One of our more recent projects included designing a website and taking charge of all digital marketing for Something New For Dinner, a new contribution to the cooking blogosphere. The concept was created by Kim Pawell, a mother of 4 who wanted an online forum to share dinner recipes that she had prepared for her family over the last 25 years. Recently launched (only since November 16 in fact!), Something New For Dinner is a great digital marketing case study that demonstrates how to drive traffic, increase readership and create engagement for a start-up blog.
The first step in bringing Something New For Dinner to life was designing and coding a website. Planning is key for any web design project; it is just as important for a new business as it is for a established company who wants to redo their website. When creating a website, ½ of your time should be spent planning, ¼ coding and ¼ revising and making small changes. For Something New For Dinner, planning included:
- coming up with a design concept,
- looking at other cooking websites to see what functionality was needed (or not),
- organizing the site structure and how it presented content, and
- creating written and visual content.
Once all the planning was done and the mockups were created (courtesy of Margo Pawell), coding the website was easy. Only minor modifications were made to the site during the final stages of the project. Proper planning made the web design process much easier and quicker.
Interestingly, many start-ups skimp on their first website because they have put so much money into developing their product or service, they don't have any resources left over for their website. This is very much the wrong strategy, especially for a company or organization who is only present online (meaning they do not have a storefront). Why? Your website is your first impression on the Internet and it can make or break you. A highly-functioning and quality website will not only distinguish you from the competition, but it will convert site visitors into customers. Even if money is particularly tight in the beginning stages of a business, investing in a good website will pay off in the long-term. And this has proved to be true for Something New For Dinner. They have received compliment after compliment on their website, the most notable being:
BRAVO ladies!!! I love your new website, logo, blogs, photos and recipes. I can tell you have all put a lot of work into this project. Having built a few websites ourselves, my wife and I can attest to how much detail it takes to get the results you have delivered. We're looking forward to testing out your recipes in our kitchen soon. Congratulations on the launch and good luck!
From the beginning, we knew email marketing would be a very effective way to deliver Something New For Dinner's content to interested readers. Sending recipes to their inbox, something people check everyday, would promote more website traffic and engagement than if we expected users to come back to the URL every time they wanted to cook something different. Therefore, we signed up for an email marketing service (Mailchimp, our favorite here at Bixa Media) and made sure users could subscribe on every page of the website. We also ensured that emails were properly formatted for both desktops and mobiles because so many people access their emails via their cell phones. Within 2 days of launching, Something New For Dinner had 50 subscribers. Now, 1.5 months later, there are almost 150 subscribers. Today over 25% of the website traffic comes via these emails.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is another online platform that has been key to growing Something New For Dinner's website traffic and readership. Between Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus, social media bring in more than 15% of the overall site traffic.
While digital marketing can play a big role in a blog's online success, nothing beats great content. You can drive all the traffic you want to a blog, but if you do not have compelling content that visitors want to read, you will not get the results you want.
In this case, we cannot take credit for Something New For Dinner's content development. That was all Kim Pawell, chef-extraordinaire. Always keeping in mind the goal of providing flavorful, nutritious, not-too-difficult recipes to share with family and friends, she wrote up recipe after recipe in an easy-to-digest (pun intended) format. Her informal and witty manner keeps visitors reading and entertained.
The conclusion of this digital marketing case study? Careful planning and a focus on web design and digital marketing during the beginning stages of a start-up play a vital role in its future and long-term success. The proof is in the pudding, just look at Something New For Dinner's stats from their first 1.5 months since launching: over 1,500 monthly traffic visits, 50% of all visitors are returning (users come back time and time and again because they love the content), almost 150 subscribers to their email list and constant engagement with their social media accounts. Here at Bixa Media, a digital marketing agency, we know Something New For Dinner has the potential to reach many budding chefs (and normal people who cook) across the nation. While it has started as a hobby, we strongly believe that it can become a revenue-generating website and brand in the near future.