Running successful digital marketing campaigns is all about taking everything one careful step at a time. Too often, businesses try to skip one or more of these steps in a bid to get faster results. Unfortunately, faster results do not necessarily equate to good results. The reality is that it takes on average around 4 – 4.5 months to run a digital campaign from planning through to the final analysis stage.
So, if you want to maximise your return on investment, make sure your business doesn’t miss out on the following six key steps.
Step 1: Groundwork
Why do you want to run this campaign, to which target market and what is your overall message? How will you know if this campaign has been successful – in other words, what are your measurement criteria?
Examples of digital marketing objectives might be to create brand awareness, to generate registrations for a webinar or to encourage people to download a video or document.
At this stage, you will need to set your budget for the campaign and determine how long the campaign should run in order to meet your goals. You may have an event coming up with a fixed deadline, or you may decide to run a campaign over a season or a set number of weeks.
Think about what content you already have available that you could use in your campaigns – videos, brochures, eBooks and are they up to date? Do you need to create new content for this particular campaign?
Step 2 – Plan the details
What is going to be in your digital marketing campaigns, and how are you going to get your campaigns out to your target market?
In the digital media planning phase, you will need to think about your digital mix. Do you want to focus on paid search, social or content syndication? In terms of digital target marketing, what is the profile of your audience, and where can you reach them best? What do you want them to do?
Talk to your agency about creating graphics, banners and other visuals. Keep in mind that people targeted in digital ad campaigns can get tired of seeing the same advert on social media over and over again. Make sure you have several different designs and calls to action to keep everything interesting and fresh through the lifetime of your planned campaign.
Step 3 – Implementation
When thinking about your digital and social media marketing campaign, consider how you will work with your agency, online publishers and your chosen social media platforms.
Now you will be ready to go live with your campaign. Make sure you have everything you need in place to track your campaign before you press the “go” button. If you are working with an agency, then ensure you have regular reporting and evaluation calls set up with them so you can make any necessary adjustments to your campaign along the way.
As your campaign develops, check that any leads coming in are being correctly routed and tracked, ready for following up.
Step 4 – Lead management
What are you going to do with the leads that come in? How quickly can you contact them and how?
In the digital media planning phase, you would have already established how you will follow up on the leads. Ensure that you track, upload and action any hot leads coming in from your digital campaigns. Leads that are lower on the priority list can go into a nurture flow to warm them up.
Step 5 – Lead nurture
How are you going to nurture the leads that don’t require immediate contact, and over what timeframe? Although it’s tempting to just focus on the hot leads, successful digital marketing campaigns will always include a nurture programme for warm leads.
In this step, you should have a series of activities designed to keep your leads warm and have them progress along the customer journey so that eventually they bubble up as hot leads for a follow up by your sales teams (or whatever follow up process you have determined for your campaigns).
If you are planning on sending emails to your leads, do ensure that they have opted in under GDPR rules and that they have an opportunity to opt out of future communications.
Step 6 – Analysis and review
What were the results of your digital campaigns, and did you meet your original goals?
In this step, you will need to look back at your original digital marketing objectives and determine if your goals have been met. Whatever the outcome, ensure you examine what went well, what went wrong and any learnings for future digital campaigns. It’s important to do this as soon as possible after the end of the campaign when the details are fresh in your mind rather than several months down the line when you are planning your next campaign.
If you used different banners, graphics, activities or content, ask yourself which performed the best and for which audience.
The key to a successful digital campaign is to ensure that you consider why you are running a campaign and how you will measure the results. Your marketing agency can help you with the planning and execution but, as a business, you need to ensure you have covered the essential first and last steps as well as how you will follow up and nurture those all-important leads coming in.
If you want to do your own research, an excellent source for digital marketing campaigns with free templates is smartinsights.com which was co-founded by Dr David Chaffey, author of many digital marketing books used by education establishments throughout the UK.
Good luck and have fun with your future digital marketing campaigns!