Do software screenshots improve your marketing?

November 12, 2016

Written by John Centofanti

John’s background spans the creative side of business, including content writing, branding, graphic design, and more. In 2006, John founded Creative Stream Marketing, serving national retailers, tech companies, and B2B companies across the US.

Including software screenshots can help or hurt your marketing.

Many tech companies develop proprietary software that includes dashboards to help users monitor some aspect of their business in real time. Many of these dashboards have interactive or static graphs.

As tech companies develop print and digital marketing materials, it’s common to include screenshots of these dashboards. The dashboards can create a lot of value for the users. It’s understandable that the developers of the software want them included in marketing materials.

Does a software screenshot persuade buyers?

Successful tech companies are solving problems for businesses and consumers. Some tech companies we’ve served offer these solutions:

  • Helping large national retailers track store openings, from real estate purchases to construction and store grand openings. A simple delay in flooring installation in one location helps an executive in corporate see the overall progress of company goals, accounting for all these small details.
  • Helping hospitals collect what they’re due from insurance companies, eliminating delays and helping hospital administrators provide the proof they need for payment.
  • Helping retailers provide a more personalized customer experience with broadband-enabled applications.
  • Helping retailers maximize profit from omni retail inventory by using advanced analytics.

Each of these solutions provide dashboards with graphs to help the users understand different parts of their business.

Software or technology solutions are a means to an end. The real benefit, and marketing message, is what it can do for the buyer. Does it save money, improve efficiency, help communication, speed up a complicated process or remove tedious work from a department? If that’s the real benefit, demonstrate these benefits with relevant images and text.

People do not purchase technology because of software screenshots, however appealing they may be. Certainly, screenshots can be used to quickly explain a concept or support a claim, but that’s all they can do. They should be used as support materials and not the main driver.

Screenshots can be a distraction from the big idea and major benefit of your technology solution. For marketing, use them to support your message when absolutely necessary, but don’t lead with them. Your buyers are not familiar with your software and leading with software screenshots doesn’t communicate simplicity, let alone showing up front you understand their pain points. Software screenshots can indicate that buyers need, yet again, to learn new software. That’s not appealing even to to the most tech-savvy buyer.

Your brand messaging should shine in all of your marketing materials. Use software screenshots sparingly and show your prospects the possibilities of what your solution can do for them.

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