How Salesforce Became A Billion Dollar SaaS Company With This One Marketing Strategy

The secret behind the massive success story


Salesforce is a Fortune 500 company with close to $10 billion in revenue. Like many other behemoths in tech, it started in an apartment in San Francisco almost two decades ago.

In 2010, Kieran Flanagan (now VP of Marketing at Hubspot) joined Salesforce as their Inbound Marketing Manager. He created and implemented Salesforce's first ever inbound marketing strategy in EMEA. 70% of the traffic they usually received in a year was met within three weeks. In 2011, Salesforce was named one of the 100 fastest growing companies, number 8 among the 25 fastest growing tech companies. That was NO accident. How did he do it?

Flanagan relied heavily on content and for good reason. Focusing on inbound marketing increased social media traffic by 2500%, 6,500 people signed up for the newsletter and 10,000 downloaded the ebook. This translated to 10,000 leads.

His strategy involved 4 parts... all related to one theme - content.

  1. [CREATE] create original content. example: ebooks, slideshares, infographics
  2. [CURATE] curate relevant content from around the web. example: round-ups, multi-interviews
  3. [COMMISSION] get influencers to guest blog. example: expert interviews, articles
  4. [LEGACY] repurpose and repackage previous content. example: conferences, takeaways, video

Content marketing is a huge part of an inbound growth strategy. It involves developing a strategy, creating content (from blogs to white papers to video) that adds value to your audience and delivering that content across relevant channels.

This year, the most effective marketers spent almost half their marketing budget on content marketing (compared with the least effective at 15%). That's why 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing spend in the next year.

Numbers aside, content marketing and marketing in general work on a very simple notion - when you create value for others, people will pay attention.

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