Hello world, I’d like to introduce you to REIS. Here's a little about them in their own words:
“Reis is the nation's most trusted source for property and market intelligence, including vacancy rates, rent levels, cap rates, new construction, rent comparables, sales comparables, valuation estimates, and capital market trends across eight major commercial real estate sectors.”
A few months ago REIS approached us here at Revenue River with an issue surrounding their blog. Previously, they had an agency develop a small business product blog in Wordpress. However, their corporate website was utilizing the HubSpot COS and there was a slight disconnect between the two. In addition to having the ability to manage both their blog and website through HubSpot, REIS was also interested in taking advantage of the tracking and analysis HubSpot provided.
There were three major criteria for this project:
1) Migrate existing blog and posts over to the HubSpot platform
2) Need it to be easy for marketers to use and update daily
3) Need it to look unique and not an “out of the box” solution.
This gave Revenue River quite a bit of freedom in the creative process. We knew their audience was a higher caliber of professional and that definitely helped guide us in our strategy for the new blog.
What we came up with
We attempted to create a modern tiled look that organized the content REIS had in a clear effective way that was easy for their users to digest and dive further into. So why is this unique?
Well, we started with creating a custom template. The challenge was to organize a wide variety of content that spanned different media types as well as topics into a cleanly packaged delivery.
We elected to utilize blog topics and then to segment those topics into containers by utilizing individual blog feeds. The left column was designated for “administrative” functionality like navigation, newsletter signup, social links, glossary of terms and upcoming events. We even utilized specific topic feeds for the glossary and events page in order to maintain the SEO value that content brought to the site.
The media types also posed an interesting obstacle as there were not only blog posts but videos, CTAs, social feeds, etc. So we set up topics for not only the category the information fell under (navigation menu) but also the media type. For instance, the first box is assigned to both the Article topic as well as the apartment topic.
This was especially important as you dive down to subpages within the navigation menu. For instance, if you clicked on Education, or maybe Sectors > Office, this would then filter the blog posts by that particular topic. However, we took it a step further to filter all media types under that specific topic to feed to each section of this page. In order for this to happen, every category, needed to have a piece of content for each media type. That means that under Sectors > Industrial, there needed to be posts assigned to the industrial topic as well as Video, Article, News, and CTA. This would ensure that all “boxes” had content in them for that particular topic.
This posed a challenge for the client as they then needed to make sure there were enough individual posts to fill each media type under each category heading.
Another unique feature of the blog was the navigation menu. Because we were focused on maintaining a clean, tiled or grid layout, we didn’t have the luxury of using a standard navigation. We implemented an innovative navigation menu that utilizes slide outs in the existing frame to allow the user to drill down to additional topics without breaking the layout of the page. As mentioned before, clicking on child links in the navigation menu filters blog posts by topic AND media type.
So how did this workout? Well, the blog traffic was up 219% since launching the new blog! REIS is blogging frequently and getting great views on many of the posts they published.
Having this new blog allowed them to leverage their resources to attract better leads, and further engage their existing database of subscribers. From the client:
“We initially started blogging for the SEO value. It’s been an important source of organic traffic each month, and it raises our authority ranking online and within the commercial real estate community as we showcase our thought leadership in the industry.”
In May and June of this year, the blog on ReisReports.com garnered 1,700 page views. During the same period of time, the new blog on CRE News & Resources garnered 8,500 page views (according to Google Analytics or 6,500 page views according to the HubSpot page performance reports). Either way, it’s an impressive improvement over the ReisReports blog traffic.
Why did this work so well?
The main key to the success of this project was the time spent strategizing the organization of content. Because of the sheer power the blog held in attracting viewers, it was important that we build a solid foundation that is scalable for the future. By adding in a CTA module, the blog increased its conversion potential right on the home page because viewers didn’t have to reach a particular post before they were presented with an offer. According to the client:
“Thanks to the custom design work by Revenue River, we have a whitepaper download element/CTA that’s prominent on the blog homepage design which helps us garner more marketing qualified sales leads on a regular basis.”
The other reason this worked so well, is due to the ease of use the HubSpot blog presents to its users. By organizing categories and media types by topics, the client can very easily dictate where a new post will display and how it will show up. Even those who are not familiar with code can easily add a new video or article simply by publishing a new post and selecting the appropriate topics. This was a fundamental cornerstone to this project because as an agency, we strive to set our clients up for success. By giving REIS the power to manage their blog in house, they don’t need to worry about having an agency make updates and manage their blog in general.
All in all the project went very smoothly and the end result turned out to be a great benefit to the client. They are happy with the way the new blog presents the image of the company and the back end functionality is not only easy to use, but scalable for the future as the company grows. The collaboration between REIS and Revenue River produced such great results, that it provided the opportunity for us to expand our relationship with them and start an inbound retainer campaign to not only promote their new blog, but to implement the same industry leading strategy to increase their market share and further position them as an industry leader in the Commercial Real Estate industry.