In our fourth episode of How I Work, Josh sits down with Madeline Blasberg, Digital Marketing Manager at Leadpages. You’ll learn about the importance of a diversified paid media strategy, how to overcome challenges SaaS marketers are facing today and how to harness the power of content to boost your Saas business to success.
Josh: Hi, everybody. This is Josh Becerra from Augurian. I’m here with Madeline Blasberg. We’re doing one of our ‘How I Work’ episodes, talking with experts SaaS marketers like Madeline. Madeline is the digital marketing manager at Leadpages. Thanks for accepting this talk.
Madeline: My pleasure.
Josh: Tell us a little bit about Leadpages.
Madeline: Leadpages is a conversion marketing platform. What that means is that it enables small business marketers and entrepreneurs to come online and build a drag and drop code free content to create their landing pages, websites, pop-ups, everything that they need to grow a list and sell their products.
Josh: Cool. Nobody likes to code. Drag and drop makes it really easy.
Madeline: It makes it super easy.
Josh: Here we are talking a little bit about your SaaS marketing. How you’re getting the word out about Leadpages. Tell us a little bit about where you’re investing those dollars and what seems to be working for you now.
Madeline: Our business model is driven by a free trial offer. We’re looking primarily for a lead generation and to drive those free trial signups. The marketing mix is primarily driven by search ads with a heavy emphasis on Google ads. That’s the bulk of it. For lead generation, we’re focusing more so on paid social, paid Facebook, paid Instagram, a really healthy mix there. Upper funnel is primarily Google Display, and YouTube video ad campaigns.
Josh: I know you also do write content and you’re looking at what are those key searches that people are looking for. Can you tell me a little bit about the work that you’re doing there as well?
Madeline: As specific to search ads?
Josh: Yes, well and to like the content that you’ve been writing, the SEO side of things.
Madeline: I came on board Leadpages two years ago. I really inherited a massive content publishing machine. That was back in the content marketing heyday. We have this wealth of content. The focus previously was also on free marketing education. Lots of multimedia e-courses, giveaways, downloads, that kind of thing.
Our challenge really is how do we repurpose or repackage this wealth of inventory that we have to either drive better conversion rates on our paid media campaigns or greater acquisition of free organic traffic.
Josh: Obviously, in order to even understand what’s working and what isn’t, you’ve got to be tracking all of these things, so I’m sure that you have a pretty sophisticated tech stack. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Madeline: Yes. Internally, our team operates on an agile scrum methodology. We’re relying really heavily on JIRA and Confluence to keep us focused. We have obviously a custom-built website, we rely on GTM, Google Tag Manager, Drip as both our ESP and CRM. Drip is our sister company. We may be a little bit unique in that way, but it really offers us a ton of insights in terms of how our customers are behaving, which content they’re coming to us for.
We have a wealth of email automation programs that are nurturing people throughout. We’re a relatively small in-house marketing team, but because we have those tools, and because of our reliance on Drip, we’ve been able to scale in a way that I think we would have struggled to achieve with different tools.
Josh: Very cool. Well, it’s awesome. I think one of the things that we always ask on these How I Work interviews is just what you’re seeing as big challenges, how you’re looking at possibly overcoming some of those things. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Madeline: Yes. Well, I think if a digital marker is not facing challenges, they’re not paying attention. [chuckles] Because the landscape is only changing, only becoming more competitive. I think our challenge primarily is focused on breaking into greater brand awareness. Upper funnel, met new audiences, how do we get really high precision targeting on a channel that is cost-effective from a CPM standpoint?
It allows us to tell a compelling brand story. There are a lot of considerations in that. I think one of the things that’s changing to a large degree is they’re no longer any easy channels or any silver bullet channels. It’s about the mix and it’s about building a really compelling brand so that your CPA costs come down, however you’re leveraging that bottom-funnel piece.
Josh: That’s super smart. With all this marketing mix that you’ve been thinking about, what are you most excited about for this year?
Madeline: For this year, well, we recently rebranded, repositioned and came to market with our biggest feature launch in several years. I think we’ve laid a really strong foundation and have the chance to kind of run with it now turn up the heat. I’m really excited for continuing to build that brand message. We also have a really strong online community to the tune of just shy of 20,000 members.
Josh: Wow. That’s great.
Madeline: I’ve been thinking a lot about what platform is most apt to grow and engage with that community. I’ve seen a little bit of a shift from people using Facebook community groups or online forums and becoming a little bit more insular in their community management, whether that’s Slack or WhatsApp, there’s so much you can do and better access you can provide and a little bit of a shield from low-value content when you bring stuff closer to the brand.
Josh: That’s really great. I really like that. I feel like from Leadpage’s history, it started with engagement with users and building out this group of people who are just interested in seeing a tool like this come to life. You’re really now looking at fostering, or really nurturing that group of people.
Madeline: Absolutely. Our SaaS company started out of a blog. Bloggers, that can happen.
Madeline: It was about the founder being shoulder-to-shoulder with the people he was hoping to serve, tapping into their most critical need. That gave way to the product. I think that has been a common thread throughout. It really does impact everything. I think we’re seeing a lot of changes in search. We’re trying to maintain our attraction with organic traffic. Thankfully, our conversions from search have stayed really consistent and grown.
Josh: That’s great.
Madeline: It is changing. How we measure it is changing and that impacts how we use different platforms like our blog and conceptualizing it from if this is meant to be a marketing resource, is it better to bring it on to a different platform, bring on to the site, let people search thematically versus chronologically and leverage the blog for thought leadership and community nurturing stuff like that. I think everything is in flux. There are no sacred elephants in the room. That’s why I say, “Digital marketers if you’re not facing challenges or change, you’re not paying attention.”
Josh: Well, I really appreciate your time. This is awesome. We like having awesome content on our blog. You’re providing it. Thank you.
Madeline: My pleasure.
Josh: Leadpage is really cool if you’re looking for a drag and drop solution to get those leads coming in. Check them out. Thanks, Madeline.
Madeline: Awesome. Thanks, Josh.
Josh: I appreciate it.