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The 4 types of content your subscription-based business needs for better leads

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Lead generation is the lifeblood of any company. It’s especially important for subscription-based businesses. Every new lead carries the potential for recurring revenue. As a business owner, one of your perpetual goals is to keep generating new and better leads.

What’s the best way to do this? With content. But not just any content—content that is designed for customers in your niche.

The best thing about content is that there are multiple channels and various forms you can work with. Each offers different benefits to different types of businesses.

In this article, you’ll learn about the four most effective types of content for a subscription-based business. Using these strategies, you’ll generate a steady flow of high quality leads in no time.

Why is content important for subscription-based businesses?

The number one reason why content is an effective way to generate leads is simple: Content reaches a wide audience, educates people, and engages your prospective customers. Here are some of the other ways that content can benefit a subscription-based business:

Increased brand awareness

Increasing your organic footprint means more people are seeing your brand online. The more times and more people see your brand, the more trust you build with your community and prospective customer base.

More business opportunities

When you’re producing great content—for lead generation, brand awareness, or alternate goals—other companies in your industry are going to notice you. This can lead to lucrative partnerships and co-branding marketing opportunities, like webinars, speaking engagements, and guest blog posts.

Learn what resonates 

When you’re consistently generating new content, you’re always getting feedback about who is reading your content, and what types of content perform the best. With that information, you can spend more time producing content that performs well, and less time creating content that isn’t as popular.

The best content for better lead generation 

Whether you’re new to content, or have a robust content marketing strategy in place, using the right types of content for lead generation is important. Not all content is created equal, so to fill your pipeline with qualified leads, here are the four types of content you should focus on.

1. SEO content for organic traffic

SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is an integral part of any lead generation content strategy. It’s not a form of content, but it’s a tactic that you should be using in your writing.

SEO is how you get your web pages to rank higher on Google and other search engines. Google’s algorithm uses a set of signals to decide where a piece of content ranks on the SERP (search engine results page).

The best way to improve your rankings is to include relevant keywords throughout your content—blog posts, landing pages, product pages, and so on. These keywords should be specific to your business, and not too general.

For instance, a subscription-based business that sells activewear could use keywords such as, “leggings subscription box,” or “get new activewear every month.” Those are keywords that are searchable, but aren’t too competitive.

It can take time to see results from SEO. But once you build up a steady stream of organic traffic, the visitors coming to your website will be qualified. They know what they’re looking for, and they have some interest and need for what you are selling. 

Besides your traditional content, be sure to use your keywords in the title tags, metadata and image alt tags. It’s also a good idea to strategically weave your keywords into blog post titles, headers, and image captions.

By making SEO a priority, your content can start to rank higher in the search results, which will generate more quality leads. These SEO software tools can help you get started with your keyword research.

2. Social media content

A social media content strategy is a must for subscription-based businesses. Not only does social media allow you to engage with current customers, but it’s also a great way to find new leads. Here are the top social media platforms you should be using for lead generation:

Facebook and/or Instagram

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012. Together these two social media platforms have around 3.5 billion users.

It’s safe to say that your target customers are using these platforms, especially if you’re a B2C company. It’s just a case of formulating the right content strategy to reach them.

It’s almost become a necessity for businesses to have a Facebook or Instagram page. This makes it easy for your customers to find you and enables you to interact with them directly.

To generate leads on Facebook and Instagram, however, you’ll almost certainly need to use paid advertising. The two main forms of ads on these platforms are display ads and sponsored stories.

Stories are short videos that disappear after 24 hours. They perform better than display ads but aren’t suited to all business models. Your best bet is to run an ad campaign for both types of ads, measure their performance, and figure out what works best for your business.

Twitter

Twitter has more than 300 million monthly active users. It’s a direct and instant way to reach your target audience and generate leads.

It’s difficult to build up an organic following of warm leads, though. You’re better off testing paid ads on this platform.

Twitter weaves ads between Tweets on accounts that are relevant to your business. It’s a fast way to get your brand in front of the right people, and is certainly worth allocating some ad spend to.

Pinterest

Pinterest is different from the other social media platforms as it’s a very visual platform. If your subscription goods are eye-catching, this is the platform to showcase them.

On Pinterest, you “pin” images of your products to a board. A board is a collection of other relevant images, probably other product shots.

This platform also runs on an algorithm. So, the more content you upload and the better optimized it is, the more visitors and leads you can generate.

The best thing about Pinterest is that it’s relatively quick to post to. You do need to add some content to your pins as users type in keywords to find what they’re looking for. But ultimately, it’s the quality of your images that’ll be generating leads.

Billie, a subscription-based shaving company, is a great example of a brand with a strong presence on Pinterest. 

Their content is on-brand, organized into relevant boards, and tailored to the platform. They even use video content (which I’ll touch on later). 

As you can see, it’s working for them—Billie’s Pinterest account garners 10 million monthly views. That’s a lot of potential leads!

TikTok

A platform that initially started off for short and funny videos, has emerged as a mainstream social media platform now being adopted by brands. And they’re seeing results.

If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, you can get a significantly higher organic reach on TikTok vs. other legacy platforms like Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. It’s ranked sixth in the world for consumer spending, and is the sixth most popular social media network.

TikTok gives you the opportunity to reach a new/younger, and very digitally savvy audience at a lower cost—but you have to do it well. 

This leads us to our third type of content that also requires quality. 

3. Video content

Video content is one of the most consumable forms of content. In the age of smartphones, a lot of internet browsers would rather watch a short video than scroll through pages of text.

This ties into a couple of the other forms of content I’ve already mentioned, as well. If you’re producing ads for social media, you can repurpose this content and use it to build up a YouTube channel, for TikTok, or index it on your blog.

Video content also goes hand-in-hand with case studies and customer testimonials. A short clip showcasing your products, or a video of a customer explaining how your product solved a pain point, will hit a section of your audience that you wouldn’t otherwise have found.

Stats back this up too. Ninety-seven percent of marketers claim that video helps customers understand their products. And, looking to the future, it’s estimated that more than 80% of all traffic will consist of video by 2021.

Additionally, video consumers have a 12%-28% higher willingness to pay, indicating that media is great for nurturing a prospect or customer. But again, you have to do it well because this will directly impact your brand.

4. Case studies

Case studies have become a staple form of content for many subscription-based businesses. A case study essentially acts as a customer testimonial. It shows prospective customers what experience current customers have had with your company and products. 

There are a number of reasons why case studies drive better leads, namely:

You get to tell a story: Consumers love stories, especially if they’re well-told and relatable. If you can show how your product helped a customer solve a problem, or made their life better, that’s a big selling point for potential customers.

You can put customers first: Content and marketing strategies are often very business-focused. Case studies give you the opportunity to put your customers first, which shows your leads that you care about customer satisfaction.

It’s social proof: Customers look for social proof before making a purchase. That could be from influencers recommending a product, social media shares, celebrity endorsements, or as we’re talking about here, case studies.

Most customers are willing to participate in an interview. But you can get creative to get started, maybe asking customers to fill out a questionnaire or record a short testimonial. 

Final thoughts…

There are so many options for lead generation content that will help you expand your sales pipeline. If you’re just getting started with content, it can be overwhelming initially. 

To make things easier, pick a few forms of content to kick off with. Overtime, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. Keep track of performance metrics on your content and determine which channels are generating the most leads.

By generating new content consistently, you’ll attract more of the right kinds of leads, and improve your conversion rate.


About the author

Hailey_headshot

Hailey co-founded GrowthMarketingPro.com and built it into a six-figure passive income business in 18 months with SEO alone (without spending a dollar on ads). She recently launched an SEO tool called GrowthBar to help others do the same.

Hailey leads & advises Growth at venture-backed startups in San Francisco and around the world, generating millions in revenue

Source: https://www.profitwell.com/blog/subscription-content

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We need a new field of AI to combat racial bias

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Since widespread protests over racial inequality began, IBM announced it would cancel its facial recognition programs to advance racial equity in law enforcement. Amazon suspended police use of its Rekognition software for one year to “put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology.”

But we need more than regulatory change; the entire field of artificial intelligence (AI) must mature out of the computer science lab and accept the embrace of the entire community.

We can develop amazing AI that works in the world in largely unbiased ways. But to accomplish this, AI can’t be just a subfield of computer science (CS) and computer engineering (CE), like it is right now. We must create an academic discipline of AI that takes the complexity of human behavior into account. We need to move from computer science-owned AI to computer science-enabled AI. The problems with AI don’t occur in the lab; they occur when scientists move the tech into the real world of people. Training data in the CS lab often lacks the context and complexity of the world you and I inhabit. This flaw perpetuates biases.

AI-powered algorithms have been found to display bias against people of color and against women. In 2014, for example, Amazon found that an AI algorithm it developed to automate headhunting taught itself to bias against female candidates. MIT researchers reported in January 2019 that facial recognition software is less accurate in identifying humans with darker pigmentation. Most recently, in a study late last year by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), researchers found evidence of racial bias in nearly 200 facial recognition algorithms.

In spite of the countless examples of AI errors, the zeal continues. This is why the IBM and Amazon announcements generated so much positive news coverage. Global use of artificial intelligence grew by 270% from 2015 to 2019, with the market expected to generate revenue of $118.6 billion by 2025. According to Gallup, nearly 90% Americans are already using AI products in their everyday lives – often without even realizing it.

Beyond a 12-month hiatus, we must acknowledge that while building AI is a technology challenge, using AI requires non-software development heavy disciplines such as social science, law and politics. But despite our increasingly ubiquitous use of AI, AI as a field of study is still lumped into the fields of CS and CE. At North Carolina State University, for example, algorithms and AI are taught in the CS program. MIT houses the study of AI under both CS and CE. AI must make it into humanities programs, race and gender studies curricula, and business schools. Let’s develop an AI track in political science departments. In my own program at Georgetown University, we teach AI and Machine Learning concepts to Security Studies students. This needs to become common practice.

Without a broader approach to the professionalization of AI, we will almost certainly perpetuate biases and discriminatory practices in existence today. We just may discriminate at a lower cost — not a noble goal for technology. We require the intentional establishment of a field of AI whose purpose is to understand the development of neural networks and the social contexts into which the technology will be deployed.

In computer engineering, a student studies programming and computer fundamentals. In computer science, they study computational and programmatic theory, including the basis of algorithmic learning. These are solid foundations for the study of AI – but they should only be considered components. These foundations are necessary for understanding the field of AI but not sufficient on their own.

For the population to gain comfort with broad deployment of AI so that tech companies like Amazon and IBM, and countless others, can deploy these innovations, the entire discipline needs to move beyond the CS lab. Those who work in disciplines like psychology, sociology, anthropology and neuroscience are needed. Understanding human behavior patterns, biases in data generation processes are needed. I could not have created the software I developed to identify human trafficking, money laundering and other illicit behaviors without my background in behavioral science.

Responsibly managing machine learning processes is no longer just a desirable component of progress but a necessary one. We have to recognize the pitfalls of human bias and the errors of replicating these biases in the machines of tomorrow, and the social sciences and humanities provide the keys. We can only accomplish this if a new field of AI, encompassing all of these disciplines, is created.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/03/we-need-a-new-field-of-ai-to-combat-racial-bias/

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As Q3 kicks off, four more companies join the $100M ARR club

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Welcome back to our $100 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) series, in which we take irregular looks at companies that have reached material scale while still private. The goal of our project is simple: uncovering companies of real worth beyond how they are valued by private investors.


The Exchange is a daily look at startups and the private markets for Extra Crunch subscribers; use code EXCHANGE to get full access and take 25% off your subscription.


It’s all well and good to get a $1 billion valuation, call yourself a unicorn and march around like you invented the internet. But reaching material revenue scale means that, unlike some highly valued companies, you’re actually hard to kill. (And more valuable, and more likely to go public, we reckon.)

Before we dive into today’s new companies, keep in mind that we’ve expanded the type of company that can make it into the $100M ARR club to include companies that reach a $100 million annual run rate pace. Why? Because we don’t only want to collect SaaS companies, and if we could go back in time we’d probably draw a different box around the companies we are tracking.

$100M ARR or bust

If you need to catch up, you can find the two most recent entries in the series here and here. For everyone who’s current, today we are adding Snow Software, A Cloud Guru, Zeta Global and Upgrade to the club. Let’s go!

Snow Software

Just this week, Snow Software announced that it has crossed the $100 million ARR mark, according to a release shared with TechCrunch. The Swedish software asset management company has raised a few private rounds, including a $120 million private equity round in 2017. But, unlike many American companies that make this list, we don’t have a historical record of needing extensive private capital to scale.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/03/as-q3-kicks-off-four-more-companies-join-the-100m-arr-club/

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U.S. Fintech Saas Company HighRadius Continues European Expansion with Opening of New Frankfurt, Germany Office

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HighRadius, a U.S.-based fintech enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company specializing in integrated receivables, announced on Thursday it has continued its European expansion efforts by opening its new Frankfurt, Germany office.

Founded in 2006, HighRadius claims its HighRadius Integrated Receivables platform optimizes cash flow through automation of receivables and payments processes across credit, collections, cash application, deductions, electronic billing and payment processing.

“Powered by the Rivana Artificial Intelligence Engine and Freda Virtual Assistant for Credit-to-Cash, HighRadius Integrated Receivables enables teams to leverage machine learning for accurate decision making and future outcomes. The radiusOne B2B payment network allows suppliers to digitally connect with buyers, closing the loop from supplier receivable processes to buyer payable processes.”]

HighRadius reported it had a 250% increase in bookings, 25 new customers, and a fourfold increase in employees in EMEA in the last 12 months. HighRadius noted that the new office will it to support more customers to accelerate their recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

“The pandemic has increased demand for agile and intelligent credit and collections solutions as organizations focus on maintaining cash flows and strengthening business resilience.”

Speaking about the expansion, Jon Keating, HighRadius’ Vice President and General Manager, added:

“Frankfurt’s position in central Germany makes other parts of the country readily accessible, and its status as the financial center of the country opens up a gateway to a deep pool of talent and relevant partnerships.”

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2020/07/163566-u-s-fintech-saas-company-highradius-continues-european-expansion-with-opening-of-new-frankfurt-germany-office/

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