case study

Case Study: Content Marketing + Alexa Voice Strategy for UX Design Agency - Nine Labs

Nine Labs is an Atlanta-based user experience and product design firm with clients including major airlines, hotels, and startups.

The problem:

With years of blog posts, podcasts, videos, white papers, and ebooks there was plenty of content but no strategic method to effectively share it on social media. Potential traffic and leads were left on the table. Nine Labs wanted to organize and share all their great content to increase engagement, brand recognition, and ultimately leads.

Nine Labs: Made with ❤️in Atlanta, GA

Nine Labs: Made with ❤️in Atlanta, GA

The solution:

We created a robust social media marketing strategy and guide to help Nine Labs with content marketing. We also launched an Alexa Flash Briefing to establish a voice presence in the UX design category. Then we provided ongoing guidance in implementing, empowering their in-house team to manage it.

Custom Content Marketing Strategy


  1. Increase blog traffic

  2. Increase leads

  3. Increase social engagement

  4. Establish voice presence on Alexa

Strategy characteristics:

  • Content buckets and monthly themes based on Nine Labs’ driving principles from 4 Steps to a Human Centered Business Model

  • Specific guidelines to create social posts (text, graphics, video, and audiograms) for different social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn - each with different goals and slightly different audiences

  • Introduction of audiograms

    • Guidelines on creating effective, short audiograms for Instagram and Twitter by repurposing past podcast and YouTube video content

Audiogram for Instagram (static image with 1-minute audio and captions)

Audiogram for Instagram (static image with 1-minute audio and captions)

Alexa Skills search ranking in app for “UX design” keywords - Nine Labs Flash Briefing

Alexa Skills search ranking in app for “UX design” keywords - Nine Labs Flash Briefing

  • Brand separation from executive profile: Clarity and direction on content strategy for CEO (and helluva smart guy) J Cornelius’s personal brand and the Nine Labs brand

  • Strategy and launch of Design Driven, an Alexa Flash Briefing about UX and product

    Fact: Design-driven companies outperform the S&P by 228%.

    Interested in the intersection of business, design, UX, and product development? Enable this daily briefing about using design to build great products and lasting companies.

  • Repurposing and repackaging high quality content instead of starting from scratch, saving the client time

  • Optimize lead magnet forms on blog and website

  • Strategically drive traffic to lead magnets, downloadable PDFs, and blog

  • Optimized Alexa Flash Briefing keywords, description, and daily content. Hear past briefings below:

Results of 8-week marketing engagement:

Obsess over your customers. #uxdesign

Obsess over your customers. #uxdesign

  • Increase in social engagements:

    • Facebook up 21%

    • Instagram up 893% (from 312 to 3,100)

    • Twitter up 178%

    • LinkedIn from 0 to 48 average weekly engagements

  • Increased blog traffic and leads from social

  • VOICE SEARCH OPTIMIZATION: Within two weeks, ranked on page 1 , top three results of Alexa Skills search results for terms including “ux”, “product design,” and “ux design”

  • Empowered marketing team to efficiently run with this strategy on their own

Emily has an incisive mind about marketing and how voice is rapidly changing the landscape. She worked hard to find the right use of the technology without compromising quality or our brand message.
— J Cornelius, Founder and President, Nine Labs

Why We Love Nine Labs

If you need guidance on designing a digital product, we recommend J Cornelius and his ace team at Nine Labs. Hands down, they’re the best. Nine Labs understands design and how it fits into business as a whole. They also run killer workshops and training.

Get the best thinking from startups and enterprise to give your projects the support to succeed.

Voice: Custom Alexa Skill for Finance and Investing - Josh Brown's Mini Podcast The Compound Show

What if you could listen in on regular conversations between professionals working in money management?

We created the strategy and built a custom skill for Ritholtz Wealth Management called The Compound Show. After success with Market Moment Flash Briefing in 2018, in 2019 we wanted to expand on the voice marketing strategy to increase Ritholtz’s early adopter audio footprint.

As trailblazers in blogging and social media in the finance and investing space, “Downtown” Josh Brown and the Ritholtz Mafia wanted to be early to voice.

Read more about Josh and Barry, the forces behind some of the most popular investing blogs, videos, television, and social media accounts: Josh Brown and Barry Ritholtz: From breakout bloggers to RIA rock stars

Josh Brown and Barry Ritholtz. Image courtesy of Citywire USA, 2018.

Josh Brown and Barry Ritholtz. Image courtesy of Citywire USA, 2018.

Video: Josh and Emily discuss Ritholtz's Alexa skills. Hear why RWM is "kind of a big deal" when it comes to voice in the finance space.


In March 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind custom voice skill and mini podcast about investing based on The Compound YouTube channel.

Josh Brown explains The Compound Show and how it is disrupting the old (too long) podcast format:

I invented the mini-podcast. All the financial industry and investment-oriented podcasts are an hour long or more. I think that’s because the person whose podcast it is feels bad about asking a guest to come on and then cutting them short. Some podcasts should be an hour – Patrick O’Shaugnhnessy interviewing Michael Mauboussin, for example, or Barry Ritholtz interviewing Ray Dalio, or Michael Kitces interviewing Ric Edelman.

But most podcasts are too long and not every guest has an hour-plus worth of stuff you want to hear. However, the format persists. I think it’s just something that’s become a tradition – to interview each guest for an hour and change – even though that’s not what the listener actually needs or wants from every conversation.

read more about The Compound Show on The Reformed Broker

How to listen:

1) Click here to enable The Compound Show on Alexa

2) Say, “Alexa, open The Compound Show!”

Or listen on your favorite podcast app:

Fintech Thought Leadership - Social Media Strategy for Top Payments Brand

The problem:

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 4.49.36 PM.png

A successful fintech company with a monopoly on maritime payments had little to no brand presence on social media. As part of a brand overhaul and website update, we began a strategic effort to build the professional brand and thought leadership presence. As an award-winning fintech, this client wanted their LinkedIn and Twitter presence to reflect their commitment to democratizing global payments with innovative technology. Also important to convey: healthy culture and a great place to work with people who care.


The solution:

We focused on three audiences: local business and fintech, job seekers and candidates, and current employees. Through content marketing, hands-on daily management, and community building, after six months we had great results:


  • Post consistently

  • Increase overall social engagement rate

  • Grow followers

  • Establish a presence as subject matter experts and a source of industry updates

Organic growth - fintech brand Twitter account

Organic growth - fintech brand Twitter account

July-December 2018 Organic Follower Growth:

  • 4x increase - Twitter

  • 57% increase - LinkedIn

Tactics - content we shared and promoted:

  • Variety of topical articles from quality industry publications and users

    • Add commentary and insights for original viewpoint

  • Tag engaged users and authors

  • Behind the scenes photos (conferences, events, office culture)

  • Relief campaigns for disaster relief in users’ home countries such as Indonesia

  • Job posts

  • Twitter: Built original Lists to curate quality content faster

Relief campaign for natural disaster: went viral organically on Twitter

Relief campaign for natural disaster: went viral organically on Twitter

linkedin and twitter:

  • Established consistent brand presence beginning in July 2018

  • Steady organic follower growth

  • Post social engagement averaging 7-19% on LinkedIn by September 2018

Facebook Advertising: Brightwell Payments App Adoption - Fintech Case Study

We launched an organic and paid social media strategy from ground zero, resulting in over a 110% increase in app MAU (monthly active users) in 2018.

About Brightwell:

Brightwell is an Atlanta-based fintech company offering end-to-end payment solutions through cutting edge technology and unparalleled support, serving cruise lines such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa, Princess, and AIDA.

End Users (Audience for Ads):

Cruise crew members and seafarers who live all over the world, concentrated in Indonesia, Philippines, and India. Many of these seafarers are unbanked or underbanked. They work on ship for months at a time and travel to their home countries in between.

Carnival Cruise employees are paid through Brightwell.

Carnival Cruise employees are paid through Brightwell.

Our Goal:

Educate and increase app adoption among a user base largely unfamiliar with digital payments, credit cards, and banking. Change habits from mainly cash and ATM use to online transfers within the Brightwell Navigator app.


  • Language barriers

  • Technology barriers (many crew lack experience with online banking)

  • Spotty and slow Wi-Fi onboard ship

  • High turnover of active crew

  • Crew’s mistrust of payments providers due to past negative experiences

  • Cash-centric cultures such as Philippines


Facebook and Instagram advertising targeting crew members, encouraging app install and adoption through features and benefits as well as persona-based messaging.

We created customer personas (AKA avatars) for each nationality on ship because culture plays a key role in relationships with money, both emotionally and logistically when it comes to banking.

Year 1 of Facebook Advertising:

launch, test, iterate, optimize, repeat


  • Over 110% increase in MAU (monthly active users)

  • Decreased CPI (cost per app install) to one-tenth that of the benchmark / goal

  • Optimized CPC and CTR with over 60% and 35% improvement, respectively

Brightwell remains a client as they continue to establish themselves as a major player in the payments space and one of the fastest growing companies in Transaction Alley (Atlanta’s fintech ecosystem).

Details available upon request.