The best technology money can buy is useless without a real commitment to use it properly and consistently. When we begin working with an agency to improve their digital marketing, we begin that relationship understanding that marketing is about long-term commitment and desire. Sure, we can ensure that an agency’s marketing infrastructure – things like their website, content strategy, CRM, marketing automation tool, etc. – are integrated and optimized in the most strategic way, but once the tools are in place, it takes long term dedication to realize results.
Today’s agency spotlight features a firm that not only recognized the importance of optimizing their marketing tools – we spent the first few months of our engagement advising on website architectural and design changes, content and contact strategy plans, marketing automation integration and optimization, and CRM strategy – but also, this firm exudes a real commitment to using these tools reliably every month in order to generate ideal new business opportunity for their firm.
Here’s what you need to know about them before we get into the numbers (or you can jump down to the good stuff right now). RHB is a well-positioned firm out of Indianapolis. Specifically, they are a marketing and design consultancy for higher education institutions. They’re smart. Some of the best in this space, so they’ve got a valuable perspective to share with their market. They’re efficient. They’ve learned how to accomplish a lot with a lean marketing team. And they’re committed. They work incredibly hard at their own marketing.
We’ve been working with RHB for about a year, but their full digital marketing infrastructure has been in place for about 7 months. In this spotlight, we’ll look at how the right tools and the right commitment to marketing have led to impressive growth in RHB’s marketing performance.
Content and Contact Strategy
Like most agencies we work with, RHB came to us without a clear vision for their content marketing. They knew content marketing was important, but they struggled to find the time to create the content they felt resonated well with their market. And they lacked a system to measure the efficacy of that messaging over time. In short, they were doing content marketing, but it was ad hoc.
Today, RHB’s content strategy is a refined engine designed to target distinct persona sets at various stages in their purchasing journeys. About 3 months into this new content marketing strategy, the firm had increased their content production by 32% and today, they’re producing about 76% more indexable, educational insight than when they started (well over 4,000 words per month, 30% more than our recommended 3,000 words per month minimum).
Along with increased content production came an increase in marketing contacts. RHB has grown their organic, opt-in marketing list by 35% over the last 7 months.
Website Engagement and Outbound Marketing Strategy
In lockstep with a refined content strategy came increased engagement on their website. This year, total traffic to RHB.com has increased nearly 35%, and unique sessions have increased 24%. Site engagement metrics indicate that this new traffic falls with RHB’s target market as well. Average session durations are up 38% and their site wide bounce rate has decreased 5.5%, indicating that when users arrive at the site, they stay, they read, and they click to other pages on the website.
We attribute this growth not only to RHB’s commitment to increased production of well-targeted, educational content but also to the updates they made to their website as a product of the site consulting phase of this engagement.
We began with a comprehensive website audit designed to diagnose strategic, usability, implementation, and aesthetic weaknesses of their current website, and then provided detailed recommendations for a redesign and rebuild. Next, we prescribed a purposeful user flow that intuitively guides prospects to the area of the site they’re likely to be most interested in.
In addition, we worked to optimize RHB’s outbound email strategy in order to drive more traffic to the thought leadership on their website. Over the course of the program, they’ve more than tripled the number of outbound emails sent to their targeted email lists each month (they’re sending about 7 per month), all while maintaining their already solid email engagement metrics.
Conversions and Lead Development
RHB continues to gain momentum with the program; however, they’re already seeing growth through their digital marketing efforts. Their average website conversion rate is a little more than 8%, which represents a 5.5% increase from when they started the program and is well above the 3% conversion rate we’ve observed is a minimum benchmark to hit in order to realize successful opportunity development through digital marketing. In addition, they’ve more than tripled the number of leads coming in through the website each month.
RHB’s growth is far from complete, but they’ve created quite a lot of momentum over the last year of work:
|Content production:||Increased 76%|
|Total site traffic:||Increased 24%|
|Average site visitor session duration:||Increased 38%|
|Average site bounce rate:||Decreased 5.5%|
|Outbound monthly emails:||More than tripled (~7/month in 2017)|
|Opt-In email list:||Grew by 35%|
|Website conversion rate:||Increased 5.5%|
|Monthly inbound digital marketing leads:||Increased 255%|