A digital marketing campaign involves much more than just placing adverts. It needs to be carefully considered and structured to produce sustainable, measurable results. It also needs to be flexible enough to allow for some pivoting if certain strategies are not performing as well as expected.
As companies begin to embrace digital marketing, they often seek answers to common marketing questions, such as “what is the best channel for generating quality leads?” and “How can I improve the performance of my campaigns?”
Approaching a campaign in a logical and consistent manner offers the best chance of success. Here are 10 steps to help build a results-focused digital marketing campaign.
Step 1: Define why your brand exists
Why does your brand exist? In a TED Talk, Simon Sinek talks about the fact that most organizations know what they do and how they do it but very few know why they do it.
Until they can identify their central belief and message, they are likely to continue to communicate in a mediocre manner instead of crafting authentic messages that engage consumers.
When you communicate from a sense of purpose, you talk directly to the part of the human brain that influences behavior. You focus on selling to people who believe what you believe.
As per the example in management essay papers, a brand like Apple is so successful because its marketing comes from why it exists rather than just what it sells or how it makes its products. Its belief in thinking differently and challenging the status quo in everything it does is what differentiates it from its competitors.
Crafting the brand story behind your digital marketing campaign is much easier when you do it from an understanding of your brand’s purpose.
A compelling brand story is one of the best ways to cut through the noise generated by all your competitors and really connect with prospects.
Step 2: Identify your goals
It may be very obvious that you need to identify your goals but some marketers are so eager to start a digital marketing campaign that they may not pay enough attention to this step, which is a vital part of the planning process.
When goals are badly defined, the whole campaign becomes less focused. Identifying clear goals is, therefore a very important part of planning.
There are many different types of goals to focus on, such as brand awareness, getting followers or generating leads. Goals need to be achievable and measurable over a short and long term.
A weak marketing goal would be to increase conversions on your website. Why is it a weak goal? It is not specific enough, measurable or time-bound.
SMART goals are:
A smart goal would be to increase conversions on your website by 20% over the next six months.
If you can identify your top goals, clearly define them and keep them in focus at all times, your campaign has a better chance of being successful.
Step 3: Define your target audience
What types of consumers do you plan to target? Look at your current customers and see if they have any common interests or characteristics. Which ones buy the most from you?
The chances are that other people like them would be interested in what you have to offer.
Target marketing can help you to focus your resources on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than from other businesses. This is a more affordable and efficient way to reach prospects and generate business.
For example, an interior design company could decide to target homeowners in their thirties with an income above a certain level. It could further define its target audience by focusing only on those interested in a particular décor style.
Check out your competitors to see who they are targeting and you may just find a niche target market they may be missing out on.
Nobody can afford to target everyone and small brands can effectively compete with larger ones by targeting a niche audience.
Step 4: Develop audience personas
Reaching out to current customers in the form of a survey is one way to get a more accurate picture of who you want to sell to, and launch a results-focused digital marketing campaign.
Once you have enough insights into your target audience, you can start to develop audience personas based on the types of people you hope to reach.
Creating complete audience personas takes time and patience.
It covers aspects such as background, values, goals, career, income, decision-making tendencies, hobbies, interests and more. Give these fictitious personas names and keep them firmly in mind when crafting any marketing materials.
An example of an audience persona for a craft coffee shop operating in a local community could be as follows:
Linda is a 28-year old marketing professional who earns a salary of $70,000 a year. She loves her local community and as she works remotely, she often spends time in a coffee shop working on her laptop.
She is very tech-savvy but she also enjoys the outdoors and spends the weekend taking her dog for walks and attending local farmers’ markets.
She is saving to start her own marketing business one day but she does tend to splurge on craft drinks and local produce.
Step 5: Assess your budget
Setting a realistic budget is important for various reasons.
It determines what you can do with your digital marketing campaign and how you allocate your resources.
Digital marketing is cheaper than conventional marketing so your resources tend to go much further but it is still important to use your money in the right places.
Take a good look at the money, time and people you have to invest in your strategies. For example, you need to know which social media platforms your target audience use most often so you can invest the most time and money strategizing for them.
It can help to set a budget for a specific aspect of a marketing campaign based on the profit margin you would like to generate.
For example, if you want to make $500 a month from a Facebook campaign and you have a product margin of $50, you know that you need to generate 10 sales from your digital marketing campaign in order to make up that amount.
Step 6: Select the right digital assets and channels
Combining a number of different marketing strategies can build great synergy if a consistent message is conveyed throughout.
However, what matters more than the type and quantity of marketing is whether or not the approach matches your brand and message.
For example, if your target audience mostly uses Instagram to connect, your strategy should focus on organic and paid reach on Instagram. A focus on Facebook would not be as successful.
Matching each of your target audiences to platforms most used by them and then overlaying these engagement channels with important touchpoints in a consumer’s journey can offer clear direction on what types of content will be most successful at what stages.
Step 7: Manage social media accounts
Managing social media accounts is an important part of developing a good brand reputation, and for getting to know your audience before launching a results-focused digital marketing campaign.
Bad reviews from disgruntled customers should never be ignored.
Open a dialogue with them, even if it is scary, and ask them to email you about their experience or offer them a coupon to give your business another chance.
The way you deal with negative reviews is important because it can influence how other consumers feel about your brand.
Interacting with customers and actively reading and reacting to comments and reviews on social media helps you to develop trusting relationships with your current customers and will also help you to gain new ones.
Without develop loyalty and trust, it is very difficult to get consumers to the point where they are prepared to buy from you.
Step 8: Develop a content strategy
Any digital marketing strategy requires the creation of high-quality content.
Great content will bring more traffic to your website, reinforce your presence on social media and enable you to rank for long-tail search queries and keywords.
When you link blogs and articles to a specific offer via a landing page, this helps to boost conversions.
Creating quality content means finding out what your target audience wants and needs and then giving it to them.
You need to understand their pain points and know how to engage their emotions. Consistency, quality and customization are important factors to consider when developing a content strategy.
You can build out your content strategy for a specific week, month and quarter on a content calendar. With multiple content formats, channels and deadlines, a calendar can help you to keep track.
To be really useful, it will include everything from content topics and deadlines to which employees are responsible for creating, approving and publishing content.
Many different types of software are available to help automate content marketing.
However, for small businesses that can’t afford such software, it is also possible to use color-coded Google spreadsheets to make sure there are no workflow problems and everyone is on the same page.
Step 9: Make sure mobile marketing stays on track
Marketing teams need to take advantage of the amount of time consumers are spending on their smartphones daily. It is becoming the norm for people to quickly look for reviews, see if a local store has a certain item in stock and much more.
With that in mind, it is important to make sure to optimize your business websites for both desktops and mobile devices.
Mobile campaigns need to be customer-centric. Customers support brands they believe offer solutions to their needs or wants.
As mobile users often access content in short bursts, any mobile marketing strategy content needs to be short, succinct and clear. The more users are able to quickly access and understand useful information, the more likely they are to stay engaged.
Mobile-friendly landing pages need to load quickly. Even a one-second loading delay can cause a loss in conversions, negaitvely impacting your digital marketing campaign. On mobile devices, it is vital to create CTAs that do not need too many steps for completion.
Some social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, are designed to be effective on mobile devices. Find out which type of content has the highest level of engagement on these platforms.
Step 10: Review and refine
Digital marketing can be a process of trial and error.
Constant monitoring is important to ensure strategies are working effectively, and you are getting results for your digital marketing campaign.
You need to have a plan but you also have to be flexible to accommodate changes and redefine strategies that aren’t working the way you planned.
SEO patterns shift, trends come and go and some flexibility is necessary with regards to your content calendar, which social channels to use, which KPIs to focus on and when to get progress reports so you can discuss and regroup.
Even successful strategies may need some tweaking here and there.
It is not difficult to access analytics, as most major platforms offer them. There are also many third-party platforms that offer various kinds of data reporting.
How many new subscribers signed up as a result of a series of blogs? Did your Facebook campaign help you sell more products?
When you look at your goals, you will know exactly what analytics are meaningful to give you the insights you need to refine your strategies and make them even more successful.
Building a results-focused Digital Marketing campaign: a final word
When building a digital marketing campaign, it is important to plan properly and follow a logical approach rather than throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. One step builds on another and skipping out certain steps can cause a campaign to fail.
For example, you cannot think about content types until you have created audience personas. It is important to always stay aligned with your core purpose and always think about the needs of your target audience, following a customer-centric approach.
Building up relationships with customers is made easier today with the use of social media channels and email marketing. Once trust is created, any digital marketing campaigns are likely to be more successful.
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