Planning a Marketing Campaign
Marketing campaigns can be run for a number of reasons. This can be to increase sales, raise awareness of your company or just raise awareness of a particular need you think your company or product will serve. These are probably the most common reasons but where do you start....
Know what you want to communicate
You need to have a clear goal of what you are trying to achieve with your marketing campaign and this needs to be a specific as possible. Earlier we discussed raising awareness of your company, this is too vague. It needs to be more specific, what stage is your company at? Why are you raising the awareness? Are you looking for investment, in which case you will be wanting to raise awareness with potential investors. Are you looking to increase sales of a particular product?
Once you have defined, as clear as possible, the aim of your marketing campaign you can look to see who your audience will be for this particular campaign.
Who is you audience?
Now we know what we are trying to achieve we need to look at who we need to target to achieve this. Again you need to be as specific as possible. Take the example from above of looking for investment in your company. What stage is the company at? Do you have initial sales and are looking for significant investment to ramp up the manufacturing and sales side of the business or are you at an early stage and looking to get a smaller amount of funding to prove the next stage of your development? Who have you raised funds from before? Is this a possible raise from existing investors predominantly or are you focussed on finding new investors? These questions will help you identify who your audience is. In an earlier blog we covered buying persona's so you should have a persona for the type of audience you have identified. This will have identified the likely places they will look for information.
What channels to use
The buying persona will give you information on the type of places to share your message to reach this audience. Don't worry if you haven't created a persona for this group you can do this now following the steps in this blog.
You can now decide a number of things about the channels to use.
There is likely to be a digital element to any campaign today a little more about this in the next section.
Is there will be any benefit in having paid advertising and where to place this?
Will you attend any exhibitions and or specific meetings?
How can your website be used to reflect this campaign?
Does a podcast or vlog work for this audience?
Do you need to arrange meetings or messages from previous purchasers/ Investors?
Digital media is used in some form or another for almost all campaigns today, in fact it may be the only channels you are using. Having identified your persona's you are targeting you now know which social media channels they are most likely to see as a trusted source. Depending on the channel will depend on the frequency you will need to be posting. Don't forget these don't have to be just posts you generate, you can also share and comment on other peoples posts in the area you are focussed on. Using the investment example from earlier, you are likely to be using LinkedIn as the social channel. You can have your own posts on what you are doing, don't forget to encourage your staff to comment or share these. (There is more on maximising your use of LinkedIn in this blog) You can also comment or share other peoples posts relating to investment in your segment to increase your contacts with potential investors. It doesn't have to be all self generated content to hit the recommended number of posts a week and achieve your goals.
Your website can also be used to tie into the campaign in a number of ways. You can consider, if you don't already have it, a news section to share the progress you are making or a feed to the social channel most appropriate. You could just change the image or element of the branding to reflect the campaign materials you are using.
Having decided on the channels you will use to share your campaign you now need to look at the messaging and design.
Messaging and Design
You now need to focus on what the key messages are you need to get across. Having done this refer to your persona's to see what tone and design is likely to appeal to your chosen audience. Does this need to be quite formal or can a more relaxed style be used? From your persona's is messaging from the company or other sources most likely to resonate?
Find 2 or 3 key messages you want to get across and stick to these, they can be adjusted slightly in the text used, imagery or different medium but there should be consistency across your message. Those of you who follow us on LinkedIn will see this consistency in our layout and colours for the imagery used for advertising our blogs. Don't forget this isn't just in the digital materials but if you have any advertising, brochures or exhibition materials these need to reflect the messaging and design also.
Always Always have a call to action in anything you do. This can be in the imagery or in the post itself from digital media. Decide what you want people to do to follow up on the interest and direct them in this within the support materials
Measuring your results
There is no point carrying out a marketing campaign if you don't have any measure of success. Back to our previous example, gaining investment, the ultimate success point is reaching your target in investment but you need to measure the impact each of your channels is having on this as you go through the campaign. This can be the number of likes on a post or followers you gain, which you can then contact direct to discuss the investment opportunity further. Or the number of leads you want from an exhibition as examples but you need a metric to asses the effectiveness of what you do. This isn't always easy as there may be a number of touch points involved in a customer making a decision to buy or an invertor investing. If you are dealing with a small number of people, just ask them where they first heard about you in your conversation or if a larger number consider a survey.
Monitoring the effectiveness of the different channels can help you as you move thorough a campaign to put your valuable resources in the right place. If you placed posts on twitter and Instagram does one significantly outperform the other? If so as you campaign progresses place more focus on the channel you are having the success with.
Keep the results of your campaigns also once you have achieved your target as you can refer to these when running other marketing campaigns in the future to see which messages or which channels were most successful and if necessary revise your persona's with new information you have learned to make future campaigns more successful.
We hope you found this blog useful in helping with you marketing campaigns but if you have any questions or want any help in developing and running a campaign please get in touch.