Campaign planning

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The heavy lifting of your content creation

Hopefully you’ve been following our MarComms Fit program and have audited (detoxed) your content and then given your comms a kick-start by setting goals. Now we’re into content creation and campaign planning. 

As a rule you’ll release content in two ways – drips and bursts. We’re focussing on the bursts here. In fact, when done right, the bulk of your content creation is likely to come from your burst activities. Which is why we’ve called this part of the program ‘Strength’, to represent the heavy lifting of campaign planning in content creation.

What is a campaign?

We’re talking about marketing campaigns – an organised and concentrated promotion focussing on one product or service.

They are well researched and meticulously planned. But really successful campaigns always leave some wriggle room to adjust messages, timings or channels along the way to incorporate learnings.

Campaigns can be used for a range of goals. Here’s a couple of ads from my favourite campaigns:

Diet coke11:30 diet coke break as well as portraying a macho looking man drinking a diet soft drink it did a bit more than cause a stir and increase brand awareness. It aimed to normalise drinking a fizzy drink before lunch – to increase sales and it worked.

Dovereal beauty sketches launched as a campaign to build self-esteem in women. It’s a hugely emotionally driven campaign that is incredibly memorable. And very successful. Paired with a launch into the beauty market, sales have increased by $1.5 billion.

Campaigns bring your product, service and brand to life – with a consistent theme and a single promotional goal. Bursts of activity bring loads of other benefits too – like increasing social media followers, gaining newsletter subscribers, increasing brand awareness and organic search results. None of which may be specific campaign goals.

How do you plan a campaign?

Set your goal – just like our kick-start week, knowing what you want to achieve is the place to start. A campaign goal can be anything from brand awareness to direct sales. Define what you want to achieve before you start anything.

Know your audience – this is more than just identifying your target audience but getting to know them. Spend time developing and understanding their personas, other products they use, their worries and media habits… If you don’t already have this information you can use existing market research and tools like social media monitoring to help develop your insight.

Get creative – decide on your visual concepts and lead messages. Are you looking to create an inspirational thought provoking creative, an emotional connection or pragmatic valuable benefits? Always apply the ‘so what?’ test. The ‘so what?’ test is putting yourself in the shoes of your customer and looking at the message and visuals. Remember – what is important to you, isn’t necessarily of any interest to your customers!  

Pick your channels – where are you going to put your message? A few social media posts do not make a campaign! But having a marketing mix that includes online advertising, blogs, web content, PR, newsletters, events, videos and podcasts would provide an integrated campaign. Utilising multiple channels in a short period is what creates the burst. It’s exactly what you need to cut through the noise of all the other content out there. Top tip – you’ll get bored of your campaign well before your customers do!

Call to action – what exactly do you want someone to do? Make sure you’re completely clear and you make the call-to-action easy to remember and easy to do. Asking customers to remember an elongated web address, or sending them to a landing page that is difficult to navigate with multiple clicks will seriously damage the success of your campaign.

To do list – the boring admin side that pulls your campaign together. Who is producing what and when, and with what resource and budget. Set your implementation schedule, brief agencies and book your media. Make sure you have an owner for each task and leave time for sign-off.

Measuring and monitoring – know exactly what you will measure and what you expect to achieve. But don’t save it all for the end of the campaign, keeping an eye on what’s happening in real time allows you to adapt. For example, if your normal newsletter open rate is 40%, but your campaign email only got a 12% open rate don’t be afraid to learn and tweak your campaign as you go.

The real heavy lifting

Measuring, monitoring and learning is a key part of the heavy lifting of campaigns. Your drip marketing that focuses on wider content and brand is notoriously difficult to measure. But campaigns give you an opportunity to set a goal, measure success and learn. Learn more about your customers, channels and journey. It is this, often neglected, part of campaigns that allows you to get long term value from a short term activity. You can then improve and refine your tactics for the next campaign… in a continuous cycle of improvement.   

And now you’ve created all this campaign content – it’s not just a one and done. You can use it to feed your drip marketing content.

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