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SEO + Content Marketing

America's Relationship with Subscription Services

How DTC used content marketing to increase organic traffic

 - 32% increase in organic traffic

 - Front page feature of USA Today’s Money Section (PRINT)

 - 88 media placements

DTC + Waterstone

Waterstone is a boutique management consulting firm based in Chicago and San Francisco, working exclusively with executives and investors in the technology industry.

Beginning in 2017, Waterstone partnered with DTC in pursuit of three primary goals: to successfully launch a rebuilt and rebranded website, to increase organic traffic, and to evolve Waterstone’s on-site content strategy to compel customer engagement.

Objective

Waterstone’s traditional target audience is executives and investors involved with tech firms.

Our objective with this campaign was to earn linked media placements from high-authority websites, in order to increase organic traffic to Waterstone’s website. 

Challenges

With this particular strategy, the challenge is two-fold: One, we must identify a subject that’s tangentially related to Waterstone’s work, without shining light on Waterstone itself, which would make our content explicitly promotional. 

Two, we must treat our subject in a way that is fresh, compelling, and capable of cutting through the noise of countless competing stories and entities, to be featured in some of the most sought after digital publications in the world.

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Strategy

For this campaign, we chose to explore the relationship average American consumers have with dozens of subscription services that have emerged in recent years. Specifically, we wanted to know with which services Americans are most and least satisfied, on which they are most and least dependent, and finally, how acutely aware these consumers are of their monthly subscription expenses. 

The most novel approach to this research came at the beginning of our survey, which was taken online by 2,500 Americans. To give the story a fair shake, we needed respondents to answer the same spending question three times, each in a different state of mind. In order to do this, we siloed the first two instances and gave detailed prompts about how quickly respondents should answer and how carefully they should think. Later, we ushered respondents through an exhaustive inventory of their monthly expenses, to complete the three-part inquiry. As a result, we were able to elicit more spontaneous and candid answers than is typical for such surveys, which ended up producing some of the most compelling data in our study.

Results

In just 23 hours, spread over three months, our outreach team pitched Waterstone’s content to 2,023 individuals and earned 88 linked media placements.

Highlight placements include USA Today, Forbes, CNBC (four times), NBC News (two times), The New York Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and more than a dozen local news affiliates of CBS, ABC and FOX. 

Eighteen percent of placements for this campaign met the criteria of being high-authority (domain authority of 80 or greater).

The campaign not only demonstrated remarkable prowess in digital media, it also earned a feature in print, on the front page of USA Today’s Money section, on September 11th, 2018.

During the second two quarters of 2018, Waterstone’s organic traffic rose 32 percent.