Social Plays Key Role in Filling the Sales Pipeline for Bold New Employer Benefit Offering
- Student Loan Genius Credits 50% of Leads Resulting in Closed Deals and at least 75% of their Q2 sales funnel to inbound marketing and SocialMatterz engagements.
- Single SocialMatterz Twitter contact results in $24,000 sale, closed in weeks.
“I’m a believer that social engagement moves the world. I’m talking about more than just broadcasting out content. To be effective, we need to engage influencers in real conversations. I believe that these are the same types of conversations we were having in coffee shops, nail salons and barber shops—these are the conversations that are now happening online. Where we can monetize those and keep them alive for a company, there’s a lot of room for an enterprise to grow. The key is making sure that those conversations involve the right people and end up in the right hands.”—Jovan Hackley, Director of Marketing & PR for Student Loan Genius
Founded in 2013, Student Loan Genius empowers companies to help employees find relief from student loan debt while amping up their recruiting and retention efforts. Capitalizing on the growing trend of investing in employee financial wellness, companies can offer expert student loan counseling and student loan repayment and 401k contribution programs through Student Loan Genius. The company’s major goal is to partner with employers and institutions to help directly address America’s $1.3 Trillion dollar student debt problem that’s expected to double by 2024. Today, 70% of college graduates face student loans and the 89% of job seekers with debt that feel student loan payment assistance should be offered as part of a benefits package—with 10% actually ranking this benefit higher than paid vacation.
After making national headlines at the first White House Demo Day and scoring meetings President Obama, senators, and some of the country’s leading social impact VC’s, Student Loan Genius wrapped up the Summer of 2015 with a huge opportunity. With fresh funding and a “Genius” idea, it was time to fill the sales pipeline with the deals that would help cement its status as a market leader and inventor of the only complete student loan benefit. Jovan Hackley, Marketing Director for Student Loan Genius, knew the challenges ahead. “I was a one man marketing band when we first started,” he stated. “We wanted to kickoff a content-focused, inbound marketing operation that drove real conversations. To me, social was the first and best choice to achieve that goal with our lean budget.”
“I’ve always been a believer that social engagement moves the world,” Hackley continued. “I’m talking about more than just broadcasting content. To be effective, we need to engage real influencers in a real conversation. I believe that what was once happening in coffee shops, at PTA meetings, nail salons and happy hours is now also happening online, and ultimately driving behavior. When we can monetize and keep those conversations alive for a company, there’s a lot of room for an enterprise to grow. The key is to make sure that a conversation ends up in the right hands and involves the right people.”
The SocialMatterz Difference
“I was looking to drive expert social engagement on a lean startup budget,” Hackley said. “A colleague recommended Social Matterz and we set up a 1 month test. It went really, really well and we’ve been using it continuously since. SocialMatterz is critical, because it fuels social engagement that’s organic, human and ultimately focused on putting our content in the right hands. That’s what SocialMatterz does for us. They work with me to understand the mission, understand the goal, understand the content and drive engagement, not just reach.”
Hackley uses an intuitive SocialMatterz dashboard to receive daily updates that include personal contacts of potential new customers, what happened during the conversation and recommendations on next steps. He reviews the Student Loan Genius content program with SocialMatterz monthly and conducts a strategic review every 5-6 months.
Today, Hackley attributes 96% of Student Loan Genius summer 2016 conversions and at least 75% of that quarter’s sales funnel to inbound marketing. He credits SocialMatterz as a large driver of that success.
He shared a specific example to show just how powerful an impact SocialMatterz can have on an inbound marketing effort. “We provided a piece of content we developed to SocialMatterz, titled: ‘5 Things You Should Know about Student Loan Benefits,’” explained Hackley. “SocialMatterz was monitoring a Twitter chat about alternative types of HR benefits. A real-live person from SocialMatterz participated in that conversation and said, ‘Hey, look at this post if you’re interested in this subject.’ That caught the attention of someone who employs medical professionals in Washington, DC. That became a client last February and recently renewed with us. This was a direct result of the awareness that was created through the social interaction.”
“The revenue impact of this relationship was around $20,000,” he continued. “For a start-up with 6-7 employees, this was a pretty big deal. The client was already educated and ready to do business when they contacted us. That made it an easier, shorter sales cycle—a little more than 2 weeks to close the deal. Even better, they agreed to help us test and offered feedback on a few unreleased features. One of our most profitable early relationships started from a conversation on Twitter.”
Through SocialMatterz, Student Loan Genius has engaged reporters and bloggers, and built new partner relationships.
“In the future, I would like to put more even content into SocialMatterz and raise the sophistication of our level of engagement and what we’re learning,” shared Hackley. “Our goal is to start deeper conversations with those who want to offer student loan help and use more dynamic content to do it. SocialMatterz is a key part of our plan.“