July 15, 2021
This is a continuation of our 2017 Marketing Plan execution series — a sequential series of journals detailing our efforts in growing Ladder from the ground-up using full-funnel marketing tactics across all marketing channels.
Our marketing plan is based on a series of audits we ran in Q4 2016, and we’ve executed on two months worth of strategy so far.
Now it’s time for March strategy! This post will detail the 12 tactics we ran in month 3 of the year, along with descriptions of why we decided on each.
As a reminder of where we are so far, check out our marketing plan:
And check out our blog to find our January and February marketing plan execution journals.
Let’s get started!
As part of the growth hacking process we developed to grow our clients’ businesses, we run 12 tactics per month based on data gathered in prior testing and execution, as well as what worked in the past.
Throughout this marketing plan execution series, we’re eating our own medicine, and our March strategy reflects our growth hacking process.
Here are the 12 tests we settled on based on performance in February:
Our Marketing Strategy keyword was getting a high clickthrough rate and a decent conversion rate in February, but we were getting low quality leads from the channel. Once we implemented a “no work emails” script on our homepage, that performance dipped. So we’re trying new ad copy to see if we can get better, more qualified leads.
Part of that is taking a key piece of copy we use in sales calls, sales decks, and colloquially in business conversations in order to grow Ladder.
We consider Ladder to be our clients’ “unfair advantage” — platform and channel agnostic, data-driven strategy and execution to drive ROI for businesses of all shapes and sizes. This is the value proposition we’ll test in this ad copy experiment.
Now that we have fully implemented a machine learning algorithm into the Ladder Planner, it’s a strong selling point for our tech-powered services.
It can be especially powerful on our Growth Hacking AdWords keyword campaign, since we currently use copy that references our technology.
If we can get more conversions than the current copy at an equal or lower cost per conversion, we know we have a good copy approach.
Same concept as above, just trying it on Facebook with an audience that has shown interest in AI, machine learning, etc.. with a sub-interest in marketing.
South by Southwest (SXSW) happens in March. We have a strong client base and partnerships in Austin, so it only makes sense to try and capitalize on our performance there for further growth.
SXSW has a huge entrepreneur, startup, and tech audience that we can take advantage of during the days of the event (3/10-3/19). We’ll target both in-Austin (recent visitors) and rest of USA (excluding Austin) so we can take advantage of this highly relevant audience.
The landing page for this test will be the Ladder Playbook and messaging will be “the growth playbook for SXSW entrepreneurs.”
Targeting marketing directors, VPs, and CMOs at enterprise-level businesses with unfair advantage copy that’s worked in the past.
Budget: $350. Goal: 3 leads at $116 per lead.
A new keyword we can target on AdWords based on blog performance is Growth Strategy. Our Growth Strategy blog post gets a lot of traffic, both organic and direct, and we should see if that performance translates to any lead generation.
Budget: $350. Goal: 5 leads at $70 per lead.
A great way to boost our content reach is through a push notifications test. Pushcrew provides us with a free service to do so, up to 500 users, so let’s give it a shot.
The advantage here is to capture a crowd that has an over-crowded inbox but still wants our content on a regular basis. Our main metrics here will be number of subscribers in 2 weeks of testing, and click rate on notifications.
So far, our AdWords campaigns have been rather plain — no site extensions, no snippets, only one or two ads per ad group. An omnibus best practices test where we add in a few of these features might drive strong performance.
This test is a bit more difficult to determine performance for than usual, but we can test pure before-and-after performance as well as see how ads are performing when Google’s algorithm is optimizing for the best performing ad variations.
Similar to our above LinkedIn audience, we’ll be testing an audience of CMOs, Directors of Marketing, VPs of Marketing, etc… on Facebook with creative that’s gotten high CTR in the past.
The goal of this test is to get relatively cheap clicks and conversions, in order to prove out once and for all whether Facebook is actually a viable growth channel for us at this time or whether we should be using it for content promotion instead.
Our Planner landing page is killing it on performance from last month. A good test to double down on that performance is using a tool like FOMO or Proof to have prompts pop up in the corner that drive a “fear of missing out” effect.
Seeing that someone signed up for a demo should drive others to want to sign up as well. We should see a 10% increase in conversion rate from 9% to almost 10% if this is the case.
Our next step in SEO testing is to finalize some major SEO needs for Ladder.io. Those include:
Need to make some SEO changes:
Running 2 different tests to capitalize on the formal public release of Google Optimize, promoting our Optimize vs. Optimizely vs. VWO blog post. That post has both gotten lots of attention and controversy, and has done well in organic traffic. Let’s drive traffic to it right when Google Optimize goes live.
The two audiences will be:
That’s our March testing slate — 12 tests that take advantage of performance in February and January in order to keep growing Ladder quickly and efficiently.
Next week: our first round of executed tests!
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