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You’ve heard of real-time bidding. Kabbage wants to establish real-time funding. Headquartered in Atlanta with a satellite office in San Francisco, it has has built what it calls “the world’s fastest platform” to provide small businesses financing,often funding companies within 7 minutes. A big part of its success so far is in data usage. Kabbage leverages data from business operating activity to understand performance. It uses content to customize and connect with key customers. Katelyn Watson is Kabbage’s Sr. Director, Acquisition Marketing. Here she discusses content strategy.

kwAt Kabbage content is driven by data and individual customer needs. We fund many different types of businesses, including offline and services businesses via Quickbooks or ecommerce businesses via Paypal, eBay Amazon and more. So we first learn what is more important to each of these sellers. What are they going to use the money for? Are they small or large sellers? What are they buying and selling? All of the answers to these questions go into all aspects of content and marketing. We get the answers to these questions in two ways. The first is data. We are a data company, so we have a team of experts who extract and use the data about our current small businesses in order to find more like them. We also use search data from SEM and SEO to drive content. Second: We ask them. We send surveys to various types of businesses and ask them what is most important.

We also use content to convey the Kabbage trusted brand message. We focus on a few things here. Kabbage serves over 100K SMBs, and that conveys trust by itself by showing that we work with various partners like Intuit with Quickbooks, eBay, Paypal and more. We use messaging through the experience that speaks to trust because people are sharing their data with us. They want to know it is ok. We also use our customers for the content by getting them to create testimonials on video or print. We ask them a series of questions that lead to how they used their Kabbage to grow, get their permission to use it and voila – free content that drives trust. We don’t want to be just an ATM for SMBs with funding, we want to be a trusted business partner in their growth. So we pay attention to what is important to our SMBs through the year and how we can relate to them at a given moment. For example, it is summer – a great time to take advantage of good wholesale deals, to ramp up inventory for the pre-holiday season, so we want to help them do that.

The most engaging content really relates to how we understand them as business owners, and content that they can comment on and make their own. Newsfeed ads are great for this because the ad is the content. We can show an image of a successful SMB and ask people to share their success story. It spreads and then their friends are thinking “What is Kabbage?” That’s exactly what we want. We measure through conversions on the backend from the media, which supported that content. And have seen success. Success rarely comes on just standalone content but when amplified in social it can work.

We want to improve on mobile. We want to engage with our customers wherever they are and we’re working to make all emails responsive for mobile so they can enjoy content anywhere. We would also entertain more video content, but in finance where specifics matter – it is harder to produce and does not happen overnight.


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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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