Agile’s is a niche offering within a niche space (the company markets to marketers who market to educators), but it works with many types of businesses. This makes it challenging to zero in on the right companies, let alone the right personas within those companies.
But armed with a solid SEO strategy backed up by strong sales-enablement content, the company has significantly improved the quantity and quality of its leads.
“We have several different arms of our content program and Brafton is the hub of all of it.” – Elizabeth Burkhardt, Marketing Director, Agile Education Marketing
Agile Education Marketing supplies (and helps implement) market intelligence for businesses that market to educators.
Meaning: Any company, from Google to Zoom to Staples, that does business with educators (K-12, college, university, etc.) could hypothetically use Agile’s data to help guide their educator-targeted marketing and sales initiatives.
Here’s where that gets tricky: Agile’s is a niche offering within a niche space (the company markets to marketers who market to educators), but it works with many types of businesses. This makes it challenging to zero in on the right companies, let alone the right personas within those companies.
So how does Agile cost-effectively attract qualified leads?
Simple: It would need some kind of massive index that all types of people from all types of businesses use to look for niche information. And Agile would need to rank for the specific keywords that qualified leads search for.
You see where this is going.
The challenge: Be found by their target audience; help them sell internally
“Because we’re sort of a niche business within a niche business, we knew we had to find a way to access people who might not even know that a company like ours existed.” Elizabeth Burkhardt, Marketing Director, Agile Education Marketing, said. “And we had to tell the story in a way that we get in front of a lower-level manager.”
Agile’s target audience isn’t necessarily the one holding the purse strings. This means they really had two challenges to overcome:
Get in front of a qualified audience of marketers who influence, but don’t necessarily make, buying decisions (e.g., mid-level marketers).
Present content that can help these influencers sell Agile up to the people who do make the final buying decision.
The solution: SEO + sales-enablement content = more qualified leads
Our work at a glance
Search Performance Briefs
Interactive website design elements
PPC campaign management
Content Marketing Platform
Blog posts and Search Performance Briefs
Goal 1 is to help Agile be more present in organic search. To this end, we started delivering Search Performance Briefs. These proprietary documents provide in-depth analysis of a single keyword, and clear instructions for writers that help them create a blog post with a strong chance of ranking for that particular keyword.
“The SPBs have been huge for helping us get the right content with the right search terms,” Liz said.
Interactive website design elements
Getting found on search is only phase 1 in developing marketing-qualified leads (MQLs).
Phase 2 is making sure we’re demonstrating value to potential leads. One of the ways we’ve helped do this is with interactive design. We created an interactive map that lets users click on any state in the U.S. to see exactly how many districts, schools, types of schools and students it has.
Highly worth checking out.
“I think it sets us apart from our competition in the sense that we’re being extremely transparent but it also looks very fresh.” Liz said. “The design is just really well done so I think it gives people an asynchronous way to experience who we are as a company.”
Agile needs a way to help later-stage prospects sell up to decision-makers. It also needs to keep existing customers engaged, and ensure they have everything they need to upsell to their internal decision-makers when the time comes. To this end, Liz worked with us on producing video animations, like the one below:
“This is one of those powerful pieces that we’ve done because it tells the whole story end-to-end how our products and services fit in with a company’s successful marketing and sales program,” Liz said.
PPC campaign management
The benefit of pay-per-click advertising for a company like Agile is two-pronged:
More brand awareness: Even if you don’t win clicks for paid keywords, just getting impressions on Page 1 can help build some level of brand awareness.
More qualified leads: A carefully targeted Google Ads campaign clearly targets leads who are shopping. If you get that targeting right, you’re bound to have high conversion rates.
“Brafton brought in different people – fresh thinking, different backgrounds, different experiences, made some new recommendations, made some technical behind-the-scenes changes to what we were doing and now we’re paying less and getting more out of it,” Liz said.
The Content Marketing Platform
We recently launched our Content Marketing Platform to help manage client campaigns and deliverables. The CMP tracks project status, houses files, keeps stakeholders in the loop with automatic notifications and lists products and pricing to help clients plan future scopes of work.
“The Content Marketing Platform you launched has been super helpful in ways I’m not sure you guys even considered when you created it. I’ve loved it,” Liz said. “It probably saves a couple hours per week, and I can do a lot with a couple of hours.”
The outcome: More qualified leads that close
~7% consistent increase in MoM organic website traffic for a year running.
74% increase in marketing-qualified leads YoY.
40% increase in sales opportunities.
108% increase in closed MQLs.
In the end, we’ve managed to accomplish what we set out to do. Organic website traffic has increased every month for the past 12 months, and marketing-qualified leads (or MQLs) have nearly doubled YoY.
Most importantly, though, our efforts have led to 108% more of those marketing leads closing. And turning qualified marketing leads into sales is really what this has all been about.
“We have several different arms of our content program and Brafton is the hub of all of it,” Liz said. “You guys all just work really well together, you problem-solve together, and it makes a really big difference for us.”