Thursday, 2 August 2012

Tips & Tricks: 10 Basic Online Software Marketing Methods

Adriana Iordan, Web Marketing Manager,
Avangate B.V
You've launched a new software product and you want to see its impact on the market. Which are the first software marketing methods that come to your mind in order to make your product popular and in the end gain more buyers? We've jotted down ten basic online software marketing methods that may help you boost your sales.
1. Continuous Search Engine Optimization
When doing search engine optimization focus on improving your link popularity, adding fresh content, monitoring website results, testing various keywords, etc.
Why continuous? It's not a one time job to optimize your new pages that feature the new product for the search engines but a never ending battle with other thousands of pages wanting to get higher rankings. Even if you do manage to be on the first page for several keywords defining your new product, it will take at least 2 months to get there but it will take forever to keep them there.
2. Submit your shareware to software download sites and directories
Promote your software by submitting it to as many download sites and directories as possible. Is it worth submitting your software to hundreds of download websites? Some say it is, others say it's a complete waste of time. If your product is new, at least one time you should invest time to announce it to every download website. My opinion is that it does make the difference. The more, the better. You should test it for yourself!
Meanwhile here's an article about "The importance of shareware submission" you might find useful.
3. Affiliates marketing
Affiliates are people who will promote and sell your software products from their websites, in return of a small commission for every sale. It's not working every time, but for some markets, it is replacing the sales department! To benefit from this marketing method you need to understand some of the things that matter most to affiliates and the mistakes that merchants do.
See "Top 5 mistakes that affiliate managers do"
4. Pay per Click campaigns
Important search engines place ads near search results for a small fee. The idea is to bid for relevant keywords that bring pertinent results related to the product you're selling, and place your advertisement on the top of the page of the search engine.
AdWords (advertising tool from Google) is very effective and it's the quickest way to promote your new product online. Don't assume that this is an easy task. It's not. Remember that Google is a tough nut to crack, but with the right set of tools and a lot of hard work and dedication, it can be done.
See "AdWords Campaigns? Avoiding the Mistakes"
5. Write newsletters and press releases
A newsletter is an easy way to stay in touch with your clients, prospects and affiliates. The success of an e-mail newsletter distribution system depends on your database: you need to keep it up to date and accurate.
Announcing a new product or an update is a very good reason to write and promote a press release and to send a newsletter about it. If your press release is deemed newsworthy by the editors of the websites you submitted it to, then it may be published, which means free advertising for you, and also keeping your business fresh in the mind of your customers.
Here's a list of "50 Press Release Submission Websites" where you can promote your press release most of them for free.
6. Write and submit articles
There are many ezines and online publications on the internet where you can publish software related articles, in order to get free exposure and consolidate your image as a professional in your domain.
See "50 Free Article Submission Websites".
7. Social Media
Social Media Marketing mixes viral marketing strategies using social media sites such as, newsvine, spurl, reddit, etc. Online communities may help you increase brand awareness, traffic, gain good back links. Are you wondering how this may happen? You can start by creating bookmarklets to insert into your articles, whitepapers, press releases and any other page that visitors might catalog as useful information. Visitors will have the chance to recommend you, to tell others about you and in the end this will lead to increasing popularity.
See : " How to Get Traffic from Web 2.0 Sites like Digg, Reddit & StumbleUpon"
8. Blog and RSS
It can help you stay in touch with others, receive feedback from clients, build online reputation and awareness of your new releases. In the series of interviews we have started, both our guests are using blogging in their marketing strategy and they are very good at it. Here's the interview with Bob Walsh, a successful author and blogger, who also wrote a book of tips and trick for blogging. Maybe you haven't started blogging because you might have thought that you are not a good writer. If you're passionate about your software, you will definitely be inspired!
RSS feeds facilitate the communication between the publisher of a certain website and its readers. Typically, headlines, press releases, articles and promotions are published by means of RSS. When it comes to promoting your RSS feeds, it is best to do it through your own channels, such as an RSS presentation page (which should contain a definition of RSS, benefits for the subscriber, etc.) on your website (where you should include links to all your RSS feeds), promoting this RSS presentation page and your feeds on the most visible locations of your website, in your email messages, or on e-zine issues; make sure that you offer enough information to convince your visitors to subscribe to your RSS feeds. You can also promote your RSS feeds through external channels, like submitting them to good RSS Submission Directories.
9. Google base
An online search engine dedicated to consumers interested in products that are available for sale on the internet. Why should you get listed in it? Here are a few reasons: it's free, it provides very specific results, each feed includes product details. Shoppers will find your published products in their searches on Google Base, Google Product Search, Google Maps and even on the main Google web search. Their tagline "Post it on Base. Find it on Google" is a promise coming from Google. Why not check if it's true?
10. Get involved in online forums
Invest time in subscribing to forums or discussions groups that deal with themes related to your business. Be careful though, you don't want to be banned for spamming. So be creative. Choose some forums and try posting once a week at least. Provide useful information and the other members will start trusting and loving your website.
Keep in mind that every business is different, so you need to be creative and patient until you find the best formula that brings you higher sales. Any experience you would like to share on what web marketing techniques a software vendor should have in mind to help spread the word about its product?
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