As a life sciences brand, your digital marketing campaigns are vital to acquire and retain customers. But with so many moving parts, channels, and tasks involved in the process, it can feel daunting and confusing to begin your marketing journey.
So, where should you start when launching your first digital marketing campaign? From strategy to implementation, the first few steps of campaign planning are crucial in setting the foundations for success.
To assist you, we’ve put together five key steps to create your first B2B digital marketing campaign — helping you improve your digital presence, and grow your business — both on your owned channels and using ResearchGate Native Ads. But first, let’s look at what goes into a marketing campaign, and why it should not be used interchangeably with “marketing strategy.”
Campaign planning comes from your marketing strategy, which forms the basis of your campaigns. That’s why your starting point is to develop a strong digital marketing strategy. The two are linked, but different.
A digital marketing strategy is a plan to raise awareness and attract new customers or clients, via online and mobile channels. It operates on a higher and broader level and with a medium to long-term outlook. The key performance indicators (KPIs) are aligned with the brand and business objectives. It typically includes things like your marketing approaches, brand strategy elements, and value proposition.
Meanwhile, a digital marketing campaign is made up of different steps and activities, aimed at promoting a specific product or service. It works towards a specific marketing and sales goal, to be achieved within a finite time frame. It uses key messaging, like a campaign slogan and call-to-action (CTA). Efforts, messages, initiatives, and channels are linked, and results are tracked against campaign goals.
Step 1: Set clear marketing objectives for your campaign
You can’t measure the success of your campaign without goals. What results do you want to reach?
Ensure that your goals are achievable, measurable, and specific, such as: “Generating 30% percent more leads by the end of the business quarter.” Using a strategic framework like RACE or SMART can give you a clear direction and ensure that goal setting stays relevant to the overall business vision.
When tapping into a scientific or academic audience, the ResearchGate Marketing Solutions team can help you identify campaign targeting parameters and budget options, optimizing these toward your objective — whether it’s to generate brand awareness with sponsored posts, or high-quality leads via native and sequential ads. Submit all info to your account manager for a tailored campaign strategy. At the end of your campaign, you’ll receive detailed performance reports.
Step 2: Define and segment your target audience
Who do you need to reach, in order to meet your sales and marketing objectives? Successful digital marketing campaigns are built upon detailed buyer personas.
Build personas around location, age, and job title. Collect real audience data where possible — a mix of customers, prospects, and outsiders — via research, surveys, and interviews. This paints a more accurate picture of what motivates and drives their purchasing decisions and what their pain points are. For example, you might find that target customers value product quality over a competitive price point.
After you have defined your audience, get specific with targeting. Is your campaign aimed at prospects, existing customers, or both? Where are they placed along the marketing funnel — at the awareness, consideration, conversion, or retention stage? You’ll need to place the campaign there, with a strong call to action.
ResearchGate collects privacy-compliant first-party data sets containing member-generated information such as name, role, field, background, and seniority. So, as an advertiser on the platform, you can benefit from behavioral data that is contextualized, detailed, and highly relevant to your industry. You can also target people granularly using industry-specific targeting criteria, such as research area, method, industry, career level, and more.
Step 3: Choose the digital channels you’ll be using
Will you use paid, free, digital, and traditional channels? Omni-channel campaigns are considered to be the most effective to gain results because consumers regularly switch channels and devices — with consumers spending over 4 hours per day on mobile apps.
Use your market buyer personae to understand what your target audience favors and which channels to choose. Then send prospects the right content at the right time, based on where they are in the funnel. Using a paid media channel like ResearchGate allows you to use a combination of Suggested Content, Event Promotion, Email Marketing, and Native Ads to reach your target audience and nurture and convert leads.
Step 4: Define a campaign messaging that is clear and memorable
What are you trying to tell your audience? Your unique campaign messaging should inform, educate, and inspire them to take action. It should convey how your service, offer, or product can solve your target audience’s pain points.
Creating strong messaging is an essential piece to a successful B2B digital marketing strategy. It should be original and reflect your brand personality and values while aligning with your audience’s and generating an emotional pull.
There are different tools you can use to shape your messaging, such as working with a standardized marketing or copywriting framework. Keep a cohesive tone of voice to convey messaging across all your channels and customer touchpoints.
Step 5: Create content that resonates with your audience
What content do you need in order to share your message with your audiences? While your messaging stays the same, content style and format should be adapted to each platform, type of buyer, and campaign objective. Relate it to the audience you want to attract.
When targeting a scientific audience, educational content usually converts best. When analyzing campaign performance and sponsored content types on the platform, ResearchGate found that white papers have the highest click-through rate (CTR) at 0.41%, followed by articles and infographics at 0.30%.
Include a strong CTA to explain what readers will receive once they click through your content, such as: “Get a free webinar on-demand, offering the latest trends on XYZ topics.” Once you have defined your messaging, ResearchGate’s expert team can help you design ad creatives or creative briefs, and write copy. Their strategy includes A/B testing different creative versions of your ads to optimize your campaign results.
Discover how ResearchGate can help you plan and manage your marketing campaign and reach your target audience. Get in touch today to get started.