Swan | Case Study - How Castle Helped Swan

1. Objective

Castle was required to generate more traffic and increase sales through the Swan website. Swan set an objective of increasing revenue through the website by 50% in 12 months. This was achieved through improving conversions on their site, increasing traffic using paid advertising, which had previously never been done, and increasing sales. We also needed to work on developing their brand identity, increasing brand awareness, particularly through social media.

2. Solution

Swan set Castle an objective of increasing revenue through their website by 50% in 12 months. Castle far exceeded this goal, as in our first year working with Swan, we provided them with a 250% increase in revenue through online sales, compared to the previous year.  This growth was achieved by increasing traffic by 115%, increasing the conversion rate from 1.7% to 2.1%, as well as increasing the average order value (AOV) by 48%.

Compared to 2020, however, this is nothing. In 2020, Castle increased Swan’s sales by 361%, with a 337% increase in traffic, compared to the year before. This is in part down to the increased conversion rate of 2.7%, which is up by 40%. This resulted in Swan making more revenue through their website in a single month than they had throughout the whole of 2018.

Through efficient marketing strategies, we were able to make Swan’s budget stretch further, whilst increasing revenue through the website substantially. By first focusing on making vital improvements to the website to increase the conversion rate, and implementing a cross-selling strategy to increase the AOV. This led to a 250% increase in sales for 2019, with just a 115% increase in traffic, and a 361% increase in sales in in 2020 with a 337% increase in traffic. This meant we had to spend less money on promotion as we converted more of the leads Swan was already getting, whilst also increasing the amount each converted person was spending.

A Mac displaying Swan's website

3. Website

First of all, we focused on improving the Swan website. We wanted to make it more user friendly and efficient to help increase conversions. Swan was already getting plenty of leads, which is why we focused on conversion rate optimisation to start with.

To improve the user experience on the Swan website, we increased the website speed and made the checkout much faster, so it was simpler to complete a purchase. We also made the search bar more prominent, so it was easier for users to find the products they wanted. This significantly reduced the bounce rate on the website and led to fewer people abandoning their purchases halfway through the process. This resulted in a 10% increase in conversions in the first year, which increased further to 40% in 2020.

We also implemented a cross-selling strategy across the website to encourage those making purchases to spend more. This increased their revenue from customers who were already converted. For example, we created promotions such as ‘if you spend £150 you get a free steam cleaner’ and advertised this on the website. This encouraged people to spend more, increasing the average basket value by 48% that year. After improving the website to increase the conversion rate, we then started to focus on further promotion.

  • An innovative search facility that strips back the high visibility, colour-coded, headings sections
  • The ability to share all news items, spreading influence
  • Relatable articles, meaning site visitors stay longer, increasing conversion rates
  • In-frame video capability
  • A secure comments section
  • A Megamenu facility through hover
  • Individualised social link connectivity
  • As well as a blog and newsletter signup.
A MacBook and screen of Swan's website

4. Social Media

Castle worked on developing thriving social media channels for Swan with engaging content that followers could interact with. We focused on increasing their following across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and used these channels to promote the brand to a wider audience and increase brand awareness. Castle has successfully grown Swan’s following on Instagram from 8,000 in 2018, to over 102,000 in 2020. This led to a 1933% increase in traffic from social media from 2018-19, and a 684% increase in sales from social media in 2020.

It is incredibly difficult to create viral content on social media, so we focused on posting user-generated content and content created by influencers. This kind of content is much more real and, therefore, leads to higher engagement rates. By asking customers to tag Swan in their product images, and by connecting with influencers and reposting their content, we are able to build up a large bank of user-generated content, which we can post across all Swan’s platforms. This not only saves Swan time on creating their own content but has helped to increase engagement and brand awareness.

Competitions and giveaways

A popular strategy we used to increase social media followers was to arrange competitions through social media where followers could win free Swan products. To enter the competition, users would have to tag multiple friends in Swan posts and also ensure they all followed the page too. This helped to increase the followers across the social media accounts to create a large database of people Swan could then regularly promote to.

Castle also created a messenger bot system through ManyChat where users could gain access to exclusive Swan discounts by signing up for alerts through Facebook messenger. This allowed us to build up a large bank of people, similar to an email marketing database, we could quickly and easily promote to regularly. These promotions are far more successful than email marketing, due to the fact the messages appear on your phone as a notification from Facebook messenger, so people are much more likely to take notice, leading to a 98% open rate.

Two phones displaying Swan's social media

5. Paid advertisements

Castle also set up paid advertisements for Swan through social media and pay per click (PPC) campaigns on Google AdWords. This was something that had previously not been done. Our PPC campaigns allowed the Swan website to gain an advertisement placement at the top of Google when people searched for keywords and phrases relevant to the brand, which we bid on. Every time the advertised link was clicked, we would pay a small fee to the search engine, but this fee was trivial as the visits to the website are often worth much more than the fee itself. For example, one-click could cost £1, but result in a £150 sale.

We also set up Facebook advertisements using a circumstantial targeting model to increase the reach and visibility. This consists of running paid advertisement campaigns targeting customers based on their circumstances rather than just basic demographics. Castle created tailored advertisements for Swan products and targeted these adverts at specific groups of people who would be more likely to purchase these products.

For example, when advertising cookware and kitchen appliances we targeted the advertisements at mothers. This is because they are the people who were more likely to be cooking family meals or baking at home. We would, therefore, target this ad at women aged 28-40 with interests such as baking, cooking, and home décor. This way the advertisements would be more likely to reach the correct target audience, leading to an increase in traffic and higher conversion rates.

These paid advertisements through Google AdWords and Facebook advertisements led to a 908% increase in traffic from 2018 to 2019, and a 523% increase in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. In 2020, there was a 442% increase in sales through paid advertisements alone.

Two phones displaying Swan products on Google

6. Affiliate marketing

Another strategy that led to instrumental change was the implementation of an affiliate/ambassador programme for Swan. This was run through social media and the affiliate platform AWIN. This involved creating a network of influencers on Instagram and Facebook and inviting them to be Swan affiliates. These affiliates would then advertise Swan products and the Swan brand on their social media channels to their large followings. Each affiliate would receive their own unique UTM tracking code to use when posting promotions on their channels and directing their audience towards the Swan site.

The affiliates are paid on commission through a cost per acquisition basis, so for every sale, they make through their promotions, they would receive 10% of the profits of the final sale. The more people who purchase using their code, the more money they would receive. This has generated a huge amount of traffic on a no-risk basis. It has allowed Swan to increase brand awareness through advertising to hundreds of thousands of new people they previously may not have been able to reach. And they only have to pay out a relatively small amount when a transaction is made.

Through the implementation of these strategies, sales from social media increased by 5,695% in the first year compared to 2018. They increased a further 684% throughout 2020, compared to 2019.

As a result of developing strong social media channels and implementing social advertising campaigns, Castle has helped to create a strong, recognisable brand identity and increased brand awareness for Swan. As a result, Swan has benefitted from a huge increase in traffic and sales from the website.

Two phones displaying Swan's social media

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