West Roofing Systems, a commercial roofing contractor based in Cleveland, Ohio, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year -- and, like many local contractor businesses, word-of-mouth referrals had been the primary driver of generating new business for West Roofing Systems. They wanted to do something different.
Well, they were until a little over two years ago, when the West Roofing Systems team decided they wanted to set themselves apart from the rest of their competitors by revamping their website so it was dedicated to educating clients on all things commercial roofing.
“I started to look at our (website’s) organic growth rates, and realized we had a flat line,” explained CEO Jack Moore. “It was concerning considering where we wanted to head in the future.”
Right around the same time Jack was considering ramping up his inbound marketing efforts, he had a frank discussion with IMPACT partner, Marcus Sheridan.
“Marcus grabbed me by the shirt collar and told me, ‘You cannot do this by yourself. Your people are spread too thin as it is.’”
Shortly after, Jack began consulting with IMPACT to train his in-house marketing team how to be successful with inbound marketing.
The first step was to hire a dedicated marketing manager to own the process. They found Aubrey Barto to be the perfect fit with her strong writing skills and familiarity with HubSpot’s marketing software. From there, they began producing two blog articles per week dedicated to answering customers’ most pressing questions on all things commercial roofing.
From problems that lead building owners to consider purchasing a new roof and detailed explanations on the different types of roof systems available to building owners, to ensuring clients know how to best vet potential bidding contractors, they left no question unanswered.
With their commitment to becoming the best teachers in their industry -- answering every question their potential buyers might have thoroughly and honestly -- it didn’t take long for them to start seeing incredible results.
Prior to dedicating themselves to creating the results-driving content they needed, West Roofing Systems averaged 200 hits per month from organic search traffic -- most of which could be attributed to branded search terms.
Within two months, they had doubled their organic traffic. Two months after that, they doubled it again. Three months later, they doubled it again. By the end of their first year, their organic traffic had increased by an astounding 2,147%.
And, as of writing this, that increase has skyrocketed to 5,253% from where they were two years prior.
While their website traffic has grown exponentially over the past two years, their biggest struggle was getting their sales team to use the content in their sales prospecting.
It’s not enough for the marketing team to use content to draw more prospects to the website, sales teams need to use the existing content in their process. We recommend sales reps give their prospects “homework assignments” at different stages in the sales process, in which they are asked to read the most important educational content a company has created that addresses 80% of questions most consumers have about a particular product or service before a sales conversation or appointment.
We call this process assignment selling.
“Utilizing the content through assignment selling has been a bit of a learning curve,” Jack admitted. “It’s uncomfortable at first, doing something with a customer you’ve never done before.”
But once they got beyond that learning curve, assignment selling became second nature, as the results rolled in.
As the team at West Roofing Systems continues to improve using content for both marketing and sales strategies, they’ve also began repurposing their written content into video content, since video is proven to establish trust with an audience faster than virtually all other types of content.
In 2018, West Roofing hired videographer Colin Silkwood to oversee their video production.
Having an in-house videographer has also dramatically improved West Roofing’s presence on Youtube. From their first video shot in 2014 through the end of 2017, their content had drawn a total of 2,500 views. By the end of 2018, they had grown to 23,000 views, an increase of more than 820%.
In the two short years since West Roofing Systems has been working with IMPACT and implementing They Ask, You Answer as their core inbound marketing philosophy and following the processes outlined in our Inbound Success Playbooks, the West Roofing Systems team has already closed 14 commercial roofing deals they can tie directly to their marketing efforts.
Their organic lead generation has also led to job bids valued at over $14 million. Jobs they would have otherwise never had the opportunity to bid on, were it not for their in-house marketing team.
Jack gives one piece of parting advice to any company considering taking their inbound marketing in-house: “You NEED to get buy-in. One person cannot carry the torch for the whole company. It really is a team effort.”