Businesses face a plethora of B2B marketing challenges. Software companies in particular, no strangers to digital transformation, face a world of constant flux when it comes to marketing themselves to other businesses.
Overcoming Changing Expectations of B2B Firms
B2B marketing for software firms is never as clear-cut as operating on a B2C basis. The pain points and needs of an average end user will differ from those of a business needing to leverage software to meet its short- and long-term goals.
While you can wax lyrical about a software product’s cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness, you can’t simply recycle the same story for end users and businesses and expect them to take notice. Software firms often face more hurdles when satisfying stringent B2B criteria and find this area more laden with scrutiny than when marketing directly to consumers.
Identifying and advertising to your perfect B2B niche is vital but time-consuming and difficult, making conversion rate goals hard to meet, not to mention far more long-winded customer journeys to navigate.
This, coupled with the high competitiveness of potential B2B targets, often encompassing various industries – from travel and financial services to property and legal – means that software firms enter a fiercely crowded and cutthroat space. Communicating the features and benefits of your software solution is not going to universally solve every business’s pressing pain point(s), so how can you ensure your marketing messages solve specific verticals?
B2B marketing success boils down to understanding some core needs, rather than making broad assumptions. Not only will you need to meet (and exceed) specific expectations around brand identity and product or service features, but you’ll also need to address intricate and specific elements within your target B2B audience. What firms might that include? That requires you to dig deep into your existing marketing data and understand those to whom you are trying to pitch. Understanding the needs of each firm – and by extension, those of a specific type of target business contact – will help you address key pain points in your marketing messages.
Common Pain Points Faced by Niche B2B Firms
I have worked extensively providing content for specific niche firms, as well as have a keen interest in writing about software for B2B audiences myself. It’s only fitting that I share the most common needs that different firms needing B2B software face.
In my time freelancing and helping software firms communicate their messages to achieve specific audience goals, several key pain points have remained prevalent. Software firms often find their B2B leads and prospects improve if they can communicate how their product(s) can help firms do the following:
- Automate manual processes with the help of software and, more recently, AI/ML.
- Improve efficiency among ground-level teams and line managers.
- Upgrade from legacy platforms and outdated, unfit technology.
- Empower their teams to perform effectively regardless of location.
- Overcome bottlenecks and productivity issues.
- Meet stringent industry regulations and safeguard critical data.
- Migrate to more collaborative and cost-effective cloud platforms.
- Overcome short-term challenges while firms recruit and onboard talent.
- Analyse and report with greater accuracy and granular data.
- View key business data without silos.
Positioning Software to Different B2B Audiences – Key Examples
Let’s look at hypothetical examples of how a software firm can market to the following types of businesses and sectors.
Estate Agents and Property Professionals
- Highlight how your software can help streamline and automate many of the arduous, manual, and time-consuming tasks.
- Emphasise how software can alleviate the need for extensive paperwork and free up teams to dedicate more resources to high-value areas like client relations.
- Software can also help automate property listing and candidate screening processes and bring contracts to the digital space.
Solicitors and the Legal Sector
- Proclaim how software can help firms maintain regulatory and legal compliance with relevant industry bodies while augmenting and empowering legal professionals.
- Cases and projects can be managed centrally in an all-inclusive, cloud-based platform, with access control locked down to specific users for optimum security.
- Highlight how bottlenecks and delays can be alleviated with the help of software that provides greater transparency into new and developing cases.
Travel and Tourism Firms
- Establish how software can make travel administration and bookings easier to manage centrally for travel firms.
- Highlight how new listings can be made with ease for travel firms to market new deals and discounts.
- Promote the analysis and tracking capabilities of software that allows travel firms to find razor-sharp data to fine-tune and optimise their advertising campaigns.
Financial Services Companies
- Highly scrutinised companies in the finance space will need reassurance that software can help them maintain legal and regulatory compliance.
- Emphasise how software products can allow for easier real-time tracking of finances and accounting, liberating advisors to focus on more strategic tasks.
- Make it clear that data and figures are always accurate and how this could be a huge time- and cost-saver for financial companies.
Steps for Reaching the Right Niche Audiences
Armed with a greater awareness of these common issues that these companies face, software firms can tailor their outreach and messaging to be more impactful.
Research each vertical in detail; dive into their workflows, systems, regulations, and terminology to craft resonant and meaningful messaging. Pinpoint the top three challenges that each sector faces based on research and information gathering and highlight how your software can help them overcome them. Spotlight the true, intrinsic value and benefits, rather than get bogged down in the technical details of its features.
Develop a strong repertoire of impactful content, from case studies and reports to whitepapers and industry-specific articles. You can give these to prospects to help them digest the logic and reasoning behind your software, and even see it in action. Think about the other assets you can create to help each industry understand your product easily, from social media infographics and website blogs to videos and printed flyers.
Alongside these key research and content strategies, think of the ways that you can bolster your online presence. Will you find short-term success with email marketing and Google Ads or social media activity? Think about the assets you can create to promote your brand and product and the strategies you can implement to capture your B2B audience’s attention.
The path to standing out in a crowded B2B marketplace is far more challenging than it sounds above; it requires dedicating resources towards understanding and solving crucial problems that affect specific firms across industries.
However, the payoff can be tremendous. Taking the time to research and understand each industry’s particular pain points will open more doors and lead to more valuable conversations with prospects, rather than attempting a generalist horizontal approach.
Software companies that take the time to immerse themselves within specific niches will find greater success in finding common ground with audiences that need their solutions the most.