Building an Online Marketing Strategy from Scratch: Case Study

Building an Online Marketing Strategy from Scratch: Case Study

This Post was Originally made for the Moz blog, unfortunately they declined it :/ So, I thought I’d share it with my readers as it’s (in my opinion) a pretty cool post – And the custom h2 graphics are pretty badass too!

This was one of the very first clients we had in terms of building an entire internet marketing campaign for and this is the client we like to think, perfected our process and gave us the experience we needed to duplicate it for other clients and push our marketing campaigns even further.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this!

I’d just finished my E-Commerce guide for Matthew Woodward’s blog and was getting hundreds of emails coming through to my inbox from people interested in my services, asking me questions or wanting me to guest post on their blog.

I had a particularly interesting email come through from Chris, who is the owner of 48HoursLogo, logo design contest website that I used to do the graphics for one of my E-Commerce sites and had featured in my guide. He was interested in working with me and the rest of the guys at Godlike Marketing to create a really strong brand for them, whilst also increasing their search engine positions and bringing in more sales.

Which is pretty much what every client wants, right?

So, I set out with Rohit Palit who works with me at Godlike Marketing and owns TechTage to create a proposal for Chris and put together a solid marketing campaign for them. 48HoursLogo already had 1,000s of members (both designers and contest runners) and had a campaign running. So, we asked Chris to send us all the Ads he was running and all the details of things he’d been doing. Then, we got to work!

Rohit put together a current overview of their online marketing activities and how we could improve them. You can download the report here:

Download the Report

Once Chris had a look over it, we started the first month of work and began further developing our marketing campaign. I’ll split each bit of what we did up below, so you can skip to bits you’d like to have a look at or, if you have the time read through the entire thing – It’s pretty big though, so I’d suggest that if you want to read through it all to bookmark it or read it bit by bit. Also, don’t forget to note down the Bonus Tips that I’ve given throughout this guide.

Currently, Chris was doing a Featured Designer series every couple of months but really wasn’t updating the blog much. So, immediately we thought of putting together some roundups and doing any news announcements via the blog.

Here are some strategies that we have discussed, you can see that not all of them will be implemented yet.

Roundups = Links and Relationships!

Roundups mean outreaching to new potential clients, getting the article shared by the people we feature and getting some quick wins when it comes to getting links – A lot of bloggers do income reports (including myself) and will link out to any pieces they’ve been featured in that month.

Chris gave me access to the blog’s WordPress backend and I started working on this article, for which I got a number of internet marketers I already had relationships with to do a bit on the post. We even managed to get a couple comments on the post from the 48Hours community –

Try to reply to each comment, and take away from them as well – Most of the people commenting will be involved with the site already, and can give you some awesome insight into the community from a 3rd party perspective.

Announcements get you Press!

Then we told Chris to get involved with blogging about any company updates he had. Such as when 48HoursLogo joined the Bitcoin bubble and started accepting Bitcoin’s as a form of payment.

Any announcements Chris did, we can then use to run a press release campaign and outreach to a ton of different sites related to whatever we’re announcing.

As an example, we can outreach to the business and tech sector as we’d be accepting Bitcoin which is a really popular topic right now.

Infographics

We are yet to execute this for the blog/site but due to 48HoursLogo being a fantastic site full of creative designers, running an infographic competition for the designers can increase designer signups, overall designer morale and gives us multiple ways (As we could potentially have 10s of infographics at our disposal) to run link building campaigns.

Though we’re yet to execute this, it’s something that’s definitely in the works and can have some fantastic returns.


Bonus Roundups Tip

If you’re doing roundups with people for your blog, then make sure to get their Skype account – This makes it a lot easier next time you want to get a hold of them. I alone get 40-50 emails a day but if someone asks me to do something via Skype, I generally remember a lot easier and will schedule a time to work with them on it.

Giving back to your community can help your business exponentially. You can grow your social following and email list, whilst also creating tons of brand awareness and increasing traffic.

You could run a meme contest, infographic contest, short story or pretty much anything that gets users to generate content for you, and we all know how powerful that is.

Matthew Barby did an awesome guide on running online competitions, check it out if you haven’t already.

Facebook

Chris had put in place a really good Facebook page that had quite a lot of people asking questions via the messaging system and people posting to the wall but we weren’t seeing much return in terms of likes and comments from the people who did like the page.

This is something we knew we had to work on, so we looked at who the people liking our page were – We had 2 audiences, designers and business owners looking to get graphics made. This gave us 2 different industries to work with, so we started putting together some memes and short videos for both sectors. This saw our conversions (in terms of likes, shares and comments) shoot through the roof.

Twitter

Chris also hadn’t really implemented much in terms of Twitter, and hadn’t really looked into growing his following or tweeting much.

We introduced Chris to Buffer and signed him up for a free Moz account, so he could use the awesome-sauce that is Followerwonk and Buffer combined – Peter Bray did a post back in June of 2013 when Buffer and Followerwonk partnered up, on how to use both the services in perfect harmony.


Bonus Twitter Tip

If you’re doing link roundups of good posts every week, then Tweet out to the people you featured in your post. You’ll almost always get a Retweet and in many cases a follow or response, which can market your Twitter to new users and get you even more blog traffic.

Chris had already bought a couple banners on related sites from BuySellAds, which is a US based site where you can buy banner ads, Tweets from accounts (even Paris Hilton sells her tweets from BSA) and newsletter ads.

I had Chris send me over the print screen of the current ads he’d bought, which were around $500/month in spend. I went through all the sites, and as we’d bought ads from them, we’d already have the relationship in place to propose doing other things with the owners of these sites:

Guest Posts

We outreached to a couple of the sites we were advertising to that had blogs on them, seeing if we could get a strong link from sites that had some pretty large audiences and could be a fantastic backlink with the average DA of these sites sitting around the 40 mark.

Interviews

A lot of these sites were run or at the very least moderated by people who were quite well known – either they’d managed to get a ton of subscribers on their YouTube channels or had become pretty famous from their blogging and web-based tutorials.

So interviewing them, and then using that interview with them to be shared across the interviewee’s social and email network is a great way to grow your traffic and potentially email signups.

This is something Chris suggested after he saw my 48HoursLogo tutorial I did for my E-Commerce guide:

We haven’t quite implemented everything yet, but we’re looking at creating a range of video tutorials for customers and designers to use that makes everything a lot easier to do – Whether that be signing up to post a project, or joining as a designer or a number of other tasks we have on the site.

Video has always been an important factor when it comes to online marketing and before, Chris hadn’t even considered running some YouTube advertising campaigns, or uploading the videos to various other sites.

Phil Nottingham did an awesome deck for MozCon on building a video strategy, and he proves you don’t need a $20,000 budget to build some really successful video campaigns for your site.

Jacob Klein, back in the middle of 2012 did a fantastic post on using videos to increase your link building efforts. He even gave away a list of sites you can use to submit your video too and build some pretty solid links with, as well as a couple ways to reach out to people and get their attention with your video.

This is where it can get really tricky, but we have however put together a small system which makes it all a lot easier.

This is actually the more developed system that I guest posted on Heroic Search’s blog back in August of last year. I’ll still reference you to the Whiteboard Friday by Brittany Bright now as it is so good when it comes to managing the campaigns around your clients, rather than doing work and reporting back at the end of every X days/weeks. That’s something we pride ourselves on at Godlike – we hate giving clients a wall of text to read every month, we’d much rather give them evidence and have sit down meetings showing them what we’ve done and what we plan to do.

Trello

The beauty of Trello is that for a free management system it’s freakin awesome!

I use Trello to manage the jobs we need doing for each client. This is what our 48HoursLogo Trello board looked like:

We laid out what we needed to do this month, and once we’d complete each job it’d go into the Done tab, then we review at the end of every month to double check we’ve done everything – You can even share this board with your client so they know what you’re doing, when and can have a look at what is in the works.

Jason Arrowsmith also put together a big post on using Trello here, which goes into a bit more detail than mine…

Google Drive

I run 4 computers, and an Office license for every one can be rather expensive. Drive offers fantastic management as it incorporates Google Docs which means you can live edit a presentation, document, Excel doc etc.. wherever you are with Internet (They even have an App for your iPhone and iPad so you can showcase things to clients on the move).

This is what our 48HoursLogo Drive looks like, which again, you can share with your client so they have access to all of your work and are kept in the loop without having to update them constantly on your progress:

You can also share folders with the rest of your team or just specific files.


Conclusion

So now the campaign work has all been setup and running for a while, we can start taking a look at some of the smaller things within the project, and what we could of done differently to of improved the campaign even more.

Blog Changes

The first thing I’d do is go through all of my blog posts via Analytics, and find the top performing in terms of organic visits and conversions. Once you have the top few posts, you can then go through and improve them such as their OnPage SEO, content curation and even adding more content to the post – Especially with the likes of Google InDepth article search being a new, great traffic source.

I’d add a HelloBar to the blog (as recommended by Neil Patel) to further increase my readers from just that to paying customers.

I’d add the Floating Social Bar to the blog, just to further improve social traffic/shares and it’d improve the overall look of the blog posts as well, in my opinion.

Social Media

After monitoring a number of the other competitors Facebook pages, I would’ve liked to use this Facebook PPC tacticto garner some more likes and potentially customers using custom catered Ads with some well put together case studies from actual 48Hours customers.

Video Marketing

I would of tried to get this rolling as soon as possible, video’s are really powerful and they make using the site a lot easier for most of our members – Both designers and paying customers.

It also means we could of harnessed the power of YouTube search and YouTube Ads to try and draw in even more customers. I would’ve liked to do some video based roundups, and look at doing some collaborations with big design based YouTube channels.

Other Changes

I’d look at running a more successful newsletter campaign to get more user engagement across the site and try to run special deals to get more customers in quickly – Even looking at some sort of referral system for current users to refer their friends too.

Running some landing pages with A/B split testing via our PPC and Media buys would also be a great way to get even more customers, and we could then later on look at using the landing pages via other properties like our videos and blog.


TL;DR

  • Blog… Do roundups and interviews to build relationships & links
  • Use social media to not only promote your own company but build even more relationships and grow your traffic
  • Run competitions and giveaways to grow your social media presence and user base
  • Use the power of your community to help grow your business
  • Use videos to not only message across, but also to grow traffic, users and build links
  • Trello and Google Drive make your life a LOT easier when it comes to client management
  • Look at not only your clients competition, but at other industries marketing campaigns for some insight into clever tactics you could input into the campaign
Charles Floate
I'm a UK based Search Engine Optimisation and Search Marketing Consultant. With over 5 years in the Search Industry, I'm hoping to build up God of SEO as a Dedicated Internet Marketing Blog with tons of Information for the Community to engage with.
Charles Floate
Charles Floate
Charles Floate

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