For many small and medium sized companies, the hardest part of marketing is simply managing all of the different pieces of the marketing mix. The first step toward organizing the potential chaos is to plan and schedule specific marketing campaigns.
Definition: A marketing campaign is a sustained effort to promote your product or service through a defined series of activities.
What Makes a Good Marketing Campaign?
A good marketing campaign follows a theme, and it includes a series of touch points through each channel. I wish that a single email or text marketing campaign was enough for someone to take action, but the average consumer can take anywhere from 3 to 10 touch points (or more) before actually making a purchase. Since there is so much noise in the marketplace, repetition of a message in different channels is important.
The American Express campaign of Small Business Saturday utilized several channels and message styles before it became a huge success. However, they understood some key things about running a successful campaign: Goal (positive branding with small businesses), Personas who support small business, Multiple Channels (digital ads, emails, partner communications, posters, etc) and the Virality of the concept.
What are some things that your company can leverage to make a great campaign?
What is the goal of your campaign? You may want to increase sales for a specific product, drive traffic to your new website, simply create buzz about what your company is up to, or something else.
Who are your target customers? Identify the personas who are the most likely to be interested in this product, service, or topic. You may want to create a few demographic profiles to get started.
How are you getting the message out to your target customers? This is a labor-intensive part of the planning process. If you are going to hit the customer with your message at least 3 times, then which channels will it be pushed through and when? (ie Email, Website, Blog, Social Media, Print, Radio, TV, PPC)
- Virality of Content
Understand what causes people to share information. Is the content of your message aimed to pique someone’s curiosity, cause a debate, get people excited?
The Minimalist Marketing Campaign Plan
If all of this sounds like gobbly-gook to you and you just want a fast way to get things going, then make a calendar in a spreadsheet. At minimum, you should have a plan for each month for what communications you are putting out to your customers (and the world).
Here’s a Sample Content Calendar
Key Items in your content calendar:
- Content Type
- Title or Description of that content (blog post title or a description such as Monthly Newsletter)
- Key dates (draft due, review by, publish on, etc)
- Target Audience / Personas
- Distribution Channels
- Promotions tied to it
- The Keywords or Metadata being used
- Metrics for reporting on the success