At MarketingSherpa, we don’t spend a lot of time focusing on ‘thought leaders,’ espousing what you should be doing with your marketing.
We ask the marketers and entrepreneurs of the world – show us how you actually did it. And we bring those stories to you.
Like in this article. Read on for examples of a new customer-level value proposition, a more efficient content workflow, and a small optimization change that yielded a significant increase.
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What is the all the value your company offers? Are you overlooking any ideal customers in how you communicate that value?
This applies to any organization, not just a company. Here is an example from a city.
The City of Pacifica is located in the Bay Area of California, and has beaches, hiking trails, golfing, and hotels with ocean views – some just steps away from the sand.
Although the city’s hotels were busy during the weekend and summer months, there was an opportunity to increase revenue from midweek stays during the offseason.
“It's all about boosting mid-week overnight revenue. Almost every destination we speak to cites this as a major missed revenue opportunity, so it was really exciting to successfully proof-out a marketing initiative that makes such an impact on the local economy,” said Kevin Almeida, Managing Director, Creative Digital Agency, Inc. (the City of Pacifica’s agency).
The rise of the remote work population gave the team an idea to generate additional mid-week, one-plus-night stays at local hotels.
The team launched a campaign to encourage workations in Pacifica. The idea of a workation (also spelled workcation) is when work and a vacation collide, and the campaign set out to inspire remote workers to escape the boundaries of their home office, and instead work remotely with ocean views in one of Pacifica’s hotels.
“Ever since the world changed in 2020, workations have been a rising trend amongst a segment of the population with above-average discretionary income – and yet this trend has gone largely unaddressed by destinations and the hospitality industry,” Almeida said.
The campaign incorporated the town’s shop local program, Shop Pacifica, by incentivizing remote workers with a free $50 digital gift card they could spend in 40 locations around town when booking two or more nights Monday to Thursday.
To help get the word out, a website showcasing Pacifica hotels, activities, and guides for planning the perfect workation was created. A workations ‘giveaway’ sweepstakes was used to raise awareness of the program through regional paid media partnerships.
In addition, the campaign was promoted through various digital channels, a PR campaign, coordination of press familiarization tours during the promotion, and digital paid media targeting key feeder markets.
“We were very excited to design and launch this creative pilot program and getting the local hotels onboard as key stakeholders was an important piece of the strategy,” says Yulia Carter, Assistant City Manager, City of Pacifica.
She continued, “They are on the front lines welcoming visitors to our beautiful community daily, so providing hotels with effective marketing materials, training and guidance was a key to the success of this pilot program designed to help strengthen our local economy.”
Creative Sample #1: Webpages, social media, and press coverage
Between the additional nights booked at hotels, and the dollars spent by visitors shopping locally, the campaign injected an attributable $48,400 into the local economy, with prospective incremental revenue reaching as high as $174,400.
“Pacifica's Workations campaign worked so well because we were able to fulfill a need for the consumer while simultaneously solving a business problem for the destination,” Almedia said.
The campaign also increased long-term brand awareness and engagement from prospective regional visitors. Thanks to media/influencer coverage and giveaways the number of people following the city’s Instagram account doubled during the campaign.
“Our comprehensive review and analysis of this pilot program will help us design a successful ongoing future version,” Carter said.
Most brands can benefit from real-time marketing – B2C companies sharing content during cultural moments or B2B companies leveraging major industry events.
Here’s an example with a brand that has a major event every week (in season) – a professional football team.
NFL gameday is three hours of pure adrenaline. Along with the players, the Jets’ fanbase is fired up about the game, and the content team seeks to cover that excitement on all of franchise’s social channels to capitalize on these moments in real time.
But in 2018, the content team for the New York Jets was only able to turn around content after every ‘big play’ or the end of a quarter. And the amount of photos they were able to post was limited.
For example, a matchup against the Chicago Bears in late 2018. The team posted a single action shot showing a Jets player forcing a Bears player to fumble. With only one photo included in the post, there is less chance of engagement. This post only garnered 6,700 likes, whereas a similarly positioned post in 2022 (see AFTER section) with multiple images garnered more than double that number.
Creative Sample #2: Example Instagram post before DAM workflow
And they were only able to make two posts during this game – again, minimizing their opportunity for real-time fan engagement.
So the team leveraged digital asset management (DAM) before the 2019 football season to implement a more efficient real-time workflow that enables them to almost instantaneously transfer their content to their fans and even their athletes, sponsors, and other partners.
Let’s look at an example. For a game against the Buffalo Bills in 2022, the team was able to make an in-game Instagram post highlighting a sack of the opposing quarterback with five photos and two videos all bundled into one post. This comprehensive gameday post garnered more than twice the amount of likes as the similarly positioned post from 2018 (mentioned in the Before section of this article).
Creative Sample #3: Example Instagram post after DAM workflow
And that was just one of 11 total posts the Jets account distributed on game day, ensuring they aren’t missing out on sharing the most exciting moments and content with their fans.
The DAM workflow allows the content team shoot content and turn it around for social posts in real time. Let’s take a look at a scenario to see how the team leverages the new workflow. Let’s say it’s the end of the fourth quarter, and the New York Jets can win the game with a field goal. The sideline photographer snaps a photo as the Jets’ kicker launches the ball through the goalpost for the game-winning score.
With the new workflow, the game-winning shot is immediately in the hands of the social media team, who can upload the content just moments after the kick takes place. The ability to quickly find and identify the most valuable content gives the photos a longer shelf life and allows the team to maximize content on gameday to increase fan engagement on their social posts.
By utilizing a content distribution platform, the Jets photographers are now able to transfer content to the social media team in seconds. No one has to go out of their way to get the content transferred. Photographers no longer need to step aside to pull cards, and they’re now sent directly to the social team to sift through and push out before the timely moment has passed.
“Being able to get the photos out first – it’s like beating someone to market. Once we get that stuff out there, I’m not sure fans want to consume it elsewhere so we try to get stuff out as quickly as we possibly can to lead that storyline. Now that we have the capability of getting it out in real time, that’s the goal,” said Dan Szpakowski, Director, Content and Production, New York Jets.
The New York Jets saw their Instagram engagement grow 380% from the 2018 football season to the 2019 season. Since the 2018 season, the New York Jets Instagram account has nearly doubled its content volume and follower count.
“In 2023, real-time content is more crucial than ever for professional sports brands, and it's the key to successful fan engagement,” said Andrew Fingerman, CEO, PhotoShelter (the Jets’ DAM platform).
I always love those real-world examples where a relatively small change leads to an impressive results. Here’s an example from LawLinq, a lawyer referral service based in Southern California.
“As a new attorney referral, we have the odds stacked against us, especially when competing with other much larger and more established services,” said Jessica Anvar, Esq., Chief Operating Officer, LawLinq. So the team looks for every edge it can get.
The team has published blog post about the average workers’ compensation settlements in California.
Creative Sample #4: Previous blog post
They wanted to find ways to increase traffic to the post. As a legal business, many readers visit the blog in search of information that pertains to their case. Knowing this, the team targeted some simple changes that made this page easier to navigate for readers and that also offered more personalized information for people searching for legal assistance.
The marketing team decided to add a table of contents, an infographic, and a quiz.
Creative Sample #5: Updated blog post
This is a particularly long post so adding a table of contents helps readers locate the exact information they need. They added the infographic to break things up a bit and provide readers with information in a more visual format. The quiz provides additional, individualized information that can help guide readers towards the exact services they need.
Creative Sample #6: Quiz added to long blog post
The team has found that this is the sort of content that encourages users stay on the page when they are researching information on a topic as specific as the average workers’ compensation settlement by injury type and cause in California. “Articles that are more user-friendly and engaging with readers perform far better than articles that are simply one long block of text,” Anvar said.
For this post on the average worker’s compensation settlement in California, 67 people visited the page in a two-week period in June. During a two-week period in August, shortly after they incorporated these changes, 724 people visited the blog post – a 981% increase.
"As a lawyer referral and information service, one of our top priorities is to provide consumers with pertinent and valuable information that empowers them to make well-informed decisions. These changes are intricately woven into the fabric of our overarching business objectives because they enable us to pinpoint individuals with legal issues and who are actively seeking legal representation, rather than those merely conducting preliminary research. This shift harmonizes seamlessly with our customer journey mapping efforts, as it assists us in identifying the specific information and content types that potential clients may be looking for – insights that we can replicate across various practice areas," she said.
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