There’s an old expression “The cobbler’s children have no shoes”. Prior to this year, I felt this expression accurately described our own website. This saying sums up how professionals can sometimes fall into the trap of not applying their skills to their own business.
At Stream Creative, it’s our passion to exceed our client’s expectations and too often this comes at the expense of our own marketing efforts. Well, in late 2016 we decided to do something about it. We needed to do a better job treating ourselves as a client.
Since 2013, our website had laid relatively unchanged from a design standpoint. It was time to reimagine our most important marketing asset.
(A portion of our old website - circa 2013)
Beyond simply flexing our creative muscles, we had a couple of challenges that we wanted our new website to address.
CHALLENGE 1: "...HubSpot sites always look templated..."
From time to time, we would hear feedback from our prospect’s stating “HubSpot’s websites all look the same and very templated”.
We flat out disagree with this statement.
We feel HubSpot’s design and development tools allow us the flexibility to achieve any design we want. Our thought was by pushing the envelope of what the HubSpot COS was capable of would directly and proactively address that question.
The new design would also allow us the opportunity in our sales process to showcase how we use HubSpot’s custom modules in our site designs.
CHALLENGE 2: Reinvent our sales process
Second, we wanted to revisit and reinvent certain aspects of our sales process. We wanted to gain more insight into how prospects were interacting with our site and arm our sales team with data and knowledge to help steer sales conversations. More on that in a bit…
As always, our website process starts with wireframes and full-color comps. Our Creative Director scheduled meetings with our management team, just as if this was a normal site buildout with one of our clients.
Throughout the design process we looked at each content area in terms of how we could leverage Custom Modules.
For example, if we wanted typography on a colored background, we also provided our developers additional colors, consistent with our brand, that could be selected to add variety and customization to a content area. This is a very simple example.
Within our custom modules our team can EASILY:
- Adjust the positioning of background elements
- Easily add a video to the background on the homepage
- Swap which side of the screen image and text is displayed
- Change the number of columns a content area occupies
- Simply toggle between background colors, images and textures
- As well as other small enhancements
We believe custom modules allow users an almost unlimited amount of design possibilities, while still adhering to best practices of responsive design.
This directly supports our mission to empower our clients and our internal team, which means their focus can remain on creating new assets rather than struggling with implementing existing ones.
Once the design was approved, our developers started building out the necessary templates. As part of our normal process, we like to create a Styles Page to show the Custom Modules and Classes utilized throughout a site. This helps us (and our clients) keep track of which module is best to use where – and is a great one-stop reference.
(Above is an example of our Styles Page)
Content Staging Tool
With all website redesigns that we develop on HubSpot, we leverage HubSpot’s greatest ‘hidden’ feature: the Content Staging Tool.
We're in love with the Content Staging Tool and we don't care who knows it! <3
Within the Content Staging tool we swapped all of our pages to new templates without interrupting the live site or duplicating any pages. This allows us to complete testing with the confidence of knowing that when the new pages were pushed live we wouldn’t run into any issues.
Also during content staging, our writers were assigned the task of reviewing the site from a content and SEO perspective to see if anything was in need of tweaks and changes. And yes, we had some work to do in that area. But those efforts had a big impact!
Redesign Results: Traffic Up 167%; Leads Up 235%
(A portion of our new website)
Since launching the new site in January, our website has shown a marked improvement. Compared to 1Q 2016 our traffic is up 167% and leads are up 235%. This proves that treating yourself as a client can get you real and measurable results.
Custom Sales Pages Help Close More Leads
With the launch of the new website, we also introduced our new sales page strategy. We developed a new Landing Page template that allowed our sales team to quickly create new (password protected) sales pages for each prospect we were having meaningful discussions with.
Each sales page would include:
- A personalized video introducing ourselves and our process
- Concise messaging and relevant examples on why we were a good fit for their company
- Documentation around the project goals and KPI’s
- Answers to the prospects questions or concerns
- And a few other customizations that would vary from prospect to prospect
This was a great way to showcase our personalities, but also armed our sales team with some key data, which we've outlined below.
(A portion of our new sales pages)
Through integrating the HubSpot Marketing tool, Sales CRM and the Wistia integration we gained the following sales insights prior to our next interaction with prospects:
- Did the prospect view the custom sales page?
- Did the prospect click on the video?
- How much of the video did the prospect watch?
- Did the prospect share the landing page/video with their leadership team?
- Did the prospect review the proposal?
- Which pages in the proposal did they spend the most time on?
- Did the prospect share the proposal?
Using this process has increased our closing rate and decreased the amount of time we're spending during the proposal stage of our sales process.
Launching a new company website can be a daunting task, but with these results I can say ‘ripping off the band-aid’ and getting it done was well worth making the investment in ourselves.
The data speaks for itself, but at the end of the day I think the greatest reward of this project has been having a website our entire team can be proud of and rally around.
So focus on yourself for a change. Lace up your new shoes and get 'er done, or like the cobbler's kids, your feet will continue to be blistered.