Any business worth its salt knows that the key to generating sales is through good advertising – but what makes a successful marketing campaign?
A successful marketing campaign can spark new interest in your business and increase your sales, donations, and impact. Priority one is to establish how you’re going to determine its success – i.e. what is the goal for your campaign.
Will it be increasing sales of a specific product, directing more people to a landing page or generating a higher footfall in your retail stores or business premises?
When you’ve worked out the parameters of “success” you can start to look at how to craft the campaign, taking into account any specialist tools you’re going to need to monitor it and to judge its effectiveness once it’s ended.
Take inspiration from campaigns which have influenced you as a consumer and see if any of those elements can be worked into a strategy for your own business or brand. As Business Matters, one of the UK’s leading business magazines points out: “Undoubtedly, there has been a moment when you have seen a marketing campaign and been pretty impressed, but some tend to ‘wow’ us slightly more than others.”
Creating a successful marketing campaign
A marketing campaign is essentially a promotion created to reach a specific goal with a beginning and an end date. Planning is everything and, while no two successful marketing campaigns will be exactly the same, they all follow a fairly logical and predictable set of characteristics:
- The audience
- The content
- The offer
- The method
- The follow-up
This blog is going to look at each of these in turn and give you some tips and hints for how you can increase your chances of running a successful marketing campaign.
Know your market
This is basically your audience. As the following image from digital marketing agency Anicca demonstrates, there are seven different elements which can be mixed up into a campaign and it is vital you know how your customers, and potential new clients, feel about each.
The Marketing Mix 7P’s
Buyer personas will help with this, as will customer surveys, industry trends and talking to your own employees, who are the ones dealing on a day to day basis with your client base.
Determining the content
You need compelling content. Whether it’s a blog, a Facebook post, Twitter or an email campaign, the content needs to attract the target audience.
Consider the ‘Rule of Seven’ – a marketing theory that holds that someone needs to see a message seven times before they act on it – so make sure your messages are consistent irrespective of how you’re communicating.
A marketing campaign should be just one small piece of your overall marketing plan. Whatever you’re offering, and on what channel, it should be fitting in with the specific actions you intend to carry out to interest potential customers and clients in your product and/or service and persuade them to buy the product and/or services you offer.
What are you offering?
This will determine what your content will be. Ideally your offer should be something unique to your brand or service and if it can’t be, then make it valuable and worth their while to take up.
E-books, white papers, reports or case studies are great for companies who offer managed services rather than physical products. It’s not a direct sale but it’s a trusted method which showcases your expertise and lets customers get a feel for your business.
If you’re planning a money off voucher, your campaign will be a fairly simple one and can be visually focused with coupons to cut out and can be repeated on all social media platforms. If you’re offering a discount on items or services, you could have a multiple channel approach with an email campaign running alongside social media posts and blogs.
Look at what your competitors are doing. Make sure your website is up to date and has useful information which visitors will find helpful. Do you have a ‘how to use guide’ for your product as an example?
Here are a few examples of what you can promote:
- An upcoming event
- A new service
- A free consultation
- Hints and tips
- Volunteer opportunities
Where should you campaign?
Determining the type of campaign is as important as creating the content. There’s no use in running a Twitter campaign if only a small percentage of your audience uses that platform. You need to know which are your most effective communication channels and focus on those.
If you don’t know how each of your channels performs, how can you determine where best to spend your marketing efforts and your budget?
Google Analytics will give you some of this information, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter also have inbuilt analytics you can look at to check for engagement, but they’re not perfect and, in the case of GA, can be quite complicated to root down to the actual information you need.
This is where Beacon comes into play. Beacon gives you an overview of all your digital marketing activities with top-level ROI and marketing result reporting in real time. You can see website traffic and – by using Beacon Links – track which channels, including email, are sending those visitors.
Once you’ve decided what and where, keep it simple. Plan for the length of time the campaign will run, have an action plan which incorporates all the different channels and which content is being used on each one and set Key Performance Indicators and metrics which you can measure and track once the campaign ends. This will inform your future efforts.
Tracking the results
Did you achieve your objective? If your marketing campaign was to sell 10% more items through your stores or if you wanted to sign up five new people to an online course per week, did that happen?
Check against the results for other marketing campaigns and compare what worked and what didn’t. This will help you formulate the strategy for the next campaign. Perhaps your timing was off and people aren’t interested in stocking up on winter wear just yet with a campaign in September so try again in November as the season begins to turn.
If your campaign was successful, plan to run the same one again next year, or look if it can be adapted to suit another project or service which people might be interested in. Ultimately, the metrics you track will determine whether or not your efforts are working.
There will always be elements outside of your control, but if you concentrate on getting the key components mentioned in this blog right – and they’re all completely within your ability to do so – you will be giving your campaign the best chance and you will be on the way to learning what makes a successful marketing campaign work.