5 Tips for Selling Software in a Niche Industry

By Lizette Louw - May 18, 2016

Studies show that, like content marketing services, software developers are receiving increasing recognition for the invaluable role they play in getting businesses up to speed with the digital economy. Knowing that their skills unlock the doors of digital transformation for enterprises, “most engineers are happier and think they'll be richer than the rest of us,” as reported by a Chef developers study.

The developers dream is to get millions of customers begging you to take their cash in return for the privilege of using your software. And yet it’s easier said than done.

The painful reality is that even the most revolutionary software won’t get sold unless it gets discovered by the right audience.

The Challenges of Selling Software in a Niche Industry

If you are developing software for a niche industry, the challenge of creating a go-to-market strategy for your software business and reaching your target market is even more problematic.

Some of the challenges you will encounter if you are selling software to a niche market are:

  • Conversion rate challenge: while your software might be perfect for solving the specific pain points of your ideal buyers, the number of potential buyers will always be small. Running a profitable business in a niche market requires a much higher conversion rate than what is necessary when competing in a broad market, where hit-or-miss sale pitches could be adequate.
  • The risk of market crashes: earning your livelihood from selling to a single niche market means that there’s no alternative income when that market goes into a dip or a tumble.
  • Big Competition with Big Budgets: where a niche market falls within the scope of larger companies with bigger marketing budgets, small marketers may find it hard to compete.

Some of these challenges might best be solved by opting to Differentiate your Tech Company. There are of course additional steps you can implement.

5 Tips for Selling Software in a Niche Industry

While you will encounter various challenges in selling to a niche audience, niche marketing campaigning is not without its benefits. Here are some tips for turning the challenges of niche marketing into opportunities:

Tip 1. Don’t Try to Win Over the Haters

Instead of focussing your marketing on trying to convince unwilling buyers of the value of your products, focus on those buyers who are already searching for a solution to the specific pains and opportunities that your software is out to solve.

Instead of trying to win over the haters, focus on:

  • getting to know your ideal personas and mapping out their buyers journey.
  • creating useful and educational content to guide them along every step of their decision-making journey

Tip 2: Outwit Your Competition 

While generalist software sellers might have access to generous marketing budgets, niche software businesses have an advantage that gives them a better chance of gaining a high return on investment from marketing:

The fact that your software is focussed on a smaller group of buyers means that you have the opportunity to get to understand your buyers’ needs better than firms that sell to a general audience.

Don’t try to compete with big software companies, who sell to big market segments by means of big budgets. Instead, outwit them by getting to know your buyers better than any of your competition.

Tip 3: Craft a Niche Content Strategy

Competing to rank in Google’s top search results can seem impossible if your website is new or sparse in content and inbound links.

Instead of trying to catch-up with established websites that rank for the keywords generating the biggest search volumes base your content marketing strategy on long-tail keywords that capture your niche market perfectly. Big search volumes might seem alluring, but remember: you are not marketing to everyone, you are marketing to your ideal buyers.

Tip 4: Create Budget Advertising Campaigns

Are you finding the Cost Per Click charged by Google AdWords and Facebook advertising to fall way beyond your budget? It’s time to reconsider your keyword approach!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: forget about reaching out to everyone who could possibly have an interest in your software and focus instead on the specific buyer personas who are most likely to buy. When you are creating paid advertising campaigns this means bidding on (affordable) unique long-tail keywords that resonate with your niche market instead of (expensive) popular keywords.

Tip 5: Keep your Marketing Personal

Marketing to a niche audience allows you the opportunity to tailor your marketing message to each of your buyer personas which results in a better online user experience and higher conversion rates.

Here’s how a personalised marketing strategy with the help of tools such as smart content gives you the edge: 

  • Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests (JanRain)
  • Website visitors are much more likely to convert to leads and customers when your website presents them with relevant content. One HubSpot study managed to achieve a 20% higher conversion rate by making use of personalised marketing tools.

A strategy for differentiating your tech business online

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