Verblio Customer Spotlight: Dove Way, Maine

This is Samantha Masabny and her husband Robert.

 

man-and-woman-stand-on-porch-smiling-and-embracing(Photo courtesy of Sam Masabny)

They’re Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) customers for their business, a positively picturesque luxury vacation home in Norway, Maine called Dove Way. Between mountain views and lakeside proximity, it’s tough to beat, and practically breathes Instagram-worthy shots.

I mean…

 

blue-house-white-trim-in-maine(Photo courtesy of Sam Masabny)

 

But Dove Way is a prime example of the perfect business that no one would know about (not even Google!) without strategic, thought-out marketing. And yes, that includes blogging.

Good thing Sam knows what she’s doing.

Before we dive in, here are the highlights so far since Dove Way’s been working with Verblio:

  • In the first month of blogging, Dove Way created 15.5x more traffic than the month prior
  • By the second month of blogging, Dove Way had created 3.5x more traffic than the previous best month EVER in the lifetime of the website
  • Since the second month of blogging, Dove Way’s conversion-to-customer rate is trending upward
  • One post garnered over 268 visits to the website in a 24-hr period and 2,600 views on Facebook

So how does Dove Way do it?

Dove Way’s Marketing Strategy

Here’s Sam. She’s the marketing brains behind the operation.

 

woman-with-curly-brown-hair-green-statement-necklace-smiling(Photo courtesy of Sam Masabny)

As a customer success manager at HubSpot, she lives and breathes marketing and helping customers’ businesses flourish—whether they’re small businesses or enterprise-level corporations. So she knows a thing or two about successful campaigns and how they look and sound at any stage or size.

Once she and her husband Rob’s goal to own their dream vacation home became a reality last year, the rubber hit the road and the couple got to work. Once the house was renovated and ready for visitors and the website was primed and running on HubSpot, Dove Way had effectively opened its doors to Maine tourists.

Blogging As Brand-Building

The Masabnys made the decision to bypass the VRBOs and Airbnbs of the world and build a concept and brand all their own on a standalone website—a tall order.

This put Dove Way in the same position as countless other local businesses, wondering how best to build awareness for their services and get their voices heard without a natural amplifying platform.

Because of this, Sam consciously crafted the business’s image and story from day one and knew that blogging was a significant component of that development in the modern marketplace:

“I knew that to be different, informative, and dynamic, blogging was a no-brainer to rank in tandem with Airbnb and VRBO without posting on those sites.”

Much of their success lies in staying hyper-focused on the brand and how it speaks to the audience’s needs.

According to Sam, “the value to me is not just in the bookings [of the home], but making a name and building a brand through content…The way I’ve always thought about it is to not think about myself but to think about others. [Verblio] was the lighter fluid I needed to begin the process of defining my company voice. It not only got me traction online, but in person, in the community.”

To effectively start conversations, both on social media platforms and in-real-life social situations is an indicator of marketing done well.

Blogging As SEO Juice, But Social Juice In The Meantime

Check out the numbers:

 

bar-graphs-dove-way-blog-traffic-over-time

(Photo courtesy of Sam Masabny)

Pretty enviable as a new business, wouldn’t you say?

You’ll notice that in the first month of blogging, November 2016 (fourth bar from the right), Dove Way created 15.5x more traffic than the month prior, and by the second month of blogging, December 2016, Dove Way had created 3.5x more traffic than the previous best month EVER in the lifetime of the website. But she’s not stuck on this stuff, as she says, “metrics should come later in the game.”

You’ll also notice that most of this traffic was not generated organically, but rather through social media (the teal portion of each bar). Sam knew that armed with her new blog content, Dove Way’s social media channels would be the main driver of traffic until search engines like Google would begin to archive and crawl her content.

With this knowledge, she prepped a robust, aggressive social media strategy to hold down the fort while the more long-term SEO benefits kicked in (most SEO firms say it takes 4-6 months to start seeing results).

What’s her social media strategy secret?

In terms of social strategy, I’m always four steps ahead. I’m quoting someone, I’m retweeting neighboring businesses, coming up with (it might sound bad) a page of calculated FAQs of common questions my audience is asking—both my current audience and my goal audience.

In other words, she’s following businesses in the area, building relationships over Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and driving as much engagement as she can. Authentic engagement.

 

This engagement is even spilling over into her in-person interactions with the community. As an outsider to the community of Norway, Maine before purchasing the property, she used social media and Dove Way’s blog as the bridge from her Boston area home to connect with and discover what the community had to offer. And now when she comes into town, small business owners frequently comment on a recent blog post, thank her for featuring their business in a social media post, or even applaud her for helping put little Norway, Maine on the digital map!

Her top-performing blog post to date, called “An Insider’s Guide to Norway, Maine” garnered over 268 visits to their website in a 24-hr period and 2,600 views on Facebook, as well as caught the attention of the local chamber of commerce. Sam says many of her conversations center around this piece, which has been a huge game-changer, due to the expertise of her favorite writer with local know-how, a relatively new Verblio writer.

Verblio As Dove Way’s Content Partner

Which brings us to the end…how the heck she does it.

At the end of the day, even though Sam does so much, she laments “the thing I don’t have is time.” Luckily this catalyst for change, this pain point, which plagues nearly every small business has an easy, cost-effective solution: outsourced blog writing. She turned to Verblio, longtime HubSpot partner and integration partner, as her first try at outsourced content services, and quickly found her solution.

“The time to value was immediate for me…[Verblio] not only gets the content done, but it cuts down on the getting-to-know-you time to bring writers in on your brand. You can control the content and the quality of that content.”

By relying on Verblio writers to pitch localized topics and fulfill her strategic topics filling her editorial calendar (download your own below), she can focus on growing the business in other ways—namely, through social media engagements, local partnerships with small businesses, and managing all the booking requests piling in as a result.

Interested to hear more Verblio customer spotlight stories? Check ’em out here.

 

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Kali Greff

I write and market (yes, verb) at Verblio. Whether that's a blog post, email subject line, social media update, or a lousy author bio like this one, if you've been around Verblio you've likely seen some letters I threw together. I love helping get the word out about Verblio to get all sorts of folks good content to market themselves. Apart from Verblio, I'm really passionate about puns, foreign languages, Colorado at large, staying active, and leprechauns.

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