As a marketing and public relations contractor based in Seattle, I am often inspired by this city's many successful companies. There's a lot to be learned from how these Seattle success stories strengthen their brands through savvy digital marketing strategies. Let's get inspired by taking a look at some Seattle companies that are doing it right:
It's incredible to look at how much Amazon.com has transformed since its go-live date back in 1995. Over the past two decades, Amazon has successfully grown, diversified (most recently expanding into the grocery delivery business) and become one of the biggest brands in the world. As it's progressed, it's maintained its core mission to make online shopping easier and delivery faster.
That is a key lesson for marketers to keep in mind: get the basics right. Amazon has been able to grow into so many new sectors because it had a strong foundation to spring from.
You know it has to be good if thrift-shop-loving Seattleites are willing to spend $25 on a pizza. But in addition to being objectively delicious, this local pizza chain has earned its loyal following through some pretty genius, and generous, marketing.
Pagliacci gives its call center (still Seattle-based, not outsourced) staff free rein to give regular customers their pizza order for FREE. Yep, if you order from Pagliacci enough, eventually they'll deliver it to you with a friendly little note explaining that dinner's on them. The result? Plenty of stuff like this:
Wow - just proof that a little really does go a long way. Why spend millions on a marketing strategy designed to bring in new followers, when you could reward and engage your existing customers and let them sing your praises? Well done, Pags!
If you've ever taken to Google to find that perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, or maybe just some healthy dinner ideas, than chances are you've come across Seattle company AllRecipes.com. Not only does AllRecipes always rank super high in Google (thanks to plenty of high quality, user-generated content), it also entices people to click on its search results by using rich snippets for reviews (read more about how these can increase your click-through rate in my post on DIY SEO).
Also known as 'structured data', rich snippets are what allows the 5-star reviews, as well as an image of the dish and the number of calories, to show up for each recipe in Google's search results. AllRecipes' successful use of rich snippets is a reminder that it isn't just high rankings that matter - the way you appear in search results can also greatly influence the likelihood of people visiting your website.
Based in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood (you can tour the factory!), Theo Chocolate sells organic and Fair Trade ("from bean to bar") chocolate bars in a range of scrumptious flavors. It's won heaps of awards, not only for its delicious chocolate, but also for its commitment to remaining sustainable and giving back to global communities.
It's easy to see why Theo has earned many loyal customers. However, the fact that it has over 21,000 Facebook 'Likes' is certainly also a result of a dedicated marketing strategy. Most notably, the company runs a blog on its website and updates it regularly with real quality content (including delicious recipes that incorporate their different chocolate bars). They then share this content via social media to engage their audience and really encourage them to participate in the brand.
So, as these Seattle companies have shown us, optimizing your search results, blogging regularly, rewarding your customers and simply getting the basics right are all important aspects of a successful marketing strategy. It's also no coincidence that consistent with all of these companies is a genuine commitment to customer service - whether online or off.
What are some of your favorite Seattle brands? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Also, remember to check out my Seattle-based marketing and PR services to see if I can help your small business or nonprofit grow and engage its audience.