5 Great Marketing Case Studies from Around the Web

The marketing case study – a personalized story of success or failure – is one of my favorite types of blog posts (or otherwise interesting or unexpected results). As far as blog posts go, they’re not as easy to produce as a “top 5” list (ahem), but they can teach you so much more. Specific examples and real-life stories are often easier to take action on than vague abstractions, so a well-written case study is a great way to get attention and links. A case study is always unique, whereas standard tip posts are frequently just reproducing information you can find elsewhere on the internet.

If you haven’t considered writing this type of content before, I strongly encourage you to do so! Consider a recent strategy that really hit the ball out of the park – or completely flopped. Then explain why you believe it worked or did not work. Alternatively, write a case study from the outside – other businesses frequently succeed or fail in the public eye and an outsider’s perspective on why is just as valuable as an insider’s analysis.

Here are five great marketing case studies to get you started:

Marketing Research Case Study #1: The Halo Effect of Social Media on Organic Search

Is a mention worthless unless it is accompanied by a link? It is possible! This Level Ten Design blog case study describes the effects on a client’s traffic after Selena Gomez mentioned the business on Twitter. The author estimates that the tweet’s reach, including retweets, was well over a million, and the site’s analytics saw a significant increase in organic traffic and brand-related keyword searches (what he refers to as “a halo effect”).

Internet Marketing Case Study #2: Squeeze Page Optimization: How to Generate 700+ Free Leads with a Conversion Rate of 64%

Viper Chill (Glen Alsop) has a plethora of case studies on his blog – all of his success becomes tiresome after a while. (I’m kidding.) This one is an examination of a squeeze page he created, which had a remarkable conversion rate of 64%. The offer was for a free e-book, but there was a catch: “In order to get the guide (you guessed it), people had to Tweet or Facebook share a link to my website.” This resulted in hundreds of additional visitors.

Example #3 of a Marketing Case Study: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

I’m sure you’ve heard of The 4-Hour Workweek, even if you haven’t read it – it’s one of those books that seems to have topped bestseller lists based solely on its title. Did you know Timothy Ferriss tested the title with Google AdWords (AdWords)? He developed campaigns for six potential titles. The title with the highest click-through rate won. More on this clever idea can be found on the weiji blog (weiji is the Chinese word for crisis, derived from the words “danger” and “opportunity”).

Case Study #4: Is Photo Optimization More Important Than You Think?

Kasy Allen’s recent post on the SEOmoz blog addresses “the importance of correctly labeling your photos” rather than just using keywords: “If you fill the alt tag with nothing but keywords, how are people going to get the images that they really need?” “Do I want the “World’s Best Tortilla Soup Recipe Ever” or the “Thick Tortilla Soup Recipe?” She conducts a test search to determine what else Google looks for when crawling and ranking images.

Conversion Psychology Marketing Strategy Case Study #5: Why Is It Beneficial to Steal Grapes?

Oli Gardner’s case study describes a test that increased newsletter opt-in conversion by 13%. How? By including a sneak peek. Oli attributes this to the same psychology that causes us to steal a grape before purchasing a whole bunch.

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