The increase in digital marketing investments is a growing trend that doesn’t seem to slow down. In 2019, there was a 17.6% increase in worldwide ad spending. Almost every business has some sort of an internet presence, and by having a good campaign strategy, you’ll reach more potential customers.
Campaigns are more personalized and data-driven than ever – which means that with the right tools and knowledge at their disposal, they are targeting the right people at the right moment.
Your campaign is probably the first time a customer is finding out about your company, and that impression will determine the future of your relationship.
Imagine your campaign as a meeting with someone you don’t quite know. First, you’ll try and present yourself in an interesting way, and follow up with a few casual questions. With that information, the conversation will most likely continue in a natural way, and your relationship will deepen.
In other words – don’t let your company be the weird person that goes around the party talking about stuff no one cares about, indulging only their ego.
But just like with any social encounter, there are certain steps you can take to make sure your marketing campaign goes smoothly. This article will show you how to plan, execute, and later monitor your campaigns. We will also talk about the tools you need to get the job done and cover some good and bad campaign examples.
The Planning Phase
The literal definition of the word “campaign” by Merriam Webster dictionary is “a connected series of operations designed to bring about a particular result“.
In marketing campaigns, there are many operations that depend on each other, and some of them even run simultaneously. It will get hard to monitor and adjust them on the go, so you need to have a solid plan in place to handle any type of unpredictable situation.
In this phase, it’s really important not to let your creativity get the best of you. Not to disregard the creative people on your side, but being organized is much more important when tackling this particular beast. After all, research has shown that marketers who are proactive and organized are 397% more successful.
Setting clear goals for your campaign is very important for everyone involved in it. Each member of your company and other associates need to know where the ship is sailing, the stops it will make, and what’s the final destination.
This is where the S.M.A.R.T. goals can help guide your campaign. It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bounding goals.
If your goal is something broad, like “We want to make a marketing campaign that increases our revenue,” it’s basically pointless.
When you present your marketing campaign goal to everyone it should look like this:
“We want to gather feedback (specific) from 50 of our VIP customers (Measurable) via email (attainable) about our customer service (relevant) until the end of May 2020 (time-bounding).“
With this in mind, everyone will be on the same page – and there won’t be any time-wasting questions that slow you down.
Set your budget
Setting your budget in the early stages of planning is a must. Depending on the magnitude of your campaign and the size of your business, there are many things to consider.
You must know the operational costs of your team, how much content you will need to create, what mediums you will use to execute the campaign, and other unexpected costs.
Counting in each of these will give you a clear picture of what your budget is.
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross revenue if you are bringing in less than $5 million a year.
Other experts say that depending on how competitive the industry is, this percentage can vary from 1-20%.
Map out your campaign
With your goals and budget set, your next step is to map out the campaign. The right way to approach it is to use all the available tools and techniques at your disposal.
Older marketers might still rely too much on good old Excel sheets, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. And there’s nothing wrong with that because these are still very important tools. But to make an effective campaign in 2020, you need to use other time-saving apps that can automate many tasks and keep everyone on the same page.
Marketing automation tools, CRM software, as well as asset and media channel management tools are just a few that you might need to improve your marketing campaign. We will talk about them more in-depth in the “tools” section of this article.
Think about distribution
The fourth step is to plan out which medium you will use to distribute your campaign. This depends on a few factors, such as audience, campaign type, and on what medium your business has the most exposure.
Using a few channels to promote your campaign is good – but if your presence is small on Instagram, for example, don’t invest in it.
By using the PESO model, you will be able to visualize more easily all the media at your disposal. PESO stands for:
- Paid media – Social media platforms or influential websites that you pay to promote your message
- Earned media – When people acknowledge you or your company as a leader in a certain field and share the content you create
- Shared media – Using social media platforms to promote your campaign for free
- Owned media – All the content you create for your website
The point of implementing the PESO model is to see how far your reach extends. You might have influencers and partnerships you are unaware of, that could be used more actively.
To make sure your campaign is executed perfectly, there are a few more things to double check and improve.
If you expect your blogging efforts to pay off, you have to know how to properly rank your website. And the first step in this endeavor is keyword research.
By knowing which keywords your competition is ranking for and how hard it is to rank for them, you can adjust your content and rank higher.
There are many tools that can be used for keyword research, the more prominent ones being Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMrush.
First, you want to make a cluster of keywords that your audience would be interested in:
- Marketing campaigns
- SEO for beginners
- SEO audit
- CTA placement
After you input one of the keywords, the tool will show you the monthly search volume, difficulty, priority, and organic CTR.
Sometimes, your content will be well received by your audience but your sales won’t grow proportionally.
On the other hand, your content can be overly promotional. If that happens, you’ll risk losing your current and future customers. People know when you are just trying to sell them something, and if your first contact with them is “Buy this right now!” they will most likely look the other way.
The content your churn out needs to be a mix between healthy promotion and information that will feed your customers’ interests and needs.
We just talked about how your content shouldn’t be too promotional, and CTA-s are the main culprit here. They are your bread and butter, but if you insert too many of them in random positions, you’ll almost certainly get an opposite reaction from the one you hoped for.
And that’s not all: even if you follow the rules of CTA placement and design, you still need to consider how your audience can directly benefit from completing the desired action.
This CTA from Lyft is a great example:
It’s direct, and it offers a time-limited discount on ten of your rides. A user understands straight away how clicking the button will benefit them, and the time limitation compels them to act sooner rather than later.
Build your email list
Building your email list from the ground up seems like a very daunting task if you’ve never done it before.
To do it, you need to be aware of a few strategies that will allow you to acquire a loyal subscriber base – which, in turn, means longer-lasting customer relationships.
Social media and live chat
If you don’t have an established email list, you could use your social media channels to promote your content or product and offer downloadable content. Also, if you have live chat support, you could ask your customer to subscribe during the conversation.
Exit intent pop-ups
An exit popup is that “please don’t leave now” message you get when you try to exit a website, and research suggests that it can help convert 10-15% of leaving visitors into customers. Exit popups are more effective when they are personalized, so you want to think along the lines of sending a custom-made message offering something to the visitor.
Create gated content
Gated content is your premium content, which visitors can only see if they subscribe or pay a fee. A great example of this practice can be seen over at Statista.com.
Create quizzes and surveys
Creating great quizzes and surveys is not easy, but it can be a valuable weapon in your arsenal, as users prefer interactive content. Not only are they very effective in the first stage of the customer journey, but they are also highly shareable.
Monitor the campaign
Now that you have everything you need to put the campaign in motion, you need to oversee its progress. Because it provides valuable insights for your future campaigns, this phase is just as important as planning.
To monitor a campaign, there are certain metrics you need to follow:
- Bounce rate
- Conversion rate
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Time spent on page
- Scroll depth
Social media metrics
- Conversion rate
- Cost per conversion
These are just some of the metrics you can follow, but it all comes down to what type of campaign you’re leading.
Tools that you should look into
We already mentioned that automation is welcome when conducting a marketing campaign – and with today’s plethora of software, there’s no reason not to make your life easier.
Generally speaking, tools are divided into two groups: the “jack of all trades, master of none” tools, which cover all your needs, and the “specialized, master of one” type of tools, which focus only on one particular problem.
We can divide them into three main groups:
- Asset coordination and management
- Channel management
- Lead and Customer management
Asset coordination and management
In the past, managing your content was done with hectic chain emails or other easily misplaced documents. This software makes communication between team members a breeze, and the feedback is more transparent.
This is a workflow software made for building stronger relationships between internal and external stakeholders. It tracks milestones and expenses and also offers reports that show a full overview of your team’s efficiency.
This platform for digital asset management (DAM) helps you align your sales and marketing teams, as it enables them to share and manage their digital assets. It’s primarily made for midsize and large organizations.
Wedia is a cloud-based SaaS platform that offers its users a unique media library. Through it, they can share, manage, and repurpose digital assets. With its global library and ease of content integration, it also offers other functionalities, such as localization and customization of marketing materials.
Having a great product means nothing if people can’t find it. By using channel management tools, you’ll make sure that you are doing your best to promote it.
A marketing automation software that strongly leans towards creating visual campaigns, Autopilot can be used to plan out your whole customer journey. It also puts an emphasis on integration with other tools.
Sendx is one of the specialized tools used for email marketing. Their main selling point is that they are feature-rich, intuitive, and affordable. It’s highly functional with access to unlimited email campaigns.
Lead and Customer management
If you’re aiming to attract a huge amount of new customers, you’ll need a lead and customer management tool.
A powerful cloud-based CRM software aimed at SMB’s, it offers four plans for each type of business. The powerful integration options make it a highly comprehensive system. Some of its features are lead management, campaign management, email marketing, and analytics and ROI.
This is a marketing software and CRM packed in one product. Hatchbuck has an AI-based lead scoring feature that saves you a lot of time, allowing you to focus on other customer and lead management tasks.
Good and bad campaign examples
“The man who has no imagination has no wings” – Muammed Ali.
Great marketing campaigns require imaginative people who understand what people want and need. Sometimes an idea could look great when it first comes to mind, but when you put it in practice, it fails to deliver.
Here are some good and bad examples.
So many kids want to be an astronaut when they grow up – hey, even some of us grownups still hope!
National Geographic created a unique campaign for their series ‘’One strange Rock” that allows people to visit space without leaving Earth.
This was made possible with a custom-made VR astronaut helmet. I don’t know about you, but I always wanted to sing Space Oddity in space. Maybe in the future I’ll get my hands on one of those.
This is a great example of how combining technology with great ideas creates successful campaigns.
Dumb ways to die
Back in 2012 Metro trains from Australia created something amazing: an animated musical video showing characters dying in amusing and dumb situations. Death is not something to joke about – but by creating a very catchy song, they made sure that the viewer listens to the end and hears the message “Be safe around trains.”
Pepsi – Kendall Jenner
In 2017, Pepsi really fell short of their goal. Their commercial depicts Kendall Jenner basically as Mother Teresa who solves street riots with a can of Pepsi.
This obviously didn’t resonate well with anyone, to quote a YouTube comment “I find it amazing how they managed to insult so many groups of people, and yet say absolutely nothing.”
They took down the ad sometime later, but thankfully we can still see it on YouTube.
When you look into a dictionary under “How not to make a commercial”, you’ll most likely find Gillette just above Pepsi.
The brand image they built for over 100 years came down like a tower of cards after just one ad. The poor attempt to repackage their decade-old motto, “The Best a Man Can Get,” pushed an agenda that insulted almost every man that saw it.
There is only one scene that has anything to do with shaving and razors, while the rest of the ad is all about what a man is supposed to be today.
Demonizing your number one group of customers is never a good move.