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“Your Business + Agencies” Series: Long-Term Growth as an SMB

Published: July 25, 2018

Author: Madeline Fitzgerald

During this 3Q Accelerate Week, we are breaking down the relationship between your business and digital marketing agencies, and how to navigate it successfully from start to finish.

For the second day in the series, we’re thinking about how SMBs can grow beyond SEM and Facebook. We highlight a few successes we’ve driven for high-growth companies, and who’s the best fit for these tactics.
When it comes to acquiring new customers via digital marketing, running ads on Google Ads and Facebook is only the half of it. To maximize your ROI, you need to make sure the entire user experience is optimized and you’re reaching users across every stage of the conversion funnel. But as a startup or SMB, how do you isolate the most appropriate next steps for growth? It’s hard to know what would be most helpful, and what you can really hope to get out of a new service or channel. That’s the benefit of a full-service digital agency, who can not only offer all these services but guide you to understand which ones would be the best fit for your business’s needs.
Below are a few examples of how we’ve been able to drive growth for 3Q Accelerate clients, leveraging services and platforms that are new to these companies.


Case Study: A B2B SaaS company wanted help scaling their paid search investment, but they knew that they were working against themselves: their website faced a variety of technical site health issues, creating friction for their site visitors. Additionally, their space is particularly competitive, and they needed to improve their organic visibility in conjunction with their paid ads in order to appear as a trusted thought leader. By working with the 3Q SEO team to address both site health and metadata optimizations, they have been able to achieve the following results:

  • Traffic was up +24% for the two pages that drive most on-site conversions (Q1 2017 vs. Q1 2018).
  • In the first half of 2018, overall organic traffic to the site was up +16% YoY.
  • There has been a general upward trend in SEO visibility, a metric that encompasses ranking, CTR, and search volume. Increasing this maximizes the client’s ability to obtain qualified traffic from users in organic search.

Adding SEO made a lot of sense for this client for several reasons: competitiveness of their vertical; a target audience that’s looking to research their offering and is heavily invested in content consumption; and poor site health, adding friction to users’ interactions (and wasting a lot of click spend on SEM).


Case Study: An eCommerce company targeting young parents was seeing consistent paid media performance but wasn’t sure if their on-site experience was clearly communicating the value they bring to a very saturated market filled with highly traditional competitors. They engaged with the 3Q CRO team in order to test site changes in a data-driven way. We understood that parents are balancing a lot of needs when purchasing products for their kids – safety, convenience, ethical development, longevity/value. 3Q recommended a test variation of the landing page that outlined each core value prop with an icon, making each benefit explicit and immediately obvious. This test resulted in an 11% lift in conversions and 15% increase in revenue, at a 96% confidence level.
CRO was a great fit for this client because their model breaks from tradition: most competitors are sold in big-box retailers. Going up against very established brand names, while trying to change where and how a user shops for these particular products, meant facing some uncharted waters. Getting the user experience right on the site and learning what activates their particular audience is key to making the most of the traffic they’re driving with paid.

New Media Channels

Case Study: An online education company wanted to focus on achieving incremental growth by acquiring new customers – while maintaining strict acquisition goals. While we drove significant improvements on core channels like Google and Facebook, those audiences were slowly but surely fatiguing over time. To expand the brand’s footprint, we launched several new channels over the course of the year, including Twitter, YouTube, GDN, Taboola, Snapchat, Reddit, Instagram, Yahoo, and Quora.

  • With ongoing testing led by 3Q, YouTube rose from a little-used awareness placement to the client’s 3rd-top spending channel (behind Google Search and Facebook)
  • 3Q emphasized competitive differentiation by testing emerging channels – this client was the 10th advertiser on Quora’s platform, reaching audiences before competitors did in order to establish thought leadership and name recognition
  • Upon entering 2018, traffic on the client’s branded exact-match keyword was up over 100% YoY, showing that the brand was gaining more traction in the marketplace by generating new demand across a wide variety of platforms

Expansion beyond the standard of Google search and Facebook was the right fit for this company because of where they are in their growth – as a company, they were definitely not new to digital marketing, but still had a high-growth approach. Facing high competition and audience saturation on traditional platforms, the client needed continuous testing of new channels and placements to achieve their growth goals.
More than any one tactic, the key to sustained growth over time is finding what other services, strategies, platforms, and channels you haven’t tapped into yet. A full-funnel agency can help you navigate which is the best fit for you based on your competitive situation and growth goals, and guide you to long-term success by continuously pushing the needle on your digital program.

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