The strategy, design and development you have invested in building your inbound marketing engine all have just one endgame – customer acquisition. Done right, inbound marketing is the most cost-effective form of customer acquisition around. So why doesn’t everyone do it?
Inbound marketing is complicated. It’s not rocket science, but you need a master plan that leads you through a maze of activities to get to this point. Now you are ready to execute!
Driving customer acquisition is all about campaign execution. A campaign is nothing more that a focused marketing initiative based on a strategy that is targeted, has measurable objectives and and involves a coordinated set of actions and resources.
Here is a brief example of a thought leadership campaign that will build your brand, create buzz and establish credibility for your organization or one of its principal members. A thought leadership campaign is about vision. It’s a platform for you to communicate your big ideas to the marketplace. You might showcase a product, a technology innovation or your deployment best practices. You should have a well-defined topic agenda that can function as the editorial calendar for your blog.
Each week you will publish an authoritative blog post on some aspect of your thought leadership agenda. These posts serve as a hub for all of the traffic you will generate as you ignite discussions via social media (LinkedIn groups, Twitter hashtags, Facebook updates, YouTube videos, Slideshare presentations, etc.). As visitors to your blog read authentic and insightful content, you can offer additional educational material in the form of a detailed technical white paper that is gated by a landing page and linked with a Call-To-Action (CTA) button inserted in the post.
Over time, you can track the increase in website traffic, identify the most popular posts, measure and optimize keyword performance and collect new top-of-funnel leads that come in the form of white paper requests and downloads.
To produce quality leads, demand generation campaigns must be targeted. Prospective buyers are more receptive to content that looks, feels and sounds like their world and the problems they face. When buyers search the Internet for solutions to their problems, they use search terms that contain the language of their industry. And if your email campaign doesn’t use content that resonates with your buyer’s specific needs, it will surely fall flat.
Here is an example of a lead-gen campaign that targets IT professionals in the healthcare industry who care about protecting sensitive patient care information from unauthorized access or accidental data loss in a cost-effective manner. Your campaign might include a white paper that covers the challenges and consequences of data protection (awareness stage content), a webinar on how to deploy the latest data protection technologies (consideration stage content) and a case study that presents a real customer deployment of your solution (decision stage content).
Your campaign might include a series of authoritative blog posts on key topics, social media discussion and promotion for each post, a targeted email campaign to build attendance for your webinar and a press announcement to drive traffic to your website. Your campaign should have a timeline that maps all campaign elements in order of execution with owners and completion dates for key actions and resources. Metrics should measure website traffic, email response rate, webinar attendance, white paper and case study conversion rates and total qualified leads generated.
Launching a new product or service is the culmination of many efforts in product development, testing, pricing, packaging and positioning. Now you are ready to press the launch button and begin the customer acquisition process. With the right launch campaign you can make a big splash as you fire up the revenue machine.
Before you announce, you can create anticipation with your blog and social media channels. Let your followers know the big day is coming. Use the pre-launch period to pre-brief industry analysts and secure early customer testimonials from your beta test program. These will become important quotes for your press release and your website. Prepare the necessary product literature and be ready with a demand generation strategy for the launch.
After your launch announcement, host a webinar or series of instructional videos to expand on the limited information about your product or service contained in the press release. Use them to tell the full story of your offering, including its key features, differentiators and customer benefits. Your demand generation strategy should include an actionable offer – something that motivates interested prospects to take that first step towards a purchase – and can take the form of a free trial, a demonstration, a free assessment, a configuration tool or an ROI calculator.
Key metrics to track include qualitative results like press coverage and endorsements (all very useful tools for the sales process) as well as quantitative results like website analytics and the response rate to your actionable offer.
Do you run focused, integrated and measurable marketing campaigns? How effective are they? How efficiently are they executed? If you would like help in designing, developing and executing campaigns to drive a higher rate of customer acquisition for your business, just click on one of the links below to contact me or to request a free marketing assessment.