How to be digital mayor of your town, 7 insights

Four years ago, the small business client engagement software maker Groove was languishing. That's when it turned to content marketing, and saw website traffic, and revenue, grow.

Groove chief marketing officer Len Markidan broke his firm's content marketing strategy down at Curaytor Excellence, the annual conference for real estate tech and marketing firm, Curaytor, a great HageyMedia client. 

Content marketing is much more than just content. It's having a full-spectrum strategy from content planning to distribution to measurement.

Markidan outlined how Groove got scientific with content and started winning, in seven steps:

1) Groove created a blog unrelated to its product. Instead it focused its blog on its own growth journey. "SaaS startup's journey to $100K per month." Bottomline: all but your hottest prospects, don't care your business, but they do care about their daily lives. 

2) Was smart about blog topics, culling them from its clients and prospects, and also from vibrant online community's like Reddit. 

In email marketing to its sphere it included one line to elicit topic ideas: "Could you answer one quick question for me? What are you struggling with high now? I’d love to help." The responses guided the topics the firm wrote about it. You can imagine they resonated.

3) Got savvy about promotion. The firm leaned heavily into influencer marketing, which is tricky. It tested 40 different scripts to elicit participation from influencers. The one that worked ended up being a combo of a form letter and a personalized note. 

The winning message addressed something about the person's recent work and how it influenced the firm's thinking on something. Then it asked for feedback on the blog post, with the question: "Mind if I send you a link?"

There were three outcomes, Markidan said: 

  • No response.
  • Send along actual feedback, which was cool and share.
  • No feedback, but shared the post.

The key was making the influencer feel a part of the process, Markidan said. That entices them to share.

4) Gave away targeted free materials, like proven scripts it was using. It drove newsletter signups with a savvy trick. It presented the newsletter info before the registration, but it was an image. Users had to register to get a PDF version that they could copy and paste.

5) Got clever with emails. Markidan used an example. It did a blog post on Groove's experience with a business coach. On first send to its database, it had a 28.88 percent open rate. It decided to send it again, with a new headline, to the portion of its list that didn't open it the first time. This won a 24.08 percent open rate. Same email, just tweaked the headline.

6) Practiced COPE, create once publish everywhere. The firm got triple-mileage from every post. “20 biggest myths about building a business” blog post became a Slideshare presentation and an infographic.

7) Focused on story. By weaving story into its blog posts, it tripled the number full-page reads on its posts. Instead writing a post mechanically, it told a story. I.e., “I remember the worst day at our firm clearly. The leadership team was sitting around the conference table when our chief technology officer’s brow furrowed and face lightly reddened as he typed away at his computer, muttering ‘this has never happened before.’”

Groove tested posts. Those with stories like the above had 296 percent more full-page reads and 520 percent increase in time on page as compared to articles without story.

Get methodical and scientific about your content strategy and you will see the same results. Reach out to HageyMedia for help.