Creating Probrand's tech trade magazine

Probrand Group is an end-to-end provider of B2B technology for mid-market businesses. Originally founded as a reseller of IT hardware products, organic growth and acquisitions has seen the business diversify to cover all aspects of technology, including services, software and application development.

*As of January 2017, Probrand Group operates as two separate companies - Probrand Ltd and Mercato Solutions.

Probrand's challenge

Probrand is a successful business which has expanded over 20 years to provide several offerings in hardware and software as well IT services and solutions. This had seen the group develop several brands which were targeting different customer bases – and created a divided marketing approach, with each customer group having little awareness of the other areas of the business.

Probrand wanted to find a way that it could break away from this siloed approach and talk to all its customers. The overall goal was to encourage customers to hold conversations with Probrand staff about the other services available within the group.

How we achieved this

Fourth Day had previously worked with Probrand Group to produce marketing content that targeted each of Probrand’s segmented customer databases. This content included whitepapers, eBooks, case studies and industry focused articles delivered via email marketing campaigns. This had created a sizeable bank of content, which was diverse enough to fill a trade magazine several times a year!

Given that Probrand’s companies covered all aspects of the IT industry, the concept of a magazine that could appeal to all was developed. Probrand’s marketing director, Matt Royle, was keen that this should be a high-quality coffee table publication that could be left with customers.

Fourth Day set about creating an 84-page magazine that would cover current IT issues affecting an SME audience in the front half of the publication and Probrand’s service propositions in the back. This magazine would also be made available online to help drive traffic to the website.

Alongside Fourth Day’s content team of highly experience journalists and copywriters, we also recruited several high-profile journalists currently working for IT and procurement sector titles to add gravitas to the magazine.

The results

The printed Probrand Group Magazine was delivered to more than 10,000 customers – and was successful in raising awareness and interest in Probrand’s broader service offerings. The online version of the magazine also helped to drive an additional 1,500 online visitors to the website over the first three days – five times the daily average.

The magazine was so well received, the group noted a large increase in sales as a result. Additional benefits also included a significant rise in third party media coverage and a major boost in search engine rankings.

Probrand Group subsequently commissioned three more editions of the magazine.

Increased sales

As a vehicle to drive sales, the Probrand Group Magazine proved to be a huge commercial success – generating more than £500K in prospective business from its first edition. The magazine was also responsible for generating a significant amount of inbound web traffic, which was converted into 613 qualified business leads.

PR activity

Following the publication of the magazine, the PR team consolidated Probrand’s position as thought leaders by adapting articles for third party publications. This resulted in over 35 pieces of coverage in top tier media including Computing, Supply Management, Computer Weekly, Spend Matters, PublicTechnology.net, Procurement Leaders, Real Business, Talk Business and IT Pro Portal.

Search engine rankings

By successfully repurposing the content, and by listing the magazine on channels such as Google Books, Probrand also witnessed a huge rise in search engine rankings for targeted keywords. According to the Probrand digital marketing department, “the quality of the backlinks the magazine provided was awesome.”

Matt Royle, marketing director Probrand Group, said:

“The magazine has been a phenomenal success. Fourth Day’s journalism background meant they had the skills to deliver relevant and engaging content, often on complex topics, which was both balanced and factual. They also quickly grasped the requirements of our lead nurturing and digital strategy. Both of these are continuing to yield qualified leads.”

Interested in working with our content team?

Get in touch with our content director Paul Maher. Call 0207 4034411 or email paul@fourthday.co.uk

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