DAVO is a sales tax automation app for small businesses. Sales taxes are complex. The total sales tax paid by a business includes state, county, and city taxes and may also include special district taxes. In addition to that, businesses must set aside revenue to pay sales taxes. The government does not automatically assess or charge sales taxes to small businesses, but these firms are still responsible for paying the proper amount of sales taxes. So the app saves small business owners time by automatically calculating and paying sales taxes for them. DAVO uses multiple marketing channels, so I discovered the company in the Square marketplace even though it also has an effective content marketing strategy as well.
Promotion in the Square App Marketplace
Square is a fintech that makes point-of-sale terminals for small businesses. Its app marketplace allows third-party developers such as DAVO to add features to these terminals. With the DAVO app, when the business rings up a sale, the app calculates the sales tax and sets aside the portion of revenue that the business needs to pay taxes. The app also prepares tax forms and files them for the business, and it sends in the tax payments to the applicable government agencies as well. State tax authorities usually collect all of the required sales taxes.
DAVO’s app is featured in Square’s marketplace, so it can gain new users from the marketplace in addition to the users it gains through content marketing or pay-per-click ads. The sales tax app has a review score of 4.5 out of 5, which shows that small business owners like it, and a high review score encourages more customers to sign up for the app as well. While Square does collect a commission from sales in its app marketplace, the app store provides an effective marketing channel for DAVO. But that’s not the only marketing channel the company is using.
Content Marketing for Spanish-Speaking Business Owners
After looking at the app store profile for DAVO, I visited the company’s website to see how its content marketing strategy worked. I used the SEO tool Ahrefs to see how it was attracting traffic to its website. I quickly discovered that DAVO is filling an information gap on the web. There are many small business owners in California, Texas, Florida, and other US states who primarily speak Spanish. And these firms have to pay sales taxes, so they search for keywords like impuesto a las ventas en Texas. That phrase means sales taxes in Texas.
The most relevant result for that keyword would be a page that was written in Spanish that explains how Texas calculates sales taxes, and that is what DAVO provides on its blog. The company actually does not hold the top result for this keyword, but that’s okay. DAVO is a sales tax app created by the accounting software company Avalara, and Avalara owns the top spots for the state sales tax keywords. It would be hard for DAVO to outrank its parent company. But DAVO has articles that explain how state sales taxes work in Spanish, so its site would be more useful for a Spanish-speaking business owner.
DAVO has both English and Spanish pages that explain how sales taxes work in each state. The Spanish articles have been placed in a separate Spanish directory. By setting up its blog this way, DAVO makes it easier for Google to show the Spanish articles to Spanish-speaking users while showing English articles to English-speaking users. Visitors to DAVO’s website can also use a toggle button to switch between Spanish and English.
Creating a New Tax Software Market
Keywords like “Impuesto a las ventas in Texas” imply that Spanish-speaking small business owners in Texas are primarily looking for a website that explains how state sales taxes work. They may not already know that DAVO can automate the entire process of calculating sales tax liabilities, filing tax documents, and submitting tax payments. If a keyword like “sales tax automation” was driving traffic to the website, that would indicate that small business owners were aware of DAVO and its competitors.
These competitors include ONESOURCE by Thomson Reuters and Taxjar. Taxjar is a subsidiary of Stripe, another major payment processor, and it has a page that directly compares its app to Avalara’s app. Taxjar and Thomson Reuters are ranked second and third for the “sales tax automation” keyword in English, although DAVO’s parent company Avalara holds the top position. So it’s important that DAVO’s sales tax guides are both state-specific and written in Spanish because the company is facing strong competition in its main market.
In fact, because DAVO’s Spanish-language state sales tax guides are so specific, Ahrefs reports very low difficulty ratings for the keywords that generate traffic to these guides. DAVO will not need links from other websites to appear in the top results for these keywords. Normally, financial services keywords are highly competitive, and DAVO is competing against two large financial services companies that use content marketing themselves. Of course, DAVO is also an authority site for tax software so it would be difficult for another startup to use the same strategy to outrank DAVO or Avalara.
By creating Spanish-language state sales tax guides, DAVO can attract small business owners to its website while limiting competition from other tax software companies. The sales tax guides provide specific information that small business owners need, and other tax software companies are not providing this information. This marketing strategy should attract an audience of small business owners who would benefit from an app that automates the sales tax calculation, payment, and filing process.