Commercial Funding Inc. recently rebranded the company and, to support the rebranding, determined that a new website was necessary. Timing of the project was critical, as the launch of the new site had to coincide with the whole renaming and rebranding effort.
Given the small size of the marketing team, Commercial Funding knew they needed help to design and build something that would achieve the goals and aggressive timeline. They contacted Knowmad because of Knowmad’s local reputation and their experience with the HubSpot platform.
The project objectives were to design and build a website, on the HubSpot platform, that would:
- Showcase the company’s broad service offerings
- Represent the various industries and audiences we serve
- Capture prospects and leads - both direct customers and referral partners
- Nurture leads
- Grow with the company
While a previous website existed, the brand was in process of being re-envisioned. This meant a lot of flexibility was needed as the vision of the new brand was developed. The project needed to move forward independent of the brand development. When the brand was defined, it needed to be integrated into the User Experience - after interaction planning but before the aesthetic design phase. Timing was key, as were the deliverables from the brand design team.
Content was another challenge. The company had changed a lot from the time the previous website was built. Services had changed, its market positioning had been revised and even the imagery wasn’t a fit with the new vision. This meant that reusing content wasn’t an option. It all needed to be rethought, interviews needed to be held and research for imagery needed to be completed. In addition, the content needed to speak to two audiences - both direct customers and referral partners - and we needed to integrate an existing client portal.
The previous website produced few low quality leads, which meant we needed to rethink how visitors interacted with the website and how they became sales leads. Market research needed to be done to discover how to best convert visitors into sale leads at the right time and in the right way.
While discussing the project potential with the client, we discovered an opportunity to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) during the content creation and design process - something we often like to do. The client had some idea of keywords but the information was dated. A revised strategy was needed to support the current offerings and competitive landscape.
Market/Competitive Research & SEO Strategy
We began with competitive research. Reviewing other websites in the industry and search volume data, we had ideas related to offers for the target audience, persuasion techniques, content ideas and keywords to target for search. This information informed the rest of the project. We built a keyword strategy, mapped those keywords to proposed pages, designed a site structure and content outlines that supported the SEO strategy.
Telling a Story with Navigation
Sitemap & Structure
We’re fans of storytelling through navigation, so in addition to incorporating key phrases in the content and web pages, we designed the navigation to tell the story of Commercial Funding - what the company offers, who they serve and how to get started - and the SEO strategy. We recognized a need to understand how Invoice Factoring works so an education center was included. This was designed to help both the end client and the SEO strategy.
Capturing the Voice & Designing Content
“We began completely afresh – writing all new copy for the site, creating all new content, sourcing new photography, and building CTAs and forms. Knowmad worked diligently with us to achieve just the right tone and voice, not only in copy, but in imagery. We feel that the site is highly representative of our company culture and the clients we serve. That was imperative in our highly-fragmented and competitive industry.” - Julie Murphy, VP of Marketing
Overall, Commercial Funding wanted to alter their messaging to use more accessible language, while also taking the site imagery away from banking executives and more toward active, hands-on executives. As Murphy of CF commented, “Our client base consists of the owners who are not sitting behind a desk all day- they’re behind the wheel of the tractor trailer or hauling rock sand in the field. ” Changing the imagery, and therefore a large portion of the tone, was a necessary change to properly reflect their customers and their company.
The idea of Commercial Funding as an AR Financing company that serves the present need for cash flow is a key message and differentiating factor, which led to it becoming the inspiration for a lot of the site’s imagery, language and calls-to-action.
Planning Wireframes, Interactions & Persuasion
Since we were working on an aggressive timeline and couldn’t go directly to aesthetic design, detailed wireframes were used to communicate the content design and interactions.
Bringing the Idea to Life
Once we received the branding information, we created a style tile to define the design elements. Then, the designs were rendered in Illustrator to demonstrate the desktop and mobile experience.
Once the style and the actual page designs were agreed upon, development began in the HubSpot COS.
Forms were designed to support the content and user, using just enough fields to gather information needed by Commercial Fund and encourage form completion.
Calls to Action (CTAs)
CTAs were implemented throughout the site to pull readers into other content sections and encourage conversions. Using CTAs for content makes it easier to track how well the call-to-action to another area of the site works.
Templates for Landing Pages in the HubSpot COS were created to make it easy for the marketing team to quickly launch offers and support email marketing.
A blog area was created to make publishing content easy. Blog tool was used for both News and Careers to make updating easy. The HubSpot COS makes it easy to manage multiple blogs.
Persuasive Content Elements
Differentiators were included in the design to help buyers easily see how Commercial Fund differs from competitors.
We also wanted to make it easy for prospects to understand how the process of Invoice Factoring works and how easy it is so we created a 3-step process to illustrate.
Email & Newsletter Design
Finally, a variety of email templates were created to support the marketing and sales teams. These ranged from the traditional newsletter to sales emails.
“While the site has only been live for three months, we’ve seen an 80% increase in the number of incoming leads (average per month). We attribute this to a number of reasons: enhanced site navigability, ease of submission, improved information relevance.” - Julie Murphy, VP of Marketing
- 80% Increase in Leads
- Organic Search traffic increased by 33%
- Total page views increased by 358.7%
- Overall bounce rate decreased by 49.28%
“We are already growing the site. The Spanish version is in development and our first three blog posts are in production. At this point, growth is simply hampered by our internal ability to create and approve new content.
Knowmad continues to serve as a resource as we develop and implement our digital marketing strategy and build on the Inbound methodology.”
- Julie Murphy, VP of Marketing