A Case Study: Content Marketing Increases Web Referrals by 50%

The Company: California Document Preparers

I began working with California Document Preparers in October 2014. Legal document preparers, their clients are representing themselves in an uncontested legal matters; their most popular services are uncontested Divorces, Deed Transfers and Living Trust packages. They Top of Mind Marketing_cdpprovide an important service, helping their clients recognize considerable savings on routine legal matters.

  • They have three offices in the Bay Area, each owned independently, but they market collectively.
  • The company’s website, social media, newsletter and any print or other advertising benefit the group.
  • California Document Preparers has been in business for 13+ years and each business has experienced steady growth.
  • Their brand is their people—they are committed, smart and personable, providing an extraordinary level of customer service.
  • They had been doing a twice/weekly blog, but the blogs were not necessarily relevant, timely or compelling, and were not posting these blogs or anything else to their social media sites. There were a lot of missed opportunities.

Project scope to include social media posts

I contracted to write a weekly blog, post it to their website and Linkedin. We also wanted to get more mileage out of that blog by posting excerpts 2x/week to social media sites: Google+, Twitter and Facebook. As part of this project, I updated their social media sites, creating banners and fleshing out the About fields to reflect their business and make better use of their keywords. We decided on just one blog/week rather than two—for a small company, producing one quality blog is a commitment.

Working together: streamline communications or it’s not going to work

As with most of my clients, CDP doesn’t have a lot of time for marketing meetings, brainstorming sessions and lengthy review and approval cycles. If our relationship was going to work, it was critical that I come up with blog topics, develop them, review them with the owner of the Oakland office, then upload and distribute across social media. In the beginning, one of the owners would send me brief snapshots that I could develop into stories that would illustrate how CDP worked with their clients, but as I began to get more comfortable with the company’s services, I came up with my own blog topics and developed them for review and posting.

Blog/online methodology

I try to focus on topics to draw attention to the California Document Preparers’ wide range of services.

  • For some blogs, I develop actual scenarios that bring people into the offices of California Document Preparers. Sometimes these take the form of cautionary tales—“this is what happened to this client—if you don’t get a Living Trust or whatever, the same thing can happen to you” sort of theme.
  • If there’s something going on in the news that is relevant for California Document Preparers, I try to leverage that for a blog topic. Examples: Joni Mitchell’s illness and her Conservatorship, legal battles over the estates of Robin Williams and B.B. King.
  • I try to leverage seasonality: January is divorce season; Prenuptial Agreements are on the rise, and we promote these as the summer wedding season approaches.
  • The California Document Preparers website didn’t have anything about their team—which is really their brand, so we created an About page with a description and image of each team and added this to the main navigation bar.
  • We realized from our Google Analytics that our audience wanted more information on our California Document Preparers team, so we began featuring an Employee of the Month along with that person’s picture. We also post this across social media and get a significant response.
  • People may/not read anything else on your website—but they will read the About section, Testimonials and Blogs. People want to know about the people with whom they are going to be doing business, so we began repurposing several of our great Yelp reviews each week to the Testimonials page.

Best practices

Things that I do to help raise our SEO value and clickthrough rates.

  • Create crisp, attention-getting subject lines for blogs and newsletters
  • Identify and deploy keywords/phrases liberally throughout each blogpost
  • Write metadescriptions
  • When posting images, labeling each image with California Document Preparers and the keyword
  • Repurpose content. Our blogs fuel our monthly newsletter and our 2x/week social media posts

Results: Web Referrals up 50%

It’s not been a year, but website referrals are up nearly 50%. This is in large part to our steady, focused content marketing strategy. Our newsletter’s open-rate continues to increase and last month we had 176 click-throughs—a new record for us.

What’s next

We’re planning a homepage facelift, leveraging California Document Preparers’ brand: it’s people.

Is it time to get smarter about your content marketing strategy? Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’d love to talk with you–content marketing works.

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