As a creator, it’s likely the only marketing experience you have is what you’ve learnt on the job, so I’ve kept it simple and refined the campaign plan process into seven simple, easy to follow steps.
1: The ‘why?’ behind your campaign
2: Your budget
3: Your target audience
4: Messaging and Call to Action
5: Marketing channels and content formats
7: Monitor, measure and adapt
Step 1: What’s the ‘why?’ behind your campaign.
This is where you define your goals; what do you want to achieve? What does success look like? Your goals could be to launch a new product, increase sales or revenue, improve customer retention or raise brand awareness. Whatever your goal, as it will used to define the success of your campaign, it needs to be SMART – Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example, “I want to sell 100 eBooks within the first seven days of launch”.
Step 2: Set your budget.
It’s important to set your budget at the same time as setting your goals, as they are closely aligned. The budget you have needs to be able to support the goal. There’s no point in having an aggressive target, but not having the means to be able to achieve it.
Step 3: Define your target audience.
You would have defined your ideal customer as part of your marketing strategy, but now it’s time to drill down to the specifics, as the demographics might vary per campaign. Considerations might include age, gender, location, lifestyle, attitude, geographic location, income bracket or pain points, as well as them being new or returning customers.
Step 4: Messaging and call to action.
This is where the fun part starts, but it’s made easier by completing steps 1-3 in full.
Your campaign messaging should put your audience front and centre. So rather than list every attribute of your product or service, focus on the benefits, how it will help resolve a pain point, fix an unmet need, and how it’s going to make them feel. It also needs to position your expertise and credibility within your sector and the best way to do this is through customer testimonials and social proof.
Your call to action needs to make it clear what action you want that person to take. As a rule, include one type of action only, to avoid confusion and diluting results.
Step 5: Marketing channels and content formats
Once you know who you are targeting, and have your messaging nailed, you can finalise how you are going to deliver your message. As part of your marketing plan, you will have established which channels your audience interacts with the most, so with your budget front of mind, select the channels that will work the best for this particular campaign and audience segment. The chances are you’ll be delivering your message over multiple channels so, as an example, you may need video, a landing page, images optimised for the different platforms and email banners or gifs.
Step 6: Execute your campaign.
At this stage, if you’re running a multi-channel campaign using social media, paid ads and email for example, there will be many moving parts that need to be meticulously planned and seamlessly coordinated. If you have a team, establish who is responsible for which element of the campaign and outline the campaign schedule, so each part is disseminated at the right time, to the right audience segment, and within the budget set.
Step 7: Monitor, measure and adapt.
This is the final part of the campaign process and shouldn’t be ignored. If you don’t measure each element of the campaign, you’ll have no idea what’s working and what isn’t. This step shouldn’t just be carried out at the end of campaign; using the analytics tools available (each platform will have its own inbuilt tool), you should monitor and measure each element at every stage and adapt if necessary; dial up what’s working, change or tweak something that’s not working as well. Alongside campaign metrics, you should also be monitoring your budget to ensure you stay within its limits.
By completing this step during, and at the end of, your marketing campaign, you can determine whether your goals were met and within the budget set and how you can improve on the next campaign.