Welcome to volume 39!
Heads up to all you astrology followers, tomorrow is a new moon! Making it the perfect time to reflect on past goals and set new ones for the upcoming moon cycle 🌕 🌘 🌑 🌒 .
It also means it was the perfect time for Stripe to host their Sessions keynote presentation to share all their upcoming projects and celebrate the launch of others.
Before we get into that, here’s a peek at what’s to come:
- Stripe’s keynote social strategy
- Vertical acquisitions as a way to enter new markets
- Battle for the cloud call services and the power of an SEO moat
Stripe’s Stripped-Down Keynote Session
On June 16, Stripe hosted their Stripe Sessions Keynote, but what I found most interesting had nothing to do with their presentation.
What caught my attention was the Twitter thread they ran alongside the keynote – I’ve captured the highlights in the GIF below.
As you can see, Stripe enlisted their employees to post updates throughout the presentation by replying to the Twitter thread.
How did they manage to keep a clean thread? I’m not sure – my best guess is a very committed social media manager.
Why did they choose to feature their employees? I’m certain it has to do with one of the three benefits I’ll dive into below.
1. It provides easy access to product experts.
Many of the employees posting an update are Product Managers at Stripe, which means they are (likely) leading the correlating projects and will be the best resource for answering questions and fielding discussions.
This will create a frictionless path for audience members to gain answers and connect with the team members leading the charge for a product they are most excited about. It also creates a frictionless path for the social media team, who no longer need to monitor a thread and source the insights before responding.
Although that is the ideal setup, Stripe’s employees didn’t put enough skin into the game. They left many comments unaddressed, which is a misstep in fostering a strong sense of community and engaging their audience members in a personal way.
2. It removes the brand barrier in building trust.
Following the sentiment of personal bonding between the audience and the company, using and featuring employees generates a stronger level of trust.
It peels back a layer of mystery, and the person behind the curtain is revealed. It allows your audience to gain a sense of humanity behind the company; this human aspect is especially crucial for industries that deal with sensitive information such as fintech software.
3. It highlights the company culture.
Seeing employees engaging with content shows they are excited and interested in what they do and want to be attached to the company.
Additionally, highlighting different teammates is a great way to give prospective employees exposure to those working in roles they’re interested in applying for. This allows for prospects to leverage the new connection and network properly.
Highlighting company culture and revealing employees for networking opportunities may seem like a stretch. I mean, this isn’t LinkedIn, but Stripe does have over 1,700 job openings to be filled… 🤷.
(Oh, and by the way, Foundation has nine job openings if you’re interested or know someone looking for a 100% remote role in content marketing.)
There are plenty more takeaways from this social strategy, but those are stories for another time.
- Twitter threads are a great way to engage with your audience during live streams.
- Posting live updates encourages users to tune in as a product of interest is brought up.
- Featuring employees online highlights company culture, generates trust, and removes friction in genuine engagement.
Vertical Acquisitions for Expanding Markets
ServiceTitan, the self-proclaimed “leading all-in-one software for commercial and residential” contracting services, has secured $200M in Series G funding. This funding comes on top of their $9.5B valuation, with reported revenue of $250M in 2020—double compared to 2019.
There are two leading reasons for this jump…
1. Increased Demand
Demand increased greatly in 2020 as homeowners finally got around to the fixes that have been on their to-do list for ages and contractors were signing up for this software.
2. More Service Offerings
ServiceTitan expanded its service to allow for a broader range of contractors to sign up for their platform.
Let’s focus on the second reason for revenue growth: expanding service offerings.
ServiceTitan didn’t expand alone, their niche is home improvement and commercial services, but you can see they are able to support the landscaping industry.
We’re focusing on the “Landscape Industry” because it’s about to get a whole lot better through the acquisition of Aspire.
This vertical acquisition is a great way to grow the business without having to invest heavily in R&D—then beat out existing competitors. If you can beat ‘em, join (buy) ‘em.
The partnership between Aspire and ServiceTitan is a match made in heaven as Aspire has been excelling as a commercial landscaping software company. It only makes sense for ServiceTitan to acquire a competitor and use their expertise to expand vertically with ease.
We can expect to see more from ServiceTitan soon as they plan to reinvest in R&D, organic growth, growth through acquisitions, and growing their team.
- During a peak in business, it is beneficial to grow to expand revenue streams.
- Vertical acquisitions take away the pain of entering new industries or industry niches.
- Acquiring a competitor from an industry niche you are looking to enter will ease the entrances and establish your presence as a qualified player.
Aircall Calls on SEO
Aircall, a cloud-based phone system, has become the 16th French unicorn company after raising $120M in Series D funding. So that’s pretty cool, but it’s not quite as interesting as their SEO excellence and SERP mastery.
Let’s jump into how Aircall has leveraged SEO to dominate its competition.
Beyond the sheer size difference between Aircall and its two competitors, Aircall has established a diverse set of pages that capture the bulk of its traffic.
Their homepage, which ranks for the top keyword “aircall” brings in 4K visits a month in the US alone, this is 85% of the estimated US search volume for their branded keyword.
The power of this branded keyword highlights the established prowess Aircall has generated in the VOIP industry.
More to the SEO moat – they’ve created a bank of informational blog pages that help to maintain their SERP presence.
Of the 1,100 pages Aircall hosts on its site, 50% are blog pages that are designed to answer common questions that will occur during the sales funnel. The following four posts drive 2K US monthly site visits alone:
- Customer Perceived Value: Understanding What Appeals to the Consumer
- How to Measure Customer Satisfaction, and Why it’s so Important
- What Is Interactive Voice Response: IVR Definition & Benefits
- Contact Center vs. Call Center: What Is the Difference?
Of course, Aircall also ranks for pages that promote their features such as:
- IVR: Interactive Voice Response
- Power Dialer
Which drive ~600 US monthly site visits.
But it is the successful blog that sets them apart from the competition, as Yodel and Cloudtalk are vying for their features landing page to do the heavy lifting, Aircall has a well-rounded blog designed to capture audience attention throughout the decision making process and funnel them through to a download.
Aircall has swept the floor with its competitors when it comes to organic distribution and SERP ownership. So the battle for clicks turned to PPC.
Both competitors target Aircall branded searches and have even gone as far as to include Aircall in their meta titles to try and rank organically for their branded terms.
What’s smart about the Yodel and Cloudtalk PPC play is that both links take you to a comparison page, where they boost their benefits over Aircall to ease conversion.
This has created one gap in Aircall’s SEO strategy, and that is not having their own comparison page. When both competitors control the rhetoric, Aircall should step in with their offensive defense and display why they are the top choice and deserve a unicorn valuation.
- Content is an investment, but it’s worth it to control the SERP.
- Comparison pages are a great way to guide conversions when there are one or more major competitors.
- Targeting competitors branded terms with a comparison page is a smart way to take their traffic and bring the visitors into your wheelhouse.
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
💻 The no-code startup, Obviously AI, increased its $3.6M Seed round to $4.7M following a seed funding extension.
🚚 On the back of SEO excellence, ShipBob, a shipping and logistics company, raised $200M in its last funding round at a valuation of $1B.
🥾 Articulate has been bootstrapping it since 2002, and all the hard work has paid off with a whopping $1.5B investment coming in on July 1, with a $3.75B valuation.
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:
When I say Gamestop, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Is it a flood of nostalgia, thoughts of game trade-ins, or is it Robinhood and the rise of meme stocks? If it’s the latter, then your in for a treat with this week’s brain food.
Robinhood is filling to go public after cracking into profitability last year, 2020. The rise of meme stocks, fueled by subreddits like Wall Streets Bets, and more common folk getting in on day trading helped increase Robinhood’s bottom line revenue.
But with the world returning to normal and these quasi-day traders return to their day job, will meme stocks start to crash and will the bubble finally burst? Time to place some wall street bets on that one.
TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:
WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS WEEK 🎧:
Originally sent out, by me Cali B, on Thursday, July 8, 2021.
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