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How One Company Got Started with Content Marketing

Last fall, OpenView Venture Partners invited Joe Pulizzi and a few other content marketing experts to organize a workshop on content marketing for our portfolio companies.  Our portfolio companies weren’t the only ones taking notes.  After hearing the experts, we were sold.  We jumped right into a content marketing program of our own. Read this post to learn about the tactics we tried and the results we’ve had so far.

Why would a VC care about content marketing anyway?

The real question should be, “Why wouldn’t any company care about a content marketing strategy?”

Since we were new to content marketing, we started by getting our feet wet. For us, it was important to:

  • Better communicate with our prospect portfolio companies
  • Develop our thought leadership
  • Improve awareness of our firm within our industry by increasing traffic to our site.

We set initial goals to get started and quickly formed a core team within our firm to focus on our content marketing program on a weekly basis. Today many of our goals are tactical in that we release specific content on a regular schedule.

The main components of the OpenView content marketing program are detailed below.

Employee blog

Our blog is one of the core components of our content marketing program.

How we do it:

  • Each of our 24 employees is required to submit a weekly blog post on topics within each person’s subject matter of expertise. We have 100% commitment from everyone – from our senior managing director to our analysts.
  • We use an external editor only to help polish our posts because we want each employee’s personality and point of view to come across.
  • We use a business blogging platform that manages the keywords we want to target for every blogger.  We make it really easy by posting the targeted keywords within the platform.
  • Each week we push every employee to market his or her blog on social networking sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) to boost traffic.  Some employees participate in various discussion threads on LinkedIn and other sites targeted on our audience (like ExpertCEO).

Our results:

  • By focusing on SEO we saw a 120% increase in our search traffic in a period of 3 months.

In a future post, I’ll provide more details on how we are managing our collaborative employee blog.


We decided to focus some of our efforts on creating a lot of video content in a short amount of time because video is an excellent way to communicate your message to your audience.

How we do it:

Each quarter we hold forums and workshops for our portfolio companies.  During that time we plan out all of the video content we want to create given the attendee list.

For example, we have planned 1-2 day video shoots to capture the footage to make 10 videos we can release over time.  Here is more on our plan for creating videos.


Every week we release a newsletter full of the latest tips and tricks targeted at senior managers of expansion stage companies.

How we do it:

  • We showcase the best employee blogs from the previous week.
  • Each week the OpenView team handpicks several additional resources from the industry for the newsletter that we think our subscribers will find valuable.
  • Each week we study the results and develop 1-2 tweaks for the next edition.  Here is more on our newsletter experiment.

Our results:

  • We have received numerous ‘thank yous’ since creating our newsletter.


We use Twitter to connect with our followers and find new and interesting content for our newsletter.

How we do it:

  • We search by  keywords or hashtags on Twitter and scan content posted by industry experts we follow.
  • While sharing valuable content is our main focus on Twitter, we always tweet some promotional information for OpenView.  We follow TippingPoint Labs’ 4-1-1 rule when using Twitter.
  • We include auto-tweets in our newsletters to make it easier for our subscribers to re-tweet our best content.

Our results:

  • Our number of followers has grown by 200% in 3 months mostly due to our newsletter circulation, participation on LinkedIn, and the connections we’ve made with influencers in our space.

In addition to the types described above, we also create one case study per month to help communicate our message and send out one news release.

Where we are today

Our content marketing program is still very much underway.  We are learning and trying new things every day, and we still have a great amount of room for improvement.  But we have seen evidence of a positive impact from our hard work.  Since we have implemented the program, our web traffic between our corporate site and blog site has increased by nearly 300% in a matter of about 10 months.

How have you gotten started with content marketing? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.