Originally published in Spring 2015 edition of B2B.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has 317,000-plus likes on his Facebook page compared to the 500 likes on the “I hate Joe Flacco” page. Perhaps Flacco lovers really do outnumber the haters 634 to one in a town known for its passion for (and sometimes virulent opinions on) football. Or maybe, Flacco has a really savvy company managing his social media.
Amazingly, Flacco’s social media, along with that of numerous other companies and individuals, is run by a company that only two years ago consisted of two guys. Now that company, B2 Interactive, already has 80 employees in Omaha and Lincoln, making it one of the state’s fastest-growing companies.
Those two dreamers at the heart of B2 Interactive are Bill Hipsher and Brandon Taylor. In 2012, they saw a major dearth in the number of companies providing top-shelf website design, development, and marketing. And to them, that meant a major opportunity.
“I’m not saying that print, radio, and TV aren’t important, but companies know they need to be digital as well,” he says.
U.S. spending on digital advertising is projected to almost double by 2018 ($82.96 billion) over 2013 ($43.11 billion), according to eMarketer.com. Demand is there because technology is changing, Hipsher says. “Every day, something is coming out, whether a device or website or people shifting how they watch TV.”
Hipsher and Taylor have expanded twice since launching B2 Interactive. The company now occupies 10,000 square feet at their Millard location. In July of 2014, they acquired Hurrdat Social Media, a digital marketing agency in Lincoln. The co-founders ended 2014 with 60 employees in Omaha and 20 in Lincoln.
“They (Hurrdat) have a strong team and a great group of clients—a natural fit for us. It was an opportunity to expand our footprint into Lincoln where we already had some clients,” Hipsher says.
B2 Interactive combines web development, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, local listing management, and more to offer a robust web presence for businesses. B2 now works with a diverse group of local, regional, and national clients.
Marketing is a big piece of what the company offers, helping clients get the message across on their blog and websites to communicate with potential customers, Hipsher says.
Social Media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn) is used to promote sales and build a strong brand. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO), B2 Interactive also helps websites get more easily found in search engines.
Besides managing Flacco’s social media, which reaches six times more people than it did a year ago, the company has recently invigorated the social media presence of numerous other companies and individuals. A few examples of recent successes:
Online sales for a national holiday retailer have doubled in nine months with SEO and content marketing services from B2.
Husker magazine HailVarsity.com saw traffic to its new website increase six times in a year while also seeing a significant growth in sales.
A small local lawn care and snow removal company asked for a new website, SEO, and local listing optimization. The company now occupies an average of 2.6 organic listings on the first page of Google.
The company success, Hipsher says, largely comes from the persistence and focus of the B2 Interactive crew. “This [growth] has happened largely because we’ve been steadfast in what we do, what we say we do, and why we exist.”
And along the way, with a growing number of professional athletes as clients, his crew is picking up an ever-growing list of sports allegiances.
“We are now all Ravens fans,” Hipsher says. “He’s not the only NFL player we work with, though, so we have to spread the love.”