Case Study: Redwood Valuation Partners

Guerilla PR and SEO Strategy to Drive Traffic — Fast

Meet Redwood Valuation Partners

Redwood Valuation Partners is the second largest 409A valuations in the country. They have over 700 clients and have performed valuations for firms large and small. Top brands that have trusted Redwood Valuation Partners include WhatsApp, Robinhood, FitBit, Pitchbook, and Logic Inbound.

This is the story of how Fingerprint Marketing propelled Redwood Valuation Partners (aka Redwood Valuation) to a 1st-page ranking on Google on short notice in order to capitalize on a competitor’s acquisition.

The Challenge

This story starts with the Silicon Valley Bank, or SVB. With ~1300 clients, SVB was the single largest 409A valuation provider in the country. But then word got out that SVB Analytics (the division responsible for 409A valuations) was going to be acquired by eShares, an automated valuation firm with fewer clients and a weaker reputation. Redwood Valuation recognized that the acquisition of SVB Analytics by eShares would have serious repercussions for existing SVB 409A clients. 

Operationally, there were 2 key differences between SVB and eShares that raised red flags:

  • eShares charges 409A customers using a subscription model
  • eShares is venture-backed

Both of these differences had the potential to negatively impact existing SVB 409A customers. The switch to a subscription model is unwieldy for 409A customers because they may not need work done for several years at a time, and the fact that eShares is venture-backed means that it has an increased risk of going out of business—leaving customers high and dry.

Furthermore, Redwood Valuation recognized that former SVB customers might have serious doubts about eShares on 2 fronts:

  • Would eShares support 409A valuations made by SVB? This concern was exacerbated when eShares required former SVB customers to register with eShares in a very short window of time.
  • Would eShares really be fully automated? Although it claims to have a “fully automated” 409A solution, it takes 7–10 days to fulfill. It seemed like this long window might actually indicate a culture of poor customer service.

This acquisition was a moment of great opportunity for Redwood Valuation. So, they partnered with Fingerprint Marketing to go on the offensive.

The idea was simple: get information and legitimate concerns about the eShares acquisition in front of current SVB customers. 

The challenge:

  • To amplify the legitimacy of concerns and drive traffic toward Redwood Valuation as the strongest competing alternative
  • Claim some of the client attrition from current SVB 409A customers and interested investors in response to these numerous client concerns

Fingerprint Marketing’s Strategy

The key to Fingerprint Marketing’s effective strategy on behalf of Redwood Valuation was to act quickly. When Redwood Valuation came to us, it was only a matter of days before a formal announcement about the acquisition was expected. It was time for guerilla PR techniques and tried-and-true SEO strategizing.

  1. The first step: developing a powerhouse blog post about the possibility of an SVB acquisition and its problems.
    Redwood Valuation’s own site hosted the blog post, so we worked with Redwood to ensure that our content was accurate and speaking effectively to the primary concerns of 409A valuation clients. Then we applied our SEO tactics and on-page optimization to to ensure that Google could quickly and easily recognize the blog past as authoritative and relevant to the topic of a possible eShares acquisition.
  2. Next, Fingerprint Marketing distributed a press release to drive traffic to the Redwood Valuation blog post.
    This was a highly effective strategy. Prior to the acquisition’s formal announcement, there was little discussion on web about the relationship between eShares and SVB. Our SEO optimization tactics—a fantastic blog post and associated press release—pushed the Redwood Valuation post straight to the top spot on Google.

Our blog post and SEO strategy were so effective that SVB’s own announcement about the acquisition actually ranked lower on Google than our blog post!

Key Outcomes

  • Hundreds of distributors picked up Fingerprint Marketing’s press release with the link to Redwood Valuation’s blog post. This drove 1,112 views!
  • Organic search traffic increased 295%, increasing site visitors from 105 in July to 415 in September.
  • Overall website traffic increased 150%, from 333 visits in July to 832 in September.

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