Our Enterprise Playbook to Drive Brand Awareness
Let's begin with the most important part of any marketing plan -- brand awareness.
The awareness playbook includes two strategies: a content strategy as well as an ad strategy.
We have two sub-strategies within our content strategy. One is about being found via search (our SEO strategy) and the other aims to change minds using opinionated content that spreads via word-of-mouth and social engagement ("our POV strategy").
We have split our team into two teams to execute our content strategies. The one team is responsible for optimizing informational content for search and the other is responsible to create influential content through word of mouth. Each team is using algorithms and information about their audiences to optimize content, but each team has a very different marketing strategy.
Let's take a closer view.
Content Strategy Part 1: SEO
Our SEO strategy is not limited to top placement in SERPs. We also target the entire first page, including ads, featured snippets and directory listings.
Review sites have been a growing part of SEO over the past few years. They rank #2 for 70+ brand terms and #1 for hundreds of bottom of the funnel pages.
We have a diverse search-oriented content strategy. It includes long-form educational content, short content optimized for YouTube optimization and audio courses. This allows us to perform well in all these areas.
These strategies have resulted in a strong growth in organic traffic and a blog readership comparable to major publications such as Adweek, HBR, Fast Company, and Adweek.
Content Strategy Part 2: POV
It is important to stand up for what you believe in, even if the options seem endless. It's not about being contrarian or putting up lots of hype content.
There have been many articles praising certain marketing strategies, predicting the rise of others and presenting truisms as new insights. A strong point of view is key to breaking through. This starts with a clear brand identity. Then, you need to refine that brand identity by carefully positioning your products. Finally, you will need to bring it alive with strong messaging and creative execution.
Our POV mix includes thought leaders articles, brand videos and social content. Our open culture and foundational documents such as our customer Code have helped guide our customer-influencing decisions every day.
We recognize when a message resonates with an audience organically, and it earns above-average social interaction.
However, just like any marketing expense, there are specific goals and purposes behind every ad. Each ad falls into one of these three categories:
- Transactional ads -- These ads generate HubSpot users
- Informational - These ads increase our content leads
- Awareness Ads - These ads drive website visits and content views
We spend the majority of our digital advertising budget on transactional ads for established products with search demand. However, we have thresholds that allow us to calculate both direct and indirect returns. After we have exhausted our return on transactional ads, we transfer the budget to the informational ads bucket and then to the brand awareness bucket.
We use the same strategy for new launches as we do for lesser-known products. Transactional ads are more expensive for new products because they have less brand recognition. We invest first in brand awareness. As our direct and/or assisted returns on these ads reach our thresholds we move to transactional ads.
Awareness Strategy Summary:
- Increase organic traffic worldwide through our blog and pillar pages
- Partnering and snippet strategies can help you manage SERP presence
- Encourage customer advocates to share our business via word-of mouth and review sites.
- Implemented a linked advertising strategy that covered brand, informational and transactional categories
- You can build influence by sharing strong points of views that spread naturally through social media sharing, for example.
Our Enterprise Playbook to Convert Traffic
Enterprise companies assume that buyers are willing to follow a strict, lengthy sales process. They then design their engagement strategies accordingly. They want to gather enough information to qualify leads, communicate via long email chains, book multiple meetings and, perhaps most importantly, hide pricing so buyers can talk to reps.
For a number of years, we followed a similar strategy -- except that of hiding pricing. We began to notice customer expectations shifting, and we realized how important it was to offer options to suit different purchasing preferences.
Our conversion playbook was designed to reduce friction. Over the years we've made many changes, including data enrichment and progressive profiling to reduce form fields. However, the real change has been diversifying our conversion options.
Visitors can connect with us today via our pricing page by booking meetings, emailing, calling, or chatting. While old-fashioned advice on conversions says that too many CTAs can lead to hesitation, and you should decrease the number of CTAs per page, we found something very different. By allowing visitors to choose how they want to connect with us, we increased our conversion rate by 170%
We offer multiple ways to connect with people. Buyers can choose to get a demo, or to start using our free software. They can also upgrade through the product at their convenience. We have seen an increase in self-purchases of 10X, while also growing our inside sales team.
The product qualified lead (PQL), has been shown to be a better indicator of buyer intent than the marketing qualified leads. The PQL, as HubSpot's Vice President of Acquisition, argues, is what the MQL promised but never delivered on. Because it is based on the user getting real value from the product and showing an intent to use it more deeply than the MQL, it fulfills that promise. PQLs open up new marketing avenues, including in-app targeted chat or automation based upon user behavior.