What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
My highest priority at the outset was to redo the website and, subsequently, manage its maintenance, traffic, and inbound/outbound performance. Immediately during the first campaign year of the new website, we saw marked improvements: a 10% increase in users and a 13% decrease in bounce rate. The second year saw an even better performance with a 3% incremental increase in users and a 39% decrease in bounce rate. Because we worked closely together to understand traffic, user pather, and content relative to our PPC placements, we were able to hone in on a better, more profitable web experience for users and the organization.
In terms of our social media, their marketing efforts have been a significant driver for us. Audience growth across all channels combined has increased by 14% since last year. This breaks down to 25% new followers on Twitter, 7% more on Facebook, 101.5% on Instagram, and 3% on LinkedIn. Our outbound message volume jumped by 50%, and our inbound message volume grew by 235%. Furthermore, our total impressions went up by 549%, and the number of engagements has increased by 194%.
We use Google Analytics and AdWords, though I’m sure that their team has a range of tools behind the scenes. We’ve also worked with Google Data Studio and Google Ad Network. Sprout Social serves as our metrics tool.
This digital mix did not exist before and has become not only the baseline critical for our new brand but has also spun off other activities. This includes social media takeovers (providing authentic social proof and exponential reach), geofencing and custom segment advertising, and honing in on the right PPC creative and landing pages. Activities like these continue to move the needle upward on both acquisition and engaegment results.
How did Captivate Search Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with. Katie is really organized, and we have regular standing scrum calls with her to keep on track. Beyond in-person meetings, we invite them to our larger training sessions, and sometimes they’ll just stop by to have some face time.
I appreciate how effectively they communicate; they’re straight to the point. If we have any questions, they respond immediately. Our entire organization feels comfortable reaching out to Captivate Search Marketing directly.
Their team is also able to adhere to our plans, consistently reminding us to stick to the strategy and keep our eyes on the prize. They don’t just wait to be told what to do. Rather, they make proactive recommendations. When we suggest anything, they’re happy to provide recommendations, so it’s a true partnership.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Captivate Search Marketing’s main strength is their ability to understand our brand, model, and ways to effectively blend digital marketing—mainly social, SEO/SEM, and content—to our goals. I’m very particular when it comes to tracking metrics and making them meaningful. As such, I dislike frivolous reports that are just numbers without context. Their team comprehends this and strives to work toward our goals. They’re an exceptional partner not just for our social campaigns but also for the brand.
The team also understands SEO/SEM very well. We’ve created and leveraged a whole new blog to drive traffic, actual joins, and sales. Captivate Search Marketing works on several aspects of that blog. Although SEO is not our biggest strategy, it’s a derivative byproduct of their work that actively helps us. In addition, they also optimize all content we post on our CMS.
Finally, I appreciate that they handle everything from client relations to social media training. They’ve got it down to a science: they’re fast, effective, and clear. They do phone training for our ambassadors across the country once a month and also advise us on our A/B testing for creative and landing pages. Since they understand our testing model, they’re able to tell us how much time we need for tests to be statistically relevant.
Are there any areas they could improve?
While they do have creative resources who’ve contributed to optimizing blog posts, I’ve sometimes struggled with the caliber of some of that the writing. At times, we’ve needed to do a lot of rewrites. This isn’t bad overall, but, for the money we’re paying and our readership, we would expect a bit more professional copy. I'd also appreciate it if they had creative development options for larger campaign assets.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Potential clients should be rigorous in their efforts to learn metrics and analytics. If all parties can speak the same language, then the programs will be that much more effective. Give Captivate Search Marketing a shot. The team is just small enough, and they’re extremely powerful, fast, and smart.