There is no denying the fact that we live in a digital world. From the computers we use at work to the devices we watch for entertainment, to the smartphones that we use in every aspect of daily life, the future is obviously promising for talented developers with meaningful applications and software to offer. However, if you believe that this is all that is necessary to have success in the world of business, you will quickly find that there are countless other elements and factors that will determine success aside from creating a beneficial product.
Independent developers and small software companies also need responsible business practices, careful financial planning, realistic expectations and constant evaluation and improvement to keep up with the fast-paced world. Additionally, no matter how respectable your business model and no matter how wonderful your product may be, you also need effective marketing strategies to help the world find out about your business.
This guide is designed to help developers and software companies understand a few basic strategies that are necessary for growth and success in today’s competitive world of applications and software development. It is almost cliche now for a person to try and come up with the next great app, and everyone (with every possible skillset and speciality) is trying to get in on the seemingly limitless potential. If you already have a great product or a great business, the following steps will ensure that you are able to reach more people and grow your company according to its worth.
Developing Your Goals
No matter the business, industry or product, the first step to any effective marketing plan involves developing realistic goals. For developers, this can be difficult, as there may be few precedents or available data on a product that is like yours. But you should try to be as specific as possible, defining goals in several areas and the metrics that will help you determine success.
If your company is brand new or your product has very little precedent, you still need to come up with some general guidelines about what you hope to achieve with each individual marketing effort. For instance, your latest email campaign may have the general purpose to sell digital downloads; your social media efforts could be intended to generate more leads; CTAs on your website could be geared at higher conversion rates; and so forth.
Obviously, people still communicate and share buying experiences verbally, even in today’s digital world. However, modern word-of-mouth marketing is not necessarily the same literal type of consumer to consumer communication that was once so crucial to a company’s reputation and growth. The vast majority of Americans use at least one social media platform every day, and this is where experiences are shared, brand evangelists can be created and modern word-of-mouth takes place.
In many ways, social media was God’s gift to advertisers, as it allows them to directly communicate with existing customers and potential customers while also marketing their own brand, interests and values. If your customers appreciate your product, service, brand and values, they will naturally begin to share this appreciation and positive information with friends and acquaintances who have similar interests– and in turn, may have a similar need for your business.
Additionally, you should create intriguing, interesting and helpful content on a blog that will have the same type of impact but allows you to communicate in a more intimate and in-depth manner. Your blogs should not appear to be blatant marketing or promotion, but always geared at helping your customers with issues and interests that are relevant to them. Using social media and well-developed content to create dialogues and relationships will begin a type of organic growth that will increase exponentially over time.