Grasshopper is a passionate, forward-thinking organization that has created a virtual phone solution for entrepreneurs. They came to Propecta seeking help to authentically improve their search rankings and SEO traffic.
We wanted to work with Nate and Propecta again after having initially worked together on a short term contract. We had both a positive experience and saw strong results. They’re easy to work with, friendly, proactive, and find creative approaches to helping with our SEO. They’ve helped us try projects we would otherwise not have tried on our own, which is exactly what we wanted. – Matt Koulas (@MattKoulas), Senior SEO Specialist
After some initial meetings and brainstorming, the combined Grasshopper/Propecta team isolated three main goals for Grasshopper’s SEO:
- Build brand awareness and online presence
- Engage with key influencers in their target markets
- Create high-value, long-standing content
The content piece would be the foundation for improving brand awareness and engaging with influencers.
We were hoping to have a content project of some kind – a large content piece, interactive tool, deep resource, or event – that would reach our customers in an effective and new way. We wanted to hook existing customers into Grasshopper, get our brand in front of new eyes, provide small business owners with helpful advice, and earn links and social recognition along the way. – Emma Siemasko (@EmmaFayeS), Content Marketing Specialist
The Propecta team got to work planning and strategizing a unique campaign for Grasshopper, and quickly pitched the idea of a live “fireside” chat.
The Fireside Chat
The Fireside Chat would be a live, online group interview featuring a panel of successful entrepreneurs and small business consultants from a variety of Grasshopper’s target markets.
When the Propecta team first came to us with the idea of a fireside chat, we weren’t convinced. We didn’t believe we had the capacity to do an in-person event and were a bit hesitant about doing events at all, even virtual ones, mainly because we hadn’t tried the strategy before. We were able to air our concerns to the team, who came back with a new strategy tailored perfectly to us and our needs. The team at Propecta was helpful, on top of things, and were great listeners. We ended up with a plan that we all felt comfortable with and excited about. – Emma Siemasko (@EmmaFayeS)
The Fireside Chat was a thought leadership event created to deepen Grasshopper’s position in the small business community as a trusted partner and raving fan of entrepreneurs. The goals of the event included traditional marketing impact (new leads, brand awareness, etc.), in addition to social media activity and natural links to strengthen Grasshopper’s online authority.
The Propecta team really took off with this project. There was minimal hand-holding for either Matt or me, and we received consistent updates about just how far things were coming along. Matt and I were both continuously impressed with how the team was able to grab the bull by the horns and go with it. They were able to take the strategic plan and put it into action, making that plan a reality. – Emma Siemasko (@EmmaFayeS)
To pull off a high-level event, Propecta created and executed a marketing calendar which included the following deliverables:
- Reach out to influencers in pre-determined industries to secure five to six panelists
- Coordinate with each of the panelists
- Provide six blog posts – one for each panelist to host on his or her site to promote the event
- Develop a list of questions based on three approved main topics
- Assisted in developing a landing page including an event description and panelist information
- Administer the Google+ Hangout and host the event
- Tweet live during the event
- Create a PDF resource for event attendees and Grasshopper’s resource center
- Assemble a resource after the event, featuring a summary and additional quotes from the panelists
By the time the event rolled around, six panelists had been secured, blog posts had been hosted, and all of the details had come together. Everyone was excited.
The day of the event was really exciting for us. Mary, our Social Media Specialist, got to work live-tweeting, while I sat and watched with a bunch of Thai food in front of me (haha). I felt like Propecta had control over the event, and I was confident that they would do an excellent job with it, which they did. We were quite curious to see how things would go, and were really happy with the outcome. – Emma Siemasko (@EmmaFayeS)
The chat went off without a hitch, and the team saw instant impact to all three of their goals.
Final Score: Winning
The Fireside Chat event helped Grasshopper build brand awareness and improve their online presence even beyond the event itself. Submitting blog posts to the panelists got the Grasshopper name, and their ethos, in front of six big, specific audiences.
- Paul Chaney – Principal of Chaney Marketing Group
- Katie Lance – CEO and Owner of Katie Lance Consulting
- Erica Nicole – Founder and CEO of YFS Magazine
- Pat Pettiti – Co-Founder and Co-CEO of HourlyNerd
- Matthew Tolin – Founding member of wireLawyer
- Thaddeus Wong – Co-Founder of @properties
The Propecta team also created the content for an eBook based on the Fireside Chat event – including a summary, Tweets that went out during the event, and additional quotes from the panelists.
But the biggest win was exceeded expectations. Grasshopper was inspired to think big, and try something new.
The biggest tangible result? We realized that virtual events could work for us. Before our Fireside Chat, we hadn’t tried the strategy, and we had no clue if it would fly or flop. We learned that it was an effective way of reaching our audience, and that our email list was a gold mine for finding customers interested in gaining insights. – Emma Siemasko (@EmmaFayeS)
Grasshopper continues to work with Propecta to develop bigger and better inbound projects.
Propecta was extremely open to feedback after the event. We were able to talk candidly about what went well, what didn’t go well, and how we would improve in the future. I felt as though the team was receptive to feedback, and we’re already seeing them put this feedback into practice as we move forward with our next event. – Emma Siemasko (@EmmaFayeS)
It’s very easy to communicate with and work collaboratively with Propecta on projects. They’re comfortable and confident in making as many decisions as we’d like, while remaining receptive to all of our feedback and requests, and integrating them seamlessly into campaigns. – Matt Koulas (@MattKoulas), Senior SEO Specialist
Grasshopper’s Fireside Chat is just one example of how a strategically planned and delicately executed influencer outreach project can create valuable industry connections, generate multiple high-quality, long-standing pieces of content, and improve online presence.