Leighton Broadcasting: We Inbounded Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing, Client Stories

Media in the United States has undergone an impressive transformation in the past six decades. During that time, media, marketing, and advertising verticals experienced more change and upheaval than the industry had seen since the introduction of the printing press. In 1975, owner and founder of Leighton Broadcasting, Al Leighton, brought the first Top-40 radio station to the St. Cloud, Minnesota area and one of their stations, KCLD, remains a legend in the Upper Midwest today. And, the heritage doesn’t stop there.


Radio Revolution

As the digital revolution continues to challenge traditional marketing and advertising ideas, Leighton Broadcasting retains its status as an innovative force in the market. At first glance, their name would suggest they are solely interested in broadcasting. But, they’re much more than radio. In fact, Leighton Broadcasting falls under the umbrella of Leighton Enterprises, who owns a number of sister companies allowing them to provide full-service marketing, events, promotions, and interactive products to companies throughout (and beyond) their coverage area. Those sister companies include:

With all of these companies included in the fold, working with Leighton Broadcasting provides a comprehensive approach to marketing, advertising, branding, and promoting. A few years ago, two of these companies decided to collaborate their efforts. The results are nontraditional, and their tactics are rock solid.

Leveraging the Sisterhood 

Leighton Broadcasting started inbound marketing with us in April of 2015. Our initial efforts only focused on the St. Cloud market, since it's their largest coverage area. As a traditional outbound marketing company in the radio industry, Leighton Broadcasting is now a pioneer in the inbound marketing world. From inception, it was clear the team knew what inbound could do for their brand. Not only did Leighton Broadcasting understand how the advertising buyer’s preference and habits changed, they knew the role of the media salesperson had to change too. The brand was ready to shift its mentality. 

We wanted to implement an inbound marketing initiative to aid their outside sales force in bringing in new business. Their traditional strategy had sales reps (referred to as Account Executives) working with existing advertisers to upsell new products, services, and radio stations to existing clients, as well as cold calling local businesses to demonstrate how radio advertising can work for them.

Their website lacked any sort of valuable content for prospects and clients to consume for more education about radio advertising, even though the company had a great deal of expertise and knowledge to share. This was a huge opportunity for Leighton Broadcasting to fill a much-needed information gap in the industry: Why radio? Does it work? How do I do it right? Their prospects were asking those questions, but there wasn't much online to give well-researched or detailed answers. Enter Leighton Interactive.New Leighton Broadcasting Resources Webpage

A Rundown of the Results 

With our inbound marketing campaign, we started to regularly blog about topics their personas were yearning to learn about and provide downloadable resources to back up what they're reading online and hearing from their AE.

Inbound marketing allows Leighton Broadcasting to speak to their clients and prospects outside of a sales call from their rep. It puts the power in the hands of prospects to learn about radio on their own terms and at their own speed.

Copy of LIME Manufacturing #7

Since starting inbound, their website views have grown 167 percent.

Leighton Broadcasting Website View Growth 2015-2018  
Their blog views have grown 912 percent in that same timeframe. In three years’ time, this content is getting ten times as much visibility. And, keywords are the contributing factor to this growth. Serving the right content to the right audience at the right time has been critical to the success of Leighton Broadcasting’s strategy. 

Traffic Growth for Leighton Broadcasting 

Blog Views 2015 - 2016 2017-2018
Organic 837 25,188
Social 922 1,964
Referral 1,050 1,026
Email 343 1,032
Direct 523 6,855
TOTAL 3,675 37,184


Leighton Broadcasting Blog Growth 2015-2018

Organic Traffic Growth for Leighton Broadcasting's blog

According to Google, the blog for Leighton Broadcasting is generating and ranking for non-branded keywords. These are defined as terms that do not reference a brand name or any part of it (in this case Leighton Broadcasting). Since non-branded keywords account for a major source of web traffic, here’s the impact they are having:

Leighton Broadcasting the Power of SEO
  • Ranking in the Top 10 for 554 non-branded keywords.
  • Receiving traffic back to the site from for 418 of these Top 10 non-branded keywords.
  • Ranking in the Top 50 for 801 non-branded keywords.
  • Receiving traffic back to the site for 524 of these Top 50 non-branded keywords.

Prior to inbound marketing, their ranking was near zero. #ThePowerofSEO

The stats alone are powerful, but the impact we brought to the bottom line speaks for itself.

Leighton Broadcasting Revenue from Inbound Marketing

Beyond the Bandwidth

Like any industry, Leighton Broadcasting's sales force is a vast array of demographics. They have many seasoned vets who are accustomed to doing things ‘their way’ because it works and hasn't failed them. There are also the early adopters who are eager to take advantage of new technology to get a leg up on the competition for closing a sale. Leighton Broadcasting focused on those early adopters when they implemented the HubSpot CRM.

"Hubspot CRM has made tracking easy for me with their Apps – no matter where I am, I can create a task, set a reminder, or enter a deal from my phone. I love that I can set a task to email me on a specific day and time, too. Tracking my clients, calls, tasks, and notes have never been easier!"
                                                                                                                                    Kalie, Account Executive

Although Leighton Broadcasting was already an expert in outbound marketing, their company and their industry had a lot to gain by implementing inbound practices into their approach. By focusing on the ways in which this company wasn't serving their current and prospective clients, we were able to develop and execute inbound marketing campaigns that helped them rise to the top of SEO rankings and better serve their customers. 

"Inbound marketing has enhanced our sales efforts by nurturing current clients and consistently brings in new leads that increase our broadcast revenue. If the old way of prospecting was to turn over every rock to find a new lead, inbound is the 21st century's version of having the rocks roll in on their own. From our website, to our social presence, to content, we see the true value in inbound with revenue generating leads from clients our traditional prospecting misses. Leighton Interactive has been a great partner for our company as we continue to grow."
                                                                                                          - Bob Leighton, Leighton Broadcasting CEO 

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