Do you want to try an online marketing campaign to drive your company forward and don’t have a concrete plan for your approach yet? With my nine steps, I help you plan your marketing campaign and control the implementation. Let’s go!
First of all: what is a marketing campaign?
As I understand it, a marketing campaign is a comprehensive, time-limited marketing campaign that can consist of several individual puzzle pieces, is played on different channels (online and offline) and is intended to address specific target groups.
Many companies use marketing campaigns primarily for:
- product launches
- Calendar events (Christmas, Easter, Halloween)
- Image building / branding
Step by step: in 9 steps to your online marketing campaign
I will now describe you how to proceed with the design and implementation of a marketing campaign using my nine steps.
1. Do a market analysis
If you want to manage a large-scale online marketing campaign, you should first take a close look at the market – according to the motto “What is there and what hasn’t been there before?”
- How did competitor X launch its last product?
- Which new target groups do you consider relevant for the development?
- How your “campaign theme” is already implemented on the market and what new approaches result from it?
2. Start a project team
Let me tell you one thing right from the start: You need brains for a targeted marketing campaign – and not just one! Put together a project team with different technical facets so that you have different points of view on the screen and can illuminate the topic holistically.
Tip: A scheduled kick-off meeting makes it easier to start an experienced project phase and usually brings everyone involved to a table. Here the goals can be set together, a realistic project plan can be developed and roles can be assigned.
3. Define your goals
What do you want to do with your online marketing campaign? In principle this is the question of all questions. Because defining goals is the be-all and end-all. After all, you only know where the journey should go and you can later effectively measure your success using the defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Possible goals and exemplary KPIs of a marketing campaign can be:
- New customer acquisition(KPIs: number of visitors, number of new users)
- Customer loyalty(KPI: returning users)
- Brand awareness(KPIs: social shares, reach, interactions, engagement rate)
- Sales increase(KPI: Conversion Rate)
- Backlinks(KPIs Link quality link growth)
In order to be able to come to a meaningful result in the end, it is essential that you document the current numbers of your focused KPIs – i.e. the current state – in advance. This is the only way you can really compare to what extent the values have changed after the campaign has been played.
4. Differentiate your target groups
In the fourth step, I recommend that you define your target group and thus the tonality of your marketing campaign and – should you want to address several target groups with your campaign idea – differentiate them. In my view, this is particularly relevant, because if you don’t speak the language of your potential customers, your marketing campaign is guaranteed to miss the mark.
To narrow down your target groups, you should look at the following criteria:
- Socio-demographic characteristics(gender, age, marital status, school education, professional status, income, etc.)
- Behavior of the target group(values, attitude, consumer behavior)
- Digital whereabouts(social media platforms)
Tip: Since a marketing campaign often consists of a wide variety of puzzle pieces that all interlock and illuminate a topic from different perspectives, you can definitely focus on two to four target groups.
Example: If you want to bring a new health product to the man, you have to address the target group “families” on a different thematic and emotional level than “singles over 30”, “workaholics” or “medical professionals”.
5. Set a fixed budget
In the next step, you should make up a largely fixed budget for your online marketing campaign – or distribute it sensibly if you have to adhere to a target. In general, of course, these are first of all always estimated amounts or person days with which you have to juggle.
Tip: Include everyone involved and ask for realistic hourly estimates and capacities. By the way, a generously planned buffer – in terms of time and money – is always a must. Because the principle always applies to such large-scale projects: first, things turn out differently, and second, than you think!
6. Prioritize your media channels
After you have already thought about your target group (s), you should now analyze again exactly where your recipients are and what content they prefer to consume. Of course, it also plays a major role on which digital channels you are currently present on.
Tip: Don’t forget to focus on targeted advertising of your posts, especially in the social media area. You should of course take this into account when planning your budget!
7. Create a campaign plan
In the next step, you should develop a campaign plan. For this, I advise you to start early, because large-scale online marketing campaigns in particular always need one – and lead time. That can mean a year or two of planning.
In my view, the following two points are decisive for a successful implementation.
Sketch & evaluate your ideas
As part of a campaign plan, you should already be able to outline your ideas. I recommend that you do not first sort out, but instead include all options that you have put together with your team. By evaluating your ideas in the next step according to certain criteria, some usually fall out of their own accord.
You can consult the following evaluation criteria:
- Reason Why
- User value
- target group
- image damage
If you put a realistic number of – let’s say – one to five behind each of these points, you will get a result for each idea that allows a direct comparison. Incidentally, it has proven to be useful to include criteria (for example, “effort” and “image damage”) that are decisive for the success or failure of the campaign as negative factors in the evaluation. You can double-weight points that are particularly relevant to you.
Conclusion: The numbers can be compared realistically and above all soberly and sorted. Ideas that get a low score usually fall straight off the grid.
Set deadlines & milestones
By setting milestones and deadlines in your campaign plan, you can set a rough timetable. For this I recommend you to create a timeline over the entire course of your campaign and to enter important linchpins.
Relevant deadlines that you should consider when planning your campaign can be, for example:
- Calendar events (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.)
- Action and theme days
Especially for larger campaigns that are to be played out in small parts over a longer period of time, it is worthwhile to mark milestones with the appropriate data on the timeline. In the beginning, from my point of view month and year are enough. In the course of planning you can then be more precise and set a date for the play.
8. Start implementing
The next step is the implementation phase. Regardless of whether you work with external service providers or in-house, this is all about adequate time management and constant cost control.
If a point gets out of hand, this is usually not a broken leg because experienced management can often save time or costs elsewhere. So, that you can ultimately work according to plan again.
9. Measure the success of your marketing campaign
At the end of every online marketing campaign there is a measurement of success. In this step, it is important to evaluate the KPIs that you set at the beginning as part of the objective. Depending on the key figure, various tools are suitable for this. In any case, I would recommend working with:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Rank Ranger
- Fanpage karma
- Facebook Insights / Pinterest Analytics / YouTube Analytics
In my opinion, it is very fundamental that after completing your marketing campaign and evaluating your target achievement, you will come to a clear result: Has your effort (financially and in terms of personnel) paid off or has the outcome not been related? After all, you should be able to answer the question whether another campaign in this style is suitable for you and your company.
You don’t just shake an online marketing campaign out of your sleeve, of course that is clear. But if you follow my nine steps, you should be able to sort, plan and implement your ideas in a targeted manner.
Image Credits: pexels and Pixabay