CMOs aren’t always held to revenue targets. At Lessonly, Kyle is.
Content marketers aren’t usually held to lead gen or revenue sourced from organic search but at Lessonly, Rachel is.
Lessonly treats organic search like a demand generation channel. They’ve turned the sea of demand – i.e. people searching for things related to their product – into what many marketers dream of: ample leads, diminishing CPL, and a consistent source of revenue. Here’s a glimpse into the outcomes they’ve driven:
On the discoverability side, their content now ranks for many terms relevant to their category, and across the range of problems they solve. Their site is discoverable for different buyer personas searching a variety of terms. And they support all of this with a brand their prospects and customers absolutely love.
Here’s how Lessonly’s CMO, Kyle Lacy, and Content Manager, Rachel Saltsgaver, have increased organic growth at Lessonly.
If you want a seat at the table as a VP of marketing, or as a CMO, you need to source revenue.
We are really good at the experience side, but we have to get people to the website because that’s what generates revenue for us. And that’s why the relationship with Demandwell is so important, because organic is such a huge revenue driver for us at Lessonly.
Kyle Lacy, CMO
For starters, Lessonly has been working to drive organic growth through content creation for multiple years. They created a highly scaled, well-oiled content creation process. But even with great people and processes, it was very time consuming to consistently research keywords, create content at scale, and report on that content. Demandwell streamlines the manual elements of that process, saving Rachel and her team time, while the Demandwell consulting team advises on content strategy, guiding decision making and prioritization.
Demandwell doesn’t just include a platform and tools. It also includes the coaching and the relationship side of things.
It’s the highlight of my week when I get to meet with the consultants. They’re great in terms of celebrating our successes with us and also buckling down and helping us solve a problem or looking at a challenge in a different light.
Rachel Saltsgaver, Content Marketing Manager
But the main key to Rachel’s success is the amount of hard work and dedication that she’s invested in organic. Achieving their level of success takes a lot of commitment, patience, and trust in the process. Here’s more on investment marketing and long-game channels.
There are two different ways they’ve invested in organic growth: infrastructure/technical SEO, and content creation.
Part of being a more mature content organization means more moving pieces, and more chances for things to go wrong that can negate SEO efforts.
They now invest in biweekly audits to ensure their content efforts are maximized, and to catch any technical issues before there are consequences. Learn more about how Demandwell measures SEO health here.
Lessonly has been creating five Demand Pages and two blog posts a week for a long time. They have a more mature content function thanks to Rachel’s dedication and hard work than many of the marketers we speak with. At this stage of the business, that is what it takes to dominate and continue scaling the revenue coming in from organic.
When you own the search results for your niche market category, you have to attack new parts of your marketing funnel, different buyer personas, and make sure all of your value propositions and feature sets are covered with organic as well.
Lessonly is, first and foremost, software that helps businesses with employee training. One of their pages is in position one for “online training software.” This is a “million dollar Demand Page,” a tour de force for revenue generation. It solves a very explicit need for searchers, and they dominate at the top of the search results.
We had a specific category that we wanted to go after, and the first step is being ranked.
Demandwell helped us rank number one, and we are still at number one to this day.
Kyle Lacy, CMO
But they aren’t stopping there, because they know that there are many other entry points for interested buyers. They continually create pages targeting lower funnel keywords as well: terms like, “the importance of training” and “leadership training topics.”
They’ve also segmented their organic strategy based on different buyer personas or use cases. Here are some examples of how their organic strategy is segmented by use case and level of buyer intent. By the way, these examples are all terms they’re in the top three positions for.
For B2B SaaS companies, organic strategy should have different focuses based on buyer personas, buyer intent and awareness, and also on functionality and differentiation that your software has.
When Lessonly created a new feature called a “Skills Matrix,” they swiftly created a Demand Page for those search terms. They want to own the organic search results for their own features and category terms in addition to non-branded terms.
“Call center simulation training” is a big differentiator between Lessonly and their competitors. It allows new call center agents to practice handling customer interactions as if they’re speaking with a customer, but without the risk of a real, live interaction. This is not the name of their feature, but it is how people search for that type of functionality.
You know where this is going…they are indeed in the top 3 for those search terms as well.
The results that Kyle and Rachel see from organic are impressive on their own.
We’re seeing a three-to-one success on the paid side and organic ranges between 10 and 13-to-one on a quarterly basis.
Kyle Lacy, CMO
They see between 10X and 13X their investment in organic. This has continued to grow year over year. They’ve doubled the amount of revenue that was sourced from organic in the last year. 40% of their total ARR is sourced from organic each year.
What’s more impressive, in our opinion, is everything that has been happening under the hood – it’s a swarming bee-hive of activity, and Rachel is the Queen.