In a digital world, digital marketing is integral to the success of a modern business. But digital marketing is a complex, ever-expanding field. How can you be sure you’re setting your business up for success?
We’ve put together this guide of 8 things to do before beginning a digital marketing campaign to ensure you and your team are on the right track.
What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?
Success in digital marketing requires detailed planning and strategy. Before launching any initiatives, outlining a campaign is paramount.
A digital marketing campaign is a roadmap that details the approaches, channels, metrics, and audiences that will be targeted and utilized to achieve specific business goals in a given timeline.
A well-planned and well-executed campaign will make your company stand out from competitors and inspire growth. A poor campaign can hurt a company, but it can also provide insights to help you succeed in future campaigns, given proper analysis and leadership.
A digital campaign should be dynamic and versatile. With current tools and access to data, real-time data analytics can help drive real-time success. A quality campaign focuses on the audience and the data they influence.
How can you ensure quality campaign execution? Just remember the famous 5 P’s: Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
8 Things to Do Before a Digital Marketing Campaign:
- Define goals clearly
- Consider all digital channels
- Set a budget
- Identify your market and audience
- Conduct keyword and topic research
- Perform competitor analysis
- Utilize digital marketing tools
- Prepare to measure success and regroup
Define Goals Clearly
It seems obvious to most, but it’s one of the most important aspects of a successful campaign. That’s because defining goals is the only way you can measure success during and after.
So many managers and business owners are so eager to get out onto the racetrack, they forget to figure out where the finish line is. Initially they’ll feel they’re accomplishing a lot; however, without a clear path to pursue, it’s easy to get lost and eventually burnt out.
Your goals will not only guide you along the way; they also determine which channels and strategies you will use. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Social media will be a strong channel. Looking to increase conversions quickly? Paid advertising will likely be your best bet.
The goals you choose to pursue are entirely dependent on you and your business. Consider where you are now and where you want to be. Then figure out which metrics to track and how you can achieve the numbers you desire.
Consider All Digital Channels
As we said, your goals will give you a clearer picture of the strategy you should employ. Part of that process includes deciding which channel(s) to utilize. Often, it’s most prudent to implement an integrated, cross-channel approach.
An integrated approach ensures that all facets of your messaging are aligned so that wherever the customer is in their discovery/conversion process, the goals, language, and techniques are supporting each other instead of opposing.
Beyond that, an integrated approach can be both cost-effective and insightful. In the early stages, you might not be certain of the optimal channel, so utilizing multiple channels can give you better insight into your audience and their buyer journey. If you find SEO is gaining traction quickly while social media is slow, you can reallocate your budget and resources to focus on what works.
To that same end, many find success in SEM (search engine marketing) by investing in paid ads early on while SEO is still developing and then decrease ad spend as months pass and organic traffic begins to dominate.
Just like your goals, the channels you utilize will vary and can evolve over time. Find what works and stick with it. But never be afraid to experiment with new options.
Set a Budget
Setting a realistic budget is crucial to the success of a campaign. Primarily, you need to know how much you will spend financially on a campaign. This includes tools, content creation, manpower, etc.. But there are other factors that need to be considered as well.
Beyond money, you need to consider your time budget. Realistic deadlines and proper allocation of human resources will keep your team on track throughout the campaign. Each project or piece of content should have a set time and resource budget.
Forgetting to set your budgets is costly and negligent. Don’t forget the 5 P’s. Preparation is everything and your budget is a major factor in a campaign.
Identify Your Market and Audience
Who is your target audience? To effectively execute a campaign, you need to understand who you are trying to reach. That’s achieved by defining a buyer persona. To do this, you need to understand both demographics and psychographics.
These are characteristics that can be measured statistically, such as age, gender, income, and occupation. Understanding these will create an initial picture of your buyer persona. These can also help you target your audience better through channels such as paid ads wherein you can select the age, gender and other characteristics to market to.
These traits are deeper and more difficult to define than demographics but are extremely valuable data points. Factors such as attitudes, aspirations, tastes in music or media, and other psychological factors will show you how to target your audience in a way that will resonate with them. It gives insight that can influence your messaging and imagery.
Effective marketing can only be achieved through gaining a thorough understanding of your audience.
Conduct Keyword and Topic Research
Fundamental to so many aspects of digital marketing is understanding what topics interest your audience and how they are searching for them. To understand that, thorough research is necessary.
Knowing your audience’s demographics and psychographics should provide plenty of insight into the topics and content that interests them. Now it’s time for keyword research.
Regardless of the channel(s) you choose to employ, quality keyword research will be the only way to ensure that your content is easily discoverable and can reach a wide audience. In paid ads, it affects meta tags; in SEO it affects meta tags and content; and in social media it can affect captions and hashtags.
More often than not, you only get one shot at winning a customer. So be sure your messaging and content are backed by strong keyword and topic research.
Perform Competitor Analysis
Almost all businesses utilize digital marketing in some capacity. That means the market, regardless of your niche, is saturated and competitive. To win customers, you need to stand out.
To stand out from the competition, you need to be familiar with the competition. Research what types of content your competitors are offering and analyze how they are presenting it to their audiences.
Standing out doesn’t necessarily mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Chances are, if all of your competitors are writing about a certain subject matter, your customers are interested in it. Identify common themes and topics among competitors and then present the information in a new, refreshing light.
Competitor analysis also helps save time and resources on keyword research, backlinking for SEO, content formats, and so much more. If the work is already done, repurpose it for your benefit and win their customers by being fresh and new.
Utilize Digital Marketing Tools
Because digital marketing is so prevalent, there’s an endless supply of tools that can help you execute and analyze campaigns. From project management and goal planning to live data analytics and research tools, no successful digital marketer is ever short of options.
Cultivating a diverse but practical toolkit is a great way to support your campaigns from beginning to end. A key emphasis there is “practical”. While it's fun to have every shiny new tool that pops into the marketplace, there are real financial factors that you need to keep in mind.
Don’t forget how crucial it is to adhere to a budget. If a tool can provide real value, efficiency and eventual revenue, it’s worth it. If it’s just the hot new trend, don’t waste time or resources.
With that understood, it is also important to keep up to date with the best tools and tech available to you and your industry. If your competitors have better technology, they can eventually surpass you.
Digital marketing is always evolving and so is technology. Invest in proper tools, and they’ll take you far.
Prepare to Measure Success and Regroup
Of course, tracking success will occur during and after a campaign. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be preparing for that stage ahead of time.
There are many ways you can get ready to track and measure success before the campaign launches. Beyond goal setting, consider the questions you want to ask yourself. If you don’t hit a specific quota, what can you analyze to gain insights as to why you failed?
Conversely, you should have a list of questions and topics to analyze about what went well. If you hit a fork in the road and made a decision that proved profitable, go back and consider why you made that choice and what might’ve happened had you gone in another direction.
Understanding your goals and metrics throughout the process allows you to improve processes going forward into future campaigns. Success is not only determined by the results of a campaign, but also by what you’re able to learn from it to help you grow and succeed in the future.
Contact Nxt Era Marketing Today
Running a business requires time and energy. Developing and executing a digital marketing campaign on top of that is stressful and can prove difficult to the inexperienced marketer. That’s why knowledgeable business owners turn to top-level digital marketing agencies to help them manage the load and grow their business faster.
Nxt Era Marketing is an experienced and talented agency at the cutting edge of the digital marketing landscape. Contact us today to schedule your free marketing consultation and find out about the value we will provide.