Setting up a content marketing model is an intrinsic exercise requiring an honest assessment of the potential value your brand can offer. It takes a careful and thoughtful approach in crafting a messaging platform that is faithful across all segments of the business. It should not only unify your organization around a central idea, but it should also educate and inspire your audience to engage with your brand in a meaningful way. And it should lead to real business results. Ricoh Americas Corporation took just such a leap when they partnered with Weber Shandwick to create WorkIntelligent.ly.
Ricoh had the dual challenge of not only changing the perception of their brand, but also in growing their brand awareness among a difficult to reach B2B audience. Traditionally thought of as a print and imaging company, Ricoh is transitioning to a services-led information company that provides information/document management and workflow solutions like IT services, managed document digitization and optimization, business process services and more. After going through a rigorous research and self-exploration journey that we call the “Incite Process,” Ricoh rallied behind an organization-wide services-led transformation strategy that starts with the vision of “making information work” for their customers.
Ricoh’s goal was to own a sphere of influence that centered on Information Mobility In the New World of Work – an organization’s ability to combine advanced technical architectures and intelligent data management processes while harnessing the power of their changing workforce to drive the movement of information through a business.
In close partnership with Ricoh, Weber Shandwick established an ongoing editorial platform brought to life on WorkIntelligent.ly: a site that helps visitors navigate and understand the New World of Work as it relates to Ricoh’s core business offerings. Utilizing a daily publishing model, WorkIntelligent.ly features a cadre of well-established writers, comprised of former journalists and editors who have worked for leading publications such as Network World, CIO.com, Forbes, Lifehacker, and more. The daily content is supplemented and supported by longer featured pieces from Ricoh’s subject matter experts, adding significant value to the site and reinforcing the company as a thought leader. The site also features other high-value content, including infographics, webinars, and guest posts from key influencers.
Through a thoughtful blend of art and science, Ricoh and Weber Shandwick have been able to establish a team that combines careful attention to editorial integrity with a strong focus on empirically driven results. Creating the content was just the first step – distributing the content while continually optimizing, A/B testing, and refining is an ongoing process. By using the learnings and data from our syndication networks, we gain a deeper understanding of the types of content that truly resonate with our audience. And by taking the time to decipher our syndication results, we can infuse highly-optimized and targeted pieces of content on specific channels, driving down the cost per acquisition and increasing the overall traffic for the same advertising spend.
In just 72 days, we drove more than one million engaged visitors to the site, and in 5 months time, we have been able to bring in more than 3 million engaged visitors. In 6 months, we’ve increased our return readership to more than 23 percent, while increasing overall time on site by 18 percent. And throughout the life of the site, we’ve driven strong influencer results, with WorkIntelligent.ly content being shared by Guy Kawasaki, Jeremiah Owyang, and Kaspersky Labs, to name a few.
The site also serves as a useful resource for Ricoh’s internal audience – sales, lead generation, marketing, who use it as a content tool to engage customers, old and new, in conversations that weren’t previously possible. Using 3rd party data sources and dedicated content and advertising strategies for various stages of the buying journey, Ricoh and Weber Shandwick have been able to link content marketing and a strong editorial strategy to the end-purchase path, in order to drive real business impact for the company.