Influencer Marketing Delivers Dramatic Results for Leading International Business Listing Service

BFS_logo.pngBusinessesForSale.com is a leading international listing service for buying and selling businesses, as well as hiring business brokers, lawyers, and accountants to assist in that kind of transaction.

Overview and Challenge

The company is based in the UK and already has a strong foothold there as a leader in the industry, but they are working hard to grow that reputation throughout the United States as well. They’re in a highly competitive industry with several other websites offering similar services and some highly competitive content marketing efforts.

To help overcome those challenges, BusinessesForSale.com partnered with SPROUT Content on an aggressive influencer marketing campaign focused on establishing the company as a thought leader and authority on the subject of buying and selling a small business, in the U.S. market.

All Business, Your Small Business Advantage

“The way SEO has changed,” explained Rufus Bazley, Marketing Director at Dynamis, Ltd., parent company of BusinessesForSale.com, “the different signals that get people recognizing you as an authority… that’s what really drew us to influencer marketing. We needed to get out in front of our target market in a more organic way than just SEM or display ads on other sites.”

As to why the company went with SPROUT Content for help in this area, Rufus said, “We’d already been working with SPROUT [Content] for a number of years on our ongoing content strategy, and I knew Debbie and Dechay (SPROUT Content co-founders Debbie Williams and Dechay Watts) had a background in PR, so it was a natural fit.”

How SPROUT Content helped

After discussing the client’s needs and goals, the SPROUT Content team undertook thorough research into their target audience - primarily micro- and small-business owners and entrepreneurs - to discover where those individuals went online for trusted information and where they interacted socially.

“We wanted to seek out our key revenue sources - business owners looking to sell and entrepreneurs looking to buy a business - as well as the content producers and online hubs where they were most comfortable, and interact with them socially with an eventual goal of collaborating on content,” Rufus explains.

To accomplish this, SPROUT Content focused heavily on BusinessesForSale.com’s Twitter account which was popular and active already, but required some TLC. After auditing the account and removing hundreds of inactive or unproductive connections, we used a robust influencer research tool to drill down in search of individuals and organizations to connect with that were likely to yield beneficial relationships.

Over the course of several months, we reached out to numerous influential bloggers, popular columnists, business brokers, and publications to familiarize them with BusinessesForSale.com’s service and their expertise. Then, once relationships had been established and value had been gained on both sides, we made formal pitches to the most appropriate blogs and publications, offering to collaborate on content, that we would produce, that would be made available to their audience.

The results were truly staggering.

25% growth in traffic in just 6 months

25% growth in traffic in just 6 months

Although BusinessesForSale.com already enjoyed a healthy traffic volume prior to beginning this campaign, they netted thousands of additional targeted visitors as a direct result of SPROUT’s influencer marketing efforts.

20% increase in unique visitors

Perhaps even more telling is the fact that the number of unique visitors (or Users in Google Analytics terminology) rose by a full 20%, so that solid increase in traffic was not indicative of a small number of repeat visitors returning over and over again, but rather of thousands of new individuals expressing an interest in the company and its services.

In addition to the exciting growth, BusinessesForSale.com’s goal is to help and educate small business owners, or would-be small business owners by extending their reach. Through their educational articles, they promote underrepresented small businesses and help them to make big decisions. They position themselves as a thought leader among entrepreneurs and a protector of small business.

15 new content collaboration partners

Over the course of the campaign so far, they have collaborated with 15 different influential content producers, some very large and broad-ranging, others more focused and targeted.

One blogger website in particular, Blogtrepreneur.com, has begun a unique collaboration with BusinessesForSale.com. After accepting a guest post for their site, Blogtrepreneur.com contributor Greg Nunan, also a successful entrepreneur, approached SPROUT Content with a request to write guest articles for BusinessesForSale.com. This has led to a mutually beneficial collaboration between sites.

Adam Turnbull, Head of Content Dynamis, Ltd. (parent company of BusinessesForSale.com) says this about co-producing content with this site:

"A large part of collaborating with Blogtrepreneur.com is sharing the additional audience and him [Greg] having the specialist knowledge. Not only is it good business sense but it's also a sense of responsibility to deliver the right information to our visitors, that's one of the reasons the relationship has grown.

"Greg’'s been really good to deal with. The quality of the content he's delivered has been superb. We see it as being something quite long-term. With Greg, you get the best of both: great content and great to deal with and that's the Shangri-La for us."

Organic sharing of guest posts on social media

Articles posted on Blogtrepreneur.com and a few other premium business sites has led to small business owners, entrepreneurs and others sharing this content organically across social media.

Tweet @BizForSaleUS Social sharing report on top guest posts

“Influencer marketing has helped us reach those highly targeted markets with high-quality, effective content from a source they already know and trust,” Rufus stated, “I don’t foresee slowing down the influencer marketing program any time soon because the ROI is evident.”

BusinessesForSale.com has since increased their investment in influencer marketing, expanding the effort to accelerate growth.

If you’d like more information about how Influencer Marketing can impact your business,

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