Yay! GetResponse was honored with a Demand Gen Report 2017 Killer Content Award for an Influencer Campaign. We’re so happy and you can bet there was a lot of joyful dancing around the office. How did we do it? Here’s a case study of the GetResponse Marketing Automation Hub, sharing its results from July to November 2016.
— Irek Klimczak (@irekklimczak) February 22, 2017
Our objective was to create a broad influencer marketing campaign to accompany the new automation feature product launch and get tangible results showing that influencer marketing (done right) is the future in the SaaS Tech B2B segment.
As a result of this approach we created a hub that covers various aspects of marketing automation. From inspirational ideas to principles of automating marketing processes, to futuristic visions, to real-life automation challenges. Inspired by TED.com, the Marketing Automation Content Hub gathers world’s top experts from various fields of marketing and business, taking their angle on marketing automation and sharing their expertise, ideas, tips, or visions. Everything on the hub is available to the public for free.
The concept of this campaign came to life in November 2015. The hub itself was launched in July 2016. This case study focuses on July – November 2016. As you can see – the hub is an ongoing project.
Here’s a short overview of the campaign and below you will find a step-by-step process with more information.
Influencer campaign – step by step
To actually succeed with the idea, we had to find the right people to help us with the content. I started to gather lists of potential partners and experts in December 2015. Yes, the planning part is crucial here. It took a lot of time – but it was worth it.
We had many discussions about the right approach among the team and we didn’t want to limit the influencers to only top names. We wanted to have practitioners help to shape the content. We also wanted to know what people like us, marketers, are talking about in terms of automation – if they have tips and tricks up their sleeves and are willing to share them.
We’ve used tools like NinjaOutreach, BuzzSumo and Insightpool to compare the info on potential partners and topics. I’ve also used Twitter and LinkedIn extensively to research what people are saying when it comes to marketing automation and to serve as a way of keeping in touch with them.
By mid-April 2016, we were done with most of our outreach and secured most partners for the hub. By that time we’d also gathered most of the content for the crowdsourced blog posts with tips and tricks from marketers, which was an ongoing activity for a few months.
Here are a few lessons we learned in the process:
- Start to gather your info early on. People may have other obligations and won’t be able to stick to your project timeline.
- Have a few ways of contacting your partners. Don’t rely just on emails or only on Twitter. Connect on LinkedIn. To better explain your concept use phone or Skype. We call those chemistry meetings. Talking on videochat or on the phone gives both parties a better chance to see if the project is a good fit. And it’s so much more personal.
- Offer something of value. We don’t expect people to work for free. If you need a quote or two for the article – that’s called personal branding. You position yourself as an expert and it’s not taking up a lot of time. But if there’s a webinar involved, or a series of articles – compensation is a must. It all depends on your relationships at that point. Make sure it’s also leveled on the legal side – the documents in place, timelines and topics secured, the rights to use images in promotional materials obtained.
- Give it time. This kind of a broad campaign is a marathon, not a sprint.
Editorial and technical aspects on the blog
At the same time, our content team developed a list of topic ideas and an extensive editorial calendar for the content hub, as this was a separate section on the GetResponse blog: connected to marketing but dedicated only to automation. We had to make sure our posting schedule was intact and that there wouldn’t be any disruptions on the remaining blogs. To keep up with it we used a mix of sharable Google Docs and CoSchedule.
At this stage, the content team was working closely with our front-end developers, who maintain our WordPress sites. We wanted to make sure that once launched, there would be newsletter signup forms in place and that the RSS subscription to our blog was not going to be affected by adding another category. A lot of testing was involved.
From July 1 to November 22 65 pieces of content were created, 51 by influencers, 14 by GetResponse experts:
- 15 videos by influencers, link to the YouTube playlist with all the content:
See them all here >>
- 8 e-books: 5 by influencers, 3 by GetResponse experts
Retrieve Abandoned Carts with Marketing Automation Get this e-book >>
Essential Guide to Marketing Automation for E-Commerce Get this e-book >>
Generate Leads Through Progressive Profiling Get this e-book >>
15 Reasons You Should Be Using Digital Marketing Automation by Jeff Bullas Get this e-book >>
7 Common Marketing Automation Myths by Jamie Turner Get this e-book >>
3 Musts of Marketing Automation by Erik Qualman Get this e-book >>
A Solopreneur’s Journey Into Marketing Automation by Barry Feldman Get this e-book>>
11 B2B Consumer Behavior Secrets You Should Know Before Launching Your Next Marketing Automation Campaign by Jamie Turner Get this e-book >>
- 6 live webinars, hosted by a GetResponse expert with an influencer guest
Taking your first steps with Email Marketing Automation Watch the recording >>
Jason Falls on Marketing Automation for Human Beings Watch the recording >>
Kath Pay on How to Get Personal with Marketing Automation Watch the recording >>
Getting To Know Email Marketing Automation – Lon Safko Watch the recording >>
Optimizing your marketing automation program for success – Kath Pay Watch the recording >>
11 Consumer Behavior Secrets to Improve Automated Marketing – Jamie Turner Watch the recording >>
- 4 pieces of crowdsourced content acquired via the Insightpool social media outreach platform
What Marketers Say – Marketing Automation Trends Read the post >>
What Marketers Say – Marketing Automation No-Nos Read the post >>
What Marketers Say – Tips for Using Marketing Automation Read the post >>
What Marketers Really Think About Marketing Automation Read the post >>
The Marketing Automation Hub is a living project – since November (which is a marking point of this case study) we’ve been adding new content on a regular basis. To be up to date with the latest postings, you can subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of this page.
To support the hub, we’ve launched a promo campaign. Our design team created 13 key visuals with the use of the influencers’ photos. Each key visual was delivered in the form of various assets such as:
- mailing headers
- social media images (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest)
- PPC banners
- external newsletter designs
- landing pages
- blog banners
We sent 13 promotional mailings to our internal customer database.
We ran several conversational campaigns on Twitter with the use of the Insightpool platform. The campaigns were targeted at ecommerce experts, small and medium business marketers and people who talk about marketing automation. For these campaigns we got a 71% reply rate, which was really impressive. The answers we gathered were turned into crowdsourced posts on the hub (you can see the links above).
Our PPC team created paid social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and other ad platforms.
We created a dedicated display campaign.
Now comes the juicy stuff – here are the results:
- 193,500 visits to the Marketing Automation Hub Jul 1 – Nov 22 https://www.getresponse.com/blog/marketing-automation-hub
- 30% increase in blog views
- over 17,500 webinar registrations
- $41,000 revenue created directly from webinars
- over 11,500 social media shares
- 120% higher Facebook engagement
We established GetResponse as a source of information on marketing automation, expanding the brand’s reach and expertise. But what’s most important in this kind of influencer campaigns: we started and developed deep relationships with influencers in our space, who then went on to become regular contributors and partners to the hub.
Thanks to this campaign we’ve gained great brand ambassadors to work with long-term. In several cases, the influencers who helped us create content for the hub became GetResponse brand partners and we’re working together on new and exciting projects – coming out this year.
Hope you liked this (not so) short Marketing Automation Hub influencer campaign case study. Do you have experience with influencer campaigns? Let us know in the comments.