Learning by example is smart. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing, so that means that there’s a ton of content out there for you to learn from to improve your own results. Let’s take a look at Lucidchart content marketing efforts!
We’re impressed by their blog’s sidebar. No seriously, we are.
We’re covering exactly how they pull in millions of search traffic each quarter and how they convert blog readers into freemium users and paying subscribers.
Table of contents:
- Commitment to product marketing
- Turning readers into new users
- The SEO strategy behind 500,000 organic keywords
- Increasing blog engagement and page views
- Chart templates that pull targeted segments of new users
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Lucidchart’s commitment to product marketing (and how that affects content)
Lucidchart is a visual workspace that helps remote teams with diagramming, flowcharting, software design, process mapping, org chart design, agile planning, and whiteboarding.
The company is seriously committed to product marketing, and that shows in their freemium pricing structure, how they turn product templates into assets, and how they encourage sign-ups straight from blog posts that target high-intent keyphrases.
Lucidchart’s product marketing team has found multiple ways to turn the product inside out and make the buying process as transparent as possible.
By following pathways from blog content, readers can see exactly what Lucidchart does and how the product can help them.
If you have a freemium or free trial plan, pay very close attention to how Lucidchart collects new users from their content without it ever feeling salesy.
How Lucidchart turns readers into new users
So exactly does Lucidchart convert readers into users?
Let’s look at some very specific examples to find out.
Sidebar CTA that changes with each post
Lucidchart customizes the sidebar to each and every blog post. Yes, you heard that right. Every blog post has a widget in the sidebar with a next-step that makes the most sense for that post.
Blogs that are top-of-funnel won’t link straight to a signup form or pricing page, but blogs with product-related how-to content or with competitor alternatives and comparisons will link to the pricing page or include a sign-up form.
Here are some of the different sidebar widgets.
This sidebar CTA links to a product page:
The above blog post is about customer journeys, so it links to a product page that is specific to customer journey maps and mockups.
The sidebar does not link straight to the pricing page or signup form because the blog post is very informational. The intent of Lucidchart’s content is not actionable.
This sidebar CTA links to the pricing page:
The above blog is a “how-to” tutorial on creating a business analysis communication plan, so it’s fitting that the sidebar links to the pricing page. The intent of this post is to create something, which this piece of Lucidchart content can help you do.
This sidebar captures freemium users straight away:
The above blog post is very actionable, and flowcharts are one of the top things that Lucidchart can help users create. That’s why it makes sense for this blog post to have a form right in the sidebar.
As you can see, Lucidchart is selective with which blog posts get the signup form in the sidebar and which don’t.
Signup form in main blog roll
While individual blog posts may or may not feature the signup form in the sidebar, the main blog roll does.
This makes sense because anyone seeing this page did not come straight from cold traffic or from search.
To get to the blog roll page (/blog), readers have to have clicked through from the footer of a website page, or they clicked the logo after reading a blog.
In other words, this is not their first encounter with the brand. They have at least seen one other page. So, it’s not too soon to offer the signup form in content.
However, when it comes to new traffic from SEO, readers will see a sidebar that matches the intent of the article they are reading.
Blog main menu navigation
There’s another smart way that Lucidchart gets new freemium users from their blog.
Take a look at the blog’s navigation:
The “Make a Diagram” item links to the pricing page, and it’s visible on the main blog roll and every single post.
If you have your blog hosted in a subdomain or folder and have a separate menu for it that doesn’t match the main site, go ahead and add some sort of CTA for readers to take action and become a user or customer.
For best results, put this sign up CTA all the way to the right of the menu. And take Lucidchart content lead by making the text something interesting and actionable instead of just “sign up.”
The SEO strategy behind Lucidchart’s 500k organic keywords
It would be remiss to write a teardown of Lucidchart’s blog content without mentioning SEO.
After all, they pull in around 1.7 million monthly website users and they rank for over 500,000 keywords.
Founded in 2008, Lucidchart is way ahead of the SEO game. But don’t worry, now is always a great time to start.
With a product like Lucidchart, the keyphrase opportunities are endless. There are so many different industries, user types, and use cases. Lucidchart is smart to go after them all.
While their SEO strategy is certainly complex, at a simple level we can break it down into two types of keyphrases.
- Horizontal keyphrases
- Vertical keyphrases
- Vertical + horizontal keyphrases
- What this means: cuts across all industries and is closely related to Lucidchart’s product.
- Examples: Venn diagrams, flow charts, process mapping, flowchart template
- What this means: specific to an industry such as education but is not a high intent keyphrase for their product (not something like “flowchart”)
- Examples: agile software development life cycle, customer journey, distance education
Vertical + horizontal keyphrases
- What this means: specific to an industry such as nursing OR specific to a role such as sales AND is closely related to Lucidchart’s product
- Examples: concept map nursing, swot analysis template word, communication plan project management
Why Lucidchart’s blogs don’t show publication dates
There’s an interesting thing about Lucidchart’s blogs. They don’t show the date that something was published.
Because their blog has been around for a decade and because it drives so much search traffic to their site, this makes sense.
To constantly update the publication date of thousands of posts in order to appear relevant would be a big undertaking, so the company simply doesn’t show the publication dates at all.
How Lucidchart increases blog engagement and page views
The way that Lucidchart converts readers into new users is inspiring.
But what do they do with readers who may not be ready to sign up yet? How do they encourage these readers to engage with more of their content?
Let’s take a look at two key ways.
Resource center with categorized blog posts
Remember that “Resource Center” in the blog’s main navigation?
The Resource Center doesn’t go to a bunch of ebooks and webinars, but rather it leads to blog posts that are organized by role.
The categories are:
- Software engineering
- Network engineering
- UX/Product design
Rather than create separate resources, the content team has organized their plethora of blog posts into a resource center so that different types of users can more easily find something valuable.
Here’s what the main page for Sales/Marketing looks like:
This is smart because if people land on the blog and don’t find something relevant to them, they can easily do so in the resource center.
Blog side bar CTAs with related content
Lucidchart also occasionally uses the customizable sidebar we talked about earlier to send readers to different blog posts.
For content that isn’t closely related to their product, they avoid prompting users to visit product pages or the pricing page. Instead, they point readers to related content that will keep them engaged on their website.
Chart templates that pull targeted segments of new users
Let’s dive into some specific ways that Lucidchart combines the magic of content marketing with the power of product marketing.
They use this flow often...
Blog post ➡️ sidebar ➡️ toolkit or template landing page ➡️ view toolkit or template in the app without having to sign up or sign in.
Here’s an example. This post is about how to use Lucidchart for distance learning. The blog sidebar widget encourages the reader to check out the distance learning toolkit.
When the reader clicks the CTA in the sidebar widget, they come to the distance learning landing page, which shares the value propositions of using the product for educations coping with distance learning.
Next, all you have to do is click “View Distance Learning Toolkit” and you can see the virtual collaborative canvas inside of the app without having to sign in or sign up.
At the top of any toolkit or template, there is a little orange bar prompting users to sign up for their free account.
Lucidchart offers several examples for smart ways to convert readers into freemium users:
- High-intent and low-intent keyphrases
- Blog sidebar that directs traffic based on intent
- Blog categorization by role to increase engagement
- Sign-ups straight from high-intent blog posts
- Chart templates and toolkits to show the product’s value
Implement these strategies and there’s a very good chance that within just 6 months’ time, you’ll be converting more blog readers than ever before.
FYI, We’ve done some useful teardowns in the past too: