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This SaaS Collected 100k+ Leads Using Gated Content & Landing Pages

Taylor Loren knows it better than anyone: SaaS is a tough almond to milk.

It’s not just the complexity of building a valuable product that stands out from your competitors. The nature of the software as a service (SaaS) model is that your customers need to resubscribe every month (or year, depending). And no matter how great your platform is, that’ll inevitably mean churn.

For SaaS marketers, volume is the name of the game. You need to be constantly feeding more leads into the top of the funnel—leads that your team can nurture, demo, and convert.

We marketers know that acquisition is a whole lot easier when you create compelling content that gets people interested in your product. A must-read ebook or can’t-miss webinar (gated on a high-converting, on-brand landing page) is one of your best opportunities to gather more information about your visitors and start moving them down the funnel.

But even if you’ve got amazing, gateable resources at the ready, SaaS products eat up a ton of development resources, regularly leaving marketing teams in the lurch when it comes to front-end dev. Without the capacity to build landing pages and collect leads on your own, it can be a struggle to turn your hard-earned traffic into new subscriptions.

How Can Resource-Strapped SaaS Marketers Put Lead Gen Content to Work?

Just ask Taylor. After taking over as Head of Content Marketing at Later (a leading Instagram marketing platform), she and her small team managed to:

  • Independently create 26+ dedicated landing pages for each of Later’s content assets.
  • Generate 100,000+ leads with the intent to nurture new subscriptions for the platform.
  • Maintain an average conversion rate of roughly 60% across all of Later’s landing pages.
  • Lower the brand’s cost-per-acquisition through their Facebook and Google ads.

How did Taylor and her team pull it off? We got the team on the phone to find out.

Challenge: Building Landing Pages for Gated Content—Without a Developer

Taylor joined Later near the end of 2015. As the company’s first marketing hire, she made content a core pillar of Later’s acquisition strategy.

Later's squeeze page for their Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy Guide

From the beginning, Taylor and her team focused on delivering value: deep-dive advice and comprehensive how-tos for executing an effective Instagram marketing strategy. With a steady stream of awesome content (plus promotion on social), Taylor grew monthly blog visitors from thirty thousand to over a million in just two years.

That’s a whole lotta peepers, no doubt—but Later needed a way to turn those visitors into leads.

Taylor knew that pointing blog and social traffic toward landing pages with gated content would help Later collect key information about their visitors and move them onto the nurture track. Like most SaaS businesses, though, they had a small marketing team and developer resources were mostly tied up in the platform. That meant Taylor’s crew had to create landing pages on their own.

We have a small creative team. We needed landing pages for each downloadable asset, but creating and executing on each one took a long time. […] We only had one designer on our team, and web design wasn’t our strongest skill set.

If Taylor was going to realize her vision for acquisition, she needed a fast and easy way to build landing pages—without any help from developers.

The Solution: A Drag-and-Drop Builder & Quick-Start Templates

Once Taylor’s team discovered a way to build landing pages without relying on developers, it was a whole new ball game.

Unbounce’s landing page templates have allowed us to execute a lot faster. We can create tens of landing pages quickly while also maintaining a high conversion rate.

This solution solved a couple of problems for Taylor right away. For one, Unbounce’s drag-and-drop builder and functional templates made it easy for her team to assemble gorgeous, on-brand landing pages in a jiffy. That means Taylor can now launch a dedicated page for every new resource her team puts together, like educational webinars and downloadable icon sets.

Free Instagram Stories Highlight Icons
Roughly 57% of all visitors are converting on this Later landing page for Instagram icons.

By directing visitors to landing pages through calls to action on popular blog posts and across social channels, Taylor and her team can learn more about their readers (like their industry and following size) and get them into the appropriate nurture track.

Here’s an example of how Later turns their blog visitors into leads using gated content:

A call to action from Later
This particular blog post includes a call to action for a product launch checklist.
A landing page to accompany the call to action
The corresponding landing page captures key information and is converting over 65% of all visitors.

Unbounce has also made life way easier for Later’s Lead Communication Designer, Chin Tan.

The best thing about Unbounce is that I can quickly see what’s working and what isn’t working, and tweak it on the spot instead of having to write another line of code or planning something completely different.

Love Later’s incredible landing page designs? Us too. Check out our huge library of landing page templates and see how easy it is to build something beautiful.

The Results: 100k+ New Leads and 60%+ Conversion Rates

With landing pages built in Unbounce, Later has collected more than 100,000 leads (and counting) from their gated resources. That probably has something to do with their conversion rates, which average around 60%—well over any industry benchmark.

And because landing pages have made Later’s Google and Facebook ads more effective, Taylor says that she’s reduced the cost of nabbing those leads, too.

Our designers have created a lot of ad-specific landing pages in Unbounce, which has helped us lower the cost-per-acquisition of new leads.

Check out this recent example of Later converting on their huge social following with a simple (but valuable) gated asset:

Later promotes downloadable calendar on Facebook
Later promoted a downloadable holiday calendar across their social channels, including Facebook.
A landing page for the holiday calendar
With tens of thousands of visitors, Later’s campaign landing page is converting at a rate of almost 65%.

That’s not all. Unbounce has given Taylor’s team way more insight into the effectiveness of their landing pages, helping them keep a pulse on their campaign performance.

The dashboard to see conversions is one of the biggest improvements we’ve seen since implementing Unbounce. Now, we can easily A/B test two pages and see at a glance which is performing better.

SaaS Brands Grow with Unbounce

In just a few short years, Taylor built a content ecosystem that established Later as an industry thought leader with a monster online following. By adding landing pages built with Unbounce, she kicked her content strategy into overdrive and collected tens of thousands of new leads for the SaaS platform.

(Wipe your mouths, fellow SaaS marketers. You’re drooling.)

If we’ve learned one thing from Taylor, it’s that having the freedom to execute on your marketing initiatives is key. Because they’ve removed the need for a front-end developer and taken control of the building process, Taylor and her team are able to launch new landing pages faster. That means every new piece of content they create is another opportunity to generate leads.

Want the same kind of results for your business? The first step is to produce some truly awesome content. Then you’re going to need a great landing page.

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Check Also

10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.

via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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