December 20, 2012

Inbound Marketing: The top 9 MarketingSherpa case studies and how-to articles from 2012 about SEO, social media, and content marketing

SUMMARY: Over the past twelve months, marketing campaigns, both small and large, integrated more inbound elements to into their efforts. The most shared articles from the MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter this year -- featuring social media, content, SEO and link building -- are covered in today's final MarketingSherpa inbound marketing article of 2012.
by Courtney Eckerle, Reporter

Going into 2012, marketers considered three of their four most important lead sources to be inbound tactics, according to the MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook:
  • 94% listed SEO as an important lead source

  • 85% listed social media as an important lead source

  • 68% list blogs as an important lead source

Case studies and how-to articles representing these three tactics were also popular with readers of the MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing newsletter. Below are the most-shared MarketingSherpa inbound marketing articles of the year. The case studies explore marketers’ forays into SEO, social media and content, and show how marketers integrated these tactics into overall campaigns. Featured how-to articles outline actionable tactics and steps for improvement in these areas from knowledgeable experts and industry leaders.

SEO strategies

Local SEO: How geotargeting keywords brought 333% more revenue – A regional eye care provider outside of Chicago was able to bring in traffic through the “side door” with geotargeted keywords to greatly improve its overall SEO strategy.

Link Building: 5 tactics to build a better SEO strategy – Search engines, with their constantly changing barrage of ranking factors, have marketers guessing on how to raise their search ranking. In this article, three experts lay out their own insights to help you take the guesswork out of maintaining a well-run SEO system.

Long-tail Search Marketing: SEO how-to content and videos earn 9% conversion rate – Prospects who find your website through specific, long-tail keywords are usually the most qualified. This case study covers how one retailer targeted specific search terms by using highly targeted video and content to increase its SEO and convince site visitors to purchase.

Social media integration

Inbound Marketing: How a software company generated 190% more leads with a small budget – This case study profiles a U.K.-based startup that gambled by devoting their entire marketing budget to inbound. By leveraging content, social media and a unique approach to industry trade shows, the team drew a 335% increase in website traffic along with a jump in lead generation.

Social Media Marketing: Facebook app boosts engagement, adds 23,000 fans and lifts website referrals 238% – This case study covers Innovation Norway’s 45-day Facebook challenge – built off of a previous successful experience with a Facebook app – to run a campaign targeting travelers in the United States. Learn about the team’s user-experience development, and how it incentivized and promoted the Facebook app, as well as how it uncovered its elusive target audience.

Social Media Marketing: 5 tips to optimize your Twitter opportunities – Social media leaders from USA Today and The University of Cincinnati take you through the intricacies of using Twitter to its maximum potential. Easily avoidable mistakes and savvy but simple strategies are discussed in this how-to article, full of real-world examples.

Content marketing

User-Generated Content: Organic search up 10%, conversion up 125% with rich product reviews – Creating content is expensive, and can take up more manpower and hours than are available. However, research has shown that creating content is one of the most effective tactics for improving SEO. In this case study, marketers for an e-commerce site set out to increase its organic search traffic, conversion rates and time-on-site by encouraging customers to write content for the website with product reviews.

Measuring Content Marketing: How to measure results, find gaps and grab opportunities – Content undoubtedly has a payoff, but it can sometimes be difficult to convey that value to managers and directors. Large and small companies will benefit from tactics for strategizing and measuring content given by two industry experts in this article.

Content Marketing How-to: 7 steps for creating and optimizing content in any size organization – Content can be difficult for any size organization, and two veteran content creators go over steps for optimizing content from every business angle. Also, learn which traps to watch out for, and about underutilized outlets for generating compelling content ideas.

Related Resources

Sign up for the free MarketingSherpa Inbound Marketing Newsletter

Download a free excerpt of the 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report – SEO Edition

Inbound Marketing 2011: The 9 social media, content marketing, and SEO articles your peers shared most

Marketing Research Chart: To improve SEO effectiveness, content is king

Develop a Winning Combination for Social Media Integration: 9 tips from a recent MarketingSherpa webinar

Marketing Research Chart: Inbound lead sources more important to marketers

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