“Over the moon!” is an understatement. Last night, Sarah Spence (our Founder + Strategic Director) and Sophie Siclari (our Content Director) attended the Australian Marketing Institute Awards for Marketing Excellence NSW Finalists Announcement event (wow, that’s a mouthful!).
A few months ago we provided a submission for the Content Marketing Category based on the incredible work we have done (and continue to do) with healthylife, an eCommerce health brand.
We were so proud of not only what we’d delivered, but how we’d delivered it and, of course, the results our content marketing continues to achieve for this major brand. We felt so proud of our achievements that we also created a video to accompany the submission – giving us a chance to showcase our full content marketing prowess. Of course, we were hopeful to be selected as a Finalist; but also knew we’d be up against stiff competition.
Drum roll please…
So, you can imagine Sarah’s and Sophie’s surprise when we were announced as one of two NSW Finalists for Best Content Marketing Campaign of the Year!
We’re excited to be sharing our submission with you below – apparently it was a real stand out with the judges for originality and memorability (oh and, by the way, one of the content marketing services our team are fab at is Award Submissions… so if you’re in the market for one, get in touch).
Our 2022 AMI Awards for Marketing Excellence Award Submission
“Big arms can move rocks, but big words can move mountains.”
Those are the immortal words of Rocky Balboa – the classic underdog. Everybody loves a good ‘triumph of the underdog’ story, because if we didn’t, why would there be six Rocky movies and the three spin-offs?
‘OK,’ you might be thinking. ‘Where are they going with this? I’ve got 30 other award submissions to read!’
In short, Rocky’s story is our story.
What began as a solo copywriting business seven years ago has evolved into a content marketing agency of 10+ incredible women who can punch well above our weight.
Our Content Marketing Strategy and Content Production prowess have skyrocketed the new health eCommerce brand healthylife well above its KPIs since launching last June.
healthylife’s objective was to launch as ‘Australia’s home of trusted health advisory content’ via a new website that would cut through the existing health noise online.
And that’s where we came in. We developed an in-depth Content Strategy, crafted 80 articles prior to launch, and then went on to create 30-40 further articles per month. Additionally, we supported all of this great content with domain authority building activity.
“We’ve realised the vision we had for the brand: Expertly written content that met our brand guidelines, absolutely nailed our tone of voice and, most importantly, engaged our ideal audience. Now, visitors to our site who view our content are more likely to buy, return and spend longer on the site.”
Kate Ferguson, Digital Content Lead, healthylife
Launching a new e-commerce health platform in Australia’s crowded marketplace isn’t easy, especially when you want to:
- reinvent an existing brand like healthylife
- create a new website and then quickly cement yourselves as ‘Australia’s home of trusted health advisory content’
- provide health and wellness advice from trusted, qualified professionals alongside customer experiences, services and products
- help to inspire every person to live a healthier life with trusted content, while competing with the allure of ‘Dr Google’
- comply with all relevant laws, including the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, the Australian Food Standards, the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics, and Australian Consumer Law
So, knowing they needed a team who could deliver insightful strategy and high volumes of authoritative content, healthylife decided to approach us.
Founder and Strategic Director of Content Copywriting, Sarah Spence, says healthylife wanted to make a splash for the website launch. And after that, they wanted to continue to offer their audience a strong proposition.
“They were looking for an agency that would not only help them deliver a significant volume of content, but also align it with insights from their audience research,” she comments.
In other words, it was time for us to strap on the gloves and get to work to help our client go the distance.
It’s now time for the solution section, or, as we like to call it, ‘The Montage’. If this were a Rocky movie, this is the part where you’d see us:
- doing one-arm pushups at dawn
- throwing air punches while jogging in the street
- conquering a triumphal stair climb while wearing a questionable grey tracksuit
OK, so let’s get to it. Here’s how we rose to the challenge – our content marketing montage, if you will.
healthylife’s KPIs included:
- delivering frequent, relevant and unique content, authored by experts, advisors and trendsetters
- creating destinations of authenticity with authoritative content
- increasing awareness, so they could be there for their customers in moments that matter
To hit these KPIs, we started with an in-depth Content Marketing Strategy to answer the question ‘What content do healthylife’s ideal audience segments want?’
“healthylife had a clear idea of who their ideal audience was. They just didn’t know what that ideal audience was searching for online,” Sarah says.
“We conducted a deep analysis to understand what their ideal audience cared about, and how they were looking for solutions or ways to improve those aspects of their lives. What we uncovered was that their audience wanted to know about key health missions, such as how to get enough sleep, keep fit and have good nutrition.”
Part of this analysis included a significant amount of keyword research to find the exact keyword phrases the audience were using to search on these topics. Then we narrowed the phrases down to those that also had high, organic search volumes and achievable competitive metrics.
Based on our research, we proposed a Pillar and Cluster Content Strategy model. We also populated the model with content topics to satisfy every audience need, want or desire that also aligned to the brand.
A Pillar and Cluster model involves nominating key topics – or pillars – to focus on, such as sleep. Each pillar article encompasses the critical aspects of one particular topic, and includes links to each one of the connected cluster articles. These are shorter pieces that tend to focus on more specific elements of the same topic, such as “why can’t I sleep?” or “how to get to sleep faster”.
All of the related cluster articles link to each other, as well as back to the pillar article.
“This provides the audience with a really intuitive way to navigate through the content,” Sarah says. “For example, for the healthylife audience, it makes a lot of sense to go from reading an article about whether blue light from phones affects their sleep to clicking on an article about good sleep hygiene.”
As well as creating a great user experience for humans, the Pillar and Cluster model is something Google’s algorithm likes. When it crawls the articles, the content’s interconnectedness is obvious due to the internal linking structure. In turn, this helps each of these articles to build authority and move up the organic search rankings faster.
“First we uncovered what the ideal audience was searching for. Then we based our content topic recommendations on this, healthylife’s ability to rank for these phrases and where we knew we could provide unique and authoritative value to the content,” Sarah said.
After setting the Content Strategy, we sourced and interviewed qualified health professionals for every topic to ensure the content was authoritative and reliable. Experts ranged from GPs to sleep specialists, dermatologists, gynaecologists, psychologists, dietitians and many more -.
“With the aim of being ‘Australia’s home of trusted, health advisory content’, we needed to handle all of these topics with care,” Sarah adds. “This included fact-checking every reference and only including links to high-quality health publications and resources.
We then created detailed briefs for each article, outlining the keyword phrases to target, suggesting an ideal structure, providing access to the interview and linking to appropriate resources. We gave these briefs to a team of 15 health and wellness writers and editors. This process enabled us to deliver 80 articles within the six weeks before launch, and then 30-40 articles each month since then.
Through the content creation process, we brought the healthylife Tone of Voice (TOV) to life. This TOV is approachable, down-to-earth and human, while also being authoritative, credible and compliant with health content regulations.
As a key highlight, we also kept the TOV consistent, which is often difficult on content projects of this size. Our content management process has meant that no matter which writer or editor was on each article, the output was consistent. To achieve this, we held detailed writer training sessions, developed and maintained healthylife’s Tone of Voice style guide, and regularly updated the writing team with client feedback.
As a complement to our Content Marketing Strategy, we also started domain authority building activity at the end of 2021. During our initial research and analysis, we discovered that healthylife’s domain authority was greatly lagging behind its primary competitors. This, in turn, affected the brand’s ability to rank for shared keyword phrases.
To rectify this, we proposed a series of backlink target phrases as part of a custom backlink strategy. Each month, we then generated high-quality (minimum of Domain Authority 30) backlinks via a manual outreach program.
We’ll get to the results in a moment; but as you can see, our Content Marketing Strategy and Content Production more than delivered against healthylife’s launch KPIs. We consistently delivered frequent, relevant, authoritative content that’s now rising up the Google ranks to enable healthylife to be there for customers in the moments that matter.
Ding! Ding! Ding! That’s the sound of the 12th round ending. It’s time for the judges to tally their scores and decide on a winner.
In this case, let’s pretend it’s the ending of Rocky II, III, IV, or V; and that we, as the protagonists, come out on top. In any case, we’ve got the results to prove our Content Marketing Strategy was a winner anyway.
Here they are…
Since June 2021, we’ve created 350+ high-quality, well-researched, authoritative health-focused articles, and delivered 80 of those within just six weeks to meet the new website’s launch date.
Those articles have (to 20 April 2022):
- Been viewed 219,279 times
- Achieved and maintained 2,442 new top 10 Google search positions for non-branded keyword phrases
- Generated 29,406 clicks from Google on those non-branded keyword phrases
Our strategy and subsequent content also had a strong commercial impact. Website analytics showed that visitors who viewed our content – even just a single article – were more likely to:
- transact and buy products
- spend more time on the site
- return to the site again
- engage with more content
When we translate these results into hard-and-fast facts:
- 14% of site visitors who viewed our content went on to create a customer account with healthylife.
- 4.14% of site visitors purchased after viewing our content.
- 16.6 pages per session were viewed by site visitors who read our content, compared to 4.6 pages per session by those who didn’t.
- 20% of visitors returned if they’d viewed our content, compared to 14% who hadn’t.
What’s more, A/B testing results on the homepage revealed that serving our content as the banner highlight created a better conversion rate than simply highlighting products.
Beyond those hard facts, Kate Ferguson, Digital Content Lead at healthylife, says:
“Content Copywriting did all the interviews and wrote all the great copy. They also set up a really good workflow for us to get that volume of work reviewed, approved, uploaded into the CMS and published. It was a massive effort, and we’ve become one team since launch. They’re champions of the healthylife voice, and we appreciate their continued work with us.”
Our domain authority building activity has also achieved significant results, even though it’s only been running for five months so far. In that time, healthylife’s domain authority has increased 10 points. This increase has accelerated healthylife’s keyword trend – rising from 7,176 total keywords in December to 10,789 in April.
So, what does this all mean?
“What these results show are the potential outcomes of a robust content marketing strategy,” says Sarah. “Without it, content may have just been created for content’s sake. The site probably wouldn’t have been able to engage its audience as well, or convert as strongly.”
“Instead, we can see from these results, that healthylife has established trust and connected with their audience. People who engaged with their content were more likely to engage with the site, make a purchase and come back. It’s a real testament to the benefits and the effectiveness of a strong content marketing strategy, and we’re so proud to have made this happen for healthylife.”
And for the healthylife team? Kate adds,:
“With Content Copywriting on board, we’ve realised the vision we had for the brand. They expertly wrote content that met our brand guidelines, absolutely nailed our tone of voice, and – most importantly – engaged our ideal audience. Now, visitors to our site who view our content are more likely to buy, return and spend longer on the site.”
In short, winning.
While not a specific KPI, an additional benefit of our approach to Content Marketing Strategy is the trust and confidence we’ve built throughout the project. It’s led to an incredibly productive, mutually respectful and ongoing client-agency relationship.
“We brought a lot of confidence to the process and to the project. It was obviously very significant for healthylife to go to market with a fresh, new, online-only brand,” Sarah says.
“It was also a significant project, and I’m proud that we could help them execute it to a really high standard. We have a fantastic relationship with the healthylife team. We’re a relationship-based agency, and as the results show, we’ve become their trusted partner – someone who can help bring their vision to life.”
The healthylife team continues to regularly come to us for additional content needs as they come up. Kate adds,
“Content Copywriting is absolutely the champion of our brand voice now. Having them on board gives us such confidence that no matter where we want to take it, they’ll be able to support us and keep helping us to connect with our ideal audience.”
And you know what? At the end of the day, even if we don’t win the award, we’ll know in our hearts that we’re still winners.
It’ll be just like the end of the first Rocky movie. Cue: Eye of the Tiger.