“I run a tech start-up and partner with Sonan for content creation. They’ve done an amazing job at writing articles with in-depth research and interviews, and creating compelling content to tell our story. Very professional, high quality work. Can’t recommend them enough!” -Amy Tang, CEO of Folio
B2B SaaS Startup Folio rapidly grew after pivoting from a travel guide app to a digital guidebook for Airbnb hosts during the pandemic. As a company with aggressive growth goals, Folio focused on brand awareness paired with high-volume lead generation. Here’s how Sonan Digital helped Folio boost lead generation and signups to achieve these goals.
The Story of Folio
As an AI-enabled, B2B SaaS platform, Folio strives for hyper growth in the $120B short-term rental industry by streamlining guest management. Their mission is to elevate the guest experience, while providing operational efficiencies to property managers. Their first product, an interactive app for guests, shares information about property amenities and personalized food and activity recommendations generated using AI. The company’s marketing and sales goals were twofold: first, to make sure people know a company like theirs exists, and second, to find as many interested short term rental hosts to engage with as possible.
Reaching the Right Audience – A Challenge for Folio
When Folio started to build their marketing and sales process, the team thought that using a combination of cold outreach on social media and word of mouth would deliver the results they wanted to achieve. However, they quickly found that both solutions required a lot of time and attention in order to meet their needs. In particular, the founder discovered she was spending her entire day on Instagram, following the algorithm as it introduced new short-term rental properties that might require Folio’s offerings. The second tactic, word of mouth, was working effectively, but at a much slower rate than the team expected. After countless hours completing cold outreach and finding only a 25% response rate, they knew they needed to try a new marketing initiative. Folio was ready to put their content on auto-pilot and create a strategy to drive leads and increase signup rates.
Why Folio Chose Sonan Digital
After diving into Sonan’s extensive experience in content creation for the B2B SaaS space, Folio decided to move forward with creating a structured content plan with Sonan Digital. Chief Content Officer, Megan Honan, was assigned as the point of contact due to her previous work as a journalist in the travel and hospitality industry. Together, Sonan and Folio drafted a strategic content plan, including a quarterly content calendar crafted to meet SEO and thought leadership goals targeting the short-term rental industry. The content plan further set out actionable steps for driving targeted audiences (i.e. Airbnb hosts and property managers) towards Folio’s site, as well as on-page lead magnets to convert readers to customers.
The Sonan Digital Solution for Folio
The largest hurdle for Folio was search intent within search engines. Considering most short-term rental hosts weren’t particularly looking for digital house manuals, it was difficult to drive organic traffic towards the site and the company was overspending on paid advertising. Sonan Digital rose to the challenge and turned the attention towards a highly effective organic content strategy, which specifically targeted Folio’s ideal customer: short-term rental hosts and property managers.
Rather than setting keyword goals for the specific product offering, Sonan Digital implemented an SEO plan targeting keywords and topics of general interest to hosts. Considering the only resource for most short-term rental hosts was directly from Airbnb, there was little competition in the way of targeted keywords. Even more specifically, by competing for long-tail keywords targeting search intent, such as “How much should I charge for my rental during high season,” Folio was quickly able to reach the #1 ranking position across many pages, while reaching their ideal audience and increasing their verified leads.
Secondly, each blog post provided a dedicated call to action, which effectively helped turn audience members into Folio customers. Between internal page linking and a sign-up button widget, customers were quickly able to establish the value Folio offers and make a decision to implement the software into their property management tech stack. Due to the content strategy implemented by Sonan Digital, Folio was able to eliminate their ad spend, while keeping their team busy with an influx of customers ready to take their short-term rental hosting to the next level.
The Returns on Folio’s Investment – 500% Increase in Monthly SQLs & 100% Eliminated Ad Spend
Due to an extremely well-optimized content strategy that kept Folio top of mind for short-term rental hosts, they were able to achieve stellar results in their first year. Throughout 2021, they were able to attribute a 500% increase in monthly sales qualified leads (more than double their previous efforts), as a result of Sonan Digital’s tactics. The team was also able to take back their time and reduce their cold outreaching efforts, while also eliminating their ad spend to zero.
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As the Sonan Digital team continues to grow, we’re looking forward to producing more success stories like our work for Markone Control Systems. If you are looking to refresh your companies approach to growth, get in touch with one of our experts for a free discovery call today.