While the details are sometimes sensitive, the picture painted in the following client success stories is one of quantifiable results.

Integrated online marketing helps John Deere achieve significant growth for MachineFinder.com.

John Deere MachineFinder: Search, Social, and Content


The Challenge

Since 2003, KoMarketing had been working with John Deere MachineFinder.com, a site run by John Deere Ag and Turf Remarketing. Over the following nine years, KoMarketing dramatically improved website optimization, which facilitated a steady growth of website traffic and visibility in search engines and third-party websites. (Read the case study about the initial optimization work.)

Once the preliminary SEO and PPC strategies had been executed, however, the challenge then became: How could KoMarketing expand the portfolio of keyword visibility for MachineFinder and continue to exceed customer expectations?

While MachineFinder was generating considerable traffic, its primary source of content was within equipment listings. The broader market was not necessarily aware of MachineFinder’s connection to John Deere. Therefore, the answer to ongoing success was to focus on content and social media in an effort to tie MachineFinder to the broader John Deere brand and to capture a search presence for MachineFinder related to broader search terms around John Deere, agriculture, and various makes and models of equipment.

This case study details the program implemented over a 24-month period. Program components included content marketing, social media, SEO and PPC with a heavy emphasis in marketing measurement and demand generation.


Program Implementation

In order to bring visibility, links, traffic, and dealer contacts to John Deere MachineFinder, KoMarketing undertook the following initiatives over a 24-month period.

Content marketing strategy

KoMarketing determined that a blog and industry news strategy was essential for communicating with MachineFinder customers and the industry as a whole. Steps taken to drive the content marketing initiative included:

Blog posts: On behalf of MachineFinder, KoMarketing produced 12 – 20 pieces of blog content each month with the goal of increasing brand visibility. Blog post development was defined as follows:

  • Monthly: Identification of keyword trends, opportunities, and targets for improvement
  • Weekly: Assignment of keyword targets for blog post development; identification of social media opportunities and tactics
  • Ongoing: Adjustments based on keyword alerts and client communications

Industry news: KoMarketing officially launched the MachineFinder industry news application in 2009 and, in 2011, accelerated the effort by creating a closer tie to John Deere marketing. Doing so involved producing 12 – 20 industry news articles each month with the goal of increasing brand visibility. Industry news development was defined as follows:

  • Monthly: Identification of events, trends, and announcements around the industry and John Deere
  • Weekly: Identification of news trends in the industry and organization; identification of social media opportunities and tactics
  • Ongoing: Adjustments based on keyword alerts and client communications

Social media strategy

Over the 12-month period, KoMarketing leveraged numerous social media and third-party platforms for the distribution and promotion of blog posts and industry news articles. Specific social media strategy included the following:

  • Facebook: Facebook activity helped to foster fan growth and brand awareness and distribute messaging of industry news, blog posts, and Deere.com-related information. KoMarketing found concise updates with spacing in between lines of information, solitary photos, and full URLs (to instill confidence in destination) had the greatest success on Facebook.
  • Twitter: Twitter activity also helped to support awareness and distribute messaging of industry news, blog posts, and Deere.com-related information. We generated outreach communication to Deere dealers, industry professionals, and other related third party publishers and bloggers.
  • YouTube: KoMarketing leveraged videos from Deere.com and incorporated them into the MachineFinder YouTube channel to build brand awareness and improve overall search visibility for John Deere marketing assets.

Search Engine Optimization strategy

While MachineFinder was steadily generating organic search traffic on account of KoMarketing’s extensive website optimization, KoMarketing determined there was an opportunity to further expand John Deere’s reach in search. Specific initiatives involved the following:

  • Strategic keyword visibility: KoMarketing expanded MachineFinder’s keyword portfolio by driving visibility to pages like John Deere videos, the John Deere Dealer Locator, and various extensions of keyword ideas (i.e., introducing longer-tail keywords that included year and make/model information)
  • Inbound link building strategy: In addition to the social media strategy referenced above, KoMarketing continued to expand MachineFinder’s reach by connecting to John Deere fan sites, agricultural sites, and other publishers related to the agricultural industry (using social media as a mechanism to do so)

Pay Per Click advertising

In addition to the SEO, content marketing, and social media campaigns, KoMarketing executed the PPC campaigns for MachineFinder as one of many components of the overall online marketing program.

The paid search program for the 12-month period focused mostly on generating dealer contact forms and inbound phone calls to dealers through bidding on targeted keywords in Google AdWords and Yahoo/Bing AdCenter.


Results

During the 24-month period, KoMarketing helped MachineFinder establish search traffic and overall site traffic levels at their highest since campaign inception. Results of SEO, content marketing, and social media initiatives were as follows:

Organic search engine traffic

More than 4 million total visits via organic search

  • 28% year over year organic search engine traffic growth 28% for the first 12 months and continued to accelerate to 33% year over year growth in the second year
  • 600,000+ search referrals year over year in year one and averaging +311,000 search referrals per month in year two
  • Organic search drove more than 10,000 dealer contacts via contact forms (at the time KoMarketing was not benchmarking dealer calls, but has since sought to implement a call tracking solution to successfully measure leads via call to dealers listing equipment on MachineFinder)

Strategic keyword visibility

First Page Google search engine results positions for more than half of strategic keyword targets in the Ag & Turf and Construction & Forestry keyword sets for the 24-month period

Inbound link building strategy

More than 5,000 inbound links acquired via the blogging strategy and content marketing strategy, primarily through the MachineFinder blog


Ongoing Success

KoMarketing’s continued success providing MachineFinder with significant growth over the 24-month period led to continued engagement with John Deere.

To date, KoMarketing is executing SEO, content marketing, social media, and pay-per-click campaigns to drive additional growth in the areas of organic search engine traffic, strategic keyword visibility, inbound link building strategy, dealer contacts, and more.

As part of our forward-looking strategy, KoMarketing continues to help the John Deere Ag and Turf Remarketing team evolve their mobile marketing strategy, new site functionality requirements, and further growth in content marketing, social media, and search engine marketing.

“The team @ KoMarketing Associates clearly understands how to effectively utilize all methodologies of search engine marketing and builds powerful programs to achieve outstanding results. The team they have constructed is not only professional but fantastic to work with.”

— Chad Beasley, Vice President at Delivery Agent

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