Marketing is a function that is in constant flux for every company. Whether you’re running an always-on strategy, or ramping up to promote a specific campaign, marketing is a core function that’s always in the works.
For small business owners, it can be easy to simply view marketing as a “set it and forget it” strategy. When things get busy, many people find themselves in the automated marketing trap – blog posts, social posts, and putting out advertisements every now and then. Tried and tested strategies, right?
But, what if all small businesses thought of marketing as an agency does – one campaign at a time. Marketing campaigns have specific goals and objectives, specific strategies and executions, and most importantly, focus on one thing. While marketing for your company provides an overarching function, campaigns are what will specifically drive your business.
Why campaigns matter
Campaigns work off of one goal. A goal can be anything: New customer acquisition, brand awareness, product launch, increased sales, customer loyalty, engagement, etc. Once you have a goal in mind, you can then define your objectives, work out a strategy and check to see if it worked.
This focus is what will set your marketing efforts up for success. It requires you to evaluate your business and what aspect of it requires some TLC from marketing. These priorities are ever changing for your business, which is why it’s important to think of marketing in terms of campaigns. This way, you can adapt your marketing efforts in order to achieve your goals. Remember that campaigns fit into your broader marketing plan, so take a long look at your overall year and make a marketing campaign calendar to help meet your objectives.
Marketing campaigns can make a serious boost to your company when they’re thought out and strategic. Use them to your advantage!
Best practices for creating effective marketing campaigns
1. Have a clear goal & make a plan
As mentioned above, having a clear goal in mind is going to be key for creating an effective marketing campaign. From there, you can build out your strategy and tactics, as well as how you’ll measure success. Also, have a clear budget in mind so you can ensure that you can leverage paid tactics if they’re available. Not every campaign needs a budget, but if you have some cash to spend it’s important to set those expectations.
Sample campaign strategy:
Goal: Increase email newsletter subscriptions by 10%
Strategy: Leverage social media to drive awareness about our newsletter via a contest for anyone subscribed to our newsletter.
Tactics: Social media posts, social media ads, in-store promotion, online promotion via website, email marketing, strategic partners, contest
Target: Existing & new customers that are not on your email list
Measurement: New email newsletter subscriptions between June 1, 2017 and September 1, 2017 and where they came from
2. Have the right people for the job
It’s important to know how you can achieve your marketing campaign and when you may need to ask for help. Whether you need a social media expert, a content writer, or an outside creative agency – your marketing campaign will help you make these decisions.
Part of the planning process for your campaigns will be identifying the gaps you may need to fill. If you’re launching a social media heavy campaign, but don’t have anyone on your team to rock social media, you may need to hire some outside help for just the one campaign or train you to do it for this one and future ideas.
3. Measure the results & adjust
Once your campaign has finished, compile all the results from your tactics and what you set as your measurement goal and identified the things that worked and didn't. This will help inform your next campaign and therefore, spend your dollars and time more effectively. If you learned that in-store activation was much more successful than social media ads, then you can invest in having an extra staff person next time you run a campaign and save your social media dollars.
The best part about running campaigns is having the ability to learn and adjust for next time. So often, small businesses automate their marketing efforts and don’t realize they can spend their efforts and budget much more effectively.