This article is part of Made @ HubSpot, an internal thought leadership series through which we learn from experiences conducted by our own HubSpotters.
Acquisition marketing campaigns are essential to attract new customers and new income. At HubSpot, we run these campaigns quarterly.
Despite the rapid pace, we work each quarter to create remarkable new ways to reach, inform and convert our audiences.
I wrote this article to share with you how we designed our latest acquisition campaign to meet and exceed our acquisition goals.
Establish the campaign
The start of our Q1 2020 acquisition campaign started with a blinking cursor. As we thought about how to begin our research, we had a few contributions to work on.
First, we knew our target audience consisted of Marketing Managers, as we relaunched our Marketing Hub Enterprise product that month.
At the very least, it was a motion our audience was familiar with, which meant there were fewer barriers to showing value.
Additionally, seasonality played an important role in our planning. We wanted to create content to help marketers plan their strategies for the coming year.
With the combination of 1) a target audience, 2) an understanding of high performing content types, 3) timing, and 4) our additional user research, we wanted to create a remarkable essential resource for marketing managers who are developing their strategies for the year.
So the idea of “Not another report on the state of marketing” was born.
In this article, I’ll be talking about surveys and report content, web experience, promotion, and results. Hope this gives you some behind the curtain insight and inspiration for future campaigns.
Running surveys and creating report content
The first and most important thing about the content of this report was to start collecting survey data for analysis and visualization.
Work with our team at HubSpot Research, we conducted our first survey in November / December 2019 with 3,400 global marketers.
After sending out the survey, we discussed what might differentiate this content from other reports we have published in the past. While the data was invaluable, we knew data can be boring without human context and knowledge.
So we brought in the humans.
Our first criterion for selecting our experts was their subject matter expertise. We had put together a list of topics that we wanted the report to cover (from SEO strategy to content marketing strategy and more) and wanted our experts to have in-depth and specific knowledge of the topic we chose for them. to represent.
Our second criterion was seniority. We were writing a report for senior marketing managers, directors, and VPs, so we wanted our experts to have a similar level of seniority.
We are fortunate to work with many brilliant marketers at HubSpot, so eight of our experts were internal. The two others, Cynthia Price (Vice President of Marketing at Litmus) and Ellie Mirman (CMO at Crayon) were generous enough to volunteer their time when we asked them to share their expertise with us.
We interviewed each of our experts for about an hour, took detailed notes and recorded the interview. We also shared the survey data with them to get their feedback on the data points. Finally, we worked with the experts to write in-depth articles with their tips for the coming year.
We have decided to leave these articles not closed on the web experience, so we’ve optimized them for organic search with in-depth keyword research. We’ve seen some exciting results from this game – generating over 15,000 backlinks in the first two months and taking number three for the search term ‘state of marketing’.
When we received the data from the initial survey, we were delighted with the results – but knew we had to go further. So we did an additional survey in January of a North American database of marketers.
At this point, with the additional survey data and expert commentary, we got quotes from industry experts. We ended up with a great group of contributors from Dropbox, Twilio and more.
In the end, we had 19,000 words of ideas and over 70 data points.
Design and development of the web experience
The differentiation of this campaign was not limited to the knowledge of the experts. We wanted to create an immersive web experience to pair with the PDF report.
The result was a fully personalized web experience with a home page, nine child pages for each post, and a personalized interactive form that follows the user in a non-intrusive banner. It was designed by an amazing lead designer and built from the ground up by three developers. (It’s better seen than described, so I’ll leave you with this.)
We were curious what kind of conversion rate this personalized web experience could generate.
To date, the report home page converts at approximately 35%. This metric is calculated as the views / submission ratio and is measured in HubSpot own HubSpot portal.
We’re really excited about this conversion rate, but have noticed that it doesn’t stay as high on every page of the web experience.
For example, on an example article page, we noticed the conversion rate was around 5%. The main theory right now is that people download the offer when they get to the homepage, and then explore the rest of the experience after downloading, so they don’t convert on the pages. of the offer.
Overall, however, we’re very proud of how the web experience has turned out and believe it’s a strong differentiator. After all, 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content is not pretty on the page.
How we promoted the campaign
When it came time to promote, we had to decide on three things: the story we wanted to tell, our creative promotional resources, and the channels we wanted to pursue.
The literal offer we were marketing was a report. However, the emotion we wanted to represent was trust. This was the story we wanted to report and campaign to tell.
For some marketers, having confidence in a strategy can be difficult. Are other people in the industry doing this? How will I know if it will work?
Data can help alleviate these concerns, as can long articles written by subject matter experts.
So, we wrote 20 titles around this concept. It was a good exercise because, although most of them ended up unused, we found that this process sharpened our writing “muscle”.
One of the first titles we landed on was, “A report for marketers who use data to exceed their goals.”
2. Our creative assets
The design of this campaign was important to us. We wanted it to be consistent across the web experience, the PDF offering itself, and our promotional efforts.
So, under the guidance of our lead designer, we put together a detailed brief for a freelance writer, and he came up with some nice things.
We’ve learned here that cohesive design of all campaign elements makes the campaign feel larger than life.
3. Promotional channels
In the Global Campaigns team here, we like to divide our promotion into three categories:
- Paid: What channels can we activate in which we need to invest directly?
- Owned: What organic channels and established HubSpot audiences can we leverage?
- Won: What other promotions and additional free placements (e.g. organic SEO) can we take advantage of?
For our paid channels, we have chosen to focus on Facebook Ads (historically the lowest CPL for us) and LinkedIn Ads (generally more expensive but more effective targeting for the audience we wanted to attract). For this channel, we’ve created a more standard landing page to drive conversions.
For our possesses channels, we have enabled our brand channels (social media, emails, etc.), our solution partner channels, our customer channels, our HubSpot Academy channels and our sales channels (our BDR used the report as a conversation trigger). We also asked our authors to promote it on their personal social networks, and we gave them personalized assets to make this promotion stand out.
For our won channels, we focused heavily on the organic SEO value of our non-closed articles, the promotion of our partners in the report (Litmus and Crayon) and the media placement in marketing posts.
Monitoring and analysis of results
This campaign was quickly successful: we reached 100% of our goal of new net leads in 16 days and 150% of the goal in just over a month.
As of April 21, there were 15,800 backlinks to the report. We rank over 350 natural keywords and got the # 1 result for the search term “state of marketing”.
Personalized landing page converts at over 30% and paid landing page converts at 25%.
About 50% (48%) of the campaign’s net new leads came from paid social media. We hope to see this percentage decrease as organic traffic continues to gain ground.
There were many factors to our success, but we identified the following main ones:
- Spend time in the strategic planning process. It’s tempting to launch a campaign in a hurry, but a well thought-out strategy works very well. Use qualitative, quantitative and research data to guide your choice.
- Think about how you can contribute to an already ongoing conversation in a new way. There are many reports on the state of marketing. We focused on delivering that same value, but took it a step further.
- Help your creative team by giving them solid creative guidelines. It makes the design more cohesive and more powerful in the end.
- Identify at least three channels that you can activate for promotion. You need to prioritize those that will help you the most in reaching your goal. Since we were looking to attract a New public, our pay channels are the best way to invest.
- Double the details of your content. If someone is willing to give out their information for your content, you better make sure that they offer value.
Good luck with your future campaigns!