GE 276: Mikael Lauharanta Shares How They Grew Smarp Through Content Marketing & SEO With Mikael Lauharanta

Mikael Lauharanta, Co-Founder and COO of Smarp

Hey everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with Mikael Lauharanta, Co-Founder and COO of Smarp, a leading employment engagement and advocacy platform.

Tune in to hear how Smarp went from a social media consulting business to its current business model, how they help employees engage better with both internal and external communication, and how they increased their reach significantly through content marketing and SEO.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:43] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast!
  • [01:31] Mikael is originally from Finland and founded Smarp straight out of University.
  • [01:43] Smarp now has 60 employees and offices around the world.
  • [02:21] They want to be the primary place where employees find and share professional content (a content hub of internal knowledge sharing).
  • [03:06] This is a place for employees to customize the information they receive.
  • [04:30] They work for a lot of large companies in the public and private sector.
  • [05:06] The cost depends on the number of employees you have.
  • [05:18] It starts at the rate of $10/user/month.
  • [06:47] Originally, Smarp was a social media consulting business.
  • [07:06] They have since pivoted into their current business model.
  • [09:30] Mikael and his partner failed several times and learned a lot from their mistakes.
  • [11:25] Employee advocacy has taken off and they are getting a lot of traffic because of it.
  • [12:21] Their main keywords besides employee advocacy are: knowledge sharing, digital workplace, employee engagement, and employee communication.
  • [14:17] Customer retention rates are solid.
  • [16:56] If Smarp is able to talk to potential clients on the phone or via email, it’s easy to convince them that their service is useful and necessary.
  • [18:10] Through content marketing and SEO, they have increased their reach significantly.
  • [19:16] Smarp does a lot of podcasts and interviews, which helps spread the word about their business.
  • [20:45] They have gamified their service a bit: people can earn points for certain actions, which will get them on the leaderboard.
  • [21:01] Giving recognition internally and externally is important.
  • [21:41] Mikael finds that the new Citi-Bike-like system in Helsinki has been beneficial.
  • [22:04] Smarp recently changed to the Salesforce CRM.
  • [22:20] They love to use Slack for internal communication.
  • [23:03] Mikael recommends reading fiction.
  • [23:26] He has been reading John Irving and Kurt Vonnegut more recently.
  • [23:41] Mikael recommends people read blogs about the GDPR regulation changes.
  • [23:56] Hubspot’s CEO’s blog on medium is a good read.
  • [24:02] Mikael enjoys listening to The Profit Well podcast.

Resources from the interview:

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Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.