Digital Marketing 101 – CASE STUDY (Voodoo Doughnuts – Portland, OR)

 Voodoo Doughnuts LogoEvery once in a while here at Fringe, we like to point out a company that has a particularly intriguing or well laid out marketing strategy. Our case study for this week is Voodoo Doughnuts out of Portland, OR. Though they have garnered a great amount of attention as of late through television and word of mouth advertising, Voodoo’s digital marketing strategy is still top notch. Here is a breakdown:


Title Tag – Voodoo Doughnuts keeps their title tag fairly simple – “Voodoo Doughnut – The Magic is in the Hole!!!”. Instead of going with a heavily keyword-laden title, they focus on their catch phrase instead. They do have one main keyword in their title (Doughnut), but besides that, their title is more about their brand than keywords.

Meta Description – Voodoo’s Meta Description, like their title, is simple and focused on their brand’s catch phrase (“The world famous Voodoo Doughnut shops, with locations in Portland and Eugene, Oregon. The magic is in the hole.”). Though simple, the description gives vital information such as location and industry.

Voodoo Tag


WebsiteVoodoo Doughnut’s website has a nice (albeit cluttered) layout that matches the dark playful voodoo vibe that the store is so well known for. Immediately on their homepage you encounter their company brand front and center which is surrounded by delicious looking, colorful, high-definition pictures of their doughnuts. Down the left-hand margin there is a visible but not distracting social media/merchandise bar, with the merch box at the very top and just a little bigger than the rest. Across the center of the homepage is the navigation bar for the site. This bar includes links to 15 different pages on the site with the five most important up front (about, f.a.q., doughnuts “menu”, locations, and their blog). The website is setup so the company brand, doughnut pictures, and social media links always stay in main focus until you scan downward on the page to your desired information. It is a very effective setup and upon first visit, it becomes clear that they have an abundance of high-quality content and media.




Blogs – Voodoo’s blog is an offshoot of their homepage and still contains the company brand surrounded by photos of delicious doughnuts right at the top of the page. Since they are now such a big company, the consistency of their blog posts have waned a bit (it looks like they post maybe once a month now), but at the onset of their blog, they maintained a consistent three to four posts per month ranging from videos of the zany owners to holiday doughnut recipes and everything in between. Every blog post is unified by a social media share/like bar at the bottom of each article or video. This makes it very easy to promote their content as it is right at your fingertips.




Social Media:

 Facebook – Voodoo’s Facebook page is dedicated more to photography with short text than anything else. There are links to a few videos and some longer articles, but overall they post easy to ingest snippets of visual information that is funny and light-hearted. Their consistency seems to vary a bit on Facebook, but they seem to target around 8-10 posts a month. Their main bar is very simple with just a photo link, a like counter, and a map block for directions. You could spend days just searching through their photos section as that seems to be their main focus/purpose for Facebook. It is a smart tactic; no one wants to read long articles on Facebook, but people love funny or interesting material that can be taken in quickly and without much thought.


Twitter – Voodoo uses its twitter page primarily to release specials, merchandise, and short announcements for the company. They ingeniously use a truck that travels through Portland and sells doughnuts on the go, and Twitter is there outlet to let Portlanders know where this truck will be and when. This is a great tactic that will keep patrons coming back on a regular basis and will definitely drive up rankings. In terms of consistency, they seem to target around 10-12 posts a month.

Voodoo Twit


Google+ – Voodoo’s Google+ page is very basic and easy to navigate. They have their logo, a couple pictures and all their main information (address, phone number, url, etc.). The main focus of the site is definitely centered on reviews where they have 371 reviews which are almost all 5 out of 5 stars. If your restaurant can accomplish this even on a much smaller scale, it would have a dramatic impact on traffic to your business. The other main focus of this site is the large map at the top of the page. This provides a simple visual reference and allows users to assess distance and surroundings quickly and easily.


Instagram – Voodoo’s Instagram as you might have guessed is dedicated solely to product shots. As you scan through you come across a seemingly endless variety of mouth-watering delicatessens. They also utilize Webstagram which is an Instagram viewing service for the web where you can insert your RSS/Social media feeds below each photo. In terms of schedule, Voodoo seems to post a new photo about every 2-3 days.


Youtube – Youtube does not seem to be a heavy focus of Voodoo’s marketing strategy. They do have a few videos up, but they are spaced apart by years and it looks like the most they have ever posted in a year is two. The videos are mostly fun little snippets of parades, art, and comedy.


Voodoo youtube


 Pinterest – Voodoo does not actively maintain a Pinterest page. There are many pins out there relating to Voodoo and its products, but they do not have a site as far as I can tell.


SUMMARY – Twitter and the Voodoo blog seem to be the best complement to Voodoo’s website in terms of traffic generation and ranking potential. The use of a food truck in conjunction with Twitter listings is a wonderful tactic, and the overall colorful and campy vibe of the content makes it a place that seems really fun to check out. Voodoo Doughnuts is blessed with a wealth of diverse eye-catching products in their arsenal, but many of their tactics can be taken and applied to any section of the restaurant/bar scene. The biggest thing to take away from Voodoo’s strategy is to make your content fun (especially your Facebook and twitter). People in these social spheres are not looking for heavy-handed or overly-informational content. They want elements that are simple, fun, and interesting without requiring too much thought or focus.



Have you seen any companies lately with stellar marketing strategies? If so, please let us know about them in the comments section and tell us why you feel they are great. We’re always on the lookout for new examples.