What are marketing campaigns?
22nd Mar 2022
So, what are marketing campaigns? In its essence, it’s an organised outline of your marketing activities with a set goal in mind. Whether it is to advertise & promote a new service, launch a new product, or improve your brand awareness – marketing campaigns’ turn these goals into actionable objectives.
Campaigns can utilise pretty much any tactics you can think of. Facebook ads and billboards? Radio appearance and trending hashtags? A feature article on BBC with a podcast attached to it? Anything goes, as long as it’s commercially justifiable.
Marketing Campaign Goals
Once you’ve figured out what are marketing campaigns. The next step – set clear campaign goals. At the end of the day, how can you plan for something, if you don’t know what your plans need to achieve?
Goals are here to add coherence and clarity to your campaigns. They allow your marketing activities to be measured and most importantly – provide direction. In other words, once you have set objectives: you will know what to work towards and how to measure your performance.
Increase brand awareness
The first and one of the most common campaign goals is to ‘increase brand awareness’. Why? Because branding is just that important. Marketing is what gets you talking – your brand is what makes the person say yes to going on a date with you.
A brand gives your business a personality. It should live and breathe the values your business stands for. Branding allows faceless corporations to gain a human-shaped voice. It’s everywhere from the colours you use on your website, to the words you chose while writing social media posts.
It goes without saying that you need a brand to raise awareness for it. So, here are some of our suggestions on how to achieve goals for your brand.
Storytelling is your friend
People at their cores have an urge to connect, share their opinions, and belong. Telling a story is an excellent way to check all those boxes off.
Build a strong narrative around your brand, like Duolingo: a massive green owl threatening people on TikTok, who miss their daily language lessons. A very intriguing story to come across, isn’t it?
It works because they let themselves experiment. Figure out what works. Understand what their customers want. And finally, use what they’ve learned to build a personality for the ‘crazy’ owl.
The result? Duolingo engagements are through the roof while invoking all kinds of emotions from their content. These emotions are what lead them to stay on top of education app charts consistently. Ticking all the boxes.
Understand where your target customers ‘hide’ and ‘seek’ them
We’re not saying this to scare you, but if you don’t understand your customers – your campaigns will fail. In some cases, it will even cause damage to the brand. One of the biggest examples of public backlash to a campaign in recent years – the Pepsi ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign starring Kendall Jenner.
It’s crucial to understand where your customers are and where they spend their time. Figure out what are social channels to target. Are there any YouTube channels, podcasts, or newsletters your ideal customers follow?
The ‘big’ point we want to put across – don’t make your customers come to you. Learn where they chose to spend their time and meet them there.
Distribute. Engage. Adjust.
So, now you’ve figured out that you need to tell a story. Learned where your ideal customers hang out ‘online’. Now, it’s time to meet them.
Start creating & pushing out content on the channels relevant to you. Tell your story. Engage with your audience.
Your customers can become a goldmine for future content. It’s harder to say than do but please – listen to your audience. If the campaign you’ve just launched only gets negative feedback, adjust, and get yourself out of the rabbit hole.
People value transparency, always try your best to be honest when things don’t go according to plan or even when you’re successful.
Generate high-quality leads
Another goal you can set is to generate leads. In other words – helping out with the sales side of things. Even though, marketing shouldn’t be your only source of leads, it helps.
What do all these tactics have in common? Meeting relevant customers, where they want to be met and educating them.
Let’s say you sell plants. If people tend to research how to take care of specific plants, before buying them. Produce content answering those questions. If you’re the one educating and informing people, whether it’s through newsletters, social media posts, or blogs – you will be the brand in their mind once they’re ready to convert.
The more specific & niche your marketing is – the higher the quality of the leads.
One of the best examples of this is content built on long-tail keywords. If there’re fewer search queries for a keyword, that means there’s less competition. And the people searching for them tend to be lower in the sales funnel a.k.a. higher quality leads.
Acquire new customers
You want to grow your business. By focusing your marketing campaigns on acquiring new customers – does just that.
From the commercial standpoint, you’re looking at ways to do this sustainably. You want to be able to grow your business and internal teams while getting new customers. That’s why it is CRUCIAL to set sustainable & scalable processes in place.
What are these processes we’re talking about? Well, if your business is built on a freemium model (giving your product for free, hoping they convert to a more premium version of the same product) – you will put most of your cards on your conversion rate optimisation strategy.
So, in this case, you want a working conversion strategy, that can be easily adjusted according to your growth. Figure out how to quickly onboard & teach new employees, document your tactics (the why’s and what’s), and make sure to not compromise on quality.
We can’t give you one answer on how to gain more customers – it all depends on how your business is built. The most important thing to keep in mind, while building these processes, is to stay sustainable and flexible.
Do. Learn. Scale. Repeat.
Launch a new product
Planning a marketing campaign to launch a new product is quite a significant challenge. It would be much easier if your brand is already well-known. Think of Nike releasing a new line of clothing – everyone is waiting in queue before they’ve even set a launch date.
But 9 out of 10 times you will be introducing a new product to a new audience. Which demands a lot of resources and an impenetrable strategy.
So, how do we market a new product? By solving a problem.
Some of the most successfully marketed products follow a very simple ideology: How can we make our customers’ lives easier and what problems are we solving?
Let’s use iPod as an example – one of the most iconic product launches in history:
- Problem – people can’t effortlessly take their music on the go
- Solution – a device that allows you to store & carry all your music
- Marketing – “1000 songs in your pocket”
Apple understood a pain point that a lot of customers faced. They developed a solution and presented it in a brilliant way. Check, check, check.
Return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important metrics in marketing. It measures how much you earned against how much you spent. In other words, this metric says whether your marketing campaign is succeeding or failing.
Although, if you’re looking to launch a campaign with the sole goal of improving your ROI. Well, that’s a different conversation. You will most likely be working on a performance-based campaign (Google PPC, FB Ads, etc.).
With these goals in mind, your approach should be a bit different. The devil is in the data. Your focus should be on first/third-party data and optimising conversions. It’s key to know what audiences to target and have your landing pages optimised to the tiniest detail.
Increase website traffic
For most businesses, especially e-commerce focused enterprises – website traffic is everything. Arguably, it’s one of the most important metrics in digital marketing. More traffic = more business.
So, what do you need to do to get more traffic? The quickest way to achieve this is paid advertising. In this case, you’re literally paying for traffic. Of course, you need to do it well and have a good website for people to stay there. But this would be considered one of the more straightforward tactics.
Secondly, putting your focus on SEO & starting a blog can serve you as a long-term strategy. Keep in mind, that you won’t see quick results, it may take 6-12 months for significant change.
All in all, you should ensure that all your marketing channels circle back to your website. Make it easy for customers to reach it and don’t underestimate how much a good user experience matters.
Establish industry authority
Establishing authority in the industry you operate in, can prove to be a complicated task. In its essence, thought leadership is about proving your knowledge around people who specialise in the same industry. You want to be THE expert in your field that pops up in peoples’ minds.
How is it different from brand awareness? Well, that is a customer-facing authority. You are putting your brand out there and letting people know what you’re doing & why. While industry authority is about getting recognised by your peers.
One of the most common ways to establish thought leadership is through educational content. Maybe you’re introducing new industry innovations or sharing relatable pain points & how to solve them. Appearing on popular podcasts and blogs can do wonders as well.
Another way to approach this could be hosting webinars or events discussing current industry topics. There isn’t one right answer to this, the most important part is to know what you’re talking about.
Increase customer value
Days of simply buying a TV ad and expecting miracles are over. Nowadays, brands are expected to be and do more. It has become pivotal to create positive experiences for your existing customers. Engaging with them, building brand loyalty, and all the other buzzwords.
If you do well by your customers – they will do well by your business. Happy customers don’t just stop at buying from you, they will want to show and introduce your brand to their friends & family.
So, how do you increase customer value? First and foremost – sort out your customer data. You need to understand your customers before knowing what they would like. Then you may proceed to strategize.
Whether you launch a referral program, share customer reviews, or operate a loyalty program with gatekept rewards & discounts. These strategies are proven to work when executed well. Don’t overcomplicate this, think about providing honest value to your customers without any hidden strings attached. People like honesty and more likely than not, your business will benefit from being transparent.
Boost brand engagement
High brand engagement means your audience is listening to you and appreciates your content. In other words, low engagement shows that you’re missing a point.
Although, you usually won’t see quick changes in brand engagement. Similarly, to SEO – it takes time and effort to see results. But once it starts working, you will be over the moon. High engagement strengthens your reach significantly. The more people comment, like, and share your content – the more potential customers see it.
Now that we know brand engagement is important. What are the next steps you can take? Once again – understand your audience. If you figure out what matters to the people you’re trying to talk to, they will listen to you more. Additionally, you must stay consistent with sharing & providing value with your content.
Other methods could include hosting giveaways or starting an interactive campaign with a hashtag. The key to all brand engagement is providing value through communication – you’re building a community.
Within business, increasing revenue is one of the most common objectives. Whether it’s for a marketing campaign or just another KPI.
Why is it such a popular goal? Because marketing can target customers at every single stage of the funnel. From the very top – building a strong digital presence, to the very bottom by creating educational content, case studies, or sharing customer reviews.
If you’re meeting your audience at every stage of the funnel – you will eventually increase your revenue.
The key to executing this well *drum roll* is once again – understanding your audience. You need to recognise where your customers hang out and what are they looking for at each stage of the funnel.
Wondering how to increase your revenue in e-commerce through digital marketing? Click here.
Marketing Campaign Channels
Knowing what campaign channels and how to use them is as important as any other campaign component. Without the correct channels – no one sees what you’re doing.
In other words, channels are platforms/tools that you use to talk with your audience. Whether it’s through social media posts or blogs. The aim is to reach the right people with your content.
As a business, you’re probably already using social media in your marketing strategy. Although, using it for a campaign requires you to use it more strategically. While social media can be utilised as a channel – each social media is a channel of its own.
Look at it this way, each social network has its own culture. You may be posting hilarious one-liners on Twitter while sharing product pictures on Instagram. It’s crucial to understand how the platform works and what works on it.
Another thing to keep in mind is how attention spans are becoming shorter and users are expecting to get all the information right there and then. If your core piece of content in the campaign is an e-book, distributing it through social media will use various bits and snippets from it.
Additionally, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of visuals. Instead of writing a block of text, why not turn it into an infographic? Make information easy to digest.
Lastly, it’s important to distinguish your content between different social networks. If someone is following you on Instagram, they don’t want to see the same exact content on Facebook. Add some variety.
Blogs can be classified as a part of Content Marketing. This tactic usually works through educating your customers. Instead of saying ‘buy from me’ you’re saying – ‘how are we helping you’.
Moreover, blogs are almost never used as a stand-alone channel. We would classify it more as a cornerstone of your campaign channels. You want to direct traffic from your other channels, like SEO and social media, to your blogs.
You’re producing written content to reach people in all stages of the funnel. Capturing people at the very top with broad educational topics, while talking with people at the bottom by exploring niche topics.
Email marketing is one of the most effective communication channels you can have. Why? Because you can directly talk with your customers. No need to involve other businesses’ products like social networks, or media publications.
Although, to even start utilising emails as a channel – you need to have an email database. You will often see pop-up windows on e-commerce websites trading your email for a discount on your first purchase. That’s them building their database.
This channel tends to be used to build a strong relationship with your audience. Not only can you directly inform them of every change that’s relevant to them, but you can also be extremely personal.
The video format has been dominating the digital landscape in recent years. With the rise of TikTok, Instagram reels, and the billions of views that YouTube brings – video format is taking over. Don’t get us wrong, the written content is not going anywhere. But if you’re not looking to start making videos, you’re missing out.
Video marketing works because it’s more engaging and easier to consume. Especially short-form video. While discussing whether video marketing is the right channel, you should understand that it doesn’t need thousands of pounds in budget to work.
Take Ryanair’s TikTok as an example, they’re usually using simple plane photos/videos with filters and getting unbelievably positive reactions. Their approach is cheap and succeeds because they’re appearing as a creator, instead of a brand. Of course, the brand is important, and it will dictate your ‘on-air’ personality. But personality is what should shine through your videos.
Alternatively, you can focus videos on educating your audience. Show them the possibilities of your product or how to use it. Anything goes as long as it provides value.
The public relations industry has been transformed drastically within the digital world. A traditional press release just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to think about more creative ways to get recognised.
The best way to look at it would be – to create something that’s worth sharing. Whether it’s a 3D billboard or hard to believe statistics, it all comes to creativity.
PR as a channel can be extremely effective once you present your information in a different light. Your end goal should be getting featured in various publications. Not only will that build more backlinks to your website, but it will also expand your brand’s reach.
Wondering how to get the most out of your Digital PR campaign? Read more here.
Influencer marketing is unlike other channels. Here you are directly paying influencers to borrow their audiences.
To execute influencer marketing well, you need to understand who you are talking to through them. If you’re hiring a healthy lifestyle influencer – you don’t want to be pitching IT services to their audience.
Why is sponsoring influencers effective? Because their audiences trust and like them already. No need to put in the extra work of maintaining a community. Work hand-in-hand with the influencer, to figure out how to advertise your product to their audience.
Additionally, by working with an influencer long-term, you can engrave your brand into their community.
Google paid search ads is one of the more straightforward channels. Don’t take it the wrong way – it is not easy to do. But PPC brings quick and easy-to-track results for your business. In this case, you’re paying your way onto search result pages.
Targeting options that are made available through PPC is another thing worth mentioning. Google allows you to segment audiences to the tiniest details. From their location to their interests.
It is a worthwhile channel if you’re trying to focus your campaign efforts on your website (especially if you’re an e-commerce business). With PPC you’re pretty much buying traffic for your website. So, it’s crucial to have a thought-through landing page and a functioning website to close on those leads.
Would you like to find out how to optimise your Google Ads marketing? Learn more here.
Over half of all website traffic comes organically. That means it comes straight through search engines. That should be a strong enough reason to always have SEO in mind when planning a campaign. The four pillars of SEO is a good place to start!
Whether it’s a digital PR stunt or content focused campaign – without SEO they will never get seen by as many people. Also, you need to understand that SEO doesn’t necessarily mean Google (the biggest search engine in the world). YouTube, Amazon, or Pinterest are not too far behind. Although, each of them have different rules for optimising.
You should keep in mind that SEO is on almost every platform you use online. Where there is information – it must be organised, and search engines are just that. They organise information and by optimising for them, you make sure your information is seen in the right places.
Marketing Campaign Components
Now that we know what marketing campaigns are, what goals to set, and what channels to use. Next up is figuring out what goes into those campaigns step-by-step.
Define your target audience
It’s critical to define your target audience. You must know who is on the receiving end of your campaign. If you take a step back, marketing is all about communicating effectively.
- Define your audience. Creating some customer personas can help. Ask yourself – who are you trying to talk with?
- Figure out where your defined audience can be found. What websites do they visit? What social medias do they use? What communities do they belong to?
- Lastly, understand how your product will help each of the audiences you’re trying to target. For instance, your marketing of clothing to teenagers should not be the same as to parents.
Establish clear goals
Before going any further, establish your goals. Work out what you’re hoping to achieve, what are your expectations for the campaign. Is it more leads or maybe increase traffic to your website? The world is your oyster.
Although, be realistic. If your budget is low – don’t aim for unreachable results. Set clear and measurable goals.
Set your campaign budget
You need to answer a simple question – how much money are you willing to spend? Massive campaigns aren’t cheap, but they’re like any other investment: you’re expecting to get something in return.
At this part of the planning, it’s important to understand your own limitations. Don’t go out of your budget, that doesn’t always end well.
This is a step where you can let your creative juices flow. Start creating! Figure out what content will be a part of your campaign.
If you’re lacking ideas, a good place to start is looking at what your competitors are doing. As they’re speaking with similar audiences to yours. Although, make sure to never steal their ideas. Take inspiration instead and make it work for your brand.
Engage with your audience
The more engaged your audience is – the more successful your campaign will become. Make it easy and fun to participate in. Maybe add a giveaway or create some genuinely entertaining content. Catch your audience’s attention and award them for it!
Another tactic you could employ is gamification – including game mechanics outside of games. Maybe create an interactive landing page where customers can win awards by buying your product? Offer something fun, in turn, you will receive an engaged audience.
How do you promote a campaign? That’s where you start choosing and executing on marketing channels (we’ve covered them more in-depth just above this section).
By promoting, you’re allowing your campaigns to be seen. Whether it’s through social media, press releases, or newsletters – it all counts!
What matters is to figure out what channels are the best to reach your intended target audience.
As mentioned previously, this is where you learn how worthwhile your investment was. In other words, you need to keep a track of your activities to know if they’re bringing in any results. Collect data throughout and then analyse it.
If your campaign was built around increasing website traffic – that’s the metric you will be looking at the most. It’s all about determining what your marketing actions are delivered on. Whether your campaign failed or succeeded.
Marketing Campaign Process
The campaign process is the complete picture of your campaign. From planning to monitoring, and all the way to evaluating. This section will provide you with an overview of the entire campaign process.
At the planning stage, you’re researching, strategizing, and looking for new ideas. You should determine:
- Target Audience – who are you talking to?
- Objectives – what are you trying to achieve?
- Budget – how much money can you invest?
- Content – what is the content surrounding the campaign?
- Audience Engagement – how to keep your customers engaged?
- Promotion – how will your campaign reach people?
- ROI – how will the campaign profit your business?
Figuring out the design process comes next. After you know what your campaign plan looks like – that’s when you can start producing visuals.
Often, you will be collaborating with agencies on this. Working on anything from video production to developing websites. The process will often include various stages of feedback & revisions. Transforming your ideas into tangible resources to help you deliver on your objectives.
The implementation process is all about managing and operating the campaign.
- Make sure the funding is already secured and your campaign has a green light from whoever is in charge.
- You should have fair expectations. Don’t anticipate for everything to happen overnight. Be patient to see the results.
- Organise or build a team for the campaign. If you have big internal departments, mix & matching people from different job roles can prove to be challenging. It’s one of the most important steps. The people behind the scenes are the ones who truly make campaigns succeed.
- Set a clear timeline. Figure out the deadlines of when everything needs to be executed.
- Communicate with your team effectively. Everyone should be aware of what they’re doing, why, and when.
- Be sure to be tracking your progress and monitoring your campaign. If it’s not going well maybe something needs to be adjusted?
Monitor & Evaluate
Keeping on top of how your campaign is doing is very important. Successful monitoring will help you learn and adapt to changing situations.
Ways of monitoring depend on your chosen channels and what software your business has access to. Although, one of the best tools for monitoring digital activity is Google Analytics. It will provide you with detailed data about your website activity.
So, once you can see what you’re doing. It’s time to evaluate your options. Firstly, determine what’s going well and what’s not. Keep re-evaluating your approach, monthly/quarterly. For instance, if one of the campaign activities is only losing money – stop doing it.
Always try to involve your team while making big campaign decisions. Maybe they’ve noticed something that you missed. After finishing the campaign, check if you’ve succeeded and reached your campaign goals. Don’t forget to celebrate once you do!