by Phil Birss
4 min read
The fundamentals of a digital marketing campaign in 2018
Author: Phil Birss
Posted in Marketing 3 weeks ago
The range of digital channels now available can seem overwhelming. Where should you start when planning a marketing campaign? The key is to keep it (relatively) simple. While it might seem essential to move at full speed on all platforms, it actually makes more sense to limit yourself to the channels where you’ll see the most traction with the least effort. Unless you have good reason to think that you can make a significant mark on Instagram or Snapchat, for example, then it’s best to leave them off the table; and that’s particularly true while in the early days of forming a strategy.
At the same time, however, it pays to take an omni-channel approach. Rather than pursuing unique strategies on each channel, instead take a unified, global approach. This means that not only can text, artwork and designs be recycled between different platforms but that your messaging will be consistent across the board, and that your output will work seamlessly work together to form a coherent whole.
Before even considering what channels you will use, it’s critical to identify what your objectives are – what does success look like? And how will you measure it? Who are you targeting? And do you have a predicted customer acquisition cost in mind, by which you can judge the performance of campaigns? Beyond that, are you able to collect the data that you need to calculate ROI? If you can’t establish exactly how much revenue your acquisition efforts are driving, collectively and individually, then you can’t establish their success – and you really shouldn’t be spending time or money on them until you can.
In terms of individual channels, you’ll likely want to include email, pay per click advertising, social and, potentially, content.
Your email marketing list is one of the most powerful tools you have, giving you unmediated access to your customers, which you can tie directly to all the information that you have on them – allowing you to segment your audience and closely target messaging to individual users. As well as being low cost, email allows you to stay in contact with repeat customers and with qualified prospects, keeping them abreast of what’s new.
PPC advertising, meanwhile, connects you to new customers, whether on Google, Bing or social media platforms, who may be interested in your products. If you can build-up your campaign profitably, then you have the potential to scale exponentially.
This ties into social media. Individuals who have never purchased your products or service may well seek you out on social media, meaning that having a presence on major, relevant platforms is essential (though do look to maintain all the profiles that you create). What’s more, though, social is a highly effective anchor for PPC advertising, to direct customers to your offering.
The next rung on the ladder is content marketing, whether on your website or on social, communicating the focus, values and voice of your business. This may seem like a footnote but it can actually work to tie all your efforts together.
Content as a strategy
Indeed, one of the most powerful ways to unite your messaging is through the lens of content marketing. Rather than promoting features and discounts, instead consider advertising expertise and thought leadership – with the goal of having customers come to you, to invest in your services from a perspective of trust. Consumers are increasingly tired of interruptive advertising, so there’s little prospect of this trend going away anytime soon.
Content is also one of the cornerstones of search engine optimisation, and is useful for populating your own site with keywords as well as embedding backlinks via guest posts on third-party sites – all while adding real value to customers in both cases.
The most important point to any campaign is to keep a tight grip on the metrics. Continuous testing can show you where you are getting real results, and you can then amplify these approaches and run them at scale. Furthermore, once you begin to achieve successes with your campaigns, you’ll start to see a flywheel effect – for example, a user might reach you via social, engage with a piece of content, make a purchase and then join your email list before making an additional purchase several months down the line.
With this effect in motion, all you need to do is monitor, optimise and iterate.
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