How Buffer Uses Content Marketing To Generate Over $3.8 Million Annual Revenue

Marketing is all about dialogue, building trust, brand recognition and imparting the value of what you are selling without sounding like an advertising executive. This is where content marketing comes in, which was a marketing buzzword last year and is now becoming an essential component of most companies marketing mix.

Buffer, a social media sharing startup with over 1.2 million users, $3.8 million revenue and over 125 million updates going through it since it launched in 2011, has got where it is on the strength of content marketing alone. How did Buffer do it?

Audience Awareness

Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer, tested rigorously, in order to validate his idea. He made sure, before building the first version of Buffer, what people wanted and just as crucially, who  he was building Buffer for. Those who use it are often small business owners, social media professionals, marketing agencies, freelancers and startup founders. They wanted to read about what works in social media marketing, writing, user experience, building a business, productivity and life hacks, which is what they’ve been writing about ever since.

Interesting Content

They didn’t start off with nearly half a million unique monthly visitors and over sixteen thousand email subscribers. They started by writing about things they found interesting. Topics that aren’t popular are discontinued.

A Numbers Game

Metrics are everything when it comes to content marketing and managing growth. Buffer is rigorous when it comes to monitoring using metrics and publishing their data. The following were the top three blogs from 2013:

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

(137,260 unique visitors)

A scientific guide to posting Tweets, Facebook posts, Emails and Blog posts at the best time

(111,213 unique visitors)

7 Ways I Accidentally Got More Twitter Followers (and 7 Ways You Can on Purpose!)

(73,033 unique visitors)

Give Me More

Short, time sensitive content is the purview of the media. Successful blogs, according to what works for Buffer at least (based on an analysis of their top performing blogs in 2013), should be long (over 1000 words), full of images and references, and therefore evergreen. Meaning it continue to be relevant well into the future.

Guest Blogging

For marketing professionals this can prove to be a valuable trick in your toolkit This is how Buffer generated interest, brand awareness and new users right from day one. Co-founder & COO, Leo Widrich, wrote over 150 guest blogs in the first six months which led to tens of thousands of sign ups, and more importantly, revenue.

Key Takeaways:

  • Know your audience

  • Write content which will interest them

  • Measure your metrics

  • Long-form, evergreen content powers social media click through’s

  • Publish blogs externally in order to be where your customers are lets companies “know their audience” by showing what their customers are talking about right now on social media, what content they find interesting, and what they’re sharing over time. Find out more here: