When you run a business, there is no exact formula for planning a successful marketing campaign. Each business is different, has it’s own identity and message, different products and a different audience. Therefore each piece of marketing that you plan will be different to someone else’s.
In order to know if what you are doing is right, you must follow the following steps:
1. Research – Know your audience
Where do they live? Where do they shop? How old are they? Where do they spend most of their time? What is their favourite social media platform?
All of these will affect how, where and when you implement your marketing campaign so make sure you are in the know. Plan a campaign that targets your average customer and is tailored to reach the majority of your most common type of customer.
2. Plan – Be pro-active
Be pro-active. Are there cultural occasions or events coming up that you could plan a campaign around such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s day and alike? You can save yourself time by planning your content ahead of time and scheduling things in advance to save you time later and ensure you are taking advantage of prime sales opportunities.
You can use scheduling software for social media such is Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and Facebook has it’s own scheduling tool for business pages. Most publications work month’s in advance so best to ensure that if you are planning paid advertising, that you have your artwork ready at least 3 months before you plan to publish it, whether in print or digital – though sometimes you can haggle with the advertisers if they have a last minute slot to fill.
Always create high quality content that represents your business in the best way possible, whether it is graphic design, video, photography, blog writing or you are fundraising for a good cause and representing your company.
3. Implement – Launching your campaign must be attacked from all angles
Consider a range of media such as print, local news, online ads, search engine marketing (SEM), flyer distribution, poster distribution, social media (both paid and organic content) and target your audience from multiple touch points. Did you know that your customers, on average, will see a reference to your business or product 7 to 10 times before they invest in it?
4. Measure – Know who has seen your campaign
You can do this is many ways and it will help you to understand what has worked and what hasn’t. No marketing strategy is water-tight and it can take time to build your company’s reputation. Those big house-hold brands have been around for over 100 years, so don’t be disappointed if you cannot compete with them yet.
- Use things like custom phone numbers on your print ads or flyers so you can monitor how many calls you have had directly from that form of marketing.
- Use an offer to entice new business and see how many sign ups or sales you get.
- Use Google Analytics to see how many people visited your site during your campaign and check the ‘Referrals’ section to see where they came from – social media? Google ads? Another site you have had press coverage or adverts on?
- Check your social media insights – there is an insights tab on your business page menu at the top of the page – you can see information about your followers such as what times of day most of them are online and also how many people engaged with your content overall.
- Ask your customers where they heard of you. Many of us are too afraid to ask our customers for things. You may be surprised by how willing they are to help you if they have experienced good customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask: where they heard of you; can they recommend you to a friend; can they leave you a testimonial.
- Monitor any changes in sales. You will not see all of these instantly. You may see an initial flurry of sales directly after a campaign is launched, but you may not see the real impact of your campaign until the following month or sometimes longer – depending on the type of business you are, what services and products you offer and where you have advertised. It’s about brand building and not about direct sales, though you want to know that you get a good return on your investment by doing all of the above things.
Once you have measured the success of your recent campaign, you can now make changes to your approach to ensure that the next time you invest some of your marketing budget, it is more likely to make a return.
It’s about testing and tweaking and once you know what has worked over a 3 month period, you will be more confident that you are making the right decisions to change tactics. Don’t be too hasty to change your approach just because you don’t see instant sales!
For more advice on this subject or if you need help planning a marketing campaign and you are not sure where to start, contact the team at Blue Bee and we would be happy to have a chat.