By Todd Murphy | December 7th, 2011
In August of this year the broadcast monitoring industry’s largest vendor declared bankruptcy. VMS, Video Monitoring Services, filed Chapter 7 and spilled thousands of clients onto the open market. A year ago this would have been of great interest, but of little consequence, to Universal Information Services. With the help of What-Cheer we completely renovated our web presence back in the fall of 2010. This gave us a custom themed WordPress website and a complete content management system for blogging and managing comments. What I would also find is that with the provided plug-ins of WordPress, my posts were being optimized for Search Engines and growing my brand presence with my industry. Here’s where the story begins…
I was in Scottsdale, Arizona on a work related retreat when I learned that in 18 short hours VMS would be closing their doors. My associates quickly helped me brainstorm how I could best help the soon to be orphaned VMS clients find a home with Universal Information Services. Rather than exploit the misfortune of a friendly competitor, I simply created a higher profile for Universal Information Services, a profile that would help these clients find my company. Below is a timeline of what I did, what transpired as a result of my actions, and how that translated into growth for my company.
• 6pm August 25: A rumor of the impending bankruptcy hit my cell phone and six business friends helped me formulate a strategy using the #newtools of social media to help pull new prospects to Universal.
• 12:01am August 26: Seeing an industry email related to the bankruptcy, a second source confirming the rumor, I turned to my iPad to begin blogging about the bankruptcy and how it may impact VMS employees and clients. I accessed the CMS dashboard of Universal’s website, a simple but powerful WordPress interface. There I quickly tapped out my thoughts on the matter. That original blog can be found here.
• 5am (in Arizona), 7am ET August 26: I moved my first blog on VMS with a single click of the Publish button.
• 6am August 26: Began commenting on other blogs and web sites, using my blog url on the comments to drive traffic back to the Universal Website.
• 7am August 26: Had breakfast and waited.
• Noon ET, August 26: VMS officially announces their bankruptcy…industry email, blogs, newsletters explode with confirmation and questions.
• Afternoon of August 26: Emails start hitting my smartphone with people commenting on my blog post. I respond to these comments quickly.
• 6am August 27: Update my original VMS related blog, citing some comments from over the past 18 hours.
• 7am August 27: Answer more comments on my blog post. I also realize that this blog has drawn more comments than any other in the prior year.
• 8am August 29: Post a related blog on my other company’s website, The NewsTracks.
• September 2: Write a follow up blog reflecting back on the week since the VMS bankruptcy. Again, drawing a high volume of comments and links to our site.
The net effect:
My efforts, through our WordPress blog, effectively boosted our search rankings, with my sites capturing most, if not all, of the first page of organic results. Additionally, our Google AdWords campaigns went through the roof as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube related postings all pointed back to the Universal website. Similarly, my Utah News Clips company saw a huge jump in google hits due to the SEO effect from that WordPress blog. All the comments, links, and links back to our site helped elevate our exposure in the industry by an amazing rate. So much so that our broadcast monitoring business, the part most similar to what VMS provided, saw a jump in sales of 36% for the month following the VMS bankruptcy.
Can I trace our September growth solely to the fact that we were able to quickly facilitate online interaction through our WordPress site, probably not. Having a coordinated plan to Tweet, Blog and comment all contributed to the growth. Most importantly, we didn’t wait to take action and our WordPress blogs let us capitalize on the best #newtools of the web. The #samerules of time sensitive marketing is all we did, but in a much different way than would have been possible in years past.
Do you have a similar experience from blogging? Any tips you care to add to the strategy I used? Please contribute to the knowledge base (community) who views this site and leave your comments. I appreciate the engagement.