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Why SaaS Companies Are Launching Their Own Media Operations | Vol 77

Free Content

Welcome to Volume 77

An empire isn’t built in a day. 

It can take months or even years, depending on the available resources. 

The same applies to building a thriving career or business. 

Whatever stage you are in your career or business, you should take great pride and comfort in the fact that you are building something great.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it every day. Feelings aren’t always a true mirror of our progress. What matters most is that you stay true to the process, take extreme ownership of your progress, dig the work, and always be learning and doing better. 

That’s how brands like HubSpot, Shopify, and other SaaS leaders grew to success. 

Before we dive into today’s stories, here’s a peek at what’s to come in this piece:  

  • HubSpot Rolls Out Accelerator Program For Creators
  • What’s On Hootsuite’s Content Repurposing Menu?
  • Why SaaS Companies Are Launching Their Own Media Operations

HubSpot Rolls Out Accelerator Program For Creators

The creator economy is booming, no doubt. 

Valued at $20B, the industry has over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders. 

43% of creators make at least $50k in annual income or higher from their content. These individuals who started out as regular internet consumers now earn $$$ creating engaging content, landing niche brand partnerships, and more.

With the market estimated to be worth $104.2B by the end of 2022, it’s no wonder HubSpot is making its way into the industry. 

HubSpot announced the launch of its creator program, Hubspot Creators. The program is geared toward empowering emerging creators with capital and includes a platform to produce podcasts and host them on the HubSpot website.

Qualified creators get the opportunity to receive financial and educational support to grow their audience and create a great listening experience for visitors and subscribers.

While this is a great move that benefits emerging creators with increased organic reach and a chance to collaborate with one of the biggest names in the industry, HubSpot has more going on here.

The podcast industry has gained more influence since the pandemic. In 2020, 332.2 million internet users listened to podcasts, and this number grew to 383.7 million users in 2021, according to Statista

Number of podcast listeners worldwide 2020 vs 2021

As podcast consumption is on the rise, many marketers are investing $$$ on advertising. The 2020 super listeners survey found that advertising on a podcast is the best way a brand can reach prospects. 54% of these listeners agreed that hearing a podcast ad makes them more likely to buy a product. 

With the evident growth in the industry, HubSpot is one of many industry giants building their own audio platform. 

HubSpot’s investment is a great way for the company to take advantage of the rise in podcast consumption and adoption as they give emerging creators a platform to build and host their podcasts. 

HubSpot has also made great investments in its media arm. 

For example, HubSpot acquired The Hustle, earning a combination of direct, organic, social, and referral traffic. The acquisition resulted in HubSpot gaining a free newsletter with 1.5M newsletter subscribers, over 11K members in various niche Facebook groups, a subscription newsletter called ‘The Trend,’ and a podcast called ‘My First Million.’

The increased organic reach makes HubSpot better positioned to help these emerging creators produce more valuable content and get their content in front of more eyes. 

Like Meta, HubSpot is following the money trail. The HubSpot Creators’ launch is just the beginning for the CRM company. Over time, the accelerator will grow beyond podcasts to also include emerging newsletters and YouTube creators. 

The move also increases their chances of building more credibility in the media space with exclusive content from new voices launching on their website. That’s got to be exciting—HubSpot building a podcast library to add to its already robust content library. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • HubSpot announced the launch of its creator program to empower emerging creators with capital and a platform to produce podcasts and host them on the company website.
  • The podcast industry has gained more influence since the pandemic. In 2020, 332.2 million internet users listened to podcasts, and this number grew to 383.7 million users in 2021, according to Statista.
  • The move also increases HubSpot’s chances of building more credibility in the media space, with exclusive content from new voices launching on their website.

What’s On Hootsuite’s Content Repurposing Menu?

Creating content from scratch every time to engage your audience can be tough and time-consuming. You’re more inspired to write on some days, and on other days, you might struggle to come up with anything interesting. 

No matter how in love you are with content creation or how much you want your audience to always get content straight from the oven, there are other activities that require your team’s attention and company resources to drive business growth. 

Instead of creating new content, you should focus on repurposing existing content. Give your existing content pieces a facelift and remix them into different formats. 

Hootsuite is one brand that has embraced and exemplified the “create once, distribute forever” mantra in the B2B industry. 

The billion-dollar social media scheduling company remixes existing content into different formats that fit the distribution channels they leverage.

They designed a whole content repurposing menu, leveraging their social reach to increase their organic reach:

breakdown of Hootsuite's distribution channels

Repurposing their content not only saves Hootsuite time but it also makes their content easier to scale on different platforms. That means Hootsuite’s audience can consume their content on a channel they prefer, in an appropriate content format.

Nailing content-market fit is critical if you want to succeed in your marketing efforts. 

Content-market fit means remixing an existing piece of content into a format that suits a specific channel and distributing it on that channel.

For example, Hootsuite originally published this Instagram hashtags guide in 2016:

Hootsuite instagram hashtag guide 2016

The asset generated less than 3K organic visits when it was first published, and even after four years, the traffic was less than 10K. However, since the content was updated in 2021, the piece now generates 232K organic visits every month.

This is what the asset looks like now:

Instagram hashtag guide revamped

And Hootsuite didn’t stop after this increase in traffic. After the update, Hootsuite repurposed the long-form asset into this 6-minute video for YouTube:

Hootsuite instagram hashtag strategy youtube

The video performed really well, generating up to 21K views in less than a year.

A primary reason this video performed so well is because Hootsuite didn’t just create some random video without any strategy. They used these long-tail keywords to break up the YouTube video into chapters:

  • Why use hashtags?
  • How do hashtags work?
  • How do you tell if your hashtag is working?
  • How many hashtags should you use?
  • How do you find good hashtags to use?
  • Different categories of hashtags
  • How do you hide your hashtags?
  • What happens if you use a banned hashtag?

A keyword like “How do hashtags work?” has 800 people searching for answers every month, and Hootsuite’s guide shows up first every time to offer direction:

SERP for how do hashtags work

To increase the visibility and organic reach of the video, Hootsuite also embedded the YouTube video in the blog post and made the table of contents more robust:

Hootsuite original blog post vs updated post

They also repurposed into a carousel on Instagram, generating more than 1K reactions:

Hootsuite instagram carousel

Notice how these repurposed content were short, digestible, and perfect for the channel used. That’s why people engage with them and share them with others. 

You can also embrace repurposing long-form assets into snackable content. Turn your statistics report into a LinkedIn deck or Instagram carousel. Turn webinars into bite-sized videos for YouTube. Turn guides into interactive Instagram reels.

Turning short-form posts to longer-form assets is also an option. You can turn Twitter threads into a long-form blog post. Turn internal or customer data into case studies. 

There’s no end to the remix. Content isn’t created to live once and die out of neglect. It’s meant to be repurposed and distributed over and over again. That’s how you save time to reinvest in other equally important tasks.

I shared other ways Hootsuite repurposes content with lots of examples in this article. You can learn all about these methods and the opportunity Hootsuite missed in this article

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Hootsuite is one brand that has embraced and exemplified the “create once, distribute forever” mantra in the B2B industry, with its content repurposing menu.
  • Repurposing content not only saves Hootsuite time but it also makes their content easier to scale on different platforms. Hootsuite’s audience can consume their content on a channel they prefer, in an appropriate format.
  • You can also embrace repurposing long-form assets into snackable content, or repurposing short-form content into long-form assets.

Why SaaS Companies Are Launching Their Own Media Operations

Last week, I stumbled upon an exciting article Ron Miller wrote. It was his analysis of the reason SaaS companies are launching their own media operations.

There’s been tons of acquisitions and new releases in the SaaS industry that indicates a massive shift from regular blog content creation to a richer content mix. 

SaaS leaders are building a full-blown media arm that combines written blogs, videos, and podcasts all in one place. 

For example, Salesforce launched Salesforce+, a new streaming platform for live experiences and original content series. 

Salesforce Plus streaming platform

They are working hard to become the Netflix of the B2B industry. The goal is to attract new customers and keep existing ones engaged.

The platform had generated over 79K backlinks, with an organic traffic value of $13K. That’s pretty great for something that launched less than one year ago. 

Mailchimp also launched Bloom Season, its digital magazine to empower black-owned small businesses in specific industries, with practical tips from successful black entrepreneurs to reshape how these businesses think of success.

Mailchimp Bloom Season announcement tweet from Ben Chestnut

Mailchimp avoids fluffy content and focuses on creating thought leadership pieces on business, overall wellbeing, and other fun areas small businesses will find valuable.

A topic like burnout, for instance, has 433K people searching for related content every month. 

SERP for burnout

Having an entrepreneur who can relate to this pain and share first-hand experience is a great way to help their readers connect with the story, find the help they need, and share it with their network.

HubSpot, as I mentioned before, acquired The Hustle for a similar purpose. And Shopify is launching its own media operations, Shopify Studios

Notice how each of these brands focuses on creating rich, interactive business content for their audiences. The goal is to keep their audiences engaged and entertained, and attract more people who’ll be interested in such content. 

B2B content doesn’t have to be boring and educational. It can be fun and intuitive. These companies prove that, and we’re watching closely to see the great things they’ll achieve in the months to come. 

If you want to dive deeper into Ron’s version, you can find it here

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • SaaS leaders are building a full-blown media arm that combines written blogs, videos, and podcasts all in one place. 
  • Salesforce launched Salesforce+, a new streaming platform for live experiences and original content series, which has generated over 79K backlinks and $13K traffic value in less than a year. 
  • These SaaS companies focus on creating engaging business-focused content that entertains, educates, and engages the reader all the way. A great strategy to keep people coming back for more.

OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK: 

Snowflake is gearing up to acquire Streamlit, a tool that makes it easier for data scientists and analysts to build and share machine-learning apps.

TikTok collaborates with Giphy on a new video creation tool to make it easier for creators to access entertainment content and participate in trends.

Otter.ai is rolling out a new set of meeting features that summarizes a meeting you missed so you don’t have to listen to the whole recording or read an entire transcript.

 

BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:

Who read Ross’ hot take on LinkedIn about the Oscars? 

Lol. In case you missed it, here you go

Ross Simmonds' tweet about The Oscars

I laughed hard when I read this because I was wondering what a slap could possibly teach us about marketing. Maybe a lesson on going viral or viral marketing?

But I did learn an interesting lesson from the incident—the events that took place after. Both parties owned their part and moved to make amends, first with a public apology. 

Owning your part in anything you do is a critical part of succeeding. At Foundation, we call this trait “extreme ownership.” 

Extreme ownership is beyond knowing what you are responsible for. It also involves knowing how your actions affect your team, the company, and the clients you serve. 

Having this full picture doesn’t mean you won’t slip sometimes. It means you are conscious and committed to giving and doing your very best at all times to support the team, drive the company’s mission, and offer clients the best quality of service. 

And if you do fail, you’re willing to own the mistake, apologize, learn what you did wrong, and take steps to do better and be better. This single trait can set you apart from the rest of the crowd and make you successful in any area of your life. 

 

TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:

20 best podcast episodes to ramp up your marketing by FoundationIncCo

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED SOME OF OUR GREATEST HITS:

 

WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS  WEEK 🎧:

Smooth n Easy by Taylor Perry

 


 

These round-ups are brought to you by me, Jessica O., every week !

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