Better planning means a better campaign

Date: Wednesday, 28th October 2015 | Category: , , , , , , ,

Our ‘How-to’ digital series continues with this third edition about campaign planning.  Here’s Phew Internet’s Studio Manager, Kern Roderick-Jones to help you plan better…

You’ve set your digital objectives and outlined a budget, so now let’s turn our attention to the next and crucial stage before your digital activity starts, which is the planning of the campaign.

Firstly, within your overall digital strategy, you now need to define what success for this specific campaign, or series of campaigns, looks like as well as the budget set aside and the expected ROI.  What is your most important objective?  Typically we find clients’ needs either fall into one of three objective areas: to sell more, increase awareness or engagement or generate more business leads.

Then ask, which audiences are your priority – or in other words – who are you trying to target in order to generate an action (like data capture, content download or a sales enquiry)?  And over what period?

Once you’ve outlined all of these considerations, you’ll need to agree and produce, often in this order:

1.  A number of campaign template designs, because what may work in one channel or for a set of media may not work in another. Or you may find that one design performs much better than another. If you only create one design, you’ll never find this out and be able to optimise your campaign as it develops.

2.  The offers, images and messages to slot into the creative templates, so again you can switch the combinations around according to how each one performs.

The same questions apply to these first two steps…. What are the concepts which tell the campaign story, and how will you convey these with content and product-related offers or messages which will generate an action? How do you want to position your company, products and services?  Try asking your clients how they research and purchase products or services like yours online, to see if you can gather extra insight.

3.  Your market research and pick your marketing channels. Which are most suited to reach your target audience(s) most effectively? Are you looking for mass reach or ROI as a first goal? What will be the sequence and integration of media activities? Your campaign will take a different path depending on the answers here.

4.  If relevant, decide how a concurrent offline media campaign will integrate or inform this digital campaign, as well as how other activity like social media, SEO and link-acquisition, your website or eCRM can support or promote both. Something which often gets missed is about encouraging engagement from existing customers and clients to spread the word about the campaign. Think about ways to communicate with them.

5.  How you’ll track and measure actions via multi-channel media attribution (simply, this is the criteria you set for deciding which media channel drives a purchase or action). In reality it can be a pretty complex methodology, but this post from AOL Convetro (a provider of multi-touch attribution modeling technology for companies and marketing agencies) puts it extremely well and should help you decide how you’ll set this up.

Evaluation starts after the first day….

….and not at the end of the campaign.  Once the campaign is up and running, how will you optimize, test and refine interest and decide which messages and creative images work best for the duration?  Measuring landing page activity, shares on social media platforms and gathering data from your channels (email marketing, affiliate or display networks, search and website analytics) to measure overall conversion and ROI by audience and channel.  Will you do this on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis?  What will you learn from the additional data that you don’t already know?  A digital agency partner should guide you and conduct all of this monitoring, evaluation and reporting for you.

One last thought is to think about the longer-term activity that you’ve either started or increased your focus on, like social media and SEO, can keep up momentum after your ‘campaign’ finishes.

We really hope this series of ‘how-to: digital’ is informing your digital strategy.  If you’ve not yet started out, please contact us for an audit and bespoke strategic advice.