
Sometimes marketing can be a challenge for engineering-based firms focused on the design and development of new software technology. Designers and developers spend their days working on a computer and not getting in front of potential new customers. With this in mind, we have developed a concise marketing checklist designed expressly for Software Designers, Software Developers and Software Development Companies.
This checklist assumes that your Software Development Company has been in business for a year or more and is not just starting out. This means you have many happy clients, you are making money, you have a website. We are also assuming that you are either looking to expand the business and make more money or perhaps you have some new competitors in your market. Either way, you are looking to add to your marketing engine to rev up your sales and bottom line.
If that’s the case, this Marketing Checklist for Software Designers, Software Developers and Software Development Companies is for you. We’ll walk you through a basic process to examine (or re-examine) some critical elements of your marketing, and help you discover some important areas and ideas where your marketing might be improved.
Here we go:
1. Define (or redefine) Your Target Market
While this may seem basic, knowing exactly who your target market is, and making a concerted, focused effort to target that market, will have a big impact on the success of your business. Many business owners assume their customers will find them, or think they can serve anyone, and overlook this very important step of intentionally choosing who they identify as their target market, and why. There’s a saying in marketing that goes “If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing.”
If things are stale or sales are sluggish, another tactic you might try is to look at where you may have had success in the past. Also, perhaps you want to target a completely new or a growing audience or industry. There are a wide variety of industries, so select industries where you have particular interest, experience or unique skills to improve your chances of success!
Things to consider when defining your target market:
1. Industry Category
2. Size of Industry
3. Geographic Location that you will serve
4. Specialized Industry Knowledge Needed
5. Service Needs/Preferences
6. Anything else?
Create a Target Market Profile identifying the key characteristics and needs of your chosen market. Your Target Market Profile will provide clarity to how you use social media and other marketing efforts to reach your existing or new audience.
2. Establish/Update your Website
With your target market defined, now you can move on to setting-up or updating your website to reflect the look-and-feel of your audience. Your website is the storefront for your business. It is where consumers and other businesses learn about who you are, your background and services. It is important to have a website with accurate, current information, and even more important, to pack it with engaging content that is directed right at your target audience.
Your website should reflect your brand and your values, and can showcase your company culture. Remember that many (if not most) people will be viewing your website on a phone or tablet, so make it mobile-responsive.
Perform an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) audit/review to ensure that your website is appropriately set-up to be found by the important search engines (primarily Google and, to a lesser extent, Bing).
Install Google Analytics on your website. This powerful, free tool provides insight into your website visitors and will help inform future marketing activities. You can generate reports which Google Analytics provides or create custom reports showing exactly who is visiting your website, how long they are staying, how many pages they are visiting, which pages they are reading and where they are leaving from.
3. Power Up Your Digital Marketing
Customers are turning to the Internet for information and insight before making virtually any purchase decision of consequence these days. Ensure that your company has a seamless online presence with current information and easy-to-use customer service contact information tools.
A. Social Media – With social media, select social platforms which offer the most value for your business. For Software Designers and Software Developers and Software Development Companies, we would typically recommend building a presence on platforms such as: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Each platform is different with regard to what content works best and when it’s best to post. It pays to research when your target market (which you developed in Step 1) is most likely to be in front of a computer or phone and plan your posting accordingly. Consider using a social dashboard like Hootsuite to aggregate your social media profiles giving you many advantages, including scheduling posts in advance.
B. Email – Studies still repeatedly show email to be one of the most effective marketing tools. Keep in mind that many professionals receive many dozens and sometimes hundreds of emails daily, so it’s important to provide concise and noteworthy content. Engaging content sent to the right people, at the right time, will keep loyal readers coming back, and attract new viewers. Consider email automation strategies, too. Remember that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38 in sales. That’s a great ROI!
C. Video – The use of video continues to grow in importance in marketing. As digital marketing grows, so does the use of video, even for fields like software design and software development. Don’t miss the boat, incorporate video into your marketing strategy immediately by humanizing your company and projects. Use professionally-produced video, quick videos shot with a cellphone or a slideshow with voice-over. Want a powerful stat? Organizations that use video in their marketing grow revenue 49% faster than those that do not use video. Video can consist of professional video, live-stream video, or Content-Driven Video.
D. Content – Content is king, and that includes social posts, blog articles, website content, ebooks, brochures, videos and more. Make sure the content you are producing is relevant, newsworthy and informative to your particular audience. Also, make your written content easy-to-read by using graphics, bulleted and numbered lists and short, concise language. Your audience is busy and appreciates brevity.
4. Get Involved in Your Business Community
Business owners like to support each other. They may have connections that can assist you (or your sales team) as your business continues to grow, or they may want to be your customer. Look into business associations, your local chamber of commerce, professional association or business group sponsored by your city. These can be great for networking, and building connections for your business.
Say you’re already involved in professional groups. Think about your business playing its part in the community. Not only will it improve your brand’s image, but employees typically like to work for companies that support their local communities.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan
You’ve heard it before: By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Growing businesses need capital and need to monitor cash flow. This is where a diligent and serious approach to financial budgeting will pay off. Those who take time to create a disciplined written plan and regularly analyze data and performance metrics are more likely to reach their goals.
There is a lot that goes into running a business and managing a new marketing strategy, but these five key areas should help you narrow your focus as you look to re-energize the marketing for your Software Design and Software Development Company.