• #BurkeBits
  • Posts
  • How to Create Marketing Campaigns That Actually Work

How to Create Marketing Campaigns That Actually Work

A 5-step framework to win more customers and make more money.

Hey folks đź‘‹, I'm Kenneth Burke. #BurkeBits is where I share stories, data, and frameworks to help you become a better marketer. Subscribe for free to level-up.

Marketing is almost always a bet. You don’t really know what’s going to work until you put your creation out into the world and see how people respond. But there are things you can do when crafting a marketing campaign to give yourself the best odds.

These 5 steps give you the best chance to create a marketing campaign that actually works—that actually lifts your brand and drives revenue.

This is also the same process we used to create a 30-second commercial, on a relatively small budget, that turned into an award-winning and revenue-producing campaign.

I’ll use the video as an example to show how you can apply the framework, but know that it works just as well on a landing page, slide deck, image ads, email—anything.

Note: The framework works consistently, but not every person has the skillset all on their own to pull it off. You may need to hire, outsource, or consult with others to bring your campaign to life. Done well, this is money well spent. (We hired a video production agency.)

5 Steps to Create Winning Marketing Campaigns

1. Define the enemy (what you stand against).

Your business is solving a problem. That problem is something you and your customers both hate. That problem is the enemy, and you need to show your target customers that you fully understand their hatred for this thing.

Text Request’s enemy (and our customers’) is unanswered phone calls. You can’t move your business forward if you can’t connect with customers, and calling people over and over without answer is soul-sucking.

We defined the enemy by showing a person making calls that no one answers, and getting increasingly frustrated—the same experience our target customers go through.

2. Show how your target customer can defeat the enemy with your help.

Every customer is the hero of their own story. You’re the tool or the guide that helps them defeat the enemy, so they can be the hero who wins the day. Your marketing should show them how to defeat the enemy with your help.

In our case, that’s pretty simple. Use our texting software instead of making phone calls no one answers, and you’ll actually get a response, so you can move your business forward and make your life easier. The rep in our video sends one text, and gets an almost immediate response. That’s incredible!

3. Picture what life could be once they’ve conquered the enemy.

Solving a problem and winning the day is an emotional experience. Tap into that. In your visuals and in your messaging, show what it will be like to remove that problem. Show what it will be like once they’ve made the great choice to work with you.

Our rep is absolutely ecstatic to have finally gotten a response. Don’t you want that same feeling? You can reach it, with our help.

4. Tell them what to do with this info.

People typically don’t put 2 and 2 together like you hope they will. You’ve got to tell them—directly. Want them to subscribe? Say so. Want them to buy? Show them how!

After showing people how they can conquer the enemy and live a better life with us, we tell them what to do: Visit our website to see how this software works. And you know what? People actually go to our website to see how the software works.

5. Give them something memorable, something easy to repeat.

The best way to get a message to stick is to say something your audience can immediately repeat back to you. The best way to get an image to stick is to share something they’ve never seen before. Both are much easier said than done.

In our case, the memorable image is our rep beginning to speak, thinking someone has answered his call, and then realizing it’s actually the voicemail message. We’ve all gotten caught with that before. The familiarity and honesty make it relatable—and in this case, memorable.

Our memorable message is that you can use Text Request to text from your business number on your computer, so you can actually get a response. That’s what we want viewers to be able to say we to their colleagues when they share they share this video (or our website). We’ve found they normally do.

How We Made Money on This Campaign

Remember that we’re talking about how to create campaigns that work, not just ads. Half of any campaign is distribution.

Distribution is different for everyone, so I don’t have a framework for that. At least not yet. But here’s how we put this ad in front of our target customers, and actually made money from it.

1. Created a landing page on our website.

  • We duplicated our standard demo page template

  • Replaced our demo video with this commercial

  • And tailored the copy

You can still view it here. We did funnel traffic to this page, but we found a significant percentage of viewers would just directly Google “Text Request” instead of following the landing page link.

Recommendation: Account for both behaviors.

2. Launched on LinkedIn (organic).

  • We posted it from our corporate page

  • Asked employees to like, comment, and share (many did)

  • Personally DM’d relevant LinkedIn contacts asking them to engage

All-in-all that worked really well, and we shared it a few more times after that from corporate and personal profiles. It started some sales conversations, and got us a lot of attention.

3. Promoted it on LinkedIn (paid).

We targeted a very specific set of LinkedIn users, like folks who followed specific companies in our market, and promoted the video to them ongoing. This wasn’t an overwhelming success, but we saw some traction.

4. Emailed our subscribers.

We shared it with both customers and non-customer contacts, and asked them to check it out. Depending on the audience and the exact email, we either positioned it as why you should work with us (non-customers), or as something fun to enjoy with us (existing customers).

The relatively quick traffic helped boost the overall campaign, and it started a few more conversations.

5. Ran it on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

We shared it organically on each platform, and then paid to promote it as an ad. We didn’t do this for very long. We saw decent traffic and watch times, but nothing much came of that engagement, so we cut the ads after a few weeks.

6. Used MNTN to reach new and existing contacts through TV channels.

This is the biggie. MNTN has a minimum monthly spend of $15k, so this is not for everyone, but it worked for us. We showed the videos to two audiences:

  • Prospecting

  • Retargeting

Prospecting was showing our ad to net new users—and something surprising happened. We proved that we could actually show a commercial to people on one device (TV), and they’d look us up on another device (their phones, mostly).

Retargeting was showing the ad to people who were already in our pipeline (i.e. had already done a demo with us), and to people who came to us through the Prospecting campaign.

Altogether, it worked! It complemented other marketing initiatives we were running, brought in new customers, and increased conversion rates on existing opportunities. The acquisition cost was also within a happy range for us.

How you can apply this

Not everyone needs to drop a ton of money on a marketing campaign. In fact, you probably shouldn’t. At least not at first.

Follow the framework above to create a small but effective marketing campaign—perhaps a set of ads for LinkedIn, or a single landing page that you’ll direct traffic to through paid search ads.

Focus on the distribution platform(s) and channel(s) where your target customers are most likely to be, and most likely to be interested in your offer.

Create it. Run it. Analyze it, and build from there.

Was this helpful or interesting? Who else should see it? Be sure to subscribe and share it with them.

Have questions about this topic or something you’re working on? Ask away! I’m an open book and happy to help.