Hello there – Bronwen Winter Phoenix, founder of this here agency.
Look, there’s no guarantee of how quickly a long-term strategy such as content marketing can deliver results, as it depends on facts such as your industry, average sales cycle, customer journey and more.
However, what I really wanted to share with you is one of the most powerful examples of what happens when everything’s done right, and the results from all that hard work start to snowball after that 5 – 6 month mark, increasing Superwarm’s organic traffic by 900%, and his sales revenue to over £1million.
The following case study is one of the first content marketing clients I ever worked with, as a self-employed content manager for Stargazer Digital. It was owner Kevin Gallagher who first got me started with inbound/content marketing, and I owe a lot to him.
John Carmichael from Superwarm Services (a heating company based in Edinburgh) was finding it harder to get seen and engage with new customers, and found himself spending a lot of money on PPC ads to generate leads for his business.
He knew something had to give, and he was interested in Stargazer’s blog (written by myself) listing some of the best marketing agencies in the ‘Burgh. What got his attention was that Stargazer hadn’t mentioned themselves.
At first, John was skeptical about the kind of results he could get from content marketing, but despite this, he got the concept right away, and had an open mind about trying something new, and the work that’d need to go into creating a long-term strategy.
There was also no contract tying him in, so after thinking on it, looking closely at the figures and the gains he could potentially achieve from content marketing, he decided he’d try it out for 4 – 6 months, and see where it got him.
Once the initial setup and four-month strategy was in place, I got to work interviewing John and finding out all about his customers, their biggest questions and pushbacks, and coming up with helpful, valuable blog posts that would hopefully start supercharging his leads and sales.
As predicted, not a long happened in the first few months (although, at the same time, Kevin – who’s a bit of an ads genius – was managing John’s PPC and getting him some great results there by going for some ‘low hanging fruit’).
However, by month five things had started to turn, and the number of leads and sales from his content started gaining momentum, increasing month-by-month. John also understood that a blog post can get you leads for the next 10 years, whereas PPC is simply gone as soon as you turn it off.
As John saw the numbers grow, his confidence in content marketing increased. We’d developed quite a rappor by then, and knew what we were doing was working. Also, the more content I wrote for John, the more of an expert I became, myself – which meant interviews took less time.
To this day (after five years of working with John), I can still tell you plenty about boilers – and have even won some other heating and plumbing clients off the back of the quality of my work!
In just six months, myself and Kevin had managed to increase John’s business by 187% – which translated to over £1million. When he started, he had been getting roughly 1,000 visits to his website per month; we were now at over 24,000 and growing fast.
John was probably the most visited heating engineer website in the UK, and quickly becoming the biggest authority in that industry because he was doing what no-one else was – telling his customers what they needed to know in order to make a purchase.
He was actually starting to see this reflected in his day-to-day interactions with customers. For example, he’d often show up at someone’s door and they’d already feel like they knew him and trusted him.
Not only that, but they were armed with all of the information they needed, and were pretty much ready to just buy a boiler.
But, don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what John had to say:
I knew I needed to get double the amount of leads, and I knew people were out there buying boilers, but I just couldn’t seem to engage with customers. Blanket marketing and paid for ads didn’t seem to be working, so how could I do it? Then I realised that inbound marketing was this great, untapped source.
What we have now is almost like a rolling juggernaut, in that every single day, we know that leads are coming in. Every single day there’s people visiting our website looking for what we’re offering.
Director of Superwarm