This talk is written to help business who have a product that their target market really isn’t knocking down the door to get. ‘Creating Content For A Product Nobody Gives A Shit About’. The talk was designed to teach busy bootstrapped companies on how to market a product that mightn’t be the easiest to market. Let me explain the problems we had a little more and then I’ll get into the fixes. Bullet is a full online accounting and payroll software that automate tax returns. Our unique selling point is that we have the most common accounting rules built into the software. This means anyone with no training can use our software. This is great for a couple of things: Firstly, it’s an ideal product for the SME community (which is a huge community), and secondly it means there is very low friction when acquiring customers.
Problem 1 – SEO:
The problem that we hit with our SEO strategy was that people don’t want to learn about accounting – they want it automated. We could create product keyword friendly content, but our community didn’t want to read it. This creates a catch 22, if we don’t create content we don’t get found organically, if we do create content we can’t build community with it, cause nobody really cares. At the time we were using Intercom to handle our support. Intercom worked ok, but we noticed that it was full of this beautiful and helpful user generated content.
So we looked at tapping their API to bring our content into the open, sadly intercom don’t allow you access to your own content, so we dump them and used a free Wordress Plugin designwall (Q&A) to replace Intercom.
With about a weeks tweaking we had it up and running. To get notifications pushed to our mobile devices we used Boxcar. The Q&A site was mobile ready so that worked on mobile if we needed to respond asap. Because the Q&A site is built on WordPress, we can take advantage of the fantastic Yoast SEO plugin and optimise all our responses to keywords, this could be done a bit better with in the Q&A site.
Fix 1 – Results:
- Free SEO user generated content, saving days
- Improved customer engagement
- Traffic growth 41% month/month
- Organic (free) growth 73% month/month
- Total organic (free) traffic 30%
- Saving $49USD a month on support software that prevents the above happening
Fix 1 – SEO Ingredients:
- Free Q&A tool: Click here
- Mobile notifier when a new message comes in: Click here
- Yoast plugin for SEO: Click here
- Remove support software
Problem 2 – Blog Content People What To Read & Share
We had played around with a lot of writing themes for the blog posts. The most visited posts were about social media, but we felt this was a pretty saturated area and kind of getting a bit boring. Blog posts are time consuming to do, and seeing as our customers weren’t interested in our SEO friendly accounting posts we decided to focus on the very thing we love, community.
We interview people who are involved in business activities that have a community slant, this not only reflects Bullet ideology (we accept tweets as social currency and payment for our product) this has some great win/win effects. We spend very little time writing the post as it’s the community leader answering questions, that allows us to focus our time about 2/3 hours promoting their interview/community to like minded people.
They get promoted and we get promoted. The power of community was evident when our 3/4 page write up in the Irish got Bullet about 5 signups, were as our write up in the Broadsheet, which is a community based site got us over 150 signups.
Fix 2 – Blog Ingredients:
1 x WordPress blog post to create your blog: Click here
1 x The magic action box to capture emails in the blog: Click here video explaining it Video on how to use Loop: Click here
1 x Mailchimp to feed the email capture
5 x Questions
2/3 x Hours work
Fix 2 – Blog Results:
- From 0 shares to average 30/50 per post
- Community leaders sharing content
- Tap existing communities
- New leads & build brand
- Simple engaging content creation, saving time
Problem 3 – Anchor Content:
Leaning on the fact that nobody cares about accounts to went about creating an ebook about someone everyone cares about, free money. We used this as an piece of anchor marketing “How To Get 100k For Free Off The Government“, it gets used alot. I send it to customers when they first signup, to capture emails on our blog posts and popups. We used it to get featured in the Irish Times, and to give our talks. BTW talks (giving) are a great way to get signups.
Fix 3 – Ingredients:
1 x PDF books about something people want, not your product.
1 x Pay with a tweet https://www.paywithatweet.com/
Fix 3 – Results:
- 5,000 downloads
- Used for engagement mails
- Used for talks
- Used for SEO
- Brand building
- Community building
Problem 4 – Automate Twitter:
We wanted a way to automate our twitter feed but still provide good content. Again we’re a small team so we didn’t have all day to be curating content, even using products like buffer just didn’t suit our needs. So I’d come across this great hack on growthhacker.tv that showed me how to automatically sync peoples blogs everytime they updated, tweet them out using hashtags that targeted the networks we were looking to engage with.
The extra hook that growth hacker suggest was to display the blog posts in an iframe. This way they get the traffic, and all links work for this site, but we also get the traffic think of it like the intro videos you might see on the guardian online.
The other thing I added was a popup. We’d looked at bounce exchange’s $4,500pm solution and mimicked the bits that suited us the most.
We did a bit of custom development via the iframe and the popup but with a couple of days work you could get a developer to do this it for you. Once it’s up and running you can just forget about it. But, remember anyone that tweets us or engages with us like favoriting a tweet get a personal message from me. That way I keep the important stuff real and the not so important stuff (tweeting) automated.
Once you get this up you can visit it and see what tweets, networks are working for you, what aren’t and edit accordingly.
Fix 4 – Ingredients:
Fix 4 – Results:
- Reused ebook anchor content again
- No content writing needed
- Increased subscriptions/leads by 1036%
- Automate feeds zero work
- Keep traffic
- Jump networks with hashtags
Problem Five – Email Engagement:
Customers mean everything to us, and I like to personally mail everything that signs up. We use rapportive to run a social discovery on the email address of new customers who’ve signed up and who use webmail like gmail etc. For example I’ll have a look at their Linkedin and see what might interest them, and try and share a piece of content or comment that they might find helpful, I do the same with people who use their company address. Either way you want someone to engage with you in a meaningful way, and most accounting products are pretty terrible at that so that’s a great way for Bullet to stand out.
Our customer signups fall into a 3 main categories. Those who we can find out a little bit about them and engage in a personal way. Those who we can’t find any information on and finally, those who are in the creative space.
I have 3 templated emails for each of these customer categories, this helps speed up my reply and fix the problem of my dyslexic spelling mistakes (which wouldn’t look to professional). It also allows me to automate the standard stuff, signoffs, links to our anchor ebook and so on, therefore giving me the time to personalise each mail which is far more important.
Fix Five – Ingredients:
1 x Google Apps for mail: Click here
1 x Reportive for social discovery: Click here
1 x Ebook achor content see above
1 x Video on how to setup gmail canned responses: Click here
1 x Video export your linkedin contacts: Click here
Fix Five – Results:
- Automate the unimportant stuff
- Keep it personal
- Reuse Content
- Keep looping social connections
- Export new linkedin contacts to mailing list
- Social currency