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December 11, 2014
Case Study

Inbound Marketing: The top three tactics from MarketingSherpa case studies in 2014

SUMMARY: Marketers in 2014 focused on innovation — on applying new content practices into older processes and reinvigorating different aspects of their marketing programs with inbound tactics.

Featured in today’s final MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter of the year are articles that display the best of what your peers accomplished in 2014. See the following tactics for actionable ways to improve your inbound efforts in 2015.
by Courtney Eckerle, Manager of Editorial Content

For the last MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing newsletter article for 2014, discover case studies representing the most prevalent inbound marketing tactics and trends. These articles expose marketers' efforts throughout the last twelve months to innovate in content, SEO and social media.

Featured in this collection of articles are the grit and innovation your marketing peers employed to integrate new tactics and ideas. Click the link to read the entire case study, or simply peruse the summary for the nine articles below, to discover actionable tactics and steps to improve your inbound program in the coming year.

Tactic #1. Innovate new ways to integrate content

One of the biggest issues is always how do we get all the content that we need?

But, once you have that content, how do you use it most effectively? The marketers below utilized content and social media in unexpected aspects of their overall marketing strategy to create a maximum impact with customers and followers.

Customer-centric Marketing: Hotel increases revenue 52% with value proposition-centered email and social campaign

After the 2008 recession caused occupancy and revenue to take a hit, hotel Jamaica Inn decided to completely revamp its marketing strategy. The marketers integrated relevant content into email sends while launching Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram accounts alongside existing Facebook and Twitter campaigns.

With those efforts running in conjunction with the launch of a new website, they were able to infuse a cohesive value proposition throughout Jamaica Inn’s marketing messaging. Through this new effort, Jamaica Inn was able to achieve a 52% increase in revenue.

Social Media Integration: Holiday campaign increases Kahlúa's Pinterest followers 1,432%

In order to meet its customers at every possible touch point, Kahlúa used their Pinterest page to merge social media with brick-and-mortar gearing up for the holiday season. Using a sweepstakes to garner attention and excitement around the "Taste the Spirit of the Holidays" campaign, Kahlúa promoted a series of Kahlúa-inspired drinks and recipes.

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By combining B2C tactics, such as in-store kiosks, with social media content such as blogs, videos and Pinterest, Kahlúa was able to increase its Pinterest followers by 1,432% in a month.

Inbound Marketing: How Infochimps grew its database 94% in one year

All of the content Infochimps had prior to transforming its inbound marketing funnel transformation "wasn't really relative anymore. We started, really, from scratch," Amanda McGuckin Hager, Director of Marketing, Infochimps, said.

"They specifically brought me in and said, 'This is what we have. This is the deal,'" she added.

This article covers how the marketing team at Infochimps built an inbound marketing structure that could support a new venture and enabled the sales team to grow business into the Fortune 1000.

Content Marketing: How Tim Ferriss turned his blog into a successful email program

When author, angel investor and self-described "email-phobe" Tim Ferriss realized he had collected hundreds of thousands of email addresses over seven years of posting to his blog — without ever sending an email — he knew he had to act.

From this base, Ferriss decided to create an email program that would focus on content and the lessons he had learned from building up his blog audience. He developed the email program to be a boon to his blog by brushing off "best practices" and figuring out how to best use it himself as a way to put fresh content in front of his audience.

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Tactic #2. Utilize customers’ voices across the board

Your customers have a lot to say — are you listening? More importantly, are you using that feedback to improve and grow your programs?

These three case studies focus on marketers who used their customer’s voices to further marketing goals and provide a better service.

Social Media Marketing: 300,000 direct referrals driven by merging social media and brick-and-mortar programs

As gym 24 Hour Fitness continued an expansion, the marketing team wanted to use social media to drive new memberships. Unlike their current brick-and-mortar recruiting system, social media allowed for a more powerful referral, coming directly from a friend or family member.

See how this effort was able to drive more than 300,000 direct referrals while integrating social media with the existing in-store system.

Social Media Marketing: Focus on consumer reviews increases Facebook fans 100% for Playtex Baby

Aware that word of mouth and recommendations are the primary way that mothers make decisions on buying baby products, the marketers behind the Playtex Baby brand decided they needed to foster mom-to-mom social media interactions.

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Using a "Review-to-Win" contest, the team built up reviews in its Facebook community, garnering more than 2,000 product reviews in just seven months.

Social Media Marketing: How a pharmaceutical company gained 107,000 Facebook likes in one month

When animal pharmaceutical company Zoetis spun off as a separate company from Pfizer Animal Health, it needed to establish brand equity and recognition, and it needed to do so quickly.

Turning to Facebook, Zoetis set up company-wide rules for social media through a customer-focused strategy and was able to cultivate 107,000 Facebook page fans in one month for its EQStable brand. With those fans the company is constantly responding to, and integrating, tactics to keep the conversation flowing between brand and customer.

Tactic #3. Experiment with new aspects of social media

For any marketer, new is exciting, but also daunting. There’s less of a guarantee of return and more explaining to do to achieve buy-in from stakeholders and higher-ups.

However, it can have a big pay off with customers when done thoughtfully and creatively. See how the marketers below utilized unique tactics to reach people from an unexpected angle.

Community Marketing: 1 million Instagram impressions via creative design contest

When rebuilding a long-standing design contest for customers, Design Within Reach incorporated social media like never before. Hosting the contest on Instagram, the marketing team also wanted to engage consumers visually on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The community-driven campaign saw 1 million impressions on the brand's Instagram profile and increased followers by 32%.

App Gamification: 4 million barcodes scanned in 85 days for LuckyLabs' Scantopia

In launching its new app, Scantopia, LuckyLabs needed to not only catch the attention of users in a crowded sphere but keep it. By building social media and gamification into its utility app, LuckyLabs' Scantopia was able to grow to more than 6,000 social media shares a day.

This team of marketers displays how to put a viral "app mentality" into your marketing strategy in order to get customers excited.

Creative Samples

  1. Kahlúa sample

  2. Tim Ferriss sample

  3. Playtex Baby sample

Related Resources

Inbound Marketing: The top 9 MarketingSherpa case studies and how-to articles showcasing 2013 trends and tactics

Email Marketing 2013: The top 10 MarketingSherpa articles for your New Year's marketing resolutions

Social Media Marketing: Small sporting goods store sees 1,100% ROI increase with Facebook coupon

Social Media Marketing: Visit Detroit sees 4 million Twitter impressions with social media campaign to win USA Today award

Real-time Marketing: Nonprofit uses current events to increase revenue 22%




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