I assume that my previous post, “How to Grow Your Website Traffic Using Owned Media & Earned Media” was a super hit. Because, a couple of days after I posted the blog, there was an unprecedented rate of email overflow in my inbox.
And I did nothing different than what a normal writer & marketer would do – I simply went through every single one of them!
A few emails were against my idea (they said I was bringing up a fantasy theory). A few were completely okay with what I said. But, most of them were quite unsure – unsure as to what decision to make. And some even asked, “Are there any best marketing case studies that would stand as solid proof to your fantasy theory?”
I thought yes, why not make things a bit more clear?
So, I sat down and started to dig deep – deep enough that I was able to find some of the best organic digital marketing case studies and online marketing success stories.
In fact, I’ve handpicked every one of them to make sure they fall under different categories (examples of what I’ve specified as organic growth hacks in my previous blog post). And here they are, freshly baked and straight outta the oven…
Table of Contents
Top 8 Organic Digital Marketing Case Studies You Should Have a Look At
Note – Below mentioned data have been calculated up to the 27th of August’2019
Let’s start with Quora (because Quora is my favorite – should be yours too after you read this)!
Quora really needs no introduction as to how useful and beneficial it is to business growth as we’ve discussed a little about this before.
But still, here’s an image for a better understanding (and the one that’s going to leave you completely baffled).
Quora during July’18 had a peak traffic of 89,395,682!
Insane Right? (that’s Quora for you)
But the question here is, “Is Quora powerful enough for one to choose it over other paid mediums?”
If you’d ask me, I would say yes!
And this time, I’ve brought with me few examples that would instill the same…
Case Study 1 – How Neil Patel Increased 6477 Quora Followers
You heard that right! 6k+ followers!
Here, take a look at this image…
That’s how things were a couple of years before.
With 8,697 followers and 285 answers, Neil Patel was a pretty much reliable Digital Marketing figure in Quora.
And when I started to draft this blog post, I visited Neil Patel’s profile again.
What I came across was no surprise to me! Here’s his profile now…
(I’ve annotated the image and numbered them – you can find the explanation below)
After a close observation and some basic math calculations, I was able to figure out three things:
- Increase in Followers: That’s quite obvious. From 8,697 followers to 15,174 followers that’s an exact increase of 6477 followers. In other words, that’s a 74.4% increase.
FYI: That’s no ordinary percent for a platform like Quora!
- Increased Content Views: When you look at the first image, you could notice that the total content views were 766.6k and now it’s a massive 2.2 million. A huge 186.98 percent increase in content views.
- Answers Remained More or Less the Same: Whilst everything was booming out there, the number of answers remained more or less the same. To be accurate, 8 of his answers were deleted!
So, How Was Neil Patel Able to Do It?
Every single answer by Neil Patel was clear-cut, comprehensive and gave detailed information to the user.
His answers quite served the purpose of the question and readers started to leave the page with an “Awww!” reaction. In fact, some of Neil Patel’s answers were lengthy that it crossed 2000+ words.
But, does it matter? As long as readers get what they want, who cares?
Eventually, the word spread and there was an increased number of shares to his content. People started to read more (which resulted in increased content views) and followers started to come out of nowhere!
That’s how it worked for Neil Patel (and he became one of the top writers)!
If this one’s not convincing enough for you, here’s another one!
Case Study 2 – How Rand Fishkin Increased 4377 Quora Followers
I am not going to tell you anything new here. Pretty much the same. How Rand Fishkin, the Co-Founder of SEOmoz increased 4377 followers in Quora.
This is how Rand Fishkin’s Quora profile was like a couple of years before,
With 18,548 followers and 1.2 million answer views, the founder of Moz was then coming up with a lot of new stuff! And a couple of years later, his profile turned out to be this,
Like before, I was doing a quick observation (since I got used to the routine) and came up with the below metrics,
- Increase in Followers: On calculating, I was able to find that over the period, Rand Fishkin had 4377 increased Quora followers which is a 23.59 percent increase.
- Increased Content Views: A steep rise from 1.2 million content views to 1.8 million shows how Rand Fishkin’s answers were doing in Quora.
- No Notable Difference in Answers: Like we saw before, there are no notable differences in the number of answers.
- Rand Fishkin has changed his profile picture (I thought you could be using some humor at this time).
How Did Rand Fishkin Do it Then?
On analyzing the first 20 answers of Rand Fishkin, 55% of the questions were about MOZ and the ex-CEO himself. And the remaining was about generic SEO related questions.
In fact, Rand Fishkin was quite clear about how he was going to use Quora.
Since he himself was the person answering the questions, people who started to use Moz and others who wanted to know more about him found this as a perfect source of information.
Eventually, followers flocked in and the content views increased, as simple as that!
If you had read the above case studies properly, you would have noticed that there’s one thing in common.
Which is, both Neil Patel and Rand Fishkin stopped answering questions after a certain period of time (I wouldn’t recommend this to you unless you get similar followers and you become an industry expert). But still, they were able to increase followers because their answers were pretty detailed and convincing.
And that’s what you should be doing for your business growth too – answer on quora with clear-cut, comprehensive, detailed answers on a regular basis!
Here, take a look at this…
Neil Patel’s website gets huge referral traffic – 358.8k. What if 10% of this is from Quora?
Think about it – it’s free, powerful and results-driving (all sources of owned & earned media are).
And speaking of free, powerful sources that could drive results, I just couldn’t stop myself from telling you about YouTube. YouTube can do wonders for your business. People find videos, watch videos, share them and do everything else possible.
I’ve literally seen businesses that were nothing once thrive, strive and make a six-digit revenue and more by using YouTube.
And as for how much traffic YouTube gets, here’s an image that would be of help to you,
The peak traffic was an approximate 1,611,977,439 – one billion six hundred eleven million nine hundred seventy-seven thousand four hundred thirty-nine.
Huge and definitely promising!
But growing on YouTube isn’t like you post videos one day and you get subscribers the other day. You need to plan your content well, look into YouTube SEO factors, promote them relentlessly and the most important one – do this continually!
We’ll see about YouTube SEO in a separate post. As for now, here are two case studies where the power of YouTube has been harnessed!
Case Study 3 – How Ahrefs Was Able to Get 1.6k Views in Just 16 Hours?
Ahrefs, an industry leader in automated SEO tools started a YouTube channel on the 8th of August, 2015, mainly focusing on SEO tutorials that helped marketers increase their organic search traffic.
Ahrefs to date has,
- 69,486 unique subscribers
- 3,426,588 unique views.
- 137 posted videos
And what else? That would do for now.
So, this is how it all began,
The first video that Ahrefs posted was able to gain 18k views in 4 years. Now, I wouldn’t want to compare stats with other websites. But 18k for this industry is okay.
But there’s a catch!
Most of the views here are because of the reliability Ahrefs was able to build within the 4 year period of time, social sharing, and several other sources which only they know!
But that’s not the case here. Take a look at this image…
6.4k views in just 5 days!
That’s a drastic and significant increase in how people receive Ahrefs’s content. And since most of the other videos were performing pretty well (the number of subscribers stands as proof) I was just curious to know what caused this significant increase in both – the number of subscribers and view rate.
How Was Ahrefs Able to Crack It?
And after some groundwork, I was able to find out something useful and convincing.
Ahrefs on average was posting 3-4 videos per month at regular intervals.
On looking at January’19, this was what came up,
- January 9th, 2019 – How to Increase Organic Traffic With a Content Audit
- January 16th, 2019 – SEO Mistakes: Why 91% of Content Gets No Organic Traffic
- January 23rd, 2019 – How to Build Unique Backlinks With Resource Page Link Building
- January 30th, 2019 – Guest Posting at Scale: Get Tons of High-Quality Backlinks
And just to make sure that I was not making any decisions out of intuitions, I went on to check another month.
This time May’19
- May 1st, 2019 – Ranking #1 on Google is Overrated
- May 8th, 2019 – How to Write a Blog Post that Actually Gets Traffic
- May 15th, 2019 – Content Marketing Strategy that Gets Leads and Sales (2019)
- May 22nd, 2019 – Digital Marketing Strategy for Beginners: 7 Strategies that Work
- May 29th, 2019 – SEO in 2019 – What’s Working Today?
I was finally convinced. I went the extra mile and checked for these dates on my calendar. Every single one of them turned out to be Wednesdays!
Seems Ahrefs has for them a strong YouTube Marketing Strategy!
And you know what? It actually worked out for them (proof – the image right above).
Good for Ahrefs!
Here’s another convincing case study that shows how powerful YouTube is.
Case Study 4 – How Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube Channel Was Able to Gain 2.2 Million Subscribers
The Chairman of VaynerX was able to do much with his YouTube channel “GaryVee“. While taking a look at his channel, I was able to get the basics…
- Total Number of Channel Subscribers: 2,288,207
- Total Number of Views: 166,265,219
- Featured Channels: GaryVee Tv & Curse Free GaryVee
“Garyvee” was one of the earliest YouTube channels that came into existence – 6th October 2007 (If you’d say that’s the reason why he got 2 million subscribers, I can tell you channels that were present earlier than this yet no significant records) and the first video was posted on 9th October 2007.
So, If channel age isn’t a factor, what then?
Gary Vaynerchuk has posted a massive 2,193 videos on his channel. On getting curious about this, I started to look for more. I was able to find where Gary actually took off.
The year 2012, Gary uploaded only 12 videos to his YouTube channel. The year followed by that, there was a huge increase – 172 videos which is a 1333.33 percent increase.
Since then, Gary kept on posting an increased number of videos. What he realized was the more engaged he kept his audience, the more subscribers and views he was able to get. And he has own personal style of making videos which people went crazy about!
Gary also made sure that he didn’t lose quality over the period of time. He started to make videos in several niches. Eventually allowing him to increase his loyal subscriber base and making him one of the best speakers.
(Catch your breath)
And as for 2019, Gary has already posted 162 videos to date with three months left!
That’s how Gary Vaynerchuck was able to do it – he kept posting more quality videos and kept his audience base engaged regularly.
With 2.2 million people trusting what he says, don’t you think he could pretty much do what he wants?
That’s what YouTube could do for your business provided you give quality videos that serve a purpose at regular intervals.
Enough of YouTube stuff!
Now, If you could remember, I was telling you to write more blogs in my previous post. Because blogging is an ideal way to reach out to your audience and gain more traffic eventually. I’ve come up with an example here that would help you understand what wonderful results blogging could bring.
Case Study 5 – How Express Writers Was Able to Rank for 24,400+ Keywords and Increase Organic Traffic?
Answer – Blogging! (I’ve seen that face before😋)
Now, jokes apart!
Express Writers is a copywriting agency that was started by Julia McCoy back in 2011. Like every other business that’ll look quite rattled at the beginning, Express Writers was no exception to it.
It was in 2012 when they decided to blog seriously. Since then. Express Writers put up 1211 blog posts on their website till date. This is an average of 151 blogs per year (they seem to put up a post once in every 2-3 days).
And taking a closer look, I noticed that they reduced the frequency. Two blogs per week was what happening in late 2016 & 2017.
They started to focus more on quality than quantity.
And this is where their traffic shot up (please see the image above). From then, there was no looking back for Express Writers. They started to post more quality blogs which eventually started to drive more consistent traffic.
And as of today, Express Writers rank for a massive 24,400+ keywords and get consistent organic traffic.
As you see, blogging isn’t something that you could be doing for a short period of time.
Write a couple of posts and start expecting traffic – strictly no!
It needs extreme patience and relentless efforts. And the rewards will definitely pay off!
Works for Express Writers, why not yours?
Okay, there’s no better time for me to bring in the guest posting theme (since we were seeing about blogging I thought it would be appropriate).
The concept “Guest Posting” seems to be icky. But, trust me, the results could be electrifying. If you aren’t going to trust me, hear out what Leo Widrich has to say!
Case Study 6 – How Buffer Grew From 0 to 100k Customers by Guest Blogging?
It all began on the 30th of November, 2010. That was when Buffer’s first version was launched (and four days after, they had their first paid customer). And within the next 9 months, there were a massive 100,000 Buffer users. For those who have no idea what Buffer is, “Buffer is a social media automation tool which manages all your social media account activities right from scheduling & posting”.
Now to where we left, 100,000 Buffer users in just 9 months by guest blogging!
When I googled about the same, I came across an exclusive video interview where Leo Widrich was explaining about the same.
Watching the timeframe between 3:40 – 3:55 & 5:13 – 8:03 can help you understand better
Here’s how Leo Widrich Worked it Out
Leo Wirdrich, one of the co-founders of Buffer made himself responsible for marketing Buffer. He somehow ended up with the idea of writing guest posts and becoming a guest blogger.
Initially, Leo reached out to bigger blogs for guest blogging opportunities but unfortunately for him, there was no response. Later, he started to reach out for smaller blogs with his piece of content and this time, it worked.
Slowly, he started to write more guest blog posts at an increased pace and started to post them out on several websites. And as a result, Buffer gained more exposure amidst online readers.
Here are a few articles written by Leo Widrich
- A Simple Guide to Measuring Your Product-Market Fit
- 3 Ways to Put Your Ego Aside and Get Stuff Done
- What Happens When Startup Advisors Advise the Whole Team
- 24 People, No Managers: Our Experiment in Getting Work Done
And it goes on (I couldn’t type all the blog post titles written by Leo Widrich).
Sooner, Leo was able to pitch himself to bigger and better blogs. And there was steady traffic and signups.
If you’ve watched the video, you should have noticed Leo himself saying these words,
“Blogging was the key driver for signups you know the first 100,00 users buffer had was through blogging, through Guest Blogging”
And poof! Just like that within a very short span of time (nine months), Buffer had a massive 100,000 subscribers. I might have cut a long story short but there’s nothing more you need to know about this!
What you need to know and take away here is – Guest Blogging Really Works!
The idea here is when you start to post quality content on other sites, you are increasing your chances of getting organic traffic and an opportunity to let people know about your brand/product.
And there’s one more thing if you had failed to notice in the video, between the timeframes 22:16 – 26:55, Leo Widrich explains how important it is to promote content on social media platforms and build social profiles online (I did the same in my previous post).
So, that’s how guest blogging works.
We’ll move to the final phase of this blog post. Which is Email Marketing!
Email Marketing is the best results-driving practice in the industry and has an impressive ROI of 3800%. I am not going to start explaining Email Marketing. You can find it all in this blog post here.
I’ve brought you a few best email marketing case studies that would help you understand better as to how efficient email marketing is.
Case Study 7 – How Craghoppers was Able to Achieve an ROI of 3088% By Email Marketing
Craghoppers, a travel clothing company has been in existence for more than five decades helping people unleash their wanderlust. They came up with their online store and business started to boom. Soon, they started to notice that though they had good sales figures, there were a huge number of carts left behind – abandoned carts.
They realized how much it would mean for them if these abandoned carts were recovered. So, in an effort to recover these carts Craghoppers sought the help of Redeye (a marketing automation services company). The results were quite impressive…
- 3088% Return on Investment
- 61.6% average email open rate
- 27.7% average email click-through rate and
- 10% of the abandoned carts were recovered (the conversion rate).
So, How Did Craghoppers & Redeye Do It?
Redeye devised a solid abandoned cart recovery strategy for Craghoppers.
Two personalized emails were sent to the individual at regular time intervals.
First Email – 24 hours within the cart was abandoned.
Second Email – 3 days later after the cart was abandoned.
And all these emails were based on the customer’s previous interaction with the website (seems that personalization was a thing even in those days).
Eventually, people started to love what was popping up in their inbox, the personalization stuff, the gentle reminders and they ended up buying what they left behind!
Done & Dusted!
I thought that one email marketing case study would not be enough. So here’s another one,
Case Study 8 (The Final One) – How Zumba was Able to Increase Their Email Open Rates to 50%
Zumba, a dance-fitness brand offers live classes to its consumers and the same can be taken from all parts of the globe (200,000 locations).
Zumba’s marketing department had entirely two different sections to deal with – one with the B2B (the instructors) and the other with the B2C. And with Zumba’s Annual Instructor Convention meet coming up, things were pretty rustled up for them.
They wanted to come up with something new with the launch email that would flare up the entire landscape.
And they suddenly thought, “Why not insert a custom video into our email marketing campaign and then send it?”
The team geared up and started working on it. And they were able to bring the personalization factor both into the video and in the email.
The subject line of the email went like this “John, Your Convention Video”
And about the personalization in the video, I thought it would be better if you could take a look at the video yourself.
This was the video that Zumba sent to Damien Anne Oberlin Siegle, an instructor.
Similar kind of personalized videos were sent to a large number of audience. And the end result of the campaign was
The email open rate was 50% (the highest Zumba has ever seen)
People spent an average of nine minutes on the video landing page.
More than 700 video views.
The campaign turned out to be a huge success. All because Zumba was able to add the personalization factor into its emails. Which also proves how effective email marketing is!
Final Few Words…
Mentioned above are 8 real-time digital marketing case studies that prove organic marketing can help businesses achieve growth and ROI.
This also means that I didn’t bring up any fantasy theory in my previous blog post (I’m super glad than you on knowing that).
Organic digital marketing is one perfect and reliable source of marketing where you don’t have to be spending money to grow your business.
You’re right! Not everyone gets their organic marketing strategy right the first time! And if you stumble at places, make sure you come back, read this blog post, get your adrenaline boosted and go back out there!
So, I’ve pretty much-covered everything I wanted to!
Like I said before, it’s up to you to choose! Organic Marketing (Owned & Earned Media) or Paid Media?
Which basket is it you’re going to put your eggs in?