The CMMS market is extremely competitive. On one end, you have the enterprise-sized companies like IBM. On the other, you have the fleet-footed, well-funded startups pitching the latest in the industry. Needless to say, CMMS companies face unique challenges, especially when it comes to growth.Hippo CMMS, a leading maintenance management software (cloud-based) that provides simple solutions for different aspects of maintenance management, approached Inbound Mantra for some guidance when they noticed their growth was a bit static. They needed help growing their organic traffic to start converting visitors to leads.
So how did we help them?
We turned to the HubSpot software and inbound strategies.
Hippo CMMS faced two main challenges:
- Flat Organic Traffic – For 12 continuous months, organic traffic and leads from the key markets of U.S. and Canada remained constant. The possibility to rank higher on Google search seemed difficult since SERP rankings were dominated by competition including not only other CMMS softwares but also directory listings and software comparison websites.
- Expensive Leads – Hippo was relying on expensive PPC and lead generation campaigns on software listing websites to support growth. In 2017, paid sources accounted for 75% of the leads.
As we looked into ways to help boost organic traffic for Hippo CMMS, growing organic traffic from U.S. and Canada (major markets) seemed like a good place to start.
The initial research involved understanding Hippo’s business, market, competition, revenue model, buyer personas, and the current state of inbound marketing. Using Hubspot’s traffic analytics tool, we gained an in-depth analysis of Hippo’s current traffic as well as lead and customer acquisition.
The strategy was to follow the inbound marketing methodology while focusing on growing organic traffic from the U.S. and Canada which led to prioritizing the attract stage and creating a 12-month traffic and lead projection followed by the convert, close, and delight stages.
This stage focused predominantly on SEO as well as an increase in social media engagement.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Keyword Strategy - After an initial analysis using Google Keyword Planner, HubSpot, and an understanding of Hippo CMMS’s business, Inbound Mantra made a list of around 400 relevant keywords. Of the 400 keywords, we chose 12 “Hero Keywords” that had a high search volume and high commercial intent in the United States and Canada. These 12 keywords would be the center of our inbound marketing strategy.
- On Page SEO – We decided to adapt a “one page, one hero keyword” strategy. We picked one webpage we wanted to rank for for each of the 12 hero keywords. We then optimized them for content, meta description, interlinking, and title. Hubspot not only lets the user tweak the title, content, and meta, but also lists out optimization suggestions to help boost the page’s SEO.
- Off Page SEO – This entails backlinks, social distribution, guest postings, and directory listings. We used the links tool in Hubspot to review all the backlinks of not just Hippo but also our competition. We then purged any “spam and irrelevant links” to Hippo and used competition to create new relevant links.
- Technical SEO – The goal of this was to improve the website’s loading speed using image and code optimization.
- Organic – One of Hubspot’s most helpful functionalities is the ability to schedule bulk uploads in advance for different social media channels (all at once!). Through this tool, Hippo used its social media distribution most optimally vs. posting from the respective channels on a daily basis. The social posts ranged from articles and infographics to videos and webinars.
- Paid – These include sponsored content specifically catered according to an audience type based on job title, industry, and demographics. The campaigns were optimized for offer type, channel, and audience type. We also used excerpts from our buyer persona research to create the target audience for social media paid campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn. An important tool for tracking the impact of social media campaigns was Hubspot’s tracking URL builder. This let us gauge user engagement in the best way possible. We also noted that LinkedIn and Facebook were not always accurate when it came to tracking new contacts created, which is where the tracking URL builder played an important role.
ConvertThis stage focused on maximizing the conversion rate using CRO tactics, website redesign, and content.
- Conversion rate optimization (CRO) – Over the course of time, different conversion paths were subjected to trial and error to see what helps maximize the conversion rate. This includes analyzing different types of CTAs (both placement and design wise), different types of forms and lead flows, redesigning landing pages, and heatmap analysis to understand why users were staying and leaving. Hubspot offers a wide range of possibilities when it comes to CTAs, forms, and lead flows. Additionally, it also provides data to analyze how well a CTA performs. This too played a major role in helping increase leads, as it gives us the data we need to analyze what CTAs performed best.
- Content – Content has always been a huge part of the inbound marketing strategy. Not only did new content like eBooks and blogs help with conversion rate optimization but so did existing content. Content included monthly newsletters and TOFU content such as relevant eBooks, all of which were created using Hubspot.
- Website redesign and development– Hippo’s top 10 web pages and landing pages (based on the pages ranking for the hero keywords as well as pages with the most traffic) were redesigned to improve the UI/UX and overall design, as well as to increase the conversion rate. The pages were redeveloped using Hubspot. We could also gauge how well the pages performed as compared to the previously designed pages since Hubspot stores data for unpublished pages.
- Customer reviews and feedback – Hubspot’s email tool to the rescue again! Using the email tool, we sent emails to current customers to provide feedback as well as reviews. These reviews helped boost ratings, making Hippo CMMS more trustworthy and reliable in the competitive CMMS industry.
- Conversations – Using Hubspot, we could keep track of every customer interaction from day one, including first touch, deal size, and conversations. This helps us serve existing customers better as well as potential clients based on past experiences and data.
- Email marketing - One of Hubspot’s most efficient and helpful tools is the email tool. This was extensively used to re-engage leads with content sent out via email marketing as a part of workflows and campaigns.
After attracting leads, we needed to finally close them to make way for revenue.
To help Hippo CMMS sales reps close leads better, it was important to reduce lead response time (using a round robin workflow) and intelligence (using predictive lead scoring).
- Reduce lead response time – Hippo was struggling with lead assignment to sales reps. On one day, a particular sales rep would get the majority of leads while another wouldn’t get any. To allow for Hippo CMMS sales reps to most efficiently follow up with leads, we recommended and executed the HubSpot lead rotation workflow. The idea was to achieve the following:
- Quicker response time due to equal distribution of leads among sales reps.
- Prioritization of leads based on source and geography.
- Lead nurturing workflow – The workflow sent out several emails over a 10-week period, providing the leads with relevant information in the form of articles, pricing calculator, guides, and more.
- Lead Scoring - Hubspot’s lead scoring tool allows for sales reps to focus on leads that show a higher conversion rate into customers. This was a scale of 100, where leads were assigned a score based off pages visited, demographics, forms submitted, and lead source.
DelightThis stage focused on maximizing the conversion rate using CRO tactics, website redesign, and content.
Using the above strategy, Inbound Mantra inched towards helping Hippo CMMS by achieving the monthly proposed goals of traffic, conversion rate, and leads.
Check out the results:
- 1700% increase in customers from organic search (in the target market of the U.S. and Canada)
- 100% increase in organic traffic from the U.S. in 6 months
- 7 of the 12 Hero Keywords now rank in the Top 5 for Google.com
In the end, Inbound Mantra, Hippo CMMS, and HubSpot all came together to meet goals and achieve inbound business success.
Want to learn more? Check out this Inbound Mantra blog post.
Originally published Aug 17, 2018 10:00:00 AM, updated September 10 2018