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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How a Local Radio Station is Using Inbound Marketing to Generate New Revenue for 2016


From the moment I started working with the team at Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group, I had a feeling they were going to do a stellar job with inbound marketing. Then, once I met with them at their office in Columbia, Missouri for our Inbound Marketing & Sales Strategy Workshop, which kicked off our partnership, I was convinced.

Collectively, they “got it” and understood that because the advertising buyer’s experience has changed, the role of the media salesperson had to change too. As a LeadG2 and The Center for Sales Strategy Consultant, it’s always exciting to work with a company who not only wants the results but is also willing to invest their time and money to get the job done. And in this case, not only because they want to grow new revenue, but also because they care about their advertisers and the people they work with. They believe in educating them and being a true partner to small and large businesses alike. They understood that inbound marketing is more than a campaign here and there or a great keyword strategy. It’s about creating a conversation with potential and current customers. It’s about being a thought leader, making an impact in their industry, and reaching buyers appropriately in the sales process.

I’m not writing this article to simply brag about my awesome client (though they are pretty awesome). I’m writing this to let other media companies know they can improve the way they communicate with prospects, and they can get real, tangible results by implementing the right strategy and the right tools.

How It All Started

The Future of Sales and Marketing

Prior to Zimmer working with LeadG2, they were already ahead of many of their media competitors by having an up-to-date, optimized B2B website where advertisers could learn more and contact them. They didn’t only have station websites with a hidden “advertise” link in the footer. While they did have leads coming through the website, they wanted and needed more qualified leads in order to make a dent in their new revenue business. They not only aimed to generate new leads and revenue, but they also needed to find ways to shorten and strengthen their existing sales process.

In the words of Zimmer’s Director of Sales, Carrie Lorenz: “We know that the majority of people are doing research online before ever calling or making a purchase. Having resources on our website that they can go to and learn about on their own time was huge for us.”

It was never just about generating leads — it was about doing better and smarter business while utilizing technology and tools to enable their salespeople throughout the entire sales process. In July 2015, our partnership started and we quickly developed a plan to tackle these goals.

What We Did

Utilizing the HubSpot all-in-one marketing automation platform was step one. We integrated this tool with their existing website, making it easier to create a blog and landing pages for lead generation. Using HubSpot also allowed Zimmer to have their entire database in one centralized location, while having access to tools for email marketing, social publishing, forms, keyword tracking, reporting, database management, and much more.

After surveying their existing customers to create a detailed Target Persona Profile, we were able to then develop a customized content strategy which included blog posts and premium content which would be gated for our lead generation efforts.

In less than 60 days, the blog was created and launched and we began publishing posts and promoting the new resources. By Q4 2015, we began executing targeted inbound marketing campaigns which included mapped-out content, keyword strategy, emails, social, and radio and display ads (with their own stations). Over the upcoming months we would publish over 100 blog posts, multiple premium content pieces including eBooks and whitepapers, and conduct a live webinar.

The Results

While they immediately began to hear positive feedback from partners and clients, and their Account Managers started to see the value in using these resources in sales communication, they also started to see tangible results by December. Nearly $30,000 in new business was generated before the end of 2015, with a total of over $112,000 in the first 12 months. These numbers are only accounting for the initial campaign spends of these advertisers, and with average customer spends at Zimmer we’re looking at an approximate $320,000 in new revenue generated in year one. This revenue is from 16 new clients that Zimmer was not previously doing business with.  

Other important KPIs to note include:

  • Ranking for 129 keywords in the top 3, and 195 keywords in the top 10
  • 198% growth in traffic overall, which includes:
    • 175% growth in organic traffic
    • 750% growth in social traffic
  • 362% growth in leads generated on their website, which includes:
  • Over 500 blog subscribers
  • Over 12,000 views to their blog posts alone

Zimmer has also effectively utilized HubSpot and their blog for other business needs, including client events and recruitment. Carrie Lorenz shares that beyond the revenue, some of the top inbound marketing benefits for their sales team include “more tools and resources we are able to use with our clients” and “gaining lead intelligence because we are able to see what our clients and prospects are looking at and what interests them so we can customize content and sales products to reflect what they want and need.”

Final Thoughts

I tried to think of a clever way to tell other media companies why they should be thinking and working the inbound way (as if these results aren’t enough), but instead I’ll let Carrie wrap it up when she gives her advice to other media sales organizations:

“If you aren't doing it, you're crazy!”

Her final words of advice, which I couldn’t agree with more: “You have to be patient to let it work the right way. It's not something you are going to see happen short-term. It’s also important you have people who are very passionate about wanting it to work on your team if you truly want to see how it can help your business grow.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Lastly, I think it’s important to note that much of Zimmer’s success can be attributed to their commitment to this plan and an inbound culture, especially at a management level. The primary lead for all inbound marketing decisions is their Director of Sales (Carrie Lorenz), who is invested in getting results for her sales team. They are also not afraid to integrate outbound and inbound methodologies in order to reach as many people as possible with their marketing campaigns. It’s been a win-win and we’re incredibly excited about what our second year of partnership will bring.LeadG2 let's talk

Topics: case studies Inbound Marketing media