Go-to-market campaign for a mission-driven B2B SaaS Startup

Employee Cycle saw a 70% increase in organic traffic value and a 28% expansion in keyword coverage in Search as a result of Key Medium’s content and design strategy, web analysis, SEO and UX improvement, and GTM and lead gen strategy.

In August 2021, Employee Cycle approached Key Medium to help foster connections and drive sales and lead generation; to provide educational content for self-service discovery and thought leadership; and to position the company clearly with consistent branding and messaging to boost brand awareness.

The problem

We noticed that the website was not optimized for conversion and had an unclear user journey and user experience path to purchase. The website’s SEO was poor, there was poor messaging, and no cohesive branding and marketing collateral throughout. The product content was out of date and needed to be refreshed and made evergreen and the product pages and features were not seamlessly integrated. The blog posts were dated and infrequent and the taxonomies for blogs such as tags and categories were not set up to help readers have a seamless journey reading Employee Cycle’s thought leadership.

When delving into the business structure overall, we noted that there was an unclear target audience, a weak go-to-market (GTM) strategy, no SEO strategy, no content strategy, a dated style guide, no case studies, and no cohesive branding and marketing. The website and business functions did not meet the needs of a growing HR tech startup whose mission is to make HR smarter and more data-driven, and as they were gearing up for a venture capital seed round of funding.

The solutions

In order to remedy the above, we provided the following services.

  • Content marketing
  • Digital development
  • Design strategy
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • User experience (UX)
  • Web analytics
  • Go-to-market Strategy (GTM)
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • Lead generation

We conducted market research, interviewed customers, and planned design thinking workshops to refine the site’s offerings and prioritize information with conversion-centered design. By fine-tuning the entire website’s copy, SEO strategy, tone of voice and branding guidelines, and creating new and consistent thought leadership on the blog, we strengthened the messaging and created a design tailored toward user goals. 

The website depicts a journey that helps HR professionals understand how Employee Cycle’s dashboard can transform their typical HR functions. The journey that a user might take is clear: learning about the product, exploring the services offered, exploring thought leadership, discovering the pricing, or getting in contact, which helps users along their B2B decision-making purchase path. The entire site’s design is adapted for mobile use (mobile-first), which is a must in this modern market.

Key Medium web design, SEO, go-to-market campaign execution with content marketing and copywriting
New EmployeeCycle.com website design by Key Medium depicted

With the design, we focused on the following.

  • Clarifying the above the fold messaging, showing users they can get a free demo easily
  • Creating a sticky Call to Action button in the menu
  • Reinforcing messaging on social proof points and optimizing for conversion throughout
  • Highlighting the key product benefits and features
  • Explaining user pain points and the software’s solution clearly and succinctly through images, text, video, custom created interactive Lottie animation and GIF animations
  • Re-editing and optimizing nearly 200 blog posts for SEO with internal linking, updated tagging and categories (taxonomies), and within the content with CTAs for conversion, as well as up to nine recommended reads for greater readership and engagement based on relevancy (with updated taxonomy)

Our first phases of the update were completed a full month ahead of schedule and saw record growth.

The results

Through these efforts, Employee Cycle saw the following results.

  • 225% increase in site visits by HR leaders
  • 300% increase in search engine visibility for keywords tracked
  • Marketing website engagement rate increased
  • Double-digit percentage increases of their audience on social media and via the email newsletter
  • Website speed decreased to under three seconds to load
  • An increase in lead generation
  • Hundreds of new Market Qualified Leads (MQLs)
  • Successful transition to HubSpot for marketing automation

By creating an optimized high-functioning website, solidifying the thought leadership, launching a new webinar, and creating a style guide, we also secured a 70% increase in organic traffic value and a 28% expansion in keyword coverage for targeted keywords from organic Search.

We published over 40 in-depth HR and HR technology subject matter blog posts through to March 2022. Content was optimized for conversion and SEO alike, and was ghostwritten for the CEO to boost thought leadership across both the blog and LinkedIn. Their most popular piece to-date has been generating over $2,400 in monthly SEO value (SEMRush, mobile and desktop), as opposed to paying per click via Google Ads.

Working closely with their data coaching consultant, we launched the first webinar with over 330 prospects identified and showing interest, with over 1/3rd converting to MQLs, crushing our lead generation goal by 300% for the month.

Product-led content marketing, SEO and web design and technical SEO services amplified lead generation - screenshot of 4 screens showing Employee Cycle
Key Medium interviewed customers & created their 1st-ever customer success stories, along with both product-led and marketing content.

In March 2022, we launched the first iteration of the website, receiving praise from the team and partners, enabling the transformation from a scrappy startup to a more mature company that was able to successfully raise more venture capital funding right after our campaign. We improved information architecture and achieved an increase in engagement as evidenced by a decrease in bounce rate of nearly 8.5%, an increase in average visit duration by 29.25%, and an increase in pages per session by 24.10%. All key product pages also showed an increase in traffic.

We discerned that Employee Cycle’s SEO strategy needed to focus on nearly 300 targeted, intent-based keywords with more than an estimated 212,000 monthly search volume. This informed content creation, leading to increased organic visibility, increased click-through rate, and a 46% increase in organic search, which appeared in approximately 2/3rds of their conversion paths.

Search positions increased by 19.6%. The estimated daily traffic increased by over 22% in just the first month after the new site was launched and visibility increased by over 20%.

Since starting our content marketing and strategy only engagement in August 2021, Employee Cycle showed a total keyword coverage of 1,507 (for top keywords, in desktop only).

By the end of our web design, content marketing, and GTM consulting engagement in April 2022, keyword coverage increased by 28.1% to 2,095 in desktop alone within 30 days. Update: In just 4 months after our engagement, the results are even greater—it increased 45.7% to 3,298 (desktop).

With organic search and the GTM strategy targeting 1-2 niche segments, we crystallized Employee Cycle’s overall paid media plan and sales development strategy. We helped Employee Cycle articulate their entire client base which they used to share with investors, based on our operationalization of the ‘Crossing the Chasm’ innovation framework, which depicts the technology adoption lifecycle.

Key Medium developed the art and creative direction, leading to Employee Cycle’s first cohesive brand library with reusable marketing collateral which will be used for years to come. This can be seen on the BambooHR marketplace, an example of partnership marketing efforts enabled for sales.

Following our successful engagement, Key Medium enabled continued success via a client handoff. We placed a fractional CMO/Marketing Director contractor directly on their team to continue handling their go-to-market strategy and marketing efforts, provided training, a proven Social Selling Playbook, a technical Website Administration Manual with training in the WordPress content management system implemented, marketing collateral and a media library, a Style Guide, and more.

We solved their pain points and, in turn, their prospects’ pain points, and with their new marketing lead, Employee Cycle will continue to have success in the marketing, keeping up to date with changes and staying ahead of more well-funded competitors.

If your startup is looking to launch go-to-market campaign, a website redesign, or content marketing strategy with implementation, get in touch for a free 15 to 20min web consultation.