Product Management - How to Market What You have Built - Product Marketing
So, your product team has successfully built a great product. But does that mean users will come to you and buy your product immediately? Of course, No! You have to market what you have built, for your target audience to be aware of your product and become excited about it.
That brings us to ‘Product Marketing’. Product marketing is the process of moving your product from concept to the customer. But, in the face of a highly competitive market and increased competition for attention on digital channels, product companies in fact often struggle to reach the target audience on the right channel. Hence, your approach to product marketing needs to evolve and leverage tactics that can produce real results. So, how exactly is marketing software products different from other products? What are the strategies that could be used to market software products?
So, here’s the thing about software products and the first thing that you should consider when marketing software products is that you will have two sets of audience - one the technology side audience who will have a million questions about your product and want to find every loophole in your product and the other side, decision-makers in an organization who may not be a tech genius. Knowing that you have audience from these two different spectrum, your marketing strategy should have tactics that reach and convince both these categories. The channels that you use for marketing and the content that you create should focus on these targets and engage them by proving that you understand their challenges, you’re a thought leader in the industry and have a unique solution for their pain points.
When we say marketing the software product, we are letting the market know about your product. So, for your marketing efforts to be successful, you need to tell the customers about your product in a compelling way and convince them. Here is a high-level view of how you should go about creating a marketing strategy for your product:
- Start with understanding the market (your target customers)
- Know the pain points of your customers that you are solving through your product
- Look at your competition - understand whether they are solving the same pain points - are you solving it any differently?
- What makes your product different than the ones already available in the market
- Create a strong positioning statement and come up with your product’s value proposition
- Now use the available channels to communicate the same about your product - the benefits your product provides, your value proposition and so on
Towards that end, here are some of the best ways to market your technology product.
1. Create Content
When it comes to marketing, ‘Content’ is always the king. Be it video content, blog posts, social media posts, the list goes on and all these forms of content has its own unique benefits and characteristics that help in marketing your product. You have to create content that talks about your product - what does it do?, What gives it an edge over similar products, etc. But make sure you have promotional content and informative content that can potentially attract your target audience. Creating value-filled and unique content in different forms and distributing it through the different channels is one of the most effective ways to gain your target audience’s attention. You can try different types of content and channels that suit your product and target audience to engage them effectively.
2. Influencer Marketing
Well, you have put a lot of effort into creating valuable content to attract your audience, but it still doesn’t seem to work? Well, you’re not alone and it happens with most of the people out there who are trying to market their products or services.With constant noise of everyone trying to market their products or services, no wonder why people struggle just to be seen or heard! It can be quite difficult and can take some time to get the results you expect.
Here’s where you can probably use influencers who have built a loyal following and credibility within an industry already. Business owners and decision-makers often look to others when evaluating new technologies for their business. Hence if you could partner with the influencers in your industry to up their credibility and social media reach, it can be a huge benefit for your marketing efforts.
But, a critical part of influencer marketing is that you should ensure you establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry so that the influencers are ready to engage with you. They wouldn’t be willing to engage with you if they sense that all you are looking for is some social visibility as it would impact their credibility. So, now this again iterates back to our first point - ‘Create high quality content’ that is knowledgeable, adds value, and have a clear perspective, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your domain. Make the influencers share this high-quality content so that you get a wider reach.
3. Affiliate Marketing
You can offer a financial incentive to other websites that are willing to promote your product on their website through an affiliate program. You can pay them in multiple ways - a payment could be made for each visit, or you may provide them a commission or a percentage of the sale for each sale. You would need the infrastructure to maintain the affiliate program and need to monitor it closely.
4. List your product in software review and download sites
This is one of the most important steps to ensure that your product is found by people who might actually be looking for it. Because software review sites and download sites are places where people go when they are looking for some software or tools or looking for some opinions. So make sure you have your product listed in these sites, with of course some review comments.
There are also product listing websites like ProductHunt and BetaList where you can launch your products and reach out to your potential users.
5. Be active on social media, forums, and blogs
Spend some time on forums and discussions related to software products. This is an opportunity for freely publicizing your product. Give regular updates and news about your products by trying not to make the advertising process too explicit. Have an active blog to establish yourself as a thought leader and good articles always attract users. Share your blogs in forums and groups where your target audience may be present and try to tie it with your product name or a slogan for your product that can attract prospects.
6. Press releases and newsletters
Press releases are another great way for publicity. Every time you release a new version, land a deal or partnership, announce it through press releases. It is a great way to let people know that your product is doing good.
Newsletters, on the other hand, are great to stay in touch with your clients, affiliates, or potential clients. But while sending out newsletters, make sure it is targeted and you have the right campaign for every category of people you send it to so that your clients don’t get content what your potential clients should be getting. Also be careful with the frequency of the newsletters, so that people don’t get bored with your updates and they lose interest in what you’re offering.
7. PayPerClick Campaigns
Pay per Click campaigns are one of the fastest ways to promote your product. Search engines will display an advertisement for the keywords you quote for a small amount of money, at the top of their search results page, thus increasing the visibility of your product. You just have to bid for relevant keywords related to the product that you are selling that will bring results.
8. Invest in SEO
Search engines are always going to be one of the main sources from where you get your traffic because the first thing people do when they want anything is search in a search engine. So you cannot ignore SEO. So always keep working on SEO and optimize your website for search engines. It can always help to attract prospects to your product.
9. Visit live events
Not just digital channels, attending live events like technology fairs, symposia, workshops, and other similar events can be a great opportunity to market your product and meet more people. These platforms add up to your digital marketing efforts mentioned above
We hope, with all the above steps, you should be able to create a marketing strategy for your product. Start thinking about marketing the day you start thinking about the product. But, remember, marketing is long term, consistent, evolving, and predictable - some things may work for someone at a given time and may not work for you. So, be consistent with your marketing efforts, even if you don’t get results, keep experimenting, keep measuring your results, learn from them, and align your efforts at regular intervals to improve results.