When you’re a small-to-medium-size B2B company looking to use marketing resources in the form of time, people and budget to generate leads or inbound marketing results, content marketing campaigns are more than likely on your radar. And you probably want to leverage marketing content for the best possible return.
B2B marketing content is the stuff we use to engage prospects from our Target Market and move them further into the sales funnel to become marketing qualified leads. Done well, it can achieve things like:
Getting your prospect list to respond well to you
Boosting your brand’s relevance with your audience
Delivering insights and data you can use to iterate your content
More easily turn prospects into marketing qualified leads, and set them on their way to becoming sales qualified leads
To get all these great marketing results, your B2B Content Marketing Campaigns doesn’t need 6-12 touch points, a bunch of digital ads, daily organic content on all of your channels, and an ongoing PR campaign for 3 to 6 months.
At TABTF, we’ve designed, iterated and created an effective, budget-respectful Minimum Viable Campaign. If you’re curious as to what a Minimum Viable Campaign for your B2B firm looks and sounds like, where it originates from and how it can move people in your Target Market from cold to qualified marketing leads in up to 16 weeks, here’s what you need to know.
What is a Minimum Viable Campaign?
A Minimum Viable Campaign is a B2B marketing campaign developed and executed with the core elements and minimum number of touch points you need to move a specific target market into momentum, filling the middle of your sales funnel with a view to 5%-35% return. It is designed for firms of 50 employees or fewer, who’s proactive marketing efforts to date span no more than 3 years.
An MVC is the marketing equivalent of a Minimum Viable Product, which is front and centre in many business conversations.
Your Minimum Viable Campaign is a detailed plan for setting a foundation in weeks 1 through 4, and executing in weeks 5-16. Done well, an MVC can become a system you can scale, re-skin, and re-purpose for new markets and products.
How does an MVC unfold in the first 4 weeks?
In our experience, it takes on average 4 weeks to create the foundation for your Minimum Viable Campaign so it can be executed over the subsequent 12 weeks.
First, take some time to perfect your Marketing Strategy. For a more detailed look at what that involves, have a look at our explanation of B2B marketing strategies. <Link to strategy article>
The key in this phase is to define a Target Market. Then complete the Market Research that will inform what goes into your marketing content, and perfect your Sales Funnel <Link to Sales Funnel article>
Then, ensure these tools are in place:
Website is upgraded to work as the backbone of your sales funnelMarketing collateral prepared based on your target marketSales collateral that positions, packages your product/serviceSocial media skins that your Target Market care about are in placeMedia assets prepared
After putting your marketing strategy and tools for your campaign in place, dedicate the next 12 weeks to executing your B2B content marketing campaign.
Preparing Marketing Content for your Minimum Viable Campaign
One of the tools prepared in the first four weeks of your MVC is marketing collateral, or marketing content. We prepare marketing content that is about and for our Target Market. That’s why we dedicate so many weeks to the strategy/market research phase before we start to execute our campaign.
Content is what extends a hand to your prospects and leads them into your sales funnel. The way you make your content disrupt the market, and cut through the barrage of information that is already in your Target Market’s vision, is by making it hyper-relevant to them.
What does hyper-relevant content look like to your audience? It’s the content that discusses them: their situations, their opportunities and challenges in ways that educate, inspire, and invites them to contribute their own genius on the subject. And when you solve the very problem that content is discussing, that facilitates moving your target market through your sales funnel from prospect to qualified marketing lead.
What does an MVC looks like during weeks 5-16?
MVCs look like 4 (or more, or fewer- everyone is different) meaningful interactions with your target market over 12 weeks.
[MVC TIMELINE GRAPHIC HERE]
Touchpoint 1/Alpha: Your initial, meaningful communication sent to your full database of perfect-for-you prospects. Ideally pushed out within weeks 5-8, this communication typically has a <0.5% response rate.
Touchpoint 2/Bravo: Goes to those in your database who did not respond to your Alpha communication. This second meaningful communication can land any time between weeks 5 and 16. It sees a response rate of <3%.
Touchpoint 3/Charlie: Follows-up with those in your database who did not respond to Alpha or Bravo. This third meaningful communication occurs in week 5 through 16. It sees a response rate of <10%.
Touchpoint 4/Delta: Continues on from Alpha-Charlie, this touchpoint communicates with any prospects who still have not responded to your communication. It sees a response rate of <20%.
This isn’t one-size-fits all. Some businesses may realise results in as few as 1 touchpoint, as many as 8. Our experience says 4, executed over 12 weeks yields jackpot results.
But why so many touchpoints?
We say 4 touchpoints because human nature is inert. Procrastination is in our genes.
Rarely will you get a favourable response on touchpoint 1 of your marketing campaign. A handful will respond on touchpoint 2.
Touchpoint 3 of your marketing campaign generates up to a 10% response rate from your target market, in a way that sees the middle of your funnel expand. Touchpoint 4 can get you up to 20%.
A Minimum Viable Campaign is a smart use of your marketing muscle. It is the best use of time, money and resources for a B2B firm of 50 or fewer employees, who have only just stepped into active marketing.
Your Minimum Viable Campaign is a detailed plan for setting a foundation over 4 weeks, and then executing, on average, 4 meaningful touch points with your Target Market across 12 weeks, which can be rinsed, repeated for a new Target Market once the first has filled the middle of your sales funnel.