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Monthly Archives: August 2020

COVID-19 is driving demand for low-code apps

August 31, 2020 No Comments

Now that the great Y Combinator rush is behind us, we’re returning to a topic many of you really seem to care about: no-code and low-code apps and their development.

We’ve explored the theme a few times recently, once from a venture-capital perspective, and another time building from a chat with the CEO of Claris, an Apple subsidiary and an early proponent of low-code work.

Today we’re adding notes from a call with Appian CEO Matt Calkins that took place yesterday shortly after the company released its most recent earnings report.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

Appian is built on low-code development. Having gone public back in 2017, it is the first low-code IPO we can think of. With its Q2 results reported on August 6, we wanted to dig a bit more into what Calkins is seeing in today’s market so we can better understand what is driving demand for low- and no-code development, specifically, and demand for business apps more generally in 2020.

As you can imagine, COVID-19 and the accelerating digital transformation are going to come up in our notes. But, first, let’s take a look at Appian’s quarter quickly before digging into how its low-code-focused CEO sees the world.

Results, expectations

Appian had a pretty good Q2. The company reported $ 66.8 million in revenue for the three-month period, ahead of market expectations that it would report around $ 61 million, though collected analyst estimates varied. The low-code platform also beat on per-share profit, reporting a $ 0.12 per-share loss after adjustments. Analysts had expected a far worse $ 0.25 per-share deficit.

The period was better than expected, certainly, but it was not a quarter that showed sharp year-over-year growth. There’s a reason for that: Appian is currently shedding professional services revenue (lower-margin, human-powered stuff) for subscription incomes (higher-margin, software-powered stuff). So, as it exchanges one type of revenue for another with total subscription revenue rising a little over 12% in Q2 2020 compared to the year-ago quarter, and professional services revenue falling around 10%, the company’s growth will be slow but the resulting revenue mix improvement is material.

Most importantly, inside of its larger subscription result for the quarter ($ 41.4 million) were its cloud subscription revenues, worth $ 29.6 million for the quarter and up 30% compared to the year-ago period. Summing, the company’s least lucrative revenues are falling as its most lucrative accelerate at the fastest clip of any of its cohorts. That’s what you’d want to see if you are an Appian bull.

Shares in the technology company are up around 45% this year. With that, we can get started.

Enterprise – TechCrunch

TikTok’s rivals in India struggle to cash in on its ban

August 31, 2020 No Comments

For years, India has served as the largest open battleground for Silicon Valley and Chinese firms searching for their next billion users.

With more than 400 million WhatsApp users, India is already the largest market for the Facebook-owned service. The social juggernaut’s big blue app also reaches more than 300 million users in the country.

Google is estimated to reach just as many users in India, with YouTube closely rivaling WhatsApp for the most popular smartphone app in the country.

Several major giants from China, like Alibaba and Tencent (which a decade ago shut doors for most foreign firms), also count India as their largest overseas market. At its peak, Alibaba’s UC Web gave Google’s Chrome a run for its money. And then there is TikTok, which also identified India as its biggest market outside of China.

Though the aggressive arrival of foreign firms in India helped accelerate the growth of the local ecosystem, their capital and expertise also created a level of competition that made it too challenging for most Indian firms to claim a slice of their home market.

New Delhi’s ban on 59 Chinese apps on June 30 on the basis of cybersecurity concerns has changed a lot of this.

Indian apps that rarely made an appearance in the top 20 have now flooded the charts. But are these skyrocketing download figures translating to sustaining users?

An industry executive leaked the download, monthly active users, weekly active users and daily active users figures from one of the top mobile insight firms. In this Extra Crunch report, we take a look at the changes New Delhi’s ban has enacted on the world’s second largest smartphone market.

TikTok copycats

Scores of startups in India, including news aggregator DailyHunt, on-demand video streamer MX Player and advertising giant InMobi Group, have launched their short-video format apps in recent months.

Social – TechCrunch

Top Tips To Get The Most From Microsoft’s New Shutterstock API

August 31, 2020 No Comments

Microsoft Advertising has given its users access to high-quality images with their new Shuttershock partnership. Here’s how you can make the most of it.

PPC Hero

How to teach an old blog new SEO tricks

August 31, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • It’s common for organic search traffic to a website or old blog to decline over time.
  • While some of the factors causing that are outside the site owner’s control, part of the reason is likely related to problems that gradually build up on the site.
  • Obsolete content, broken links, and technical issues are among the correctable items that can help reverse declining search traffic.
  • Principal and senior digital marketing consultant at Webbiquity LLC, Tom Pick shares a nine-step process to identify and fix your old blog site’s problems and regain organic traffic growth.

Do you ever feel like Google has fallen out of love with your old blog or website? Sure, there’s still acknowledgment, but the spark is gone, and the (traffic) relationship is no longer growing? Fear not, there is hope. You can rekindle those rankings. Here’s what to do.

If you’ve been working in digital marketing or SEO for a while, you’ve likely run into this situation: a new website/blog is launched. It’s got great content, is well optimized, and is supported by social media efforts. Traffic is modest at first but grows quickly and dramatically.

And then at some point, growth slows, particularly from organic search. It may even fall back a bit. And then it sort of bumps along. You keep adding relevant, high-quality new content, but the needle barely moves. What’s happened?

It’s not uncommon for a site’s organic search traffic to decline over time, the “old blog” problem. This can be caused by technical issues, competitive changes, search engine algorithm updates, or even broad industry trends. As one example, the click-through rate on organic searches fell 13% to 47.4% between 2016 and 2019.

But it’s true that over time, an old blog can become the online equivalent of a hoarder house or an unkempt garden. It’s no longer neat and clean, but rather it’s a mess of obsolete content, 404 errors, broken links, and other online debris.

Fortunately, this can be fixed. Like cleaning out that garden, it will take some work, some knowledge, and the right tools thought the dirt and weeds, in this case, are purely digital.

Here’s a nine-step process to restore healthy search traffic growth to a mature blog.

1. Check for digital obstacles

Use Google Search Console (GSC) to verify there are no manual penalties, security issues, or other problems. Fix any serious issues discovered there first.

If your site isn’t already connected to GSC, log into your Google account, and add it. Then check both Manual Actions and Security Issues in the left menu.

Teach your old blog new SEO tricks - use Google Search Console

2. Inventory all pages on the site

To get rid of the “junk” on the site/blog, start by generating a complete list of all URLs. You may be able to get by with a tool like XML-Sitemaps or the free version of Screaming Frog SEO Spider, but for larger sites (and if you are running into SEO stagnation issues, you’re likely working with a site that has at least several hundred pages) you may need to invest in a paid tool.

3. Use GA to identify winners and losers

Next, log in to Google Analytics (GA) for the site. Navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. In the upper-right of the screen, set the start and end dates for the report (for example, the last six months or one year). At the bottom-right of the screen, change the number of pages displayed to the maximum, as shown here:

Teach your old blog new SEO tricks - Use Google Analytics to analyze all pages

At the upper-right of the screen, click Export then download the file in Excel or CSV format.

4. Compare the two lists

Pages that receive very little traffic are a concern, but comparing a complete list of pages to pageviews in GA enables you to identify the most serious problems: pages that have had no visits over the past six, 12, or whatever number of months you choose.

Clean up the list of pages you exported from GA to remove site search results, author pages, category pages, tags pages, etc. so that you are left only with the list of blog posts and their number of page views.

In the figure below, the column on the left is a list of all pages. On the right are pages, with their corresponding number of views, from GA. By sorting both lists alphabetically, you can identify pages from the “all pages” list that don’t show up on the list from GA–because they have had no visits over the chosen time period.

Teach your old blog new SEO tricks - Compare all pages

5. Revise any pages that are “renewable”

The next step is triage—what to do with those pages that get little or no traffic? Some posts are more timeless than others, and with a bit refreshing, can still provide value to readers and draw visitors to your blog.

For example, posts here about how to write an effective business blog, how to spread thought leadership content without blogging, and why every business needs to be on Twitter were originally written on the Webbiquity blog in 2010 but recently updated to reflect online changes and lessons learned over the past decade.

6. Delete obsolete pages and redirect them to winners

Other types of posts simply don’t age well. Those pieces about the best practices in SEO for 2011 or the must-know stats and facts about social media in 2013 are now best forgotten, much like the worst songs of the 70s. (Remember “Muskrat Love”? If not, consider yourself fortunate.)

Newsy posts also have a limited shelf life. Posts about how buyers and marketers are adapting to this COVID-19 era are popular right now. But once the pandemic has passed, no one will want to revisit those.

These posts can, however, attract a lot of backlinks in their prime. So take them down, but strategically redirect those URLs to similarly relevant but more up-to-date content.

7. Find and fix any broken outbound links on the site

It’s vital to perform step 6 before this one, so you don’t waste time fixing links in posts that will be taken down anyway.

Use a tool like Broken Link Checker to find broken or obsolete outbound links on your pages, then update or delete those links. This type of cleanup at least moderately improves SEO, while significantly improving the reader experience on your site.

8. Run Google speed test and mobile-friendly check

Page load speed and mobile performance are now among the top ranking factors for SEO.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Mobile-Friendly Test tools and follow their recommended guidelines to fix issues and improve your scores

For example, this site scores a 64 on the Google page load speed test–above average, but not great. Note that Google provides separate scores for mobile and desktop load speed. Scrolling down the page a bit, one of Google’s recommendations for improvement is to “Eliminate render-blocking resources”. Clicking the small arrow to the right of that suggestion exposes more detail. In this case, Google’s tool links to WordPress plugins which may help resolve the issue.

Teach your old blog new SEO tricks - Page speed insights

9. Put your best, most relevant CTAs on your top pages

Take another look at the list generated in step three above. Look closely at the top five-to-ten most-visited pages or posts on your site.

First, if these can be improved or updated in any way to make them even more valuable and appealing, do that. Second, make sure each of these pages has a highly relevant and compelling call to action. You’re attracting lots of visitors to these pages, which is great; now take the next step and apply the best options to get them to convert into sales or leads.

Popular CTAs include downloadable assets related to your content, such as ebooks, guides, or checklists. Or you try being more direct and asking the page visitor to contact you or schedule a demo. In any case, it’s also essential to use CTA best practices in order to compel readers to respond.

That’s it! Delete or revise your obsolete content, fix technical errors, regularly produce high-quality new content, and that mature, stagnant blog can quickly get back to 20%, 30%, or even higher year-over-year growth in organic search traffic.

Tom Pick is a digital marketing consultant who helps B2B clients improve their online visibility, increase brand awareness, and generate leads through SEO, social media, and content marketing. He’s the Editor of the Webbiquity b2b marketing blog and author of “The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Software.” You can find him on Twitter @TomPick.

The post How to teach an old blog new SEO tricks appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

How to Protect the Data on Your Laptop

August 30, 2020 No Comments

Your laptop is a treasure trove of personal and sensitive information—make sure it’s as secure as it can be.
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Steno raises $3.5 million led by First Round to become an extension of law offices

August 30, 2020 No Comments

The global legal services industry was worth $ 849 billion in 2017 and is expected to become a trillion-dollar industry by the end of next year. Little wonder that Steno, an LA-based startup, wants a piece.

Like most legal services outfits, what it offers are ways for law practices to run more smoothly, including in a world where fewer people are meeting in conference rooms and courthouses and operating instead from disparate locations.

Steno first launched with an offering that centers on court reporting. It lines up court reporters, as well as pays them, removing both potential headaches from lawyers’ to-do lists.

More recently, the startup has added offerings like a remote deposition videoconferencing platform that it insists is not only secure but can manage exhibit handling and other details in ways meant to meet specific legal needs.

It also, very notably, has a lending product that enables lawyers to take depositions without paying until a case is resolved, which can take a year or two. The idea is to free attorneys’ financial resources — including so they can take on other clients — until there’s a payout. Of course, the product is also a potentially lucrative one for Steno, as are most lending products.

We talked earlier this week with the company, which just closed on a $ 3.5 million seed round led by First Round Capital (it has now raised $ 5 million altogether).

Unsurprisingly, one of its founders is a lawyer named Dylan Ruga who works as a trial attorney at an LA-based law group and knows first-hand the biggest pain points for his peers.

More surprising is his co-founder, Gregory Hong, who previously co-founded the restaurant reservation platform Reserve, which was acquired by Resy, which was acquired by American Express. How did Hong make the leap from one industry to a seemingly very different one?

Hong says he might not have gravitated to the idea if not for Ruga, who was Resy’s trademark attorney and who happened to send Hong the pitch behind Steno to get Hong’s advice. He looked it over as a favor, then he asked to get involved. “I just thought, ‘This is a unique and interesting opportunity,’ and said, ‘Dylan, let me run this.’ ”

Today the 19-month-old startup has 20 full-time employees and another 10 part-time staffers. One major accelerant to the business has been the pandemic, suggests Hong. Turns out tech-enabled legal support services become even more attractive when lawyers and everyone else in the ecosystem is socially distancing.

Hong suggests that Steno’s idea to marry its services with financing is gaining adherents, too, including amid law groups like JML Law and Simon Law Group, both of which focus largely on personal injury cases.

Indeed, Steno charges — and provides financing — on a per-transaction basis right now, even while its revenue is “somewhat recurring,” in that its customers constantly have court cases.

Still, a subscription product is being considered, says Hong. So are other uses for its videoconferencing platform. In the meantime, says Hong, Steno’s tech is “built very well” for legal services, and that’s where it plans to remain focused.

Enterprise – TechCrunch

Xiaomi plans to bring under-screen cameras to its smartphones next year

August 28, 2020 No Comments

The front-facing camera has been a pretty constant bugbear for phone makers for a number of years now. Xiaomi certainly isn’t the first to offer a clever technological solution to the problem — and it’s also certainly not the only company to show off under-screen camera tech — but next year, it’s committed to bringing that technology to market.

The manufacturer noted its plans today as part of its earnings report, stating that it will begin manufacturing handsets using the latest version of the technology it’s been working on for a number of years now. This actually represents the third generation of the tech. The first didn’t exist outside of the lab and the second was shown off to the public but never made it into production.

There are no doubt all sorts of practical reasons for that. Among them seems to be the issue of pixel density. For reasons that ought to be pretty obvious, there’s a big question of how to maintain a consistent pixel density in the area of the screen that sits on top of the front-facing camera. Xiaomi claims to have solved the problem, however.

“The self-developed pixel arrangement used in Xiaomi’s 3rd Generation Under-Display Camera Technology allows the screen to pass light through the gap area of ​​sub-pixels, allowing each single pixel to retain a complete RGB subpixel layout without sacrificing pixel density,” it writes in a blog post.

Xiaomi says it’s been able to effectively double the pixel density of competing technology, letting light through to the camera, without sacrificing the uniformity of the screen. It looks good in the side-by-side videos the company has released, but obviously it’s worth reserving judgement until mass production starts next year.

Mobile – TechCrunch

How Salesforce beat its own target to reach $20B run rate ahead of schedule

August 28, 2020 No Comments

Salesforce launched in 1999, one of the early adherents to what would eventually be called SaaS and cloud computing. On Tuesday, the company reached a huge milestone when it surpassed $ 5 billion in revenue, putting the SaaS giant on a $ 20 billion run rate for the first time.

Salesforce revenue has been on a firm upward trajectory for years now, but when the company reached $ 10 billion in revenue in November 2017, CEO Marc Benioff set the goal for $ 20 billion right then and there, and five years hence the company beat that goal pretty easily. Here’s what he said at the time:

In fact as the fastest growing enterprise software company ever to reach $ 10 billion, we are now targeting to grow the company organically to more than $ 20 billion by fiscal year 2022 and we plan to do that to be the fastest enterprise software company ever to get to $ 20 billion.

There are lots of elements that have led to that success. As the Salesforce platform evolved, the company has also had an aggressive acquisition strategy, and companies are moving to the cloud faster than ever before. Yet Salesforce has been able to meet that lofty 2017 goal early, while practicing his own unique form of responsible capitalism in the midst of a pandemic.

The platform play

While there are many factors contributing to the company’s revenue growth, one big part of it is the platform. As a platform, it’s not only about providing a set of software tools like CRM, marketing automation and customer service, it’s also giving customers the ability to build solutions to meet their needs on top of that, taking advantage of the work that Salesforce has done to build its own software stack.

Bret Taylor, president and chief operating officer at Salesforce, says the platform has played a huge role in the company’s success. “Actually our platform is behind a huge part of Salesforce’s momentum in multiple ways. One, which is one thing we’ve talked a lot about, is just the technology characteristics of the platform, namely that it’s low code and fast time to value,” he said.

He added, “I would say that these low-code platforms and the ability to stand up solutions quickly is more relevant than ever before because our customers are going to have to respond to changes in their business faster than ever before,” he said.

He pointed to nCino, a company built on top of Salesforce that went public last month as a prime example of this. The company was built on Salesforce, sold in the AppExchange marketplace and provides a way for banking customers to do business online, taking advantage of all that Salesforce has built to do that.

The acquisition strategy

Another big contributing factor to the company’s success is that beyond the core CRM product it brought to the table way back in 1999, it has built a broad set of marketing, sales and service tools and as it has done that, it has acquired many companies along the way to accelerate the product road map.

The biggest of those acquisitions by far was the $ 15.7 billion Tableau deal, which closed just about a year ago. Taylor sees data fueling the push to digital we are seeing during the pandemic, and Tableau is a key part of that.

“Tableau is so strategic, both from a revenue and also from a technology strategy perspective,” he said. That’s because as companies make the shift to digital, it becomes more important than ever to help them visualize and understand that data in order to understand their customers’ requirements better.

“Fundamentally when you look at what a company needs to do to thrive in an all-digital world, it needs to be able to respond to [rapid] changes, which means creating a culture around that data,” he said. This enables companies to respond more quickly to changes like new customer demands or shifts in the supply chain.

“All of that is about data, and I think the reason why Tableau grew so much this past quarter is that I think that the conversation around data when you’re digitizing your entire company and digitizing the entire economy, data is more strategic than it ever was,” he said.

With that purchase, combined with the $ 6.5 billion MuleSoft acquisition in 2018, the company feels like it has a way to capture and visualize data wherever it lives in the enterprise. “It’s worth noting how complementary MuleSoft and Tableau are together. I think of MuleSoft as unlocking all your enterprise data, whether it’s on a legacy system or a modern system, and Tableau enables us to understand it, and so it’s a really strategic overall value proposition because we can come up with a really complete solution around data,” Taylor said.

Capitalism with some heart

Benioff was happy to point out in an appearance on Mad Money Tuesday that even as he has made charity and volunteerism a core part of his organization, he has still delivered solid returns for his shareholders. He told Mad Money host Jim Cramer, “This is a victory for stakeholder capitalism. It shows you can do good and do well.” This is a statement he has made frequently in the past to show that you can be a good corporate citizen and give back to your community, while still making money.

Those values are what separates the company from the pack says Paul Greenberg, founder and principal analyst at 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light. “Salesforce’s genius, and a large part of the reason I don’t expect any serious slowdown in that extraordinary growth, is that they manage to align the technology business with corporate social responsibility in a way that makes them stand out from any other company,” Greenberg told TechCrunch.

Yesterday’s numbers come after Q1 2021, in which the company offered softer guidance as it was giving some of its customers, suffering from the impact of the pandemic, more financial flexibility. As it turns out, that didn’t seem to hurt them, and the guidance for next quarter is looking good too: $ 5.24 billion to $ 5.25 billion, up approximately 16% year over year, according to the company.

It’s worth noting that while Benioff pledged no new layoffs for 90 days at the start of the pandemic, with that time now ending, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the company was planning to eliminate 1,000 roles out of the organization’s 54,000 total employees, while giving those workers 60 days to find other roles in the company.

Getting to $ 20 billion

Certainly getting to that $ 20 billion run rate is significant, as is the speed with which they were able to achieve that goal, but Taylor sees an evolving company, one that is different than the one it was in 2017 when Benioff set that goal.

“I would say the reason we’ve been able to accelerate is through organic [growth], innovation and acquisitions to really build out this vision of a complete customer [picture]. I think it’s more important than ever before,” he said.

He says that when you look at the way the platform has changed, it’s been about bringing multiple customer experience capabilities together under a single umbrella, and giving customers the tools they need to build these out.

“I think we as a company have constantly redefined what customer relationship management means. It’s not just opportunity management for sales teams. It’s customer service, it’s e-commerce, it’s digital marketing, it’s B2B, it’s B2C. It’s all of the above,” he said.

Enterprise – TechCrunch

Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers should implement today

August 28, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Having a promotion plan is a key component of a successful content marketing strategy.
  • There’s more to effective promotion than just sharing articles on social media. Your promotion strategy has to be tactical if you want to cut through the noise.
  • The best way to maximize the number of people that see your content is to promote and distribute it across various channels.
  • Directive’s Content Writer, Izabelle Hundrev, shares five creative content promotions strategies that SaaS marketers can use to cut through the noise in an overpopulated industry.

What’s the point of creating content if no one sees it? There isn’t one.

That’s why promoting and distributing content is equally as important as writing it. Without a solid promotional strategy, even the most original and compelling piece of content has the potential to fall flat. 

When looking at the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry specifically, space is becoming increasingly crowded. No matter what audience or niche your business serves, there’s a good chance there’s already content out there that’s covering the topics you’re trying to target. 

Software marketers must think outside-the-box if they want their content to stand out and connect with audiences.

In this article, I’ll share five simple and effective promotional strategies that are guaranteed to get more of the right eyes on your content. 

Five easy-to-implement content promotion strategies

Ultimately, the goal of content marketing is to drive traffic, generate leads, and grow revenue. 

You can spend countless hours crafting the “best”, most comprehensive resource on the web. However, if that article just sits on your site with no traffic or engagement, then it’s not really making much of an impact toward your bottom line.

To have a powerful content marketing strategy that meets your target audience, you must build out a robust promotion plan that extends across multiple channels.

Let’s get started. 

1. Social media

Social media is likely the first place your mind goes when you think of promotion.

It’s no secret that social networks are a simple way to get eyes on your content – and fast. The downside is that everybody knows this, and therefore, everyone’s already doing it. 

To make your content stand out on social, you have to get creative.

The power of multimedia

Social feeds are crowded. 

Think about how quickly you scroll through your Twitter or Facebook feed. Brands have to go the extra mile to make their posts stand out and entice the right people to stop scrolling. One of the simplest ways to do this through multimedia.

When building out a content promotion plan, strategize what graphics, GIFs, or videos could accompany your social post. 

This could be as simple as sharing a funny GIF that relates to the article or creating a video testimonial to share alongside a brand new case study. Users are much more likely to engage with your posts if you incorporate an element of entertainment or creativity to capture their attention.

Here’s an example of a graphic that incorporates a quote:

Five content promotion strategies Saas marketers: social media

Source: Gong

This post is eye-catching and features a quote to further pique the viewers’ interest. It also ties in a real person’s photo, showing a personal touch.

In a study done by Buzzsumo, the data shows Facebook posts with images get 2.3x more engagement. This isn’t just unique to Facebook either. According to Brandwatch, tweets with images receive 18% more click-throughs and 89% more likes.

As a reader, you’re naturally more inclined to stop scrolling and pay attention if there’s a compelling piece of multimedia to draw you in.

“One more time for the people in the back”

There’s no reason why you can’t share content on social media more than once, as long as it’s done correctly. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when re-distributing old content is to offer variety. Switch up the copy each time you re-post. One easy way to do this is by highlighting different pieces of the article in your posts. 

For example, let’s say the first time you shared the article you included a quote from the piece in the social copy. Next time you share it, include a different quote, or maybe a compelling statistic or graphic instead. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different platforms either. If you primarily share content on Twitter and LinkedIn, try sharing the same piece of content on Facebook or Instagram with different visuals. 

I’m harping a lot on variety here, but there’s a fine line between resharing content with added value, and just resharing for the sake of it. You don’t want your social media feeds to be filled with stale, recycled material. Nowadays, social media users can easily spot a brand account that’s lazy with their posts.

The primary focus of your social media accounts should be on highlighting new content pieces. However, it’s generally OK to sprinkle a few old ones into the mix as long as there’s something new and compelling being offered to the viewer. 

It takes a village to find the essential balance 

While we don’t know for sure what factors trigger different social media posts to appear on users’ feeds, we do know that engagement helps. This means every like, share, and comment can help to boost a post’s reach and impressions.  

There’s no guarantee that other users will engage with your posts, but you can encourage your coworkers and other internal employees to help the posts’ awareness. 

After all, your fellow employees are an extension of your brand. Each of them has their own unique social network of followers that could benefit from seeing your content.

You don’t want this to feel like just another work-related task. It can be easy to forget that not everyone is a naturally-gifted copywriter that feels confident sharing and posting. Aim to make it simple for others in your organization to get active on social media. 

For example, when you’re gearing up for a big promotional launch, create a cheat sheet of pre-written social copy and send over several variations that fit different channels. 

People have the option to use the copy you wrote or they can lean on it for inspiration. Doing small things like this can help to lessen some of the friction that comes along with asking others to engage with your posts.

2. Email marketing

Email newsletters are a popular marketing tactic due to their many benefits and use cases. Content Marketing Institute reports that 70% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content and 40% cite newsletters as critical to marketing success. 

It’s clear there’s inherent value in using email as a channel for content promotion. The people on your subscriber list are some of your most loyal brand advocates. Think about it — they “opted into receiving your emails. This makes your subscribers some of the best people to share your content with.

Personalization comes first

Your newsletter isn’t going to be very engaging if it’s just a roundup of the last five articles you’ve published. 

A newsletter that’s been hastily thrown together is a guaranteed one-way ticket to the unsubscribe button. When sharing content with your email subscribers, make the experience feel special and curated. Think carefully about what types of content matter most to your email list.

In the example below, take note of how the tone is really conversational and makes the reader feel like it’s a personal email from a friend or colleague, rather than a newsletter.

Five content promotion strategies Saas marketers: Personalized emailsIf you were a search marketing company and you know one-third of your audience cares about PPC, another one-third care about SEO, and one-third care about both – make sure you’re not sending the whole group PPC articles all the time. You’ll lose SEO subscribers.  

Be strategic here.

To take things a step further, segment your email list by more specific criteria. This could include location, age, or even by type of position (executive, manager, or individual contributor). Doing so allows you to serve your content to a more targeted subset of your audience. 

Give the people what they want

Email marketing metrics matter, but those numbers don’t always paint a full picture. 

To better understand how your subscribers feel about your newsletter content, ask for feedback.

You can do this by sending out a survey or investing in a widget that builds feedback into the newsletter interface. Some popular feedback platforms worth checking out include Mopinion and Usabilla.

Whichever you choose, try to make it as simple as possible for your subscribers to share how they feel about the content you’re sending to them. They signed up to receive valuable content and relevant promo offers, not constant surveys.

Your subscribers opted in to receive your emails for a reason, so make it worth their time. The more unique, meaningful, and concise your newsletter is the more traffic that gets directed back to your website and content. 

3. Online communities

There are a variety of online communities that center around creating and sharing content in a specific niche. 

The idea here is to be an active member of a community that’s relevant to your audience. For example, if your SaaS business sells marketing automation software, then you should aim to join communities that focus on related marketing disciplines such as email marketing or demand generation.

Five content promotion strategies Saas marketers: Online communities

Joining an online community allows you to directly interact with your audience while sharing your unique and relevant content with them. 

This can be tricky because it takes time to build authority among members of these communities. You don’t want to come across as overly promotional from the get-go. Instead, always make sure that your interactions are genuine and provide something of value. 

Don’t throw out links to your articles without context. Aim to make every interaction meaningful.

Here are a few suggestions for where to start:

Facebook groups

Although it may have begun as a platform solely for personal interactions, Facebook has grown to be a popular online community for professionals, too. There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook groups dedicated to different industries and niches. 

These groups frequently have thousands of members, making them a practical channel for content promotion. One example is the SaaS Revolutionaries group, which currently has 4000+ members. This group, run by SaaStock, is specifically geared towards founders, executives, and investors in the software space. 

Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers: Facebook groups
Source: Facebook


GrowthHackers is an online community dedicated to sharing content and information related to growth hacking, user acquisition, marketing, and more. 

Articles can be posted and shared by anyone to the GrowthHackers blog. Members of the community will then upvote or downvote the content based on whether they like it or not. The pieces with the most upvotes are displayed prominently at the top of the homepage. 

This makes GrowthHackers a powerful platform for getting more eyes on your content and highlighting your brand’s industry expertise.

Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers: GrowthHackers platform

Source: GrowthHackers


Quora is a question-and-answer website where users will go to ask and answer questions related to a variety of topics. 

As a promotion channel, Quora can be especially useful because it allows you to answer questions that are directly related to your content. 

This way, you build brand credibility, brand awareness, and are able to help out potential customers.

4. Paid advertising

While it’s true that you don’t need a massive budget to effectively promote your content, paying for content promotion does have its benefits. 

When promoting your content organically, you share a post and cross your fingers that it reaches your target audience. Through paid ads, you can pretty much guarantee it. 

Many of the big social media networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have paid advertising offerings that come with advanced targeting features such as remarketing or lookalike audiences

These features make it easy for advertisers to deliver content to people who are most likely to click and read on it. This is especially beneficial when you’re promoting content with the purpose of generating leads, such as an e-book or whitepaper.

When combined with an organic promotional strategy, paid ads can be a big added driver of traffic and clicks.

5. Measure, measure, measure

Your content promotion strategy is only as powerful as the results it generates. 

That’s why continuously tracking the performance of your efforts is critical to making it worth your time.

When evaluating your promotional channels, here are some examples of key performance indicators (KPIs) you may want to take into account:

  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Engagement
  • Conversion rate
  • Pageviews

These metrics are typically used because they’re a direct reflection of how users are interacting and receiving your posts. 

Yes, a big part of promotion is about getting views, but it’s also about converting these views into something more valuable: clicks and leads.

It’s important to note that this list isn’t exhaustive. The KPIs you assign to your promotion strategy will be a unique reflection of your business goals, so it’s possible that your list ends up looking a bit different. 

The main takeaway here is you have to keep a close eye on performance across channels. You need to have a clear understanding of these metrics and how they relate to your overarching marketing goals. Otherwise, you can easily get lost in vanity metrics that don’t correlate to real business results. 

Concluding thoughts

An article isn’t done just because you hit the “publish” button. If you want your content to generate meaningful results, you must put in the effort to make it discoverable. 

Next time you find yourself stuck on creating the right promotion plan, revisit these strategies for inspiration. 

Izabelle Hundrev is a Chicago-based content writer at Directive. At Directive, Izabelle combines her sales hustle mentality and creative writing expertise to cover a wide variety of SaaS marketing topics and support long-term marketing strategy. Outside of work, Izabelle is passionate about all things pop culture, food, and travel.

The post Five content promotion strategies SaaS marketers should implement today appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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App store optimization success: Top five KPIs you must measure

August 28, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Mobile applications have become essential for human life, It has managed to reach every corner of the world, it is used for all kinds of things.
  • There are more than two million mobile apps available in app stores but all of them are not equally successful.
  • App Store Optimization (ASO) is one of the techniques that app owners and developers used to optimize their mobile for keywords.
  • After that, you need to measure campaign success by monitoring some of the KPI.
  • Today we will discuss what KPI you should keep monitor to measure the success of your app optimization campaign.

Across two major app marketplaces, there are already more than two million mobile apps and still counting. Mobile apps have made inroads across all nooks and corners of our daily lives and enterprise operations. But despite all these, not all mobile apps are equally successful, and there is a multitude of apps that struggle to survive as businesses. Perhaps, App Store Optimization (ASO) is something that app creators must consider.

Naturally, app publishers and marketers worldwide consider it extremely important to monitor several metrics concerning user engagement, user retention, and business conversion. Here we will explain the five leading metrics that you need to track for measuring the success of your app in app stores.

1. Discoverability in App Stores

The most important thing for any app to get traction in app marketplaces is to become easily discoverable and visible to the target audience. Whether coming into search results or getting featured or hitting top charts, in one way or the other, your app needs to be discoverable and visible to the audience. This is also the principal objective of App Store Optimization (ASO).

Some metrics to keep track of discoverability of the app include the following.

Keywords ranking

Where in the search result, your app appears against a target keyword refers to your search ranking.

Top charts ranking

The ranking of your app in various top charts by categories or by parameters such as Free, Premium, and others.

Category ranking

Where your app in the respective category ranks refers to the category ranking.


Whether the app is listed among the top apps featured by the App Store or Play Store.

All these metrics that can easily be tracked can reveal your app’s discoverability in the app marketplaces.

2. Active users

This is one of the most important metrics to measure the traction and engagement of a mobile app. The number of active users for a mobile app directly shows the audience engagement and how it evolves. When this metric shows growth, that means the app is getting more traction. The active user metrics can further be categorized into four metrics as per audience engagement in different time spans.

Daily Active Users (DAU)

This metric refers to the number of users using the app on a particular day.

Average Daily Active Users (ADAU)

The number of users using the app in a single month is divided by the number of days in a month.

Weekly Active Users (WAU)

The number of users using the app in a single week.

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

The number of users using the app in a particular month.

3. Lifetime Value (LTV)

Whether calculated on a monthly, daily, or weekly basis, the number of users hardly gives an idea of the business conversion or the kind of revenue they generate for the app. The Lifetime Value or LTV is the metric that helps measure the gross revenue generated by a user over a period of time. This metric is more closely related to the bottom line of an app and hence is very important.

Though you can easily track user session time on a weekly, daily, or monthly basis and track their CTR and impressions, measuring the business conversion remains difficult. This is where this metric comes as handy as it allows evaluating the total sum outcome of the entire app marketing efforts.

4. User acquisition cost

Another important metric closely related to the bottom line and revenue is the user acquisition cost. Your total marketing budget spent on user acquisition can be divided by the total number of users to get an idea of the cost of acquisition. The metric further can be divided on a monthly and yearly basis and can be seen whether the cost of acquisition is growing or decreasing.

5. Conversion rate

Your app is easily visible and discoverable as per the various visibility metrics we have discussed. Now the question is, does this visibility convert into app downloads. After discovering your app downloads the app, how many of the visitors is a crucial metric to measure the success of your App Store Optimization and app marketing?

Some of the key methods to boost App Store Optimization and conversion include using great app title, engaging app description powered by screenshots, images and video content, app reviews, and app ratings.

App market conversion can be tracked through the important measurement metric called Click-through rate (CTR). The proportion of people who, after landing on your app marketplace snippet clicks to go into the product page, is expressed in percentage, and it is called the conversion rate. It is an unmistakable part of the conversion funnel that app marketers need to monitor on a regular basis.

To improve the conversion rate, fortunately, you have an array of sophisticated A/B testing tools that helps you to evaluate the impact of various aspects of your app listing and accordingly fees helpful suggestions to improve conversion rate.


While these metrics are already well known and are regularly tracked by the app marketers around the world, you need to make sure to use a good analytics engine to track your audience engagement and business conversion more accurately.

Juned Ghanchi is Co-founder of IndianAppDevelopers, a mobile app development company builds iOS and Android mobile apps for startups to big brands. Juned has over a decade of experience across Software consulting, App solutions, and App development.

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