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Join Our Research Team at DMA 2014
Jun 10, 2004
Case Study

How to Combine Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization, and PR in a Single Low-cost Campaign

SUMMARY: If you want to dominate the search engines, you need loads of pages in your site that are loaded with relevant terms for potential seekers. But who has the time and expertise to write all that content?

Find out how one enterprising marketer invented a (very) low-cost campaign to get her prospects to tell her exactly what info they were seeking online. And then she leveraged partnerships to create new site pages and drive traffic with hardly any effort.
CHALLENGE

Being a long-term player in a rapidly-changing marketplace can have its disadvantages.

The MedTech Group has been a top contract manufacturer of medical devices and components since 1979. Which means although device engineers and trade journalists all know the brand MedTech, they probably don't think of it in the same breath as the newest, latest technology.

It was Sales & Marketing Administrator Linda Bright's job to convince them otherwise.

Luckily, through a partnership with Ticona (a division of Celanese AG) MedTech was able to offer medical device engineers highly innovative polymers. Naturally, Bright issued a press release to announce the deal, and posted some info on MedTech's site. But after that she was stymied.

How could she make prospects and press remember to visit the site when they were seeking the latest polymers?

CAMPAIGN

Bright had had the site optimized for search engines already, and noticed it was working pretty well. MedTech ranked fairly high in basic terms relating to its field.

What really makes the difference in search marketing is having a high number of optimized pages, as well as links from relevant sites. So, Bright decided she needed a way to add a bunch of pages to the site that were jam-packed with engineering keywords relating to advanced polymers.

Neither she, nor the in-house team were experts enough in the nuances of these polymers to be able to turn out reams of useful information. And, while their partner Ticona had loads of scientists and tech experts on staff, the company serves dozens of marketplaces (most notably automotive) so they might not instinctively come up with online content medical device engineers would look for.

Then Bright had a bright idea. Why not ask prospects and customers what they wanted to know? In fact, why not create an entire interactive marketing campaign around the building of additional content pages for the site?

So, she posted an online survey form and emailed a note to her prospect list that briefly described the latest polymer, TopasŪ COC, and then said:

"Participate in our online technical forum by submitting your questions on material performance comparisons, sterilization techniques, potential TopasŪ COC applications, and more.

Our expert panel is comprised of processing and manufacturing engineers from The MedTech Group, Inc., a full service injection molder and medical device manufacturer, and Ticona, the manufacturer of TopasŪ COC (cyclic olefin copolymer).

Click here to submit your question."

You'll notice the copy above is written very carefully so as to sound useful and official, as opposed to anything that might potentially be a sales message or lead to sales material. Everyone who submitted questions was also asked to enter their contact information. Prospects and customers had a deadline of just one week for submissions.

In order to get more questions, and generate more leads, Bright persuaded Ticona to email a similar note to their related prospect and customer list.

Plus, in order to give the Q&A forum as much legitimacy as possible, and also to get even more traffic to it, Bright persuaded the editors of not one, not two, but three leading medical device engineering magazines to link to it from their sites and to allow their logos to be posted on it.

As questions were submitted, the respondents received an automated "thank you" message. Bright reviewed each question, and then handed them off to the right people for answers. Tincona's experts were on call and forewarned that they had one short week to write detailed, non-salesy answers to each question.

If a question was something so ultra-specific that it might not have any relevance beyond the person who posted it, Bright had an expert call them on the phone with the answer directly. Otherwise she posted the answer to the Q&A microsite, which was housed on the same main server as MedTech's.

Bright also reviewed the submitted questions to make sure no topics she wanted covered were missing. Then she made up her own questions (just a few) and added them to the pot.

Then exactly 10 business days after the request for questions went out, Bright had both lists sent a second brief email, this time letting them know where the answers were posted.

Plus, she naturally sent out a press release announcing the new resource on the MedTech site.



RESULTS

Roughly 1% of emails sent generated a question, and although some sales leads were generated, MedTech's cycle is 18-24 months, so Bright can't say how useful they were.

However, as a search marketing tool the project was an unqualified success. In the nine months since the answers microsite launched, that microsite has become consistently one of the top five entrypages through which visitors enter MedTech's site. MedTech's site already had more than 400-pages, so the fact that the microsite home page is in the top five means it's beating out more than 395 other pages in popularity.

And, MedTech is now ranked in the top three organic results in search engines for 25% more search terms and keywords.

So search engines are driving significantly more traffic to MedTech -- people seeking the latest polymer information for medical devices who probably would never have thought to visit MedTech's site otherwise.

Bright's also very happy about the PR results of the campaign. "One magazine, Medical Design Technology, did an article on us due to it." And, it's always nice to have links from top trade pubs leading to your site's content.

Useful links related to this article:

MedTech's special Q&A microsite:
https://www.medtech-grp.com/site/register.nsf/dspForum?
penForm&QAID=123&sub=ViewQA


Situation Marketing, the interactive agency that helped MedTech with the microsite and optimization:
http://www.situationmarketing.com


MedTech main site
http://www.medtech-grp.com


Ticona
http://www.ticona.com

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