How to grow acquisition by 300% in 5 months with SEO featuring Josh Spilker

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Episode Summary

Companies, especially startups, need marketing to attract audiences and promote their products or services. But startups often don’t have enough resources to try paid social advertising or invest in more comprehensive marketing campaigns. So is there a viable marketing solution for seed-stage companies?

Aside from well-thought-out SEO strategies, startups can benefit from middle-of-funnel content approaches. When focusing on the middle, it can help companies accomplish a few objectives, including raising awareness around their products. Some of the best middle-of-funnel content examples are comparison guides, templates, and other similar pieces.

In this episode of Content Logistics, Camille Trent welcomes Josh Spilker, the Head of Marketing of Friday. Camille and Josh discuss the basics of middle-of-funnel content strategies, provide the best real-life examples of this approach, and give a valuable piece of advice to content marketers trying to launch an SEO program for startups.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

Introducing the Middle-of-Funnel Content Strategy for Early Stage Startups

“I think the middle-of-funnel provides you enough volume from search but also has enough proof points to get conversions going. The way I approach the middle-of-funnel is usually from two angles, either list and comparisons, and through templates and things like that to give people something actionable to use. […]

It’s really frustrating for a content marketer focused on the search to commission a bunch of top-funnel pieces. You pay $400 to $800 to maybe a thousand dollars in some cases to commission these pieces, and then you don’t see any action or any conversions.

So, I think a lot of seed-stage companies have to be concerned with their budget, have to look at what the revenue is, how much funding they have before making those big bets. I’ve made those mistakes before where I had a couple of pieces where I thought, ‘Hey, this will be great for our product. It will help us get a toehold here,’ but they weren’t leading to conversions.

I would say to take those resources that you do have and invest them more in the middle and the bottom to start getting some results a little bit faster.”

Middle-of-Funnel Approach: The Holy Grail?

“I realized that, for at least some of these productivity industries I was in, people were already aware of a lot of the solutions, but they were frustrated for whatever reasons. They know they need Workzone and ClickUp task management software. And in Friday’s case, they know they’re looking for a planner, to-do list type situation. So, they’re already problem-aware. They have some solutions in mind, but they want something different. And so, they’ll start researching these alternatives and some other options. […]

I ran a post called Free Project Management Software, and it had ClickUp number one and all these other different options under there. And we just exploded. We went up high on the rankings. We formatted it well to where people were staying on the page; they were interested. And we eventually got to number one on Google, and that post drove a lot of our early signups at ClickUp, which is now a billion-dollar unicorn.

When I came over to Friday, I knew these types of posts have a lot of interest and can prove the product-market fit. They also have a lot of good search volume. It’s like a Holy Grail. A little bit of search content marketing is where you have a piece that generates a lot of interest, has a lot of volume, but also has a lot of conversions to it.”

Your Product Cannot Be Good for Everybody

“I think the mid-funnel list posts, comparisons, and alternatives are a way of qualifying buyers before they even give you their email address or before they even enter your funnel system. So, that’s another advantage that I like. Good marketers know that your product is not for everybody. It just can’t be. So, you have to start filtering people out. And I think one of the ways to do that are some of these lists posts, but another way is quizzes and other self-qualifying ways.”

People are More Product-Aware and Solution-Aware When You Have Longer-Tail Keywords

“I’m trying to create more targeted bottom-funnel pages, and I don’t have the thought that they’re going to rank or perform well in that way. My end goal is to capture from that mid-funnel down to that bottom-funnel. That’s gonna be most of my traffic.

Some of my bottom-funnel pages rank pretty well for some good terms. So, I’m getting a lot of conversions just off of that search. People are more product-aware and solution-aware when you have these longer-tail keywords. So, my bottom-funnel pages are showing up for that, too. But think about where you’re sending people to – so I started setting up very specific bottom-funnel landing pages.”

Challenges For Content Marketers Trying & A Word of Advice for Them

“I think time is a difficult balance when you’re dealing with SEO and content marketing. It does take time to rank. […] It will be a four to six to eight-month road before you start seeing some of those results. But once you have it, it is evergreen. It pays off for a long time, instead of a viral social media post or something like that. Keep that in mind and have that understanding as you’re building it out. Make sure you have the runway for that. Make sure you are aligned. Some companies may not have that luxury.

The other challenge is that they are not going to be able to do every project you want. You may not get to build a tool that would be groundbreaking. And so you have to think about what are some of the initial steps, get some traction, and get product-market fit.”