February 06, 2024
Case Study

Impact of Visuals in Digital Marketing: Examples from a SaaS and a clinical research organization


I’ll admit it. I’m a word guy. Design has never been my art.

But I was reading an article in Vanity Fair, and a phrase grabbed me – ‘Writing with Light.’ It’s the name of an organization for ethical standards for visual journalism in the age of AI.

It’s also the perfect description of what good visuals in marketing should be doing. They shouldn’t just be placeholders or stock photos. They should be writing your value proposition; they just happen to be doing it with light.

To spark your best thinking for how to do that, today we bring you homepage and social media examples.

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

MECLABS AI is totally FREE to use, you don’t even have to register (for now).

Try this prompt: You are running [an e-commerce business that sells eco-friendly home goods.] Your [sales] have been [steady], but you want to [significantly increase your online conversion rates]. You've just [launched a new line of sustainable kitchen products that you believe have substantial market potential]. Craft a comprehensive strategy using MECLABS Conversion Marketing principles to optimize the [e-commerce sales funnel, from driving traffic to securing purchases]. Focus on identifying the key customer profiles, demonstrating how to structure a Micro-Yes Conversion Path, developing a compelling value proposition for [the new product line], and suggesting A/B testing ideas for critical webpage elements.

Quick Case Study #1: How a collaboration tool increased purchases via the homepage by 29.3% with a prominent visual

Creately is a diagramming and visual collaboration tool. Like most companies, its home page is one of the pages that gets the most traffic.

BEFORE: Home page receiving lots of traffic but not enough conversions

The team was not happy with the conversion rate for the global SaaS brand’s homepage. The team figured that since people coming to the home page are already aware of the brand the conversion for the home page needed to be higher.

Creative Sample #1: Homepage before

Creative Sample #1: Homepage before

AFTER: Revamped home page with visual depicting collaboration and diagramming features

From past data, the team knew that most people are interested in the product’s diagramming features. “Although we introduced databases, video conferencing, and project management features, over 90% of our users still primarily use the diagramming functionality, as tracked by Indicative,” said Nishadha Silva, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Creately.

However, the current home page was not prominently highlighting the diagramming features. So, they created a treatment with a diagram-type mind map above-the-fold on the homepage.

Further analysis of competitors in the space and successful SaaS companies in general showed that most of them have a centered CTA. So the homepage design treatment tested a centered CTA.

Creative Sample #2: Homepage after

Creative Sample #2: Homepage after

“We ran this test for 14 days as an experiment using the AB testing platform GrowthBook," Silva said.

This was not tested on mobile because 73% of the homepage’s traffic comes from desktop and 95% of purchases occur on desktop. Also, the company does not have a mobile app for the tool.

RESULTS: 29.3% Increase in purchases via the home page

After running a 50/50 split AB test, the team saw:

  • 9.7% increase in clicks on the CTA button in the variation (the ‘after’ homepage)
  • Of people who reached the next step, 29.3% more purchased (perhaps because they had a better understanding of what they would get from the product)

“It just goes to show that sometimes it takes a big and bold move to get exceptional results,” he said.

Quick Case Study #2: How a clinical research organization improved Facebook posts to increase visits 226% and used geolocation keywords to increase SERP CTR 55%

Revival Research is a clinical research organization. It was most known for its focus on filling the research gaps related to skin diseases. The company aimed to expand its reach, attract more participants, and increase brand awareness.

BEFORE: Sporadic Facebook posts that weren’t visually attractive or well branded

The initial approach involved sporadic posts that weren’t clearly branded. The messages jumped right to the CTA. For example, starting a Facebook post with “Enrolling individual for a clinical trial.” And the CTA focused on receiving treatment at no cost.

The visual had a very basic design, like a slide from a presentation, with the headline “Asthma Research Study.”

Creative Sample #3: Previous Facebook post for clinical research organization

Creative Sample #3: Previous Facebook post for clinical research organization

AFTER: Compelling visuals with clear branding and engaging messaging

The team introduced a cohesive content calendar with consistent branding and engaging content that did not jump straight into a CTA. “We needed to engage and motivate the right kind of participants,” said Nicole Stiff, Corporate Operations & Business Development Manager, Revival Research Institute, LLC.

For example, one post began “Asthma can strike unexpectedly, impacting your daily activities and overall well-being…” The CTA focused on the positive impact from participating in the study. For example, “Join our Asthma Clinical Trials and make a difference in the lives of those affected by asthma.”

The images included the organization’s logo, to help with branding, and looked professionally designed. They included a headline meant to be engaging, like, “Do not let asthma catch you off guard.”

The Facebook post captions included emojis and relevant hashtags, like #Asthma, #Pulmonology, and #ClinicalTrials.

Creative Sample #4: New Facebook post for clinical research organization

Creative Sample #4: New Facebook post for clinical research organization

BEFORE: Metadata lacked specificity and geolocation

The team didn’t stop at social media, they optimized the company’s website as well. The website’s initial metadata lacked specificity and failed to align with targeted geolocation efforts. For example, the homepage focused on the keyword ‘Clinical Research’ and the homepage’s initial metadata stated, “Revival Research is one of the fastest-growing Clinical Research Organizations.”

Studies pages focused on keywords like ‘Androgenetic Alopecia,’ ‘Hidradenitis Suppurativa,’ and ‘Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria.’

AFTER: Website redesign with optimized metadata

The entire website was redesigned. As part of that change, the metadata was updated.

“We employed SEO strategies, utilizing tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to optimize web content, including a geo-specific meta-description for Michigan,” said Faaiz Hussain, Founder, Digital Auxilius (Revival’s agency).

The team generated keywords relevant to clinical research and research areas like skin diseases.

The keyword focus for the homepage changed to ‘Clinical Research Organization In Michigan’ and the new meta-description stated, “Revival Research is one of the fastest-growing Clinical Research Organizations in Michigan. We Conduct Clinical Trials for a Better Tomorrow.” This slight modification only added the location – Michigan – and an aspirational line – about  a promising future.

Focus keywords for studies pages changed to ‘Androgenetic Alopecia Clinical Trials In Michigan,’ ‘Hidradenitis Suppurativa Clinical Trials In Michigan’ and ‘Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria Clinical Trials In Michigan.’

RESULTS: More website visitors

Facebook visits increased 226% year over year, from 3,679 to 11,977.

According to Google Search Console, total SERP impressions increased from 818,000 to 8.24 million. That change probably had more to do with the larger website redesign, not just the metadata changes. But the metadata likely did play a role in the average CTR increasing from 2.2% to 3.4%, a 55% increase

Those two changes combined meant that search traffic increased from 18,00 to 112,000.

Related resources

AI + Synoptic Layered Approach = Transformed Webpage Conversion

A/B Testing: SAP increases conversion 62% by using images

Social Media Marketing: When your product delights your customers, customers will help sell it

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