Digital marketing campaigns are so ubiquitous that it’s virtually impossible to scroll a few web pages without seeing some form of digital advertising.
From Google Adwords to Facebook retargeting to programmatic, pre-roll, native ads, and in-app ads, all have the same marketing purpose: brand promotion.
The variety of options means more freedom of action, but at the same time, advertising is a highly complex profession and will continue to evolve. The online advertising landscape is changing. Therefore running a marketing campaign requires methodical and ongoing adjustments.
Understanding all the working parts and necessary measures can be challenging if you’ve never run a marketing campaign before. There are various channels and approaches to get in the game, from traditional to different types of digital media, or even a targeted combination of both. Here we’re going to discuss 8 essential steps you should take to launch a digital marketing campaign and ensure its success:
#1 Outline Your Campaign Goals
Before you set out, know where you want to go. You cannot launch a digital marketing campaign without knowing and outlining your overall marketing objectives. SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) should be set. SMART goals structure your marketing efforts by providing a clear guideline.
Your goals define your “why” behind each action. Maybe you have enough visitors but a low conversion rate. Or you want to improve your brand awareness and stay competitive. Maybe you need to drive more traffic to your website and increase your online sales? There are practically endless possibilities, but remember that you can’t kill all birds with one stone.
Each objective can be perfectly justifiable but at the same time requires its own action plan. Once you have set the goals, establish relevant metrics and benchmarks. Start by assessing where you are now and identify areas where you are not keeping up. SWOT analysis can help you gain self-awareness before you launch a digital marketing campaign.
There is, of course, no limit to the number of online marketing campaigns you can run. However, you should set a specific, measurable outcome for each campaign. This allows you to collect relevant data on each metric and see what works. If the results are not satisfactory, you can always refine your marketing strategies and try again.
#2 Define Your Niche Market
Once you have established your goals, you need to define the exact audience and market you want to target. Understanding your customer’s persona is crucial. What is their profession, how old are they, and what is their gender? Where do they live, and what are their hobbies and habits? Obtain this information and update it based on your regular research and surveys. This will help your marketing team target your audience more accurately and effectively.
To successfully launch a digital marketing campaign, consider the specific needs of your target audience. What benefits do they get from your product or service? And what is your advantage over the competition? In short, look at your advertising through the lens of your target audience.
Most of your critical decisions about advertising approaches and techniques will be based on three characteristics of your target market: demographics, behaviour, and psychographics. Chances are, your target audience is not a monolithic community. Use your research findings to create subgroups and multiple audience segments. This will help you determine exactly who your message is aimed at.
Social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram can give you access to different audiences. Often, advertising on these platforms is very cost-effective and provides insightful data about demographic reach and response rates.
#3 Competitor Analysis
The main reason to launch a digital marketing campaign is usually increasing market competition and your desire to gain an advantage. Once your target market and audience are defined, the next step is to learn about your competitors in the same market. Competitor analysis provides a holistic view of how the competition is shaping up and prevents you from trying failed strategies.
Research the market and analyse which brands successfully grow their target audience. Find out what marketing strategies they are using to drive brand awareness and increase support from their community. Their social media presence is an excellent place to start. Assess content creation strategies, customer service, network building methods, and community outreach.
Again, a SWOT analysis can help evaluate the company’s marketing efforts and leverage strengths and opportunities to overcome weaknesses and threats. This information will help you better plan your digital marketing campaign and increase the chances of campaign success.
You can use tools like Buzzsumo or Google’s advanced search to find the most famous content relevant to your field. Relevant content can fill a gap and satisfy a deep need in your niche. And that’s a task you should take on to outperform others.
#4 Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a critical step in launching a digital marketing campaign. And the good news is that you have many tools at your disposal. Ranking as high as possible in search results allows you to broaden your reach to the target audience. But ranking high is more than just sprinkling some common keywords into your content.
First, you need to create a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate website. This will help drive more organic traffic to your pages and increase sales. With about half of the world’s internet traffic coming from cell phones, mobile responsiveness is critical. Many online SEO tools and software allow you to integrate keywords into high-quality, well-crafted, and original content.
But even without any other tools, you can follow these steps to improve your discoverability:
- Find the right keywords (especially long-tail keywords)
- Produce different types of content, including written content, podcasts, video content, etc.
- Improve your Call to Action (CTAs)
- Build backlinks
- Design familiar interfaces
- Optimise your keyword placement strategy
- Use keywords in your website page URLs
SEO tools are not limited to websites. You can use them to refine your social media strategy. For example, a common tactic is to include top keywords in posts to increase visibility. Or you can track current search queries to get ideas for future posts. Here are some other proven strategies:
- Regularly publishing high-quality content
- Generate targeted content
- Social media profile optimisation
- Active interaction with users and connection-building
- Modify your images for SEO
#5 Right Medium, Right Strategy
To launch a digital marketing campaign, you need a solid strategy. No plan is flawless, but you will adjust your moves as you face new situations and opportunities. The holy grail of marketing is finding ways to connect with online audiences. The web is an inexhaustible ocean of possibilities, so think outside the box and find your unique spot.
As for the communication medium, you can engage your audience through multiple marketing channels. A selective marketing plan allows you to address your target audience on various platforms and with different content types. However, it’s crucial that you set a precise schedule and frequency for publishing and sharing content and establish a plan for actively responding to comments and staying in touch with your online community.
It’s not uncommon to have a presence on multiple social media platforms and delivery channels. However, focusing on one or a few platforms would be better, especially if you are working on a shoestring budget. Investing in a single channel and working your way up is better than having a weak social presence on multiple platforms.
As your business grows, you can diversify your content strategy without losing a firm foothold. This strategy diversification means that you include a wide range of content types and topics and use different publishing channels. Diversification increases your chances of reaching more diverse audiences.
Content diversification also gradually opens up new opportunities to expand your thematic expertise. Creating a unique value proposition gives you an unparalleled advantage to differentiate your business in the marketplace.
#6 Run a Pilot Campaign
Before you launch a digital marketing campaign or any other type of paid media campaign, you should first run test campaigns. That way, you won’t end up blowing through your entire budget. Start with a small budget for a pilot campaign and adjust your tactics as you get more feedback and data. For example, try different headlines, images, copy, CTAs, and more.
The purpose is to gather enough data to devise a functional strategy. So, you should strike a balance between a small initial budget and valuable insights about your business risks and opportunities. Even a low-budget paid ad will give you enough data to work with if you run it for at least a quarter (three months).
If you start with a brand new ad network and run your paid content for a week, getting immediate feedback would be extremely difficult. It’s also impossible to gather the data you need for long-term, sustainable success in a short period of time. In the meantime, you can evaluate how your audience responds to your content in the comments, on social media, in signups, and in clicks (when you forward your blog posts to your email list).
After three months, you should review the results of the pilot campaign. At that point, you’ll know if the network is working and to what extent your CPA and creative content are meeting your expectations. If the campaign is performing well enough, you must convert the pilot plan into an ongoing program and grow it.
#7 Produce High-Quality Content
You have done the research, set the strategy, and are now ready to create content. In the beginning, you may be able to create your own content, but as your business grows, it’s just too much work. Consider hiring freelance writers or agencies to create content. This will free up a lot of time for you to focus on strategy.
However, you should always try to maintain the brand’s identity throughout the creation process. The voice consistency will be lost if you keep changing your creative writers. Another critical point is strategically planning the order and timing of each new piece of content. Whether you have an in-house team or choose to outsource, you should have a marketing mission statement to guide the direction and overall plan for your editorial calendar.
#8 Self-Evaluation is Key
When you launch a digital marketing campaign, you have a wealth of data at your disposal. From marketing tools to integrated analytics and website statistics to third-party evaluation services, they provide actionable insights into your marketing experience in real-time. The only question is how you will use this information to address your weaknesses and improve your strengths.
By assessing and monitoring this data, you can develop an effective digital strategy for the long term. Honest self-assessment shows your reliability and accountability to stakeholders and provides evidence of your ad campaign’s performance and successes.
Revisit your initial goals before you start analysing data. This way, you’ll be able to identify key focus areas and the benchmarks to measure them. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, you can evaluate ROI increase and lead generation. If your goal is to improve user engagement, you can compare likes, shares, comments, mentions, and the number of followers before and after your marketing campaign.
There’s a caveat, though. For various reasons, your digital marketing campaigns may not generate desired results. As much as self-evaluation is encouraged, destructive self-criticism is not a solution. Try not to get disheartened; instead, look at conducting campaigns as an experiment to find what does and doesn’t work.
There you go, a step-by-step guide to launching a digital marketing campaign. Clearly, a lot goes into running an advertising campaign. You have to choose the right goals, right metrics, and right content. But most importantly, you need to have the right people on your side, a professional advertising team.
And that’s what we are best at. Contact us and start your marketing campaign today. If you want to learn more about growing your business, check out our blog. We have some excellent content waiting for you there!