Hubspot Impact Award Submission: BEE International - Amber Callan
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This is a post I originally published on the Leap Clixx Blog about one of the clients I manage, BEE International and has been republished on my personal website with permission. The work, strategy and results below is due to my team’s work and my direction.

About BEE International & Their Challenges

Just one hour south of Hubspot, in South Easton, MA, lives BEE International, a worldwide supplier of high pressure homogenizers (specialized lab equipment for particle size reduction and cell lysis). When we first met BEE International in May 2015, they had been using the Hubspot platform for several years, but hadn’t seen much growth after implementation even though they had some inbound marketing best practices in place. Here are the specific challenges that BEE faced:

  • Niche Industry & Product – Selling high pressure homogenizers is tough due to the specific product and competitive niche industry. As a keyword “high pressure homogenizer” gets searched around 1,000 times a month. To put that into perspective, “lab equipment” gets 33,100 searches a month and “homogenizers” gets 8,100 searches a month. So for BEE to get a qualified lead from organic search, they needed to capture a large portion of those 1,000 searches a month for the long tail keyword “high pressure homogenizer” and outrank their competitors.

    However difficult this may seem, we knew ranking in organic search would be the most qualified way to bring BEE more visitors, which could turn into leads, that had the potential to turn into customers.
  • Long Sales Cycle – Purchasing a high value piece of laboratory equipment doesn’t happen overnight. BEE’s potential customers take time to weigh their options before purchasing and are not always ready to buy at first contact. In addition, potential customers often need to get approval for funding, since many of the high pressure homogenizer users are not the person purchasing the equipment. Therefore, we knew in order for BEE to make a sale, we would need to nurture leads with helpful and relevant content to help keep BEE top of mind until they were ready to make a purchase. 
  • Optimized HubSpot Implementation  – In our assessment of BEE’s Hubspot account, we saw while they had many best practices in place that there was still an opportunity for more complex marketing automation. In not taking full advantage of everything HubSpot has to offer, we knew BEE could take their marketing to the next level with our help.

The Inbound Marketing Plan

So with these challenges in mind, we created the ultimate inbound marketing plan that covered SEO, PPC, Content & Social Media:

First, we created a series of Buyer Personas based on BEE’s ideal customers. We knew that for inbound marketing to be truly effective, you have to know who you’re targeting first. Therefore, after talking on the phone about BEE’s business model and goals, we discussed three different Buyer Personas which we named R&D Researcher Ryan, Graduate Student Gemma and Project Manager Phil.

Through getting information about demographics, internal and external challenges, common objections, personal motivators and more, we started with a clear picture about where to reach these personas and what they cared about.

Apps Used: Persona Tool

Next, we needed an editorial calendar for content marketing. Not only did we want to create titles that spoke to BEE’s buyer personas, we wanted to capture them at the awareness, consideration and decision stages. Further, because BEE’s industry is small and highly competitive, we knew that going straight after the most competitive keywords, like “high pressure homogenizer” wasn’t going to deliver the best results quickly. Therefore, by targeting application keywords and common question searches, our content had a better chance to rank and to pull in more visitors / give us more conversion opportunities.

We also utilized social media promotion to bring more traffic to these blogs and to interact with our followers. With benefits in customer delight, brand consistency and extra website traffic, publishing and promoting content across our social media accounts was a no-brainer!

Apps Used: Blog, Calendar, Social Publishing

After that, we created three content offers based off of the most common problems or questions that BEE’s buyer personas had. These content offers, in combination with our content marketing, would attract qualified visitors who were then given a chance to show further interest by downloading an eBook.

Then if a visitor did show interest in BEE’s educational content, we created three corresponding workflows to nurture a visitor into becoming a lead. By utilizing the easy settings within Hubspot’s Workflow tool, we were able to adjust the timing, email subjects and more for the best open and click-through rates.

Apps Used: Landing Pages / Design Manager, Calls-to-Action, Workflows, Email

Then we re-worked the on-site SEO while redesigning their website with conversion points in mind. While keeping the design modern with the information easy to understand, in addition to adding contact forms and content offer download options to almost every page, we knew that BEE’s website would have the best chance to convert new visitors.

Apps Used: Website Pages (Particularly Optimization), Design Manager, Lead Flows, Calls-to-Action, Forms, Keywords

We also started an off-site SEO plan for link building and outreach. Using Hubspot’s keyword tool, we were able to find the best keywords to write content around. Then we used that content to outreach to authoritative websites in order to get a backlink. By combining content marketing with SEO, we knew that BEE’s content had a better chance to outrank its competitors.

Apps Used: Keywords, Blog

Lastly, we created a PPC campaign around the high volume, more competitive keywords. Because SEO is more of a long term strategy, we knew BEE needed leads quickly to make their investment in Leap Clixx worth it. With custom landing pages and deep keyword analysis, BEE’s PPC campaign was ready to go-live with best practices in place.

Apps Used: Landing Pages, Keywords, Reports

The Results

Once we had the game plan in place, it was time to execute! With three blogs a week, social media promotion, monthly consulting and reporting, off-site SEO link building, keyword analysis and a PPC campaign go-live, BEE had all bases covered.

What stood out with Leap Clixx vs other agencies was the integration of many marketing tactics from SEO, PPC, Content, Marketing Automation & Inbound Marketing. Our firm has a strong background in SEO and I don’t think we would’ve been able to see such great results without integrating this knowledge with Hubspot’s inbound marketing teachings.

As far as results, when we started with BEE International in May 2015, they were averaging 800 visits each month and 10 leads. So far in 2017, they receive an average of 6,800 visits each month with 60 new leads. This is a 750% change in visits and a 500% change in leads – adding almost 50 new leads each month that BEE didn’t have before.

The biggest change in this is due to their organic traffic increasing from 600 visits to 5,100 visits thanks to blog content, an on-site SEO rework and an off-site SEO link building campaign. Being able to rank for more keywords in top positions really pushed BEE’s organic traffic to great heights. 

As of July 2017, BEE ranks for 3,200 keywords worldwide and 1,600 keywords in the US. We have 262 of these keywords in the Top 10 and 134 in the Top 3. In comparison, in September of 2015, we only had 35 keywords in the Top 3 and 55 in the Top 10, plus BEE only ranked for 500 keywords worldwide and 350 in the US. This is a 285% positive change in the Top 3 keywords, a 380% positive change in the Top 10 keywords and a 540% change in total keywords that they rank for.

Organic Visits from Feb 2013 to July 2017 – Note the sharp increase from August 2016 until Now

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Total Visits from Feb 2013 to July 2017 – The spike in direct traffic during July 2016 was due to a website redesign.

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Contacts from Feb 2013 to June 2017

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The Impact

Ultimately this project was so successful because it combined our firm’s SEO background with the teachings we’ve learned from Hubspot to make a difference for our client.

When we first started working with BEE International, we mentioned that for this strategy to work it would take time as SEO is a lucrative long-term strategy. In talking to BEE about how far the campaign has come, David Schechter, Sales Manager for BEE International said “our patience paid off! Traffic is through the roof and we were able to achieve the goals we set in our annual meeting. From getting 27, 37, 37 and 33 qualified leads in each quarter in 2015, we were able to get 48, 54, 48 and 57 in 2016 respectively.” And the trend continues for 2017!

Not only are leads becoming more knowledgeable thanks to BEE’s educational content, but we are capturing more new leads and visitors than ever before.