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There are a few software companies that do content marketing on a higher level than the rest of us. These companies get more than 50% of their leads from content and are masters of inbound. I’d like to highlight some of their specific strategies to show how similar these companies are in the way they do content and what we all can learn from it.
Sprout Social was #88 on the Inc. 500 for 2015, and if you’re in marketing you’ve almost definitely heard of them. This company produces a ton of excellent content and is consistently found at the top of sites like Inbound.org. There general strategy revolves around creating long form guides on social media marketing.
Publishing frequency: 7-10 posts per week
Post length: Average of 2,000 words
Number of authors: ~50
Topics: Social media case studies, social insights, tools, findings
Top post this year: 36 Free tools for creating unique images
How it drives leads: Sprout has a call to action on the sidebar and below each post to start a free trial of the social tools it offers. They also have a static header that follows people reading blog posts.
Sprout Social 2014 Revenue: $15 million
Buffer gets mentioned a lot as a company that grew up on content marketing and guest blogging. Now they have one of the top marketing blogs on the internet and produce some of the most shared articles every single month. They do a lot of list posts, how-to’s and in-depth marketing experiments.
Publishing frequency: 5 times per week
Post length: Avg. 1700 words
Number of authors: Around 25
Topics: Social media marketing, tools, person growth, productivity.
Top post this year: Best times to tweet study
How it drives leads: Buffer goes for the “straight to the product” approach, which I think can work well if you have a free trial or a freemium product. I’ve seen them play with different calls to action, from blog subscriptions to the direct-to-product approach.
Buffer 2014 Revenue: $5 million
Hubspot produces an insane amount of content, and they don’t let that compromise the quality. This is only possible because they have an entire team of their own writers as well as guest bloggers. This allows them to cover a myriad of topics while still going in-depth on each post.
Publishing frequency: 3 per day.
Post length: Average of 1200 words
Number of authors: Over 100.
Topics: Inbound marketing, tools, tips, guides, case studies
Top post this year: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Career Kit
How it drives leads: Personalized calls to action on every post. The example below is from a post about email marketing. Every single Hubspot post has a call to action at the end that is personalized to the content being displayed. On the Interact site, we’ve seen 28% click throughs when the call to action is personalized like this, it works incredibly well.
Hubspot 2014 Revenue: $120 million