Tech B2B Marketing Strategies. A Study of Top Software House in Warsaw
Having designed software for more than 100 businesses worldwide, mainly in the United States, Western Europe, and Australia, 10Clouds is turning 10 this year.
The web dev, product design, machine learning and blockchain software house, 10Clouds
Growth is what defined its 10 years. Getting the team from 2 to 110+, opening 3 more offices besides the Warsaw HQ (Poznan, Wroclaw, Atlanta), a 316% revenue increase during 2013-2016 - we definitely had to know their story.
The future looks even brighter now for this software house in Warsaw, 10Clouds. Planning to increase its income by as much as 50 percent in 2019, which is the marketing trump card of 10Clouds?
It’s time to find out.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 10Clouds - Software House Warsaw Short Overview
- 10Clouds’s Marketing Strategies Reverse Engineered
- Brand Awareness at 10Clouds
- 10Clouds' Social Media Presence
- Traffic Acquisition at 10Clouds
- Wrap Up
From web development to product design, machine learning and blockchain, 10Clouds ain’t afraid of saying “yes” to challenges. This proves it: 10Clouds handles over 20 blockchain projects a year, as per a Facebook statement.
But having the right product means nothing if you can’t tell it to the world. So, what are the marketing strategies behind 10Clouds’ growth?
We’ll find out soon.
10Clouds - Software House Warsaw Short Overview
Asmodee, Baidu, Pinterest - these are just a few of the world-famous companies that worked with 10Clouds.
Now, let’s see what former clients have to say about working with 10Clouds. It seems their main assets are:
- Being highly collaborative, flexible
- Being highly tech skilled
- Seamless project management
- Delivering quality results at reasonable costs
- Meeting/exceeding expectations
On their website and Youtube account, 10Clouds features also lots of video testimonials.
So, the team seems in place, the services are reliable, the process is seamless. But what about the marketing behind it? How about branding? Are they top-notch too?
It’s time to pull down the curtain and uncover the system behind 10Clouds’s growth.
Here’s a short spoiler about what’s cooking in this study case.
These seem to be 3 of 10Clouds’ marketing superpowers:
- Community focus
- Building the right brand
- The client always comes first
Stay tuned for more.
10Clouds’ Marketing Strategies Reverse Engineered
When you initially think about B2B marketing strategies, your mind might go straight to outbound techniques. While this approach can still work, we’ve now entered an era of inbound and conversational marketing.
The B2B buying process is no longer cold or painful for the buyer. The fix lays in making interactions feel personal again.
Is 10Clouds going with the flow?
This is what we’re trying to find out in our analysis. We’ll dive into content marketing, we’ll analyze the branding efforts and how 10CLouds is building its social media presence…
Then we’ll give you hands-on takeaways to implement ASAP.
So, on your mark, get ready, set, go!
Brand Awareness at 10Clouds
Smart technology, robots, artificial intelligence, machine learning: sci-fi is here. And it has dramatically changed marketing.
But with great opportunity comes great responsibility in the B2B world. Brand loyalty is less and less common, competition is fierce, and brand awareness is more important than ever. And if you do get to the top, can you stay there long?
So, where does 10Clouds stand in the brand awareness game?
Advertising is everywhere around us, offline, online, there’s a flood out there. Every business has a difficult time getting a signal through the noise. So, when everyone says that its product is best in class, how can you effectively differentiate your brand?
Awards - still effective today. While anyone can send email, engage in social media or pay per click campaigns, awards are limited.
In the software development industry, the Clutch nominations still have some power.
So, which are the 10Clouds awards so far?
- 4th place in Top Polish Web Developers - septemrber 2019 (Clutch)
- 13th place in Top Worldwide IT Outsourcing Companies - 2017 (Clutch)
- Ranking 480 in Financial Times’ Fast 1000 Europe 2018, with revenue growth of 333% during 2013-2016.
- 8th place in Top 50 Blockchain Companies by The Manifest
10Clouds’ Social Media Presence
As I’ve mentioned above, social media can be a really powerful tool in employer branding.
On the other hand, it can also be leveraged for nurturing relationships with clients and prospects.
Let’s see how 10Clouds is approaching the matter.
5600+ Facebook followers are updated about the latest articles on the 10Clouds blog, about the latest additions to the Behance and Dribbble portfolio, latest products they’ve built.
The content posted on Facebook is mostly aimed at gaining more customers.
But the employer branding is not left out. Photo albums posted on Facebook try to paint a cool picture of the company’s culture.
The Facebook interaction is way above the average (which is around 13-15).
There is no pattern for the posts that get highest engagement. The trend we’ve noticed so far is that usually people related posts are more appealing, but this is not the case.
Unlike the case of other players in the industry, the Instagram account is the channel where 10Clouds is trying to showcase the apps and other products they’ve built.
Also, whenever it’s time to celebrate something, the Instagram followers are immediately updated: getting to 125 employees, reaching 30k Dribbble followers etc.
Job opportunities are also promoted.
Older posts were more employer branding - oriented.
The Twitter profile promotes mostly events they attend or organize.
The focus here is mostly about getting noticed by potential clients and proving that they are an important member of the community.
Blog posts and Medium content are also promoted.
Next, why not celebrate with your Twitter followers important moments of your business?
See this tweet, where 10Clouds is proud of winning a bronze medal in an AI contest.
The LinkedIn account is all about building brand awareness among future clients, through:
- showcasing the latest apps they’ve built and partnerships they've forged
- Promoting events they attend
- Career opportunities are also listed.
10Clouds is using Behance to showcase its portfolio. And the feedback it gets is looking really good. Lots of followers and appreciations, way above we’ve analyzed so far.
They have tens of comments, views can go up to 50k. Impressive!
Good design is a make it or break it decision-making factor if you are in the product design niche.
So, gathering feedback from the community, showcasing your portfolio is essential.
Dribbble is the channel allowing you to do just that.
And 10Clouds seems to understand this and built a great Dribbble profile, where engagement looks amazing.
Community Building at 10Clouds
10Clouds organizes a popular meetup for developers under the Acodemy brand.
For design lovers they organize Louds meetup.
Let’s not forget also conferences, like the Blockchain Fiesta in Krakow, where the 10Clouds Blockchain Lead had a presentation.
10Clouds also sponsors meetups, Warsaw.JS and Python meetups around Warsaw.
Pretty busy guys, I’d say.
Employer Branding and Hiring
Today, company culture and branding have a higher value than ever. Especially when you compete in hiring the right tech talent.
In the digital age, where the border between work and life is really thin, where social media can lift a brand up or knock it out, building an employer brand is vital.
When you hire the talent you need, you manage to retain it, then you can focus more on delivering quality products/services to clients and grow. Else, if employees come and go, it’s gonna be really tough and it’s gonna cost you a lot.
Communication, feedback, relationship with management, learning initiatives, employee perks, recognition - these are elementary when hiring and retaining the proper talent.
So, how does the process look like for 10Clouds?
Here’s an article they wrote in order to explain the 10Clouds developers hiring process.
Employees are asked about how the hiring process worked, what attracted them to 10Clouds in the first place, and how does 10Clouds look like a year after. They praise the learning environment, career opportunities.
Social media, video content are tools used in building employer branding.
Take this video for example, about how it feels being a 10Clouds developer.
10Clouds is looking to expand the developer and designer teams in all cities or remote.
10Clouds is looking to expand the developer and designer teams in all cities or remote.
10Clouds’s Website and Conversion Rate Optimization
According to Krug’s first law of usability “Don’t make me think”, the 10Clouds homepage is self-explanatory. The structure is clear, the visual clues are moderate, the links are easily recognizable and help users to find their path to their aim.
The layout is scannable: content is categorized, visual elements are guiding the visitor to the Call to Action, content blocks are flowing nicely. The phrases and wording are concise.
But is this enough to turn a visitor into a customer? These days, potential buyers are looking for one more thing before making a commitment to spend money on you - social proof.
Social proof refers to people’s reliance on the feedback and actions of others so that they can make an informed choice.
Testimonials, awards, case studies, reviews, the number of followers/likes/fans in social media, all of these should be leveraged in order to build trust in the eyes of stakeholders.
In the case of 10Clouds’ website we’ve got:
- Growth KPIs
- Case studies
- List of clients
- PR mentions
In order to further move a visitor down the funnel, forms and chat are used.
In terms of conversion rate tools, according to Similartech, 10Clouds is using Hotjar for heatmaps and session recordings, and Autopilot, for marketing automation.
So 10Clouds wants to empower its sales team with better-qualified leads, it wants to improve the users’ path on the website and provide a better experience across the buyer journey, hence increasing ROI.
Traffic Acquisition at 10Clouds
More than 95% of the desktop website traffic comes from direct and search sources (according to Semrush).
In terms of direct traffic, I’m assuming the 15% is due to:
- Community events (meetups, conferences) where they promote their website
- No UTM tracking added to their links
- Sales activities: cold sales emails, events networking
The search traffic began ramping up this summer. We’ll get into more detail below.
As you already know by now, we like the RACE framework when it comes to digital marketing planning.
At this step we’ll focus on which are the touchpoints where people first become aware of 10Clouds. We’ve already talked about building brand awareness and social media above, but now we’ll go deeper and analyze the blog strategy and other types of content.
The blog is updated about monthly, and the topics covered relate to company news, software development, business development.
The technical content is written by developers, which is no news for us. It’s a common practice in the industry.
According to Buzzsumo the most shared content on Facebook is the technical blog content and career-opportunities announcements.
As we already know by now, good quality content is not enough for organic ranking. So, let’s take a look at the backlinks a bit.
We’ve got backlinks from relevant tech websites (Clutch, The Manifest, python.org) with high authority, as well as links from hiring & freelancing platforms (millo.co, workable.com, startupjpbs.pl).
From the SEO perspective, the most valuable backlinks are do-follow, topic relevant as well as from a high authority website.
For 10Clouds, 66% of the backlinks are do-follow.
Now, let’s move on from the website blog, to the Medium blog.
On Medium, 10Clouds develops content around design, development, UI & UX topics.
One of the biggest benefits of blogging on Medium is the fact that Medium has a built-in distribution channel reaching 60M+ unique monthly visitors (2017, Medium data).
And if you’re analyzing the most popular Medium content you’ll see that tech is by far the one with the most traction.
So, for a tech company it’s only natural to be where its audience is: Medium.
For 10Clouds, it seems that the Medium strategy is paying off in terms of engagement.
Now, let’s move to a bit more advanced types of content, that bring more added value: case studies.
In a B2B world, where the value of the product is measured in tens of thousands of dollars, case studies are a must.
A pro tip we always give our clients is to include data in their case studies, what were the practical achievements, some KPIs?
10Clouds knows how to prove they do a good job:
Ok, we’ve got traffic, what now? How do we make them move further down in the funnel? How can we turn them into leads?
For the lead generation part, 10Clouds uses an Ebook as lead magnet.
Also, they provide a free consultation together with a bold promise: “We’ll build your MVP in 40 days”.
I’m really curious if this is having traction.
The content marketing strategy is still in its infancy at 10Clouds, but it's showing results.
Now that we’ve come so far, let ’s do the shortlist of takeaways. So, 10Clouds is really good at:
- Mastering technical knowledge and project management
- Building a brand - using the power of video testimonials, community, awards
- Building a community around the company, be it offline (through meetups and other events they organize or sponsor), be it online (Dribbble, Behance)
So, another one busts the dust.
But, more companies are waiting in line to be analyzed.
To get the full picture of how software houses in Poland grow with the help of inbound marketing, get our ebook: The Growth Marketing Secrets of Top European Software Houses - Poland Edition 2020.