Howie Liu, co-founder, and CEO of the cloud software company Airtable has a knack for disruptive innovation.
In February 2010, Liu founded a CRM software company called Etacts that raised $700,000 in angel funding from a range of investors, including actor Ashton Kutcher. In less than a year, Salesforce acquired Etacts to integrate the promising technology into its own applications.
While working at Salesforce as a product manager, Liu saw an opportunity to redefine spreadsheets beyond numerical analysis.
Obsessed with the idea, Liu quit his job after a year and launched Airtable with two partners, Andrew Ofstad and Emmett Nicholas. This powerful solution empowers non-techies to build simple and intuitive apps faster, helping to boost team productivity and company growth.
Over the years, the cloud software company has become an industry heavyweight:
- 500+ employees
- $65.0M revenue in 2021, with 94.03% YoY growth
- A $5.77B valuation, with a fresh $270 million in Series E funding
- 200K organizations as customers, including industry giants like Netflix, Forbes, IBM, HBO, Expedia, and Medium
Airtable achieved all this in less than ten years! Of course, the company didn’t achieve success overnight. Instead, it took a series of deliberate, consistent small steps that eventually caused an industry-wide explosion.
This article is a deep dive into Airtable’s marketing strategy playbook. Beyond building a great product, Airtable’s content marketing strategy has played a significant role in establishing the brand’s success—a step-by-step process any brand can apply. We will explore how Airtable used search, outreach, and content to build a $5.77 billion B2B empire.
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How Airtable Uses Search Intent to Dominate SERPs
Every month, an estimated 243K people visit Airtable.com via organic search. That’s a lot of people. One of the major attraction spots on Airtable’s website is the templates landing page:
Airtable recognized that templates are highly valued, especially in the B2B world, so they used all kinds of templates in their marketing strategy.
Ranking for over 16.4K organic keywords, the template landing page attracts over 9500 visitors from organic search every month, with an organic traffic value of $42.4K. That means that if any brand wants to get similar results right now, the brand should have a marketing budget of at least $42,400. Woah!
The most impressive part of this strategy is the value Airtable’s template library offers. The landing page showcases a variety of use cases that show what different industries can achieve with the software. For instance, a UX researcher, designer, or product manager can use Airtable at each stage of the product life cycle:
What makes this strategy so successful is Airtable’s understanding of search intent. Search intent plays a significant role in generating search traffic. It is the reason why people type queries into search engines.
There are four types of search intent:
- Informational: Looking to learn more information (e.g., “What is Airtable?”)
- Commercial investigational: Trying to compare assets (e.g., “Airtable vs. Notion”)
- Navigational: Looking to get somewhere specific (e.g., “Personal CRM Template”)
- Transactional: Looking for an asset to buy, use, or download (e.g., “Airtable Pricing”)
You can picture a handful of keyword variations that can be used by people looking for solutions related to UX or other types of templates when you think about it from this lens:
Airtable’s template landing page has a transactional intent that attracts users looking to discover and use any of Airtable’s templates. You can do a quick Google search of more than 41K different keywords that include the word “template,” and there’ll be one from Airtable tailor-made for you.
Another thing Airtable does right is creating niche landing pages.
A niche landing page addresses the needs of a specific customer segment. Salesforce adopts this strategy. The brand serves many different industries, and the navigational menu on Salesforce’s website shows these multiple audiences.
Likewise, Airtable serves different teams within an organization. To attract and engage these teams, Airtable creates individual landing pages, blog content, and solutions tailored to their needs:
These landing pages let Airtable speak directly to customers, offering solutions that address their problems. Take the marketing niche, for instance:
Airtable shows, using product screenshots, how marketers can use the software to create workflows and detailed reports. But they don’t stop there.
The cloud software company also creates top-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel, and bottom-of-the-funnel content that satisfies search intent:
These content pieces show (not tell) prospects why Airtable is an excellent choice for their brand. The brand’s choice to feature a case study, demo, use case, and white paper on the landing page is excellent. Seeing the product in action, with real metrics and results, can inspire trust in prospects.
The team also follows up with a FAQ section:
Your FAQ section is one of the most critical touchpoints in a conversion funnel. That’s where a visitor learns specific details of your product or service. When you do it right, you can offer clarity to visitors, boost conversions and sales.
Airtable recognizes the value of FAQs. They create one that answers primary questions visitors might have, further driving prospects down the sales funnel. To cover additional questions, they created a section where visitors can easily reach out to the sales team or the help center:
The help center has a variety of content that helps visitors learn more about the product as well as specific content to help product users:
Of course, Airtable replicates this strategy across the other industry landing pages.
If you serve multiple customer segments, you should design a content strategy and a variety of landing pages that addresses each one of their unique needs. Sure, it can be a long, frustrating process. However, you’ll stand a better chance at attracting, engaging, and connecting better with the different audience segments.
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