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The Successful Transition From Traditional to Almost 100% Digital – Joe Sloan of Jurassic Sands

Jurassic Sands, Joe Sloan, SEM, search engine marketing, video marketing, digital video

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We had the opportunity to interview Joe Sloan, Website & Social Media Manager for Jurassic Sands, a 25+ year old company that provides play sand. Joe talked about their hurdles, decisions, and the results.

Making the Shift from Traditional to Digital Marketing

When asked why they made the shift, the answer was simple. Basically, they had to.

Beginning in 1993, their marketing efforts were mainly with catalog companies. That’s how people learned of their product, but it didn’t allow them to learn about it. Each of those people were required to call and be open to the education and sales pitch before actually buying. It was a lot of work, sometimes without a great return on investment.

Today, their sales funnel looks a lot the same and probably larger than people would expect. For those in the market for sand, they have to get you to consider the types of sand. tell you what to look for in your play sand, describe options for purchasing, tell you how to use it, convince you why their sand is worth the premium prices, and convert. That’s almost an impossible feat for traditional marketing.

They started thinking, “What could we put online from these calls that keeps us from having a geologist on the phone 24/7?”

Strategically Diving into Digital

We preach it all the time because it works – keyword research. Joe started combing through keywords and holes in search results to establish Jurassic Sands as experts on the topic and populate it with content that fulfilled popular queries. Those queries often centered on how much sand it took to fill certain types of toys, how to use it in one of the most popular sandboxes, etc.

While it’s not particularly sexy, they started creating informational videos that answered these questions. Then they began plugging that content into every spot possible including email marketing, marketing campaigns, and blog posts.

By creating content, optimizing it, dispersing their content, consistently using keywords, and leveraging it all together, they were able to build the brand and drive sales.

Recognizing Different Target Audiences Led to Huge Sales

Jurassic Sands has doubled sales each year for the past three years. While that’s an impressive statistic, what’s even more impressive is that there are direct lines between the double each year and a specific effort.

The first double happened when they redesigned their site, making it conversion focused.

The second double was when they focused on Sandbox Season sales, making sure they had the content to support queries and a site in place that drove sales.

For the third year, they dropped catalog companies altogether and started focusing on new new personas. They built out zen, horseshoe pit, and aquarium sections of the site, just to name a few. That allowed them to widen the funnel and bring in more newer stage people, provide them content that is informational, and land on a website that was designed for conversion.

This layering of tactics produced huge results for them and can for you, as well. When you start with a good foundation, what you build on top will be solid.

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