Black Buffalo is leading the way in smokeless tobacco innovation with tobacco-free products that rival Big Tobacco’s best in taste, texture, and nicotine levels. In addition, Black Buffalo cultivates an intensely loyal fanbase, dubbed the Herd, through a strong presence in web-based marketing and social media. This strong interaction with consumers provides various marketing opportunities. However, industry-wide regulations hamper online marketing and advertising capabilities. The following case study shows how Black Buffalo partnered with No to the Quo to overcome these obstacles to achieve marketing goals.
With lackluster SEO performance and regulations preventing the advertising of tobacco-related products online, Black Buffalo faced numerous challenges when developing a successful marketing plan. Black Buffalo’s team had completed a basic site build and implemented some backlinking, yet the time and expertise needed to complete such a large task had the team feeling overwhelmed. The site also needed technical edits and on-page optimizations for any chance of increasing productivity across online spaces, which only added to the daunting nature of the work scope.
The limited SEO success and other site issues, compounded by government restrictions and strict category marketing policies, contributed to a marketing inefficiency that did not fit Black Buffalo’s future vision. So, Black Buffalo needed to reset marketing strategies to move forward with a focused and highly productive plan to ensure success. Yet, with so many problems to solve, each seemingly of equal importance, the Black Buffalo team was caught in the unenviable position of not being sure where to start. This wasn’t going to be just another tobacco case study. Their next step would decide the success or failure of their entire online marketing plan.
To get back on track, Black Buffalo partnered with No to the Quo to develop a plan that prioritized all the challenges the Black Buffalo team faced and developed plans of action for each. Together Black Buffalo and No to the Quo tackled the most urgent and accessible issues first, then built towards long-term solutions for larger issues. Strategies that No to the Quo implemented to bring clarity back to Black Buffalo’s original vision included:
- Using advanced SEO backlinking techniques.
- Enhancing on-page optimization.
- Streamlining website functionality.
- Cleaning up site technical bugs and edits.
- Optimizing Bing and Google PPC campaigns.
- Manually requesting Google and Bing to review disapproved ads.
- Scaling up PPC spend through a phased budget approach.
- Migrating Black Buffalo to Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager.
No to the Quo laid out each strategy and its place within the overall work scope, allowing the Black Buffalo team to clearly understand each step and how it would benefit their overall goal. The strategies increased SEO efficiency, provided a much-needed boost to pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, and optimized the website’s technical functions.
Migrating to Google Analytics 4 and Google Tag Manager also gave Black Buffalo a high-powered arsenal of tools. The information drawn from these platforms’ powerful toolbox could be used to form a complete picture of online engagement. This allowed Black Buffalo and No to the Quo to redeploy marketing techniques to achieve optimal productivity.
With the help of No to the Quo’s focused strategies, Black Buffalo was able to flip seemingly insurmountable obstacles into a highly efficient and successful online marketing presence. During an 8-month period, Black Buffalo experienced 92% growth in organic SEO over the previous period. In addition to this increase in productivity across Black Buffalo’s site and category rankings, the new strategies resulted in a less expensive SEO program, reducing SEO costs by about 30%.
Black Buffalo also experienced success with its phased budget increase approach for PPC. Had the budget scaled too fast, the account would not have been efficient. Yet, by scaling up spend gradually, Black Buffalo was able to increase customers and revenue all while maintaining a Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 3X and achieving a Cost Per Acquisition goal of below $30 consistently. By narrowing the focus for its ads, No to the Quo was also able to better target high-quality customers, driving Black Buffalo’s Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) to nearly $2 million–double the amount of the channels not being managed by No to the Quo.
Yet, the peace of mind, relief, and restored confidence No to the Quo’s expertise brought to the Black Buffalo team can’t be measured in numbers.
Black Buffalo needed to build a stronger online marketing presence, yet the time, tools, and expertise to do so were frustratingly limited. So, rather than languishing in a muddled marketing plan, Black Buffalo created high-level growth at a lower cost simply by joining forces with the specialists at No to the Quo. In doing so, Black Buffalo has bolstered its position as an industry leader and innovator, securing success through a clear and well-structured marketing plan.
The No to the Quo team knows the restricted tobacco space well, and how to navigate it. When you are limited in tobacco marketing due to category rules, SEO is one of the few major tools that can make a big difference and having a reliable and trusted group run that for you is important! No to the Quo is that team, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to make a difference on their SEO front.