You created a great application; it has amazing features, is easy to use, and bug-free. Now you need to let the world know about it!. Send your software out to market requires careful planning and the right tools to make your application stand out. This guide will give you what you need to know to effectively market your software.
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What is software marketing?
|Software marketing is the group of tools and methods used to promote, advertise and increase the distribution of a software product.|
Any software you develop you’re bound to have competition, if not right away, shortly after launch. For an application, with the millions of apps populating the app stores, the task of drawing attention (and sales) to your application gets harder.
There are many methods to market software, but the most popular is inbound marketing, a way that aims to draw customers in a natural way by appealing to their intent and interests. A characteristic of inbound marketing is that focuses on provide value, a real benefit for the user.
Outbound marketing is geared to a general public without or with minimal targeting involved. For example, online banners, text ads can be forms of outbound marketing. Usually, for software campaigns you’ll find a mixture of both methods.
Why Develop a Software Product?
Many organizations will hesitate to see the value in developing their own software product, such as an application or widget. In reality, there are a number of reasons why develop an app or software product can increase your bottom line.
- Users want access from anywhere, anytimeThe digitalization of our world means your users want to reach your company online at anytime. Take for example, banking accounts. Account management applications went from a “nice to have” feature to an essential add on for any bank.
- A custom app or software can solve specific business problemsThe app is tailored to what your users need, and addresses your brand’s specifications. It solves a specific problem for your users, increasing their engagement with your brand.
- Because your software is unique, it will have features that are not available to other organizations in your industry.
- Most software applications reduce your workloads by allowing users to self-service. Otherwise time consuming or tedious tasks for your staff, can be now carried out by the users. This frees your staff to focus on more core-business tasks.
- While developing your proprietary software may seem more costly than simply buy an off the shelf product, in the longer term you end saving costs. You are investing in your own business model and can even market the solution.
The App Market
Want to know more about the applications market? Here are some mind-blowing statistics:
|According to Statista, the total revenue in the app market will reach $437.80 bn in 2022.|
|The revenue is growing at a CAGR 2022-2026 of 6.58%|
|The top segments by revenue are Books and reference, Entertainment, Business and Education.|
Application marketplaces statistics for 2022
Apple and Chrome store are the most popular application marketplaces where you can market your new app. The app economy is based largely on these two platforms.
Here is some data on application marketplaces for 2022:
Google play store statistics
- Google Play has $2.39 million apps and over 400,000 games
- Free apps are 96% of the Google Play Store
- Games are 15.6% of the Google Play Store.
Apple store statistics
- Apple App Store has 3.6 million apps and almost a million games.
- Games are close to 22% of the app store
- Free apps are 92% of the Apple App Store.
Other app stores
Recently, both companies added more entry-barriers to developers, and disabled millions of applications from their stores, in order to improve quality and data privacy.
This situation drove some organizations to look into alternative app stores, such as the Windows Store, and China’s own app stores, like MyApp and Huawei App Market.
How To Monetize Your Software With Monetization Platforms
Monetization platforms are an excellent way to increase your software revenue. They monetize your software for you, so you can focus on your core business. These platforms, such as CodeFuel, both monetize and promote the application and software.
So, how do you leverage monetization platforms to your advantage? Here are some steps you can follow:
1. First, choose the platform
When choosing the right solution for you there are a number of factors you need to consider:
- What are the features and benefits of the platform?
Some of the features you may check include:
- Multiple advertising options
- Advanced API
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Integration with existing solutions
2. Check it includes the right tools for the job
Besides features, there are some tools that can help you monetize your software or app:
- Search monetization
- Targeted advertising
- Advanced analytics
3. Evaluate and improve
After you choose your monetization platform, picked the right tools and started your campaign, you need to monitor and test how it is doing.
Leading monetization platforms come with the analytics feature that make this task easier. Track conversions, downloads and abandonment rates. So you can optimize your application functions, usability and features. You can use your monetization platform to develop the entire conversion funnel automatically.
4. Promote your software
That’s a key part of an effective monetization platform. Leading platforms such as CodeFuel, integrate with ad networks and pay-per install networks, which will promote and advertise your software in the relevant media your users frequent.
Ways To Make Money With Your App
Selling The Application
Charging users for the application or software is one of the earliest software monetization models. App and software developers and publishers set a price for the product and users to need to pay if they want to use it.
This method works best with publishers with an already built brand and audience. Unknown publishers can have difficulty justifying the user the need to pay for the app. After all, there are thousands of free applications.
You may recognize this monetization model by its other name: “in-app purchases,” as it is one of the most popular. How does it work?
You offer your software or app for free but with limited features. Users that want access to extra features must pay to access them.
Games use this quite frequently and very successfully. For example, gamers who want certain power-ups may purchase those extras for real money.
This allows developers to distribute software for free, vastly increasing the number of downloads. But developers still make money in the process. Though turning freebie-seekers into paying customers can be tricky, the effort often pays for itself in dividends.
This is another standard monetization model, which you’re probably familiar with. Ads are placed inside apps, either on a piece of the screen real estate or between screens (interstitial ads).
These ads earn income per thousand views or per click. Revenue then varies based on the ad network, the type of ad being displayed, the audience, etc.
This monetization method is second in popularity to the freemium model. And these two methods are sometimes combined: users can pay to remove ads, for instance.
To earn money with in-app or in-software advertising, you need a lot of users for your app. A more significant percentage of users convert on advertisements than on freemium upgrades, but the revenue per conversion is less.
With so many free apps and software programs online, it’s hard to get people to purchase an app. Customers who will spend five dollars on a latte won’t spend two dollars on an app. And, chances are, you’ll be competing against an app that’s free or freemium.
However, when you’ve got the clout, marketing resources, or market share, this is a top monetization strategy. If, for example, you’re the only company offering a niche product, then charging for the product may make sense. Also, if your company already has a reputation and a solid following, you may be able to charge for a piece of software or an app.
Game sequels or high-quality products are examples of software programs that may benefit from this approach.
Paid per Install
Pay-per-install is trending as one of the most effective advertising, distribution, and monetization methods.
This approach is ideal for making money with software distributed on desktop platforms. CodeFuel’s InstallFuel, for instance, supports Windows and Mac OS X. There are also options for mobile developers.
You integrate your software with a smart installer to monetize with a pay-per-install program. The best intelligent installers aren’t just scripts. However, they’re complete platforms that allow you to customize the installer to meet your needs.
You can tailor the look and feel of an installer, pick and choose the products you promote, and advertise your software through the network’s partners. Analytics gives you a 360-degree view of downloads, conversions, and more.
Affiliate marketing isn’t just for websites. Developers can design software and apps around affiliate deals. This can be one of the most lucrative ways to make money from an app or software program. But it can also be challenging and limiting.
In other words, if you want to develop a software program and earn money from affiliate deals, you’ll need to design your software for that purpose.
Travel apps and websites are good examples of affiliate marketing programs to earn money. Websites such as Orbitz and apps such as Hipmunk are simple to travel programs, but each sale earns developers a commission.
As you can probably guess, this can be a virtual cash machine once it’s up and running. But it’s also tough to integrate it with a pre-made software program or app. A language-learning app or video game may better suit in-app advertising or a freemium model.
These are the top five monetization models, though other creative methods of earning revenue include selling analytics or code. Subscription models, when appropriately implemented, can also be a lucrative method of earning revenue.
The significant benefit of all these models is that they operate relatively independently. Once you have an app up and running, you only need to tweak your monetization program and update your app from time to time. Developers can stack up to their apps over the long run: the more apps you release, the more money you’ll make.
All You Need to Know About Software Bundles
Software bundling is a great strategy to reach more users for your software and meet your business goals. How does it work?
You choose another company with a recognized brand or a successful (complementary—not competing) product and negotiate a partnership. When users download the product, they also download yours, getting a deal.
What are the benefits of software bundling?
When you partner with a recognized brand with a solid client base, you drive downloads to your software. Because the other company will promote their software, you’ll benefit from the combined efforts of promoting the bundle.
You will also get more downloads because your clients will feel they get a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. Most bundle strategies offer the package at a better price than the two solutions on their own. Other strategies offer unique features not included in any of the separate tools.
Creating a bundle also extends the reach of your product since your audience will include your partner’s client base. The other brand’s clients will know about your product via their email lists, social media channels, or website. Additionally, when the news about the bundle spreads, you can attract a wider audience.
Finally, more downloads mean more sales. But this is not the only benefit. Users that download the bundle will know your brand better and may become interested in other products you have to offer. Finally, the expanded brand awareness can translate into more sales in the future.
Tips To Increase Your Software Downloads
Developing your software product can bring significant revenue for your company if you do it right. An effective development and marketing plan can help your success. Here are some best practices and tips to increase software downloads.
Build a product that brings value to users
If you want to increase your software downloads, you need to create a good software package that solves your target audience’s needs.
Some best practices you may want to follow include extensive testing to ensure the usability and performance of your application, and refine targeting to adjust your software accordingly.
Focus on your marketing
Carefully target your marketing efforts to your audience. Produce content and ads that specifically target to your audience’s intent and needs. The more tailored your marketing, the higher its effectiveness. Creating a buyer persona can help pinpoint your marketing further.
Run PPC Ads
Monetizing through ads, specifically pay per click advertising (PPC) can be a very effective way to increase your sales. PPC is cost-effective since you only pay for ads the users click on. Google Adwords, Bing and monetization platforms like CodeFuel, can help you place your ads exactly where your users are.
Include a smart installer
How fast your application downloads is key to your users’ experience. If the download takes too longe, users may bounce and look for another solution. By including a smart installer, you can make the download process more effective. Not only your downloads will go faster, but you can use it to monetize your software.
9 Ways to Improve Your Software Monetization
1. Focus on your niche, then build your conversion funnel.
Your audience is unique to your business, and they usually prefer some online media channels above the others. Figure out the type of websites and social networks they visit, and map your niche. Then, you can build a conversion funnel based in solid data.
2. Trust the numbers
We cannot stress enough the importance of basing your marketing efforts in hard data. Everybody, including experienced marketers have opinions and biases. Basing your marketing and advertising decisions on a hunch or what you think it may work for a campaign, it can be inaccurate. Data-driven decisions, based on analytics and user testing can help you find what your audience really wants and how to give it to them.
3. Test, test, test.
Your audience’s interests are always changing, so keep up with their dynamic demands requires adapting constantly. What can you test? Your product design and usability, your user experience, based on the latest user trends. Also test your ads with A/B testing. The data you collect will help you refine your product and pinpoint it to your target audience.
4. Personalize as much as possible
One of the key of a great user experience is personalization. When you develop an app or an extension you can gather user data (under consent). This data can help you understand what your users want, refine and personalize not only your application but your marketing efforts as well.
5. Understand how digital advertising works
The digital world is always evolving, and you should be aware of the latest news so you get an advantage. Learn which monetization options are the best for your product and audience. For instance, you may use an ad network to promote your software or you may use a more complete monetization platform such as CodeFuel to monetize your application.
6. Use display and native ads
Display advertising is increasing. According to eMarketer research, the digital display spending from programmatic advertising, will include 90% of all digital ads in 2022. This means a 29% increase from 2020. You should take advantage of this to use display advertising for your own benefit. Display ads integrate more naturally with your application and your content, enhancing the user experience.
7. Use software advertising platforms
Monetization and promotion platforms such as CodeFuel, enable you to centralize your marketing efforts from a single solution. This reduces your marketing costs, enables you to forecast your ROI and gives you insights to optimize your product and strategy.
Automation is the mark of an effective digital marketing strategy. It is useful for tedious and repetitive tasks that can hinder your productivity. Automation is also useful to keep up with the dynamic digital marketing landscape. What can you automate?
- Content posting on different media channels.
- Collecting data for analytics.
- Real-time bidding
- Optimizing campaigns.
9. Check out your competitors
It is always useful to know what your competitors are doing. Track your competition, after all, they cater the same audience. Automated data collection can help you understand what is working for them so you can replicate for your business.
Streamline and maximize your income with Codefuel
Promoting and monetizing your software can be a hassle if you want to do it by yourself. That’s where CodeFuel comes to help. CodeFuel is a complete, all-in-one monetization platform that you can leverage to maximize your income as a software publisher.
The platform uses machine learning and advanced analytics to deliver contextual, intent-based ads to users, enhancing your user experience. By improving the experience, your brand gets more exposure and engagement, increasing conversions and downloads. Advanced monitoring and analytics makes tracking performance and metrics a breeze. Start monetizing with CodeFuel today, sign up.