10 Ways to Turn a Software Company into a Publishing House

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If you are a marketer in a software company you will know, it is not easy to constantly produce great content that will lubricate each stage of the buying process. It is even harder when you are working to balance the mix of your marketing activities between brand and lead generation. On the lead generation you will be working on traditional outbound tasks (e.g. events, advertising, telemarketing, email list and direct marketing) and some newer inbound tasks (e.g. Website, SEO, Social Media, Blogs and Campaigns). This presentation shows ten ways for you to build a stronger content capability that will help drive the success of our inbound mix.

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10 Ways to Turn a Software Company into a Publishing House

  1. 1. 10 WAYS SOFTWARE COMPANY into a Publishing House to turn your
  2. 2. Jonathan Crowe, the Managing Editor of Openview Partners, a leading software venture capital firm, recently wrote a piece on content production best practices. Here are his top 3: Hi Jonathan Interactive Incredibly Visual Full of content for every stage of the buying process If you are a marketer in a software company then you may look at this last point and wince. It is not easy to constantly produce great content that will lubricate each stage of the buying process. It is even harder when you are working to balance the mix of your marketing activities between brand and lead generation. On lead generation you will most likely be working on traditional outbound tasks (e.g. events, advertising, telemarketing, email list and direct marketing) and some newer inbound tasks (e.g. Website, Search Optimisation, Social Media, Blogs and Campaigns). This document outlines ten steps for you to build a stronger content capability that will drive the success of your inbound mix. STEPS TO BUILD A STRONGER CONTENT CAPABILITY 10
  3. 3. Software engineers and sales people are not hired for their literary talents. So you may need to do some work to identify those who have a flair for expressing themselves in the written word. Try these tactics: FIND WRITERS1 STEP
  4. 4. Software engineers and sales people are not hired for their literary talents. So you may need to do some work to identify those who have a flair for expressing themselves in the written word. Try these tactics: FIND WRITERS1 STEP Make a mental note of any well-crafted internal emails you receive and approach the sender Do a search on the main social media channels for your firm’s employees to see if there is anyone out there who is communicating well Run a competition with a prize for the most visited blog
  5. 5. So, you need to present your CEO with examples of highly successful software companies whose leaders are their chief story tellers and make the connection between their content and their software’s success. GET BUY-IN2 STEP
  6. 6. So, you need to present your CEO with examples of highly successful software companies whose leaders are their chief story tellers and make the connection between their content and their software’s success. GET BUY-IN2 STEP Dharmesh Shah: Serial Tech start up entrepreneur and blogger with 100,000 followers on LinkedIN Doug Richards: Big tech entrepreneur, dragons den investor and has nearly 20,000 twitter folowers Mark Richard Shuttleworth: billionaire blogger and founder of Canonical and first South African in Space
  7. 7. What monthly returns can I get from inbound? How much new booked revenue do you plan to generate each month What % will come from inbound marketing What is your average initial revenue per customer How many new customers are needed monthly What’s the lead-to-customer conversion rate How many monthly leads are needed What is your visitor-to-lead conversion rate How many new monthly visitors are needed £25,000 £25,000 100% £5,000 5 10% 50 5% 1000 Building a publishing operation in your company is hard to do without some resources. In order to recruit the level of financial backing, you need to put some resources in place. MAKE A BUSINESS CASE3 STEP You might want to use a model like this:
  8. 8. Building a publishing operation in your company is hard to do without some resources. In order to recruit the level of financial backing, you need to put some resources in place. MAKE A BUSINESS CASE3 STEP Or this: courtesy of The harte of marketing
  9. 9. Building great content takes quite a bit of planning and starts with Personas, Messaging and Campaigns. PLAN4 STEP
  10. 10. Building great content takes quite a bit of planning and starts with Personas, Messaging and Campaigns. Hi Ellie The communication from many software companies is frequently all about themselves and their products. But, if no more that 5% of your web visitors are ready for a sales conversation then the other 95% are not ready to talk about your products. That means they need other kinds of content that speak to their issues in order to engage. PLAN4 STEP Messaging - Follow a structured framework like this one from DocStock Personas - This is a great guide from Ellie Mirman Campaigns – This is a quick checklist from our friends at Impact
  11. 11. If your content is not connected to the other parts of your marketing infrastructure then it will operate in a silo and not deliver the required return. INTEGRATE5 STEP
  12. 12. If your content is not connected to the other parts of your marketing infrastructure then it will operate in a silo and not deliver the required return. Most software companies know how important it is that their product integrates with their customers’ systems. The same is true of your marketing content, so make sure that your website, social media channels, blog, CRM, Marketing Automation, Analytics and SEO systems all join up, in order that you can get a full view of your prospects’ interaction with your content INTEGRATE5 STEP
  13. 13. Most software companies have a ‘rain maker’ model for sales where individual sales people rely solely on their own resources to generate revenue. This model is now being challenged by models that help your sales team work more effectively with marketing on inbound leads generated from your content. ALIGN WITH SALES6 STEP
  14. 14. Most software companies have a ‘rain maker’ model for sales where individual sales people rely solely on their own resources to generate revenue. This model is now being challenged by models that help your sales team work more effectively with marketing on inbound leads generated from your content. Hi Mark ALIGN WITH SALES6 STEP Mark Roberge of HubSpot calls this ‘Inbound Sales’ Check out his most recent piece on the subject
  15. 15. To create the great software that you are marketing someone had to think out of the box and come up with something innovative and compelling. Your content marketing needs to be the same. GET CREATIVE7 STEP
  16. 16. To create the great software that you are marketing someone had to think out of the box and come up with something innovative and compelling. Your content marketing needs to be the same. How about thinking of your great value-pieces of content as the product that the 95% are buying who are not ready for a sales conversation. If that is the case then the value-pieces of content need to be innovative and compelling. GET CREATIVE7 STEP Reach beyond the marketing team into sales and development for ideas Take some inspiration from some of the best software content marketers Reach out to your customers and ask them
  17. 17. Just because someone in your company has created a user interface does not mean that they can be let loose on the creative design of your marketing content. FIND DESIGNERS8 STEP
  18. 18. Just because someone in your company has created a user interface does not mean that they can be let loose on the creative design of your marketing content. FIND DESIGNERS8 STEP Remember that your tone of voice is more visible in your design than in your words Go find out who created content you love Find professionals who really get you and your vision and who can delight you Use social media to follow designers you would like to hire Think about what would get a designer excited about working with you
  19. 19. Once you have everything joined up you can monitor the way in which people interact with all of your content and understand better what they are interested in which in turn will feed into your content. ANALYSE9 STEP
  20. 20. Once you have everything joined up you can monitor the way in which people interact with all of your content and understand better what they are interested in which in turn will feed into your content. Hi Pamela Understanding user journeys through content, heat maps and bounce rates, visitor numbers and conversion ratios into leads and conversion rates down the marketing funnel are critical metrics to drive and demonstrate success. ANALYSE9 STEP Try the Analytics section of our Brightfire blog Have a look at an introduction to marketing analytics by Pamela Vaughan Check out Definitive Guide to Marketing Metrics and Marketing Analytics from Marketo
  21. 21. It is important that your company does not perceive the content marketing effort as ad-hoc. Set-up an editorial process so that everyone knows what to expect and when to expect it. SET UP AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR10 STEP
  22. 22. It is important that your company does not perceive the content marketing effort as ad-hoc. Set-up an editorial process so that everyone knows what to expect and when to expect it. SET UP AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR10 STEP Here are some resources reviewed by Sprout Content that you might find useful when setting up an editorial calendar: Share a content calendar, communicate some editorial guidelines for creating content and share it on social media.
  23. 23. You CAN build great content no matter the size of your marketing team. There are some great tools and some first rate advice available. These ten steps are doable for all sizes of marketing team and the results will make you into the company’s most valuable player.
  24. 24. We would love to share your ideas on building a content production capability for your software company. We will share them on our blog and social media channels if you send them over. Thanks johnny.mone@brightfire.co.uk www.brightfire.co.uk
  25. 25. www.brightfire.co.uk FREE Webinar on A Day in the Life of a Tech Content Marketer SIGN-UP FOR WEBINAR

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