An Integrated campaign uses one common messaging theme across many marketing activities to move your target audience to engage with you. Consistency and persistence are important because it takes seven to 13 touches to get someone to engage. In the last blog posting, I covered methods for generating leads when you need them most, starting with identifying your target audience, moving to creating messaging, and ending with a laundry list of lead generation methods. Now it is time to put it all together into a lead generation integrated campaign.
Potential Elements of an Integrated Campaign
Your campaign can include many different activities, all carrying the same messaging theme. Here is a list of common campaign vehicles.
Postal mail has returned as a viable means of contacting your audience. Email overload causes many emails to go unnoticed. Postal mail, even when thrown away, can still leave an effective impression. And 3-D mail, or lumpy mail, is opened near 100% of the time.
Search engine marketing is advertising that targets those surfing the web. Search engine and social media providers offer advertising, such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Most allow you to select specific demographics so you are not wasting your ad dollars trying to promote a dump truck to an accountant.
Social Media Posts:
Posting on social media can grow a following. Even manufacturers of high dollar products find some success using social media as a vehicle for promoting products, capabilities, and building brand.
Don’t forget about the age-old press release. They are free and can add credibility to your campaign. Make sure the trade publications and newsletters covering your industry get a copy and a phone call from you.
Videos and Blogs:
Blogs and videos can carry your integrated campaign message to your audience in an effective manner. Most manufacturers find the audience is more responsive when the content of the blogs or videos is educational as opposed to sales-oriented.
Email campaigns to your opted in lists is an obvious and inexpensive way to touch your audience. In addition, consider renting lists from reputable sources such as trade publication subscribers.
Although time consuming, phone calling contacts in your CRM can be effective. Cold calling to prospects who have not engaged with you in any way will be less effective unless you have a good reason to call, such as following up on lumpy mail.
Trade shows, open houses, demo days, educational seminars, and other in-person events are powerful tools for your integrated campaign. For those who attend, you have the perfect opportunity to qualify them as a potential lead. For those who do not attend, they see you as a credible player. Educational webinars can also be highly effective.
Putting it All Together
As mentioned in the previous article, it is important that you clearly identify your target audience and their needs, and then create the messaging that will be used thematically throughout all vehicles of your integrated campaign. Pay special attention to the messaging part. Don’t just come up with a tag line. Create a set of messages carefully created to move your audience from their position of not engaging with you to a new position of willing engagement. Use the Barbell Message Creation Exercise™ to accomplish this.
Example: An Integrated Campaign to Your Existing Contacts
Your company has a list of customers and prospects. Some are subscribers who have only provided you their email address, and others are qualified leads who have provided all contact information. Your subscribers and qualified leads have engaged with you in the past and have some sense of your brand and offerings so they are more likely to buy than new leads. When you need business, start here as opposed to renting a list.
The integrated example below is just that – an example. You can modify it as you see fit, rearrange the order and replace one marketing vehicle with another as you see fit. The marketing vehicles should also include a CTA, or call-to-action. A typical CTA tells the prospect to go to a website landing page tailored to your campaign where visitors receive valuable content and visitor analytics are tracked.
Here’s a possible sequence for addressing your existing customers with an integrated campaign that is intended to last six weeks:
1. Write articles for media
Contact trade publications and popular blog authors to ask if you can write an educational article. Align article content with your campaign. For print magazines, shop your article eight weeks or so before the start of your campaign to give time for editing and placement. For electronic media you will need approximately four weeks.
2. Send press releases out a couple weeks before launch.
Introduce your campaign. Strong integrated campaigns have a beginning, middle, and end. Introduce your campaign to your audience. A portion of them will remember your launch, and those that do will have the highest probability of becoming sales ready (meaning they are ready to engage with your sales team).
This gives time for others to pick up the release and publish it in their web or printed material. Consider trade associations, trade publications, as well as websites and newsletters that are involved in your industry. Press releases are hit-or-miss, but they are free and can help you build a little brand awareness and campaign momentum.
3. Send email #1
This first email, like the press release, is also part of the introduction of your campaign. Send to your subscribers and qualified leads informing them of the campaign, provide basic information, and – of course – include the CTA. The CTA should send them to your website landing page where they can get more information, or download a valuable document, or watch a video, or sign up for an event. This should be an HTML graphical email, as opposed to text-based.
4. SEM – Pay Per Click Advertising
Create ads and identify keywords that will be used in Search Engine Marketing. Most small to mid-sized manufacturers find advertising on Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn to be most effective. Some also advertise on Twitter and other social sites. With pay per click advertising you have control of how much you will spend per day, what ad will be displayed, and who the target audience will be (using their demographic breakdowns). Here is a good explanation of how to advertise on Google. Keep the advertising going for the duration of your campaign. The analytics you receive will help justify the investment as well as conduct continuous improvement on your ad campaigns.
5. Email #2
Send another HTML email.
6. Phone call
If your list is large or your resources thin you might not be in position to make phone calls. If you can make calls, then you have two choices. Call with intent to reach the person, in which case make at least six calls, leaving a message only after the first and last call, or call with intent of leaving a message or making contact, in which case you call only once.
7. Email #3
Send a text-based email from your local sales person. Keep it short, and include, as always, your CTA sending the prospect to your landing page as well as offering them to call the sales person directly.
8. Email #4
Send another HTML email.
Send another HTML email.
This integrated campaign example included nine potential touch points to your audience. The majority of the activities were email sends, which are nearly free once you’ve put in the time and energy to create them. Each HTML email should be unique in some way; don’t bore your audience with the same email over and over. Some marketing experts might suggest replacing some of the HTML emails with text-based. Experiment and see what resonates with your audience.
This example involved your existing list of contacts. If you are sending to a rented list from a reputable source, such as a trade magazine subscriber list, then some of the marketing vehicles, such as phone calls and SEM, are not viable. You will find it will cost approximately $1 to send three emails per contact. The price will be higher, of course, if you add direct mailing.
Hope this helps you plan out your next integrated campaign.