07.22.20166 min read

5 Digital Campaign Planning Tips to Live By

Today’s digital marketing teams have tons of advertising channels at their fingertips. Gone are the days when you were limited to monthly magazine ads, expensive TV spots, or ineffective banner ads. If I want to successfully promote a webinar to a specific target audience, all I have to do is send out an email to my subscribers and throw a bit of money towards tailored social ads.

In fact, that is a big part of my role at Content4Demand as the vice president of digital marketing. In the last month alone, my team and I have dabbled in various ad channels such as e-magazines, retargeting ads, email newsletters, and an old-fashioned email promo following an "Alice In Wonderland" theme. When it comes to creativity and marketing channel options, the options feel endless.

Having a list that large at our disposal is great but can cause the team to lose a bit of focus and get into a repetitive slump. For example, we’ve fallen victim to batch-and-blast email promotions, automated tweets, and worrying about efficiency over compelling and creative content. Part of a successful marketing strategy, though, is being creative while still getting your message across.

Marketers fall into traps like these all the time. Here are some tips to help you avoid marketing pitfalls and make your campaigns run as smooth as that dark roast coffee you had this morning:

1. Timelines

Ah, those pesky timelines. We all hate them. But when they’re not giving you anxiety or a mild feeling of claustrophobia, they keep the marketing team and any other departments involved on track to a successful launch.

The key to a successful campaign—heck, anything—is to set an expectation: The email, microsite, or content asset needs to be rolled out by a specific date…or else. Giving people a deadline—or a finish line to reach—is what makes a campaign or project feel real and tangible.

2. Goals (and not the soccer kind)

We all would love to be the Cristiano Ronaldo of digital marketing. But unfortunately, flashy looks and swagger don’t get you far in campaign planning. What can get you noticed within your organization is reaching your goals and blowing them out of the water.

Setting a goal (or three) for a campaign is a good way to measure effectiveness and progress of a campaign. It can also help you gauge whether a campaign completely flopped, determine what went wrong, and figure out how to improve.

Goals don’t have to be so far-fetched, either—they can be simple goals such as increasing:

  • Subscriber base by 10 percent in 60 days;
  • Social following by 20 percent; and
  • Time spent on a website by an average of 20 seconds.

Starting small with your goals will help ensure that you make continual progress, challenging yourself and your team to improve and get better each and every campaign. Soon enough, you’ll be an elite superstar digital marketer (with nice hair and rock-hard abs).

3. Audience. Define ‘em

Catering to a specific audience is a high priority for any marketer. The messaging, tone, and offer can make or break a campaign. When you begin planning out your promotions, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Here are some questions that you should ask to stay aligned:

  • Does your product or service match their needs?
  • What makes your brand, product, or service different and unique? What’s the best way to reach your target audience?
  • What type of content or promotion would work best?

After answering these questions, make sure you stay true to your buyer personas for the entirety of the campaign. That way, you’ll have accurate data on the consistent messaging so you can effectively evaluate whether your campaign was a success or not.

4. Short and fun content. Not long and boring content

Ah, I love opening my email in the morning and reading the dozen short stories and novels I receive in the form of promotions. NOT!

There’s no way your customers want to sit through a 300-word email promotion or click on your 25-word banner ad. The average attention span for anyone surfing the net today is now eight seconds. That’s only enough time to read a headline and maybe a few short sentences —even if you’re Superman or Wonder Woman.

The key to your customers’ heart is combining content that resonates with their needs with compelling messaging and imagery. Your message and tone can be light-hearted and fun when it makes sense. As a marketer, focus on:

  • Getting to the point as quickly as possible;
  • Doing it in the least stuffy way possible; and
  • Having fun with the messaging.

At Content4Demand, the marketing team prides itself on creating an experience that the customers enjoy. Here are some examples of email promotions that hit on both the fun and short marks:

  • Example 1: Coffee’s on us
  • Example 2: The ultimate interactive toolkit
  • Example 3: Get real-time

5. Dude, use the data

Data is a surefire way to speed up campaign planning. A well-rounded digital marketer keeps tabs on a variety of engagement signals, such as average:

  • Email opens and click rates;
  • Click rates on ads;
  • Page per views on websites; and
  • Cost per lead.

But it shouldn’t end there. Marketing teams should know what types of content perform the best with their audience. Is it an interactive ad to download a white paper? Is it a "Game Of Thrones" themed email promotion? Is it a short picture-matching quiz? Maybe it’s a six-second Vine clip? Whatever it may be, the marketing department should know it.

These time-saving tips can help you clear a path to success with your campaigns and goals. Use them wisely. But more importantly, remember that digital marketing should be fun and creative. Nobody likes to read a dozen 300-word emails at 9 a.m.

This article originally appeared in Content4Demand.

This article was written by Mike Santos from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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