By 2015, marketing agency Storylead was ready to go all-in with the inbound methodology. Its customers were increasingly asking not only for content, but for content that had a demonstrable impact on the bottom line. Storylead’s search for the perfect marketing solution led it to the HubSpot Partner Program. Since joining, it has increased leads by 100%, grown revenue share from inbound marketing services to 67% and has 90% of its clients using HubSpot.
Increase in leads
Growth in revenue from inbound marketing
Of clients using HubSpot
Swiss-based marketing agency Storylead has been helping its clients to win customers and generate leads since 1996. On a strategic level, it optimises sales and marketing processes and sharpens internal skills; on an operational level, it builds, operates and supports inbound marketing and sales systems. Storylead has completed over 3,000 marketing projects for more than 300 customers across Europe, and today is a HubSpot Gold Tier Partner.
By 2015, Swiss marketing agency Storylead had a well-established reputation for producing great content. However, it knew that the market was changing and realised that it needed to leverage its work in a more effective way. Customers were increasingly asking for strategies that would make a demonstrable impact to the bottom line – the challenge was to find the right system to produce them.
According to Steven Loepfe, the agency’s founder and managing partner, a chat brought everything into focus.
“An industry colleague from a digital agency was a HubSpot Gold Tier Partner at the time, and he showed me how much of a difference the HubSpot software could make to our business. The all-in-one nature of the platform was key for us. It fit perfectly with our new focus, which was to not only create content for our clients but to build them a complete system that would ensure a more predictable growth path.”
Steven began to investigate HubSpot and other marketing automation companies, including Infusionsoft, in more depth. At the end of the evaluation period, the HubSpot software emerged as the clear winner; in fact, the Storylead founder describes the decision as a “no-brainer”.
“HubSpot was a company on the rise. Venture capitalists were investing hugely in it, which was reassuring for us. It was proof that our choice was validated by people who were willing to put money on the table. I also attended INBOUND in Boston and got a real feel for what the HubSpot Partner Program would allow us to do – from the start, it was clear the HubSpot team go the extra mile to help.”
Founder and Managing Partner
Storylead got started by transferring its website to the HubSpot COS and set up personas so that it could better target its content. It decided to move away from its traditional prospects like ‘Marketing Mary’ and ‘Enterprise Aaron’.
“A lot of other agencies were going after these people, and we knew we couldn’t compete by just regurgitating what the other guys were saying,” explains Steven. “The inbound market is still nascent in the DACH region, so we wanted to add an educational aspect to our personas.
“We have Sven the Switcher, who already has some sort of marketing automation software in place but who isn’t happy with it. We can come in and show him how transformative the HubSpot software can be. We also have Hesitant Hazel, who knows she needs to do something but isn’t sure what – we can introduce her to the inbound method and really change her world.”
Storylead started targeting these personas with content on Landing Pages and through its Blog, adding Calls-to-Action to encourage visitors to engage. It promotes its offerings across its social media channels with the Social Inbox and uses the HubSpot software’s SEO features to boost website traffic. The agency also uses the HubSpot CRM and the HubSpot Sales Pro tool, which has given it greater visibility on its potential customers.
“One of the best features of the CRM is the Deals tab, which allows us to see our entire sales funnel at a glance. It really helps us to get deals moved down the pipeline and into the cash register.”
Within a couple of months, Storylead had its first clients set up on the HubSpot software, and was helping them to implement marketing in a much more structured way than was possible before.
“Our clients are keen to see proof that our work generates a return on investment. They don’t want content for content’s sake – they want to gain leads and sales. With the HubSpot software, we can try new things and then A/B test them to see if they’re working. Then, through the Marketing Analytics Dashboard, we can show the customer the effectiveness of every action we take.”
- Steven Loepfe
Since joining the Partner Program, Storylead has increased leads by 100% and saw a 67% increase in revenue from inbound marketing. It has also attained HubSpot Gold Tier Partner status and is on track to achieve Platinum Tier status within the next year.
The agency’s customers are seeing similar success. Once Storylead steps in, website traffic typically increases by 50 – 80 % and leads are boosted by up to 100%. One recent campaign for worldofceramics.com generated 900+ contacts and 700+ leads within 6 months. These are the kind of numbers that keep customers coming back for more – the majority are on mandate contracts of between 18 and 36 months.
“Potentially, there could be a beginning and end to our work with a client because we build them a system and give them the ability to achieve success themselves,” explains Steven. “But what we’re finding is that 3 out of 4 customers want to continue the relationship, whether for little tweaks or for a whole new campaign.”
The Storylead chief has set some big goals for 2017 and beyond. The plan is to double the size of the agency, close at least one retained client per month and to reach Platinum Tier Partner status by the end of the year.
“The HubSpot Partner Program has invigorated our approach to business and given us the means to prove ROI to every client. I would strongly encourage other agencies consider it, because together, we can reformulate the marketing playbook.”
- Steven Loepfe
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