Have you ever noticed an ad for your local car dealership pop up in your favourite app? Or maybe you saw an offer on Instagram for a streaming service’s free month trial? These are examples of digital marketing campaigns: online marketing initiatives, usually across various channels, that support your larger digital strategy. Campaigns are the action-plan to a clearly defined goal, and they can be very effective if done strategically.
If you have decided that a digital campaign would support your business’s marketing objectives, here are a few key steps to consider in order to ensure a successful launch.
1) Define Your Goal
What is it that you want your campaign to achieve? Many businesses use digital campaigns to drive traffic to their website. Others are seeking to increase their social media following or build brand awareness, and most (if not all) are looking for direct conversions that will increase their bottom line. Defining your goal for the campaign is critical to measuring its success.
Campaigns are the action-plan to a clearly defined goal, and they can be very effective if done strategically.
2) Identify Your Target Audience
Anyone can throw photos, text, and advertising dollars out onto the internet and call it a digital campaign. But where would those efforts land, and who would see them? Promote to people who will interact with your campaign.
Tip: Imagine your ideal customer and build out a persona profile for that buyer. For example, a public elementary school looking to increase kindergarten enrollment might begin by describing their ideal persona as young, working parents who recently moved to the area, who are not overtly religious, and who value small classroom sizes and extra-curricular options. Developing these personas will help focus your campaign.
3) Find Your Audience Online
Taking clues from your target buyer’s profile (namely, their demographics and interests) will help you determine where they hang out online. Perhaps they spend a lot of time on social media, or maybe in such places as online games, podcast apps, YouTube, online retailers, recipe sites – the list goes on. Put your message where your audience is.
4) Know What Your Audience Is Looking For
Crafting your messaging is an obvious but important step. Before diving into catchy headlines and wordy descriptions, research what your audience is already searching for. What keywords are they typing into search engines to find your product, service, or solution? Help them find you! When your website displays commonly-searched words or phrases, Google will rank your page higher in the web results, putting you top of your buyer’s mind.
5) Set a Budget
Online advertising is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business. Why? For starters, your audience is already online. Last year, 94% of Canadians had home internet access while 87% made an online purchase. And of course, you can track the performance of online campaigns through analytic reports, which will give you information to make your ads more effective in the future.
Campaigns can run on as little as a couple dollars a day, but the more that is spent, the wider the reach and better the results. Determining a campaign spend will often depend on your overall digital marketing budget, and sometimes requires a little trial and error.
6) Continuously Monitor and Adjust Your Ads
Again, an advantage of running online campaigns is the ability to adjust your ads based on how they are performing. For example, you might notice a particular subset of people interacting with your content more than you had expected; you can then tweak your ad to target that demographic of people, and reduce ad spend on irrelevant audiences that aren’t engaging at all. This feature takes some of the guesswork out of your campaign!
7) Use Your Social Media Channels Organically
Don’t forget to populate your social media pages with organic content, too. Keep your business pages active by posting content every few days and responding frequently to your followers’ comments. Whatever your industry, social media can play a vital role in enhancing your other marketing efforts.
8) Consider Retargeting Your Digital Campaign
Sometimes people need another gentle nudge. You have probably noticed an ad for that pair of shoes you were just looking at appear on the next website! It may seem a bit unsettling, but this is called retargeting or remarketing – and it often works. If you successfully bring your audience back to your site, they might decide to purchase the second (or third!) time.
By breaking down your digital campaign strategy into these smaller steps, you can increase the likelihood of launching a successful digital campaign. It may take some adjusting, but once campaigns are dialed in, they will generate a predictable cost per acquisition (or CPA), helping you to measure how much was spent on each conversion.