A Case Study 4 Years In The Making

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case study words in wood typeMany content marketing case studies cover a very short span of time; less than a year. Performance time frames of 3 to 5 years are more instructive. One year is a data point … 4 years … is something more. Today we’re looking at a case study 4 years in the making.

In 2011 Standard Water Control, a basement waterproofing company, contracted with 3rd Planet Media to develop and execute their online content marketing plan. The company was in a business slump and ownership didn’t know where to turn to reconnect with their customers. All their traditional marketing and advertising channels had dried up and what they’d done so far on the internet wasn’t getting any traction. Plus, there was the added complication of several fairly dry years in a row.

A big SEO company in their area was charging them $12,000 per year for search engine optimization and blogging. The results were a 2% rise in traffic while the number of leads and sales continued to fall. 3rd Planet suggested an easier to update website and an increase in blogging from 1 time (or less) per month to blogging 8 times per month.

At the end of 2011 Standard achieved sales equalling their best year ever. Both years had reasonable precipitation so it was an apples to apples comparison.

The last half of 2012 (June through December) was very dry (about 2″ or rain fell during the fall season). Historically, Standard’s sales would drop 20% to 30% in these conditions. In 2012 Standard’s sales fell only 8%. More blogging and new videos of case studies were added to the site.

2013 was another wet year. 3rd Planet deployed a WordPress site with more case study video and a deep dive in SEO. In the first 70 days of the new website Standard Water realized an 1,111% return on investment from just one page of their website. The rest of the site performed similarly. By the end of 2013 Standard realized a 123% increase over their previous best year.

2014 may go down as the wettest year on record in Minnesota. New products, new video and continued aggressive blogging were the order of the day. By June Standard had equalled the 2013 record for business. Today all of 2014 is booked and the company will see a 132% increase in business over 2013. Further, the company is now booking into the second quarter of 2015.

The online content marketing strategy and execution has performed so well, the company does almost no other marketing at all. Their YellowPages ads are the smallest possible and the only broadcast they do is one home remodeling TV show in the Twin Cities per year and a few infomercials in Des Moines, Iowa. All other marketing dollars are spent on 3rd Planet’s online content marketing activities.

We believe content marketing plans must be measured over several years to have a clear picture of how they’re performing. Content Marketing is a long term commitment with the potential for exceptional return on investment.

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