What’s your background?
I started my career as a journalist, and then worked in marketing and sales at an educational technology company before I moved into financial technology. I’ve been working in payments and fintech for the last 15 years, and have worked for both small and large companies.
I joined PayNearMe in 2018 because it offered me the opportunity to lead marketing at a company with a great reputation and stellar product that was on the brink of transformation — both for themselves and the bill payment industry.
PayNearMe was previously more outbound and sales-driven, and as a company with a unique product and little competition — it worked. As they embarked upon a major solution expansion and additional markets, they saw the value in becoming a marketing-led organization, and it was exciting and enticing to me to be able to be part of it and lead it. Today I’m the head of marketing and we focus heavily on inbound marketing.
What does PayNearMe do?
PayNearMe makes it easy for companies to get paid by their customers. The PayNearMe platform lets customers pay how they want, with flexibility to adapt to business needs and the reliability to collect every payment, every time.
For customers, PayNearMe makes it easy to make payments using any tender type they choose (cash, cards, ACH and Apple Pay). Customers choose how, when, and where they want to pay with a convenient, consistent experience across multiple channels.
For example, PayNearMe allows customers to interact via web, text, email, interactive voice response, call centers, mobile wallets, apps, and cash all with the same consistent user experience, customer satisfaction, and reliability.
For businesses and government agencies, PayNearMe helps process more payments, positively engage customers with exceptional user experiences, and easily manage financial business operations. It also empowers agents to collect more efficiently with a PCI-compliant and intuitive interface.
PayNearMe enables banks and credit unions, consumer lending companies, mortgage servicers, sports betting and iGaming companies, municipalities and utilities, and property managers just to name a few.
What’s your inbound customer journey?
We stay close to our SEO strategy and keywords to ensure we create content that builds organic traffic for us.
At first, to make it easier for prospects and customers to discover us, we are very focused on our website as the heart and soul of our company and we publish to it in some way almost daily.
We turned our website into a 2-stage funnel by focusing heavily on two areas: blog content and product content. We use blog content focused on thought leadership and market challenges to draw customers in, and product content with ROI metrics and strong calls to action to convert them.
We also support that with paid campaigns where our offer is worthy of obtaining contact info (webinars, guides, etc).
Once we have drawn people in we have to keep them engaged, so we focus on consistency of communications across our channels (primarily email, social, and our sales/SDR teams). We publish 2-3 pieces of blog content per week, a monthly newsletter, and quarterly product update.
I am very proud of the relationship I’ve built with our sales team and consider them the “wind beneath our wings” when it comes to engagement. We make them a part of our process so they find the output valuable and are invested in its success.
They share blog content, articles and events with their networks actively, supported by signature marketing and pre-authored social posts.
I manage our SDRs, using engagement metrics to help guide their outreach and ensuring we are reaching prospects and customers who engage in a timely fashion.
And to convert those prospects to leads, our demand generation efforts center on a framework grounded in consistency and topic focus.
Our head of demand generation created a framework that allows the marketing team to have a monthly view into everything we will create to support lead generation across multiple types of content to our site including webinars, blogs, downloadable resources, videos, etc.
We also leverage a number of external channels we’ve built relationships with to pull from their sites to ours, such as channel partners, associations, and select paid publication engagements.
At the end of the day, the core of our whole inbound journey lies in consistency of messaging and creation of content.
What are your most successful inbound marketing practices?
When the pandemic started, we stood up a microsite guide with lots of information, all ungated. Being a nimble team, we were able to act fast and were of the first to market with content among our competitors.
We keep the guide relevant by following up with proof points, economic payment data from our clients, and case studies. It has been updated numerous times with additions and messaging refinement.
Before the pandemic, face to face meetings were a large part of relationship building in our industry and we counted on in-person events as a main source of our opportunity creation. As many did, we had to shift gears overnight pivoting our event marketing to almost entirely digital marketing — and we had to find a way to stand out in the noise.
So we formulated a content strategy with 3 goals:
- Remind our current clients of what features they already have access to in the platform and how they can use it to solve current and expected challenges.
- Communicate to our clients who could easily add other services and how it would benefit their business and customers.
- Engage with the market on real business challenges and how our tech could solve them.
6 months later, the guide is our most visited piece of content this year with over 20k unique views. This program helped boost us over 150% of our pipeline goal over the last three quarters!
What’s your advice for startups just beginning inbound marketing?
Don’t try to boil the ocean with your content. Make sure your content has a specific purpose and know what question it answers. Know what challenges your clients and prospects have, and give them content that informs and empowers them. Make them the champion.
One way to ensure content has a specific purpose is to talk with sales often to find out what their prospects and customers are asking.
Identify your differentiator(s) and what you want to be known for, then focus your content on it — and don’t be afraid to change it quickly if it’s not resonating. This is key especially when you are new to market and going up against larger, more established competitors.
Agility will be your best asset. Start, and refine from there!
What’s your advice for startups taking their inbound marketing from intermediate to advanced?
Use your metrics.
You likely know how your channels are performing, but are the inbound leads converting and how quickly? Are you attracting the type of prospects that best fit your solution or are they falling out of the pipeline in early stages?
Do your best to ensure your content is attracting and empowering the prospects that are the best fit for your solution — it’s win-win when you do.
Score your inbound leads, nurture them longer, and qualify them better to improve ROI.
Where is the future of inbound marketing going?
In the B2B marketing space, the use of AI and other tech to deliver more personalized user experiences. The better we get at speaking with our prospects instead of at them, the better we will be at breaking through the noise.
Where can people learn more about you and PayNearMe?
Anne Hay: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-f-hay/
Sales: [email protected]