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Softchoice is a Toronto-based, North American solutions and services provider with over 1,200 employees and $1 billion in revenue. As an industry leader, Softchoice’s holistic approach to technology includes consulting, design, implementation, asset management and cloud services, as well as access to one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective technology distribution networks in North America.

The Challenge

Softchoice approached Walker Sands for assistance in promoting its cloud offerings. Although the company continues to provide both hardware and services to private and public sector clients, Softchoice wanted to emphasize its cloud offerings (software as a service, managed services, etc.) as part of its go-forward business strategy.

To support the emphasis on cloud services, Softchoice launched SoftchoiceCloud.com, a new website that enabled the brand to provide more detailed information about the company’s cloud-based services and generate a steady supply of leads to its sales team. But to achieve its business goals, Softchoice needed a way to quickly attract a large number of the right kinds of visitors to the new site.

Walker Sands was tasked with helping Softchoice drive traffic to SoftchoiceCloud.com. More specifically, Walkers Sands was tasked with crafting a campaign and messages that resonated with prospective cloud services customers, and distributing those messages to target audiences through placements in both niche and mainstream media outlets.

The Solution 

Recognizing that many of Softchoice’s B2B messages weren’t resonating with the mainstream press, Walker Sands developed a strategy that would help the messages appeal to a much wider audience.

Walker Sands’ strategy centered on the development of a study designed to uncover the habits of individuals who work in SaaS technology environments – the types of workplaces that benefit from Softchoice’s cloud-based services.

Using survey data, Walker Sands showed that people behave more carelessly when working via cloud-based applications.

Titled “Careless in the Cloud,” the study of more than 1,000 North American full-time employees measured IT habits around file transfers, password security, remote access and other common workplace technology activities. Rather than presenting the study as a traditional white paper, the Walker Sands team packaged the study as a graphics-rich, downloadable SlideShare presentation, extending the study’s value to reporters and audiences.

By presenting the study as a SlideShare, Walker Sands was able to leverage several important advantages that wouldn’t have been possible had the study been presented as a typical white paper:

  • Shareability: SlideShare enabled audiences to download the study from SoftchoiceCloud.com and use it in a variety of ways, from a training tool to repurposed content
  • Consumability: Compared to a traditional white paper, the SlideShare study minimized the amount of material reporters and audiences needed to wade through to discover important findings
  • Measurability: SlideShare format made it easier for Softchoice to track the number of people who viewed or shared the study

Prior to the release of the complete study, Walker Sands pitched various aspects of the study to national mainstream IT and business publications as well as technology trade outlets. These pitches included stories about generational differences and Millennial’s IT habits, threats end users pose to enterprise IT security, and stories tailored to technical and business media.

Walker Sands also executed several additional tactics to raise awareness about the SlideShare and the SoftchoiceCloud.com website:

  • Extensive digital content creation to improve search engine visibility
  • Additional web pages for organic search improvement
  • Retargeting ads to drive traffic to the SlideShare
  • Use of Google Analytics and other tools to monitor results

These digital marketing efforts proved instrumental in generating web traffic after the initial media campaign was completed.

The Results

Walker Sands efforts raised the visibility of Softchoice’s cloud services and drove significant traffic to SoftchoiceCloud.com. During the first three months of the campaign, the SlideShare study was viewed more than 7,000 times. Due to its early success with English speakers, the study was rapidly translated into a French language version to enable deeper penetration into the Canadian marketplace.

The SlideShare generated extensive media coverage by both mainstream and technology media outlets. Key placements included Entrepreneur, Reuters, CIO, Financial Post, Benzinga and one full-length feature article in the Harvard Business Review.

Going forward, Walker Sands will continue to work with Softchoice to attract influencers and prospects to the SoftchoiceCloud.com website and to emphasize the brand’s cloud offerings among target audiences.