Liberty’s 15 at 15: Our Most Memorable Projects

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Philip Woodward

Training and Consultancy Lead

Just like that, Liberty is 15. 

To celebrate another big birthday, we’ve launched #Libertys15at15, where 15 of our team have each picked a project from our history that they’re most proud of. 

This isn’t necessarily a list of our best work – you can see our Case Studies page for that – but a collection of the projects which we enjoyed the most, or achieved something great with.

Some show tactical excellence, some show creative problem solving of the highest order. Some saw us try out new technologies and digital tactics to get the results we want. Some were just really fun projects. 

It’s the innovative work that makes us Liberty.

Stay tuned to our socials over the next month to see our team chatting through their faves in detail.

Universal Music Group – Gareth

We worked with the Universal team for a few years, which included training sessions and quite a few paid media campaigns, mainly for artist releases. We’d built a bit of a reputation in there as the guys to go to if you wanted to try something new in digital, so got involved in quite a few really fun jobs.

After a few campaigns promoting albums and songs for artists like Carly Rae Jepsen and Ariana Grande, we were asked to help push the new Rolling Stones box set.

I picked this as my most memorable project not just because I’m a massive Stones fan but also because we got to use some advanced targeting and brand new tools, such as Gmail Native Ads, which had just been released. We were able to get lots of traffic for a modest budget and beat the original traffic projections without compromising on quality.

I also like this campaign as when I told my parents I did advertising for Mick Jagger they thought it was really cool. It certainly made more of an impression than when I tried explaining what SEO was to them.

Benefit Cosmetics – Charlie

We’d been working with Benefit on their paid media for a couple of years and when they asked what else we could help with, an obvious answer was their Local SEO. We used SEO techniques to promote all of their Google My Business listings to people looking for a store to purchase make-up from.

It was a memorable project because Local SEO is often the forgotten part of organic search, especially when dealing with big brands, but it’s important to get that footfall into your locations.

As they had hundreds of stores and concessions, with people searching all throughout the day, when they all started ranking the stats were insane.

We helped bring more than 1,100,000 extra website visitors using this tactic within the first 12 months. That was one of the reasons this project won a Masterclassing Effective Marketing Award, and their Head of Ecommerce would refer to us as “game changers”.

Pure Property Finance – Steph

Just because you work in a sector like finance, B2B or professional services doesn’t mean you can’t create interesting and engaging content.

My choice for the most memorable project over the past 15 years is the football stadiums piece we researched, created and then promoted for Pure Property Finance.

Examining the impact that a new football stadium and infrastructure have on local property prices, we were able to mix the professional interests of property investors with their passion for sports (which their Google Affinity Audiences data confirmed would be a good idea). Bringing these two things together in a guide that was packed with sharable data meant we were able to really grab attention in the finance and property press.

We achieved mentions and links from some really relevant and high authority sites such as Your Money, The Sun, Inside Conveyancing, and even got them an interview on TalkSPORT.

RFU – Kieran

I’m a rugby nut with history running ecommerce strategies for a few rugby retailers, so it stands to reason that one of my favourite projects at Liberty has been the big training and consultancy project we’re currently running alongside the RFU.

We’re working together to help hundreds of rugby clubs across the English pyramid – from those in the championship to amateur level 8 teams – do better digital marketing and social media.

We’ve created a load of guides, done workshops, and engaged in 121 activity, and it’s been so rewarding and thought-provoking to work alongside such a wide variety of clubs. I can’t wait to see what happens next with this project. 

Royal Agricultural University – Cher

Sometimes, the project that you’re working on doesn’t have the biggest budget, so you need to work a little harder and think creatively to compete and get results. 

With that in mind, I really like the work we did for the Royal Agricultural University during clearing in 2019. We helped a niche University with a modest budget make a big splash during the most important (and most expensive) part of their year. 

How did we do it? Instead of paying for super-expensive clicks on Google Search, we used brand new (at the time) targeting features in Google Ads to advertise to prospective students who’d been on the websites of competitors.

By combining the low cost of display advertising with the high intent of search advertising, we saw some incredible results.

Competitors were paying up to £80 a click during clearing and then we were bringing the very same visitors to RAU for under £0.50 a click! With a Click-through-rate of just over 1% it was 20x more effective than normal display ads, yet the conversion rate was no worse thanks to our Custom Intent Audiences.

Admiral – Phil

We’ve worked with Admiral on a number of separate projects over the years, but one I particularly enjoyed several years back was for their campaigns on learner driver insurance.

We wanted to shine a light on how driving test pass rates differ wildly across parts of the country. Many people didn’t know that passing your driving test is a bit of a postcode lottery. 

But this data was already out there on the Gov UK site. When you’re analysing existing public data, like driving test pass rates, how could we make that new and interesting to journalists? We did it by cross-referencing it with data from the 2011 census. 

That showed us whether pass rates were higher or lower in more deprived areas, or in places people are more likely to own a car, or in less densely-populated areas.

Then we launched a calculator that used this data to show learners, based on their demographic information, how much they could expect to pay before passing their test.

So that’s one project I loved. Sometimes what you find fulfilling isn’t just the results at the end, but the data and the stories you find along the way and the creative analysis you put in to find those stories in the data you’re working with.

Happy Beds – Owen

I’m really proud of the work we did alongside Happy Beds to drive some of the best ecommerce growth I’ve ever seen.

We did it using a number of channels but from an SEO perspective it centred around something we call growth categories.

We introduced Growth Categories 18 months into our work with them. We’d seen some quick wins, but knew that taking on the giants in their industry required a new, forensic approach. Growth categories allowed us to analyse the different sections of their site against their competitors and identify what needed to happen to get category and product pages ranking.

Our process included giving each growth category detailed keyword research and distribution to existing pages, as well as pages we recommend the client create, to capture a wider pool of keywords.

SERPs analysis allowed us to scope out the landscape and what kind of competitors were ranking as well as the kinds of pages they were ranking with. Detailed competitor research was then undertaken to further understand what tactics were being used by the competition.

Then implementation followed: creating new categories, reoptimising existing categories, ensuring that each category had related guide pieces that would help a user’s buying decision, as well as ensuring the targeted category had a high level of internal links with a varied collection of anchor text linking to the categories.

Each category was also reviewed to show what external links competitors were receiving that Happy Beds weren’t. This allowed our digital PR team to target those places and get links to category pages, ensuring these pages had the authority to compete with the competition. 

This, coupled with super-relevant links towards the pages from national press and quality content, saw organic rankings balloon.  We saw four-figure growth in both website traffic and conversions. This work, coupled with Happy Beds’ passion and desire to get things done, turned a small Yorkshire bed company to the 3rd most visible bed retailer in the UK.

Not On The High Street – Rachel

Back in 2016 we’d been working with Not On The High Street for a while as their SEO agency, while our PPC team helped them make some amazing ROI on a truly hectic Black Friday weekend. 

And while we helped them to move some big-money keywords up the rankings, we knew that the big commercial gains would actually come by making the hundreds of thousands of amazing NOTHS products more visible on Google. 

That meant helping their independent sellers do SEO better. So we had a session in their fantastic office with hundreds of their partner businesses, teaching them the basics of SEO and what they needed to do to get more people seeing – and buying –  their fantastic products on Google. They were all so nice, I loved it.

Find and Fund My Car – Emma

My team has launched many dozens of creative PR campaigns over the years, and I know there’s no such thing as a sure-fire campaign that always gets the coverage – and links – that we crave, and that our clients need. 

You can, however, make success more likely by using data that’s relevant to journalists throughout the year. That’s what we did.

Aware that there are loads of driving laws and regulations that people don’t know about, we surveyed thousands of drivers to find out how well they knew the rules of the road. We called it Driving Misconceptions. 

Crucially, we included questions about driving in snow and floods, in the dark or about drivers wearing flip-flops in summer – so no matter the weather or the season, we had stories that journalists would love.

With more than 300 pieces of coverage so far, this evergreen campaign just keeps running, and is our best-performing campaign to date. 

Imagination Technologies – Aled

I’m a process man, so the project I’d choose is our award-winning work with Imagination Technologies, a semiconductor and software company. Without perhaps knowing it, you’ll be using Imagination’s IP in your phone, your car and your favourite gaming consoles.

For Imagination, we had one month to plan and execute a global paid media campaign about their new brand vision. There were dozens of niche target audiences across 6 channels and three continents.

Then, depending on ad performance, we adjusted budgets, creatives, and copy across regions and platforms. So it took a lot of planning behind the scenes and some amazing work by our paid media team.

Engagement, site visits and leads all grew exponentially. Our processes and attention to detail won awards for a client we love.  

Penguin – Crispin

The project I’d like to choose is Penguin. We’d been working with them for a while when they announced a project where they wanted to attract and publish more aspiring writers.

So we did some research and found that few trusted publishers were giving advice for wannabe writers. We advised them to create a Getting Published content hub, advising on large and longtail keywords, topics, technical elements and backlink targets, and working with their copywriters to bring it all to life.

Doing this for such an iconic brand was really rewarding, and when content from the project started ranking and driving thousands of visits within the first year – and bringing in new writers to Penguin – that was the cherry on the cake.

Universal Music – Paul

I love the work that our technical team did with Universal Music. As a global brand, they had 22 different websites serving 17 different territories, but together we established that the domain would be better off as one global Sitecore website.

So we researched and benchmarked many hundreds of international keywords, identified optimisation opportunities, and did all the tech wizardry that’s needed to ensure Google loves the website wherever people are in the world.

Then it was topped off with a bespoke reporting dashboard which allowed the team to see how different locations were performing.

This was a real detailed labour of love for our tech team, working alongside Universal’s marketing team and web developers, which required big-picture thinking and the ability to really go into the details to get the job done. That’s why I love it.

Airbus – Olivia

Our journey with Airbus started on a digital transformation project, helping one of their divisions move from a marketing model which was primarily offline and events-based, to an efficient, trackable, digital-first model. 

Years into our partnership, we were acting as the project’s lead European agency, liaising with their digital agencies in France, Germany and Switzerland, and doing some great things across SEO, paid media and content.

We were passionate about making Airbus’ highly-technical products more understandable and accessible, so I loved how our team managed to rework their site structure and site keywords to make them as user-friendly as possible.

It was a varied project with such a good group of people.

Pizza Express – Alex

Our work with Pizza Express since 2017 has involved all sorts of weird and wonderful data work.

We consulted on their datalayer, establishing with their team what they wanted to track and implement, and we did all the tagging within Analytics. We now help them understand how many people eat (and when) in specific locations, and which dishes are popular around the country. 

We’ve also helped them measure the launches of food delivery partners such as deliveroo, and I’ve worked with developers at Deliveroo when tracking and tagging isn’t working on their site like it’s supposed to. 

The result of all this work is clean, valuable data that helps Pizza Express make better business decisions.

Aviva – Grant

Our training project with Aviva was a really interesting one. Instead of consulting and training internal staff like we normally do, we were working with Aviva’s target market of financial advisors. 

Some were one-man bands, some were MDs or marketing managers of million-pound revenue businesses, but they all needed help navigating algorithms, sorting their local SEO, or better understanding the attribution of their marketing. 

On their Business Accelerator network, we conducted dozens of webinars and in-person sessions, and created resources all with the aim of helping these small businesses meet their goals better, and it built their relationship with Aviva. Everyone was a winner.  

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Philip Woodward

Training and Consultancy Lead

Phil has 15 years of digital marketing experience, specialising across all things creative – copywriting, digital PR, content marketing and social media and loves finding solutions to problems, analysing what makes people tick and getting nerdy about words.  Phil is responsible for Liberty’s training output, while also helping our biggest clients out with strategic and…

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