As the owner of a small- or medium-sized software reseller, you are constantly busy, and every day you’re being pulled in a million directions. You run your own business. You probably sell. You probably implement or do some programming. You’re dealing with employee issues. You’re dealing with your vendor changing the rules of the game (and your margins) once again. You’re on the frontline daily with your customers, keeping them happy.
You are probably stretched thin and don’t have the time to focus on marketing.
But, you need to get the word out about your unique service offerings and capabilities and how awesome your company is to work with.
You need someone on your side to tell your story, so you can differentiate yourself from the pack and attract more prospects and customers.
You need to ensure that you’re giving prospects and potential new customers a good user experience as they work through their buying process, so they come to rely on you as their trusted advisor.
The big guys have someone (or multiple people) on staff dedicated to marketing activity, and they will eat your lunch unless you have someone focused on consistently delivering your marketing message.
Your marketing mix may vary, but some things you should consider if you’re not doing them already:
Your website is the first impression your prospects have of your company. It should have the following attributes:
- Professional Look
- You can do a lot with WordPress and you can also do a lot poorly with WordPress. Be sure your site is effective and pleasing to the eye.
- Good Copy and Messaging
- Nothing screams “amateur” like multiple grammar mistakes or poorly written copy. Make sure your copy is helping you reach your objectives.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- People need to be able to find your site. Your web page copy (and other attributes) should help you with your SEO goals.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Online Advertising
- Again, people need to be able to find your site. Depending on your budget, PPC will help. But, you need effective ads with specific calls-to-action.
Email marketing is today’s direct mail postcard solicitation – plus more.
- Email Nurturing
- Keeps you in touch with prospects and customers until they are ready to buy by providing salient information periodically.
- Email Blasts
- Focused on events (e.g., webinar or seminar attendance) or specific call-to-action (e.g., download white paper). Drives immediate action.
- Email Newsletters
- Keeps you in touch consistently with your customers and provides them with valuable information that reinforces your trusted advisor status and differentiates you from other resellers.
Content creation is key to all marketing efforts, especially SEO, web and social media marketing.
- If you publish articles consistently (i.e., the same day of the month or week) and provide content your prospects and customers will value (e.g., how-to articles and original product reviews and trends), then your blog will (1) make your business more “sticky” as customers and prospects come back to read your latest article, (2) establish your company as thought leaders and (3) communicate that you are product experts.
- Key SEO activity.
- White Papers
- Generate multiple activities (e.g. blog, press releases, social media marketing, email blasts, webinars) and establish you and your firm as thought leaders and product experts.
- Another key SEO activity.
- Press Releases
- Helps with SEO and reaching a wider audience than your twitter feed echo chamber.
Social Media Marketing
Millennials are the largest group of buyers in the world, and they live in social media. You need to be here.
- Engage with Your Customers and Prospects
- Publish to the LinkedIn groups your prospects frequent to drive site traffic and new prospects.
- Follow your customers and communicate with them via Twitter.
- Listen to your prospects on social media platforms and generate leads.
- Participate in various social platform groups to raise your profile.
- Social media activity (e.g., shared links, likes, etc.) affect your website’s rankings.
Trade Show Marketing
Trade shows “died down” for a couple of years following 2008, but they are still part of a 360° marketing plan. Key considerations are listed.
- Ensure you are selecting the right show to attend. Be where your prospects are.
- When you’re at the show, target your correct audience by role (e.g., business owner, VP of Sales, CFO).
- Broadens your footprint (aka, increases name recognition).
- Generates prospects.
- Ties into social and content marketing when you tweet from the show floor and blog about presentations you attended.
Direct Mail & Print Ads
Some people still look at direct mail and print ads. Print ads are of dubious effectiveness for a small- to medium-sized software reseller, but direct mail can be a fundamental part of an integrated marketing campaign along with email and phone calls by sales people.
What to Do Next
One way to attack these marketing activities is to just do it yourself. But, then you’re just adding something else to your already full plate. A “something” that will probably be interrupted or delayed by another “something else” that is more important “right this second” (e.g., a valuable and loyal customer).
Another way to attack these marketing activities is to assign an already overburdened employee with the tasks you require. They might or might not have the necessary skill set and, of course, these new activities will take them away from billable time.
Perhaps the best way to achieve your marketing goals is to outsource your marketing activity. Outsourcing allows you to easily budget and control costs and still gain benefit from marketing activities.
Outsourcing also allows you to hire a very experienced person familiar with your industry and it’s unique challenges for a fraction of what that person would cost as a full time employee.
So what to do next? Simple. Email me at email@example.com. We’ll set up a time to discuss your situation and figure out next steps.