“It's a thought-leadership publishing vehicle for things that are important to HR professionals and other senior government decision-makers—issues, and topics and trends that Monster has an opinion on,” said Marc Hausman, president-CEO of Strategic Communications Group (see Q&A, page 15).
This January, Monster Government introduced a redesigned version of the Web site. In the first version, content was organized by market segment; in the new iteration, Pierson and her team organized content by topic. At that time, the company also launched radio and online advertising and in-person events to tie-in with the blog. “The blog became much more successful when we integrated it as part of a larger marketing plan that included radio airtime inside the Beltway,” Pierson said.
Unleash the Monster's traffic has grown significantly since its debut.
Between August and March, the number of visitors to the blog increased 175%, page views jumped 204% and page views per visit rose 11%, Pierson said. The January relaunch and subsequent promotional push had a significant impact: The number of visitors increased 318%, page views were up 408% and page views per visit climbed 22% between January and March, she said. Plus, Pierson and her team can identify more than 80 government agencies and education institutions that have visited Unleash the Monster.
Partnering with sales representatives has been key to the Web site's success, she said. “Something like this is not effective at all if sales is not involved, because they need to be engaged, they need to support it and they need to see results from it,” she said.
It took time to get buy-in from the sales reps she said, but they are now on board—especially when the marketing team can show them which customers have been reading the blog, Pierson said. “When we're looking at our metrics and we're able to report on a specific agency that has been back several times, the rep servicing that agency is impressed and can say, "Hey, I sent them that article,' ” she said.
Pierson's goal is continual readership—an important indicator because Monster Government's sales cycles can be 18 to 24 months. “So it's nearly impossible for me to show that someone read an article and within a month they bought from us, because that's not how the buying patterns work,” she said. “If we get an agency engaged and they keep connected with the blog and tracking with Monster for 12 months and then they buy something, we know that was a successful marketing tactic.”