How Dropbox increased blog traffic by 30%
Cory Shrecengost joined Dropbox during a time of drastic change.
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The company was at the cusp of a major rebrand for HelloSign, a company it acquired in 2019, where Cory worked as a content producer. The company’s eSignature solution, now called Dropbox Sign, enables more meaningful collaboration and greater control over business results for customers. But first and foremost, they needed to make sure more people knew about it. The team’s imperative was to build a content engine to support all stages of the customer journey, and to build that engine they knew they’d need a smarter solution to power it. A tall order for any content team but particularly challenging for three content organizations operating under one roof for the first time (Dropbox, HelloSign, and DocSend – which Dropbox had also recently acquired).
Cory knew processes would be critical to creating content quickly and aligning everyone on a single company narrative. “People consistently told me ‘we don’t have processes here’ and my retort was that we do, they're just not deliberate, and that is the worst kind. Because that means that something is happening, but people are relying on gut instinct instead of operational excellence,” Cory said.
At this time the team had a three month backlog, largely due to the fact that there was no way to track content production. These delays prevented Dropbox Sign’s sales and marketing teams from having the case studies, blog content, and other campaign materials they’d need to attract more customers. It wasn’t uncommon for many different people to be writing blogs, sales sheets, or ad copy with different styles and tones inherited from previous companies. “All of that content is going to look different, it's going to sound different, and it probably won't have a cohesive story or a narrative, so ultimately your content is less effective,” Cory said.
On top of that everything was done manually, and in different systems. They were working out of Slack, Jira, email, spreadsheets and Google docs, “Everything was fragmented, communication was fractured and none of our teams were aligned on process,” he said. Cory would spend most of his days fielding questions from cross functional partners about when a whitepaper or blog post would be published. “It would take me days to track down information,” he said.
So he went out to fix the problem with Airtable. He set out to build a system for tracking content production and within a couple of hours of experimenting in Airtable he saw immense potential to do even more. Cory created a connected app for campaign tracking, a comprehensive content library, and redesigned the content intake process for Dropbox Sign. “We were producing separate content with separate processes. Airtable helped us to align on how we can work together more closely and support each other's needs,” Cory said.
His content tracker app connects the marketing initiatives for product, engineering, developer relations, content and communications teams. These connections make it easier to see what gaps they have in supportive content.
“Airtable has made it possible for us to streamline our processes so that we can think about our content at a much higher level, and ultimately serve our customers better."
The creation of this app started with a simple base to track content production. Cory created a form to streamline the intake process for everything his team creates: sales collateral, one pagers, blogs, customer stories, social ads, ebooks, infographics, guides and more. Cory’s app uses custom automations to share personalized alerts on the status of a project with the requestor as content is being produced. Cory says, previously “it was pretty much a black box from when you submitted a request for content, and when something actually was published.” Airtable sends out automated weekly email digests of everything that’s been published – which no one had time to create before.
The content library has become a reliable database for the team. When a team member is searching for content about a customer who is using Dropbox Sign for HR, they can search the Airtable database for similar use cases and other HR related content. Previously they’d have to ask around for sample use cases and by the time they found them the opportunity may have passed. Cory is now experimenting with interfaces to improve the experience for the end user. “What I love about Airtable is that there are so many possible solutions that you can create. With automations and integrations it can get really complex, but for the end user it can also be really, really simple,” Cory said.
Since implementing this content tracking app Cory’s team is seeing tangible results that make it easy to demonstrate the impact this system has had for Dropbox.
“We've been able to produce blogs three times faster than we were before Airtable. In the last three months we’ve seen an increase in blog traffic by 30% which is huge for us.”
In the end this system helps Dropbox tell more stories that point to solutions. Cory says, “without stories, people aren't able to apply any of the lessons that you're trying to teach them. Stories can help tell our customers exactly what the problem is and how we can help solve it.”