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The Anatomy of a Targeted Inbound Marketing Campaign

By John McTigueJun 1, 2015

targeted inbound marketing technology campaign

The objective of any marketing campaign worth its salt is lead conversion. Convert visitors to leads, leads to MQLs, MQLs to SQLs and SQLs to Customers—that's what good campaigns do. But it's not just about any old conversions. You want qualified buyers in your funnel.

Inbound marketing campaigns rely on several important factors including the offer itself, content distribution, calls to action, promotional emails, social media and blog posts, in addition to testing and optimization. And don't forget about lead nurturing to move leads down the funnel. Without all of these things in place, your chances of maximizing results from inbound marketing are limited at best.

Targeted inbound campaigns take lead conversion to the next level and increase your chances of converting leads to customers. Let's take a look at one of our best performing campaigns, aimed at one of our highest priority buyer personas.

Targeted Content Marketing Campaign Strategy

The first and, in many ways, most important step is to craft a campaign strategy to achieve your goals. In our case, we wanted to attract and convert SaaS company executives who we have identified as our "Technology Ted" buyer persona. Technology companies make up more than 50 percent of our customers to date, so we know that "Ted" is a key driver of our success as an inbound marketing agency.

But C-Suite executives are notoriously difficult to reach with any marketing campaign, so we would have to try something very relevant, very interesting and very timely for our target persona. Our first Technology Campaign targets these potential customers.

From interviews with our SaaS customers and the popularity of certain SaaS-related blog post topics, we decided to create a top-funnel eBook called "SaaS Marketing for CEOs". Can't get much more targeted than that.

The eBook tells the story of Shopify, one of the most successful SaaS companies that pioneered many of the most successful marketing strategies for the industry, including leveraging beta developer communities, free trials, channel partner programs and outstanding online support. We also focused the eBook on achieving metrics SaaS CEOs care about, like customer acquisition costs (CAC) and customer lifetime value (LTV).

The result was a how-to resource for rapidly growing your SaaS company and building market share over time. Not surprisingly, this eBook has been a big hit with the Ted personas and other entrepreneurs in the SaaS space.

Content Distribution Strategy

Owned Media

Since we started the Technology Campaign in December, 2014, we have published 43 posts on our own blog related to the campaign. Each blog post goes in depth on a single topic in the SaaS Marketing for CEOs eBook or discusses related topics such as growth hacking. Each post contains a CTA to download the eBook. We have been promoting the blog posts and eBook (a total of more than 700 times) via our personal and Kuno Creative social media channels. We also have CTAs placed on relevant pages throughout our website.

We have also launched more than 20 promotional emails to our segmented lists of Technology buyer personas, and these emails have open rates in the range of 40-50 percent and click rates in the range of 15-20 percent, which is at least twice the engagement we normally see with more general emails or campaigns. Each email is written to be personal and educational, adding some new information and inviting recipients to learn more via the eBook. We use HubSpot workflows and smart lists to make sure our contacts don't receive the same email twice or get inundated with emails from us.

Earned Media

We knew our own reach wouldn't be enough to attract new buyers at the C-Suite level, so we leveraged our Diamond Partner relationship with HubSpot, since HubSpot's blog is popular with SaaS entrepreneurs. One the perks of being a Partner at our level is being able to publish posts on HubSpot's blog, including a CTA to our offers. We did this with a post entitled "Marketing Strategies that Rock the SaaS World".

This post alone has generated more than 600 tweets, over 120 Facebook likes and over 260 LinkedIn shares, but, most importantly, it has driven more than 600 highly qualified leads! This post also currently ranks #1-2 on Google for "saas marketing strategy," so we are receiving a nice influx of conversions from organic search.

Paid Media

We wanted to leave no stone unturned, so we have been running targeted ads for the eBook on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. We are also retargeting key SaaS-related blogs, web pages  and landing pages using GoChime and PerfectAudience.

While paid media has not yet driven a large percentage of qualified leads to the campaign, we are satisfied that we are reaching and converting leads we would otherwise never have touched. We have also observed that targeted ads convert at significantly higher rates than more general campaign ads. We will report on these results soon.

Campaign Infrastructure and Lead Nurturing

Prior to launching the Technology Campaign, we needed to build an infrastructure to support it and to help us continuously monitor and optimize results. Using HubSpot, we segmented our contact database by industries and job titles. Then we assigned buyer personas based on "fit" to our persona criteria. Then we created landing pages for each content distribution channel, including internal and external blog posts, targeted email, general email and paid media channels. This enables us to review results from each channel and to make decisions about campaign budget and new content initiatives to sustain and improve campaign metrics.

Each visitor that converts on one of the landing pages is entered into a drip email campaign and receives one new email per week for 6 weeks. Each email is highly personalized and contains additional information from a variety of sources that add new insights to SaaS marketing strategies and the experiences of other SaaS companies. These emails also show open and click rates 2-3 times higher than our drip campaigns for more general campaigns, because they are relevant and interesting to our Technology Ted persona.

We have also created personalized content on our website home page and SaaS Services pages for our Technology Campaign leads. This strategy keeps them engaged whenever they visit our website for more information. As our leads visit the website more, open more emails and convert on mid-funnel content offers, we keep track of their engagement and update smart content to reflect their progress through the buyer journey.

Results to Date and ROI

technology-campaign-results

We've been running this campaign for almost 6 months now, and it's been extraordinarily successful. At the beginning of the campaign, we set goals in order to measure success. Our primary goal was to fill our pipeline with qualified leads ready for a sales conversation. We call them "sales qualified leads." We knew from previous campaigns what some of the top and middle funnel metrics needed to be in order to support our goal.

Here are some of the KPI's to date.

Website Visits

Goal: 10,000

Campaign to Date: 24,224

New Contacts (Leads)

Goal: 500

Campaign to Date: 888

MQLs

Goal: 200

Campaign to Date: 273

SQLs

Goal: 10

Campaign to Date: 9

Opportunities

Goal: 5

Campaign to Date: 7

The beauty of inbound marketing campaigns is that they don't have to be discrete events like advertising campaigns. They are evergreen, and as long as your content continues to be relevant and timely, they will continue to bring in new leads from search engines, social media posts and paid media. Our Technology Campaign continues to bring in fresh, qualified leads and move them down the sales funnel toward becoming SQLs, opportunities and customers. We will also continue to add fresh content and nurture existing leads with personalized content and retargeting to keep them engaged and thinking about inbound marketing.

We are so excited about the results of our targeted campaigns, we have focused on this approach for all of our marketing and for our customers, as well. We suggest you give it a try!

Additional Topics: Tech Marketing
The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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