If you’re like most business owners, you know that a digital marketing campaign can give your business a serious boost. Running a campaign can attract new prospective clients, generate more leads, raise your visibility in Google search, and ultimately raise revenue.
But if you’re like most business owners, the thought of creating and running a digital campaign is overwhelming to you. There are so many variables to work through.
Should you focus on social media advertisements or Search Engine Optimization? Should you try to generate new leads or increase overall revenue? Where does content marketing fit into your overall strategy?
In this post, we’re going to break down the how, what, and why of a successful digital marketing campaign. Consider this a roadmap of sorts. It will help you think through the key elements of your campaign so that you can successfully execute it.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Step #1: Define Your Digital Marketing Campaign Goals
The first step when creating a digital marketing campaign is to define your goals. This may seem obvious, but unfortunately, many companies neglect this step.
The common saying that you can’t manage what you don’t measure is particularly relevant when creating a digital marketing campaign. If you don’t know your goals, you don’t know your target and you can’t measure whether you’re successful or not.
So what sort of digital marketing goals should you set for your campaigns? Here are some common, relevant ones.
Brand awareness is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the overall level of awareness of your brand, particularly as it relates to your field of expertise. Building brand awareness involves strengthening the connection between your business and the products or services you provide.
A great example of brand awareness is Kleenex. Kleenex has become so associated with tissues that when a person says they need a Kleenex, they simply mean they need a tissue. Everyone knows what a Kleenex is and what it does.
Why is brand awareness so powerful?
The more you raise the general awareness of your brand, the more you’ll stand apart from the competition. Think about Google, for example. They have generated such awareness that they absolutely dominate the search engine industry.
Generally speaking, higher brand awareness also generates more leads and sales, as well as preventing competitors from taking away market share.
Consideration is another common digital marketing goal. Consideration is when a potential customer moves from simply being aware of your brand to considering your products or services.
For example, let’s say that thanks to an SEO campaign strategy, you’ve managed to get to the front page of Google for a particular term. This increases your brand awareness.
However, your goal is to get them to move beyond simply being aware of your brand to actually considering it. In other words, you want to develop a deeper relationship with the potential prospect.
And so once they go to your website, you present them with free content that is related to your brand and educates them about your products or services. This content marketing strategy is designed to get prospects to more deeply consider your brand.
When it comes to a digital marketing campaign, conversion simply means getting potential prospects to take a particular action. Often times this action is actually purchasing something from you, but that’s not always the case.
The action could be signing up for your email list, registering for a webinar, downloading a whitepaper, calling your business, or any other number of actions. Your goal is to get the prospect to actually do something.
If you’ve executed and fulfilled the first two goals effectively, conversions are much easier to generate. You’ve raised awareness of your brand and begun to develop a relationship with a potential customer. From there, the next step is often conversion.
When creating the digital marketing plan goals, you may want to focus on customer loyalty. In other words, you’re not trying to win new customers, you’re trying to retain the customers that you already have.
Some simple examples of ways to generate more customer loyalty are offering discounts to long-term customers, giving something to a customer on their birthday, etc. Your overall goal is to get the customer to become loyal to your company over every other company out there.
A final goal to consider in your internet marketing strategy is generating customer advocacy. This is when your customers are so passionate about your company that they’re not only loyal customers, but they’re also evangelists for your company.
They constantly tell their friends and family about you, doing everything they can to win customers on your behalf.
Advocacy is usually the result of you delivering a superior product or service in one way or another. Customers become advocates when you wow and delight them. When you overdeliver on every promise you’ve made.
You can win advocates through outstanding customer service, by constantly providing new, outstanding products, through innovation, etc.
Consider Apple in the early days of the iPhone. They created hundreds of thousands of advocates for their company by creating the first true smartphone. They gave their customers something that could be found nowhere else. The result was a passionate customer base that promoted Apple products to everyone they knew.
Setting SMART Goals
When setting your digital marketing campaign goals, it’s absolutely essential that you create SMART goals.
SMART stands for:
- Specific – Your goal can’t be vague, like, “We want to increase the number of leads we generate online.” It must be highly specific, such as, “We want to generate 150 new leads.”
- Measurable – Your goal must also be measurable. If you can’t measure your goal, you’ll never know if you actually achieved it. For example, the vague goal of increasing the number of leads you generate isn’t readily measurable. Technically, you could generate a single lead more than before and hit your goal, but that’s not what you’re after. You want to attach specific, measurable numbers to your goals. A goal of generating 150 leads is easily measurable.
- Attainable – If a goal isn’t attainable, it’s not a reasonable goal. If the most leads you’ve ever generated is 7, setting a goal of generating 1,000 leads probably isn’t realistic. Your marketing objectives need to be within reach. If they’re not, you won’t hit them and you’ll become discouraged.
- Relevant – Relevant goals are those that will actually move the needle for your business. If you what you really need is new leads, setting a goal of increasing your overall Twitter followers isn’t a relevant goal. Set digital marketing goals that will actually make a difference in your business.
- Time-Based – Finally, your digital marketing goals must be time-based. In other words, they should have a start date and an end date. These constraints help you measure whether you were truly successful in achieving your goals. Goals that aren’t time-based can stretch out indefinitely.
Step #2: Determine Digital Marketing KPIs
Once you’ve established your SMART goals, it’s time to determine the Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are the measures that are most important and relevant to your campaign. You’ll measure your digital marketing campaign against these digital marketing KPIs to determine whether or not you’re successful.
Your KPIs are going to be closely tied to the overall objectives you set for your campaign.
For example, let’s say you’re running a social media campaign strategy. You’re going to use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a landing page. The landing page is promoting a free ebook that people can get if they sign up for your email list.
Your KPIs for the social media campaign could be:
- Number of leads generated
- Overall impressions created
- Number of clicks on the ad
Or let’s say that you’re running a content marketing strategy in which you’re promoting an important blog post that you wrote. Your KPIs for the campaign could be:
- Number of people who read the blog post
- Number of links back to the blog post
- Number of social shares of the blog post
It’s critical to remember that your KPIs should be closely tied to your overall goals. If your social media campaign goal is to generate leads, don’t focus primarily on the number of clicks you generate. Focus on the number of leads from the campaign. Don’t get sidetracked by metrics that don’t really matter.
Step #3: Determine Your Target Audience and Value Propositions
When creating your digital marketing campaign, it’s critical to determine both your target audience and the value propositions that you will present to that target audience. Your target audience is the group of people you are targeting with your digital marketing campaign.
For example, if you run an ecommerce store in which you sell products for babies, you may target men and women between the ages of 25-40. This is the audience most likely to have babies. If you’re an auto glass shop, you may target men and women who live in your zip code.
When creating your target audience, smaller tends to be better than large. If your audience is too broad, you’ll end up spending money to get in front of people who aren’t truly interested in your business. Ultimately, you’ll end up wasting money. Once you’ve created your target audience, you need to determine the value proposition you’ll present to that audience.
Your value proposition is the reason your target audience should interact with you. In other words, you’re giving your audience a reason to click on your ad or share your blog post or link back to a particular page on your website.
For example, let’s say you’re running a Pay Per Click Campaign where you display an ad on Google. Why should people click on that ad? What will they get out of it?
- Will they get a discount on your services?
- Will they get key information that will help them solve their problem?
- Will they find the product they’re hoping to purchase?
Your value proposition is the big WHY behind your digital marketing campaign. Don’t just assume that if you start spending money on advertising, you’ll get results. You need to give your audience a compelling reason to interact with you.
Step #4: Build A Plan and Budget
After determining your core audience and value proposition, it’s time to build out a plan and budget for your campaign. There are numerous mediums that you can and should incorporate into your campaign. These mediums include:
Ideally, your website should be optimized to achieve whatever your overall goal is. If your goal is to increase the number of leads you receive, your website should be optimized for leads. If your goal is to drive awareness of your brand, your website should be chock full of clear information that will educate visitors about your company.
If your website isn’t optimized for your goal, you’ll need to budget for a redesign so that it’s in line with your ultimate objective.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing pages on your website so that they show up as high as possible in Google search results (and other search engines). Depending on your overall goal, SEO should be a high priority.
Showing up on the first page of Google is an outstanding way to raise overall brand visibility and increase organic traffic to your website..
Content marketing involves creating a piece of content (web page, blog post, ebook, etc.) that is valuable to your target audience and then promoting it heavily to that audience.
The marketing process can vary, but often includes emailing select individuals to let them know about the content, promoting the content on social media, advertising the content, trying to get links back to it, etc. The goal is twofold:
- To provide something of high value to your audience
- To get the content seen by as much of your target audience as possible
When budgeting for content marketing, you’ll need to take into account the cost of getting the content created, as well as the time required to promote it across a variety of channels.
There’s a good chance that part of your digital campaign will involve both advertising and organic promotion on social media. When it comes to advertising, you’ll need to budget for the time it takes to create the ads, as well as how much you’ll actually spend on the ads. In terms of organic promotion, you’ll need to plan out what you’re going to share on social media, as well as when you’re going to share it.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements are the ads that show up at the top and bottom of Google search results. These ads can be a highly effective way to drive targeted traffic to a particular page on your website.
You’ll need to budget for both the time it takes to research and create the ads, as well as the money you’ll spend on the ads themselves.
Believe it or not, email marketing is still a highly effective way to engage with customers. Ideally, your digital marketing campaign should incorporate some form of email sequence. This sequence can engage those on your email list, point them to particular web pages, highlight promotions, etc.
You’ll need to budget for the time it takes to create the emails, as well as the cost of an email service.
Mobile marketing, in which you target users based on a particular factor related to their mobile device, allows you to hypertarget your audience. For example, let’s say you’re a downtown Colombian restaurant. Using geo-fencing, you can target people who are within a 1.5 mile radius of your restaurant with a 10% off coupon.
This kind of hypertargeting is an outstanding way to drive foot traffic to a physical location.
Step #5: Execute Your Plan
Once you’ve performed the first four steps, it’s time to finally execute your plan. If you’ve done your legwork, this shouldn’t be overly complicated. It simply involves putting into action the plan you’ve already laid out.
For example, if you’re running a content marketing campaign, you need to create the content, share the content, reach out to people to link back to the content, ask other people to share the content, etc.
If you’re running a social media advertising campaign, you need to create your ad on Facebook, Twitter, and whatever other platforms you plan on using.
Step #6: Measure Your Impact
The final step in any digital marketing campaign is to measure your impact. At this stage, you compare your actual results to your projected results. If you wanted to generate 150 new leads and you actually generated 200, it’s safe to say that you’ve run a successful campaign (all other factors being equal).
If you were trying to be in the top five Google search results for a particular search result and you’re in the 15th spot, your campaign wasn’t particularly successful.
Your digital marketing KPIs are essential at this stage. You may generate thousands of clicks upon a particular advertisement, but if clicks wasn’t a KPI, they’re not particularly relevant to your campaign. If your goal is to increase revenue by 40%, it doesn’t matter how many clicks you garnered if you only increase revenue by 20%.
Bottom line: measure your results against your KPIs.
Build Your Campaign
That wasn’t so complicated, was it? Building a digital marketing campaign primarily involves knowing your overall goals and then knowing the specific steps it takes to reach those goals. When evaluating the success of your campaign, it’s critical that you always keep your overall goals and KPIs in mind. Don’t get sucked into flashy metrics that don’t mean much when it comes to the overall success of your campaign. Keep your eyes focused on your goals and only call a campaign a success if you hit those goals. Now go forth and create an awesome digital marketing campaign.