David Kirkpatrick

Content Marketing: How shifting the budget led to a 152% boost in landing page traffic

September 30th, 2011

 At this week’s B2B Summit in Boston, one of the case studies presented was on a multi-channel lead generation campaign conducted by CenterBeam, a technology infrastructure company serving mid-sized businesses. This campaign included an extensive outbound element with multiple phone calls and follow-up email, and a “friends and family” referral program.

The third piece of this campaign, a new content marketing strategy, was created from the ashes of a failing pay-per-click effort.


Reallocate the budget away from losing efforts

CenterBeam simply took money from the PPC campaigns, and put that budget line into the content strategy. There was no new expense, just a reallocation of money Marketing had to spend.

Karen Hayward, EVP and CMO, CenterBeam, says the company’s paid search program was not producing positive results. The campaigns were bringing in smaller companies that weren’t part of the CenterBeam’s target market.

The solution was to take that spending and apply it to a concentrated content marketing strategy to boost organic search traffic, and hopefully draw in more qualified leads.

For this effort, CenterBeam went to an outside vendor specializing in custom news creation with a number of requirements:

  • 50 articles per month
  • Every article had to be unique and exclusive to CenterBeam’s website
  • CenterBeam optimized the keywords
  • CenterBeam provided six categories of relevant topics for the articles

Here you can see a screenshot of the news page at CenterBeam showing the heavy dose of new content:

Click to enlarge


Hayward explains the benefits of this approach, “The results you are looking for here is more frequent visits from all of the search engine spiders, improved keyword relevance, you want articles generating traffic, and you get better internal linking.”

CenterBeam successfully applied to get its content listed by Google for “news” searches, so now many of the 50 monthly website content articles show up in Google News searches for those keywords.

Hayward added the company is now expanding this tactic and moving toward long-tail keywords and adding a new category to its relevant topic list for the company’s Apple services.


More content = more organic traffic

The entire content marketing strategy required a change in overall marketing goals. The PPC campaigns were dropped because those efforts were not bringing in the correct customer, particularly in terms of business size.

Shifting that budget line to content marketing meant looking for somewhat different results — improved organic website traffic in this case. And taking that into account, the new content strategy has been very successful for CenterBeam:

  • Visitors from non-paid search is up 43%
  • Google search performance is up 56%
  • News landing page traffic is up 152%

“For each of the content categories that news is written for, we created specific landing pages on our web site,” says Hayward. “The news articles contain links which take you to our website and present relevant content and an invitation for ‘chat’ or a phone call for more information.”

CenterBeam made an interesting marketing choice with this effort. Instead of refining the losing PPC program to try and reach its target market, they moved those marketing dollars into an entirely new area with a new set of goals for success.

What choice would you make — work with the existing PPC effort, or take that budget money somewhere else and look for better results?

If you would like learn more about CenterBeam’s content marketing effort and overall lead gen campaign, Karen Hayward will be presenting at the MarketingSherpa B2B Summit in San Francisco, October 24-25.


Related resources:

Content Marketing: Inbound strategy pulls in 25% more revenue, 70% more leads

Content Marketing: Analytics drive relevant content, 26,000 new monthly visits to blog

Content Marketing: Four tactics that led to $2.5 million in annual contracts

Reformat, Reuse, Recycle: 5 Strategies to Stretch your Marketing Content

New Chart: Top tactics for developing effective B2B marketing content

Content Marketing: Focus on value, not length

Inbound Marketing: Unlock the content from your emails and social marketing

David Kirkpatrick

About David Kirkpatrick

David is a reporter for MarketingSherpa and has over twenty years of experience in business journalism, marketing and corporate communications. His published work includes newspaper, magazine and online journalism; website content; full-length ghosted nonfiction; marketing content; and short fiction. He served as producer for the business research horizontal at the original Office.com, regularly reporting on the world of marketing; covered a beat for D/FW TechBiz, a member of the American City Business Journals family; and he provided daily reporting for multiple LocalBusiness.com cities. David’s other media and corporate clients include: USA Today, Oxford Intelligence, GMAC, AOL, Business Development Outlook and C-Level Media, among many others.

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  1. Emily Carter
    October 3rd, 2011 at 15:08 | #1

    David, great post. Content is definitely an effective way to drive traffic to your website and it’s great to see stats that support this. We find that our clients that start using a more inbound, content-driven approach to marketing see an uptick in website traffic. In fact, Snelling Staffing- The Wyckoff Group saw a lot of results, all of which can be seen here: http://www.grmwebsite.com/case-studies/ I believe this is a testament to the inbound marketing revolution!

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