Before starting my own business I worked in marketing for huge international brands and everytime we wanted to do anything we would have to complete an in-depth and lengthy plan for each marketing campaign. And to be honest, I used to think it was such a waste of time!
So when I started my own business, I thought I would see the back of marketing campaign documents because when you have your own business decision making is much quicker and planning is a lot easier, especially when you are a team of one!
However I soon came to realise that having a written plan in place was so important regardless of your size! Because when you have a structure to follow and you write things down, you ensure you cover everything, nothing gets forgotten about and you make sure you have the time to complete everything needed to make that marketing as effective as possible.
This of course is especially important now I have a team and I am not doing every step of the process!
Having clear marketing campaigns is so important if you want to reach the right people, increase your conversions and grow your business so in this blog I will share with you my top tips on how you can plan and structure your campaigns so that you successfully execute them!
#1 Understand your objectives
First and foremost, you need to understand your objectives. This doesn’t have to be complicated, you just need to understand what you want to achieve.
Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Grow your email list? Show your expertise? Increase sales?
The reason we need to know this first is because it impacts massively on the whole campaign.
If this is a stand alone campaign just think above all “what is the one thing I want to achieve from this marketing activity?”.
If you are planning for the year…
If you have goals for the year then you may be reviewing the year and working out what campaigns you need to do when.
Have a brainstorm of everything you want to achieve in terms of your goals for the year and your key dates/launches you want to do then start thinking about what is involved and how much marketing is involved for each (This takes some time but it is worth it I promise!).
Once you have done this, you can start plotting your key dates into your calendar or planner and then work backwards with everything you need to do prior to those dates.
#2 Know your target audience
I know I go on about this a lot, but the reason I do is because it is sooo important! In order to make your marketing campaigns a success, you need to know who you are talking to.
And as I am sure you have heard me say a million times, don’t just think about their demographics, such as where they live, gender, age etc. To properly understand your perfect customer you have to dive deeper and understand them! What are their pain points? i.e. what problem do they have that you can help them fix? What are their aspirations? What do they struggle with? What do they dream about?
This is going to really help with your messaging and conversions as you can speak directly to them.
Also as a side note, your individual marketing campaigns might not be aimed at your whole audience, it might be aimed at a section of them.
#3 Brainstorm Marketing Ideas
Next up, brainstorming. This is something I do on a regular basis when I need some inspiration (my own brainstorms look like a mess on paper but they are so helpful!).
So I want you to write down as many marketing ideas as you can think of and it doesn’t matter how crazy you think they may sound or how simple, write them all down.
Now depending on if you are planning all your campaigns for the year or planning an individual ones will have an impact on what you are brainstorming.
If you are planning for the year…
This is where you need to decide what types of campaigns you are going to have such as launches, challenges, competitions, flash sales or seasonal campaigns. What you are trying to work out here is what type of campaign you will do and when.
When you create an individual campaign…
Now it's time to look a bit more in detail. For example, let's say you want to launch a new online course. This is where you write down all the ways you can market that launch i.e. you could do a webinar, you would post on social media, you might do Facebook ads, you could have affiliates, you might send sales emails. This is the part where you think of all the individual marketing activities you are going to use to promote the launch.
#4 Decide on the best ideas
When planning for the year the key thing (especially if it's only you in the business) is to make sure you don’t try and do too much! You don’t want to be launching something every month, or creating new products every other month, you don’t want to start a blog in Feb and then a podcast in June. It will all be too much and you want to manage to give each activity your all!
The same when you are looking at each individual campaign! Now I have a team so we can use lots of different tools to get a message out there. That was not so easy when I started out and it was only just me.
Try not to completely overwhelm yourself by doing too many campaigns as this is when messaging and brand alignment can become mixed.
Also don’t get distracted with seeing what other people are doing and thinking you have to keep up with them. You have no idea what support or knowledge they have in their business.
#5 Get planning
Now it’s time to start planning! This will differ depending on if you are looking at the overall yearly plan or if you are planning an individual campaign!
If you are planning for the year…
Although you might not know the exact dates for your campaigns, by this stage you do know which quarter they are going to be in. Start by writing down which objective this campaign relates to, then who you are targeting, and finally the start and end dates – how long is your campaign going to be?
You may want to make sure you know key dates or holidays as this might affect the success of the campaigns.
Planning each campaign…
Once you know when you want the campaigns you can start planning each individual campaign. What is going to be included?
This is where we look at the individual marketing tools that you might use such as emails, social media, paid ads, etc. At this stage you also need to think about whether or not you have to outsource anything to anyone? For example, do you need graphics made up for you? If so, you need to ensure the person who does that for you is available and can work within the timescales you have.
Another big thing that a lot of people often miss in their plan is you need to write down the cost of your campaign and any budget you have! Don’t go into the year blind and spending more money than you can afford.
Finally, this bit can be tricky but do try to write down your expected outcomes whilst being realistic but also optimistic. Be certain that you leave yourself enough time to test everything e.g. do you have an email sequence that needs checking? Test what you need to and then plan any post-campaign works such as following up with people in a certain way who considered but didn’t buy. Finally, what metrics can you include so that you can review how it all went at the end of the campaign?
And of course, how will you celebrate at the end of the campaign when you hit your goal!?
To help you I have put together an easy planner that you can work through for each campaign that ensures you don’t forget any of those key elements. Click here to grab your copy.
So there it is! My 5 steps to planning, structuring and executing successful marketing campaigns. I hope this has given you lots to get started with and I can’t wait to see what you do. If you found this helpful, I would love to hear all about it! Why not come over to Instagram and DM me?
Or if you need more help planning your campaign check out the club!