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700+ links drives success in a competitive SERP landscape

Marmalade is a car insurance company that supply young drivers with a comprehensive range of insurance solutions. They provide a variety of insurance options, including Learner Driver, Black Box, and Young Driver insurance for new or recently passed drivers. Marmalade also employs Impression for paid media services – this case study focuses on digital PR.

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The Challenge

We were engaged to provide digital PR strategy and implementation, working closely with Marmalade’s internal SEO team to identify strategic targets and define KPIs. Our goals were simple in structure, complex in detail. We needed to not only build links and rankings but ensure the content we produced would resonate with two very different audiences (learners and parents).

We split our objectives into OWNED and SHARED. An Owned goal is one we directly affect, a Shared goal is a metric we hope to influence alongside other channels. This framework allows us to step out of our silo and to think strategically about how best we can impact our clients’ wider business goals.


Owned Goals:

Achieve links to the domain, specifically to the learner driver insurance section

Drive awareness amongst the target audience through:

Unlinked coverage - the quality would be judged by the relevance of the publication and its potential reach

Brand building - delivering campaigns that would position their brand favourably amongst learner drivers and parents


Shared Goals:

Maintain a top 3 ranking position for ‘learner driver insurance’

+90% overall visibility for the full learner driver insurance keyword set

The Strategy

Marmalade was up against two major challenges. 

1. Google’s increasing and ongoing emphasis on EAT (expertise, authority and trust) in the Your Money Your Life sector, plus the prevalence of comparison sites and direct providers in the SERPs. 

2. The pandemic-focused news narrative made it tough to gain coverage in 2021, with pre-planned strategies becoming irrelevant as lockdowns hit and COVID restrictions were still in place across the country, preventing driving lessons and tests.

We had to adopt an ‘always on’ approach to newsjacking, reactive PR, traditional PR releases and thought leadership to maintain a natural and diverse backlink profile from quality websites with relevance and authority.

To further build credibility, we sought to create our campaigns and adapt our topic focus to fit the COVID news agenda and how this impacted learner drivers at the time. To increase brand loyalty and effectively compete, our campaigns were to cover helpful and interesting topics to add further value to our audience.

We had a bank of ideas from which to draw and one overriding strategic driver: to support young people.

Over the course of 2021 (Jan-Dec) we launched:

  • 7 asset-based campaigns
  • A range of ad hoc comment placements in response to changing news agendas and specific journalist requests, as well as thought leadership pieces

Throughout the pandemic, it was important for us to balance being proactive & reactive to best support our client during the period of uncertainty

The Results

This campaign won B2C Campaign of the year at the 2021 UK Content awards. It was also shortlisted in the 2022 European Search awards for Best use of PR in a search campaign.

We achieved the below results over a time period from January – December 2021:


High-quality links, as well as being featured in the following publications:

  • The Guardian (DR 93)
  • The BBC (DR 93)
  • Evening Standard (DR 89)
  • The Express (DR 89)


Unlinked mentions


For ‘learner driver insurance’ for the majority of 2021 (acknowledging SERP fluctuations), maintaining a top 3 ranking position throughout.


Visibility for all related learner driver insurance search terms, maintained through Jan – Dec 2021

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