We’ve just learned (and are delighted) that our recent content and social media engagement work work with ShipServ has been shortlisted for the Best Business-to-Business Campaign category at this New Media Age Effectiveness Awards that take place on 25 June. ShipServ is the leading maritime e-marketplace, helping the buyers and sellers of ship supplies around the world to reduce the costs associated with doing business together. More than $1 billion-worth of trading goes through TradeNet, the company’s electronic trading platform.
Working with John Watton, ShipServ’s CMO, the goals of the campaign were to:
• Build awareness for ShipServ throughout the global shipping industry (without spending a fortune)
• Help build an online community of maritime purchasing professionals
• Start a dialogue with the community – extend and deepen the conversation
• Nurture prospects through drip-feed of content and ongoing dialogue
• Drive traffic to the website and downloads/views of new content.
The targets of the campaign were purchasing professionals in shipping companies around the world and the suppliers to this industry. It’s a conservative market that has only slowly adopted the Internet.
So what did we do?
Together with John, we generated a stream of content and micro-content around six calendared themes to help us hit the goals above, including white papers, blog posts, Twitter tweets, e-newsletter, some viral videos, social media releases and discussions on a new community forum. We also promoted and distributed the content through low-cost media – especially social media; feeding a Twitter account with blog posts, social releases, etc.
John implemented Marketo lead nurturing and lead scoring to track visitor behaviour and create sales-ready leads and we worked on SEO keyword planning and site and landing page optimization. A key element was the creation of a LinkedIn Group as a community hub and we encouraged membership and participation. ShipServ also joined five other maritime groups on LinkedIn. We produced a viral video to lighten the conversation and a lighthearted contest to name the new e-Newsletter. We got almost 200 responses to this and we filmed the inveiling of the winning entry.
Though we say so ourselves, the results were pretty impressive:
- On the community-building side, the campaign built a community of 378 on LinkedIn (and growing), attracted nearly 300 visitors and comments to blog postings, attracted over 50 relevant followers on Twitter and there were over 600 views of viral video – 62% came via email distribution and 18% via shipserv.com/linkedin distribution
- In web traffic terms, the campaign saw visitors to ShipServ’s site increase by 59%, and page views went up 70% and the average time spent on the site expanded by 25%. Linkedin and Twitter have gone from zero before the campaign to being in top 20 traffic sources. And here’s the killer: the number of leads passed to sales as a result of this camapign was up by 400%. John estimates that these results would have cost comfrotably in excess of £100,000 using traditional media, based on past performance. This campaign cost less than £20,000. The campaign generated a visible sales pipeline in six figures.
Getting shortlisted for this award, follows on the heels of ShipServ winning First Tuesday’s ‘Most Promising Interent Company’ award that we blogged about recently.