Inbound Marketing Case Study: Chinburg Properties :
Chinburg Properties, Inc. is a fully integrated development and construction firm with over 20 years of experience in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. In addition to new home construction, the Chinburg portfolio of services includes: general contracting, construction management, renovation and restoration, commercial and residential rentals, and property management. In this case study we’ll outline how Vital implemented a content-based inbound marketing strategy in order to reach Chinburg’s goals.
Chinburg hired Vital to:
- Drive more traffic and ultimately;
- Drive more leads for their business.
In order to meet these objectives, Vital planned out a content-driven inbound marketing strategy heavily focused on driving website traffic and increase leads.
The goal of any inbound marketing strategy should be to increase leads. Therefore improving lead generation was a key focus of Chinburg’s content strategy.
- Average Leads 2013: 27/Month
- Average Leads in 2014: 48/Month
- 77% Increase in Overall Leads
In order to increase leads we needed to increase quality traffic to the website. The below chart illustrates the month-by-month incremental increases in website traffic that were achieved thanks to a consistent and dedicated inbound marketing strategy.
- Average Traffic 2013: 2,500/Month
- Average Traffic 2014: 6,960/Month
- 178% Increase in Overall Traffic
Before Vital could get started with a content marketing strategy (writing blogs, email, and ebooks), we first had to do some brand architecture housekeeping.
Chinburg Properties is not only focused on new home construction, but they also develop historic mill buildings into residential and commercial rental space. When the project started, Chinburg Properties managed a total of six rental properties—each of which had its own website on its own individual URL.
The first exercise here was a branding exercise to unite all six of these properties under one consistent brand architecture. Before Vital, the six different properties were individually branded, as opposed to branded under the Chinburg name, so we first dealt with uniting the brands. It was important to provide users with a uniform experience across all of Chinburg’s rental properties. To learn more about this brand architecture exercise, read the full case study.
Additionally this united architecture strategy was important for website users because it allowed them to understand the full breadth of Chinburg’s offerings in one easy-to-use website. Once the brand was unified, the websites also needed to be unified. Instead of presenting the user with seven different website experiences (six rental properties plus the main home construction website), it was important to present the user with one single, fluid experience.
From a search engine optimization standpoint, this fragmented architecture presented a great opportunity.
The Opportunity: Combining Seven Websites into One.
Chinburg Properties was actively maintaining the seven websites (listed below). The first question we asked was whether combining these seven different websites under one domain would improve the user’s experience. At the heart of all inbound marketing and SEO strategy, the user’s experience must be the #1 consideration. And luckily, in this case, combining the websites made sense.
Combining these websites improved the user’s experience because these six rental properties are all in close geographical proximity to one another. Therefore if the user is looking for an apartment to rent at Chinburg’s Newmarket location, it’s not out of the question that you would also be interested in the apartments for rent at the nearby Exeter location (only 8 miles away). Thus pulling these six rental property websites under one roof and allowing the user to seamlessly navigate between them in order to find their ideal rental property made a lot of sense.
From a link building perspective, this situation was a huge opportunity. Here’s why:
- Combining Existing Links – Links from third party sites send signals to search engines about how important the site is that they are linking to. Having seven sites on seven different URLs split up the total links pointing to any one of their domains. When the seven sites were combined into one, all the links were also combined. For conversation’s sake, let’s say each of the seven sites had ten links pointing to them, so when we combined all the sites under one domain, we consolidated all those links to be 70 links pointing to one domain.
- All Future Links Earned Are Consolidated: Once all the domains were consolidated under one domain, it amplified the impact of any future links earned to any of the websites. Thus providing a means to continually improve the website’s domain authority.
- Future Content Strategy Benefits all the Businesses: Much of Chinburg Properties inbound marketing retainer with Vital is spent on creating great content in the form of blog posts. When each new blog post is published, the value of that content benefits all seven of the businesses as opposed to just one.
Below is the full list of domains that were combined:
We decided to combine all these domains under a brand new domain that represented all the brands. This new domain became www.chinburg.com. Therefore not only were we combining domains, we also had to pull off a SEO-Friendly Domain Migration. This essentially means transferring the full contents of one domain and moving it under another (in this case www.chinburgbuilders.com to www.chinburg.com), and then setting up all necessary page re-directs so as to not lose any link equity in the process.
The Inbound Content Marketing Strategy
Once all the brand and website domain architecture projects were completed, we began our inbound content marketing strategy. This strategy was focused on the goals of growing both the new home construction business, the commercial real estate rental business, and the residential rental business.
In order to hit these goals, Vital drafted a content strategy focused on writing new blog posts and web pages. During the course of the inbound marketing program with Chinburg, Vital created over 50 new pieces of blog content and web page content. Additionally two new eBook landing pages and a 4-minute video were added to the website.
All the content created for this inbound marketing strategy focused on educating around topics of new home construction, how to build an eco-friendly home and how to procure commercial office space. Chinburg has a rich photography library, which helped further improve the overall quality of their content. The investment Chinburg Properties made in professional photography was very important to the overall success of this campaign because the photos helped give website visitors an idea of the true quality of the finished product Chinburg is known for.
Additionally, this inbound strategy also focused on sharing all the exciting news happening at Chinburg Properties. Vital wrote news posts about new home developments, green building technology being used on their homes and new homes they recently finished construction on.
This represents just several of the 300+ keywords that are tracked for this campaign.
At Vital, we’ve helped all kinds of companies implement effective inbound marketing strategies—content-driven strategies designed to drive web traffic, increase leads and drive keyword rankings. We’re proud to tell the story of how we helped, and continue to help, Chinburg remain among the best thought leaders in their industry. Their success is our success.
“As Chinburg Properties evolved over time, it became challenging to tie together our services in a unified way. We needed help to refine the brand story and to integrate expanding lines of business and new communities. At the same time the landscape of marketing was rapidly changing, as online, mobile and social platforms replaced more traditional marketing. It became clear to me that Vital could help us to address both of these challenges.
Working with Vital has been an intense and rewarding experience that has born great success. Their commitment to understanding our business and our needs is unparalleled. We have spent countless hours brainstorming together over the best ways to address new opportunities and those sessions have produced excellent results. It is clear that they value the relationship and that they continue to work on solutions. The strategy and the execution reflect our vision and voice. The metrics speak for themselves.
Vital is at the cutting edge of all things inbound and I have full confidence that our investment of money and time is yielding the very best possible results. And finally, I genuinely enjoy working with every member of the Vital team.”
Jen Chinburg, Marketing Director
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