Lesson 2: Let’s Dive into the World of Content Marketing Campaigns

19 Jun 2017
| Last update: 21 Jul 2017

Good to see you back!

We hope Lesson 1 had you like :

I think you’ll agree when I say creating content is quite the adventure in itself. It is fun, it enables you to share ideas, but the real deal is making the most out of it.

That’s when the whole process becomes rewarding. When you see people react, bring their own insights and eventually show interest in networking with you. Actually, this is what Lesson 1 touched on – promoting content after having navigated the whole content creation maze.

One way of doing this is through online campaigns, so let us elaborate, dive into this world and unearth some content marketing intelligence.

Allow me to share our own Squirrly story, to show you why and how campaign outcomes can be more than vain figures.

 

Campaigns with a Purpose - 3 Rules to Abide

Designing a campaign just for the sake of likes, subscribers or email lists will only get you so far.

If you’re in to win it, you’ll go about your campaign strategy further and smarter than that. At the end of the day, it’s what makes the difference between average and successful marketers.

But now let’s put it another way. Let’s say there are 3 rules for a healthier mindset to campaign success. Oh, and by the way, we learned them by ourselves – this is hard-earned wisdom we want to share:

We took them and figured they could be turned into some terrific brand building hacks for future campaigns.

We knew that, in the brand building universe, the tough, the smart and the passionate always get ahead. Having been in the business for quite some time now, we ticked the ‘passionate’ and ‘tough’ boxes in our arsenal.

But how about smart?

Did we have the right strategic mindset? Were we sufficiently equipped for designing a win-win scheme which would appease both parties – our brand and our audience?

Only a wised up use of our content could have answered these questions. We needed to be bold and awaken the latent forces inside our website’s content.

 

We only lacked…well, the perfect tool to channel Squirrly content power and put everything together. Until we realized we could join forces with our own Squirrly family member – the almighty ContentLook.

It was the helping hand throughout our three main campaigns.

Which you’re going to learn about in 3, 2, 1…

 

The Better Marketer Giveaway => Rule #1

When we educated our users on how to use the first Squirrlian product – Squirrly SEO Plugin – we thought out the whole educational process in a visual manner. Each user needs to grow their SEO tree, but in order for this tree to grow spectacularly, it needs to be tended to – with the right tools.

Well, the thing is, Squirrly Plugin users weren’t the only ones to reap the benefits of this growth – we were in the same situation.

At the same time with educating our users, we also learned more about the way we should approach them – this is how the 3 rules were born.

The first one has been designed, while we were using ContentLook to organize the #BetterMarketer campaign.

What was that campaign all about?

It was our way of celebrating 4 years’ worth of accomplishments – which called for a way to also thank our wonderful Squirrly users, followers and supporters.

We thought of empowering them by giving away some really useful content marketing tools.

But, while turning into a human catalyst, we thought of becoming better campaign strategizers, as well.

So we let ContentLook do that for us, in a few steps:

  1. A new campaign called Giveaway was created
  2. Tasks were added to manage teamwork better. In the preliminary stage, we didn’t assign the whole team, what you’re going to see is the concept creation wherein we thought out the strategy.

So, we added our first task – here’s how it looked like:

Then, some others followed:

Then, we were interested in tracking the social shares and page traffic.

 

We really wanted this campaign to succeed, since we had lots of content goodies to hand out.

And people were very enthusiastic about that.

By and large, we managed to grow our brand in a fun way: the condition to enter the giveaway was a highly engaging one. People had to tweet about what makes them better marketers.

Stay tuned for Lesson 3, where you’ll learn about more outcomes we got from this campaign.

The Halloween Campaign => Rule #2

For Halloween, we didn’t intend to scare our readers away...except design a scarily entertaining campaign.

Once our fellow ContentLook came to our help, we figured we could use it to apply the second rule of healthy campaigning.

By this campaign, we Squirrlians wanted to offer a free Starbox PRO License and 77% Squirrly SEO Plugin coupon.

But, the players had to earn it.

What they had to do was enter a text-based browser game which would reveal what kind of Squirrly Monster they are. Based on the answers, they would reach different levels: Vampire, Witch, Zombie or Leprechaun.

For each of these results, users would be directed to a separate page for which we set a traffic target of 200 for Yearly Page Views. In ContentLook, it looks like this:

  1. Go to the Campaigns tab
  2. Select the campaign: Halloween
  3. In the tab where you’re asked ‘What do you want to do in this campaign?’, select the ‘Set and edit the targets’ option.
  4. Set the Page Traffic value (we settled for 200).
  5. Click the Save Targets green button.

This way, we were able to track the paths users took to get to the results pages.

The traffic target equals the visits the first page got.

This is what we got:

  • 11% reached Zombie
  • 14% reached the Witch page
  • 16% were Leprechauns

Our Squirrly users were doing just fine to reach the highest level, right?

But, did we meet the target we had in mind at the beginning of the campaign?

To check that, we went back to the tab where ContentLook is interested in the next action for our campaign :).

We selected ‘See the pages assigned to it’ and – boom! – there you have all the data for the campaign overview.

In order for us to track the campaign outcomes, we settled for a target and set it at 200 for Page Traffic.

The pages which went over 200 visitors are easy to detect. Look at the Progress column.

You can see the Progress icon is completely colored in purple for the Start Halloween Game page. The rest display a progress bar, so that you know exactly how many of your pages met the campaign target.

Meanwhile, we were seeing how ContentLook helps us track traffic progress – those were was early ContentLook days and the hackable outcome was that, indeed, we could use our smart tool to design killer campaigns which bring more than vanity metrics.

Does it ring a bell?

It quite sounds like the second rule of healthy campaigning – ‘Instead of vanity campaign metrics, hassle for hackable outcomes.’

The Christmas Campaign - Time for Generosity and Rule #3

With this one, we tried a different approach.

After all, it was about Christmas – and Christmas is all about giving. So, we thought of curating some fun ideas our readers could actually apply.

This time, our content was powered by visuals, so the chosen channels for promotion were Instagram and Pinterest.

Thus, the campaign was less promotional and more people-oriented.

Just imagine – Squirrly was an actual part of our readers’ celebration. Be it with some menu inspiration, a whimsical decorative idea or movie recommendation for cozy family nights.

The success of this campaign soon translated into enthusiastic and warm commentaries – which is exactly what we had planned for.

No salesy announcements, no offers, no deals.

We basically applied the third rule of healthy social media campaigning.

How?

We first made sure the articles were ready in time and started posting to get our readers hyped for the upcoming celebrations. As you can see, our targets for each article were met and you see the colored ticks near each one of them.

Mission accomplished!

 

Set Yourself for Growth - Good Things Will Come

There’s something else we noticed: once you start cramming articles into different campaigns, your Articles table view will start resembling a rainbow, as the progress icon assigned to each article is colored the same as the campaign it is part of.

Of course, at first, you’ll have a lot of ‘homeless’ articles not pertaining to any campaign – their progress is marked by a light transparent shade.

What we learned from testing ContentLook with our campaign approach is that a good overview is never too much.

The more you can see everything at a glance, the more efficiently you can go about what you want to achieve.

Plus, you can get plenty of campaign ideas and approaches just by assessing which articles are staying in the shadows, with their true potential unexplored.

It’d be a pity to leave them like that, right?

Looking back, we also realized campaigns were among the best opportunities to learn brand building hacks we wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

Did it take a while to realize we could leverage our content through smart campaigns?

Yes.

Was it worth it in the end?

Totally!

The best part about the whole thing?

Either one of the following:

  1. We engaged with (AND learned from) loads of Squirrly users.
  2. We discovered how to offer genuine value.
  3. We devised a set of values to follow throughout our campaign strategies.
  4. WE NOW GET TO SHARE EVERYTHING WITH YOU!

There’s only one condition: keep your eye on your Inbox to make sure you don’t miss any of the following lessons.

 

Ioana Budai

Ioana Budai

Lover of books and whimsical accessories, Ioana is a wandering mind seeking to find some order in writing.
Supercharged by drama and ideologies, as well.
Ioana Budai