7 Digital Marketing Tactics that Helped Meltwater Grow Into a $600 Million Company

Meltwater is a global leader in media intelligence and social analytics, providing software solutions to help businesses monitor, analyze, and influence the media landscape. 

Since their founding in the early 2000s, the company has grown significantly and now serves clients worldwide, with a strong presence in media monitoring, social media tracking, and competitive intelligence.

They’ve seen significant growth over the last few years, earning a recent valuation of $592 million USD.

How have they managed to break into such a competitive SaaS market and see that kind of growth in recent years?

We took a look at their marketing, and highlighted 7 of the most impactful strategies and tactics Meltwater has implemented that have fueled their growth.

Of course, their success is due to far more than these 7 marketing plays, but these have certainly played a role. We’ll break down each and offer some insights into how (or if you should) you can implement similar strategies:

1. Free, On-Demand Education

2. Orchestrating Engagement through myCommunity

3. Expert-Level Industry Reports

4. Pop Culture and News Jacking Using First-Party Data

5. Full Funnel Marketing on LinkedIn

6. Established Thought Leadership within Each Segment of Business

7. “By-Need” Landing Pages

1. A Free On-Demand Education Platform

The first brilliant marketing strategy we’ll look at is Meltwater’s Academy. It’s more than an online learning platform or blog.

They offer free courses and certifications that are super relevant to the industry. It’s a smart way to make sure people know about Meltwater while they’re learning useful things. It helps establish them as a thought leader in the space.

But there’s more to it. While people are learning, they’re also getting a sneak peek at Meltwater’s tools. While educating and adding value, they have the perfect opportunity to showcase their product – whether the user is already familiar with it or not.

And as if brand and product awareness weren’t enough – it also helps keep customers around. When people learn how to use Meltwater’s tools through these courses, they’re more likely to stick with the product. They’re more likely to keep using it and become even bigger fans of the brand.

Should You Implement an Academy Like Meltwater?

If you’re a SaaS and have the resources, we think it’s a no-brainer. But take it further than simple resources. Offer education and courses that are hyper-relevant to your ICP, and blend them with tutorials and certifications specifically for your product. It’s a genius way to drive both adoption and retention.

2. Orchestrating Engagement through myCommunity

Meltwater’s mCommunity showcases their dual approach to marketing and customer engagement. It’s not just a help forum – it’s a platform for connection, learning, and inspiration, designed to serve both current users and potential leads.

The mCommunity offers an environment where users can stay updated on product developments, participate in specialized user groups, and engage with industry-specific events and opportunities. 

It serves as an essential resource for professionals seeking to expand their network and knowledge within the industry. And the inclusion of a job board adds another layer of value, making it a multifaceted tool for career development.

What sets mCommunity apart, however, is its role in nurturing customer advocacy and lead validation. 

By inviting potential customers into this community, Meltwater allows them to witness firsthand the robust engagement and genuine endorsements from existing users. 

This interaction is invaluable, as prospects get to explore real user experiences and gather authentic feedback about Meltwater’s offerings – directly from the users themselves. It’s the purest form of user generated content possible.

How to Build a Community Hub Like Meltwater

Want to create a community platform like Meltwater? Here are a few tips to make sure yours has a chance to succeed like theirs:

  • Make it a Comprehensive Platform for Knowledge Sharing and Networking: Include features like forums, webinars, user-generated content, and Q&A sessions. Ensure the platform is easy to navigate and encourages active participation from users.
  • Integrate Real-Time Product Feedback and Support: Utilize the community hub as a channel for direct product feedback and support. Implement features where users can report issues, suggest improvements, or share their success stories with the product – and where they can hear about updates that are in the works. 
  • Encourage Peer-to-Peer Interaction and Advocacy: Promote a culture of peer-to-peer support and networking within the community. Encourage experienced users to share their expertise, tips, and best practices with newer members. Recognize and reward active contributors to foster a sense of belonging and community leadership.

3. Expert-Level Industry Reports

Meltwater has mastered the art of leveraging expert industry reports to tackle two objectives: establishing thought leadership and driving lead generation. They craft detailed, in-depth reports that cover a variety of their target industries. 

Here are a few examples:

  • State of Influencer Marketing Report 2023
  • 2024 Marketing Trends
  • Global State of Social Media Report

Unlike blog posts and other surface level resources, these reports delve deeper, offering nuanced analyses backed by first-party research. 

Their commitment to providing tailored and valuable content for different market segments positions Meltwater as an authority, showcasing their deep understanding of diverse industry dynamics.

A big piece of these reports is their first-party research.

They have a wealth of first party data that isn’t available elsewhere. The original content not only enhances the value of these reports but also cements Meltwater’s status as a leader in providing actionable intelligence. This approach demonstrates their expertise and dedication to delivering in-depth knowledge to their audience.

Meltwater opts to gate these industry reports. 

Requiring an email address for access transforms a visitor’s interest into a concrete lead, making it a strong lead generation strategy. It helps them build a healthy database of leads and allows Meltwater to track audience engagement and preferences. 

The information gleaned from this process enables more personalized follow-up and nurturing campaigns, further enhancing the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

How to Compile Valuable Industry Reports

  • Conduct Comprehensive Research: Gather in-depth data and insights, including first-party research, to ensure your report offers unique, valuable information that isn’t readily available elsewhere.
  • Tailor Content to Specific Audiences: Customize your report for different industry segments, addressing their unique challenges and interests to enhance relevance and engagement.
  • Implement a Gating Strategy: Use gated content effectively to capture leads. Require basic information like email addresses for access, turning reader interest into actionable leads for your sales funnel.

4. Pop Culture and News Jacking Using First-Party Data

Meltwater often takes the opportunity to highlight pop culture adjacent news through the lens of their product, sharing data around the number of mentions a pop-culture event got or investigating the top phrases and trends that take off on social media. 

It makes their product and data relatable and engaging, while at the same time giving them the chance to go viral through popular news. 

Some in the industry refer to this as “newsjacking;” taking popular news and attaching your brand to it in hopes of riding the wave or going viral yourself. It’s not a stretch though for Meltwater because of how relevant their data is to the news.

It highlights the depth and versatility of Meltwater’s tools. Analyzing and presenting their first-party data demonstrates the power of their social listening and media intelligence tools.

When and How to Attach Yourself to Pop Culture News / Events

First, “newsjacking” and similar tactics don’t always work and aren’t always the best idea for every brand. Make sure you have a relevant reason for sharing pop culture related news. If you do, here’s how to do it effectively like Meltwater:

  • Timeliness is Key: Jump on trending news or pop culture events as they happen. Quick, relevant responses ensure your content is part of the ongoing conversation, enhancing visibility and engagement.
  • Stay Relevant to Your Brand: Choose news and events that closely align with your brand’s values and audience interests. This ensures authenticity and maintains your brand’s integrity while capitalizing on trending topics.
  • Add Unique Value or Perspective: Don’t just rehash the news; provide a unique take or insightful analysis. This could be through humor, expert commentary, or by linking the news back to your product or industry in a meaningful way.

5. Full Funnel Marketing on LinkedIn

There’s nothing profound about running LinkedIn ads. But Meltwater uses LinkedIn Ads to guide prospects nearly all the way through their funnel, and they do this by utilizing LinkedIn’s Lead Gen ad campaigns.

LinkedIn Lead Gen campaigns allow advertisers to collect leads directly within the LinkedIn platform. When users click on an ad, they see a pre-filled form with their LinkedIn profile information, making it easy to submit their details with minimal effort.

There’s nothing too fancy about using this ad campaign type – but few B2B companies we look at utilize them on LinkedIn. Most prefer to control the experience through their landing page.

But Meltwater gives them a chance, and because they’re coupled with really valuable downloadable content and compelling case studies, we imagine they convert well.

Back to the idea of full funnel marketing on a single platform. They run these Middle of Funnel ads pushing an ESG report download.

And at the same time, they run a more Bottom-of-Funnel ad with a “Get Quote” CTA. This may sound like a long shot to convert a lead directly on LinkedIn, but because the ask is coupled with a really strong case study detailing how Domino’s utilizes Meltwater – it likely converts.

Again, there’s nothing groundbreaking about using LinkedIn’s Lead Gen campaigns, but it’s worth noting Meltwater tests a variety of ad types, guides prospects through the full funnel, innovates in a B2B space where many are afraid to, and drives leads through pushing valuable content and case studies.

How to Approach LinkedIn Ads for B2B Lead Generation

  • Segment Campaigns by Funnel Stage: Utilize educational content for awareness, solution-focused content for consideration, and case studies for decision-making stages, tailoring messages to each phase.
  • Refine Content and Forms: Offer valuable, audience-aligned content and maintain concise, effective lead forms. Continuously test and adjust your ad creatives and form fields based on conversion data.
  • Experiment with Ad Types: Just because you may have heard a certain ad type didn’t work well doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for you. It’s worth experimenting with different ad types and approaches.

6. Established Thought Leadership within Each Segment of Business

There’s nothing unique about becoming a thought leader in your field.

Due to the range of applications their product offers, Meltwater naturally serves a range of different domains, industries, and use cases. Their audience is fairly broad. 

For example, if you check out blog, you’ll see the primary topics they post around spanning from social media to reporting/analytics and from marketing trends to data science.

What’s unique about Meltwater is that they’ve managed to establish authority in all of the domains they occupy.

Their strategy revolves around delivering deep, actionable insights in each area, exemplified by their in-depth content ranging from whitepapers to expert blog posts. 

Take social media, for instance, they offer advanced sentiment analysis and trend spotting, while in data science, they apply cutting-edge techniques to uncover market and consumer insights, positioning themselves as pioneers who push the boundaries of what data can reveal.

The first-party data they have access to aids in putting out high quality content on a regular basis. Their articles and guides aren’t just regurgitated content from around the web – they contain unique data points only Meltwater can report.

How to Establish Thought Leadership Across Multiple Segments

  1. Develop Deep Expertise Across Multiple Domains: Like Meltwater, businesses should strive to go beyond surface-level understanding and cultivate deep, actionable expertise in their chosen fields. This involves continuous learning, research, and innovation to provide insights that are not just current but also forward-thinking.
  2. Showcase Thought Leadership Through Diverse Content: Create a robust content strategy that includes more than just blog posts. This content should not only highlight the business’s expertise in each domain but also demonstrate how these insights interconnect and inform one another.
  3. Leverage Cross-Disciplinary Insights to Inform Strategy: Encourage a culture of collaboration and integration across different areas of expertise within the organization. By breaking down silos and fostering a holistic approach to knowledge and strategy, businesses can develop innovative solutions and insights.

7. “By-Need” Landing Pages

It’s generally a best practice to offer multiple ways for users to navigate through your site and explore your offerings. But what Meltwater does takes this best practice to the next level.

As mentioned in the above tactic, their product is so robust that it has a wide range of applications and use cases. These applications span across different departments, industries, and company types.

So rather than just listing their product’s core features, they’ve adopted “By-Need” landing pages, allowing them to segment and speak directly to certain personas they’re targeting.

Their Enterprise landing page boasts their data-driven insights, highlights some big clients they serve, and showcases the features most relevant to big businesses.

Their C-Suite landing page focuses on the need for executives to have a 360 view of their company and highlights the features most relevant like transparency and custom reporting.

These landing pages can be used in ad campaigns, ABM plays, and so much more within Meltwater’s marketing strategy.

Should You Adopt a Segmented Landing Page Strategy?

  • Consider the Range of Applications for Your Product: If, like Meltwater, your product/service can be used by many different roles within a company, serves multiple industries, and is appropriate for different business types – it might make sense. If you only have 2-3 personas and have a fairly narrow audience, they might be more effort than they’re worth.
  • Do In-Depth Persona Research: Regardless whether you use this strategy or not, it’s always worth going deep with persona research. Know exactly how each audience segment thinks about your product, what their challenges are, how your product serves them, and how they tend to go about buying your product.
  • Get as Granular as Possible: If you do decide to use these kinds of segmented landing pages on your site or within campaigns, get granular. Be as specific as possible about how your product will help your persona. 

Want to Grow Like Meltwater?

These strategies helped Meltwater grow into a market leader in a relatively short time period. Will they do the same for you?

They might. But it all depends on how the foundation you currently have (the quality of your product / service), how you’re currently positioned, and how you execute on proven strategies.

Meltwater has an incredible product, a well-established audience, and has done exceptional work marketing that product to the audience. These tactics have helped them along the way – and when executed on well – can help your B2B grow as well.

Guaranteed to make you look smarter.
(Cuz you will be.)

Start every week with all the digital marketing stories, data, teardowns, case studies, and weird news you need to drop in your next marketing standup meeting.

No ads. No sponsorships. No crap. Unless it’s hilarious crap. We love that.