PUBLISHED: May 6, 2022

Content with Intent: How SafetyCulture’s Organic Traffic Grew by >600%

Hazel Kamath
Safety Culture SaaS Interview Featured Image

Ever wondered how you can keep your workplace safe?

Safety at workplaces is a huge concern today. In fact, failing to create a safe work environment can prove to be costly for businesses and employees. 

What if we told you about a cloud-based software company that ensures high workplace safety and quality standards? 

We are referring to SafetyCulture – a software firm that develops mobile and web applications used for workplace inspections and incident reporting. 

Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, SafetyCulture powers over 600 million checks per year and millions of corrective actions per day. With clients like Shell, United Nations, Virgin Active, Cathay Pacific, and others, this customer and product-driven company is all set to empower teams globally to drive operational excellence. 

We got in touch with Rebecca Hall, EMEA Regional Marketing Lead at SafetyCulture to learn about their winning journey so far. Rebecca told us all about how SafetyCulture is helping businesses around the world achieve safer and higher quality workplaces through innovative low-cost mobile-first products. 

SafetyCulture Success Highlights

  • The platform focuses on sharing high-quality content that best addresses the intent of its target audience. Further, they optimize their content for search engines based on performance data over time. 
  • Brand storytelling and elevating customer voices through content have helped SafetyCulture 
  • Listening firsthand to how customers use their platform and probing into their reason to believe hugely feeds SafetyCulture’s content and campaigns.

SafetyCulture has been experimenting with innovative content and SEO strategies to improve its brand visibility and reputation. Let’s hear more about their strategies from Rebecca. 

Thank you, Rebecca, for sparing time to tell us about how SafetyCulture has evolved into the operational heartbeat of working teams around the world. We are excited to know more! 

Could you share how it all started and your expertise?

I have worked in Marketing for over 10 years, 6 of those in the SaaS sector. My current role is a generalized marketing role covering all aspects of the marketing mix, but my background and passion have always been in communications and content. I’m a writer at heart, and passionately believe content is king when it comes to connecting with your audience.

My previous role was in intranet software so the move to SafetyCulture was a natural evolution. In both businesses, the mission is focused on connecting every employee to their organization through the power of technology. 

Connecting those unsung heroes on the frontlines – those who live and breathe the brand and mission of their business every day – to their leaders, peers, and the bigger picture has become a driving purpose for me. 

Tell us about SafetyCulture and how it impacts your customers

The SafetyCulture story began with a simple question – how do we keep people in the workplace safe? 

Our CEO and founder Luke Anear had a background working in private investigation and saw for himself the devastating impact accidents in the workplace could have – and rather than being involved in the aftermath, he wanted to be a part of the solution. 

The original concept was actually humble safety documents but as tech accelerated, our checklist app iAuditor was born (out of a garage in Townsville, Australia because of course, tech start-up). Since then it’s evolved to become a digital operations platform powered by observations.

With our mobile-first tools, organizations can conduct inspections, capture issues, manage tasks, communicate clearly and train working teams. In terms of impact, it’s incredibly far-reaching and hugely powerful. 

Thanks to our tools, workers are empowered to capture, escalate and speak out when they spot things that aren’t right; continuously improve how they work and upskill; dramatically reduce risk and remain compliant; improve standards and streamline their processes; and much more. 

Digitalization helps our customers save time, become more efficient, create digital audit trails, capture and surface insights from across their organization, and shape operations for the better.

We have over one million users who have completed over 600 million checks and 50,000 lessons using our tools, and an independent report conducted by Forrester showed customers see a 214% return on investment by partnering with us. 

On a more personal level, whenever I speak directly with customers it’s the knowledge that we’re playing a critical role in improving their day-to-day working lives that really resonates: and the fact that thanks to our platform, workers return home safe every day. That’s something you can’t possibly put a price on. 

Competitors in our space tend to offer health and safety or digital risk assessment tools; however, we’re confident there’s no one offering the end-to-end solution we offer, that covers everything from digital checklists to sensors and training. 

What’s been your strategy when promoting SafetyCulture? 

Our primary growth model is product-led: prospects find our solution organically on the web or the app store, sign up, and we work to help them see the value and activate within the product. This is underpinned by a comprehensive SEO strategy driven by our global team. 

Our strategy primarily focuses on use cases or customer pain and developing content.

For example, our content circles around mandatory compliance requirements, vital operational checks, or industry trends that have an applicable use case for our tools. This is supported by the regional functions that feed in trends and topics from the ground in their respective regions. 

The blessing (and, occasionally, curse) of having a hugely adaptive platform that can be applied across multiple industries is the sheer diversity of our target market. We’re as applicable to a health and safety manager on the floor of a manufacturing facility conducting machine checks, as we are to a regional store manager looking to improve brand compliance or manage loss prevention. 

Our regional marketing function is a small team, and can’t be everything to everyone: so that calls for constant agility to look at our market in-region, see where the biggest opportunities lie, and where to apply laser focus. We have the support of our 40-strong global Marketing function based in Australia, but the regional strategy sits with on-the-ground small marketing functions. 

Thanks to that diversity, our lead funnel can also massively vary. A product lead signing up for the freemium model of the tool can convert to a paid account in as little as two weeks, or if it’s an enterprise-level opportunity, it may extend to 4-6 months. 

Some have been known to simmer for 18 months! They have multiple touchpoints along the way spanning our Lifecycle Marketing team – who help those leads to activate, adopt and see value in the product – to our sales and customer success teams, who support with identifying use cases and opportunities. 

The regional marketing functions are currently focusing on expansion opportunities within our existing customer base. We all know that it costs far less to retain and grow an existing customer than to acquire a new one – and this is where, we believe, we can deliver the greatest value. 

We’re investing heavily in product-focused events, webinars, product content, and developing industry-personalized engagement streams to educate and inspire our customers along their SafetyCulture journey. 

We are also investing in building our brand equity and opening up new funnels. Most recently, we’re proud to sponsor Brentford FC here in the UK, who were promoted to the Premier League this season. 

Brentford Football Club is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with SafetyCulture.

However, unlike a traditional brand sponsorship, this isn’t just about getting our logo up on the stadium LEDs or how many views we’ll get on prime time TV. 

We’ve embedded our tools into the operations behind the team, positioning ourselves as their dedicated Operations Partner – and will tell that story. It’s an initiative that we’re incredibly excited about and delivered dividends for the brand when we executed something similar at the Australian Open and for M Sport, the world rally car racing team. 

We’re also growing our partnerships funnel working closely with insurance providers and trade associations, whose clients and members need our tools.

We view regional marketing as very much an extension of our go-to-market team, and therefore success, for us, is mirrored in their targets. We track a marketing-influenced pipeline where opportunities have engaged with one of our campaigns, but also measure monthly active users (MAU), engagement, and closed-won expansion revenue. 

How do content marketing and SEO fit in SafetyCulture’s overall brand strategy?

Our current content strategy within regional marketing has shifted focus from top-of-funnel thought leadership designed to attract marketing qualified leads (MQLs), to now focus on existing customer health, product adoption, and use case education.

We’ve discovered that actually, one of the greatest opportunities for bringing in new business lies within our existing base – a breadth expansion approach. An existing customer will often only use our tools within a specific area of their business: a single department, a single country. 

If we can ensure they have a delightful experience and inspire them to other uses of the tool, we not only grow their use and engagement (depth expansion) but can often generate internal referrals or proof of concept to unearth leads elsewhere in the wider organization (breadth). 

One of our recent hacks has been to develop a one-page account template for our BDs when prospecting: they can populate what they know about the use of the existing account including any quotes or ROI, and have this as social proof when prospecting into different departments or regions. 

It’s surprisingly simple yet powerful to know your colleague in France is already adopting and using this platform – why wouldn’t you pick up the phone to see how you can jump on the bandwagon? 

That storytelling piece – showcasing how existing customers are seeing value with us – is the most powerful content tool in our arsenal. In the EMEA Marketing team, we lead the way in capturing customer stories and invest heavily in customer advocacy, repurposing those stories for webinars, videos, email nurture, and more.

We have an in-house content team based in Australia, alongside a growing SEO team across Australia and Manilla. The regional marketing teams will often develop their own content and provide SEO feedback with a regional lens. 

We look out for changes in legislation, compliance requirements, or topics our customers are talking about, and develop tailored content to drive organic traffic to the site – improving brand visibility alongside sign-ups. 

We invested in Marketo as our automation platform just over a year ago. We’re now beginning to leverage its content tracking and measure capabilities. The tool allows us to host content within Marketo pages and gauge success through visits, time-on-page as well as identifying trends among assets where they may have influenced an opportunity. 

For website and SEO content, the team closely monitors ranking, traffic, and conversions – to name a few! 

What’s your link-building strategy been like?

We ethically gain high-quality links and focus on quality, not quantity. We build relationships with other websites, not just cold email marketing. 

Our monthly organic traffic has grown by more than 600% since we established the SEO team in March 2018. We focus on creating high-quality content that best addresses the intent of our target audience and optimizing SEO pages based on performance data over time. 

While on-page SEO has dominated our strategy, we’ve begun venturing into different fields of organic search with the launch of Multilingual SEO in 2020 and YouTube SEO in 2021. 

One of our global marketing priorities in 2022 is to accelerate the growth of our English website visitors. Along with adding new content specialists to our team, we’re also expanding SEO functions with experienced outreach specialists. 

We’ve performed link-building experiments before, but off-page SEO is another realm that we’ve yet to conquer completely. Done well, we can rank higher in the SERPs, leading to increased visits and improved online visibility

Can you tell us about a specific strategy that worked well for you? 

We’ve been connecting/searching for journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise. In the context of outreach and link-building, we can leverage this by providing valuable information related to SafetyCulture’s expertise, industry, and experience for a link back to our website as their resource. We are still doing this as we see a potential opportunity in it. 

Tell us about a new strategy you are planning to implement this year. 

We are currently experimenting with competitor link outreach and checking out who responded, what are the criteria for getting a backlink from them, what approach should we be doing, and so on.

Have you been using any tools to measure your link-building success? 

We’ve been using Buzzstream to collect all the data reports, just by connecting them with our outreach email and inputting the domains we will be prospecting and they will analyze each of them. 

It’s an amazing tool to use with teams that are working together, we can check if we have acquired/emailed that domain. Check the rates on rejected and bounce emails and more features. 

Any advice you’d like to give to our SaaS marketing professionals?

I’ll be the first to jump on the cliche that Content is King. However, it has to be broached mindfully and focus on delivering true value for your audience. In the old days, we shared keyword-stuffed content, engaged in newsjacking with the most tenuous of links to our products or services, or announced new product features like they were headline news. It doesn’t float in today’s content-rich world. 

To differentiate yourself in a crowded space like the SaaS domain, you really have to step into the shoes of your would-be customers and walk a mile in their shoes. 

Often, marketing is office-based and doesn’t get a lot of interaction directly with customers – so my advice is to get yourself out there. Go to on-site visits, jump on customer calls, and instead of doing case studies over the phone, ask if you can get there and do it face-to-face. 

Hearing firsthand how customers use our tools, and probing into their ‘why’ has given me a length of empathy and understanding that I now try hard to feed into the content and campaigns we produce.

We also prioritize storytelling and elevating our customer voices above our own – there’s nothing more powerful.   

That makes for a natural alliance between content and SaaS: if you understand the pain and challenges your customers are looking to resolve and can offer them meaningful support and insights to solve those challenges, you move from being a service provider to a trusted advisor or a partner. 

At that stage, your customers believe you really ‘get’ what they’re looking to achieve, and that you’re on their side – rather than just another vendor, trying to get their cash.

Content features at every stage of the funnel; from lead generation and brand awareness to adoption, expansion, and retention. 

And finally, never stop evolving and improving. Marketing should never be static: you can’t simply produce a buyer persona or conduct a one-off competitor analysis and assume you’ve ticked that box and then build your strategy around it. 

We operate in one of the fastest-changing and evolving environments there is, which is absolutely something to love about SaaS – and a huge opportunity. So, continually challenge what you’re doing and whether it’s still relevant. Be willing to shift gears and remain agile – there’s no excuse for getting stale or being bored working in this field!

How have you been maintaining a work-life balance during these times of uncertainty?

Work-life balance has always been a challenge working in a global organization across three different time zones, so it’s something I have to continually and mindfully invest in. Thankfully adding a child and a needy dog into the mix means inevitably life will come knocking if I’m spending too much time on the work side of things!

Any new skills you are wanting to learn?

I’m a generalized marketer, so I have visibility across the marketing mix but haven’t deeply developed my digital marketing skills – I’ve always had a peer or team member focused on that area. 

Now, I’m trying to grow my understanding of marketing automation, the more technical elements of lead routing and attribution, and dip into the world of PPC. 

Is there any piece of content that you’d like to tell us about? 

Our business ethos is built around empowering those on the frontlines: the everyday worker who lives and breathes the brand of their business, the first responder at the actionable point of risk. They’re our most valuable asset, but also, unfortunately, the least heard in an organization. 

We undertook research in conjunction with YouGov into the experience of today’s frontline workforce and produced our Feedback from the Field report – this delves into some of the findings, including that the majority of American, Australian, and British frontline workers (67%) say that they are never, rarely, or only sometimes listened to on topics that matter to them the most. 

This report is a powerful wake-up call and has some vital insights for leaders looking to motivate and engage their frontline workers. 

Here’s the link! 

SaaSy Tidbits from Rebecca Hall

  • Content is the king but one has to prioritize delivering true value for the target audience. Marketers need to step into the shoes of their would-be customers and walk a mile in their shoes to create content they care about. 
  • SaaS marketing is not an office-based job, Marketers need to get themselves out, go for on-site visits, and jump on customer calls. Merely doing case studies over the phone isn’t going to help. 
  • Content features at every stage of the SaaS funnel – from lead generation and brand awareness to adoption, expansion, and retention. 
  • There’s a natural alliance between SaaS and content marketing because customers are looking for meaningful support and insights to solve their challenges. Good-quality and intent-driven content can give them that! 
  • Building buyer personas and conducting competitive analysis aren’t one-off tasks. In a dynamic domain like SaaS, marketers need to shift gears and remain agile. This will help them stay relevant and competitive. 

Among all the SaaSy tidbits Rebecca shared, one statement stuck with us – ‘SaaS marketing is not an office-based job, Marketers need to get themselves out.’ We couldn’t agree more with this, especially when we are a SaaS content marketing agency that loves to get our hands dirty when creating robust content strategies for our clients.

SafetyCulture has helped some of the most dangerous industries digitize and adhere to safety and quality protocols. The firm has been bold enough to experiment with new content and link-building strategies. Today, the platform hosts over 1.5 million users across 28,000 firms in more than 85 countries.

If you are keen on learning more about SafetyCulture, we recommend getting in touch with Rebecca on LinkedIn or visiting their website to learn about their software solutions.

Image Sources – Inside World Football

Hazel Kamath

Hazel Kamath is a Senior Content Writer and Strategist at Growfusely – a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO.

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