Today is the day that you launch that new marketing campaign. Everyone is excited. This is really going to drive demand and create leads for your B2B company.
The ebook is written and produced with its PDF poised to be downloaded. It is itching to be downloaded. Every time someone clicks the big red download button, the ebook has fulfilled its purpose. Or wait, should that button be blue? Or green?
The blog posts are drafted and ready to publish—same with the social posts, emails, and landing page. You are even talking about a webinar and a podcast, plus lots of visual content for Instagram, Pinterest, and Slideshare, and an infographic. Your influencers are lined up to help amplifiy your reach. You even considered a Snapchat takeover.
This is a full-on, all-out, integrated campaign driven by relevant content to your target audience based on your personas’ pain points. If there were a giant switch in a secret backroom laboratory of the office—just like the one Dr. Frankenstein uses to bring his monster to life—and you could throw the switch to launch it all, you would. But there isn’t. Everything needs to be scheduled and launched using a variety of tools over a period of several weeks, rather than barfed out all at the same time.
So you do that, and out it goes. And goes and goes.
Once the Campaign Is Launched
Now you start monitoring for that big spike in interest, and you continue to watch how the content builds to drive downloads and marketing-qualified leads. You’ve set your goals for this campaign, but you seem to be missing your weekly and monthly goals of downloads and leads generated. These goals were based on improving the results of your last campaign by 10 percent. That’s a big increase without any significant changes to the campaign, but better than the 20 percent your boss asked for initially.
Dread turns to anxiety, and anxiety turns to panic. Once the adrenaline starts coursing through your body, you are unlikely to make the right decisions. This is a physiological response that results in one of two survival techniques: fight or flight. Neither seems like an appropriate strategic response for a B2B marketer in this situation.
If you really are panicked about not generating enough leads from this new campaign, the first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. It is more important now than ever to put your strategic hat on. You may think this is a metaphor, but if you really are panicked, putting an actual hat on will help. Too many marketers get caught up in the tactics, especially at times when we need to fall back to our strategies. And a hat can really help with that focus.
Unless this is your first fully-integrated content campaign, you should have some metrics from a previous campaign to measure performance against. If you do and the new campaign is not tracking the same way as the benchmark one, try to isolate the differences. This is where all the elements of content strategy come into play.
Start with Your Audience
Has the audience changed since your last campaign? Do you know more about them now and how they respond to your content offers, both on an individual level and as a segment?
You should continue to build your audience through your campaigns, as well as learning more about them. Every campaign should be a learning experience where your knowledge builds upon the previous experience.
Every campaign should be a learning experience.
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Continue with Your Personas
Think of your personas as a subset of your target audience. These are the people that are more likely to become customers. You should have very detailed information about who they are and how you can help them.
Has something changed in your target market? Are there new and bigger challenges that your solution no longer addresses? Has your product market fit moved on?
Next, Look at Your Content
We try to create content that resonates with our prospects, but sometimes it just doesn’t. If your previous campaign was built around the best topic for your audience—solving for their number-one pain point—it is hard to match those results the second time around. Maybe you just had a better title last time. Are there any seasonal differences or industry events that helped the last time or hindered this campaign?
Finally, Your Channels
If you are like many content marketers, your first instinct may be to push out all your content to all of your channels. That is not always the best approach and certainly seems to be falling out of favor. While this may not hamper performance, it can consume resources. You really need to make sure your prospects are on the channels you are using, so you can get engagement on those channels. Consider a roll-out that lets posts achieve success on one channel before sharing to another channel.
With more and more content being created and distributed everywhere, focus on learning something with every campaign that can improve the next campaign. If you do the same thing every time, you risk achieving less each time and not meeting your goals.
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