Make Your Marketing Count: 5 Critical Campaign Elements to Consider
by Blackwood Impact Group
A profitable marketing campaign requires many moving parts to work in harmony with each other. Creating marketing success is not as simple as having a website and getting it to rank on the first page of Google for specific keywords with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SEM (Search Engine Marketing). For one thing, there are different types of campaigns you can run. Examples include radio and TV ads, Social media-boosted posts and ads, Content Marketing, Video Marketing, Email Marketing, SEO, SEM, and much more. Many of these campaign types overlap or work together, so determining the right campaign for you isn’t always “black or white.” It might not even be “either/or.”
Each marketing campaign type has its own unique formula of ingredients necessary for success. Let’s continue with the earlier example of running an SEO campaign. In this case, you will need, at the very least, a content writer, a graphic designer, and an SEO strategist to generate stellar results. You’d need a few of those same components to create a social media campaign to yield daily website visits and leads. It would require you to invest more into your social media strategy besides, “I just need to post every day.”
To see successful lead generation from social media, you first need to pick the platforms that your target audience is already engaged with. You’ll then need to tailor your content specifically to each platform. How video is consumed and responded to on Facebook differs from on Instagram, Snapchat, Threads, or LinkedIn.
Besides attention to your strategy, you’ll still need a graph designer, a copywriter, and more to bring your social media campaign to life.
There is a plethora of confusing marketing advice on the internet. The methods and techniques shared by various marketing guru’s can seem to conflict. So, if you are a small business owner who doesn’t have a background in marketing, it can be confusing to figure out the right answer for your business. If you know you need to create a formal marketing plan, this article is intended to be a high-level overview of all the elements that should or could be in your marketing plan.
Step 1 – Know Where You Stand
The best place to start developing a new or revising an existing marketing plan is to assess your company’s current position in the marketplace with an internal analysis. A SWOT Analysis will be an excellent starting point. It’s where you asses your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You may also want to analyze your competitors to show how you are currently fairing in the marketplace.
Next, you need to determine what your short and long-term goals are. Do you want to open another location? Are you looking to increase leads and sales and hit a particular revenue target? Do you want to launch a new product or service? Having clearly defined goals will help you make all your subsequent marketing decisions. When you constantly ask yourself, “Is this action going to help us meet our goals?” you will increase your probability of creating successful campaigns.
Step 2 – Define and Research Your Target Market
It is hard to sell a product or service without knowing who it best suits. Once you understand who is the most likely group of people to purchase and love your products and services, it becomes easier to market to them and generate more consistent sales. Conducting market research will help you understand critical characteristics that your most likely buyers share. Your research should yield answers to questions such as:
– What are the demographic and psychographic profiles of your most likely buyers?
– What do your most likely buyers care about the most?
– What are their pain points?
– What influences their buying decisions?
– How will your product serve them better than your competitors?
As a result of your market research, you might need to switch niches or verticles because what you are selling is better suited for a different group than the one you’re currently trying to market to. Once you’ve identified your target market, create buyer personas to help you quickly recognize them and develop marketing messages to which they will be apt to respond.
Step 3 – Develop Your Verbal Branding and Marketing Message
Developing your verbal brand identity and marketing message is foundational to any marketing plan.
Your marketing message is what you say to your prospects that quickly sums up how you help them and why you’ll be better at it than anyone else. It should grab the attention of your target market. Some elements that will comprise your overall messaging strategy include your one-liner, brand story, value proposition, and economic business objectives.
It is essential to clearly define each of these for your business and make sure your team members are well-versed. They need to communicate the same message to customers and prospects alike. At Blackwood Impact Group, we strongly urge every company to develop a brand guide encompassing your verbal and visual guidelines. It is a written document that will keep everyone who works on various aspects of your branding and marketing on the same page. It will empower everyone representing the company to share the same messages and keep your brand consistent.
Step 4 – Choose Your Marketing Channels
Marketing channels are where you plan to put your brand awareness, marketing, and sales solicitation (advertisement) messages. You want to place them where your target audience will most likely see them and take action. There are so many online and offline avenues for you to choose from when it comes to marketing channels. They include but are not limited to:
• Social Media Ads
• Email Marketing
• Text Marketing
• Content Marketing
• Video Marketing
• Local/National newspapers and magazines
• Digital Displays in High Traffic Areas
• Store Signage
• Car/Bus/Train Wrappers
• Storefront Signage / Sandwich Boards
• Yard Signs
• Conferences Tradeshows Vending/Sponsorships
• Affiliates and Strategic Alliances
Each channel has its nuances, which you must pay attention to. Some channels might work better than others, depending on your business type, the target personas you are trying to reach, and where those prospects are in the buying process. For example, Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization campaigns are good for reaching informed buyers who are aware of their problem and are closer to making a buying decision. Social Media ads are useful for targeting unaware buyers with brand awareness campaigns or driving traffic to lead magnets. Storefront signage, sandwich boards, and yard signs are great for local businesses. If the signage is being viewed in a high-traffic area, even better!
Be sure to do your due diligence before building campaigns and investing money into marketing on any channel. You want to understand the demographics each channel reaches so you can estimate your potential ROI (return on investment). Based on the data, select the channels where your target clients are the most engaged. Also, you’ll want to optimize your message and delivery for each channel; what might work as a social media video ad might not work as a TV commercial. And when dealing in the digital space, make sure your graphics, videos, emails, and websites are optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
Step 5 – Create Your Campaigns
You will be ready to create your campaigns once you have a few critical components in place:
- You understand your market position (step 1)
- You know your target market (step 2)
- You created your marketing messages (step 3)
- You identified your best marketing channels (step 4)
All campaigns are not created equally. It will be essential to determine the type you plan to launch. Brand awareness campaigns help potential consumers become more familiar with your company name, products, and what you stand for. Marketing campaigns tend to drive lead acquisition activities. Advertising campaigns are usually aimed at driving sales of a particular service or product.
When marrying the right marketing channels to your campaigns and messages, you must be strategic. Making the wrong decisions will be costly. Analyze the trends of each channel and make informed decisions based on your goals, the data, your budget, and your company’s or product’s unique factors. For example, consider if your business is seasonal. When would be the optimal time to promote? Is your business easy to promote with pictures on social media? What are the best offline mediums for promoting your company? Are you a storefront or digital-only presence? These questions will help you decide when, where, and how to run your campaigns.
Suppose you have a water damage restoration business. In that case, you may not want to run ads on social media continuously. Instead, only run ads before and during a big storm. So, when the latest flash flood, snowstorm, or some other natural disaster blows through town, and potential customers begin posting pictures of their damage and asking friends for recommendations, your ads will be top of mind. Only at a point of need is when most prospects start looking for a company to help them dry out their basement.
Putting It All Together
There are many moving parts to creating a comprehensive marketing plan for your business. How do you determine which strategy or campaign will work best for you? In our experience, a company budget usually sets the tone for how much marketing can be done. Once you are clear on what you are willing to spend, you can plan your first campaigns accordingly to help you reach your ultimate goal. As sales increase, you can reinvest more into marketing your business and testing other tactics and channels.
Creating a marketing plan is an overwhelming process for many. But it doesn’t have to be your reality. Blackwood Impact Group is here to help you determine what will work best for your company. Contact us today to book a no-obligation conversation.