As we grow closer to the 2020s, there are still industries that have yet to make a serious jump into digital marketing and the efforts required to turn that jump into a success. Yet, companies that choose to take a bold move to where few of their competitors have dared to tread are poised for a momentous digital splash—if they handle everything, including the marketing strategy, just right. This story highlights how one business discovered the power of inbound marketing and, with SmartBug Media’s help, opened itself to a whole new client base.
increase in website orders in 2018
YOY increase in sales growth
increase in organic blog traffic
BackgroundBay Supply, a division of Bay Fastening Systems, is one of the largest fastener supply warehouses in the United States. Besides being a leading seller of rivets, lockbolts, fastening tools, and other products to distributors and end users alike, Bay Supply is a factory-authorized repair center for top fastener manufacturers. Located in Farmingdale, New York, Bay Supply prides itself on outstanding customer service, competitive pricing, and a comprehensive catalog of fastening products.
An Industry Without Inbound
The fastener industry mostly relies on traditional marketing methods—print, email, a little social media, and some web presence—to promote itself. Michael Eichinger, Bay Supply’s chief operating officer, realized that this was not a modern marketing methodology. Although direct communication remained a major sales channel, online sales presented an incredible opportunity for Bay Supply to reach a wider customer base, particularly with end users.
“What can we do to differentiate ourselves?” Eichinger asked himself. “We’ve gone from a regular, typical business that would go door to door and beat the street with our customers to one that that would operate from a distance.” He determined that web sales was the place to be in order to overcome that distance because, eventually, the entire industry would be there.
After more research, Eichinger discovered that inbound marketing was a fantastic way to boost Bay Supply’s online effectiveness—and that no other company in the fastening industry was using it. He found HubSpot and was convinced it was the best inbound marketing software available. Knowing Bay Supply couldn’t tackle inbound marketing on its own, he sought out an agency partner on HubSpot and found SmartBug Media.
Most businesses just don’t have the resources and time to manage content well. SmartBug came in and, from the first piece forward, did their due diligence and understood our product. They took the time to create quality content in a way that’s engaging to people. And that’s a critical aspect in making an inbound marketing strategy successful."
Chief Operating Officer, Bay Supply
Assessment, Optimization, and Content
- Website Optimization
- Premium Content Offers
- Conversion Paths
- ERP Integration
- Lead Capture
The first thing the SmartBug team did for Bay Supply was conduct a comprehensive assessment of the company’s sales and marketing efforts—everything from Bay Supply’s website to its existing content to SEO. From this review, we recommended and executed the following actions:
- Optimization of the Bay Supply website
- Capturing leads from all stages of the Buyer’s Journey, including users responding to the “Request a Quote” feature on the Bay Supply website
- Creation of the Bay Supply blog, with content supplemented by SmartBug’s team of professional writers
- Development of e-books and other premium content that could be downloaded from the Bay Supply website
- Creation of landing pages, thank you pages, and conversion paths
- ERP integration with HubSpot to allow a real-time look at the sales funnel
SmartBug’s consistent content marketing efforts significantly enhanced Bay Supply’s digital footprint.
“Previous content we had was mostly off point because people didn’t take the time to evaluate what they were writing,” Eichinger says. “Most businesses just don’t have the resources and time to manage content well. SmartBug came in and, from the first piece forward, did their due diligence and understood our product. They took the time to create quality content in a way that’s engaging to people. And that’s a critical aspect in making an inbound marketing strategy successful.”
Moreover, through outstanding content and an optimized website, Bay Supply expanded its customer base to include more end users on top of its already robust distributor focus. Drew Cohen, the SmartBug Media team lead and marketing strategist on the account, added: “Bay Supply was determined to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace, and, starting with a thorough discovery process and tons of excellent conversation, we’ve been able to build a content engine that continues to produce fantastic results.”
Explosive Growth Within a Year
Less than a year after partnering with SmartBug, Bay Supply’s website went from an average-performing channel to a lead-generating, sales-enabling machine. Between January 2018 and November 2018, overall website traffic increased 133 percent. Organic traffic posted even more impressive numbers: Between February and October, organic traffic grew 174 percent, with each month seeing an increase upon the previous.
The new Bay Supply blog was an instant success. Between June 2018 and October 2018 organic traffic to the blog grew an incredible 3,388 percent.
Bay Supply took approximately 4,000 web orders in 2017; after the company started working with SmartBug, that number jumped to 7,000 for a 75 percent increase. Online sales climbed from 24 percent of all sales in 2017 to 30 percent in 2018.
All of these successes yielded perhaps the most impressive result: Bay Supply’s overall revenue grew by 30 percent in 2018.
“It’s about the overall picture,” Eichinger says. “You’ve got to be right with inbound marketing in so many ways. If you aren’t taking it in a passionate direction, you’re just going to throw money to the wind. SmartBug added value to our whole equation.”