I joined a financial technology (fintech) startup that had recently raised their Series A and came on board as their first marketing hire. This business had a challenge of having varied target markets, content needs supporting various parts of the business, and they needed to scale their marketing efforts - fast.
During the interview process, I presented my immediate thoughts and changes I’d like to implement. One week after my start date, I was ready with a plan-heavy deck on my initial execution strategy for marketing, with a new website at the centre of the flywheel. For me, the website was the pinnacle of everything they were trying to accomplish with marketing - especially with the early days focused on top-of-funnel growth. To move forward they required a website in place that had the necessary analytics stack implemented. Driving traffic to a website is well and good but if you’re not ensuring the traffic is satisfied with where they land, that they’re navigating through the website, absorbing its contents, and landing on goal pages, then any organic or paid efforts would not likely succeed.
It’s important to set realistic goals for the first year of marketing efforts as experimentation is core to establishing base metrics so that you can achieve industry-standard (or beyond!) B2B industry conversion benchmarks as you scale your team and efforts.
Increasing inbound through brand awareness and top of funnel growth
Top-of-funnel growth is driven by your users that are in the early stages of interacting with or researching a product or service that your company offers. To reach these users in the early stages of their journey, it’s important that your website speaks to the problem they're facing that you solve and ranks for the keyphrases they’re looking for surrounding their problem or your value proposition.
The website was not only owned by marketing, though. It was important that the website represented the needs of the product function and their goals, the people and culture book of business, and supported sales in their outbound initiatives.
Alongside an agency, the website came to life to achieve the goals of each stakeholder and serve marketing in its inbound objectives early in the strategy.
Moving content from Medium to on-site blog
The next stage of change was focused on written content, on-page. The new website had to have a blog that could be regularly updated and published to by our in-house team. There were lofty goals for organic content to generate new traffic and leads and to do so, the first step was to move all existing content from Medium and onto the website.
Medium is a great resource if you enjoy writing or publicly sharing your content but don’t necessarily need a website to rank for keyphrases. If your company is selling to other businesses, and content is a core aspect of their marketing strategy, I always recommend that content be housed on the owned domain. Your content is designed to rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), attract new users, and push users through to goal pages. Beyond that, you’re able to track user behaviour to see which content is the most engaging and successful.
This fintech with so much exciting content to share about hiring, product releases, and SEO-centric pieces was getting almost no referral traffic from Medium and the decision to move content to the website was an obvious choice. The existing content, and future content, needed to be housed on the company domain. Content became an early touchpoint for key accounts and an important part of the organic marketing strategy.
Turning traffic into leads
Once the website was published with the new blog - social posts, email marketing, and partnership content was now directed to the website, rather than to Medium. Landing users directly on the site and having a new website led to a 52% increase in website traffic in October, the month after the new website went live. The traffic continued to increased steadily and after the expected B2B drop in December, recovered with 18.5% increase in January.
Beyond generating new traffic and ranking for keyphrase terms, the traffic quality was increasing. Bounce rates had lowered over the initial months of the new site. Beyond that, website visitors were eagerly going through the content and landing on goal pages. There was a 10% conversion from website visitors to sign up page lands and 1.1% of the total website traffic converted to leads. Of those sign ups, 18.75% of those leads were marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
Turning leads into sales qualified opportunities (SQOs) and closed-won deals
Inbound marketing contributed to 25.6% of the pipeline in 2021, mostly through organic means, with 11.5% landing in closed-won deals and 14% in active deals at the start of 2022. In January, marketing inbound contributed to 27% of pipeline and 16% of closed-won deals. All in all in 2021, with the first year of in-house marketing in place, marketing had a 6:1 return on contract value to marketing budget.
A robust marketing strategy for a company that hasn’t had in-house marketing requires willingness and openness to experiment. For this fintech, building out a website that serves multiple stakeholders allowed the company to understand their customers, their funnel, and hit marketing goals for top-of-funnel growth. Content that resonates with your audience, even in the enterprise-facing or business-to-business space, can have massive impacts to your pipeline and a website that properly serves your audience can support that. You can implement the same early-stage marketing strategies for your fintech or any startup to start seeing results.