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October 08, 2021

Content marketing strategy for software companies

By Ross Lancaster, Content Specialist

Content marketing can be a powerful lead generation tool for software brands. A strong content strategy can help software businesses talk to potential buyers effectively and help convert leads to sales.

Software companies may be hesitant to develop a complete content marketing strategy because they may fear that programming and selling software is too different from the creative process involved in producing various types of content. Or, software companies might think that creating a content marketing strategy will distract from their bottom-line efforts. Neither could further from the truth — even the most technologically advanced software companies will be missing out on leads and conversions without a well-defined content strategy.

Four content marketing strategy steps for software companies

  1. Define goals and rationale

  2. Allocate resources and workflow

  3. Establish a process or tool for measuring results

  4. Iterate over time to produce better results

  5. Define goals and rationale

content strategy for a software company needs to have well-defined reasoning specific to a company's business attributes, sales cycles, and leads. Too many companies get into the habit of publishing fluffy or self-congratulatory content that doesn't speak to potential leads' pain points or is misaligned with how a company's business cycle actually operates.

For example, a new software startup without many leads probably needs awareness-level content and a solid SEO/pillar page strategy to deliver new prospects into the sales funnel. 

Additionally, a software company must define what it hopes to accomplish from its content marketing efforts, preferably with SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely — goals.

Allocate resources and workflow processes

Software companies pursuing a new or revamped content marketing strategy will need to devote resources and time to produce the content and strategies that speak to potential buyers. An IT company's developers or C-suite with no writing experience or creating content for a B2B audience probably shouldn't be behind content production daily.

There are several options a software company has for getting a person or team to produce content and drive strategy, including hiring an agency, using internal marketing staff, or hiring freelancers.

A software company's content marketing strategy will also have to consider the workflow processes. Will the content writer, specialist, or strategist submit content directly to a CMS for review, send documents to a single reviewer/editor in a traditional top-down process, or use a team-based Agile approach like Scrum (initially used for software development)? Whatever arrangement is chosen will have an impact on the work that gets done.

Establish a tool or process for measuring results

There are a lot of metrics available for content marketers and software companies to look at, but leads and conversion rates rule above all others because those lead to growth. However, software content marketers still need to take advantage of a tool or program that will show more data points without losing sight of those metrics that matter the most.

For example, suppose a landing page with a content offer gets lots of organic traffic but low conversions. In that case, a good content strategy will look to optimize the landing page for improved conversion rates. Similarly, if conversions are happening at a steady rate but leads aren't being qualified down the funnel, it's probably a sign that the content is captivating but not to the right audience.

Iterate over time to produce better results

Companies in myriad industries tend to post content that sits on a blog or in the outer reaches of a site map and leave it alone for months or years. Often, this is valuable content that didn't get ideal results, didn't quite use the correct language for organic search, or was simply forgotten about by the team. 

B2B content marketers should go back and tinker with messaging and content to drive awareness, conversions, and leads on landing pages or blogs. Iterating content is a more efficient use of time than making a whole new content offer, blog, and/or landing page.