Inbound marketing strategy for a tech startup: The case of TenderScout

The digital world we live in has transformed marketing rules. Businesses that want to succeed have to adopt an innovative approach to catch the attention of their potential customers. An inbound marketing strategy is the best way to do this.

TenderScout is a SaaS startup which helps SMEs win more government contracts. Software based on machine learning is matching B2B audience with suitable tenders, qualifies them and provide necessary support to successfully compete. Initially, TenderScout was focused only on outbound marketing activities. It was critical to generate early sales to earn revenue and survive in the market.

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However, it was soon clear that we couldn’t scale the outbound activities and we needed to fill the sales pipeline with more leads.

TenderScout operates in the B2G sector, i.e. business to government.Most companies don’t like dealing with the government; a fact that accounts for only 10% of Irish SMEs competing for tenders.

There are plenty of myths surrounding the tendering process. We realised that if we  wanted customers to compete for more tenders (with the help of our software), we need to dispel those myths first.

And that’s exactly the approach we took. The inbound marketing activity implemented this year is based on demystifying tenders first and then explaining how we can help companies win them.

Content Creation

The initial step to take is producing enough content. We started to create articles, blog posts, landing pages and branded images displaying short messages. The idea was to publish a large number of material to educate our target audience, get them excited about tendering and let them know what support we provide during the process.

AdWords campaign and SEO

There is always a question about whether a business should pay Google or not? We asked whether we should  focus on SEO or AdWords and decided to do both. Optimizing the content, keywords, landing pages for SEO and running an AdWords campaign at the same time turned out to be effective for us. We created two main campaigns based on what people were searching for the most. These were how to win tenders and do I have a chance to win one?

Press release

Is there value in press release? The answer depends on who do you want to target. In our case reaching out to media and having  media coverage resonated with the target audience. We focused on getting articles into tech and startup sections of business news. The CEO of TenderScout also appeared in a radio talk, discussing the huge potential of tendering for SMEs.

Organizing Events

So far we were talking about online relationships only,  but we knew  that we needed to combine this with personal interaction. Plus business people love networking! We have set up an events schedule.

Twice a month we run a training session for particular industry to share the best practice approach to tendering.  We also organize half day event called TenderCon where we demystify public procurement.

What are the results

The number of leads added to the sales pipeline increased by 30% due to the inbound activities. The strategy we have built captures the attention of businesses eager to grow their revenue.

A similar strategy  can be easily adopt by other startups and small companies.

Keep in mind that solving a customer problem is always the  priority. Find out what is relevant and interesting for them. Make sure your messaging  is consistent and promoted across all channels.

Most importantly have fun during the process! When customers see you’re passionate about what you do, they will want and love working with you.