Personal lubricants are not the easiest things in the world for people to discuss, so marketing them to consumers often requires an indirect, subtle approach. For BioFilm, manufacturer of Astroglide lubricants, content marketing that focuses on consumer education — while also embedding strong connections to the product’s web site — has produced impressive results:
• A 253% increase in site traffic during a one-year period, increasing from 400,000 views to 1.7 million;
• A 63% conversion rate for visitors requesting free samples of the product; and
• 10,000 keywords achieving a Google Rank of five or higher.
“A big part of our strategy is content marketing,” explained Helen Way, Senior Marketing Manager at BioFilm. One of her key initiatives since starting at the company approximately 2.5 years ago has been to gain greater control of the Astroglide web site, making it easier to manage and update with multiple types of content.
“We knew we would be adding blogs loaded with keywords in order to drive people to our site as they were looking at content about other topics,” said Way in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “People online are often not specifically looking for lubricant, but they are looking for information about sex, dating, relationships, LGBTQ issues, fertility and health care. The ability to get to these people by getting them to read our blogs was important.”
Astroglide currently features more than 100 blog posts on its site, and the brand has enhanced its site search functionality to help visitors more easily find information on the topics that interest them. “We produce a lot of content that’s educational,” said Way. “For example, people often don’t understand the differences between water-based and oil-based lubricants, and their different benefits and features.”
That’s not to imply that the featured content is dry. “We use two brand ambassadors, one of whom is Dr. Jess, a sexologist,” said Way. “If she is writing an article containing sex advice, our social media and PR teams will work to ensure that when that article is quoted or people search for it, it will backlink to her page on our web site. Those links totally help us improve our Google rankings.”
Deploying A More User-Friendly Web Platform
Astroglide has been able to achieve greater control over the content on its site by deploying a platform from Zesty.io. BioFilm has relatively small marketing and IT teams, so Way began looking for a more user-friendly web platform soon after she began at the company.
After selecting the SaaS-based cloud solution Zesty.io Brand Epicenter in July 2014, the revamped web site was up and running in September 2014. The 253% site traffic increase was measured from September 2014 to August 2015, as was the 63% conversion rate. “We didn’t even have a metric set up to track conversions prior to that time,” said Way.
Content management and other back-end functions are easy for Way and her teams to manage. “We didn’t have to know any code at all to make changes on our own,” she noted, adding that Astroglide has continued to work with Zesty.io to make site management even easier: “If we see a section that isn’t editable by us, they can make it editable so that we don’t have to go back to a web developer to make changes there in the future.”
The platform also provides cloud storage for Astroglide’s media and images, creating a backup library in addition to its own hard drives and internal networks.
Understanding And Expanding The Market For Lubricants
The platform also allows Way to “measure if our marketing programs are effective” by tracking clicks, and eventual conversions, from sources including display and banner ads and paid search. Astroglide does not sell products directly from its site, but it does provide free samples to individuals as well as health care providers and clinics.
The site also links to other e-Commerce sites and lists the many grocery and drug chains that carry Astroglide products. “People might automatically assume that the only place to buy our products is in adult stores, but our biggest customers are Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, etc.” said Way.
Should Astroglide decide to move into direct B2C e-Commerce, “Zesty has a module for doing that,” said Way. That could be an important piece of the company’s strategy as its seeks to fulfill one of its long-term goals: expanding the customer based for the category itself. “Only about 12% of people over 18 who are having sexual relations are using lube, so we want to go after these non-users as a way to help them spice up their relationships,” said Way.