Let’s talk about ‘Campaigns’ – a term, which in the B2B marketing world, guides almost every activity you do.
Good marketing campaigns force you to back up your activities with a coherent plan. They make you go through the process of researching your market, establishing clear goals and objectives, articulating compelling messaging and buyer personas, methodically choosing your best channels, and finally, measuring your overall performance.
The purpose of using campaigns emerged from the need to group things together under a common theme, idea, or goal – one that can be easily managed and measured later on.
If you think about it, almost every B2B marketing technology functions according to a campaign structure: this includes paid advertising, email marketing, marketing automation, and even your CRM platform.
However, when it comes to social media marketing – and social media management platforms, in particular – things work a little differently. Suddenly, there aren’t any campaigns.
Why Should Social Media Be Any Different?
Beyond the basic social posting and social monitoring, your marketing team should also develop unique social media campaigns. In this case, I’m referring to organic social media campaigns, not paid campaigns.
Social media campaigns play a significant role in helping you organize and measure your social posts around a specific marketing activity. The activity can be anything from promoting a webinar to hosting events and distributing blog posts. In other words, every post that you publish or schedule should be assigned to a specific campaign.
Similar to building a campaign in marketing automation or email marketing, a feasible social media campaign isn’t something you whip up in a few hours. It involves three advanced stages: planning, executing, and maintaining. Each stage is an integral pillar that ensures your campaign is successful; take one out and your campaign will fall apart.
You can use this checklist to kick-off your social media campaign:
- Define your campaign goals
- Choose your main social media networks
- Understand your audience’s needs and wants
- Create the right content that evokes emotion and engagement
- Schedule the content across your social editorial calendar
- Launch the campaign
Looking at the B2B sphere, there are two main reasons why social media marketing thrives with a campaign structure:
Heavy Content Sharing
Unlike B2C brands, B2B companies create and share far more content. From whitepapers to webinars, and blog posts, the average B2B marketer has a plethora of content types to choose from. The difference is even more striking when considering the variations in audio, visual, and interactive content produced by B2B companies.
Working with social media campaigns supports rich distribution of B2B content, enabling you to ramp up a number of posts you schedule and recycle across multiple social channels. You can easily map out your content strategy weeks or even months in advance, ensuring that your editorial calendar is always full with a variety of topics and content types.
Along with this, you can enforce the “10/30/60 rule” – the rule which says that for every 1 promotional content piece, you should publish 3 curated and 6 original pieces.
Even when you’re promoting the same piece of content across various networks, a campaign structure serves as a system of record. So if you have a webinar coming up – and you want to promote it on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – you can easily track when and where this webinar is being promoted. Additionally, this allows you to quickly decipher whether you’re distributing enough webinar-related content, and ultimately ensure that your strategy is coming to play throughout the month.
As basic as it may sound, having a campaign structure makes it possible for you to efficiently arrange, classify, and categorize such large volumes of colorful social media content. The campaign serves as the common denominator among all of the content you’re promoting within a given campaign.
Moreover, structuring marketing activities at a campaign-level allows you to effectively optimize and measure their performance. Take Facebook Ads as an example. When setting up a Facebook campaign, you have three basic levels: ad, ad set, and campaign.
The advert is the meat (or the creative piece) of your campaign, the advert set defines your targeting, budget, placement etc., while the campaign groups everything together. All of the adverts inside the campaign share the same objective, where one campaign can focus on increasing page likes and another campaign can focus on increasing website conversions.
Similarly, having the right social campaign structure allows you to measure the outcome of a group of content pieces, all of which share a common goal.
For instance, a social campaign promoting a webinar will contain a series of social posts or messages, which effectively add up to promote one piece of content (in this case, the webinar). Individually, each post is made up of unique and creative properties such as a video, image, or perhaps text only.
Essentially, managing social content at a campaign-level serves the following use-cases:
Track campaign results:
As mentioned above, each campaign is guided by a specific objective. After hitting ‘launch’ on the campaign, you can easily review that everything is running smoothly and apply new insights to future campaigns.
Optimize content performance:
Create multiple campaigns that promote the same content piece to identify which one is performing better based on variations in messaging, visuals, and CTA’s.
Test different audiences:
Run multiple campaigns (with identical content) targeting different audience segments to determine the most responsive audience.
Synchronize social data with other platforms:
Your social data shouldn’t live in a silo. Using social campaigns gives you the opportunity to import all of your social data with other platforms that also operate at a campaign-level, including marketing automation, CRM, and BI solutions. The result is a deeper analysis of your social media marketing performance in the context of other marketing initiatives.
More Sharing, Better Measurement
In many ways, using a social media campaign structure keeps everything organized for better management and measurement. Campaigns clearly separate one marketing activity from another, allowing you to neatly tie individual content pieces under a common goal or theme. This is a clever and efficient way to scale, promote, and measure your social content across multiple networks, over an extended period of time.