Launched in 2013, Student Loan Genius is the Austin-based inventor of the first complete student loan employer benefits solution. The team – comprised of 16 members and growing – has stepped up to eradicate the $1.3 trillion student loan debt problem by empowering companies to help pay off employees’ student loans faster or turn making student loan payments into a wealth-building activity.
The company recently closed $3 million in seed funding, spearheaded by Gibraltar Ventures (an affiliate of Prudential) and Manulife (an affiliate of John Hancock), as well as launched its revolutionary pre-tax 401(k) contribution feature. Student Loan Genius plans on being the catalyst for Congressional legislation and a new national approach that helps eliminate today’s growing, trillion-dollar-plus student loan problem by showing the impact pre-tax contributions can have on families, businesses and ultimately, the entire economy.
Student Loan Genius, was the first in the student loan employer benefits space; however, the company remained fairly incognito for its first two years of existence. Here are a few of the challenges:
- The company had a lot of exciting news ready to be announced nearly all at once. The challenge was determining the best timing and the best ways to work with investors and third parties involved in each piece of news to maximize outreach efforts and result in wide-reaching coverage.
- A few other platforms publicly announced their offerings ahead of Student Loan Genius, making it more difficult for the company to not only emerge as the first in the space and the leader in providing a complete student loan employer benefits solution, but to own this benefits space.
- Student Loan Genius needed to launch into the media space as well as establish and maintain a consistent presence to emerge as a thought leader and a go-to resource for HR benefit discussions.
To help Student Loan Genius establish a strong presence within the HR and benefits communities as well as with the media, Leverage PR executed the following:
- Worked with Student Loan Genius to refine their company messaging and positioning to highlight them as the true provider of the first complete student loan employer benefits solution.
- Provided strategic guidance on engaging with key investors regarding media announcements, timing surrounding these announcements and best outlets to target with various pieces of news for maximum exposure (both for Student Loan Genius and key investors.)
- Executed two media campaigns to highlight both the closing of Student Loan Genius’ seed round as well as the launch of its 401(k) contribution feature – the ultimate goal was to secure coverage that generated business leads.
- Helped establish Student Loan Genius CEO Tony Aguilar as a thought leader in employer benefits by securing placements in national and HR-specific publications.
Though our engagement with Student Loan Genius has not yet ended, in the first one-and-a-half months, Leverage PR was able to drive enough traffic Student Loan Genius’ website to actually overload its system! As a result of our outreach efforts, top-tier publications are already reaching out proactively for Student Loan Genius to weigh in on student loan employer benefits conversations. Along with these accomplishments, other metrics thus far include:
- Saw a 500 percent increase in Website traffic.
- Within one week, increased inbound leads by 50% with more than 200 new web leads coming in as a result of the media campaign around the 401(k) feature.
- Achieved an ad equivalency of nearly $380,000 in under one month.
- Secured earned and organic placements in more than 75 publications in under one month, including in top-tier outlets such as Fortune, Bloomberg, US News & World Report, Employee Benefits News, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.
“We launched our 401(k) feature, and in one week, we received 200 real contacts through the Website and grew our site traffic 500 percent. For us the PR hasn’t just been noise, it’s turning into real business!” – Jovan Hackly, Student Loan Genius