Marketing campaign involves company raising awareness for their brand through advertising and convincing customers to purchase them. A multitude of channels are used and coordinated to deliver effective results and this can be through different types of media such as television, radio, print and online platforms
Digital Marketing campaign is often what separates rapidly growing companies from slow growing or stalled companies. Therefore, the most successful marketing campaigns involves a range of important tools, but they are supported by broad planning and research. A less successful campaign will be missing this core planning element.
Planning how to improve your marketing campaign is just as important as preparing a game plan and finding ways to implement it.
Before you decide to prepare something that will impress your audience, you must consider what you want them to do when they read or hear it.
Steps in building an appealing digital marketing campaign
Here are some steps you need in building an appealing digital marketing campaign
- Planning: Outlining your goals, target your customers, and know your campaign length
- Development: Determining a convenient strategy, including voice and messaging, target keywords, and offer strategy; reaching the audience, including making campaign location and marketing decisions; integrating with all channels; and creating consistency
- Management: Determining the success and value of the campaign
Now there are questions that usually comes up in an individual’s mind, like “Do I need a big budget for my digital marketing campaign?”
As with anything, it really depends on what elements of digital marketing you’re looking to add to your strategy.
If you’re focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for a preexisting website, the good news is you don’t need very much budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you’re planning to outsource the work, the only investment you’ll need is your time.
In planning your marketing campaign, these steps are crucial to the effectiveness of your campaign. The planning stage will determine how you measure success and will guide your team and campaign when things (inevitably) go astray.
Let’s start simple. Why are you running this campaign? What would you like your campaign to accomplish for your business?
What is the purpose and goal of your marketing campaign?
If you’re having trouble defining your campaign purpose, start broad. Take a look at the goals below. Which one is most aligned with your own?
- Promote a new product or service
- Increase brand awareness
- Gather customer feedback or content
- Generate revenue
- Boost user engagement
- Advertise an upcoming event
This is hardly a definitive list, but it gives you an idea of some general business goals that a campaign could help reach.
Another way is to take our broad campaign purpose and turn it into a SMART goal. To classify as “SMART”, a goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. SMART goals keep you accountable and provide you with a concrete goal for which to aim.
Continuing with our example from above, turning our broad purpose into a SMART goal would look like:
“The goal of my marketing campaign is:” to gather customer feedback or content vs to gather user-generated content from 100 customers via a branded hashtag on Instagram featuring our new product line by August 31, 2020.”
The goal is Specific (user-generated content), Measurable (100 customers), Attainable (via a branded Instagram hashtag), Relevant (featuring the new product line), and Timely (by August 31, 2020).
See how my broad campaign purpose instantly transforms into an actionable, attainable goal? Determining such distinct measures for your campaign is tough — I get it. But making the hard decisions now will make your life — and campaign — much easier in the future.
How will you measure your campaigns?
The answer(s) to this question will look different for everyone. You might answer this with “email open rates,” “new Facebook Page likes,” “product pre-orders,” or all of the above.
These answers will depend on your overarching campaign goal. Here are a few examples of metrics based on the campaign objectives I mentioned above.
- Promoting a new product or service: Pre-orders, sales, upsells
- Advertising an upcoming event: Ticket sales, vendor or entertainment bookings, social mentions
- Increasing brand awareness: Sentiment, social mentions, press mentions
- For generating revenue: Leads, sales, upsells
- Gathering customer feedback or content: Social mentions, engagement
- Boosting user engagement: Blog shares, social shares, email interactions
If your campaign involves multiple marketing efforts (such as social media, direct mail, and radio ads), it’s wise to define how you’ll measure your campaign on each medium.
First, I’d define my key performance indicators (KPIs) for each medium, which may look like:
- Instagram engagements (likes and comments) and profile tags
- Email open rates and click-through rates
- Blog views, click-throughs, and social shares
Then, I’d define my primary campaign KPI: Instagram branded hashtag mentions.
While the above KPIs indicate how well my campaign is reaching and engaging my audience, my primary KPI tells me how close I am to reaching my SMART goal.
Set your success metrics
Lastly, let’s think about another question: What does “success” look like for your company? Sure, it’s exciting to reach a predetermined goal, but that’s not always possible. What (outside of your goal) would constitute success for you (or serve as a milestone)? What would make you feel like your campaign is worthwhile if it doesn’t involve meeting your goal?
When determining how you’ll measure your campaign, consider setting up some checkpoints along the way. If your campaign involves boosting brand awareness and your goal is to reach 50 PR mentions by the end of the year, set up some benchmark notifications at 10, 25, and 40 mentions.
Not only will it remind you to keep pushing toward your ultimate goal, but it’ll boost morale within your team and remind you that your time and money investments are paying off.
Who are you targeting?
Hmmm, the Precious “target audience” section. This is one of my very favorite things to talk about because your alignment with your audience can make or break the success of anything marketing or sales-related … especially a campaign.
The first step to answering this question is figuring out what stage of the buyer’s journey your campaign is targeting. Are you trying to bring in new customers, or are you attempting to gather feedback from existing clients? Are you marketing your brand to those who recognize it, or are you introducing a new brand identity altogether?
Imagine constructing a bulletproof marketing campaign only to be met with crickets. *chirp* *chirp*
In that case, you might think you chose the wrong marketing medium or that your creative wasn’t witty enough. Regardless of what it might be, all of those decisions come back to one thing: Your audience.
Understand your audience
Your marketing message will vary depending on whether your campaign audience is in the Awareness, Consideration, or Decision stage. It’s important to note that a marketing campaign can include collateral for people in various stages of their journey. For example, while your campaign might target current customers, it might also bring brand awareness to new consumers.
Next, identify your audience interests and pain points. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team to better understand your audience.
- What kind of problems do my audience have that my product, service, or brand could solve?
- How can I determine my audience’s general interests? What magazines do they read? What TV shows do they watch? How do they spend their free time?
- Where does my audience hang out online? For what purpose do they use Instagram, Facebook, and other networks? Do they engage or merely browse?
- What kind of content gets my audience’s attention? Do they respond to straightforward sales messages, or would they rather consume witty, humorous content? What cultural references would they understand?
Becoming well-acquainted with your campaign audience will help you confidently answer these questions and any others that may arise during the campaign.
What’s the concept of your campaign?
It’s time to talk about the campaign itself. At this point, you know why you’re running a campaign, how you’ll measure it, and who it’s targeting. Now, let’s talk about what the campaign will look like … literally.
Marketing campaigns are like their own brand. They require a mission, a vision, and a visual identity. Great campaigns are an offshoot of their parent brand, both visually and creatively — they stay consistent with the business brand but maintain their own identity.
Who and how will you create your marketing?
When creating their campaign assets, some businesses use an in-house team while others opt for an agency. Another alternative is hiring a freelancer or contractor to complete a specific portion of the project, such as the copy or design.
Depending on your specific campaign goals, I’d recommend starting with your in-house team and moving forward from there. They are likely the experts on that portion of your business and can speak to what your campaign needs to succeed.
Following the example of my UGC campaign, I’d start by consulting with my social media team. They’d be the most familiar with what Instagram/twitter content performs well and what our Instagram/twitter audience likes to see. From there, I could assign the campaign to them, or outsource the creative part to an agency or freelancer.
This step will likely take the longest since you’ll be creating your campaign concept from scratch. Next, we’ll dive into how you’ll distribute your campaign assets and connect with your audience.
Distributing Your Marketing Campaign
This stage is all about the public-facing part of your campaign, including what your audience will see and when. If you’ve combed through the previous section, you should have all the answers you need to guide you through this step.
How will you reach your audience?
Let’s think about what type of marketing your campaign will use. This choice depends on your audience preference, budget, and brand engagement levels, among other factors.
Take a look at the current media channels you use to promote your company.
Which perform the best? Out of them all, which ones allow you to pay for advertisements? Which have the best engagement? Most importantly, where are your customers hanging out?
Also, while using multiple media is highly recommended, it probably wouldn’t be wise to publish your campaign on a brand-new medium on which your business has no presence. So, stick to those marketing channels on which you’re already killing it.
Need a few ideas?
Take a look at the PESO model, which breaks up distribution channels into Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned.
Start by choosing two or three channels for your campaign. For example, I might promote my UGC Instagram campaign via social media (on Instagram and twitter, of course), email, and through my blog. I’d then pay to boost my social media campaign posts so they’re viewed by more of my audience.
Highlight your campaign goals
Depending on your campaign goal, certain channels might not make sense. In terms of my UGC campaign, it wouldn’t make sense to invest in print advertisements or direct mail since the campaign is purely digital and my audience is mostly online. On the other hand, multinational product launch campaigns would probably involve most (if not all) of the media choices above. They’d want to reach the widest audience, both in-person and online.
Remember that you’ll need to alter or expand your marketing assets to fit whichever media channels you choose. Your campaign images, video, and copy might vary between social media, email, print, etc.
Lastly, even if you choose not to actively promote on a certain medium, you can always optimize it to at least mention your campaign. For example, you can update your social media bios, change your email signature, install a website header notification bar, add small calls-to-action at the bottom of blog posts, and more. These efforts don’t require much extra work or resources but they promote your campaign nonetheless.
How and when will you publish?
This section is all about timing. Establishing a deadline for your campaign (the Timely part of your SMART goal) gives you a much better idea of when, how, and how often you’ll promote it.
Firstly, build a general campaign timeline. On a calendar, mark your campaign start date and deadline. This gives you parameters to work within.
What are your marketing channels?
Secondly, take a look at your marketing assets and chosen promotional marketing channels. Based on your people and financial resources, how often can you afford to post and promote your campaign content?
Thirdly, create a promotional calendar for each marketing channel. Decide on a cadence for each channel and map out your scheduled posts, emails, etc. on your calendar.
Why should you map your campaign visually?
It’ll help you evenly disperse your campaign promotions and publish equally on each medium.
It’ll also give you an idea of where your time and energy are going so that you can look back when assessing the effectiveness of your campaign.
If your promotional calendar seems very, very full, don’t fret. Social media and email scheduling tools can alleviate the pressure of posting daily. Check out tools like HubSpot, Buffer, and MailChimp to help you schedule and manage your campaign promotions.
Marketing campaigns aren’t easy, but they’re valuable and integral to growing a successful brand and business. Campaigns set apart certain deliverables from general promotional efforts and touch your audience in creative and exciting ways.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider what would be valuable to your audience … and go from there. Your audience is, after all, the lifeblood of your campaigns and company.