Hit on the right mix of these two and you could soon see your results soar.
What do we mean by short term and long term?
In a nutshell, long term marketing activities are all those things which don’t have an end date. They’re the timeless tactics that are working hard for you every day. For example, your lead magnets, lead generationcontent marketing and lead nurturing campaigns.
Short term activities, on the other hand, are those which have a shelf life and a natural end. Examples here include a standalone product launch campaign, or a niche and highly targeted ABM campaign that you may put into action to land a dream account.
When it comes to B2B organizations – particularly those with long sales cycles – it’s important you find a perfect balance of the two. Your aim should be to have a long term, fully integrated content marketing strategy running all the time that’s backed by short term lead generation campaigns.
What may that look like in practice?
Traditionally, companies would have run PR campaigns combined with some form of advertising and direct mail.
Nowadays, thanks to the growth of digital marketing, you’re more likely to drive contacts through content marketing, to host a webinar tailored towards one of your target audiences and then offer participants a special deal. Repeating the whole exercise regularly.
The problem is, the purchasing patterns of modern B2B buyers have changed almost beyond recognition and they are unlikely to follow a straightforward path towards a sale.
There will be multiple touchpoints along the way (times where they make contact with a potential supplier) and each of these points needs to be well thought through and their impact measured, assessed and improved upon.
Ideas for short term B2B marketing campaigns
Short term campaigns have a valid place within the overall marketing mix and here we’re going to explore them in more detail, including how you go about devising one.
The options for short team B2B marketing campaigns are broad and the only real limit is your own creativity. Here are some common examples:
Reduced pricing or any other type of special offer
Depending on the nature of your business, you may choose to run a special pricing campaign over a set period of time. Or, if your product doesn’t quite work for that kind of set up, then you could run a campaign that increases the value offer.
If you don’t already use webinars in your sales funnel, then give them a try. Make sure you have a strong follow up offer ready to share with attendees afterwards.
Other great hooks you can take advantage of are the seasons and key national holidays. Think what special offer campaigns you could create around them.
Offers targeted towards specific people
Look at your database and choose a specific segment of contacts who are valuable to you. Devise a special offer just for them. This segment could be based on any number of things, such as a specific buyer persona, the past behavior of contacts, or a certain demographic.
Breaking down your database in this way is always going to be the most effective way to approach running an offer. It allows you to focus in and tailor an offer to an exact segment, so you can make it super enticing for them.
A well thought through and highly tailored offer, which is sent to 100 segmented leads, is likely to generate far better results than a general offer sent to 1000 random leads.
Test this assumption out and see what happens. If tailored offers work for you, then do more of them.
PPC and social ad campaigns
Consider whether you’re taking full advantage of online advertising opportunities. B2B organizations often think this is something for the likes of B2Cs and e-commerce websites. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you have new content then boost it on search engines and across social media using paid for ads. Generally, social ads can work really well for B2B, if they’re used to promote high quality and tailored content.
Events are by their very nature, a form of short term campaign. You will have marketing opportunities in the run up to the event, during the event itself and during the post-event. Make sure you have a comprehensive plan together that ensures you make the most of all these opportunities.
Special campaign to qualify existing leads
Another way to use short term campaigns is to qualify existing leads. If you have a database which you haven’t contacted in a while, then create a bespoke campaign that you can use to heat up your cold contacts again.
When you first start using content marketing, it’s best to segment your existing database and run short term campaigns to help you filter out those who are currently interested and those who aren’t.
Anatomy of a short term B2B marketing campaign
While the objective of each of your campaigns may differ, generally the anatomy of what they should include will stay the same.
Here’s a run through of the key elements that any short term campaign needs to give it the best chance of success:
A special offer
Short term means that there’s an offer on the table that has an end date. Make sure you describe the offer well and that it will be appealing enough to your target audience. Check it will offer true value.
The marketing material you produce for the campaigns needs to use precise language and good quality graphics. As with any other campaign, you’ll need marketing materials to be designed and available in various shapes, sizes and forms.
An email to the target audience
With every type of offer you publish, you’ll need to send out some form of email. Don’t make the mistake of sending a generic email offer to your entire database. If the email reaches people who have no use for it, then that email becomes spam to them.
Take the time to segment your database and make sure you detail why they would want the offer and what you want them to do as a next step.
Social media posts
There may be occasions where you want to tell your broader audiences about an offer and others where you just want to hit a smaller, very targeted group. Use social media to get the message out there.
Unlike email, on social media people aren’t quite as bothered about seeing content they aren’t interested in. They’ll simply scroll past it if something pops up in their newsfeed that they don’t care about.
Also, spend time working on your list of key influencers and multipliers. Now is the time to activate them.
Advertising on various channels
Setting up an advertising campaign is always a vital part of any short term campaign, simply because it is the best and quickest way to reach a target audience quickly.
It’s also very important to think beforehand about what success will look like for your campaign. Is it a certain number of new leads? New sales? Or something else?
What are the KPIs you need to be measuring to determine whether the campaign was successful or not?
Set up tracking and use tracking links, to enable you to generate a comprehensive report afterwards. This will help you see what worked and what didn’t, which will help when it comes to making decisions about future campaigns.
Rinse & repeat
After you’ve run a couple of short term campaigns, you’ll have gained some important learnings. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Online marketing is changing all the time and new methods of finding and convincing an audience continue to emerge.
At the same time, when you hit on a strategy that works for you, then stick to it, refine it and make it even better. Your results will soon start to look even healthier.