Blog Makeover Nets Sales Leads for Software Company

How do you reinvent a company blog in a way that does more than simply provide a platform for thought leadership? That was the challenge faced by Navicure, a leading Internet-based medical claims clearinghouse in Atlanta that helps medical practices increase profitability.

Like many companies, Navicure’s corporate blog had evolved organically over time, and the marketing team was looking to leverage social media for more than just PR value. Specifically they wanted to:

* generate more search traffic from medical practices looking for best practices and other information related to profitability, cash management, and related topics

* convert that search traffic to measurable sales leads

* build brand awareness and promote consideration of Navicure by pushing information of value to its CRM database of physicians, billing managers, and medical office administrators

Navicure turned to its demand generation agency, Spear Marketing Group, for help. After consulting with the client on the blog’s objectives, content strategy, and target audience, Spear redesigned the blog from the ground up, and re-launched it as “The Daily Practice.”

The results have been startling. In its first 30 days, the blog attracted dozens of new email subscribers and 60 sales leads. And these weren’t just tire-kickers – fully 22 percent of the new prospects requested immediate sales contact.

What is it about the blog’s design that turned into the perfect “prescription” for Navicure’s social media strategy? Here are some key features worth noting:

* Prominent Subscription Options: visitors can choose to subscribe via email (a monthly compilation of new posts), RSS, or through Twitter. This serves to convert casual browsers into repeat visitors who are then exposed to Navicure’s message over time.

* Industry Benchmark Data – Navicure leverages its own data warehouse to present industry statistics on claims management that enable readers to compare their own performance to industry peers. (So far, this feature is amongst the most-read content on the blog.)

* Additional Resources – In the sidebar, Navicure presents downloadable information offers: white papers, ebooks, podcasts, as “additional resources” to blog readers. Each item is gated by a registration form, so all downloads automatically become sales leads and receive follow-up by a Navicure representative.

* Mix of Content – working with Spear, Navicure plotted a content strategy for the blog that combined “tips and tricks,” industry news, and Navicure information such as Webinars whose topics blend well with the practical, “how to” flavor of the blog.

* Social Bookmarks – each blog post features a prominent social bookmarking button (using AddThis), allowing readers to easily share or recommend the information to friends and colleagues

The blog has resulted in one casualty: the Navicure email newsletter. Each month, Spear simply compiles excerpts of the last month’s posts, loads that content into an HTML email template, and broadcasts the information out to subscribers who previously would have received the newsletter. Unsubscribes have been minimal, and because the blog is inherently more interactive AND viral, readers can more readily comment on the topics, or share the information.


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