Content marketing strategy for software companies

software cloud product by IronpaperContent marketing can be a powerful lead generation tool for software brands. A strong content strategy can help software businesses build trust with potential buyers, drive more leads and help convert leads to sales.

  1. Define a process
  2. Allocate resources
  3. Establish a process or tool for measuring results
  4. Iterate over time to produce better results
  5. Update content plan and increase resources based on performance

Some immediate goals stand out for software marketers. Lead generation, thought leadership, lead nurturing and trust are vital goals that can be improved by stronger content marketing. Here are some of the top reported priorities for digital content marketing in 2014 based on a Curata study.

Content marketing analytics

  • A content plan should contain both a process and a schedule. This plan will help ensure the success of your content marketing efforts. In terms of process, you will need to define the approval process and the iteration process. Iteration is important. Iterative processes help organizations learn from their previous efforts to get better results in the future.
    1. Plan content themes
    2. Publishing schedule
    3. Define key performance indicators
    4. Who is writing and approving content?

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  • Brand journalism can be a powerful process of building advocacy, trust and loyalty for enterprises. Software companies can harness the practice of brand journalism to build deeper relationships and trust with leads and customers. Story-telling can help make software brands resonate with customers. Consider interviews with employees or telling the backstory of a product discovery process.
  • Email marketing helps drive both conversions throughout the customer lifecycle. Content plays a large role in email marketing. Don’t just push sales copy to customers using email. Use email to share insights, data, reports, stories that are helpful, interesting or entertaining. Email marketing is cheap and highly measurable, but many companies abuse email. Just don’t. Work hard to keep unsubscribes and SPAM flags low. To do this, you must focus on quality, relevance and brevity.
    1. Link email communications to web pages to measure interest and expand upon content themes in the email message
    2. Use segmentation to group buyers based on their interests. This keeps relevance high.
  • Video can be a powerful motivator. Certainly video can require more planning and resources than blog content, but video can be a highly effective marketing piece. There are a slew of themes possible for using video in software or B2B software marketing, including entertaining, entertaining, educational, informative or instructional videos. As a starting point, consider instructional videos to support your software product. Helping customers will build retention.
  • Webinars should be considered as part of a software company’s content strategy. For one, conducting a webinar requires content before, during and after an event in order to be successful. Webinars themselves help build trust and educate potential customers. Webinars can also be useful in lead generation if you reach prospects willing to explore your software solution during a live event. Remember to follow up after a webinar with tips, resource, inspiration or a webinar summary.
  • Scheduled or ongoing content should be defined for a software company. There should be ongoing content efforts that support prospects, leads and customers.
  • Audits of website content for SEO, positioning, quality, and to improve conversion rates should be a consideration as part of a brand’s content strategy. Many software brands publish and forget about content on their own website. (Don’t worry…. almost all enterprises do this at some point.) As a starting point, audit your best-performing web pages to improve conversion rates. Don’t just focus on style and design, but focus on content and legibility as well.

Base content efforts for software companies

  • Blog posts (daily, weekly or at least monthly)
  • Company news and press releases
  • Email support for customers: tips, resources, updates (at least quarterly)
  • eBooks, manuals and use-cases
  • Fact sheets or data sheets to help prospect buyers
  • Social media communications (stay relevant and visible… remember don’t just self promote)
  • Customer support content (can come in many formats from forums to an evolving “knowledge base” micro site

Get help!
Consider these simple ways to get help with content creation. There are numerous ways to come up with new content ideas, from holding a contest within your company to researching search trends for themes related to your industry on Google Trends.

Content themes for consideration

  • Content covering upcoming events or industry tradeshows
  • Upcoming feature release or product launches
  • New industry trends or broad customer habits
  • Industry pain points (that your brand helps solve)
  • Research or research questions
  • Polls
  • Employee interviews
  • Customer interviews or customer success stories
  • Interesting or unusual ways customers use your software product

Consider these 5 web design tips for software companies and refer to our article on SaaS marketing tips for 2014

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.