For 14 years we have been attracting and retaining a small business audience for Alsco. We built, manage and grow the Greenroom blog.
In this time we have increased visitors by 261% and revenue from online marketing has an ROI of 1,272% per month.
How We Did It
Alsco is a global B2B provider of professional textile rental services – essentially a giant laundry. They rent huge quantities of tea towels, chef uniforms and wet-area mats to restaurants.
Their Challenge: How can Alsco create brand and product awareness and then attract sales inquiries from new restaurant owners?
When a restaurateur opens a new business they often search online for tea towel suppliers.
Alsco wants to capture their attention at the point when they are still in the planning stage of the business.
Use Content Marketing To Attract Attention And Gain Trust
Building a lead magnet specifically for the Food & Beverage industry and offering a free trial for a tea towel service enables us to attract restaurateurs and collect their email addresses for follow-up.
We started the project by exploring a variety of search phrases that were used by restaurateurs in their early stages of business planning.
Eventually, we settled on a keyword phrase that had the following characteristics:
High Search Volume – lots of people searching for this information
Medium Competition – it shouldn’t be ridiculously difficult to replace the leaders
High Cost Per Click – businesses are keen to pay for sales leads generated by this keyword and so the price is higher than average
Keyword: Restaurant Business Plan
Average monthly searches: 9,900
Cost to acquire a single click via online advertising: $8.62
The restaurant business plan keyword represents a real-world problem that new business owners face.
Writing a business plan from scratch can be a daunting prospect, so creating content with business plan ideas is helpful and informative for customers.
We already had several high quality competitors listed in the search engines for this keyword. They were selling a proforma business plan template with a specific structure suited to a restaurant.
Most of the competitors were selling a product.
We positioned our content piece to be free, linked to free resources and offering a free product trial.
Most competitors offered thin content. Competing articles were either a link to a paid template or were around 800 words in length with no additional materials included.
Our selection process also took common sense into account:
- Choose high traffic keywords – represent problems consumers are facing and searching for in search engines (choosing a low competition keyword may seem to make the most sense but often doesn’t actually convert into real sales).
- If a keyword isn’t highly competitive it means consumers aren’t searching for that particular problem/solution or online marketers aren’t making money from it.
- The high bid price indicates that online marketers are prepared to pay more to acquire visitors from that keyword because they are more likely to convert into a sale. So, we settle on medium competition if it has a high/good bid price.
For our first step in content creation, we researched the market to find influential website owners and bloggers in the Australian Food & Beverage industry.
Finding people who are engaged in their community and who understand the power of content marketing helps us create a better end result.
We checked their suitability for outreach against a range of technical criteria – domain authority, activity levels, writing style, and engagement requirements – and if they were a good match we reached out to negotiate inclusion in the content piece.
Over a 2-month period we contacted 921 expert contributors and achieved a reply conversion rate of 21.61%.
Of those, 7.21% went on to agree to inclusion and free promotion in their own online channels.
To create a richer resource, making it more attractive to both customers and partners, we include a wide variety of search engine friendly media from quotes, testimonials, photos, videos, infographics, tweets, slideshare and more.
The variety of media types helps Google see a rich resource and presents the inclusions in a more interesting way than reading a giant slab of text.
This is the result: Restaurant Business Plan
We Increased Domain Backlinks
The following report shows that Alsco (blue line) is gaining more ground at a faster rate when compared with their main competitor (purple line), also a global B2B service provider with an excellent reputation.
Note the sharper rise in the number of domain backlinks at the same point as when we published the new content piece.
We Track Domain Authority vs Competitors
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
Alsco’s Domain Authority (blue) continues to stay ahead of its biggest rival (purple).
Monthly Traffic Has Increased By 261%
Since 2015, we have increased organic traffic for Alsco from 5,520 to 19,928 visitors per month.