Running an effective digital marketing campaign for your SaaS company takes a lot of planning, research, and a little inspiration. If you need help with your digital marketing strategy, you’ve come to the right place. This article will share some insights on what makes a marketing campaign work and show eight great examples of impactful campaigns that got excellent results.
What is a marketing campaign?
A marketing campaign is a strategic effort to reach a particular marketing or sales goal, like lead generation or raising brand awareness. These ad campaigns can take place across various channels, like social media, search engines, TV & Radio, or print advertisements.
In recent years, many marketers have turned to digital marketing campaigns to connect with audiences cost-effectively. However, traditional marketing, like TV and radio spots, flyers, and billboards, can still have a place if you have a large enough campaign budget.
Of course, most people don’t have a million dollars to drop on prime-time TV slots. This situation partly explains why more brands are turning to digital marketing campaigns.
It’s also worth remembering that digital marketing campaigns allow users to target user segments and their ideal customers more precisely than traditional marketing. Additionally, you can also use marketing campaigns to target your existing customers to reengage or drive revenue streams like upselling.
What is the difference between marketing and advertising campaigns?
While some people use these terms interchangeably, they describe unique concepts. Although, the line is getting blurrier by the day.
Marketing and advertising do share a common goal: To make people aware of a product or service and convince them to buy it. Marketing teams achieve this through researching the product, market, and target audience and promoting it through various physical and digital channels. Advertising is one part of that campaign.
An advertising campaign itself involves the creation of persuasive content and copy that is designed to promote or sell a product or service. Again, for clarity, advertisement is an aspect of marketing.
“Demand Gen vs Lead Gen”
Another marketing and advertising concept that sometimes gets confused is “Demand Gen vs Lead Gen.” As you might have guessed, it stands for demand generation vs lead generation.
The main difference between the two is as follows:
Demand Gen: Demand Gen focuses on brand awareness and creating interest in a business’s products or services. This digital marketing strategy aims to identify and connect with a target audience and get them into your sales funnel.
Demand generation digital marketing campaign aims to:
Make your prospective audience aware of the problem your product or service solves
Increases your trust and authority
Reach out to a broad audience
Provides easily accessible and free resources
Lead gen: Lead Gen is about converting prospects into leads. You can do this in several ways, such as getting landing page signups, product downloads, or connecting via social media.
A lead gen marketing strategy, on the other hand, aims to:
Shows how your audience can solve their problem or pain point with your solution
Focuses on generation leads
Uses gated content to capture email addresses and customer data
Marketing campaign objectives
Marketing campaigns can have a wide variety of goals. For example, some of the most common marketing goals are to:
Build brand awareness
Boost your conversion rate
Increase social media followers
Drive social media engagement
Landing page visits
Generate website traffic
Improve customer experience
Understanding and defining your goals is an essential first step. Tying these metrics to your business objectives is sensible. For example, raising brand awareness could be your priority if you’re a new business entering a crowded and competitive marketplace.
Effective digital marketing campaigns
A successful digital marketing strategy relies on a deep understanding of both your product and your target audience. It needs to concentrate on the customer journey, from initial awareness straight through to the point they purchase and become loyal customers.
Here are some essential ingredients for a successful marketing strategy alongside a brief step-by-step guide.
#1. Set your digital marketing campaign goals
Before you spend money or time on a digital marketing campaign, you must clearly determine your goals. You can’t define or measure success if you don’t know what you want to get from a campaign.
As mentioned above, your business goals and objectives should inform and influence your entire marketing strategy.
Once you know what you want your marketing strategy to achieve, you can define KPIs and metrics that you can use to measure campaign effectiveness.
#2. Know your audience
Knowing the audience for your product is essential. It informs everything from messaging, what channels you use, and even the type of marketing campaigns you should employ.
Any SaaS product or service needs to do deep research on its customers. They need to learn a lot about their pain points, including the language that resonates with their target audience.
Additionally, while your customers are all somewhere online, they’re not all hanging out on the same platform. So find and research where they congregate so you can figure out how to reach them.
#3. Get your messaging right
Getting your messaging right is an extension of knowing your product and your audience. You understand their pain points and know how they think and talk about them, so you should have a good idea of what tone, language, and concepts will resonate.
The right message should connect with your business goals too. Figure out what actions you want your targets to take and incorporate that into your messaging.
#4. Always measure and adjust
You can’t predict how every campaign will go. Some do well, while others will fail. You must have a way to measure if your campaign has been successful. As we said earlier, define your goals before you start and establish KPIs and metrics that determine if a campaign is effective.
Use what you’ve learned to adjust the campaign or inform your subsequent attempts. Sometimes very subtle adjustments can improve a campaign dramatically, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Is B2B marketing different from B2C marketing?
Many people in the marketing world suggest that B2B and B2C marketing should take a different psychological approach. Generally, this thinking is based on the idea that businesses are logical and consumers are not.
However, as the vice-chairman of Ogilvy, Rory Sutherland, pointed out in his excellent research paper The Objectivity Trap, advances in Behavioral Sciences suggest that the world of business might not be as logical as we think.
Sutherland advocates for taking a more human approach to B2B marketing. He believes that B2B purchasing decisions are subject to fear and self-preservation rather than rational self-interest.
So if your SaaS product is built for businesses, remember that you are still selling to emotional beings, but they’re just wearing suits.
Different marketing channels
There are lots of different marketing channels. While some businesses use them all, others can benefit from tighter targeting.
For example, the user demographics of each channel are somewhat varied. So, if you’re targeting a younger audience, social media like TikTok or Snapchat might get you better results.
Let’s take a look at some of the channels you can use for different marketing strategies.
Email marketing is a type of digital marketing campaign. It involves building a list of customers and sending them email messages. While sending digital campaigns via email has become more difficult due to data privacy laws, it’s still an effective way to market your products.
Organic search (SEO)
An SEO campaign is a type of digital marketing that attracts customers via organic traffic. It involves optimizing your website with keywords and terms that high-intent customers enter into a search engine. If your solution is relevant, the user is served a link on the search engine results page (SERP).
Paid search campaigns have a similar dynamic to organic search, but you don’t need to optimize for keywords to appear at the top of the SERP. Instead, you pay for clicks or impressions and hope that interested customers click on the ads.
Examples of paid ads include Facebook Ads, Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords), LinkedIn, Bing, etc.
Social media campaigns
Social media marketing refers to digital marketing campaigns that take place across various social media platforms. A social media campaign can be as simple as posting content or images, connecting with users, or sending messages. Additionally, social campaigns can use your network to reach new customers.
Content marketing is a type of campaign that relies upon producing interesting content to drive engagement. This content can contain links or be designed to boost awareness, trust, and authority.
Publishing content as a marketing strategy can be done via a blog post, social media, or across various online platforms.
This digital strategy can also involve guest posts, videos, whitepapers, infographics, or other downloadable content.
User-generated content campaigns are a type of marketing that relies on asking your users to create social media content about your brand. You can do this on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. It’s a great way to produce relatable content that provides your target market with social proof with minimal marketing spending.
Influencer social media posts
An influencer marketing campaign is a type of marketing that uses internet celebrities or highly respected users to promote your product or service. Because these celebrities have tightly defined audiences, they can present a good opportunity for marketing teams to reach their ideal customer.
Digital marketing campaign examples
When you’re devising a digital marketing strategy to engage your target audience, it’s worth knowing what’s already worked.
Use these excellent marketing campaigns to inform and inspire your marketing efforts.
#1. Lead-Gen: Oracle’s Digital Bank of the Future
Oracle’s Digital Bank of the Future camping is an example of using content to boost interest and authority and ultimately generate a serious amount of leads. The plan for the campaign was to engage C-suite execs at smaller banks who were interested in modernizing their software stack by embracing digital banking.
The campaign started in 2013 with revenue generation goals of $16m. It used the well-researched lead magnet of an in-depth report on modern banking and digital transformation that was full of valuable and smart insights. B2B businesses signed up in their droves.
Three hundred fifty thousand leads and $28m in revenue later, it’s fair to say the camping was an incredible success.
2. StoryBrand: Google’s Google My Business campaign
Google used the power of storytelling to highlight their Google My Business B2B service.
Google’s ad highlights how Google My Business works for Zingerman’s sandwich businesses. It highlights the brand’s story as it takes the journey from a small local business to a $14m mail-order business.
This campaign is a classic example of using a StoryBrand campaign to produce a clear and consistent message. The business, in this case, Zimmerman’s, is the hero, with Google My Business as the wise, benevolent guide. It even manages to squeeze in how Google Analytics is used by the business to monitor sales and engagement.
#3. Social proof: Salesforce’s Success Page
Social proof is a powerful motivator that lends your business trust and credibility. It’s an important part of the end of the sales funnel and can convince users that they should give a brand a try.
Salesforce uses a Success Page highlighting how businesses using their service have achieved success. There are a lot of use case examples on the page, and Salesforce allows users to filter by business size, business type, industry, and products, so each business can find someone with a use case that speaks to them.
The idea is that your company can unlock success by following the same process. It’s a brilliant, evergreen resource that can supplement Salesforce’s other digital marketing efforts by showing users how they can provide them with value.
#4. Programmatic SEO: Zapier
Zapier is an integration and automation tool that allows businesses to build no-code connections to their apps. They launched an SEO campaign to boost their monthly visitors. Soon, they had over 5 million visitors per month and average recurring revenue (ARR) of $140m. In total, almost 60% of their visitors come from searches.
To capture this traffic, Zapier built landing pages for each connection that was possible with the tool. For example, users can use Zapier to create an automated link between Google Sheets and Slack.
In total, they made 70,000 landing pages. More than 1 in 4 rank first for at least one keyword.
#5. Referral marketing: Zoho
Zoho makes an excellent suite of business software. However, they are perhaps best known for their email tools. They performed a superb referral marketing campaign that boosted their users and brand awareness.
Referral campaigns have two great functions. Firstly, they can help engage your existing users. Secondly, they can use your existing user network to explode your growth.
Zoho’s strategy was simple. It gave five free accounts to its users to share with their friends. In turn, each of these friends got five free accounts too. Essentially, each unengaged user could help find 25 new users for the company.
Additionally, because the recommendation to use the business comes from a friend, it strengthens the likelihood of activation through social proof. It’s a smart, cost-effective way to drive user numbers and promote your app.
#6. Email marketing: MailModo
MailModo deserves a place on this list for a marketing strategy that uses email to promote its service and show the power of its product. The main feature of their product is that it automates emails for marketing that include interactive content in the main body.
They sent out sales emails that featured these interactive elements. In effect, these emails worked as a mini product demonstration because when someone opened them, they could see exactly how the product worked and how it felt to receive one of these emails.
#7. Personalization: Double Your Freelancing
Personalization is a powerful part of the consumer experience. Digital marketing allows businesses to change and adjust their message to connect with a broader audience but without being so overly general that it speaks to nobody.
Double Your Freelancing helps freelancers run their businesses. Their marketing problem was that freelancing is a broad church that includes a massive variety of people. How do you create messaging that speaks to each demographic?
Their solution was an email campaign with unique content, CTAs, subject lines, etc., for each user persona. The tailored offers and testimonials for each user are based on their information. The result was a 250% boost in conversion rates. That’s the power of personalization.
#8. Promote new features through social media: Spotify
Social media is a great tool to announce recently launched product features. Of course, it relies on having an existing social media audience.
Spotify’s Enhanced Playlist is an excellent demonstration of how to launch new features in an easy-to-digest and fun way. They produced a short video promoted on Facebook with clean, crisp copy, illustrations, and animations, all within the company’s existing tone and brand identity. It was a great way to drive feature engagement while also boosting brand visibility.
Pick a digital marketing strategy that works
As you can see from the examples we’ve listed, choosing the right marketing strategies depends on your target audience and customer base. By understanding the channels or digital space your ideal users occupy, you can increase the effectiveness of your marketing.
The most important thing is to do your research and know your audience. Then you can predict the best way to connect with potential customers and deliver effective campaigns. Use the existing examples to inspire your own campaigns.