I’ve seen brands and businesses make the common mistake to think that social media marketing is going to be easy. There are 4/5-year-olds online going viral, we’ve all thought at some point, so how hard can it really be?
However, marketing is more than the existence of kid stars online would lead us to believe. It’s not enough to let one great post carry your marketing efforts; instead, you need to be creating and executing entire marketing campaigns.
Those campaigns should be strategically designed and created to help you connect with new users, build on-platform relationships, and drive long-term sales.
Marketers like to talk about the benefits of creating a marketing plan for your business. While doing so is important, how does that plan turn into individual marketing campaigns that drive actual revenue?
To implement your marketing plan, you need a complete system for each marketing initiative that ensures its success. Whether you are implementing a lead generation, content marketing or an email marketing campaign, each one needs to have its own action plan that drives its execution and ultimately a significant return on your marketing investment.
Before going any further, lets draw a distinction between the two buzz words, marketing plan and marketing campaign.
Marketing plan vs. marketing campaign
|MARKETING PLAN||MARKETING CAMPAIGN|
A marketing plan provides the overall, high level strategy based on the business’s objectives over a period of time.
A marketing campaign is a focused, tactical initiative to achieve a specific marketing goal.
Having set the record straight, executing a marketing campaign requires a step-by-step process that focuses on execution and the resources needed to successfully achieve measurable results.
Here are 7 Digital Marketing boxes that must be checked before you launch your next Marketing Campaign.
Digital Marketing Box #1 – Know your target audience
Before you can choose the what and where of your marketing campaign, you need to determine the who – your target audience, and the how – where you will reach them.
I bet you are saying, “we already defined our target audience in our marketing plan!”. In general, you have. But let’s say you offer two services: coaching for independent professionals and consulting for small businesses of up to 20 employees. Which one of these audiences will you target with this campaign?
The best way to reach these distinct audiences is to understand their unique challenges and how you can solve them. Define buyer personas for your audience to help you refine your messages to their specific needs as they evaluate their options.
You most likely will want a separate marketing campaign for the other target as well.
Digital Marketing Box #2 – Set your goals and KPIs
Marketing activities can have different types of outcomes: leads, visitors, visibility or engagement. Each marketing campaign needs to focus on one primary purpose.
Based on that purpose, you need to set specific goals and metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you determine how your campaign is performing against that goal and are helpful when creating or refining marketing strategies
For example, if your campaign is focusing on lead generation, how many leads do you want to generate and how will you measure success?
Digital Marketing Box #3 – Craft your strategy
Depending on the campaign, there’s usually a big idea that the campaign revolves around and the catch.
Your big idea could be a piece of content, a free webinar, a free trial or something that attracts those looking to buy to your brand. The strategy needs to resonate with where your buyers are in the buying journey so that you get their attention.
Offering an hour long, free webinar to people who don’t know your brand or are not looking to buy could be a waste of time. Providing a short, useful guide may be a better introduction to your brand. Be sure to align your big idea with something you know your target buyer needs.
Digital Marketing Box #4 – Identify your Channel
What media channel will you use to communicate your message and attract and capture your audience? Your media channels include:
- Websites – Landing Page
- Social media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Search engine – SEO & SEM
- Video Marketing
- Display Ads
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
- Creative Designs – Infographic, Adverts designs, Fliers etc.
The channels you choose will be different depending on your business, target audience and goals.
Note: Unfortunately many strategies and channels carry the same names so it is a bit confusing. The channel is the means of communication. The strategy is what you do on the channel to communicate. So your social media strategy is what you post, share and communicate on the social media channel to achieve engagement. Another example is the search engine is the channel for search engine marketing (SEO and PPC).
Digital Marketing Box #5 – Create your optimized landing page
I always tell my clients and prospects this. Never, ever land your visitors on your homepage when you are executing a marketing campaign – ever! I’m amazed and shocked at how many people tell me “my SEO company said that building a landing page with no navigation isn’t necessary”!
When you are paying for advertising, you need to create a specific landing page for each campaign that removes distractions so your visitor can focus on what you want them to do. Make sure your landing page aligns with the ad in both content and design so that your visitor makes the connection and feels compelled to sign up for your offer. Your landing page needs to:
- Overcome objections
- Build trust
- Provide proof
- Clearly lead the visitor to your call to action
Try not to confuse your visitor with too many options, detailed forms or links that can cause the visitor to move away from the landing page.
Digital Marketing Box #6 – Nurture the lead
Lead nurturing is a process of building a relationship with new leads that you acquire through a lead generation campaign. Usually these leads are those more cautious people who may be interested but not ready to buy right now. Lead nurturing is about providing the right content and offers at the right time, educating and providing value through every stage of the customer journey.
Digital Marketing Box #7 – Track and measure results
Just because your campaigns may be underway or over doesn’t mean the work is done.
It is important to track your marketing activities to results. Results will be determined by what your goals were for the campaign. But in most cases, results are usually in terms of sales or qualified leads.
Tracking and measuring results can be simple or complex, but is based on the nature of your business. In its simplest form, you can measure cost per lead if you have the details of how much you spend on lead generation. In the more complex measurement arena, you can track your marketing influence to closed deals using marketing automation software.
When you have completed the cycle of a marketing campaign, ask the following questions during your review:
- Did you meet the goals? If not, why?
- Did your offer satisfy your target audience? If not, what can you offer that will?
- Should anything change next time you run the campaign?
- What did you learn that you can apply to your next campaign for this audience persona?
Launching a marketing campaign is not something you can do quickly and achieve results. Each initiative needs to be planned and well thought out before you begin the campaign. Without proper planning, your marketing campaign is likely to fail.
What are you going to do to ensure your marketing activities are effective and generate a sound ROI?