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Content marketing can seem like a daunting step for any organization dipping its toes into this concept for the first time. While some business owners experience success right off the bat, for others it seems like rocket science. But helping your business or your clients takeoff with content isn’t a challenge you have to undertake alone.
At Content Equals Money, we’ve helped hundreds of agencies and businesses like yours bring their content marketing campaigns to life. We’ve produced custom content for businesses in nearly every industry through informative press releases, researched blog posts, fun social media updates, and much, much more.
The great thing is that any business in any industry is capable of experiencing content marketing success. Whether you invest in a robust marketing strategy or in a drip campaign, online engagement and brand awareness improve dramatically. So why are so many businesses investing in a content strategy?
- Google’s Hummingbird, Penguin, and Panda updates. The word “change” is overused in the content marketing community, but it’s something we all have to deal with. Recent SEO updates have made it perfectly clear that article spinning, buying links, and “decent” content just won’t cut it. Content has been redefined, so businesses need to be innovative and bold to stay ahead of the competition.
- Industry buzz. When you regularly hear about businesses like InsideOut improving lead generation by 388 percent through content marketing, it makes you want a slice of the pie too, right? If they can do it, why not you?
- Shifting digital media. As the business world becomes increasingly digitalized, businesses are reevaluating their internet marketing strategy. No matter what SEO changes the search engines implement, strong content is always at the core of high rankings.
But of course, you probably had some inkling about this already, and want to learn more. At Content Equals Money, we’re firm believers that one of the best ways to learn about content marketing and what it can do for you is to see what others are doing. These in-depth case studies describe the content marketing strategies that startups, small businesses, and major enterprises alike executed in order to get better results with online marketing.
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Content Marketing for Niche Ecommerce Businesses
As the web gets bigger, it’s paradoxically getting smaller in some ways. Niche ecommerce sites have found themselves competing against mammoth retailers such as Amazon, eBay, and WalMart. So how are independent sites stacking up against major brands? In 2014, niche ecommerce sites are expected to:
- Earn 30.5 percent of traffic through organic search. Despite recent algorithm changes, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines remain a primary driving factor for business. The analysis of over 18,000 individual niche ecommerce sites revealed that smart content marketing can drive nearly a third of all traffic received.
- Earn 69.5 percent of traffic through everything else. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube continue to compose the bulk of remaining traffic drivers. From only 140 characters on Twitter to short-form Facebook updates, brands are getting smarter about what they publish on social media.
- Earn 65 percent of traffic on mobile devices. When optimizing a site for mobile, it’s important to think beyond the visual layout of the site itself. Did you know there’s a way to make content visual?
How River Pools and Spas Jumped Into the Deep End
With so many benefits for niche ecommerce sites, it’s no wonder businesses like yours are considering content marketing. Meet Marcus Sheridan, founder and owner of River Pools and Spas.
As River Pools and Spas grew to become one of the largest in-ground pool construction companies serving clients in Maryland and Virginia, Marcus realized that traditional marketing was losing its value in today’s digital age. In fact, it wasn’t until February of 2013 that Marcus decided to rethink his $250,000 marketing budget spent on television, pay-per-click, and radio ads. Despite robust traditional marketing campaigns, River Pools and Spas struggled to pull in revenue figures similar to its pre-2007 peak.
At its peak, River Pools and Spas closed an average of 6 sales a month. The 2008 recession, however, struck a major blow, dropping the figure from 6 to 2 monthly sales. Then in the following winter, four customers who had made $50,000+ deposits each demanded their money back. Something needed to be done.
When Marcus invested in a content management system and integrated it into his marketing strategy, everything changed. The ability to optimize blogs and analyze readers’ behaviors gave him the tools necessary to close more deals. The results? River Pools and Spas experienced:
- 120 percent increased organic traffic
- 50 percent cost savings on PPC
- 6,400 monthly blog readers
As a result, Marcus was able to reduce that $250,000 marketing budget by 90 percent, and most of the remaining budget it spend on content marketing. His strategy was so successful that he was even featured in the New York Times.
So what exactly did Marcus do to create such a successful content strategy?
While most pool builders and business owners in general are reluctant to talk about negotiable prices online, Marcus dove into the topic without any regrets. The bulk of River Pools and Spas’ content strategy focused on answering questions posed by customers. By talking about price, acknowledging difficult questions, and even publishing a comprehensive list of the best pool builders in the market (competitors were included but Marcus did not list his company), Marcus was able to gain the trust of visitors and prospective clients.
River Pools and Spas is currently exceeding its peak, pre-2007 revenue figures.
Key Takeaway: River Pools and Spas is a prime example of a content strategy going against conventional wisdom and yielding unparalleled results. Instead of using content as a platform to sell to consumers, Marcus engaged them in conversation – and they responded tremendously.
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Content Marketing for General Health Businesses
In the age of WebMD and Everyday Health, patients are searching for answers to their general health questions online before seeing a specialist. In fact, WebMD averages 15 million unique monthly visitors, making it one of the most visited sites on the internet.
General health businesses now face competition on two fronts:
- Free online resources
To stay relevant and continue growing, general health businesses are increasingly turning to content marketing to establish their expertise, grow organic traffic, and book more appointments to keep business healthy.
How ProFitness Physical Therapy Found Its Groove
With 3 locations in New York City, ProFitness Physical Therapy faced intense competition from major health providers and individual practitioners alike. Instead of simply investing in an online content marketing strategy, ProFitness decided to harness the power of direct mail advertising.
Because direct mail is highly targeted, measurable, personalized, cost effective, and flexible, ProFitness saw this as an opportunity to gain a greater share of the market. The plan? One-time mailings of 20,000 postcards for each campaign with a 10,000-mailing follow up.
Of course, with so many different demographics targeted, ProFitness needed several templates and options for letters to send. Each mailing needed:
- Crisp, concise content detailing what set ProFitness Physical Therapy apart from the competitors and the services provided.
- A bold call-to-action.
- Compelling graphics that enhanced the content on the card.
With each postcard campaign, ProFitness earns anywhere from 6 to 14 new clients, many of whom refer their friends looking for a physical therapist. “Our ROI was wonderful because the new patients that come in pay for the mailing after their first month!” says Jean Borruso, the marketing director for ProFitness.
Key Takeaway: Content isn’t limited to the digital world. Just as ProFitness invested in custom content for its direct mailing campaign, general health businesses don’t necessarily have to limit their content to the digital medium.
How Zimmet Vein and Dermatology Achieved World-Class Results
Zimmet Vein and Dermatology, based in Austin, Texas, offers some of the best cosmetic dermatology, laser, vein, and aesthetician services in the region. As world-renowned vein specialist, Dr. Steven Zimmet needed a website that showcased his world-class expertise and experience.
Besides investing in a completely custom website and robust SEO strategy, Dr. Zimmet wanted to invest heavily into content marketing as well. Content published by Zimmet Vein and Dermatology includes:
- Weekly blogs. These researched posts detail the latest news in the industry and answer some of the most common questions prospective patients have. They’re relatively short (less than 300 words) and optimized for search engines.
- Mini white papers. Though technical in nature, these white papers are easy to understand by the average reader. They offer an in-depth look into the medical techniques used during certain procedures and showcase success stories.
- Patient reviews. By promoting authentic responses from his patients and integrating it into his content, Dr. Zimmet has been able to gain the business of more clients than ever before.
The results? Thanks to a robust content strategy, Zimmet Vein and Dermatology now experiences 92 percent more traffic year over year, over double the amount of monthly visitors. Also, 120 monthly calls, leads, or appointments are made to the clinic exclusively through the website.
Key Takeaway: Even for a highly specialized and technical industry, content can be written in such a way that general consumers can easily understand it. White papers build authority while weekly blogs help enhance search engine rankings.
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Content Marketing for the Parenting Industry
The parenting industry is a $1 billion+ annual business. Parents don’t just spend money on children’s clothing, food, and diapers, but also invest in education, toys, classes, and much more. Expenses get even higher for those who have a child with a learning disorder or disability. There are even parents who drop $800 for a baby stroller – whew!
With such a large market, it’s no wonder that so many businesses and organizations are seeking to earn their slice of the pie. With so many opportunities on the internet today, it seems like each serving is getting bigger.
How Kelly Lester Went from Stay-at-Home Mom to Beating Amazon
Just one glance at Kelly Lester, and you’d assume she might be a typical stay-at-home mom. While she is certainly passionate about her family, you might be surprised by her entrepreneurial success. Lester is the owner of a $1.5 million business that started right out of her kitchen.
Each day, Kelly would prepare lunches for her three kids. Like any good mother, she wanted to make sure that the food was delicious, nutritious, and still in good shape by lunchtime. Kelly became frustrated with her lunchboxes and Tupperware, so she decided to make her own product, which has been likened to an American “bento” lunchbox.
Bento, which originated in Japan, is the idea of creating a single-portion meal that is neatly organized in a single box. Instead of packing lunchboxes as though it were a chore, Kelly found it extremely fun to use her new creation, which she named EasyLunchboxes.
When Kelly started posting pictures of her EasyLunchboxes on Facebook and Pinterest, family, friends, and even strangers decided that they wanted to place an order – and Kelly’s multi-million dollar business was born. To harness the massive interest in EasyLunchboxes, Kelly decided to begin selling them on Amazon.
With so many sellers on Amazon, though, Kelly struggled to expand beyond her immediate fan base. It wasn’t until she began investing in content marketing and a regularly curated blog that brand awareness grew. The result? EasyLunchboxes is now the #1 product on Amazon in its category.
In her blog, Kelly writes about a vast variety of topics including:
- Lunch ideas. Kelly enjoys sharing creative ideas with other moms reading her content. While PB&J is a staple lunch that many children enjoy, there are so many more delicious and nutritious options to consider.
- Parenting advice. Instead of writing strictly about lunches, nutrition, and healthy eating, Kelly is also known for giving heartfelt and proven parenting advice. Because she takes the time to read the comments left on her blog, Kelly knows where many of her readers are coming from and is able to relate to them on a personal basis, building a connection with her readership that keeps them coming back.
- How to have fun with kids. Ultimately, Kelly’s idea of EasyLunchboxes was to make lunch fun again not only for her children, but also for herself. As a result, Kelly also finds herself writing about games, sleepover ideas, and other activities that parents can do to enjoy quality time with their children.
Kelly integrates her blog consistently with social media. Besides Facebook and Pinterest, Kelly also uses Instagram and YouTube to promote her content and continue growing EasyLunchboxes.
Key Takeaways: Content marketing is about creating a relationship with your readers and consumers. Entrepreneurs, small businesses, and major corporations alike can engage clients on a personal level online. This builds brand loyalty that retains customers. Kelly’s focus on imagery also stresses the importance of investing in a visual content strategy.
How Seattle Children’s Hospital is Reaching Parents
Seattle Children’s Hospital had a website and web strategy but until 2013, management wasn’t satisfied with the results. It seemed like other healthcare providers in the region were ranking higher on search engines, and the ROI figures were decent, at best.
On June 24, 2014, Seattle Children’s Hospital announced that it would switch to and rely on Metia as its international marketing agency. The switch represented a commitment to content marketing efforts that would include:
- Information for parents and families. The hospital wanted to provide insightful and helpful content for those visiting the official website for the first time. The bulk of this content focuses on what families and patients can expect during their visit or treatment.
- Material about the campus. Since the Seattle Children’s Hospital is such a large facility, a section of the website is focused on answering questions ranging from directions to hospital services.
- General health advice. Through a regularly curated blog, the hospital posts tips on what parents and children can do to stay healthy during particular times of the year. During the winter, for instance, the hospital regularly publishes posts on coping with colds and flu.
- Insurance resources. Dealing with health insurance can be a hassle. The hospital has a comprehensive online resource detailing what parents can do to get and stay covered by a quality health plan.
- Classes for families. Seattle Children’s Hospital offers classes, including babysitting, first aid, CPR and nutrition. Each of these classes has a brief description online so that interested parties can determine which class best fits their needs.
While the hospital experienced incredible gains thanks to content marketing and its social media pages, physicians such as Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson were inspired to begin publishing their own online content. In fact, Dr. Swanson currently has a blog and Twitter account that, so far, have helped her reach over 250,000 parents. In addition to promoting her own content, she graciously promotes the hospital’s posts as well. Dr. Swanson now has 40 speaking engagements on children’s health and parenting, thanks to her highly respected blog.
Key Takeaway: Along with regularly publishing content that boosts your business, encourage employees to take the initiative and begin publishing their own content. Organizations that have teams passionate about content and helping their clients are able to create a unified strategy that boasts incredible results. Major corporations that appropriate money toward traditional television and radio advertising should also consider the proven benefits of content marketing.
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Content Marketing in Education
The internet has revolutionized the way the education industry functions. From college students taking courses online to schoolchildren watching tutorials on YouTube, the internet makes information accessible. Forecasts for long-term growth in the education industry are particularly strong, especially in the online sector.
The changing education policy landscape has had virtually no effect on the evolution of entrepreneurship and the emerging education industry. Whether it’s e-learning or buying textbooks online, consumers are turning to the internet for their educational needs.
How Khan Academy Became the Largest Academy in the World
In 2006, Salman Khan had the goal of providing a free world-class education for people everywhere. As a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, Salman acknowledged the many obstacles people have to overcome in order to earn a quality education. Through his YouTube channel, Salman was able to begin accomplishing his goal – and thus, Khan Academy was born.
Over 100,000 exercise problems and nearly 5,000 micro lectures cover topics such as biology, macroeconomics, computer science, medicine, finance, astronomy, art history, and much, much more. Khan Academy reaches an estimated 10,000,000 unique students per month, making it the largest “academy” in the world. Currently, Khan Academy boasts over 300 million views on YouTube.
But Salman wanted to grow Khan Academy to be an even bigger powerhouse. Instead of being known simply as a YouTube channel, Salman desired to create a more trusted, respected, and professionally recognized platform. Though YouTube is still a major driver, the official Khan Academy website is what ties everything together.
To drive traffic to the website, Salman invested in an aggressive content marketing strategy to keep the Khan Academy blog regularly curated. By covering different topics and even covering a few tutorials, Salman has been able to leverage the blog to drive new traffic to the site.
The latest development? Salman has invested in a new smartphone application that will merge video and text content into a single platform for students.
Key Takeaways: Content can come from anywhere. From video to long-form, valuable content is the key to growing your brand in education. Since students learn in different ways, it’s important to make your content available in different formats. Just as Khan Academy is unifying its online content through a groundbreaking app, your brand should continue to keep content integrated with other marketing tools.
How AIMS College Increased Enrollment Rates
Of course, the education industry isn’t limited to online tutorials, digital bookstores, and discussion boards. In today’s digital age, the internet is the primary way that students learn about the universities and colleges in which they will eventually apply. The American Institute of Medical Sciences and Education (AIMS College) is one school that needed a strategy to attract top students online.
As one of the most highly respected training colleges for Allied Health professionals, the Jersey-based college aimed to reach US and international students alike. The goals?
- To improve brand awareness of AIMS College online
- To increase the number of online inquiries and applications
When AIMS College first started its digital strategy, its online presence was virtually dead. The blog was rarely updated, social media pages were incomplete, and inbound traffic was at a crawl. The digital strategy implements would address all of these issues, focusing on robust and valuable content creation.
The solutions included:
- At least two blog posts per week. AIMS College used an authoritative tone to attract top medical students with in-depth articles including highly targeted keywords.
- Reach out to respected blogs in the industry. Aside from keeping its own blog regularly curated, AIMS College reached out to respected bloggers in the industry. By publishing 1-2 guest posts each month, AIMS was able to increase its online presence as well as its brand awareness.
- Daily social media updates. While long-form content creation happened on a weekly or even monthly basis, AIMS College committed to updating its social media pages on a daily basis. These pages include Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter.
The result? Within a month, AIMS College began experiencing an incredible ROI on its content marketing efforts. Organic search traffic to AIMS College improved by 150 percent and non-branded keyword traffic was even better, showing almost a 200 percent improvement.
Key Takeaway: Sometimes building brand awareness is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business. Schools of higher education must distinguish themselves from competing schools and display an authoritative voice on thought-leadership. A high caliber institution needs high caliber writing.
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Content Marketing in the Travel Industry
Let’s face it: even if you weren’t going on a luxury vacation, you’ve googled a travel location at least once. Whether for driving directions or places to stay, things to do and landmarks to see, we’ve all used the internet to research information for our traveling plans.
At $2.0 trillion, the travel industry represents one of the most robust market sectors in the United States. This results in approximately $129 billion in tax revenue for local and state governments as well as $83.4 million per hour spent by travelers. This makes travel and tourism one of the largest employers in the entire country. No wonder so many in the travel industry are trying to cash in!
Because so many people conduct research on the internet before hitting the road, it’s critical to ensure that your business is using its online presence.
How Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour Went from Zero to Hero
The Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour is a local event famous to past participants and residents of Beloit, Wisconsin, but it didn’t attract tourists and outside competitors. The event organizer needed a website that would not only highlight the weekend’s advice, but would also help grow the event, attract more athletes, and establish Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour as one of the most respected sporting events in the region.
- A positive first impression. Event organizers understood the importance of creating a website that made a positive first impression on visitors. Whether it’s beginner or competitive athletes, the Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour wanted to attract more participants, both locally and regionally.
- Mobile friendly. In today’s increasingly digital and mobile age, the Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour wanted a website that would be compatible for mobile and desktop users alike.
- Promotion. A website can only go so far. In addition to stunning web design, the Wisconsin event organizer needed content that would help promote the site organically, establish authority, and help build a positive reputation for the event.
To create a stunning website, the Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour invested in custom site copy to create a positive first impression in the minds of visitors and potential attendees. Content was targeted toward younger demographics. Content was purposefully designed to not only attract traffic, but to also provide helpful information for competitors.
Route maps, event information, merchandise, pictures of previous races, tips for competitors, and much more combined to create a site that has made the Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour one of the most respected races in the region and a travel destination for competitive athletes from all over the nation.
Key Takeaways: The Beloit and Beyond Bike Tour started from ground zero. Without any website or previous web presence, everything they invested in would define the image of the race. While we often view content marketing as a way to drive traffic to a website, it’s also important to remember the image it can help create.
In the travel industry, creating a positive image can determine if a customer decides to visit your business, stay at your hotel, or rent a car from your dealership. First impressions are everything in the traffic industry. Typos and poorly articulated sentences won’t earn the trust of people traveling hundreds of miles to visit the area.
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Content Marketing in the Health, Fitness, and Exercise Industry
With 100 million dieters in the United States alone, the health, fitness, and diet industry is a $20 billion behemoth. From group fitness classes in the gym to too many entrants for the Boston Marathon, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the action.
For many people, taking to the internet and performing a Google search is the first step to signing up for a marathon, researching a new workout, learning more about nutrition, or investing in new workout equipment. Revenue for the fitness industry online is expected to rise 23 percent over the next decade. This consistent growth is what’s bringing fitness experts to the internet. But how many are able to reach their target audience?
With only 22 percent of fitness business owners reporting satisfaction with online traffic and conversion rates, it’s time to ask two key questions:
- What sets these businesses apart?
- What specifically did these businesses do to achieve that level of satisfaction?
How Fleet Feet Successfully Grew Its Franchise
Fleet Feet is a sporting franchise with locations in nearly every state. Focused primarily on running shoes and running gear, Fleet Feet is one of the fastest growing and most recognized businesses in its niche. Known for its “startup feel,” Fleet Feet boasts the same quality of customer service at every location, which includes its signature, free shoe fitting.
What’s particularly interesting about Fleet Feet is that the company doesn’t sell anything online. Customers must visit the store in person to make a purchase, yet online marketing is one of the biggest tools in Fleet Feet’s marketing toolbox. Though the entire franchise shares a centralized content marketing effort, each branch is also responsible for its own content pertaining to local events and races.
At a recent store opening in Nashville, over 200 people lined up for the grand opening, thanks to their content and email marketing. The emails emphasized freebies for the first 100 people in line, which generated excitement among the locals. Furthermore, most sales and promotions are advertised almost exclusively though social and online media.
So what exactly is Fleet Feet doing with content marketing to achieve this success?
- Fitness blogging. Though the franchise doesn’t sell any products online, it creates value through its website by providing valuable content. Readers see tips ranging from how to run in cold weather to a runner’s checklist for a first 5k race.
- Weekly email newsletter. Fleet Feet stays connected to its customers through a weekly email newsletter that highlights store news and promotions, and gives a synopsis of the latest blogs on the site. Since newsletters aggregate information, there’s almost something of interest in each email for most subscribers.
- Race calendar. Each location is responsible for posting information about local races, marathons, and charity events. Individual stores also host training runs for these events, which are advertised through the website.
Key Takeaways: You don’t have to be an online business to provide value on the internet. Because Fleet Feet creates value for its customers for free, its website is a powerful tool for advertising events, sales, and promotions. Since there’s never any hard selling, customers use Fleet Feet’s website for running tips, facts about nutrition, and updates on the latest races. Creating brand loyalty through content marketing is just as important as trying to close a sale.
How Weight Loss and Training Gained New Market Share
Trying to rank for the keywords “weight loss” and “weight training” is extremely difficult, so how did Weight Loss and Training do it? While there’s plenty of nonsense information on the web, the founders of Weight Loss and Training wanted to become a comprehensive online resource for legitimate information.
Weight Loss and Training began with weekly health posts on Facebook; when this didn’t translate to sales or a legitimate business plan, it was clear that a new strategy was needed. This strategy would be twofold:
- To focus on social media platforms and engage target clients
- To focus on providing helpful weight loss content for everyone
Particularly impressive is the fact that Weight Loss and Training boasts an average of 2 minutes and 31 seconds spent on the site per visitor and a bounce rate of less than 2 percent. This means that visitors are spending time reading the content and maybe even visiting other pages on the site. Optimized content and guest posts attract an estimated 30,000 visitors to the blog every day.
Key Takeaways: If you want people to stay on your site, the content must be unique and interesting. Think of how many websites publish the same old generic weight loss strategy: “Fewer calories in + more calories out = weight loss.” While that’s true, there’s nothing of real value, because there is nothing new about that simple fact.
Instead, focus on the nitty-gritty details such as the science behind high-intensity interval training or what kinds of supplements dieters should consider. In a niche over-saturated with competition, unique content is what sticks. And just like Weight Loss and Training, if you’re known for publishing pieces as a thought leader, you can easily guest blog elsewhere and continue driving traffic to your business.
For reference, articles currently trending on the site include:
- 7 Things that Slow Down Your Metabolism
- New years Resolutions to Weight Loss
- 5 Day Total Body Toning Workout
- Intense Fat Burning Workout
Content Marketing in Real Estate
Before the explosion of the internet, finding a realtor was relatively simple. Traditionally, you connected with a trustworthy realtor through friends or family members, through information found on a yard sign or even from searching the yellow pages.
The internet, of course, turned the entire industry upside down, emphasizing the importance of strong content. When it comes to real estate, 78 percent of customers prefer learning more about a company through articles rather than ads and 70 percent are more likely to trust an organization that publishes custom content.
In the real estate industry, video content is a must. From property tours to neighborhood views, from local business highlights to client testimonials, it seems as though every realtor, agency, or builder is including video, even though video doesn’t have the same SEO or conversion benefits that traditional writing provides.
How YoChicago Reinvented Itself with Content Marketing
YoChicago prides itself as a “fresh take on homes, apartments, and neighborhoods in Chicago and [its] suburbs.” As a six-year-old website, YoChicago experienced the housing and finance crisis in 2008 and needed a proven solution to recover. This is when the founders decided to invest in content marketing.
Now, the YoChicago website looks more like a news hub or aggregate media site than it does a real estate business. This distinguishes it from its competition, and has given YoChicago the opportunity to serve countless clients in these ways:
- News stories. YoChicago regularly publishes the latest real estate news, apartment postings, and regional trends. These types of articles establish YoChicago as a leader in its niche, on top of the latest trends in real estate.
- Guides. New to Chicago? Are you buying a house for the first time? Instead of simply listing the most recent postings, YoChicago provides resources to help buyers ensure a smoother transaction.
- Inbound links. YoChicago links readers to its resources, library of content, and testimonials to gain the trust of visitors. Greater brand awareness coupled with higher search engine ranking has given YoChicago the opportunity to earn new business.
Key Takeaways: Real estate companies and professionals have a unique opportunity to provide readers with two types of content: industry-related news, and how-to information. Like YoChicago, you have an opportunity to cover a wide range of topics within real estate and provide the information your buyers are searching for through optimized content.
How Andreas Keller Broke the Status Quo
Andreas Keller is a reverse mortgage broker in the greater Washington, DC area who has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector. When he saw the potential in the real estate market to drive meaningful business, Andreas switched careers and joined Southern Trust as a broker.
While Andreas enjoys working for the company and champions company culture, he was disenchanted with the marketing efforts provided at the corporate level. Rather than settling for marketing campaigns he saw as outdated or flat-out “bad,” Andreas looked for a solution to market himself as a broker. To reach his ideal clients, Andreas decided to invest in:
- Content marketing and syndication
- Email marketing
- Local and traditional SEO campaigns
- Reputation management
- Social media marketing
- Directory optimization
He now ranks at number 1 for the five keyword phrases he specified, thanks to optimized content placed throughout the web and on his social pages. In fact, it took him just two weeks to begin experiencing the power that content marketing has to offer. The keywords he now ranks for include:
- “Tysons corner home equity conversion mortgage”
- “Reverse mortgage specialist, Vienna”
- “Springfield home equity conversion mortgage”
- “Reverse mortgage specialist Tysons corner”
- “Falls church home equity conversion mortgage”
Now, Andreas receives as many as 150 leads per week, which is 5-10 times the amount of customers he was converting with help exclusively from corporate headquarters.
Key Takeaways: When it comes to effective social media marketing, sometimes you have to be willing to take the risk to go against conventional wisdom. When executed well, you’ll experience results that your competitors will covet. This is why so many real estate professionals and agencies are considering insourcing to fulfill their content marketing needs without breaking their budget.
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Content Marketing in the Legal Industry
When it comes to adopting new technologies and marketing strategies, professional industries are among the last to embrace change. In the June issue of Peer to Peer, the quarterly magazine for the International Legal Technology Association, Keith Ecker wrote about the legal industry’s hesitation (or lack of understanding) in integrating content marketing into their business strategy. According to Ecker, law firms that succeed are often differentiated by their decision to invest in content marketing.
Traditionally, law firms have sought to leverage themselves through thought leadership, monthly newsletters, positive word of mouth, articles in trade publications, and by attending local seminars. But consumer and business audiences are exposed to more content and information than ever before. Now, law firms should consider the idea of becoming legal publishing houses.
The reality is that most people don’t understand the law and their legal rights. This is a complex area of study, and people will turn to Google or their preferred search engine to learn more. By becoming a legal publishing house, attorneys and lawyers distinguish themselves as experts in their fields while driving impressive traffic to their websites.
But, does content marketing have any practical benefits for established law firms?
How Michael Fredrick Becker Achieved 4-Digit Law Firm Growth
Michael Fredrick Becker is a personal injury attorney. He has two offices, one based in Elyria and the other in Cleveland, OH. He already ranks for “birth injury cases” but wanted to expand his reach and solidify his lead on the competition. Landing pages and “portal sites” with educational and informational content became the bulk of this campaign.
To drive quality traffic and build authority, Michael Becker:
- Built each page with a purpose. Instead of writing about “birth injury cases” in general, Michael published a page for every type of birth injury case. More specificity meant more content, which in turn meant more results.
- Remained simple. Legal terms and jargon are troubling for the average internet user. Law firms must balance thought leadership and professionalism with verbiage that can be easily understood.
- Used calls to action. At the end of each landing page, Michael included a strong call to action, redirecting heavy traffic to his main website.
These efforts resulted in a 1,914 percent growth in website traffic that Michael enjoys even today. Because Michael already had a website, he was able to take advantage of his existing web presence and enhance it through content marketing. Research shows that bios, case studies, and other forms of content are particularly important in the legal industry.
Key Takeaways: When it comes to content marketing in the legal industry, education and thought leadership are the primary pieces of content you’ll want to focus on. Because it’s important to stay both concise and specific, there’s incredible opportunity to create multiple landing pages or portal sites. Collectively, these drive powerful traffic that will distinguish you from other law firms in your area.
How the Murthy Law Firm Applied Content Marketing First
Sheela Murthy is an Indian immigrant whose law firm is focused on immigration law. In 1994, she began developing her own website, long before sites were commonplace for law firms. Murthy wrote content that gave away valuable information – for free. This solidified her as an expert in her niche, and one that potential clients trusted. The strategy was so successful that the New York Times published an article on Murthy and her strategy.
So what exactly was that strategy and what can you take away from it?
Key Takeaways: “From the beginning, her strategy was to post information about immigration,” writes the New York Times. The lesson here is that when you commit to a content marketing strategy, you must stick with it to experience results. Many law firms switch or modify their strategy before the content they’ve invested in has the opportunity to work.
Furthermore, Sheela proves that content marketing is all about helping the user and placing the reader first. When law firms truly provide valuable information and forget about trying to promote their business, the content sells without selling. There’s no hard sell. Instead, it simply works – because the foundation of trust has been laid and thought-leadership has been established.
Is your law firm approaching content marketing the right way?
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Content Marketing for Regional Banks and Credit Unions
Did you know that an estimated 56 percent of banking and financial services nationwide invest in a content marketing editorial calendar? Content is critical for the financial industry because it reinforces the brand and creates trusted advisors. But, while a slight majority of banking and financial organizations are investing in content marketing, it has yet to become a priority for most.
Customers Want to Understand Your Business
Since each customer has a different need and comes from a different background, content is necessary to explain your business and recognize each customer’s unique needs. Different financial challenges and opportunities need to be addressed with custom content. Wells Fargo’s Business Insight Resource Center is an incredible opportunity of content marketing targeted to would-be small business owners.
Similarly, One Bank’s Financial Education Center provides articles, how-to’s, and tips about various financial topics such as credit cards for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Do you want to stand out from the competition? American Express does this through an Open Forum, which gives users the opportunity to interact with experts and each other. Need to target a specific demographic? See how Regions Bank created content to attract female business owners. The opportunities are limitless when it comes to content marketing for financial organizations.
Even though these are national brands, the same principles apply to regional banks and credit unions.
How Landmark Bank Reached a Business Milestone
Landmark Bank serves 28 communities in Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. With 41 branches in this region, Landmark Bank wanted to increase organic search results to reach out to new customers in local communities in every demographic. The primary challenge was to find keywords and publish content that’s distinguished from a market saturated with financial terms and keywords.
The process began by analyzing Landmark Bank’s website and developing an SEO plan of action that focused on a content marketing campaign. Since the roadmap highlighted areas where Landmark Bank was already performing well, the content strategy was aimed at enhancing those results. Optimized ad copy, better keyword management, and quality content helped Landmark Bank experience a 2,100 percent growth in inbound clicks.
Other areas of growth, thanks to content marketing, include:
- 360 percent more paid traffic while reducing cost per click
- 30 percent more traffic month over month since the campaign began
- 97 percent improved click-through rates
Key Takeaways: Investing in a content marketing strategy in the financial sector doesn’t have to be a new perspective of your brand. Rather, it’s simply giving your organization another channel through which it can connect with existing and prospective clients. Just as Landmark Bank aims to enhance the areas where it was already performing well, your organization should research what’s currently resonating with customers.
Since the banking industry is inundated with financial terms and keywords, adding geographical areas to your focus will help you get in front of the right customers.
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Investing in a Content Strategy
Whether it’s building credibility, growing brand awareness, or other reasons somewhere in-between, clearly content marketing is the reason these brands are thriving – not only in their market, but in their industry as well. The reality is that content marketing provides incredible results for brands in every industry, regardless of their size. From niche ecommerce to general health; from education to real estate, content marketing is helping organizations around the globe take flight.
At Content Equals Money, we’ve helped hundreds of brands and agencies across the nation bring their content strategies to life. We’ll even help you formulate a plan that works.
Major writing firms lack a personal touch and often charge exorbitant prices, while international outsourcing offers low prices at the expense of quality. Freelance writers generally don’t have industry-specific experience, but having an in-house team isn’t a scalable or efficient solution.
Content Equals Money solves these problems by acting as your insource writing service. Consider the benefits:
- 2-3 day turnaround on most projects (though a large 50,000+ word project might require a week)
- $500 no-duplicate-content guarantee
- Flat pricing
- Consistent, high-quality output
- And much, much more
Because each piece goes through a writer, editor, and proofer, you can rely on top-notch quality for you and your clients. Our founder and owner Amie Marse would love to chat with you about your business and answer any questions you might have.
We look forward to hearing from you!