At the start of the year, you drew up a marketing plan to promote your product or service and increase sales revenue. But if you want this plan to help you achieve your goals, you still need to create and run the different marketing campaigns that make up your plan.
Marketing campaigns need to be run differently depending on things like the channel used, the campaign’s budget, and its objectives. That’s why each campaign needs to be prepared ahead of time and managed effectively.
In the post below, we’ll show you how we create marketing campaigns at Plezi that effectively reach our B2B target audience and achieve our goals.
We’ll look at:
- What is a marketing campaign?
- The different parts of a marketing campaign
- 10 types of marketing campaign
- How to create a successful marketing campaign in 7 steps
- Final tips
- An example of a successful marketing campaign
What is a B2B marketing campaign?
A marketing campaign is a series of targeted marketing actions performed over a given period of time in order to achieve a specific goal.
In B2B, the goal is often to convert a visitor to your website into a lead or a customer. But the term marketing campaign is also quite broad. It can involve promoting new content (e.g., a white paper or a case study), the launch of a new offer, or a campaign to raise brand awareness.
The different parts of a marketing campaign
1. A clear and measurable goal
The first step in planning a marketing campaign is to define one or more goals. Do you want to win new customers? Promote a new offer or content? Get more people to register for a seminar or sign up for a webinar?
The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be to create the right message and measure the campaign’s success.
For example, at Plezi, the goal of a marketing campaign could be to get 300 people to sign up for our new webinar “Content marketing: how to stand out from the competition”.
2. A realistic budget
If you have a great idea for a marketing campaign and calculate how much it would cost only to realize that you can’t afford it, you’re just wasting your time.
You need to be realistic when setting a budget for your campaign. It needs to be large enough to let you target the channels required to achieve your goal, but also be in line with the overall marketing budget you set at the start of the year.
In addition, your marketing campaign’s budget must be consistent with the desired goal. You’re not going to spend £20,000 on a campaign to promote your latest white paper, for example.
3. A well-defined target audience
Marketing campaigns usually aren’t designed to target all of your contacts. Instead, you’ll need to carefully define which customer segments you want to target with your campaign.
If your goal is to move leads forward in the buyer’s journey, from the Awareness stage to Consideration for example, you don’t want to target those leads who are closest to making a purchase.
If we take the example above of our webinar “Content marketing: how to stand out from the competition”, we will segment our contacts to target only those interested in content marketing and SEO. This can easily be done with a marketing automation tool like Plezi.
4. One or more relevant channels
The choice of which channels you target with your campaign will be based on your goal and the audience you are targeting. That’s why it’s important to spend some time thinking about the best channels to use for each campaign. These could include email, sponsored ad campaigns, or social media, for example.
To help you decide which is the best channel for your campaign, think about the channels most used by your target audience and how they fit with your campaign goals and budget.
5. A convincing message
Possibly the most important aspect of a marketing campaign is the message that a company sends to its leads or customers. What message do you want to convey? What action do you want leads or customers to take?
Whether your message is designed to inform, educate, or promote your product or service, it needs to resonate with your target audience. Once you’ve decided what you want to say to your campaign’s target audience, you need to decide how you’re going to say it. Above all, your message shouldn’t be too long. You should be able to sum it up in a few words or phrases which constitute a clear call to action. This is also the time to choose or create images which help emphasize this message.
6. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
During the campaign
Don’t wait until the campaign is finished before you start measuring results. You can track the performance of different channels while the campaign is still running. This can include counting how many people have signed up for a webinar or clicked on online advertising. These key performance indicators will let you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. If there’s one aspect of your campaign that works well while others don’t, consider making some changes in order to get the best results.
After the campaign
Once your campaign has finished, analyse the results to see if you were successful in achieving your goals. If so, you’ll now have a good idea of what you need to do to replicate your success. If not, what prevented you from achieving your goals and how can you do better next time?
7. A set time period
Any marketing campaign that you run will also have a set duration. That means you need to decide on a start and end date. It’s very important that all marketing campaigns run for a set period of time. Otherwise, you risk losing sight of exactly what it is you want to achieve.
10 types of marketing campaign
Before creating a marketing campaign, you need to decide what type of campaign you’re going to run. Here are 10 types of one-off marketing campaigns:
- A brand awareness campaign to promote your company
- A campaign to launch a product/service/offer to promote your new product/service/offer
- A repositioning campaign after a website redesign or change of name or logo.
- A lead generation campaign to add new contacts
- An email marketing campaign to offer content, a new product, or another interesting resource to leads
- A social media campaign to drive traffic to your website or improve brand awareness
- An influencer campaign to reach a larger audience
- A public relations campaign to work with media well-known to your target audience
- An SEO or organic search campaign to rank better in search engine results
- A referral campaign to invite customers to promote your company using word-of-mouth
In parallel to these, you should also run campaigns throughout the year to promote things like new content which could include your newsletter, for example. That’s because the creation of new content on the different pages of your website is an ongoing process.
How to create a successful marketing campaign in 7 steps
At Plezi, our year is structured around the different marketing campaigns we run. Because of this, we now have a marketing campaign plan that we can replicate. This helps us to be better organized and ensure that each campaign achieves the best results possible. Below are the different steps we use to create our marketing campaigns.
1. Have a good understanding of your buyer personas
We tend to harp on about it, but knowing your target audience, the problems they face, their fears, obstacles, and daily routine is the foundation of all marketing. Defining good marketing buyer personas is absolutely vital for your marketing strategy to work.
If you want your marketing campaign to be truly effective, you need to have a very good understanding of the audience you are targeting. This will ensure that the message resonates with them and will convince them to take action. For example, this will enable you to choose the right channels, use language appropriate for your target audience and their position in the buyer’s journey, and ensure that the campaign offer addresses their needs.
2. Organize a kick-off meeting
Whatever the size of your team and the duration of your intended campaign, it’s a good idea to organise an initial meeting to kick-off the process of creating your campaign. This will ensure that it is well-organized and that everyone is on the same page.
Pro tip: We all know that meetings can sometimes go off in all directions. To make more effective use of your time and be sure that all the necessary points are addressed, you can put in place a campaign roadmap. This can include things like the key stages of the campaign, the different roles of those involved, and deadlines.
Spend whatever time you need, because this meeting is essential to the success of your marketing campaign. It has a number of goals, which will be covered in the following steps. But it’s better to spend time at this meeting making sure the campaign is well designed and that it will run smoothly than to rush things, only to realize later on that you haven’t given sufficient thought to some parts of the campaign.
3. Appoint a campaign manager
The marketing campaign manager is like the conductor of an orchestra who runs the campaign. They must ensure that no steps have been forgotten so that the campaign runs smoothly.
Their role is to:
- ensure that all tasks progress on time;
- issue reminders if necessary;
- organize progress meetings;
- enter tasks and deadlines in project management tools like Asana, Trello, or Notion;
- write the campaign analysis report at the end of the campaign;
- monitor the results of the campaign.
4. Set clear goals
Setting clear goals will ensure that everyone involved in the campaign is aligned and that they remain focused for the duration of the campaign. This will help you decide what actions to take and avoid taking those actions which are unnecessary. This is the most important step because without it, you won’t be able to measure how effective a campaign was once it is finished.
Your goals need to be SMART:
- Specific = clearly defined
- Measurable = can be quantified
- Achievable = you still a need to have the necessary resources (e.g., human, budgetary) to succeed
- Realistic = feasible, consistent with your current situation
- Time based = limited in time
5. Identify a target audience
Once you’ve set these goals, you need to decide on who the campaign will target in order to achieve them. If a campaign is to be effective, the message must be clear and tailored to a specific target audience. Again, you shouldn’t be targeting all of the contacts in your database.
Here are some characteristics of a B2B target audience you can take into account when planning your campaign:
- Size of the company where the lead works
- Topics of interest
- Day-to-day issues
- Problems faced
6. Choose the channels
In today’s business environment, it’s better to take an omnichannel approach to lead generation. This makes it possible to multiply the touchpoints between internet users and your business. If you aren’t present on the preferred channel of one of your potential customers, they’ll most likely choose one of your competitors. That’s because they’ve made the effort to multiply touchpoints with leads and adapted their message to each stage of the buyer’s journey.
But if you don’t want to see to your entire campaign budget going up in smoke, you still need to prioritize the channels you use and choose the most appropriate ones.
What is POEM?
POEM is an acronym that stands for Paid, Owned, and Earned Media. It refers to different types of media that a company can use to communicate with its leads and customers. While these three forms of communication are quite different, they can also complement each other. They enable companies to optimize their communication with consumers.
- Paid media: these media involve paid positioning, like cost-per-click advertising, sponsored content, display ads, and Google Ads.
- Owned media: these are the media that your company owns, for example, your website, blog, newsletter, and webinars.
- Earned media: these media can’t be directly controlled. For example, an Instagram mention by one of your leads, an unsolicited Google review, or someone sharing your blog post to LinkedIn.
7. Choose KPIs
The last step in our plan involves launching your campaign. Once you’ve done so, you need to measure its impact using key performance indicators (KPIs) which will tell you exactly how well your marketing campaign has performed. When you launch your campaign, you should assess how it is received by your target audience and be prepared to make changes to make it more successful.
Examples of these KPIs can include:
- the number of times a white paper has been downloaded;
- the number of webinar participants;
- the increase in your newsletter open rate.
Keep a close eye on your competition. A few quick searches on social media will show you what advertising is being used by other companies in your sector. There are also online tools available that analyse the latest trends for blog posts. There’s no harm in being inspired by your competitors!
Leverage data from software. There are a number of tools available to help you easily track what content your leads liked the most. This will show you where your strengths lie and identify areas for improvement.
Understand market trends. To help you assess where your company can have an impact, ask yourself the following question: what problems or issues is my sector currently focusing on?
An example of a successful marketing campaign
At Plezi, we’ve been doing regular webinars for a long time that enable us to nurture existing leads and generate new ones. Now, to make the most of the time invested by our team and guarantee the greatest number of participants (and therefore new leads!) possible, we treat each webinar as a marketing campaign in its own right.
Here, then, are the steps we take to create a campaign to generate leads with a webinar:
- Goal: generate 70 new leads using our webinar “Lead nurturing for B2B marketers: best practice to identify quality leads”.
- Target audience: we defined our main buyer persona as B2B marketers. However, we wanted to be more precise than this, only targeting leads in our database interested in the topic of the webinar. In Plezi, we segmented our database using the “interests” tags to target only those leads interested in lead nurturing.
- Channels: To reach our leads at different touchpoints, we used an omnichannel approach.
- Sponsored posts on LinkedIn Ads;
- Advertising on Google Ads;
- Sending one-off emails to a segment of our contact database;
- Promoting the webinar in our newsletter;
- Inserting calls to action in the most relevant blog posts which sent readers to the registration landing page for our webinar;
- Having salespeople promote it in meetings with leads who wished to create or improve their content strategy;
- Collaborating with industry experts to promote our webinar.
Choice of KPIs: given our goal, the only metric we monitored was the number of new leads generated by the webinar. This can be seen directly in the webinar’s content page in the Plezi software. Actual figure achieved: 92 leads (woohoo!).
When you create and launch a marketing campaign, you want to be sure to do everything in your power to attract more customers, without wasting valuable time or money. Regardless of what channel or channels you use, the aim must always be to successfully achieve the campaign goal. We hope the information in this post will help you to create and launch successful marketing campaigns of your own for your business. Why not tell us how it went in the comments below?