Complete Guide to Marketing Campaigns
About half of all marketers have a formal marketing strategy. But did you know that the marketers who plan and document their strategy are 5x more successful than those who don’t? That’s a pretty decent gap in return on investment just for planning out your campaign in advance.
This is because by planning your marketing campaign, you’re making sure every step in the process lines up to meet your business goals and that you’re delivering the right content to the right audience in the right places.
In this article, we’re going to go over what a marketing campaign is, why you should spend time planning it, and what the planning process looks like.
What is a Marketing Campaign?
Marketing campaigns are organized efforts made by businesses in order to promote a specific goal. This goal could be something like getting customer feedback on something, bringing the spotlight to a new product, or boosting your brand awareness.
These campaigns can reach customers in a variety of ways and can involve a combination of media such as email, TV advertising, radio advertising, print advertising, social media, and pay-per-click. When you start a marketing campaign, you want your customers to take action so that you can meet your desired goal – for example, getting customers to give you their contact information so they can become more engaged with your brand.
If you happen across a ton of ads promoting the same slogan or product, you’re probably looking at someone’s marketing campaign. If you see two different ads from the same company with different actions, they might be running two campaigns at the same time, each with their own separate goal.
Planning Your Marketing Campaign – Why
Planning your marketing campaign is even more crucial than the creation of the campaign. By coming up with a strategy, you can define a goal, what you need to make, and how you’ll get in front of your targeted customers. Here are some reasons you’ll find it beneficial to plan your campaign rather than jumping right in:
You’ll Make a Better Impression
Did you know that the majority of customers need 7 impressions before deciding to purchase a product? A marketing campaign will promote the same message across several different channels, meaning you’re coming at your target audience from all angles. The more your audience sees your campaign in different places, the more likely they are to take the action you want them to. Businesses want their marketing campaigns to hit their audience from all angles, which is why you tend to see the same advertisements from the same brand on TV, Facebook, and billboards.
You Can Boost Your Brand
Marketing campaigns can help businesses build a great brand identity and give them a voice. Because these campaigns are consistent with one another, you’re ultimately promoting a unified brand message across several different channels. Consistency is essential to creating a strong brand and gaining customers that are loyal to your brand rather than just your products.
You’ll Make Sure You’ll Hit the Bullseye
Marketing campaigns focus on one goal or action and force you to determine what that objective is and define the associated metrics. Marketing campaigns give you an easy way of measuring your success. By taking the time to define your goal, you can make sure you’re always right on point.
Planning Your Marketing Campaign – How
Now that we’ve covered why planning your marketing campaign is important, we can go over how to go through that planning process, so you end up with an awesome campaign.
1. Determine the Purpose of Your Campaign
What do you want to accomplish by running this campaign? Some example objectives might include:
- Launching a new product or service
- Boosting user engagement
- Increasing awareness of your brand
- Gathering customer feedback
- Collecting user-generated content
- Generating revenue
- Promoting an upcoming event
This is not a definitive list – you could have other purposes for your marketing campaign, but this gives you a general idea of some business goals a marketing campaign can help you reach.
You’ll want to start off with a broad idea and work your way into the specifics. What kind of user-generated content do you want to get from your audience? What new product are you launching?
Once you have your general idea, you can now take it one step further. What are you hoping to gain from meeting this goal? How will it take your business to the next level?
Turn your broad goal into a SMART goal. A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Example:
Broad Idea: My goal for this marketing campaign is to collect customer feedback.
SMART Goal: My goal for this marketing campaign is to collect customer feedback from 150 customers through mentions on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram for our new product line by November 30th, 2019.
2. Determine the Success of Your Goals Through Definitive Metrics
Once you have your SMART goal in mind, you can figure out what you need to measure the success of that goal. Look for specific metrics to gauge how well you’re doing depending on your marketing campaign’s purpose.
Here are some potential metrics based on some of the example objectives we listed above:
- Launching a new product - sales, upsells, conversions, and pre-orders
- Boosting user engagement - email interactions, mentions on social media, blogs and social shares, and user-generated content
- Increasing brand awareness - mentions in social media, social engagement, NPR, press mentions, and business ratings
- Gathering customer feedback - customer service inquiries, social mentions, and reviews
- Generating revenue - sales, upsells, and leads
- Promoting an upcoming event - vendor or entertainment bookings, social mentions, and ticket sales
Example: If you’re launching a new product and want to have a certain amount of sales by the end of the quarter, here are some metrics you could include:
- The number of pre-orders made before the launch
- The number of sales after months 1, 2, and 3
- The number of conversions from digital ad campaigns
- Amount of revenue generated
By having a specific measurement for your end goal, you are better able to determine how to approach your campaign from the front end. If you want to sell 500 units by the end of the first month and your average email conversion rate is 10%, you need to send emails about the product launch to at least 5,000 people.
Make sure your goals and decisions are realistic. You can’t exactly say you want 6,000 pre-orders if you’ve never made a sale on any other product before. And don’t expect a bunch of press mentions if you don’t have anyone reaching out to the press. You also need to make sure you’ve previously established your social platform before expecting a bunch of social shares.
Before choosing your metrics, consider what resources you have available to you. Who is working on your team? What skills and knowledge are available to you? Will you need to partner with another organization? What is your budget?
Your goals should be in line with your resources so that you don’t overextend yourself. Know where your business stands and choose the right channel, content format, and marketing strategy for you.
3. Get to Know Your Audience
If you know what your goal is and what action you want your customers to take, now you have to figure out how to get them to actually take that action. First things first, you need to get to know your target audience. In fact, companies that conduct research on their targeted customers are much more successful than the ones that don’t.
Customers are the foundation of your business. You should become very familiar with your audience if you want to create a product that meets their needs and market that product so that it will appeal to them.
When creating a plan for your marketing campaign, you should consider the target audience of that specific campaign. Keep in mind that different marketing campaigns may target different audiences. Here are some things to consider when it comes to your audience:
- What customer am I targeting? Do I want to engage existing customers or attract new ones?
- What is my audience’s biggest problem? How can the objective of my marketing campaign solve this problem?
- What are the demographics of this section of my audience?
- Where does this section of my audience spend most of their time when they’re online? Where and how can I engage them?
- What kind of content will best engage my audience? Should I focus on blogs, videos, or images?
- What kind of tone should I use? Should I be more serious and straightforward, or can I be more laidback and humorous?
- What kind of message will be the most meaningful to the audience?
4. Getting Your Campaign Out to the Public
How and where are you going to reach your target audience? You’ll want to make sure that your marketing campaign is on the right platforms to see the greatest success.
In order to figure out where you should publish your content, you should take into consideration what that content is, where your audience hangs out online, and what your budget is. By looking at where your audience is spending time online, you can target them in their natural habitat.
You’ll also want to ensure that the platform you’re using has the tools to reach and engage your customers. For example, Facebook offers a more robust marketing toolset than a platform like Pinterest, but Pinterest has more advertising capacity than Tumblr. Balance where your audience is with the tools provided by the platform to pull them into your marketing campaign.
You should also consider your advertising budget. If you’re using a free or low-cost social media platform, is there an opportunity for you to increase engagement with paid ads? Try to figure out how much opportunity there is to grow on this platform.
Generally, it’s recommended that you stick with marketing channels where you already have an established presence. Focus on areas where you know you can do very well. If you’re a superstar on social media, build a social media campaign. If you have an extensive email list, focus on an email campaign. If you rock with paid advertising, start working on those ads.
If you decide that you don’t want to promote on all of your channels, you can still mention your marketing message in passing. This way, you can maintain branding consistency without spreading yourself too thin. For example, even if you don’t plan on promoting your marketing campaign on Instagram, you can just mention it in the business bio on your profile.
5. Get Creative with Your Content
When determining what your campaign content will look like, you should make sure you remain consistent with your overall brand. You want your campaign to be from and about your brand. Designing and building your content can be quite in-depth – you need to think of all your design elements, such as content form (including written, images, and video content), color scheme, and written copy.
This can be a complicated process if you don’t have a design team. If you do have one, make sure they know and understand the main goals of your marketing campaigns, what your brand is, and who your customers are. If you don’t have a design team, it would definitely be worth it to hire a freelancer or professional design team.
Don’t forget about designing your landing page – it is the best way to reinforce the marketing campaign’s desired action. Your marketing campaign has one goal, and your landing page has one call to action, so if your marketing campaign and landing page have the same purpose, you now have reinforcement. The campaign entices your audience, and the landing page makes your brand shine and encourages your potential customers to take the next action.
6. Create a Timeline
The next step is creating a schedule – you’ll want to make a plan of all the specifics of your marketing campaign, from the creation and deadlines to publication and following up on it. Timelines are also a great way to keep you on track when it comes to time-sensitive things such as events or product launches. Here are some things to include in your timeline:
- When will you start brainstorming ideas for your marketing campaign? When will you make your final decisions?
- How long will it take to make each piece of content? Who will be working on what?
- How long will you run your campaign for? How often do you plan on pushing your content out on social media? How will your timelines for each platform line up?
- How well is your campaign doing? How frequently do you plan on measuring its success? What adjustments might need to be made if you’re not reaching your goal?
7. Boost Your Campaign with Digital Marketing
You’ve probably spent a lot of money, resources, and time on creating the perfect marketing campaign, so by the time you finish your campaign, you’re probably spent and don’t want to spend any more of your marketing budget.
There are actually a lot of organic digital marketing methods that can help you bring in traffic for free. For example, if you created a marketing campaign for Facebook and Instagram ads that send your customer to a landing page, you can also post these ads on your Facebook business page, ask your customers to share it for a small incentive, or email the offer to customers on your email list.
Not all advertisements need to be paid for. Small businesses actually tend to see more success when they pay to design the content and then push it with free traffic. Make sure you spend your money where it will have the most significant impact and see the greatest return.
Designing a marketing campaign can seem complex and overwhelming, but by planning ahead, you can reduce your stress and increase your success. Going through each step can be easy if you take your time, use your resources wisely, and stay focused on your goals.
So, are you ready to start planning your next marketing campaign? Reach out to us at AnoLogix and let us help make it awesome!
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