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Energy Provider Constellation Sees 419% Organic Traffic Increase + Other Positive KPIs

Constellation is a leading competitive supplier of power, natural gas, renewable energy and energy management products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States.  An Exelon company, it provides integrated solutions for strategically managing, purchasing and using energy, including renewable energy.

More than 100,000 commercial, industrial, public sector, government and institutional customers, including two-thirds of the Fortune 100, and more than 1 million residential customers, rely on Constellation to provide them with energy options and insights.

GOALS

Constellation wanted to increase customer education and loyalty among its commercial and industrial business customers, as well as boost engagement and build brand awareness. It planned to achieve these goals with a robust content marketing strategy that included expanding the reach, publishing frequency and topics covered in its Energy4Business blog.

Constellation had been posting three to four times per month on its existing Energy4Business blog since May 2011, but engagement was lagging; viewership had decreased by 19 percent, and unique visitors were down by 23 percent.

Content marketing statistics show companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month double the number of organic traffic they receive, so it was clear Constellation would need to blog more frequently to achieve its goals.

It also wanted to improve customer engagement through emails, which included customer satisfaction surveys, newsletters and emails from account managers.

CHALLENGES

One of its challenges in achieving these goals was creating content that was more customer-centric and tailored to meet the needs of various types of energy buyers. Energy buyers’ needs also vary by location, as regional factors such as weather impact energy prices.

Constellation needed to call attention to its wide array of energy management products and services to both current and potential buyers without focusing too heavily on promotion.

Another significant challenge was coordinating with Constellation’s leadership team—which included business development managers from each of Constellation’s five regions—to create compelling content in a timely manner.

This was made more difficult by the need to secure final approval of all content from Constellation’s legal team, a concern for any large corporation.

RELATIONSHIP

Constellation and Kuno first began working together in early 2014 for a marketing operations project. The inbound marketing and content relationship began in earnest in mid-2014. 

As the relationship grew, Constellation and Kuno identified the primary motivations, goals and concerns of each type of energy buyer and developed an editorial calendar with specific content tailored to their individual needs.

Beginning in May, Constellation began ramping up its blogging efforts, with the ultimate goal of doubling its content to eight posts per month.

In addition, it developed more targeted regional newsletters and segmented emails to improve open rates, while testing various webinar, survey and event announcements to improve customer email engagement.

Bringing Kuno in to assist with content production through a comprehensive buyer insights process, while relying on Kuno to manage, assist or train users on many of the HubSpot marketing operations, made the following results possible to achieve.

RESULTS

From a high level, the combination of email marketing, blogging and content allowed a new style of engagement for its commercial and industrial business customers. Constellation not only converted over 2,097 individual business contacts on their content-centric properties, but also generated nearly as many new contacts (1,748) that were not in their database to begin with.

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In addition, more contacts are converting multiple times as time goes by, with 1135 contacts having more than one unique form submission in the last year.

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From a tactical perspective, Constellation was posting 8-10 times per month and saw a 419 percent increase in organic traffic. The Energy4Business Blog, using HubSpot RSS subscriptions, picked up more than 300 subscribers in a single month, an 82 percent increase. Since then, the blog has moved to HubSpot and has grown to 688 subscribers, most of which were generated organically.

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In addition to content, Constellation’s email engagement significantly improved since moving to HubSpot:

  • Email deliverability increased by 3 percent
  • Open rates increased by 5 percent
  • Email unsubscribes decreased by 42 percent

The improved email engagement has increased customer feedback survey response, achieving the response-rate goal weeks before anticipated.

With the increased email engagement and content infrastructure, Constellation also moved beyond simple blog subscriptions to a more organized resource center. At the start of the blogging and content project, only two dozen of the companies Constellation provided service had representatives engaged with its content. As of July 2015, 3385 business contacts at 305 companies have signed up to receive blog and content resource related emails, a nearly 940 percent increase.

Constellation continues to build its customer engagement, loyalty and brand awareness in 2015, with goals that include increasing its audience by 25 percent, increasing blog subscribers by 75 percent, improving email engagement metrics and increasing site traffic. As of July 2015, Constellation was on pace to exceed those goals. Its content creation efforts and distribution strategy will be integral to its future success.