What content works best for software buyers?
If you write it, Google will come.
That is - if your content is well matched to search intent, valuable to the readers, and shows expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. And, if your content meets all that criteria - your content still needs to match what your target audience is looking for and resonate with them.
We create a lot of content for software buyers across multiple software markets. Our days are spent speaking with and creating content that software buyers will find engaging.
We’ve even generated reports based on how software buyers are selecting software, and what content impacts their decision making.
Content impacts every stage of a prospect’s journey through the funnel, which is why we’re going to share some key learnings from our experience working with software buyers.
Know your audience
When creating any type of content, the first thing we consider is the audience. We should factor in our existing readership, as well as the potential audience from new search terms, and user intent.
Content designed for software buyers at the bottom-of-funnel looks very different from content designed for top-of-funnel prospects. For example, we may create an introductory article explaining complex terminology and acronyms for a top-of-funnel prospect, in contrast, we may create a custom comparison with industry-specific software profiles for a bottom-of-funnel prospect.
Delivering the right content at the right moment is critical - and every marketer’s dream. We want to interact with prospects at every stage of the buyer funnel so our brand is at the forefront of that prospect’s mind.
We need to create content that delivers value to every prospect in the funnel. In our publications, we’ve committed to creating content that can take a software buyer through the entire funnel from discovering a software all the way through to completing their own selection project.
Context is important for good content
Our recent demand generation report found that over a third of software buyers were most interested in making comparisons during their selection phase. Brand positioning at high-intent moments such as this is critical to software sellers who should be appearing at the forefront of the buyer journey.
A software buyer who is actively shortlisting and comparing software has high purchase intent, therefore software brand profile placements reflect user intent. These moments are valuable for building brand awareness as well as engaging prospects at the bottom of the funnel.
When creating content for these prospects, we can focus on high-intent downloads such as providing software profiles and the ability to create custom comparisons.
However, for software buyers who are beginning their selection project, different content will more likely resonate with them. In fact, more than 20% of software buyers were searching for industry-specific content therefore it’s unlikely that a product placement alone would satisfy this audience’s needs.
We use specialized industry content to answer this audience’s needs positioning our brand as a thought leader in the space. Typically, this is best delivered as an article or thought piece focusing on the most valuable benefits a software can deliver to businesses like them.
Brands are able to gain credibility through sharing valuable expertise and even case studies of other companies in the same sector showing they understand and resolve pain points in the industry.
Reach prospects through different channels
Messaging isn’t the only area of impact when it comes to content performance. Different marketing channels also play their own critical role in the marketing machine.
We’ve had great success engaging with prospects across a variety of channels from our web traffic, email lists, and social following. As our content delivers value and is trustworthy, we have been able to cultivate an active readership across channels.
We use email campaigns to bring back users who have interacted with our content on site and are now ready to start their selection project. Targeted email outreach in these situations results in a now-bottom-of-funnel prospect downloading a high-intent piece of content such as a pricing guide.
These returning users wouldn’t be likely to come back to the site if we didn’t have multiple channels to capture their intent and keep their engagement with our brand alive.
This isn’t limited to email lists, using remarketing campaigns or display ads for niche audiences often results in sizeable gains for brands. In fact, retargeting ads in particular focus on reacquiring those missed opportunities with 97% of users visiting a site and never returning.
The value of putting your brand is backed by the statistics, with 3 out of 5 online users recognizing product ads and brands they’ve seen previously, which suggests it boosts brand awareness significantly.
These are just a few of the ways we engage with and cultivate our audience of software buyers online. If you’d like to learn more about our audiences or content, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org