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Case Studies: More Than Marketing

When used correctly, data becomes the  bedrock from which everything else matures. And we’ve helped a variety of organizations cultivate their groundwork to build the proper digital impression and maximize their growth.
Client Success

Measured Results

IDC partners with its clients across this journey of discovery and we bring a personal touch and perspective to our consultative approach. We share in client excitement as we unearth digital factoids, and celebrate client success across milestones big and small — but the bottom-line is where it's at and where our focus remains.

American Veterans Center logoBlue Bird logoNational Policing Institute logo
American Veterans Center

The American Veterans Center (AVC) is a nonprofit, educational organization whose goal is to preserve and promote the legacy of American veterans and war heroes.

As a nonprofit, they have four overarching audiences: veterans, active duty service members, potential service members, and businesses. They'd hoped to build engagement by spreading awareness messages, telling stories about why AVC’s goals are important, and, of course, prompt more donor support.

Nonprofits: Spreading Awareness is Everything

Communicating the purpose of any nonprofit is goal number one. In the case of AVC, they wanted to share American hero stories throughout time — and what better way than through video?  Video helps nonprofits tell their story. But doing so is highly dependent on engagement and contributions from donors. More potential donor visits + more views leads to higher engagement and more contributions. While AVC was already leveraging YouTube, it had plateaued in its viewership, and its precisely this connection of nonprofits to relevant viewership that's the most important purpose of a video strategy.  They needed some data savvy nerds to streamline their social media presence and create a cohesive digital marketing program — starting with YouTube.

Channel Monetization: The Approach

In every project, it’s critical to determine goals and objectives before diving into research and analysis. For AVC, awareness of American heroes and their stories is the top priority, so everything was focused on increasing viewership and donations.

The Challenge

Develop an integrated, cohesive, and unique approach to grow a nonprofit’s video presence.

The Results

Average 30 day Views: + 540% (or 5x)
17K in Jan '21 to 109K in May '22

Average Monthly Views: + 225% (or 2x)
614K in Jan '21 to 2M in May '22

Total YouTube Subscribers: + 157% (or 1.5x)
Gained Subscribers: from 52K in May '21 to 134K in May '22


’'In today's digital world, IDC's 'Data Done Differently' approach is exactly what we've been searching for. We're expert storytellers in our space, but navigating digital content and marketing requires that blend of artistry and data — and IDC has certainly helped illuminate the latter.”

Tim Holbert
Executive Director, American Veterans Center

Step 1: MAPPS

Applying our patented MAPPS methodology was perfect to address AVC’s goal. Using MAPPS, plus in-house understanding of the current search engine optimization landscape and the always-changing Google algorithm, we were able to uncover audience behaviors, interests, and affinities. The resulting research and content plan focused on seed terms and topics aligned to the core audience of American heroes, with secondary research categories being 'military' and 'history'. During the audience research phase, we gathered AVC’s perceived audience, as well as their target goals. With survey data containing audience insight to publishers, media agencies, and marketers, we determined audience affinities and demographics such as age, interests, behaviors, and social priorities.

Step 2: Connecting Research to Strategy

With the raw data mined and aggregated, we proceeded to build a YouTube roadmap to take AVC’s channel to the next level.  Our Digital Outlaw team determined three core content pillars and a list of approximately 300 keywords per content pillar. This was all rated by our MAPPS algorithm to determine the best opportunities for channel optimization. Categories contributing to the keyword rating were: cost per click; keyword difficulty; competitive density; and keyword volume.  This research helped determine what terms should be prioritized in copy, headlines, descriptions, and branded assets.

Step 3: Optimize & Scale

We provided AVC with precise data about their viewers and potential viewers so that video content could be aligned and designed with concepts and narration that are of most interest to their audience profiles. The research identified areas of opportunity that were underutilized online and how to harness those into strategic opportunities. Trends and affinities of the designated audiences were mapped alongside the keyword research to help nurture their online presence.

Our results gave us everything we needed to build a solid, targeted, YouTube strategy and video content development process to optimize and scale their growing YouTube audience.  The precise data and consistency combined with a focused storytelling narrative has boosted AVC’s YouTube traffic substantially — increasing average monthly views and weekly subscribers by more than 400% in less than 17 months.

brightbill transportation, inc

Brightbill Transportation, Inc. (BTI), is a Pennsylvania-based private full-service outsourced contract student transportation provider with over two decades of fleet experience.

As a student transportation provider, the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a national driver shortage impacted BTI’s business as well as their ability to recruit drivers through traditional means. Once school came back on-site, they needed to increase outreach on-the-immediate to fulfill the sudden uptick in demand.

Brand Awareness is Beneficial for Recruitment Efforts

Job recruiters know the value of social media when it comes to hiring. Building an online company presence to share values, and gain audience trust will draw attractive candidates to apply in general. However, when the timing to fill particular jobs is more critical, social media can also be leveraged to successfully hire in a more immediate manner.  

We recommended a strategy for leveraging both organic and paid social media with three goals in mind: recruiting school bus & van drivers, and school bus aides; raising brand awareness; and promoting school bus safety.

Step 1: MAPPS

BTI was already running a successful Google Ads campaign, but with a "time is of the essence" mentality, we quickly identified an opportunity to increase brand awareness and employment applications using Facebook paid social advertising.

The Challenge

Build a data-driven social media audience profile and position the company as a viable local employer to increase school bus driver recruitment.

The Results

Social media is an often underrated tool for generating targeted job applications. Following a comprehensive social media strategy that split across organic and paid, we helped BTI increase total clicks by 147%, give rise to time spent on their jobs page by 42%, and improve conversion quality to 8% (well above industry benchmarks.)


’'IDC is Our Digital World Expert. They broadened our digital imprint to the point that all other advertising means have become obsolete.  In today’s digital world you need an expert, I'm glad we found ours!”  

Dave Schlotter, Director of Safety & Operations
Brightbill Transportation

Facebook as a social media channel is uniquely set up for generating employment leads. With defined audience personas, Facebook allows for very targeted audience engagement. Facebook would also be integral to our secondary goal: a social media re-launch to build social media engagement and present BTI as a desirable local employer. BTI provided us with a list of current and past school bus drivers to help put together an audience profile along with  geographic targeting with zip codes for the seven school districts they manage in Eastern Pennsylvania. We used data to note audience affinities, trends, and behaviors and drafted a content and creative design plan for both organic and paid social that would tell their story and most appeal to this audience. We mapped out several content themes with a heavy emphasis on lead generation to increase bus driver applications. Thought leadership themes included school bus safety, driver education, and customized school district content.

Step 2: Measurement & KPIs

Paid Social:
Click-Through Rate (CTR) moved up from 0.92% to 1.45% -- with total clicks up 147%.
Conversion Rate (the % who applied for job) now exceeds 8% (above social media benchmarks.)
Cost Per lead (CPL) dropped from $92 to $51. 

Organic Social:
To date, we’ve generated 101K total Social Impressions and Social Engagement is up 80%.

Social Results That Drive Overall Growth

Additional, collateral results included: website landing page views up 42% and overall site views up +300% with average time spent on the jobs page up 42%, as well.  Q1 '22 Total Quality Leads = 108 new applicants.

social media
social media creative
social media management
paid and organic social media posts
national policing institute

The National Policing Institute (NPI) — formerly the National Policing Foundation — is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, research and policy organization dedicated to advancing policing through innovation and research.

Their strategic priorities are to prevent and reduce gun violence and deadly force, build trust between law enforcement and communities, and ensure officer safety, officer wellness, and healthy police organizations.

They have three primary audience groups that needed specific targeting strategies: policing executives, legislative and policymakers, and criminal justice academics. They also needed to address community and business leaders, existing funders, and the general public.

Brand Positioning Must Be Communicated Clearly

The key to success for nonprofits is in spreading awareness and appealing to donors. Research showed there to be a disconnect in audience understanding while NPI had been operating under their original brand.  Rather than viewing the brand as a nonpartisan and neutral organization rooted in evidence-based practice, many understood it to be a police advocacy group instead.

Rectifying this disconnect required clear branding, engaging content, and diverse messaging.

The Challenge

Build a strategy with clear pathways to attract audience groups from social to web. This included redefining NPI goals and objectives, then developing an approach and content deliverables to drive both conversions and donations.

The Results

+ 74% home page views *
+ 88% organic social traffic to home page
+ 8% in average engagement

* 03/02/22 - 07/01/22


’'IDC revitalized our audience approach with a data-driven strategy that informed our rebrand. With it, we developed a more complete audience journey driving them to subscribe and convert from social to web.”

Jane Mott-Palmer
Chief of Staff, National Policing Institute

Starting with MAPPS

To start building NPI a loyal community of followers and donors, and to thoroughly inform our work, MAPPS was put to good use. We began by breaking down both primary and secondary audiences and tapping into their interests/affinities; then assigning the specific audience approach including content, media and platforms — with an emphasis on internal blog content and social media activities.

We determined Facebook and LinkedIn as the best channels for audience nurturing and web conversion — Twitter and YouTube for brand awareness — with targeted messaging and customized journeys across each one.

Content categories and themes were further refined to drive more streamlined planning across each major audience group. Additionally, we provided web recommendations to align audiences with page content and high quality subject matter to optimize engagement.