Marketing: Getting the Word Out

It’s been a while since I’ve given an update on our marketing.  Very early on we decided to start integrating social media into our portfolio.  As you’ve probably seen, we’re now active on Linked-In, FaceBook, and Twitter to name a few (the person doing our marketing is probably on a dozen more and, really, I don’t want to know all of them).  Part of our routine when announcing updates is to make sure we post on all of them as well.

I’ll be honest that I was a bit skeptical at first.  Maybe I’m just old enough to not ‘get it’.  I understand the importance of search rankings and all that but the social media thing has been somewhat of a mystery.

One of the first things we installed on our various websites was Google Analytics and I must admit that I get a kick out of seeing where people are coming from and what they’re search for.  Google Analytics is why I know people are coming from the social media sites.  I find it fascinating that some relatively obscure comment or article is drawing people.  As they say, the more eyes that see your product the better chance they’ll at least try it.  Leading them to your website is at least half the battle.

Since we’re heavily into Mac OS X software it comes as no surprise that a lot of referral traffic comes from MacUpdate www.macupdate.com and Version Tracker www.versiontracker.com.  Windows traffic isn’t nearly as clear cut and we’re working on how to get better exposure on that platform.  It’s obvious that the users of the two platforms research and consume their software differently.

I’ve heard some of the buzz about Woopra but I’ll wait a little bit before delving into it.  If you have any first hand experience with it I’d love to hear about it.  What is its strength and is it really useful for a small business like us?

The other thing we’re doing is making sure we get our press releases out.  I hate doing them myself because I have enough stuff on my plate as it is (and marketing speak is anathema to an engineer).  I’m glad to have turned that responsibility over to someone who likes doing them (at least more than me).  We are using prMac http://prmac.com/ and it is obviously making a difference because of its distribution network.  I find links from all over the internet based on the press releases.

Certainly one of the issues we struggle with is finding the time to do it all.  We’re lucky, to some extent, by having multiple employees who can do a bit of everything.  We hired a part time marketing person to help us out with all this stuff.  I know a lot of you don’t have that luxury.  How do you find the time for marketing?  Do you have any marketing tips for the small, independent software developer?

Are Mac Bundle Promotions A Good Thing?

This one is timely as I was asked about a bundle opportunity the other day:

Interesting post at http://homepage.mac.com/simx/technonova/reports/from_the_mouths_of_developers.html where Simone Mangenelli asked a bunch of developers that participated in the MacHeist bundles there thoughts.

Summary Ideas:

  • If you look at it as ‘marketing’ it’s a huge win because you get your name and product in front of people who wouldn’t normally have found you.
  • Tech support issues spike during the promotion and then return to normal shortly thereafter.
  • Getting some money is better than none.
  • There is no saturation of the market.  Not THAT many people purchase the bundle.

I highly recommend the article.  It gives some food for thought from a developer and a consumer standpoint.

Have you participated in a bundle offering as a developer and/or consumer?  Do you feel that it was worth it?  What sage words of advice would you give?