By Joe Gillespie


A great piece of content offers plenty of potential to attract visitors and propel them down the sales funnel. But can one piece of great content achieve runaway inbound success on its own?

The answer is yes … with the right kind of assets around it. Here’s a story about how SmartBug helped a company transform its marketing strategy, attract more visitors, secure more leads, improve the flow of its website, and turn one existing blog post into an inbound locomotive.

The Challenge

logo-cvm-solutions.pngCVM Solutions is a premier provider of supplier diversity platforms and data to large organizations. Supplier diversity drives innovation, economic growth, competition, and companies’ all-important bottom lines. CVM offers solutions that allow organizations to evaluate their supplier diversity programs and connect with new diverse suppliers.

CVM faced marketing challenges we see with many of our clients: Its website wasn’t attracting enough visitors, and the visitors who were arriving weren’t converting into leads.

Furthermore, CVM’s website created chaos for diverse suppliers that might be visiting to register their businesses on the CVM database. No clear path existed for these visitors to easily register; they were bouncing around from the homepage to the About Us page to the Contact Us page without ever finding the portal they were seeking. Inevitably, many suppliers ended up filling out the form to contact the sales team—which wasn’t responsible for securing their information.

The solutions SmartBug proposed to fix CVM’s challenges were innovative yet straightforward, and the impact our ideas delivered were dramatic, especially for a certain blog post that was destined for greatness …

How We Helped

Our retainer with CVM began in late 2015. The company was already using the HubSpot COS for its website and marketing activities, which made our subsequent tasks all the more possible. We launched website and content improvements, including four blog posts per month and two initial e-books, in early 2016.

The results of our efforts were immediate and sustained. CVM went from attracting around 2,000 organic visitors per month in 2015 to more than 3,000 per month in June 2016, to more than 4,000 just last month.



The number of organic contacts made was even more impressive. Throughout most of 2015, CVM never drew more than 10 contacts a month; in some months, they drew five or fewer. After SmartBug came on board, contacts increased, to 20 in May 2016 and then, coinciding with the launch of two additional e-books, to more than 40 in June 2016. Five to 40 is a 700 percent increase in less than a year, achieved with the help of inbound principles and the robust capabilities of HubSpot.



And then there’s the story of the little blog post that could. CVM had written a post in April 2015 (before we came on board) titled “What Is Supplier Diversity and Why Is It Important?” This was a classic awareness piece—high-level content aimed at readers who weren’t ready to choose a solution—and was drawing hundreds of organic views, but much of the traffic was bouncing. Once SmartBug helped CVM post regular and plentiful content, Google’s algorithms began to take notice, determining, “Hey, these guys know what they are talking about when it comes to supplier diversity.” The post’s ranking improved, thus driving more visitors to the content and CVM’s website.

However, we weren’t finished with this particular post. By adding inline, textual calls to action, readers were invited to other offers throughout the CVM website. These CTAs are being clicked at a whopping 5.3 percent, up from 0.35 percent from CVM’s standard CTAs before we started working with the company.

Finally, CVM updated this high-performing post in January 2017. The optimized content is now drawing more than a thousand organic views a month—easily more than triple the traffic it was getting at the start of 2016.



Go with the Flow

CVM still faced the problem of diverse suppliers coming to its website to register with its database but getting lost. We worked with CVM to solve this problem by placing a set of CTAs on different pages to direct traffic and improve the website’s flow. The homepage also now includes a supplier registration link in the sticky menu. These strategies have improved the user experience for large enterprises and itty-bitty suppliers alike—no one is getting lost trying to navigate the website.

The CVM blog now boasts 1,800 subscribers—an impressive number for a discipline as narrowly focused as supplier diversity. CVM has marketing goals for the future, and SmartBug and HubSpot are very much part of those goals. First, CVM Marketing Manager John Suarez wants to build website pages and content for diverse suppliers. Even though suppliers aren’t necessarily a target audience (yet) for inbound efforts, bringing more to the website gets more registered, which subsequently attracts more large organizations to CVM’s solutions.

Second, we are working with CVM on a “State of Supplier Diversity” report based on results of surveys sent to clients and suppliers. This resource is different than standard inbound content, but it potentially can attract more leads to the website and further establish CVM as a thought leader in the supplier diversity field.

Finally, CVM VP of Sales and Marketing Todd Minden set a goal to double the number of leads it was receiving for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Halfway through the fiscal year, we are well on our way to meeting that goal!


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Joe Gillespie

About the author

Joe Gillespie is a Senior Brand Journalist for SmartBug Media. He graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in journalism and is a two-decade veteran of the newspaper industry. As a Senior Brand Journalist, Joe writes and edits inbound marketing content for SmartBug's clients. Read more articles by Joe Gillespie.