Monday, December 6, 2010
1) Dave you run SoftwarePromotions.com which has been promoting software for over ten years. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do for software publishers?
We help software companies to sell more software. We generally work with a two-pronged approach. We bring targeted visitors to their websites through Google AdWords, SEO and press releases, and then make sure that more of them convert into customers.
2) I know you're Google Adwords certified, but surely the rise of Facebook, Twitter and Social Networks have changed the game? How do software companies work with social networks, and is it effective?
The Social Networks have indeed changed the game, but only offer most software companies a limited number of opportunities with their PR, support, branding and reputation management. But the beauty of AdWords is that you're targeting the right people at the precise moment that they're looking for a solution. Customers don't go searching for software solutions on the social networks, they go to Google. And as much as people are singing the praises of social networking, few companies can actually point to them as a source of new customers. The likes of Facebook and Twitter have their place in a company's marketing strategy, but they won't produce sales.
3) You proudly tout 450 clients on your homepage, can you tell us a few success stories?
Our website contains case studies that show how we increased a company's monthly sales by 3090% in eighteen months, how we improved another company's conversions by 34% in a few weeks, and how we achieved top ranking results in Google for phrases bringing in hundreds of visitors a day with a 40% download conversion rate. Sadly, however, we can't talk about our greatest successes, as some of our clients wish to keep such information from their competition. I'd love to name the company that we achieved a 600% conversion rate improvement for... but we can't!
4) Given all the success I'm sure that there are things that don't work too. Some companies have very bad luck with online marketing and promotions. What have you seen fall flat?
Our failure rate is incredibly low, but under certain circumstances we simply can't produce the results. A company can have the greatest product in the world, but if no-one is actively searching for what it does, even the best set-up AdWords account can't hope to be effective. And sometimes unrealistic expectations can really curtail the chances of a good product. I understand that budgets are tight for small companies, but if you're hoping to see an AdWords account break-even within two to three weeks, you're going to be sorely disappointed.
5) There's a lot written about Search Engine Optimization(SEO), so let me ask a question I've always wanted answered. Can SEO experts really make a difference if I've already done the basics like put keywords in my titles, links and headers and added a meta description to my page?
Yes - without a doubt. A genuine and experienced professional in any field will almost certainly produce better results than an enthusiastic amateur. I don't write my own contracts, I don't file my own taxes and I don't service my own car. If the search engines have the potential to be a source of income for your business, why wouldn't you use an experienced professional to reap the results? For example you might well put keywords in your titles and links, but are you confident that you're targeting the correct keywords? An experienced SEO professional will know how to carry out the research, and how to balance between targeting, competition and demand.
6) What's the most effective way for a software publisher to get the word out to their fans, a blog, email newsletter, twitter or facebook?
The standard marketing reply fits perfectly: it depends. If you're just starting out with 20-30 visitors a day to your blog, then how many sales can you expect by blogging about your new product? It makes more sense to utilise gearing. Instead of trying to reach thousands of people directly, target the people with a far bigger fan base. Getting the attention of 1,000 people is relatively easy, but will produce little by the way of results while being very time consuming. Getting the attention of one key person can be much more difficult, but the results have the possibility of being exponentially better. Look at what we're doing right here. Getting interviewed by you today has the potential to reach more people than I can on my own.
7) What are your thoughts on things like link-exchange and online forums for software marketing, are these a things of the past?
Yes, they sailed past their use-by dates years ago. Natural link exchange is the backbone of the web, but artificially emulating it productively and profitably is difficult. And while forums can be useful for support and building a community, they're not going to be particularly successful at actively marketing your product.
8) You must have seen a lot of websites in your time, could you tell us what's the most common mistake that software sellers make on their website.
Focusing on what their customers don't care about. Too many software companies don't realise what their customers are looking for, and often don't know how to speak their language. There's a company in California that have a great piece of photo software. I use it for showing slideshows, for publishing to a private blog, for securely putting my pictures where my friends and family can access them, for automatically identifying people I know, for printing, sharing, editing my pictures and more. How do they describe it on their website? "Picasa is free photo editing software from Google that makes your pictures look great. Sharing your best photos with friends and family is as easy as pressing a button!". Beautiful.
9) It's easy to spend a lot of cash to get traffic for your site, but how do you recommend software developers get targeted visitors who are actually interested in their site?
Sorry to be predictable, but the answer is simply search engines; or more precisely Google. Seth Godin opened our eyes to the futility of interruption marketing - advertisements that try to disrupt what we're doing, yet many still don't get it. The reason why few (if any) software developers have made Facebook advertising work is that people go to Facebook to see what their friends are doing, not to buy software. But people go to Google to find solutions, information, products, services, images, ideas and more. Learn how to use Google and stop wasting your money interrupting people.
10) With the rise of free apps, online apps and open source software are the days of desktop software publishing numbered?
The price, license and means of delivery of an application are incidental to the solution. Free apps and open source are nothing new, and offer no threat to most desktop applications. If the product is better than the competition, it will prevail over them. Every new technology has someone ringing a death bell for the old - the fax machine to mail, the PC to the fax machine, the netbook to the PC and so on. Good solutions out-live good technology.
11) Do you see anything new in the industry that we should be aware of and looking into in the new year?
The 359th degree. We've almost gone full circle now, so I predict a surge in "back to basics" marketing. Email is becoming more popular again, after being apparently superseded by RSS feeds and then Twitter. But time-tested email just works, and an increasing number of companies are starting to realise it - again. Have you noticed how many companies are using MailChimp lately?
Stay ahead of your competition - go back to what you were doing years ago! It worked then and it works now.
Dave Collins runs SoftwarePromotions.com, and blogs at Blog.SoftwarePromotions.com
Monday, August 30, 2010
Everyday millions of people from all around the world link to Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and a lower number of them to other social networks such as Linked In, so it they can manifest the potential of social media for brand awareness and to channel traffic towards your websites. Also if your company has a Facebook or Twitter profile you can use them to promote your offers, promo codes, and special discounts, or simply to provide users with information and news about your products and services.
Social media is also important for SEO almost for two main reasons. Firstly, search engines likes websites which are updated with the latest technologies and which are ready to share information on the World Wide Web. Secondly, search engines and social media have started to cooperate, for example now Google displays users’ tweets in its search results, or Twitter is now a partner of Yahoo in order to create a social channel search engine, or again Bing released a new section “Bing Social” which will show all the information and links posted in Twitter and Facebook related to the entered keywords. These new partnerships trend between search engines and social media is a proof of the growing importance of social networks and at the same time it represents new opportunities for business online. In fact now a company with daily activity on social media sites, through posts and links, will have more possibilities to appear in the search results of the main search engines for its specific keywords, and in turns its visibility will increase and as well as its traffic.
Therefore there are enough reasons to consider Social Media Optimisation as an essential part of your internet marketing strategy, but if you still have doubts, please contact our SEO experts and our friendly guys will be glad to show you all the benefits of a Social Media Campaign!
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Monday, July 26, 2010
The Essentials in Successful Software Promotions - Video
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Do The Math – The Essentials in Successful Software Promotions
Friday, June 11, 2010
The 20th Annual Software Industry Conference (SIC) will be held on July 15 - 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas at the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel.
The Software Industry Conference is a three day event that culminates with a Networking Gala Dinner that gives software developers and publishers an opportunity to form partnerships and alliances. The conference also includes dozens of informative, educational breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics that are critical to the success of Independent Software Developers (ISVs).
What's more, Nico Westerdale from Software Marketing Resource will be speaking on "Do The Math – The Essentials in Successful Software Promotions" on Friday July 16th at 10.15 as part of the conference. You're welcome to peruse the full schedule and attend any of the seesions.
The conference includes more than forty educational seminars and presentations that are designed to help developers sell more software. Presentations by industry experts include topics such as profiting from Google Adwords, marketing more effectively, providing income-producing customer support, working with translation and localization services, sending press releases, developing Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, avoiding legal pitfalls, reducing chargebacks, and creating affiliate networks.
The conference allows plenty of time to network with other software developers and software industry service providers. The conveniently-located daily breakfasts in the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel make it easy for conference attendees to meet and socialize with fellow industry members. You can even attend the annual meetings and luncheons of two industry trade associations, ESC and ASP.
The casual SIC conferences are known for their family-friendly atmosphere. Many software developers turn their trips to SIC into mini-vacations.
As always, the conference will present awards to honor developers in several key software categories. SIC's Exhibit Night features the best software development products and services from leading industry vendors.
Registration at the door costs $299(US), or costs $249 if you register online http://www.sic.org/register.asp by July 13. Deeply discounted hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency DFW are available to all conference attendees.
For more information about SIC 2010, visit http://www.sic.org
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Members of the press are invited to request free conference passes.
The annual Software Industry Conference has been presented continuously since 1991. Each year, the conference focuses attention on the try-before-you-buy software development industry, its people, and the many fine applications that come from it.
The conference has grown dramatically since in recent years. In addition, the conference honors software developers with a series of annual awards, recognizing new and innovative software products created and marketed by smaller development companies.
Current sponsors for the 2010 SIC include Alta Web Works, asknet AG, Association of Shareware Professionals, Avangate, Inc., cleverbridge, Digital River, DP Directory, Inc., Elfring Fonts, Inc., Emurasoft, Inc., K Software, Lincoln Beach Software, NotePage, Inc., Paypro Global, Inc., Plimus, SoftCity, Software Promotions Ltd., The Utility Factory, and TRIUS, Inc.
For more information about SIC, visit http://www.sic.org/. To schedule interviews with Sue Pichotta or other conference directors, contact Sue on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The use of online videos is one online marketing technique that falls under the viral banner, from creating a short and snappy online video about your company to creating a funny and entertaining video as long as its online it can go viral.
The key to making a success of a viral marketing campaign is to get as many people as possible to watch your online video. There are various techniques for increasing traffic to your video the first and in my opinion the most important is utilising social sites.
Submitting your video to online video directories such as YouTube and Search For Video amongst others will allow it to be viewed by millions. Submit your video to as many directories as possible in order to maximise your audience potential. Ensure you have also provided information about your company or a link to your website otherwise your video will be great entertainment but offer no benefit to your company.
Social networking sites such as Facebook allow you to create and join groups that you are interested in, once you are member you can suggest the group to your friends and they then suggest it to theirs much like the aforementioned pyramid scheme. For this reason add your videos to social networking sites and suggest as many ‘fans’ as possible.
Another way of increasing traffic to your online videos in adding a link to your video on all of your outgoing email messages, the law of averages suggests if you are exposing as many people as possible to your video the likelihood of people watching it and proceeding to your website will increase.
Employing viral and social media optimisation techniques can be extremely rewarding when done well and in some instances when not auctioned correctly can offer no benefit at all.
SEO Junkies are experts in online marketing whether it be social media optimisation or search engine optimisation we have many years experience, we know what we are doing and we do it well. Take a look at our website or contact your own SEO Junkie for more information today.
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Monday, January 18, 2010
Whether you are not able to write an ebook because you don't have the time or don't have the expertise as a writer, there is still a way to make money off free ebooks. Most that are browsing through the Internet aren't looking only for an expert. They are looking from guidance to those who understand the most about the craft. For instance, if you know someone who has a professional service, you don't want to know the books that are available, but would rather have guidance on what literature can enhance your own life.
Taking this same approach with free ebooks is a way to move you into reading ebooks, then guiding others to the best on the Internet. Instead of going through the process of research, writing, editing, distribution and promotion, you can simply read other's free ebooks and write reviews on them. Using micro-blogging platforms as one of the main tools and becoming an expert in what is good and what isn't will provide you with a new portal of guidance for others.
By talking about the best and worst of free ebooks available, others on the Internet will be able to see you as an authority of the online literature. By using a micro-blogging platform or social media networks, you will be able to gain a level of expertise and followers online. Doing this will allow you to build followers that look to your advice against specific ebooks that don't have the correct information or that has an outdated perspective.
The next step to take with the free ebooks that are available is to begin to link them to your personalized favorites. For instance, once you have built your set of followers for reviews, then you can begin to review affiliate programs. Since you are now a trusted and reliable source, many that are following you will turn to the same advice for promotions of products that you find valuable. Doing this will help you to gain not only a level of expertise with your understanding of different ebooks and products, but will also start to bring new levels of income.
If you have an interest in information, as well as free ebooks online, then beginning to build a secondary income by reviewing what is available can then help you to become a reliable and trusted source for the Internet. By doing this, you have the ability to guide others within your personal expertise of reviews, while building into a secondary income.
by Jonnthan Travis jonytrav[at]gmail[dot]com