If you are subscribed to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn, or keep up with our blog you’ll notice that over the past 10 weeks the iPullRank team has preached the importance of marketing during COVID-19.
On his personal Twitter account, our Founder and Managing Director, Mike King, highlighted how much content our entire team has worked to publish since we went on mandatory work from home on March 11.
We've been putting out a lot of content, so I want to catch you up in case you've missed something.— Mic King (@iPullRank) April 17, 2020
Before I start, we have a webinar on the Marketing in the Age of COVID-19 next Wednesday at 1pm. Please RSVP 👉🏾 https://t.co/kDwMgK0hH0
And away we go! pic.twitter.com/MgXfhVoZSa
The Tip of the Marketing Iceberg
A lot of our content recently has focused on the importance of marketing now that everyone’s normal routines have been turned upside down.
The vast majority of our content during this time has been dedicated to creating resources to help businesses with their marketing and SEO efforts, which can be found in our COVID-19 Resource Center.
All of our recent work has led up to our Marketing in the Age of COVID webinar and the corresponding ebook the entire team put together. While we are PROUD of the efforts the entire iPullRank team has put into this, we are even more so in the results that have come from it.
Below the Water: Our Marketing Results
One of the most eye-opening facts I’ve read many times is that 90% of an iceberg is below the water. Our content creation and increased output since the pandemic turned our lives upside down is just the tip of the iceberg. What’s below the surface is the success we have started to see.
While we ramped up our internal marketing at the start of the year, we saw one of the most impressive spikes in marketing qualified leads in early April.
Our sales-qualified leads have followed a similar trend as well, though not as dramatic.
These increases speak not just to the quality of our content, but also to the timeliness of it. These are topics and information that SEO Managers, Directors, and even CMOs are looking into. Going back to the Guides we published in April shows how engaging and informative these topics truly are.
Our 50 Techniques for Keeping Ahead of SEO in the New World guide currently has a conversion rate of 29% while our Forecasting and Predicting ROI for SEO has a conversion rate of 35%. These are not skewed because of low numbers either, each of these guides has seen thousands of visitors and hundreds of downloads in just a few short weeks.
Our Marketing in the Age of COVID webinar was also a success with a healthy 32% signup rate and more than 46% of registered attendees showing up. Additionally, we saw more than 12% of signups watch the replay within a week of the live event.
Our Rankable Live sessions saw similar results, with the first event having a 70% attendance rate(!) and a 48% signup rate and the second pacing a solid 48% attendance rate and 43% signup rate.
By connecting with consumers in an empathetic way, we have seen our increased marketing output provide solid results quickly.
Our Content Promotion Efforts
Of course, content creation is just one piece of the marketing puzzle. The second aspect is just as important, promoting our content across various channels.
At the peak of our content output, our marketing team was tasked with at least 2 hours of content promotion each day. We have already started to see an increase in traffic from channels we have not focused on in the past.
Last summer, we created the @iPullRankAgency Twitter account and slowly started to gain followers. However, at the start of 2020, before COVID-19 was a great concern in New York City, we began to ramp up our activity. February and March saw a dramatic rise in sessions from Twitter because of it.
While April has seen less traffic come from Twitter than the past two months, our agency Twitter has seen increased activity during this time.
There’s still work to be done on this channel, but it is encouraging to see increases like these in our Twitter analytics. In addition to Tweeting regularly and engaging with other accounts more frequently, we have started to participate in #SEMrushChat and other Twitter chats.
In fact, April 2020 was the best month for new followers and Tweet impressions for iPullRank, and it wasn’t even close.
Mike King has also worked to promote iPullRank through guest posting opportunities, like his SearchEngineJournal, Advanced Web Ranking, and Medium posts, as well as joining webinars and podcasts frequently.
Planning for the Future
One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic showed everyone was that planning is essential, but also must be flexible. The ability to pivot our content strategy helped us stand out and build our audience, but some brands weren’t prepared for this type of flexibility and were forced to run mistimed ads.
GEICO’s “Perfect High-Five” commercial is a perfect example of this, and was pulled quickly due to social distancing efforts that made their ad tone deaf.
There are two important takeaways from what the entire iPullRank team has been able to do during this challenging time. First, even when apart and working from our respective homes, we are still one of the most innovative and cohesive teams I have ever worked with.
Second, our ability to quickly, and seamlessly, shift the direction of our marketing efforts paid off almost immediately. This extends beyond just our company, but also to our existing clients as well.
Above, you can see how one of our clients, a major lender, was able to position themselves as one of the most trusted companies. These efforts now will surely stick around once life returns to normal and users will remember them as a source that helped out when many others could not.
Below you can see how another financial services company in a different vertical saw an increase in clicks, impressions, and click-through rate as a result of shifting their content strategy as well.
These spikes were a result of not only the increased demand but also from their flexibility to adjust their strategies at a time when others were staying true to their pre-COVID-19 plans.
We can Help You do the Same
Nearly every industry is facing hardship right now. Unemployment is rising by the week and the stock market erased ten years of gains in less than a month. This is not the time for knee-jerk reactions, but for companies to make bold yet calculated decisions.
Some actions we recommend everyone should look into now are:
With so many businesses having published new information around COVID-19 best practices and initiatives they’ve started because of the pandemic, it is important to check and make sure old content is not conflicting with these new pieces.
By taking action here, you can ensure your messaging is consistent by reviewing old content that may contradict new messaging that has been added as a result of COVID-19. If past content does not match your current tone, temporarily deindexing them can prevent Organic users from stumbling upon it in Search.
Audience Reports and Updated Personas:
Consumer behavior has changed drastically in a short period of time, and some of these changes will likely be permanent even after the pandemic lifts. No one’s personas are accurate right now and audiences need to be looked into again as a result of these changes.
Look into what has changed in your audience’s behavior and take the proper steps in content creation and promotion to ensure you are still reaching your consumers with empathy. How their behaviors have changed during this time will have a great impact on where they are looking for content, and how they are looking for it and will show how you need to adjust your strategies to meet their needs
As a result of brands slicing Paid advertising budgets, the cost of Paid Search and Paid Social Ads have decreased considerably. By investing in these now while the price is lower than usual, you can increase your brand’s presence and reach for a fraction of the price.
Think about what content will portray your brand in the best possible light in the current and leverage this in Paid campaigns.
With low costs for Paid Search and Paid Social right now, this is the perfect time to run campaigns to try and grow your target audience. Think, what consumers may be interested in what you offer now that wouldn’t have been at the start of the year?
Your Next Steps
Our internal efforts have yielded success and our flexibility has helped our clients. What you need to pay close attention to right now are:
- The potential ROI of increased Paid Search and Paid Social budgets
- Auditing Content to maintain consistent messaging
- Update Audience Personas to match changing consumer behaviors
- Continue creating quality content that is time sensitive for the ongoing pandemic and likely recession
- Remain active on Social Media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram
If you’re concerned because your company has not seen the same increases, this is not the time to worry but to take action and we’re here to help you every step of the way.