Behind the Marketing Scenes of Top Web App Design Company: Monterail
Technology alone is not enough to succeed, every product needs a team of passionate people who will give it their best. Monterail
And what is the best for Monterail, the awarded web app design company? By now it meant:
The Ruby on Rails Development Company, Monterail
- Achieving a 400%+ revenue growth in 2013-2016
and being featured in 2018 Financial Times 1000 Europe's Fastest Growing Companies.
- Achieving a 206% revenue growth in 2014-2017, featuring for the second time in a row in FT1000.
- A marketing campaign that brought them EUR 750k worth contracts.
- New business that accounted for 46% of all 2018 revenue
Worth investigating all of this, right?
So let there be marketing! The content strategy, the social media efforts, the community involvement.
We’ve analyzed everything. Follow us along to learn more about their strategy and “steal” their successful tactics and strategies to implement in your company.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Monterail Web App Design Company- Short Overview
- Monterail’s Marketing Strategies Reverse Engineered
- Brand Awareness at Monterail
- Monterail’s Website and Conversion Rate Optimization
- Monterail’s Traffic Acquisition
- Content Marketing
- The Vue.js Campaign
- Monterail’s Social Presence
- Employer branding and hiring
- Wrap Up
More than 90% of potential clients who visit the Monterail office decide to work with them.
Kudos to you, guys!
Now, let’s see what makes Monterail such a magnet for clients.
Monterail Web App Design Company - Short Overview
Szymon Boniecki and Bartosz Rega, co-founders of Monterail, were recognized in 2017 New Europe 100 list as changemakers in emerging Europe and as individuals who are improving people's lives with ideas that scale up in the digital world.
But let’s see what other stakeholders have to say about this Wroclaw-based web app design company: their own clients.
- Exceeding expectations and overcoming challenges
- Proactive, responsive, transparent & flexible
- Top notch communication
- Well organized and professional
Speaking of clients, new business accounted for 46% of all 2018 revenue, compared to 28% in 2017.
What are the secrets behind the success of this web app design company?
We’ll try to follow in their footsteps and reconstruct their employer branding and marketing strategies.
So, let me tell you a story about:
- How inbound marketing combined with efficient promotion can get you mainstream
- How a team-centered company is of utmost importance
- How you can establish leadership through community engagement
Monterail’s Marketing Strategies Reverse Engineered
With Deloitte and Financial Times nominations, 100+ projects covering IoT, web, mobile, Node.js, Ruby on Rails and Vue.js development, Monterail is writing history in Wroclaw IT outsourcing.
Content strategy, offline events, marketing automation, these are just a few of the stories we’ll tell you next, stories that led to the inspirational growth of Monterail.
Brand Awareness at Monterail
As Marty Neumeier says it in his book “Zag”, a brand is not:
- A logo
- A corporate identity
- A product
A brand is “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization”.
How can you influence one’s gut feeling?
Through a lot of social proof.
For software houses for example, the reviews on Clutch, Google, Facebook or Goodfirms are of utter importance.
Awards are also essential if they are done by trustworthy companies.
Monterail features in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 in Central Europe in 2017.
Monterail, as you’ve probably guessed, they’re into Ruby on Rails. Clutch ranked them second in their world Top 15 Ruby on Rails Development Agencies.
The company also ranks 10 in Top 15 Web Developers in Poland - by Clutch.
Monterail’s Website and Conversion Rate Optimization
The website is plain and simple, no mystery there. But beauty lies in simplicity.
It’s easy to find an answer to the buyer persona’s most important questions:
What do you do?
We design and develop web & mobile apps to support startups and businesses on their missions.
How can I trust you?
Case studies, testimonials, client listing.
How can I contact you?
Through a contact form or via chat bot.
They have a projects section where they showcase products and services they’ve designed.
They want to make it clear what the workflow is, they can begin from scratch, with an MVP or scale existing products.
What I like about them is that they have two types of newsletters, focusing either on business, either on technology. This means that personalization is essential in business.
Speaking of personalization, the Hubspot chat bot is used to better qualify the leads and offer a customized experience:
The conversion rate optimization efforts are supported also with automation. It's all about improving the processes and being customer-centric for Monterail. So, Hubspot is their weapon of choice for marketing and sales automation.
CRM, chat bot, forms, CTAs, pillar pages, workflows, CRM - Monterail tried to take the most out of Hubspot when designing the Vue.js campaigns.
Monterail’s Traffic Acquisition
The main website traffic sources, according to Semrush, are:
- Direct - 15%
- Referral - 1%
- Search - 71%
- Social - 13%
Social brings more than 10% of the traffic. From our research, this is one of the biggest percentages encountered so far, so we’ll try to understand what strategies lay behind this number.
The 15% direct traffic makes sense because of two main reasons:
- Monterail has a team of 6 involved in business development, meaning that they do email outreach, networking
- Monterail organizes a lot of events: Monterail Academy, meetups and workshops, but also have a lot of speaking gigs at all sort of tech conferences
30k+ search traffic, give or take, is a considerable amount of search traffic. This is why we’ll dive more into the content strategy to see the strategies behind it.
The more technical posts are written by the developers, and these are the posts that bring more traction.
An example is Zuzanna Kusznir, from the back-end team, that wrote a blog post ending up generating 8.4% of the blog’s traffic in 2018.
According to Spyfu, there are 65 keywords showing up on the first page, and 61 are almost there. Thumbs up, guys!
This next screenshot is telling an interesting story:
The technology related keywords are really valuable, bringing in traffic, but the “outsource” cluster is trying to make its way up to the first page.
Non-branded keywords bring traffic to blog post pages. Branded “monterail” traffic, leading to their homepage, is almost insignificant.
Now, I’m gonna peek a bit at their high ranking blog posts.
The most traction was brought by a blog post that covers becoming a certified tester, it’s almost 2 years old, but still bringing in fresh traffic.
Their account also features a story about Marketing B2B, that accrued 1300 views.
But in content marketing, not everything revolves around blogging.
Besides, blog posts are merely addressing their personas in the awareness stage. The same with the newsletter.
When moving down the funnel we encounter other types of content, such as case studies, which can be leveraged for the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey.
The Vue.js campaign
So, we’re finally here, the campaign that brought Monterail clients worth EUR 750k+
Monterail has a thing for Vue.js.
An untapped framework potential, not enough buzz around it: why not take the lead and be the Vue.js go-to company? So, challenge accepted.
It was 2017.
Was it risky? Hell, yeah. No benchmarks, no assurance that the marketing budget won’t be thrown out the window.
As Monterail rolled up its sleeves it began developing content:
- Blog posts
- State of Vue.js report
- Pillar pages and landing pages
- Additional elements on the website
At the core of all this content lays the all-mighty survey:
- A four-week period in August and September of 2017
- 1,126 responses, mainly from software developers and CTOs of organizations using Vue
- Responses from 88 countries
+ Lots of promotion and outreach:
- Vue conference
- Sales activities
- Drip email campaign
- PR and sponsors
- Paid ads: Google and Facebook ads
- Social media channels
- Medium & Quora
- Vue.js official channels + influencer Evan You (the creator of Vue.js himself!)
- Hubspot: forms, CTAs, workflows, CRM
- Ahrefs: SEO
- Google Analytics
- Valuable backlinks
- 4500+ downloads of the report in 3 months
- 300+ Vue conference attendees
- 10k+ visits ro Vue related content
- EUR 10k+ cost (time and ad spend) by Jan 2018
- Contracts worth EUR 750k+
- Vue.js goes mainstream
The campaign’s key takeaways:
- Original content is paramount
- Content production and content promotion are equally important
- Plan everything
- Have goals, KPIs, proper measurement
- Consistency in messages across channels, consistency in time
- Educate your potential clients
- Invest in tools and people. 0 budget, no can do
- Be patient and don’t give up, SEO takes time to show results
- Know your persona and buyer’s journey
- Get influencers on-board
- Prioritize your channels, you don’t have to be everywhere
- Data manipulation - the right people for the job if you want accurate info
Next: State of Vue.js revisited.
Monterail ran a survey with the purpose of creating the new state of Vue.js report. After having collected the responses and prepared case studies, the updated 2019 State of Vue.js report is out. I’m really curious how the 2019 inbound B2B campaign will turn out. We’ll be watching you guys!
So, Monterail managed to take something relatively unknown and make it mainstream - the Vue.js framework, all through inbound marketing and quality promotion.
They’ve reached their objective of being recognized as the experts in the field.
This was a great inbound marketing lesson.
Backlinks to Support Content Marketing
Do-follow links from 70+ domain ranking websites link back mostly to the Monterail homepage, and Mozilla is the main attraction.
Putting the pieces all-together, from high search traffic to a solid blog, high-quality backlinks, it’s clear that inbound is at the core of their marketing strategy.
Looking back at the 2018 performance in terms of blog traffic, in comparison to 2017, according to their blog post, the numbers are:
- 6% more users and 63% more sessions on the website
- 110% more sessions on the blog itself.
Monterail’s Paid Traffic Acquisition
Monterail is also leveraging Google Ads. From Spyfu’s research, it seems that they are bidding on node.js and vue.js keywords.
We know that they used the power of retargeting during the Vue.js campaign also. And it's not only Google ads remarketing, but also Facebook and Twitter.
But they also use the power of sponsored post for topics such as:
- Node.js development
- Successful case studies
- Progressive web apps
Monterail’s Social Presence
- 2500+ Facebook followers
- 1300+ Twitter followers
- 1200+ Linkedin followers
Not all of the organic and paid efforts in social media are responsible for these numbers.
All of the other offline or inbound efforts might translate into followers and likes.
Everything connects, and the end result is branding.
Monterail’s Facebook Page
2500+ Facebook followers get regular updates from Monterail regarding events they’re hosting, webinars they’re organizing, jobs available, blog posts and case studies. Vue.js posts seem to be very appealing to Monterail, lately.
Facebook’s posts are headed two ways:
- Getting more clients
- Increasing employer branding
Most popular posts talk about the team or Monterail’s events. And check this out, Discovery featured Monterail in a series on entrepreneurship. Kinda cool, I’d say!
Some of the posts get traction, but the average engagement per post is around 14.
The Instagram account is all about the team, reinforcing the Monterail idea that “every product needs a team of passionate people who will give it their best.”
The images are praising a company culture:
- that revolves around communication
- which happens in a cozy ambiance
- where work and play are equally appreciated
On LinkedIn profile news from the industry and blog posts are shared. It’s clearly client-oriented content.
The image being portrayed on LinkedIn speaks of Vue.js leadership, React expertise, products they’ve built.
The platform is also used for hiring because jobs are being posted.
Monterail almost replicates the Facebook content within its weekly tweets.
Blog posts and news from the industry are being shared.
They also promote webinars and events they attend to in order to build awareness around their business.
The purpose of the account is more about gaining new clients, than building employer branding.
The 290 Dribbble followers get updates from Monterail regarding
- Latest web-designs
- Apps made by Monterail
- Design for events
Most of the shots are published by the Monterail Head of Design, Paweł Hawrylak.
Monterail’s Community Involvement
Webinars, tech summits, meetups, the Monterail Academy - these guys are really busy. But this is how you build a community, establish leadership in the field, for both future employees and clients.
And let’s not forget they’ve hosted a conference around Vue.js with 300+ attendees.
Employer Branding and Hiring
Now, let's mingle with Monterail’s current and former employees and see what they say about the working environment. It seems that the company’s culture and remote working possibilities are highly appreciated.
The quality of code and the learning process are among the pros of working at Monterail. Some say that the management team is a bit un-experienced and decision making takes kinda long.
They want to expand their team by hiring developers and product designers. Salaries and other perks are transparent. There’s also an employee testimonial on the page to increase the chances for conversion.
They are really proud of their office and the friendly atmosphere. They make use of social media to promote the cozy environment. Speaking of the office, it’s not like any other offices. There was a whole strategy around it in the design phase.
Monterail commissioned sociologist Karolina Dudek for an in-depth study of the spatial and cultural needs of the staff. From her observations, they decided to set up rooms for projects, instead of having an open space. So, using science to design the proper working environment, kinda cool, right?
They support learning among the team, that’s why they introduced Self Development Time, meaning every employee has 2 hours per week to spend on whatever they like for personal development.
From the B2B marketing point of view, it seems that a consistent content strategy, seasoned with some events and marketing automation, is the recipe of success for Monterail.
But let’s make a more comprehensive list of takeaways:
- Build an effective team - of engineers, of marketers, of business developers, don’t settle for less
- Inbound at the heart of marketing efforts. Get the developers team involved in creating original 10x content
- Promotion is key, it should be consistent and carefully planned
- Get out there, get noticed, host events, go to speaking gigs, create buzz around you
Plenty of marketing lessons from Monterail, right?
But we ain’t stopping here.
We’ve got more web app design companies up our sleeves. They’re fast, they’re furious and they’re reshaping the industry.
Just take a look: The Growth Marketing Secrets of Top European Software Houses - Poland Edition 2020.