Part Two | Appealing to Both Engineers and End-Users via Your Software Marketing
In part one of Software Marketing that Appeals to Both Engineers and End Users we touched on how to tailor your software’s UI and UX to appeal to both engineers and end users. The next step is appealing to each buyer segment via your software marketing channels.
Understanding how each buyer wants a different level of complexity, and have unique goals when using your software, the next step is to reflect this in your marketing materials and tactics. Ideally, this involves segmenting your software marketing tactics into two separate campaigns. The ad design, key messaging and landing pages will be different in the campaign designed to appeal to engineers versus the campaign designed to appeal to end users. Everything from ad placement to content and website navigation will be different for the engineer versus end user customer.
Appealing to Engineers
Appealing to your engineer-buyers requires tailoring a campaign that clearly speaks to their specific goals, interests and questions. The engineer buyer is typically the most impatient-analytical shopper. They want you to get to the point and offer specific details about your product.
You’ll still want to lead with features and benefits––but stick to the facts––and also make sure technical specs and data sheets are upfront and easy to access without digging too deeply into your website. This can be done by featuring a “technical specs” button or tab that opens to more in-depth information. This buyer is going to want more transparency and information than the end user, so be prepared to offer it with data sheets and rich information about everything from technical specs, to compatibility with other programs, test results and API access etc. And if you’re a software distributor versus the manufacturer, make sure you can provide just as much product information as the manufacturer.
According to research conducted by Marketing Sherpa, engineers are most likely to seek out product information via search engines––namely, Google––and are more likely to click on organic SERP links than sponsored content. They are also more likely to find product information via trade journals or trusted referral sources including other engineers. The key to appealing to them is to give them the facts and the information they need, when they need it.
When appealing to engineers:
- Stick to the facts when you talk about product features and benefits. Spare the fluff and avoid any use of hyperbole.
- Make data sheets, technical specs, information about compatibility with other programs and hardware requirements clearly and easily accessible, including the option to download, share, email and print anything.
- Offer a no-strings-attached trial of your software that doesn’t require payment information, and doesn’t auto-purchase if not cancelled when the trial ends. And don’t require too much contact information from engineers prior to trialing or downloading information (keep mandatory form fields to a minimum).
- Boost your SEO for both mainstream and other smaller search engines.
- Ad placement in popular trade journals and trusted review sites.
- Invest more time in creating and curating rich content for your company blog with topics that appeal to engineer-buyers.
- Don’t spam your engineers with email newsletters and offers without their explicit permission. They are more likely to actively pursue information as they need it versus consuming content that you randomly send them.
- Make sure your distributors are armed with datasheets and product information that the engineer buyer would be able to obtain from you directly.
- Influencer marketing: identify and nurture relationships with potential brand ambassadors and industry experts. Eventually approach them to review your software and consider implementing referral and affiliate marketing programs.
- Monitor the web and social media channels for product mentions and questions and respond accordingly. Tools such as BrandsEye, Mention or Hootsuite make monitoring easier.
- Make sure your account reps and sales team are well-informed and speak the engineer’s language, or, can directly connect your engineer-buyer with a more technically knowledgeable person who can answer their questions.
- Referral network: beyond the review sites, is there someone––a happy and loyal engineer-customer who can provide a testimonial and case study, and be willing to speak to any serious engineer-buyers if needed? If so, this could come in handy when you have a serious buyer that wants to get an idea of what the promised outcome will look like in a situation similar to their own. Just remember to acknowledge your referral sources with a formal “thank you” and even product perks and credits.
Last but not least, consider that some of your engineer buyers may be purchasing solutions on behalf of the organizations they work for. While appealing to them with rich data sheets, provide end-user tailored content via printable information sheets that they can use when pitching your software to their less-technical decision makers. The point is to give them the information they need to make a decision and then make it easier for them to present the product they choose to other decision makers, departments and company end users.
Appealing to End Users
Ad content and landing pages appealing to your end user must contain content that speaks to their specific goals for using your software, and reduce obstacles to buying by addressing their most common questions and concerns without overloading them with too much technical information. Do this by featuring key points and offering richer information that can be accessed by clicking appropriately placed CTAs (calls to action) such us linked text, tabs or buttons such as “learn more” or “technical specs.” Unless they’re an enterprise buyer, the end-user may or may not have a technical advisor helping them purchase software. Thus, tailor your content using plain language that your less-tech-savvy buyer is more likely to understand. Don’t overwhelm them with too much technical jargon or specifics. Stick to features and benefits with links to more information as needed. The end user is more likely to want some hand-holding during the product orientation phase.
When appealing to end users:
- Offer a no-obligation, free trial of your software in exchange for their contact information.
- When the end-user starts their free trial, follow up with an email offering software orientation, tips and support to guide them through their trial.
- Remind them before their trial ends with a value-added option or savings if they renew and purchase or upgrade your software before their trial ends.
- Make your pricing clear. Outline what is included for the cost.
- Offer software training and support packages (especially important to enterprise end-users).
- Augment your help section so it’s easy for the end-user to search for answers to their questions and understand any advice given.
- Showcase testimonials from other end-users.
- SEO and ad placement on software review sites and app marketplaces where applicable.
- Social media presence showcasing the “human-side” and approachability of your software and brand.
- Email marketing content that helps end-users become more familiar using your software and its features. Announcements about new product updates and user case studies that help inspire your end-user customers’ continued use of your software.
- Influencer marketing: identify end-user influencers who can showcase your software, offer reviews, and be featured as a guest on your blog or vise versa.
- Referral sources: identify an enterprise end-user who is already a raving fan of your software and see if you can use them for a case study, testimonial or video interview highlighting how your software is solving their problems.
- Video marketing: showcase your products features and benefits in action with video tours and case studies that reflect other end-users using your software to solve problems.
- Packaging. If you’re a proprietary software, you’ll have to consider actual packaging design, but if you’re a SaaS product, remember to highlight the benefits of SaaS over proprietary alternatives. This is especially important when appealing to “early majority” or “late majority” end-users who may be more wary of ongoing costs versus a one-time purchase. Highlight how your SaaS model saves them hassle and money over the short and long term.
Last but not least, consider that some end-users will be non-technically-savvy people tasked with finding a software solution for their team of other end-users. They aren’t always the decision maker, so the goal is to provide enough information without overwhelming them, and make it easy for them to pitch your product to their team and other decision makers. They are likely to want some way to reach you directly by phone or email when they have questions, so be upfront about whether you offer this kind of support.
Software marketing begins with well mapped UI and UX design, followed by strong marketing that effectively showcases features and benefits in a way that specifically appeals to each market segment. When your software is ready to market, contact our team of marketing experts at McAllister Marketing. We’ll help you devise a software marketing strategy that attracts, converts and retains both engineers and end-user customers.