You’ve worked hard to build innovative HR software with an intuitive user interface and features that outshine those of all your competitors.
There’s just one problem — how do you reach potential buyers?
You don’t just need an outstanding product to succeed in the ultra-competitive world of HR tech.
You also need a detailed marketing plan, which should include strategies for promoting your product and raising awareness of your brand in general.
Not sure where to begin with marketing your HR software? Here’s an introduction to several winning growth strategies.
Why Marketing Matters for HR Tech Companies
As an HR tech company, you want to grab the attention of would-be customers.
The problem is that countless other companies are trying to do the same thing.
Fortunately, it’s possible to differentiate yourself from your competition with a strong, inbound marketing strategy.
When you grow your audience through quality content and social media marketing, you can accomplish a few key objectives, including the following:
- Showcasing Thought Leadership: By offering insightful commentary and solutions, you can establish your brand as an authority in the field
- Building Trust: Even if a potential customer isn’t yet ready to make a purchase, they may come to see your company as a reliable source of information (for instance, they might find your blog useful for answering HR-related problems)
- Educating Your Audience: By creating timely content that zeroes in on industry trends and advancements, you can position your brand as a reliable source of information
Of course, you can’t accomplish these objectives with just any marketing campaign.
Your campaign must be strategized from start to finish.
Always Start With Audience Research
You can have the world’s most innovative digital marketing campaign, but it won’t do you much good if you aim it at the wrong people.
Before you or your marketing team starts any campaign, you need to learn as much about your audience as you possibly can.
One way to do this is to interview your current customer base.
It’s useful to know what brought them to your product, but the goal of audience research is to be able to understand your target customers as people.
When you have that kind of understanding, you’ll be better equipped to tailor your marketing efforts toward that audience.
You can use what you learn in customer interviews to create buyer personas.
These are effectively archetypes or rough representations of your target audience and client base.
For the purposes of HR software marketing, your buyer personas will usually be modeled after key decision-makers at different businesses.
Software markets are constantly evolving, so it makes sense that your buyer personas will too.
Although the process can be time-consuming, it’s important to reevaluate your buyer personas and other audience research at least once per year.
Doing so will help keep your marketing efforts focused and efficient.
Marketing Tactics That Help HR Tech Brands Generate Leads
You want marketing channels to convert and turn into leads and revenue.
But before you do that, you have to have a strategy in place that maximizes each channel. Here are several different marketing strategies for increasing leads for your HR software.
Focus on Bottom-of-the-Funnel Topics for SEO and Content
Marketers like to visualize the sales process as a funnel.
For instance, 1,000 people might read your business’s blog. Of those, 500 might sign up for your email list, and 250 might make a purchase.
To optimize your chances of a customer making that purchase, you want a significant portion of your content to focus on bottom-of-the-funnel keywords and topics.
Why? The reason is simple: anyone searching for these sorts of topics is probably ready to make a purchase.
If they land on your site, they’re far more likely to buy something than someone who’s just trying to learn more about what HR SaaS is.
One of the best ways to target bottom-of-the-funnel traffic is to feature content comparing your brand to others.
For instance, if a user searches “[your brand] vs. [a competitor],” you know they’ve narrowed down their search to two products.
Once they choose one, they’ll be ready to buy.
And if they land on your website, you have a unique opportunity to control the narrative around your product.
Why let an external site say whatever they want about you? Use strategy as a way to control any doubts a customer may have about your product before they purchase it.
Use PPC and Paid Social to Drive Immediate Leads
Fortunately, you don’t just have to write SEO content and wait for prospective customers to find it.
You can instantly boost traffic with pay-per-click (PPC) ads and paid social media.
Because HR software is a major investment, this tactic is more likely to result in new leads than new sales.
With the right strategy, however, you can capture the interest of potential customers, some of whom may even want to sign up for a product demo.
Both PPC and paid social might seem like large upfront investments, but keep in mind that you don’t need to use these strategies indefinitely.
The goal here is to generate immediate leads as you build a strong, interconnected marketing strategy. Once that strategy has been established, you should be able to rely on the leads it generates.
Use ABM to Target Your Ideal Decision-Makers
PPC advertising is like fishing with a large net — you extend your reach far and wide in hopes of connecting with at least a handful of potential leads.
Account-based marketing (ABM), on the other hand, is more like spearfishing. With this strategy, you identify a specific target and reach out to them directly.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to connect with key company decision-makers through LinkedIn.
ABM isn’t right for every type of business, but for software companies looking to secure enterprise accounts, it can be an efficient way to reach new customers.
Promote a Referral Program
You’ve no doubt seen “refer-a-friend” bonuses at other types of businesses.
What you might not realize is that you can employ a similar program to generate leads.This is essentially an affiliate program.
You incentivize current customers to refer new clients by offering a set amount of money per successful referral.
The advantage of a referral program is that your current clients do the marketing for you.
All you need to do is budget for referral bonuses.
Promote a Smaller but Free Version of Your Product
This is a great way to let potential customers familiarize themselves with your product.
If they like the free version, they can unlock more features with a paid subscription.
Grammarly is a great example.
The proofreading software company offers a limited free version for personal use.
If a user decides they want more features or need to use Grammarly across their business, they’re more likely to upgrade to the premium version than to seek out a different software altogether.
Offer Discounted Plans for Annual Subscribers
Offering discounts as part of your HR software marketing plan is an easy way to incentivize subscribers to pay for memberships upfront.
It’s a win-win — the customer gets a great deal, and you don’t have to worry about pay-per-month subscribers canceling after a month or two.
Allow Users to Schedule a Demo With Your Product
Most people insist on test-driving a car before they buy it. Chances are that your potential customers feel the same way about your product.
A thorough demo lets customers try out various features and see how your product addresses their pain points.
Before you make one available, however, make sure it’s airtight.
Even if you have a winning product, a poor product demo will likely make buyers look elsewhere.
Marketing Tactics That Help Build Your Brand
When it comes to HR software marketing, lead generation is only part of the picture. You also want to establish your brand’s authority and cultivate an active brand audience.
Here are some tips to help you get started.
Define Your Brand and Keep the Messaging Consistent
Ideally, you want to define your brand before you even build a website.
Consistent messaging is critical if you want to capture and hold the interest of potential buyers.
One way to keep your messaging consistent is to establish a brand voice.
For instance, many SaaS company blogs are authoritative but written in a conversational tone. This type of brand voice is great for educating your audience without alienating them.
If you choose that approach, it’s important to keep it consistent across social media platforms, emails, and other brand communications.
You might be sending mixed signals to your audience if your blog has a professional tone but your social media posts are informal.
Run Email Promotions to Your Audience
It’s possible to stay connected to your audience without spamming them. One way to do this is to periodically send out email promotions.
It could be for a special discount, a free webinar, or a free trial of a new feature. Regardless, your audience will be reminded of your company, and they might just find what you’re offering to be helpful.
Use Digital PR to Boost Site-Wide Authority and Brand Awareness
SEO doesn’t work in a vacuum.
If you want to bolster your brand’s authority and increase awareness, you’ll want to integrate digital PR into your HR tech SEO strategy.
One of the best ways to do this is to be featured in a publication that your target audience reads, like a business journal.
This way, potential buyers will see your brand as more legitimate and trustworthy.
Digital PR placements also have another major benefit: they’re an outstanding way to get backlinks, or links back to your site.
When reputable websites link to your site, search engines will see your site as more authoritative and pass PageRank, which will help your website rank better on the search engine results page (SERPs).
Create Content for Top-of-the-Funnel Searches
If you’re working on generating leads, you’ll want to create content for those at the bottom of the search funnel.
When it comes to building your brand name, though, it’s best to try to reach people at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Top-of-funnel content isn’t purely meant to generate leads and sales.
Its main purpose is to raise awareness of your brand and capture searchers at different touchpoints.
That doesn’t mean you should only choose topics with a high search volume.
Top-of-funnel content can help you build your audience, so make sure you cover the areas of focus most likely to connect you to your target audience.
You can read this article to learn more about improving your HR tech content strategy.
Use Organic Social to Build an Audience
SEO content isn’t the only way to expand your audience.
When your brand has an organic social media presence, you’ll be able to form genuine connections with current and potential customers.
If that presence is especially strong, you might even be able to create a community surrounding your brand.
Creating a great social media presence is an art in itself, but here are some general tips to build an audience:
- Network with micro-influencers to help promote your brand
- Create eye-catching visual content like videos and infographics
- Join and participate in relevant Facebook groups and communities
- Promote blog posts and other types of content on your social media pages (just don’t post your article only – turn them into carousels or infographics)
- Make use of free social media analytics tools to see what posts or strategies are working best
Some business owners prefer an all-organic social media strategy, but there’s nothing wrong with combining paid and organic social media strategies to spread brand awareness.
Have Industry Leaders Promote Your Product
When it comes to marketing, endorsements work. People tend to listen to expert advice from industry leaders they trust.
You’ll also have access to a wider range audience this way too.
If you want your HR software to stand out, what’s better than having a respected industry leader broadcast their support for your product?
There’s no surefire way to convince an industry leader to promote you — you’ll first need to convince that particular leader that your product is worthy.
Try reaching out to selected industry leaders to start a dialogue.
You might find that one of them is willing to promote your software.
Always Track Conversions and Measure ROI
With any marketing activity, you’ll find that some strategies work better than others.
However, if you don’t track anything or set any KPIs, you’ll have no way to tell what’s working and what isn’t.
Always calculate your return on investment (ROI) for different marketing strategies. Tracking conversions will also show you which marketing channels are most effective.
One specific KPI (key performance indicator) you’ll want to track is your site’s traffic-to-lead ratio.
This figure tells you the portion of your web traffic that actually turns into leads.If your traffic increases but your leads stay steady or decrease, it’s a sign that something is missing on your site.
From there, you can take a closer look and implement measures to remedy the issue.
Further down the funnel, you can also track your lead-to-customer ratio, which indicates the portion of your leads that become actual customers.
If only a small percentage of leads become customers, you’ll know you need to investigate what’s going wrong at this stage of the buyer’s journey.
Ready to Build Your Pipeline?
HR software marketing is often more complex than it seems.
If you try to juggle creating and implementing a marketing plan with running your business, you can quickly find yourself stretched too thin.
And this applies to pretty much every B2B HR SaaS company, from employee monitoring software to recruitment software to even benefits administration software.
That’s where I come in. As an SEO consultant specializing in HR SaaS, I’m uniquely attuned to your company’s needs.
I do more than just write optimized articles — I also can design and implement a customized, inbound marketing strategy to take your business to new heights.