As a marketer living in a world still shaken by the global pandemic, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Juggling Zoom calls, launching campaigns, managing already-tight budgets...adding to your tech stack and building strategies that can withstand ongoing uncertainty feels more like a circus act than real life. But it’s all gotta be done, right?
But what if it didn’t? What if, instead of doing it all, you started doing it small? As in, making minor adjustments to how you spend your time and money to get rid of waste and place your focus — and your dollars — on what really matters.
That, in a nutshell, is Essentialism. It’s also the title of a recent First Page Book Club selection, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. McKeown digs into our persistent need to say yes and do it all, while pointing out how much more productive and fulfilled (and successful) we’d be if we drilled down to what’s really important.
With nearly half of CMOs saying they slashed mid-year budgets in 2020 due to COVID-19, and anticipating 5–15 percent reductions in 2021, it’s no wonder we’re all looking at how to do more with less. But “less is more” isn’t exactly accurate. Less will always be, well…less. McKeown proposes a slightly different way of thinking: “Less, but better.”
So, how can you, as a marketer in the fintech and SaaS industries, spend less time and less money, but get better results? The secret is in narrowing your focus and concentrating your energy on the investment that will bring you the biggest return. At First Page, we believe that investment is inbound marketing, specifically, content and SEO. To help get you started on your journey to Essentialism, we’ve got some tips on where you can do less…and where you can do better.
Marketing Essentials for Doing Less
When we advise you to do less, we don’t necessarily mean skipping meetings and missing deadlines so you can Netflix and chill (and please don’t tell your supervisors you heard it here). We mean shifting your energy to do what’s most important and do it successfully. In Essentialism, McKeown offers a simple diagram that left us shook:
Most of us devote our time, resources, and energy to myriad tasks throughout the day, making minimal progress on each. But if we expend the same amount of energy on just the most important task, we can accomplish something that makes a genuine impact. But to change our ingrained way of thinking and doing, we have to start dropping the deadweight. Here’s how:
Less Passive Time
We’ve all sat in a meeting, watching the clock tick, and thought to ourselves, “This could have been an email” (insert obligatory mittened Bernie Sanders meme here). In 2021, meetings are key to keeping remote teams connected, but when you find your team is spending more time talking than actually doing, there’s a problem. Try cutting back to essential meetings only, and use a chat app like Slack for quick communications. Create an agenda for your meetings and stick to them, and always plan for a hard stop.
This is a tough pill to swallow for SaaS and Fintech companies, but hear us out. With the overwhelming volume of new tech tools constantly flooding the market, it’s tempting to regularly add a few more to your stack. But how many of them are you using daily to their full capability? For many of us, a majority of our tech tools go unused or underused, collecting metaphorical dust on our desktop. Alternately, we spend our time and money trying to force them to be a good fit when we’d be better served cutting them loose. The trick here is to find tools that are multipurpose hubs, so you aren’t wasting time going back and forth between apps, digging for information, or struggling to get a clear picture of your marketing strategy and ROI (this is also why we love and recommend HubSpot).
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no prize for wearing the most hats (and if there was, it would just be more hats). This goes for your professional role, as well as your overall marketing strategy. You can’t successfully perform the jobs of 10 employees, nor can your brand be all things to all people. Delegate tasks that aren’t in your wheelhouse to free up more time to do what you’re an expert in. Then, evaluate your marketing channels to find out what’s working, and eliminate what’s not. And just to be clear, we’re not advocating that you stop testing or trying new tactics; rather, when budgets are tight, you focus on what’s tried and true and leave the razzle-dazzle for another time.
Essentials for Better Growth Marketing
So, now that you know where you can do less, you need to know where you can do better. At First Page, we are passionate and outspoken evangelists for inbound marketing and using its key components to achieve growth. While we have experts across the entire spectrum of inbound marketing, we focus first on the channels that net the biggest impact, which for us, are SEO and content. Here’s how:
SEO Strategies for SaaS and Fintech
Content Clusters: “Cluster” is more than a word to describe our collective 2020 (though it’s not inaccurate); it’s a way to group your content to signal to search engines that you are an expert. Clusters are built around pillar pages for a product or service line. Other, more narrowly focused pages become part of the cluster through interlinking. The higher the number of internal links, the higher your placement in SERPs, and the more likely your brand is to be found.
SEO Spend: When budgets are tight, you want to save wherever you can. But cutting back on SEO usually isn’t the right choice. How much budget you should allocate to SEO is unique to every brand and every industry, but there are some steps you can take now to make sure your spend is on-target to get you the results you need, like auditing your existing SEO and creating achievable goals.
Organic Traffic for SaaS: Getting visitors to your website is a lot more complex than it used to be, but with the right SEO tactics in place, it can be done. Adjustments to your technical SEO can improve your ranking, while content-based SEO can ensure you’re delivering the right message to the right audience. Learn how to optimize your website, build your brand’s digital presence, and get in tune with users’ search intent to grow your organic traffic.
Content Marketing Strategies for SaaS and Fintech
Know So You Can Grow: Developing a content marketing strategy for your brand takes a lot of work, but you can make it work for you when you hone in on the right metrics. Understanding what kind of content gets you pageviews, conversions, and engagement will help you narrow your focus and put out content that delivers.
Read Up on Inbound: 53 percent of marketers say that inbound marketing provides higher ROI than outbound. But if you haven’t yet dived into the world of buyer’s journeys, personas, and funnels, it can be a daunting prospect. However, inbound can be a cost-effective way to build your brand, establish relationships with customers, and bring new ones into the fold. We follow the HubSpot model for content marketing, and we can say from first-hand experience: it works.
Get Creative: Content marketing is a lot of work, but it doesn’t always feel like it because it’s actually fun. Content offers you a space to play, using your brand’s voice to create conversations with your customers. You can toy with video, ephemeral content, social strategy, and more to find how to best communicate with your audience in a way that grows connections, but also grows conversions.
So there you have it: the essentials of doing less…but better. As McKeown says in Essentialism, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” The same applies to marketing. If you don’t decide what’s important, someone else will do it for you. If you think content and SEO are on your brand’s “essentials” list, our experts can help you design a strategy that fits your budget and delivers results. Contact us today to get started!