ShoreTel Sky has meticulously documented a content marketing foray alongside Brafton, evaluating the consistency of content marketing, elaborating on key points. The results? A mixture of quantity and quality, comprising output that is both “consistent” and “premium” is the key to success. Lending to a target that most companies can aim for, noting that desired results typically come from 60 percent of brands adding fresh content at least weekly, with the broad majority using up to 12 formats.
When ShoreTel Sky first set out to peak and maintain audience interest, the company wanted a strategy that not only demonstrated the importance of cloud-based phone systems, but also showed the brand’s expertise and thought leadership in a competitive field. “Our whole industry is growing rapidly, in terms of adoption and technological developments. Because of this, buyers want to know more. This need really lends itself to content marketing,” said Amber Newman, senior marketing communications manager for Shoretel Sky.
This goal seemed appealing in theory, but in execution, Amber found difficulty in the fact ShoreTel didn’t quite have the available resources to heavily market to business VoIP shoppers. Onward – she and the ShoreTel team began to hit the trenches and produce content for the blog internally. In due time, ShoreTel got in touch with Brafton in an effort to reach other networks, and get a little help in their production of unique content. Brafton’s writers provided not only content through a thorough understanding of ShoreTel, but also SEO, and strategies for the future. The wheels began to turn quickly for ShoreTel as their original goal began to faintly appear in the distance. The ongoing strategy has been:
- Building brand authority
- Enhancing SEO and win more engaged traffic
- Supporting on-site conversions
ShoreTel Sky began to move forward, full steam ahead with their strategy. The strategy commenced in March, with the website getting at least one news article per day, ranging from 200 to 400 words to accommodate the word space needed to adequately cover various topics. The writers also plan longer content (in the 600-word range) for monthly publication. “Early on, I wasn’t confident that Brafton could produce the type and volume of content we needed,” Newman said. “That has never been a problem. We’ve been thrilled with the editorial work. The quality is consistent.”
The Outcome: Fast forward to 6 months later, with news content regularly going live on ShoreTel Sky’s site, the company had a more robust SEO presence, with more keywords bringing traffic to the site, organic traffic levels rising and inbounds links up. Conversion rate was up 42 percent of the course of the half year, with a 3 percent lower bounce rate. Organic traffic was up 50.8 percent over the same period last year, with the industry news hub page serving as a top landing page for the site.
More, inbound links to the site tripled in 6 months proving that additional content is being shared and linked to – further establishing ShoreTel Sky as the industry thought leader it is. The volume of inbound links pointing to the site steadily builds as meaningful content is added, with total links rising 7 percent over March 2012 in April, and 181 percent inbound link growth compared to the launch of strategy by September. The links suggest the brand is gaining credibility, but readers’ interaction with the content also proves quality has not been sacrificed for quantity.
Combining industry news, analytical articles and infographics for consistent delivery allows ShoreTel Sky to have a sustainable content marketing strategy that shows the results the company wants. “If we had to do content marketing in house, frequent publication wouldn’t have been sustainable,” Newman said. “Not having to worry about writing every day has freed our team to become more strategic with our overall marketing and sales.”
ShoreTel continue to work with Brafton, and aside from their specific successes, there’s a lot that companies can learn from their experience. Personally, I appreciate them documenting the experience so closely and really nailing down what works and what doesn’t. Congrats to them and Brafton on the accomplishment. I really feel there’s a ton of value to their experience and I’ll be sure to apply key methodology discussed wherever possible.
Source: Brafton Case Study
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