Most early stage technology brands are run by talented and highly capable technology experts. But being an expert in technology does not mean that you are automatically a marketing and sales hero. As we all know business success has an essential first ingredient and that is sales. It goes without saying that you need to employ and nurture star sales and client facing people but there is a whole world of work that needs to be done to support them in their job and to ensure that they are able to consistently address high quality opportunities.
By following these 6 steps and consistently executing your strategy, you can build a powerful online cloud/software technology brand that generates new sales and creates loyal customers.
1. Develop a strong brand identity:
Your brand identity is how customers perceive your company. It includes your company name, logo, website design, messaging, and overall visual aesthetics. It's important to develop a strong and consistent brand identity that reflects your company's values and mission. You must focus this on differentiating factors where you can and ensure that it authentically represents the vision that you have for your company and where it offers the market a valuable option.
2. Focus on user experience:
A great user experience can make or break your software product. Ensure that your software is easy to use and has a user-friendly interface. Conduct user testing to gather feedback and iterate your product accordingly. Remember not all customers are the same so you sometimes need to work hard to understand what is required to satisfy their curiosity and needs in terms of their specific customer journey. Quick fire research is a great way to gather fast and actionable insights. One aspect of user experience that is often overlooked is the opportunity to generate inbound enquiries either via platforms or in-market situations. This requires planning, testing and constant optimisation. And of course compelling and engaging content...
3. Create valuable content:
Content marketing is a powerful way to build brand awareness and generate new sales. Create valuable content that provides insights and solutions to your target audience's pain points. Share this content on your website, social media channels, and other relevant platforms to reach your target audience. Content marketing will generate inbound enquiries and if leveraged correctly can be used proactively to generate hand raisers and mid-funnel prospects for your sales team to follow up. Story telling is and always has been the key to communicating your brand personality and the efficacy and relevance of your solutions. Less tech and more story is a good place to start, layering in the deeper information as engagement grows. Short form video is powerful but needs care if it is value light. Consider unique images, infographics and targeted user cases framed and delivered in a compelling way. High quality product assets for off=platform marketing or download are becoming increasingly important.
4. Leverage social media:
Social media can be a powerful tool to build brand awareness and generate new sales. Identify which social media platforms your target audience uses the most and develop a strategy to engage with them on those platforms. This could include creating content, running social media ads, and engaging with your audience through comments and direct messages. LinkedIn is an expensive but powerful media. This places the onus on the brand to ensure that the quality of content is paramount. Consider success by metric depending on your campaign objectives - awareness, consideration or conversion. Make sure that these are aligned from planning to measurement. Social media is a marathon not a sprint. Doing little or nothing is not an option in a world where your online presence and personality is your primary shop window.
5. Build a strong email list:
Email marketing can be an effective way to nurture leads and generate new sales. Build a strong email list by offering a lead magnet, such as a free newsletter. e-book or webinar, and consistently provide valuable content to your subscribers. Test and learn is essential in an email marketing environment. Determine all of the internal and external factors that may affect your outcome and measure wherever you can. Starting small and highly controlled is better than burning opportunity.
6. Provide excellent customer support:
Happy customers are more likely to become loyal customers and recommend your software to others. Ensure that you have a strong customer support system in place that can quickly and effectively respond to any customer enquiries or issues. This final point is obvious and essential. Whether pre- or post-sales your customer service is the bedrock of your brand reputation.
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