Content Marketing. It has become quite the buzzword over the past few years.
In fact, it’s such a buzzword by now that we’re pretty sure we don’t have to convince you that it’s necessary for you to have a content marketing strategy for your business. You already know that it’s a good thing to do and something that will increase your leads and boost engagement. Maybe you even want to plan a content marketing strategy but aren’t sure where to begin. We’d love to help you out by giving you some great examples of what you can start doing TODAY to build an effective content marketing strategy.
We just finished up an awesome content marketing campaign for our clients, the Dermatological Association of Texas and Adara Medical Spa. The Dermatological Association of Texas is a dermatological practice that offers both medical and cosmetic skin care procedures in a few locations around the Houston area. Adara Medical Spa is a medical spa office run by board-certified dermatologists in the Medical Center area of Houston.
They hired us to run a holiday sales campaign called “12 Holiday Steals” for them. This campaign lasted twelve days (December 5th – 20th, weekdays only) and featured one or two deals per day – mostly cosmetic procedures or injectables. We also promoted their online store since they were offering 20% off everything during the month of December. Our goals for the campaign were to boost online sales, calls to the offices for appointments and traffic to their websites.
Although this was a short-term campaign, it was still important for us to develop a strategy and the scope for the project. Even if you’ll be directing your own internal content marketing, it’s important to get a sense of what you’ll be doing and how much time the project will take you. In our case, when we work with our clients, it helps us to price our services appropriately and to make sure that both parties know up front what they’re agreeing to.
Content Marketing: The Strategy
In this case, we agreed to utilize two of the five main components of content marketing – email marketing and social media marketing. For the length of the campaign, we agreed to manage Adara Medical Spa’s Facebook and Twitter account as well as the Dermatological Association of Texas’s Facebook and Twitter. (Both were running the same campaign, just with slightly different messaging as they have different audiences.) We also gained access to each of their Mailchimp accounts so that we were able to create emails to blast out to their existing email lists for the email marketing aspect of the campaign.
We planned to create graphics for our clients – header and profile images for the social media platforms as well as daily graphics to go out in the posts and designed PDFs of the deals to be sent out via the emails.
You might think that choosing which social media accounts to update and which graphics to create is all you need for a well-planned marketing strategy. When developing your strategy, however, you need to get more granular than just this. In our project for Adara Medical Spa and the Dermatological Association of Texas, we gave them an outline of the themes we’d be focusing on at different parts of the campaign (i.e. introducing the campaign vs. targeting last-minute shoppers later in the month), how many times we intended to post on each network, and our messaging. We also showed them the daily graphics and the stock imagery to be used in the various social posts. We wanted a variety of imagery to avoid creative burnout – so be sure to mix it up in your own campaigns too!
Beyond the social media aspect, we also planned the email newsletters. We laid out the number of times we’d be emailing our clients’ lists and designed the attached PDFs outlining the specials to share with their customers. For each email newsletter, we sent the first email of the week to the entire Adara Medical Spa or Dermatological Association of Texas list. The second email of the week was sent to a more targeted list of those who hadn’t opened the first email. The messaging differed in each email, but the call to action remained the same – check out the deals and visit the Online Store and social media pages.
Content Marketing: The Execution
Once you’ve set your intention and planned your strategy, it’s time to kick off your content marketing campaign. Once the first day of Adara Medical Spa and the Dermatological Association of Texas’s 12 Holiday Steals campaign kicked off, all we had to do was follow our plan. Each day, we scheduled 2-3 Facebook posts and 4-5 Twitter posts, complete with the graphics and stock photography. On days when we planned to send out email newsletters, we entered our messaging, linked the PDF outlining the week’s sales and scheduled them to be sent.
Really, execution should be easier and less time-consuming for you and your team than the strategy portion. Once you know what content you’re sending out to your customers and when you need to send it out, it’s a matter of scheduling posts and ensuring everything goes according to plan.
Content Marketing: The Analytics
If your goal is to increase the number of leads you bring in (from content marketing or in general) and/or to boost engagement, one of the most important things you can do is measure the results of the strategies you are using. Without measurement, you have no way of knowing whether or not your efforts are having an impact.
We recommend planning how you’re going to keep up with analytics when you’re drafting out your content marketing strategy. For the 12 Holiday Steals campaign, we reviewed the social media and Mailchimp analytics at the end of each week, allowing us time to see what was working and what we should adjust for the coming week. We provided this information to our client so they also understood what was going on throughout the campaign.
If your strategy and execution are well planned, reviewing your analytics can be a really rewarding part of your content marketing campaign. In the case of 12 Holiday Steals, the campaign was a huge success! Our clients saw an increase in online sales, web traffic, email open rates and click rates, and Facebook engagement and reach due solely to the 12 Holiday Steals campaign.
Here are some of the results we were most excited about:
- This campaign garnered 11% of their YEARLY sales!!!
- For Adara Medical Spa, 65% of people who visited their websites during the campaign had never visited the site before
- For the Dermatological Association of Texas, 69% of people who visited their websites during the campaign had never visited the site before
- Compared with the previous month, this campaign brought 21% more people to the websites and 29% more clicks once they were there
- Our clients informed us that there was an increase in calls to the office mentioning the ad
- Increased reach, engagement, likes, and page views on the social media profiles (especially Facebook)
Based on these results, we were able to report exciting news to our clients, but also learned a lot about their customers and how our clients can continue to engage them moving forward, even when the 12 Holiday Steals campaign came to a close.
Let Us Help You Find Content Marketing Success!
If you’re thinking about launching a content marketing campaign for your business, we encourage you to go for it. As we said before, put together a scope for your endeavor, plan the strategy, execute it according to plan and measure your analytics along the way. If you end up needing help during any of these stages, feel free to give us a call or email us. We hope you’ll find content marketing to be as rewarding as we do – it’s a great way to market to your audience and see real results that can help you adjust and strengthen your efforts.
What was your most successful content marketing campaign?
What components of content marketing (blog marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, organic SEO and paid traffic) are you planning to implement this year?
For those of you who have run a campaign before, what do you wish you knew before you started?