Two competing post scheduling apps widely use content marketing in their marketing mix but in a totally different way. The results are very different too.
There's years-long discussion about content marketing: is it only about quality SEO or beyond? Some agencies still use content marketing as an extension of SEO activities. Meaning, they go from the keywords, analyse what are the phrases they can get more traffic with, and write articles on those subjects.
I am a strong believer that content marketing is far beyond SEO and also the company's activities on social media, as well as influencer marketing — that is, relationships with influencers. Why do I think so? I believe it's reasonable to include any content that is produced by the company or consciously engaged by the company as a part of content marketing strategy.
But let's explore it deeper with specific content marketing examples, how it works in real life.
Meet my teardown candidates:
A scheduling app, operates as a SaaS. Offers scheduling and posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.
Features: Allows to schedule, choose your own time, tag the posts. Don’t support evergreen posts (but probably would pivot to it as well). AI-generated inspiration templates. Best time predictions.
Positioning: all-in-one hustle free scheduler
Launched: March 2021 after being developed and build in public in 63 days
Got first paying users in 48 hours. In 1 months - $500 MRR.
September, 2021: $5MRR (according to microacquire.com )
(incorporated in the US, founders are in France and Netherlands)
A scheduling app with a focus on Twitter. Still, a Premium plan allows scheduling and posting on Twitter as well as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and OnlyFans for 5 accounts simultaneously.
Features: best time for post predictions, Evergreen posts, automatic retweets, AI-based tagging system (your posts are tagged automatically), personalised inspirations based on the account's previous posts (the best performing ones).
Positioning: an app to monetise Twitter audience
Launched: September 2019 after being built in public for 2 months.
First paying customers — days after launch.
By November, 2020 reached $10K MRR
September, 2021: $23.5K MRR.
Products feature and content marketing comparison
Both products are very similar in features. However, they are very different in positioning, target audience and adopted content marketing strategies (though, both heavily based on social). As a result, they have absolutely different growth rates and dynamics. So, let's dive deeper.
The "locomotive" for FeedHive marketing strategy is a founder, Simon Høiberg who's also the company's CMO. Simon has a strong personal brand and a wide presence on social media (66k followers on Twitter, 6.5 subscribers for his personal YouTube channel, 15K followers on inkedIn). Simon consistently creates high quality content for all three platforms and grows his audience pretty fast.
HypeFury's both cofounders — Yannick Veys and Samy Dindane — are also influencers on Twitter though with much smaller following base (16.5K and 7.5K followers respectively). Hypefury's YouTube channel as of September 2021 had 116 subscribers. There's also a Hypefury Presents podcast but I can't access the number of its listeners. Still, overall we have to assume that though Hypefury has been around longer and has two co-founders, they can't personally provide the product with the same level of social outreach as Simone Høiberg can for FeedHive.
Will all that said, Hypefury is growing faster.
Hypefury and FeedHive: compare MRR, users, traffic sources
In the first 6 months from November 2019 to April 2020 Hypefury's growth was x12. FeedHive in the same time frame slightly small growth (x11.5) but nothing critical. The spped is very impressive, right?
Let's see how both brands get their traffic. Most of it, as you can see, comes from social media. I did not manage to find any Facebook ads for both apps.
Hypefury and FeedHive Content marketing strategies: how do they differ
However, the way HypeFury and FeedHive use social media is quite different. FeedHive uses Simon Høiberg's personal brand as a main driver for brand awareness. Also, it cooperates with several big account on Twitter (like Francesco Ciulla (50K followers), Oliver Jumpertz (46K followers), Prasoon Pratham (92K followers), Pratham (126K followers). All the accounts that support FeedHive are developers. They post tweets from time to time endorsing FeedHive or offering social proof (stating that the app helped them grow the audience on Twitter)
Hypefury, on the other hand, actively engages many small communities on Twitter in order to spread the word. Hypefury's team constantly comes up with ideas how to leverage the community presence:
— In August 2021 they ran ##hypefurychallenge where everyone on Twitter was encouraged to start growing their audience by following simple guidelines offered by Hypefury and consistently posting content with the above mentioned hashtag.
— Hypefury actively engages micro- and nano-influencers (like @HeyArunima who's got less than 5K followers but with very high engagement rate (over 10%)
— Finally, they rolled out an affiliate program where every influencer on Twitter is encouraged to use Hypefury for free while recruiting others to use it. Influencers can use personal referral links while mentioning Hypefury in their posts, recruit other affiliates and receive a commission for every new paying user who signed up for Hypefury after following the affiliate link.
While Simon Høiberg focuses all his content efforts on bootstrapped developers and engineers, Hypefury recruits micro-influencers from illustrators, writers, creators, developers, marketing experts, data analysts — as many roles as possible.
The main message is focused and valuable:
— You can be anyone, still you can become an influencer on Twitter and monetise this status. The only thing you have to do is to post valuable content and be consistent. Hypefury will help you with both these tasks. —
As the message is delivered via influencers it resonates a lot with every audience they address. It reminds me a lot of the strategy Nathan Barry used to get users on ConvertKit: he recruited micro-influencers first, and then reached out to their followers with a message that sounds like "look, a person you follow is already here, on ConvertKit, why don't you join them?"
It definitely brings in great results and a high level of conversion rate for Hypefury, especially taking into consideration the fact that it refuses to compete in pricing with other similar services (FeedHive starts with $9/month, Typefully (another popular Twitter scheduler) has a free plan, Pro plan is $10/month). Hypefury's pricing, that starts with $19/month, is definitely off, and as soon as the features are more or less similar to FeedHive, it all comes down to positioning, messaging and attracting the right audience.
On the other hand, Simon Høiberg messaging is much less "niche" — he positions FeedHive as an app for everyone, all-in-one while addressing, at the same time, a very niche audience (developers). I won't question how developers might be the only audience that gains the most from FeedHive functionality — hopefully, Simon's team had run dozens of customer interviews and focus groups before going all in with developer-focused content. But from the outside, there is a definite gap between a broad messaging and a focus of marketing effort on one particular audience. I believe the only reason for that is that FeedHive is less than a year old, they have a great head-start, and eventually they will figure out right positioning, messaging and ROI for content marketing efforts.
Let's cap up
— Hypefury with pricing that is twice higher than nearest competitors grows not slower but slightly faster.
— The main focus of marketing efforts for both Hypefury and FeedHive is content marketing.
— The difference is that FeedHive is using 2-3 big accounts to spread the word among the developer community. While Hypefury actively engages a wide net of nano- and micro-influencers to engage totally different communities.
This is what content marketing can do for your brand. It can basically drag you out of the price competition game and boost growth across different channels.
— Growing in a Crowded Niche: Hypefury Growth Story — https://baremetrics.com/blog/hypefury-growth
— Hypefury on Indie Hackers https://www.indiehackers.com/product/hypefury
— How Twitter Automation platform went from $0 to $4K MRR https://growthlessons.co/how-twitter-automation-platform-hypefury-went-from-0-to-4-4k-mrr-in-4-months/
— $11K MRR Growth Strategy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4dtUrQJVbA
— Simon Høiberg on IndieHackers https://www.indiehackers.com/post/feedhive-is-closing-in-on-500-mrr-after-being-public-for-only-1-month-4c96a5ef3f