A marketing campaign is the most effective way to communicate a specific message to targeted, segmented audiences. Your campaign may be designed to promote a product or service, call attention to your brand, or capture customer feedback. Marketing communications may use social media, print media, email, online advertising, television ads, and other ways to get your message out to the right people at the right time.
When communicating with a marketing campaign, you want to make sure you’re effectively presenting your message to your target audience. How can you make sure this happens? By making sure your campaign content hits these four points:
Make sure your campaign succeeds with customers by using surveys to inform decisions from marketing materials to ads.
Marketing campaigns are part of your overall marketing strategy. The ultimate goal is to increase your brand and product awareness, resulting in a boost to your bottom line. With that in mind, the key to an effective campaign is research. Research and concept testing will lead to influential content creation for your campaign.
An effective marketing campaign allows you to take a strategic approach to content creation, which is beneficial to your brand in a variety of ways.
Creating a whole campaign may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually a straightforward process. We’ve broken the process down into 4 parts—planning, distribution, converting customers, and ad testing.
It is absolutely essential to plan your campaign. Planning determines your goals, how you’ll measure success, and will guide your team throughout the process—even if things don’t go as planned.
What is the purpose of this campaign? What do you want to accomplish for your business?
Here are a few common general goals. Use these as starting points to create your own.
Once you’ve settled on your general goal, turn it into a SMART goal. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. These five characteristics ensure your goal will be clearly understood by all stakeholders.
If you’ve decided that your goal is to increase engagement, your SMART goal might be:
To obtain 100 customer reviews of our new product using our campaign-based and brand hashtags on Instagram by December 31, 2022. It is specific (reviews), measurable (100 customers), attainable (using custom hashtags), relevant (for the new product), and time-bound (by December 2022).
How will you measure your campaign success? This will look different for everyone. Your measurement may include social media statistics, website analytics, click-through rates, conversions, or something else. Whatever your measurement is, it should harken back to your campaign goal.
Remember, if you are using multiple marketing channels, include how you’ll measure your campaign on each medium.
Identify your KPIs for each medium, such as:
Pro tip: Set up benchmarks to check progress along the way to your main goal.
Use consumer surveys for existing and potential customers to create buyer personas. These will help your marketing team visualize the ideal customer during campaign creation.
The distribution phase is all about what your target audience sees, when they see it, and where they encounter your campaign.
As we’ve already mentioned, marketing campaigns can include multiple channels. Determining what you wish to use depends on your budget, audience, current brand engagement, and what channels you currently use.
Of the channels you currently use, which ones work best? Which ones have paid ad options? Where do you already have good engagement? From your research, which channels are your target customers using?
The PESO model breaks up distribution channels into 4 categories—paid, earned, shared, and owned. What you choose is up to you.
This is in line with the “T” in your SMART goal. Begin with a start and end date for your campaign. Working from the end date, considering the materials you have to work with, enter your content backwards up the timeline to your launch date. Schedule posts, blogs, emails, ads, and other campaign content on your timeline.
This calendar, or timeline, will help you distribute promotional content evenly throughout the campaign and publish equally on each media channel.
And now we come to the ultimate goal—conversions. A conversion is not necessarily a sale. It all goes back to the goal you set in the beginning.
Look back at your SMART goal again. Our example was “To obtain 100 customer reviews of our new product using our campaign-based and brand hashtags on Instagram by December 31, 2022.” At various times throughout the campaign, we should be checking that our customers are leaving reviews. If not, we need to recalibrate our campaign to deliver content that will lead our customers to fulfill our goal.
Pro tip: Use strong calls to action on website landing pages and social posts to tell your customer what their next steps should be.
What metrics will you use to measure your success? It all depends on the type of campaign you’re running and the channels you’ve chosen. Whatever you look at, make sure you look beyond vanity metrics such as impressions or views. Those are nice to know, but they don’t necessarily deliver your desired results. Your analysis should relate back to—you guessed it—your SMART goal.
Advertising is a component of marketing. Marketing is used to identify customer needs and figure out how to best meet those needs. It should raise awareness and convince customers to make a purchase. Advertising is used to creatively persuade customers to make purchases through paid channels. And since you’re paying for it, you want to be confident that your ad will work.
That’s where ad testing comes in. It’s the process of putting your ads in front of a sample of your target audience and asking them to provide feedback. You can test a part of an ad or an entire ad to collect feedback about whether it stands out, is believable or appealing, or any other information you want to collect about your ad.
Advertising uses paid platforms to deliver your message. In fact, according to Statista, in 2021, the US spent more than $285 billion on advertising.
Testing your ads offers 4 major benefits:
For the most useful results, test before, during, and after your campaign launch. By testing throughout the campaign, you can see where and when conversions began.
At the end of the campaign, look at the data from all channels. Did you achieve your SMART goal? If you did, consider how you can capitalize on that success. If you missed your goal, why? What can you do differently next time?
These marketing campaign examples showcase how effective campaigns can make a huge impact.
In 2021, Dove took its #RealBeauty rebranding strategy a step further with its “Reverse Selfie” campaign. The campaign highlighted the way social media selfie culture is harming our teens. Dove never shows or advertises its products in the campaign, but the brand received praise from the press and public about starting conversations about digital distortion. The ad has over 991,000 views on YouTube and over 1 million views on Instagram.
Also in 2021, Reddit bought 5 seconds of airtime during the Super Bowl. The ad looked like a glitch, and featured a screen full of text that viewers couldn’t possibly read while it was displayed. It sent people online looking for information—it was related to the GameStop market disruption—and the spot became one of the most viral Super Bowl ads. Reddit took a big risk, but it grabbed people’s attention and drove viewers to the site. According the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review, Reddit’s commercial was among the most effective of the broadcast.
Turning back to 2010, Old Spice launched its “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign. The first ad aired during Super Bowl weekend and featured NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. According to parent company P&G, the Old Spice campaign strengthened its market position and sales for body wash and deodorant experienced growth in the high single/double digits. During the life cycle of the campaign, it received nearly 105 million YouTube views, 1.2 billion earned media impressions, 2,700% increase in Twitter followers, 800% increase in Facebook fan interaction, and 300% increase in traffic to their website.
What are you waiting for? Your effective marketing campaign is just waiting to launch. With our tips for success and straightforward process, you’ll be measuring your success very soon!