I think we can all agree that starting a digital marketing campaign can be…a challenge.
Well, we think it’s time someone helped you with that challenge.
See the thing is…
Digital marketing campaigns are actually pretty straightforward.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to read through our ultimate step by step guide.
Once you’re done, you’ll be ready to put your plan into action.
What is a digital marketing campaign?
A digital marketing campaign is born from a commercial objective, or overarching business strategy.
Digital campaigns specify how those objectives are going to be achieved, including:
- Who you’re targeting
- What you’re offering
- How you can find them
- What messages they’ll respond to
…and much more.
Usually, this type of campaign comes with objectives of its own, that stem from the overall strategy.
For example, it could be that in order to sell a new housing development, your campaign needs to increase brand awareness/value.
In contrast, it could be as simple as selling more trainers.
Knowing what a digital marketing campaign is before you get started, provides some context. The best digital campaigns help achieve an organisational goal, which means you need to be aware of the direction the business is going in.
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Digital Marketing Campaign Steps
1. What’s the big idea?
That might seem flippant. But as we mentioned earlier, digital marketing campaigns need a ‘big idea’/an objective/a goal to focus on.
Goals can be categorised – here are a few that are common:
The standard objective for many businesses, they want to make more sales. But would your campaign be a success if it achieved one sale?
Here’s the trick.
Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.
Depending on your business, it can be difficult to confidently track the source of where sales have come from. Therefore, using this framework can really help you focus you before a campaign gets underway.
Surprisingly, profits are rarely the first thing businesses mention when setting goals.
But this is clever.
It’s much more effective than saying ‘we want X more sales’.
Well, if a profit margin on product 1 is 10%, but the profit margin on product 2 is 20%, imagine the difference you could make selling more of product 2?
Raise brand awareness
Brand awareness, and measuring a brand in general is tricky.
The key here is figuring out if you’ve been successful or not, and justifying that to the board of directors.
For example, it could be that you’ve used Facebook Ads to reach a significant number of the population that usually wouldn’t have any idea your business exists.
How valuable is that? Have sales increased as a result? Do more people recognise your logo or know what your business offers?
Like we said, knowing the value of your brand is incredibly powerful data, but using it in conjunction with other information makes it even more so.
Improving customer satisfaction
Digital marketing has provided the opportunity for customers to get in touch with businesses almost immediately, whether they have something good or bad to share.
Managing this, and the overall sentiment of customers online, can create some incredible results.
It can increase brand loyalty, change brand perceptions, increase sales – the scope for this is huge.
Similar to other objectives, it’s important to be specific.
What does ‘customer satisfaction’ look like?
Is it increasing the amount of positive things people say about you on social media?
Is it decreasing the amount of complaints you get?
Put a figure on it.
2. Set a budget
You’ve got your goals and objectives set.
Now let’s figure out if we can afford to achieve them!
Hopefully you’ll have an overall marketing budget for the year, now it’s time to allocate that spend.
An effective place to start, especially when you’re requesting budget outside of your control, is looking at past performance.
Take stock of your past & existing marketing campaigns, looking at the people you’re targeting, the channels you’re using to reach them, and the return on investment.
- If you can demonstrate that the previous campaign worked effectively, then you can build a case for getting more budget this time around.
- If it wasn’t successful, then you can build your research around where you went wrong, justifying what’s different.
Alternatively, you might never have started a digital marketing campaign before.
In that case, think about your business.
- How much would you pay to acquire a new client?
- What are they worth to you in terms of profit?
- How does this stack up with lifetime spend? Are they likely to purchase multiple times?
This can help you allocate the amount you need to spend on your digital marketing campaign, and also provide focus.
If you’re willing to pay £3 per converted customer, and want to acquire around 1000 new customers per month, your monthly budget is around £3k.
3. Back to those business objectives
Look back at your objectives.
Does your budget and objectives align?
If you don’t have the budget to spend £3k per month on marketing, then set a realistic budget that will help you on your way towards gaining 1000 customers per month.
4. Let’s find your customers
Now it’s time to find the people that are going to buy your products and services.
The best place to start, is looking at your existing customers.
They bought from you for a reason, and by understanding the reason why, you can amplify that message through your marketing campaign to appeal to similar people.
This is called a marketing persona.
You use a persona to group people together that share common traits, so it’s easier to create a campaign that will resonate with them.
Start building your first persona by asking a few questions:
- How old are they?
- Are they male or female?
- What things are they interested in?
You might not know the answers to this question. Luckily, Google Analytics can help.
If you have this set up on your site, look into the Audience tab, where you’ll find more information on visitors to your website.
If you don’t have Google Analytics, taking educated guesses at this point is absolutely fine. You know more about your business than anyone.
- What does your persona want to achieve in their life?
- What values do they hold?
- Do they have any particular challenges?
- Might they have objections to your products? What are they?
Again, you need to be creative and put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
If you can answer the questions above, either through educated guesses or by running surveys with your target customers, then you’ll find targeting new people via your digital marketing campaign much easier.
Now, do this again.
Maybe once more for good measure.
In truth, keep going until you there aren’t any customers who don’t fit into a persona.
This could result in four or five different personas.
Usually, this is where marketing stops – but let’s take this one step further.
Earlier we mentioned profitability.
Looking at your past data, which persona tends to be more profitable? Who buys the more expensive products? Who purchases more than once?
By deciding on both the most profitable product, and the most profitable persona, you’re increasing the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
5. Create a campaign that reaches your customers
Let’s look at those personas.
We have a tonne of information that identifies our target audience, and helps determine what our message needs to include.
How are we going to get that message in front of them?
Before we start looking at marketing channels that our audience is likely to appear on, take a step back and think about the content they’re likely to engage with.
Here’s a couple of examples:
- Let’s think about a service provider
- They provide SEO services for small businesses in the creative industry
- Their customers are looking for reassurance. They want to deal with someone trustworthy, that will take the pressure off them handling their online marketing.
- Types of content that works
- A video with the marketers addressing common, relatable issues.
- Blogs demonstrating expertise, that’s also easy to understand.
- Case studies including success with previous clients.
- Let’s think about a service provider
- Now for someone that makes a product
- They make custom wedding prints and gifts
- Quality is key. Customers are looking for something they can gift with pride. A keepsake to go in the home.
The point is, figure out what your content needs to address.
This could be anything your persona might object to in the process of purchasing your product or service.
Next, it’s just a matter of producing content that convinces them otherwise!
AdEspresso have done a great job of summarising the different types of content you can use to target your audience:
- Approachable snippets of information that interest the reader
- Longform content
- Similar to this blog – a valuable guide that demonstrates expertise
- Longform content
- Case Studies
- Establishes trust, showcases your work
- White papers
- Establishes authority, shows you are the expert
- Provides something of value, and can be used to attract future leads
- Visual content that makes blogs more interesting and engaging
- Templates & Checklists
- Helpful content that your customers can refer back to
- Easier to digest information, promotes trust
Once you’ve decided on the type of content that is appropriate for your audience, we can move onto selecting the channel that will get it in front of them!
6. Implementing your campaign
In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the difference between digital and traditional forms of marketing.
That goes into depth on the different types of channels you could use, such as SEO, Social Media Marketing, or PPC.
Instead of doing the same again here, we recommend you go and give that a read, and then come back here!
We’ll use this to provide practical examples of finding ways to get in front of your audience.
The wealth of ways to reach your market can be overwhelming at times.
A key thing to consider is the person that you’ve already created / thought about.
They’re the people that you’re trying to sell to, so put yourself in their shoes and think about where they spend their time.
A great help for this is the Facebook Audience Insights tool.
Don’t let ‘Facebook’ put you off. Although the data is gathered by the social network, it can help you build a picture of the type of content your audience responds to.
Let’s say your persona is based on an interior designer, between 25 – 40 years old, based in London.
We’ll start by adding all of those attributes into FB Audience Insights tool.
That will show you the demographics, however it’s the ‘Page Likes’ we’re really interested in.
This is the point where I expect you to be asking “why is this relevant?”
Bear with me.
Because we now have a list of pages that your target audience like, which gives us ideas to use during our campaign.
There are also locations such as the Southbank Centre, The Jazz Cafe and Camden Market – which could be used as topical pieces of Content Marketing that could be used across a range of channels, from search engines to social media.
It could also help you discover platforms for Influencer Social Marketing campaigns.
This type of marketing helps get people into the top of your ‘funnel’.
It’s now your job to build on the initial awareness of your product, service or business, and turn website visitors into conversions.
The simplest way to do this is to run a Remarketing Campaign.
This type of campaign targets people that have already been on your website with ads aimed to bring them back.
You can run these campaigns on Google – via the search and display network, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – a whole range of different platforms.
You could also run Online PR campaigns, that help to boost credibility. Usually this is done by sharing success stories, or commenting on topical events in a particular industry.
All of this goes to show that there really is a whole host of channels out there that you can take advantage of.
By combining a few of them, you can get in front of your audience at different points in time, increasing the chances of them remembering you the next time they need your product or service.
7. Measure. Measure. Measure.
Keep an eye on the conversions that your campaigns are bringing in.
It could be that a particular channel is outperforming all of the others.
Or maybe one is sucking the budget out of your campaign with zero conversions.
Have measures in place to keep testing what works, and what doesn’t.
Your campaign will evolve over time and keep improving as a result.
8. Successful Marketing Campaign Examples
Halo Top, the low-calorie ice cream that seemed to sneak up on us out of nowhere, created a campaign that delivered in huge proportions.
They used their first ever mass-scale ads to suggest the ice cream was made in Heaven, and launched both solely across social media channels.
They targeted their audience perfectly, resulting in a 2500% growth in sales.
Although it’s now well-publicised, the Nike & Colin Kaepernick campaign was a masterstroke.
Without going into the debate of the message, the ad itself worked because Nike used the cause to expertly target their audience. They knew that these people would connect with the message Colin and the other associated celebrity endorsements were sharing.
Although there was uproar from a few, brand affinity strengthened within key segments of Nike’s audience which has resulted in a 31% increase in sales.
Plus – in the most basic sense, their campaign made people feel something.
And that’s gold dust.
By now we’re well aware of the genius Apple possesses. However their Shot on iPhone campaign was particularly special.
What we love about this campaign was that it asked their audience to get involved. This was clever on two fronts:
- It got their community engaging on social media, sharing beautiful images that they’d taken
- It demonstrated the quality of the phone’s camera
Congratulations! You made it!
If you still don’t consider yourself a professional when it comes to digital marketing campaigns, how about you get in touch with the experts (i.e. us!)?
So what are you waiting for?
Get in touch for a free consultation now, and begin your journey into successful digital marketing.