December 15, 2021
Case Study

2021 Year-end Digital Marketing Wrap-up: 9 articles and videos (plus a course) marketers and entrepreneurs used to improve results


I’ve written countless case-study-filled articles this year. Spoken endlessly on podcasts. Blah, blah, blah.

In other words, I am hopelessly biased on our content.

So, like a good marketer, I turned to my customer, and asked our readers what content helped them most this year.

To bring you key lessons to help power a successful 2022, read on for examples from a law firm, media market network, translation service, online photo service, app, software, beauty ecommerce, and marketing agencies.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

2021 Year-end Digital Marketing Wrap-up: 9 articles and videos (plus a course) marketers and entrepreneurs used to improve results

This article was published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

Attorney shares case studies and infographic that helped her law firm increase page performance, get more calls, and engage employees with philanthropy

From Jessica Anvar, Esq., Managing Partner, Lemon Law Experts:

The marketing industry is constantly evolving and there is always something to learn. I am extremely grateful to leading marketers who take the time to share their knowledge with others in the industry. Some examples of these include Neil Patel, Brian Dean, MarketingSherpa, Ahrefs, and SEMrush.

We reference MarketingSherpa and the case studies frequently and find the site and studies incredibly informative and helpful. We pick up a lot of information and advice that we implement with our marketing strategies.

Specifically, we have used Quick Case Study #2 [from “Content, SEO, and Facebook/YouTube Marketing: 3 case studies to help you guide traffic to conversion”] regarding changing keyword focus to increase our traffic for particular year, make and model vehicles we were targeting for signups.

We implemented these changes and as a result, we are seeing an uptick in page performance in analytics, which in turn should result in higher conversions, i.e., case sign ups (time will tell). Prior to the changes, these pages were tracking approximately 1-2% of our total monthly page views. Post changes, these pages are now performing between 2.46% - 12.32% of our total page views.

We also used the infographic How to Create a Model of Your Customer’s Mind, to help guide the design of our direct mail campaigns in order to appeal to our target audience in a more effective manner. We have since seen an increase in results with these campaigns, i.e., more calls and in turn more case sign ups.

We re-ran a direct mail campaign with ideas learned from the infographic. This was a 5,000-piece mailer. Pre changes, we received approximately 90 calls and 6 sign ups. Post changes, we received about 167 calls and about 11 sign ups!

Last, your Mini Case Study #7 [from “Creative Inspiration: 9 mini case studies of marketing campaigns and business ideas sparked by unorthodox inspiration”] regarding philanthropy really hit home with us.  Since July 2021, we have engaged in ongoing philanthropic events supporting our local communities. These events are employee-centric in that we engage the ideas and involvement of our team in order to give back to those in need.

We recently held a Halloween book-drive and donated Halloween books to elementary students, ages 5 to 8. Before that, we held a backpack drive and donated 60 backpacks to high school students in need and we are currently working on a Thanksgiving food-drive for the homeless in Los Angeles. This past summer we started our annual scholarship event to support the next generation of attorneys.

We have found that these philanthropic initiatives have increased employee satisfaction and engagement. Our team loves to see what we are working on every month, they feel inspired to give back to our communities, and we get a lot of requests for involvement and brainstorming for future initiatives. It increases morale at our law firm, improves a common bond between our team and overall makes our law firm a better place.

Thank you for all the awesome content on MarketingSherpa. We are grateful for this resource!

Chief Revenue Officer shares teaching programs that helped her optimize the media market network’s website

From Jeanne Hopkins, CRO,

From the get-go, it was apparent to me in my tenure with that I could not announce joining the company until we had a website that provided more clarity for visitors. From day one, I worked with the team to remove CTAs [calls to action] that were no longer relevant and started to figure out how to rebrand ourselves into a more relevant company that knows technology.

Out-of-home advertising is huge. It is a $30 billion global market, yet I knew very little about it.

I realized that the certifications I earned for landing pages and website optimization from MarketingExperiments’ teaching programs had to be renewed so that the website, the landing pages, and the brand all mattered [Editor’s Note: On October 25th, we replaced these teaching programs with our new, updated course, taught by Flint McGlaughlin].

Consistency in brand marketing is key. And I learned that from MECLABS’ Flint McGlaughlin.

Co-founder shares article that helped translation service improve social media posts

From Doc Kane, Co-founder, Maplopo:

Your article [“Copywriting: 5 common headline errors”] was a huge eye-opener for me because I make every single one of those mistakes! I'm a writer by trade, and am pretty darn good at titles, but not at headlines I'm discovering. I never knew there was a difference, really, until I read your article. That's why I was so happy to discover it.

More concretely, I've been trying to drop the empty questions, and titles masquerading as headlines on LinkedIn, and in the construction of a few landing pages I'm working on. Being clever (which works in comedy writing) is also another thing I have to switch up.

Ditching the questions has done well for me recently [on LinkedIn]. Someone even commented that it was a good headline! ;-) [See Creative Sample #1]. So, I guess I'm getting better through channeling you.

Creative Sample #1: Social media post

Creative Sample #1: Social media post

Marketing agency creative director shares article that helped during a brainstorming meeting with a client about mobile app customer retention and engagement

From Hannah Vaughn, CEO & Creative Director, Mane Impact:

I read your article on “Going Deep with your Marketing to Engage Consumers” and was impressed. The case studies you cited were incredibly valuable, especially the first one on Shake Shack’s push notifications and in-app messaging. I was able to share that info and build on it during a brainstorming session with a client to help with their mobile app customer retention and engagement.

After working to develop a healthy relationship with technology for the past year or so, I’m now surprisingly grateful for the quick and easy access that mobile devices offer. While having the world at your fingertips is overwhelming at times, it also provides countless opportunities for users to discover new products and services through marketing.

The accessibility of mobile — social media, emails, push notifications, and apps — allowed my firm to help BuyLocal launch a free app for users to discover local shops and makers in their neighborhoods that normally get overlooked because of large retailers’ marketing budgets. Without the optimization and streamlining of mobile, we wouldn’t have been able to triple their user base within the first week of launch.

App CEO shares video and course that helped him think outside the box

From Ouriel Lemmel, CEO & Founder, WinIt:

My favorite video was Rapid-Fire Results: 21 quick ideas for improving your customer-first marketing. I discovered a lot of great applicable ideas in this video, and so many of them were easy to implement and either free or very cost effective. I really appreciated the sense of camaraderie that was highlighted and how willing people I respect were to share their successful ideas. I was particularly struck by the idea of reaching your customer through non-traditional channels, and how McDonald’s wittily used their Wi-Fi name to connect with people. Genius, and it helped me to think outside the box.

The most revelatory piece of information I took away from the free MECLABS marketing course was to think about the “why” before you understand the “how,” especially when it comes to optimizing your landing page. Knowing how to think deeply about what your customer is looking for, and why they will choose you instead of your competitors was paradigm-shifting for me. The supremacy of the customer should always be first in your mind and that will lead you to make the best decisions for your company.

A great example of this is what happened to WinIt during the pandemic when we discovered that our app was even more relevant than ever. More people were using cars to reduce the use of public transportation where social distancing can be difficult. By posting real user reviews and feedback on our landing page, we are optimizing the experience for our potential customers, and moving towards signing up for our service. Our landing page caters specifically to people who need our product in a way that our competitors do not.

Head of marketing at online photo service shares article that helped him better understand the human issues of marketing

From Leszek Dudkiewicz, Head of Marketing, Passport Photo Online:

I would not like to focus on a strictly theoretical marketing lesson but rather on a human issue. The title of the article was: How to be a good marketer.

I have found this article extremely fascinating because it dealt with a much more inner and personal meaning. Questioning, and even finding answers, on the meaning of being a good marketer is definitely not easy.

How can we make a positive impact in the world; and do it in a practical and tangible way?

How can we be true to our values and principles? And how can our work create, add and communicate value?

Moreover, the article caught my attention for a meaningful sentence: “understanding other human beings.” Being empathetic, putting ourselves in the shoes of others, whether it's one of our customers or someone else, is clearly not as easy as it sounds. In today's super individualistic and narcissistic world, trying to change our perspective by understanding others is an arduous task. However, succeeding in this mission is what makes us stand out from other marketers.

CMO shares video that helped his software company market to senior citizens (even though his team is the polar opposite)

From Andriy Shvets, CMO at MacKeeper:

A huge fan of yours. I've always loved reading marketing research and learning from it, and there’s always good content from you.

One of my favorite pieces of content from MarketingSherpa was a video that talked about a specific issue that was so important for my role here at MacKeeper.

The video is all about marketing to senior citizens when your team is the polar opposite of that, and that's exactly the kind of situation we face here at MacKeeper. It’s incredible that this kind of topic is even discussed because it’s so rare to see it explored, and I found it to be very, very helpful. It helped me learn a lot about the situation I’m facing and gave me invaluable tips for dealing with this challenge. It was a great lesson that hit the right spot for me, and I always come back to it and use it to teach my team the same.

Digital marketing agency CEO shares course the helped him with marketing prioritization

From James Parsons, CEO, Content Powered:

I find the online course very inspiring. Here’s what I learned – many marketers miss asking the “why” questions and proceed to the “how” without careful reflection.

Prioritization is crucial in marketing. Grounding your work with reflection involves deploying an inverted argument, resolving the “why” matters first to make the manner or the “how” more meaningful for you and your target audience.

CEO shares article that helped beauty and wellness ecommerce company to get a wider reach

From Kathryn McDavid, CEO, Editor's Pick:

I have been regularly reading MarketingSherpa’s articles to guide me.

The most important lesson I learned is from an article that analyzes the three types of customer needs. The report has helped improve the customer service we provide, and we are now more inclined to tailor the services we offer according to an individual's requirements.

It made me think outside of my usual perception that the focus of a company's services and marketing should be on the knowledgeable audience already subscribed to your niche, but [instead] to design your strategies to be a more impressionable brand and get a wider reach.

Featured Resources

If you’re looking to study up on your marketing skills during the holiday break, here is a look back at key marketing lessons we have published over the past few years.

What 2020 Has Taught Marketers: 8 essential marketing lessons

Marketers Stand Together: 8 crucial conversion optimization lessons from MarketingExperiments videos in 2020

Landing Pages, Value Prop and Headlines: Your peers’ favorite MarketingSherpa articles of 2019

Value Proposition, Web Design, and Wireframing: Your peers’ favorite MarketingExperiments articles and videos of 2019

Most Popular MarketingSherpa Articles of 2018: Get more leads, use impactful words and beat the competition

Most Popular MarketingExperiments Articles of 2018: Big lifts from small changes, high-quality hypotheses, value prop and (of course) heuristics

MECLABS Best of 2018: Maximizing your marketing performance, mastering your value proposition and understanding your customer

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