Ah, software marketing.
As if traditional product marketing wasn’t difficult enough. There are goals to attain. Metrics to track. Target customers to pinpoint. The sheer amount of tasks and processes is enough to raise stress levels to critical levels and leave you wondering where all the time in the day has gone.
Software marketing, however, is a whole new ball game.
While your ultimate goal with software marketing is still to increase brand visibility in order to drive more sales, there isn’t actually a physical product for you to market. This means that the processes are going to change, the metrics you track are going to be different, and the goals you set will differ greatly from their product marketing counterparts.
|Traditional Product Marketing||Software Marketing|
Relies more on retention than initial sales
Very little opportunity to upsell
Upselling provides a huge revenue stream
Selling a tangible product
Selling a service, the customer cannot hold the product in their hands
At this point, no one would blame you if you were looking for a helping hand. With all of the different factors that go into making software marketing the beast that it is, hiring a software marketing company doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, does it?
Here’s the thing though: There are tonnes of different software marketing companies out there. Some appear on your Google searches. Maybe some even appear in your Gmail inbox, making promises that seem so far fetched that there’s absolutely no way the company can deliver on them.
The bottom line is, if you’re going to go this route, it’s crucial that you know exactly what to look for in a software marketing company.
Instead of trying to figure all of this out on your own (and ultimately wasting loads of your precious time in the process), we’re here with a list of the top considerations when evaluating your software marketing company options.
No great successes are achieved without first setting goals. This is especially true when we’re talking about software marketing or even marketing in general.
Goals give you something to work towards. Without them, how would you be able to look back after a significant amount of time has passed and figure out if you’ve actually accomplished anything?
So, the question is, how does this translate into software marketing?
Well, there’s no doubt that any software marketing company should begin their process with goal-setting. It’s more about how they set these goals. Goals should be realistic and attainable without being too irrational.
One common yet effective approach to goal-setting is the SMART goal method.
Isn’t too vague and clearly defines what you’re looking to accomplish
Has a method to measure whether the goal has been reached or not
The goal is realistic and not outside the realm of possibility
The goal aligns with your company’s long-term mission
The goal should be achieved within a realistic yet ambitious time-frame
With the SMART goal method, you can rest assured that you’re setting goals that are not only realistic and clearly defined, but they’re also well-aligned with the overall outcome you’re trying to achieve with your business.
A great software marketing company should be well-versed in setting these types of goals. And not only that, they should be able to help you figure out if you’ve achieved them later on down the road. Which leads us to our next point.
2. Metrics, KPIs, and Reports
These three considerations are all lumped into the same category because they all flow together in a sense.
Metrics can be a funny thing in the world of marketing. Too often do marketers fall into the trap of obsessing over every single marketing metric, including some that aren’t even relevant to the goals they’ve set in the first place.
The problem is, there are so many different software marketing metrics that it can be difficult to figure out which ones are important and which ones are nothing more than vanity metrics.
This means that when it comes to evaluating software marketing companies, you’ll want to go with one who is focused on helping you track the metrics that are relevant to your goals. Not just vanity metrics that make them look like marketing wizards to those who wouldn’t know any better.
A KPI, which stands for “key performance indicator, is essentially a way for you to tell if you’re on track to meet your goals before you’ve actually met them. Typically, these KPIs are measured on a monthly basis, but the important thing is that your software marketing company is measuring them to ensure that you’re on the right track.
With KPI measuring comes reporting. Reports are a way for you to assess how things have been going, again normally on a monthly basis.
Essentially, reports give you a pretty good idea of whether or not your investment in a software marketing company is paying off.
So what should these reports include?
- Activity and results from the previous month
- Results measured against your KPIs
- Updates to your current strategy
- Any improvements that might need to be made in the near future
Metrics, KPIs, and reporting are vital considerations when choosing the right software marketing company. Without them, you’ll have virtually no way of knowing if you’re on the right track, or even if you’ve achieved your goals long-term.
3. Experience/Proven Results
When you bring your car in for repairs, chances are you’d want to bring it to a shop with a great deal of experience. Or at the very least, a proven track record of service.
The same goes for choosing a software marketing company. If you want the greatest ROI possible, your best chance is going with a company with appropriate experience and past results.
Here’s the thing though. There are several different factors to consider when evaluating the level of experience associated with a software marketing company. All of these factors are important and valuable in their own way.
How Long They’ve Been Around
Before we dive too far into this one, let’s clear the air by saying that just because a software marketing company hasn’t been around for a crazy long time, doesn’t mean that they aren’t an effective option. However, it can certainly be a viable consideration.
Think about it. There’s a good chance that a software marketing company that’s been around the block for a while has acquired plenty of experience over their lifetime. So while it isn’t the be-all-end-all, it’s certainly a good sign.
Another thing to consider here is that a software marketing company with plenty of years under their belt has had plenty of time to refine their processes and figure out which strategies work best.
Reviews and Testimonials
Because there’s no better way to get information on a company than from their past clients.
If you really want the inside scoop on a potential software marketing company, check out some reviews and testimonials. There’s no doubt that any company in any industry will jump at the chance to pump their own tires. The difference-maker is what their past clients have to say since they have very little reason to lie.
Case studies are another great way to gain insight into a software marketing company’s biggest success stories.
Almost all case studies follow a fairly cookie-cutter format:
- The client in question has a problem they need to be resolved
- The company proposes a solution and creates a plan
- The results of the proposed solution
When reviewing case studies, you can not only get a feel for how effective a software marketing company is at achieving their goals, but you also get a pretty good idea of the types of problems that they have been able to resolve for clients. This information often makes a huge difference when evaluating your options.
Case studies are occasionally available on a company’s website, but more often than not you’ll have to ask for them directly. This is because they often contain sensitive information about a client’s company.
4. Content Marketing
Considering that 85% of the world’s largest software companies have blogs, it’s safe to say that content marketing is king when it comes to inbound software lead generation.
Of course, blogs aren’t the only aspect of content marketing. There are many different types of content marketing, including:
- Video content
You want to be found by potential customers, and a rock-solid content marketing strategy is what will make that happen.
So how do you evaluate potential software marketing companies with regards to content marketing?
First of all, a good software marketing company will focus on the customer journey as a whole. This means that they’ll be targeting the top funnel customers, middle funnel customers, and bottom funnel customers.
Next, an effective way to evaluate a company’s prowess in content marketing is to have a look at their own content marketing efforts. Do they have an authoritative blog? Do they have ebooks to target their middle funnel customers?
Basically, we’re asking if they practice what they preach. A software marketing company with their own effective content marketing strategy in place is often a safe bet.
5. Software Web Design
An optimized website is the perfect starting point for your software marketing plan. So it’s only fair that a software marketing company’s experience in web design is one of the most important evaluation points.
Chances are you’ve already got a website. Maybe it’s fine. Maybe it could use some tweaking. Considering up to 88% of people are likely to never return to a website following a negative user experience, you should never rule out the possibility that you could use an even better website than the one you have now.
The ideal software marketing company should have a rock-solid process in place for creating an optimized website that converts. A simple way of assessing this is by checking out some of their past designs.
Sometimes, software companies will even have case studies related to their web design processes.
The bottom line is that a well-optimized website is key to effective lead generation.
6. Landing Pages that Convert
While your website is more of a jack-of-all-trades, combining optimization with a high level of functionality, landing pages are created with one sole purpose in mind: to convert. Whether this conversion takes the shape of subscribing to your service or even just to download an e-book you’ve been promoting, your software marketing company should be well-versed in creating effective landing pages that get the job done.
It pays to check out some past designs or even case studies related to landing pages, if there are any. That should illustrate the level of experience that any given company has in landing page creation.
7. Other Marketing Services
Content marketing and web design aside, there are other marketing avenues you can explore as well when you decide to partner up with a software marketing company.
Other common channels include:
- SEO (Search engine optimization)
- PPC ads (Pay-per-click)
- Influencer marketing
- Social marketing
- Referral marketing
Software marketing involves several different channels and routes you can take to achieve your goals. So whether you’re looking for an expert in a few specific areas or a company to handle all avenues of your software marketing strategy, it’s important to ask yourself exactly what your needs are. From there, take the time to assess the strengths of the software company in question and make sure they match your needs.
Talking about money isn’t always fun. In fact, it’s occasionally controversial, depending on the situation you find yourself in.
However, when assessing different software marketing companies, knowing your budget is important.
A general rule here is that you get what you pay for. Often times, a software marketing company with more experience and proven results will cost more upfront than one who might be just starting out with less to show for it. Conversely, you’re also more likely to see a higher ROI from the more expensive company with more experience than the one charging you pennies.
It’s also important to note here that certain processes may cost extra money as well. For example, while you’re going to be paying a software marketing company an upfront fee to get started, you may also have to pay for ad space if you decide you want to take the Google Ads route.
But, and this is a rather large “but”, cost isn’t everything. It’s important to remember that just because a software marketing company charges piles of cash for their services, it doesn’t automatically make them an appropriate fit for you. So, while the price is definitely something you’ll want to evaluate, try not to get too caught up in it.
In short, it’s no secret that hiring a software marketing company is going to require some upfront capital, but if you play your cards right and take the time to make sure you’re choosing the right company, the ROI can easily make the cost worth it in the long run.
Summary - Choosing the Right Software Marketing Company For You
So now that you’re armed with these 8 considerations when choosing a software marketing company for your business, it’s time to make a decision.
The thing is, even with these key evaluation points, nobody can make that decision for you.
We get it. Having an abundance of options can be great in a sense, but it can also lead to overwhelm and eventually burnout if you’re spending too much time flip-flopping between the different choices. And even after you’ve narrowed the choices down and made a decision, you can be left wondering if the choice you made was the right one.
However, there’s no doubt that proper evaluation of potential software marketing companies is a crucial practice to ensure you get the best ROI possible. There’s nothing worse than being stuck working with a company that simply isn’t the right fit for your goals and overall mission.
Hopefully, with these considerations in mind, we can help lighten the decision-making load.
Still Having Trouble Choosing a Software Marketing Company?
Decisions like this one can leave you stuck staring at the Google results page, wondering which software marketing company is the right one for you. We can’t blame you there.
If you need a helping hand, why not reach out to us? Whether you’re looking for a little more information to help with your decision, or want to check out how Roketto can help you reach your goals, we’ve got your back.
Ulf is one of the co-founders here at Roketto. His passion shines brightest when tasked with increasing business growth through inbound marketing. If you want to talk strategy, give Ulf a shout and you’re likely to see him spark with excitement.