[Case Study] How We Used B2B Content Marketing To Increase Our Business 437%
In just a year and a half, went from stagnant to > 400k pageviews a month and over $3 million in extra revenue, this is our story.
In this content marketing case study, we’ll show you exactly what we did as well as a simple plan that you can follow that will help you do the same.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a 1 trick pony overnight millionaire viral video story – This is a real structured system that you can take and implement.
Let’s get right into it:
The Real Reason Why Businesses Get Stagnant
I’m a huge fan of systems. If you look at some of the top business books of all time (The E-Myth by Michael Gerber, Built to Sell, etc) you will see that they are basically books about systems.
Did you know that 8 out of every 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months?
There could be lots of reasons for this, but for many of businesses, the reason their life is hell and the wake up putting out fires every day is because the systems aren’t there.
(Believe me I learned it the hard way!)
This applies for almost everything:
If your business isn’t running well, you probably don’t have good operational systems. If you are getting fat, you probably don’t have a good food intake or exercise system. If you are in debt, you probably don’t have a good money management system.
For us in 2014, our operational systems were top notch, but our marketing systems were..uh hm… not existent.
We needed to grow and I knew we needed a MARKETING system that could predictably bring people to us, lead them through a funnel, and grow so we could hit our goals.
But advertising is hard… I imagined piles of money just burning as soon as I turned on an Adwords campaign.
So how do you create a system that will actually work?
How To Advertise In A World That Hates Advertising
The goal of creating this system was actually very simple:
Find a way to get people in the door, create a relationship with them, and get them to purchase. Then scale that system.
The issue is traditional advertising as we know it has changed. The way people purchase products and services has changed.
It used to be the case that people LOVED to get phone calls. They would run to the phone.
Now we are so bombarded with ads, phone calls, cold emails, etc, that we go OUT OF OUR WAY to ignore 99% of the things that come int our lives.
Just think about your normal day to day:
- Do you have adblocker installed? (198 million people do)
- How many times a day do you let a text go unanswered?
- How many times a day do you let a call go to voicemail
- How many people converted to TiVo 20 years ago to skip ads?
- Do you ever watch Netflix because it has 0 commercials?
If people hate being advertised to so much, how to you survive in a world that ignores everything?
Here’s the simple answer:
You don’t advertise to them. You help them.
And if you can do it well, you will drastically set yourself apart from all your competition.
How do you really help them?
You drill down, find out their wants and needs, their problems, and using your expertise, you present them with solutions.
You do this in the form of content that answers their questions and genuinely helps them.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or hard, and you don’t need a 75 page marketing plan.
As long as you are putting out content that can help your audience, you will begin to attract them to you.
They will begin to know, like and trust you, and then when the time is right, they will buy from you.
People buy from people they like. That’s your goal.
The Simple System That Changed Everything
We set out to make a simple system.
I first identified our target customer. Who did we actually want to attract?
Then, I identified the some of the main issues and questions that our customers had:
- What were the top problems they had?
- What were their doubts?
- What would prevent them from believing in the product?
- What would they need to know before purchasing to make an educated decision?
Starting out, we wrote about 10 articles that answered the top questions and genuinely helped them.
If you can answer these questions up front, in your content, then you can lead people down the path you want to.
Then, after the top questions have been answered, you can supplement this with:
- Helping them with their goals (content that doesn’t directly sell your product, just creations a relationship with them)
- News related content – increasing your image as a trustworthy source.
- Case studies that prove the value of your products
After you have your seed content, you’ll want to publish it on your blog.
Publish Your Content To Your Blog & Optimize It For SEO
We put it all on the blog and optimized it for SEO, making sure to include keywords in the title tags, h1s, and content using Yoast SEO for WordPress.
This will help ensure that search engines pick it up and we start getting SEO traffic.
Develop The Customer Relationship
We had all the articles on the blog, but how do you lead people down the path so they actually see the content?
The answer is to create an email list and an autoresponder.
Anytime someone joins our email list, we send them a series of messages. Each one of the messages links to one of the articles. We send these every few days.
As we came out with new articles, we would send them to the list.
Every few months, we would also re-do our autoresponder to include new articles that we sent out that performed well.
Increase Your Email List Subscribers:
We put a huge focus on getting people on our email list, and it exploded.
Here’s what we did, it’s pretty simple:
- Use popups – These are the easiest to create. Use your lead magnet. Click here for an example.
- Use content upgrades – Brian dean coined the term and this works like magic.
- Run paid ads like Facebook to a landing page offering your lead magnet.
Increase Conversions By Creating A Promotion
After you’ve created a lot of value, some people will naturally just purchase. But most will wait for a special “deal” of sorts.
So in between your “value” emails, you can put in special deals or limited time offers which will entice people to take action.
My rules of running offers are very simple:
- Make it a good offer (not boring, make it an actually good deal).
- Make it only for a limited time (have a deadline).
- Make sure to follow up (most people won’t buy until the deadline).
When we initially started working on ramping up our email list, we had just been sending them content.
We spent a few months doing this and our sales didn’t really go up drastically. Then we came out with a promo, sent it to the whole list and our sales exploded.
Our first offer was very simple: 20% off of all products until the end of the month.
It wasn’t even a very creative promo, but it worked!
All the people on the list were just brewing. They liked our content. They trusted us. They just didn’t have an incentive to purchase until we hit them with the special offer.
That is why you always have to have a special offer.
How To Scale Up Your Marketing System
Now everyone that comes into your world is going to get on the email list, they will be guided down a path with awesome content that answers their questions and provides value to them.
They will begin to know, like and trust you, and then when you give them an irresistible offer, you will make bank.
This system scales over time:
- As you create more content and send it to your list, your audience likes you more.
- As you create more helpful content around your products, your audience understands the value.
- As you create more content and optimize it for SEO, your traffic grows
This is the automated marketing system that grew us from stagnant to a consistently growing company.
The content marketing strategy has many moving parts between our blog, our email list, our special offers, but the core starts at creating cool content that your audience will love.
Let us know what you think in the comments!