It’s a noisy, messy, chaotic, tumultuous, crowded world out there, folks. And through all that cacophony, somehow, you need to zing your message to your ideal customer.
You need the right hook.
To give you ideas for finding that compelling idea that captures your audience’s attention, read on for a behind-the-scenes look at how an equipment supplier found a press-worthy keyword to attract backlinks, an estimation platform pivoted its funnel from focusing on the technology to focusing on the user, and a design platform brought together seven internal teams for a product and content launch.
Get help finding the right message lever hook in the AI Guild. Begin your free trial at MECLABS.com/AI
ePower Trucks is a supplier of electric vehicles.
The team launched several new products within the aviation sector, including airport passenger vehicles and airport mobility chairs.
Although the products were now visible on the website, they were not appearing in Google search results for relevant keywords that potential customers were using to find such products.
Creative Sample #1: Product landing page
The team wanted to attract high-quality backlinks to its page by publishing helpful content on the company’s news blog, and then linking to the product pages from that blog post. This strategy aimed to have a cascading effect, positively influencing the visibility of these specific product pages on Google and subsequently boosting the website's ranking for relevant keywords.
Using various marketing tools like Answer The Public and Google Keyword Planner, the team started searching for relevant product page keywords.
The keywords were then filtered and organized based on intent. The four types of keyword intent were:
The keywords that were selected to rank the product pages on the website were commercial and transactional based. Informational keywords were selected for the content piece.
For example, words like ‘airport wheelchair’ and ‘airport wheelchair assistance’ were used since the search volume is high and the intent is aligned with the PRM (persons with reduced mobility) vehicles the company sells. However, words like ‘airport transporter’ weren’t chosen because the intent was more towards taxi and transfers to and from the airport.
Examples of relevant informational keywords included ‘passenger numbers uk airports,’ ‘uk airport passenger numbers 2023,’ and ‘busiest airports uk.’
These keywords were then input into the SEMrush keyword rank tracking tool to determine the baseline ranking positions.
The team then cross-referenced those keywords with research of major news sites. They decided that the editorial piece could be centered around the trending topic of summer travel, with a focus on the busiest UK airports across the UK. After all, the busier the airport, the more necessary it might be to need PRM assistance.
They then looked for sources to see what content they could create.
The team analyzed data sets across multiple reputable sources and were able to determine all the airports listed in the UK, from London Heathrow to Kirkwall Airport, and the exact figures of passengers, airlines, and destinations. This included data sourced directly from the Civil Aviation Authority and the Office of National Statistics, along with information from World Data, YouGov and World Population Review.
The team produced a comprehensive report that detailed the busiest UK airports, and published it on the website’s ‘electric vehicle news’ blog with the following meta data:
Creative Sample #2: Content piece with airport research
To make the report even more attractive from a reading perspective the editorial piece also included the quietest UK airports and most popular airlines.
At the end of the article, the team tied the research back to the brand – ‘Given the substantial volume of passengers and personnel at airports, individuals requiring special assistance can encounter challenges in these bustling environments…’ This section contained direct links to the products that the team wanted to promote in Google.
The anchor text – for example, ‘passenger airport transport’ and ‘Mobby transport chair’ was derived from the name of the products that the website wanted to rank for, and related to the keywords people are searching for.
The content piece included a methodology section at the bottom so the research had credibility with reporters.
The team wrote a press release titled ‘The UK’s Busiest Airports for the Summer of 2023,’ that included results from the data analysis presented in an easily digestible format. The press release highlighted the methodology, which linked to ePower's website, and provided a clear connection between the story and the company’s services.
The press release was pitched to relevant journalists who previously showed an interest in travel and tourism. The journalists’ details and previous stories were sourced in a number of ways, from Google News, press release sites and platforms like Prowly.
Personalized emails were then sent, showcasing a genuine interest in the journalists' work and explaining how the story could engage their audience. For example…
Subject Line: London Reigns Supreme as UK's Busiest Airports Revealed ✈️
Hi [First Name],
I saw you have published content about London airports and I think this recent data might be really interesting for yourself and your media outlet due to the popularity of airports like Heathrow and Gatwick.
Help yourself to look at this content and let me know your thoughts!
[Embedded content – London Reigns Supreme as UK's Busiest Airports Revealed
A new report ranks the busiest airports in the UK based on their passengers, airlines, and destinations - 4 out of 5 are based in London!]
Journalists then started engaging with the agency based on their unique stories and position. In turn, the journalists created their own stories and referenced the data and report:
The team employed a follow-up strategy to ensure proper mentions and links in articles that initially missed them.
The success of the campaign was measured by tracking keyword movements using SEMrush and PR tools like Prowly.
For example, the related keyword ‘airport transport vehicles’ was in position 76 before the blog piece was released and now it’s 12. Also, ‘airport electric vehicles’ wasn’t ranking at all but now it’s in position 3 in Google.
Keywords related to the blog piece like ‘uk airport passenger numbers 2023’ had an average position of 2.1 over the period of release. This resulted in a total of 221 clicks and 790 impressions just from this keyword alone with an average clickthrough rate of 28.9%.
When the product landing page was launched, it had zero visibility with no clicks and barely any impressions. With the keywords starting to improve in their position as explained above, more people are seeing the listing, especially during the month of August with the highest amount of SERP impressions in one day hitting 388. From the period of launch in late June to January 2024, the website was seen almost 26,000 times on search engine results pages with a total amount of clicks of 669 and a click through rate of 2.6%.
The total amount of visits to the landing page reached 1,124 from just the blog piece. Organic search made up just under 60% of those sessions and it is one of the top 10 highest-visited pages on the website since launch.
Also, direct traffic to the whole site saw an increase when publications started to cover the piece. From June to July, the site was getting 214 direct visits but from July to August, this jumped up to 341 visits which helped lead to a total of 117 conversions. This is 13 more than the previous month before the blog piece was created.
Using backlink metric tools such as Majestic SEO, Ahrefs and SEMrush, the team saw the domain authority improve over a period of three months as more links from the publications got indexed by Google.
“I figured out that SEO isn't just about stuffing articles with keywords or churning out content for the sake of it. It's about creating content that people actually find useful which in turn gets the brand noticed,” says Damien Boswell, Marketing Manager, ePower Trucks.
The team found that large publications picking up the story led to a domino effect with other publications following suit. Then tier 2 links from reputable websites linking to the publication further strengthened the link authority.
The campaign resulted in a number of inquiries from airports seeking PRM vehicles on the back of the report, demonstrating the campaign's impact on business growth.
“We've discovered that the true magic of digital PR campaigns isn't just about getting noticed. It's about crafting connections that endure, and that's where the art of link building comes in. These campaigns aren't just a spotlight for your brand; they're the architects of credibility. Quality links aren't just shortcuts to a higher ranking; they're endorsements from the online community. In a world where trust is the currency, each link is a testament to the reliability and authority of your brand,” said David Khan CEO, Online Marketing Surgery (ePower Trucks digital marketing agency).
He continued, “So, when we talk about the power of digital PR, it's not just about being seen – it's about being recognized as a voice worth listening to, backed by the enduring impact of those quality links.”
Effective digital PR requires finding a hook that resonates with journalists, which likely isn’t directly about your product. But the right hook will allow you to cascade that initial interest through to your product.
Verisk is a risk and analytics firm. To help contractors create quotes the company launched a software platform called XactRemodel.
The product featured automated modeling, ordering, project timelines, and invoicing management.
The initial ads focused on technology as the hero image.
Creative Sample #3: Original ad
A dip in traffic prompted a reassessment of the ads, along with the landing page and checkout experience as well.
“Our initial challenge was overcoming resistance to change among contractors and remodelers. The product faced low awareness due to tech-focused ads,” said Reid Strohmeier, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Verisk.
Here are the steps the team took to develop a new creative strategy.
“Thorough research helped us better understand the user and paved the way for valuable insights. These insights shaped a creative campaign and user experience that catered to their needs,” said Kelly Heilpern, Chief Strategy Officer, Ammunition (Verisk’s marketing agency).
Research revealed that these professionals prefer familiarity in their estimation processes and were tech averse, and this made the target audience hesitant to implement the platform.
To address this, the team zoomed out to make the focus more on the customer instead of focusing on the technology. According to research the team found, users are more likely to engage with an ad when they can picture themselves as a part of it. As a result, they reshaped the ads, reducing text and highlighting end-user benefits to create a more relatable and engaging narrative.
The strategy aimed to explain how the tool greatly improved bid close rates, making projects timely and budget friendly.
The team realized that the previous landing page design and checkout flow, laden with excessive text, made the product seem complicated. They pivoted to emphasize the product as a platform for business growth and time saving through automation.
The new campaign focused on the target audience, highlighting the product's ease of use, its contribution to business growth, and its automation capabilities. At the same time, the updated landing page included a step-by-step explainer video showcasing the product's benefits and a 30-day free trial offer. This utilized screenshots and customer testimonials to build confidence and encourage users to convert.
Previously, users had to navigate away from the page and create an account to discover pricing, creating unnecessary hurdles. To enhance user experience, the team now presents pricing upfront, showcasing the commitment to transparency and easy access to pertinent information. This not only builds confidence in the brand but also serves as a pre-qualifier, preventing frustration for users whose expectations or budget may not align with the company's pricing tiers.
The introduction of clear pricing allows prospective customers to effortlessly compare plans, considering additional support, features, and integrations. This straightforward approach empowers users to make informed decisions.
Creative Sample #4: New landing page
Within 30 days of implementing this strategy, the form submission rate increased by 114.29%, the click-to-call rate surged by 1,868.75%, and the trial subscription rate from the landing page traffic increased by 55.28%. Within a few months, the team had 1,024 qualified leads and a 79% landing page engagement rate.
“This comprehensive strategy resulted in an overall increase in software trust, leading to substantial improvements in user engagement and conversion rates,” said Emily Griffen, Director of Product Design, Ammunition.
The right hook takes more than words. Verisk found success by shifting from a tech-focused imagery and user experience hook to a customer-focused imagery and UX hook.
Duda is a white label web design platform for agencies and has been used by 20,000 agencies and web professionals.
Duda had published survey reports in the past, but the effort was mostly confined to the content team. For example, in March 2023, Duda released the 2023 State of Web Building for Agencies Report, conducted by a third-party research firm to uncover the challenges and priorities of agencies building websites on behalf of their clients.
Without a fully integrated amplification strategy, the report's reach remained limited. The report was shared on Duda’s blog, social media, and via paid ads, but the team struggled to get this first report in front of a broader audience and maximize the impact.
Creative Sample #5: Design platform’s previous report
The content team recognized the enormous potential of these survey reports to not only build brand awareness and demonstrate thought leadership but also deliver a helpful resource for the target audience – agency owners.
The challenge now was to unlock that potential and expand the reach of the report beyond owned channels…without breaking the budget.
Not long after the first survey was released, the marketing team realized a huge opportunity for another survey report. AI was quickly gaining traction in headlines, and questions were pouring in from agencies anxious about the impact of this emerging tech on their businesses. It was clear agency owners were craving expert guidance on this subject – and also looking for ways to proactively take advantage of AI and not get left behind in the latest wave of digital transformation.
The product team was already hard at work interviewing users so they could build effective AI tools. This was the perfect chance to align all of the company’s teams to launch a one-two punch that packed major value for the agency audience: an AI Assistant built into the company’s web-building platform and a piece of valuable research with insights on the value, risks, and impact of AI on agencies.
And that’s what Duda did, connecting the dots between teams – from product development to marketing and sales. The fully integrated marketing approach brought together the content, design, product, product marketing, growth marketing, PR, and influencer teams.
“This kind of collaboration is natural when both product and marketing are aligned on the fundamentals. The product team is committed to delivering game-changing capabilities for agencies, and Marketing to delivering educational content to ensure agencies can grow their business,” said Michael Horwitz, Product Marketing Lead, Duda.
In October 2023, Duda launched an AI-powered SEO tool. The company then released its AI Survey report, ‘2024 AI Outlook for Digital Agency Leaders,’ in December 2023.
The team worked with a third-party research firm to survey 200 agency owners about AI, including how they’re using AI to evolve their businesses, where they see the most value from AI, and their AI investment plans for 2024. They discovered the ubiquity of artificial intelligence use by the target audience. “Our survey found that 100% of agencies were already using AI, and all of them reported cost savings from using AI in 2023,” said Santi Clarke, Director of Content, Duda.
Creative Sample #6: Design platform’s newest report
The marketing team conducted a thorough media analysis of trending AI topics and segmented AI topics of media interest – resourcing and investment (data and insights on agency investment, revenue, and costs for AI implementation), trends in AI usage/adoption, and fears of missing out.
The marketing and PR team then developed headlines for each area, taking into account topic relevance to current and upcoming media cycles, the potential to reuse insights for future thought leadership pitches and content, and a headline topic’s surprise element to cut through noise and resonate with the target audience.
The survey launch extended the momentum created by the product launch. Ongoing content repurposing continues to extend the reach even further in the form of digestible social graphics, webinars, podcast speaking opportunities, paid advertising, influencer partnerships, and more.
Creative Sample #7: LinkedIn posts from survey data
“Our product, product marketing, and commercial teams were on the ground engaged with our users, capturing the positioning that was landing with them and sharing that intel with our content and comms team. We also leveraged our social media audience and online communities to further validate our approach as we went along. Together, this made it possible for us to pinpoint the exact features and storylines that would add value for our audience and be newsworthy from a PR perspective. This required constant communication among many different teams – from product to influencer marketing – spread across multiple geographies and time zones,” Clarke said.
“This is a great example of how multi-channel campaigns can drive a huge impact. Marketing at its best is an orchestra where every tool is playing great music, but together it’s a symphony,” said Roni Mizrahi, CMO, Duda.
This collaboration expanded the reach and impact of Duda’s AI Survey report:
“Sustaining this customer focus across teams helped us build AI tools that deliver real value to our users and create content that hit home with the target audience. That’s something you simply can’t manufacture without a genuine customer-first approach,” Clarke said.
A truly successful hook that has legs requires input from across the entire company – marketing and content teams cannot operate in a vacuum.
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