Yep – the New Year is only now less than three weeks away and if you haven’t started your campaign plan for 2018, you need to make that the last thing so that you hit January running!
Every business needs to run campaigns in order to drive awareness of their products and services with the ultimate aim of generating new leads and sales.
Campaigns should be an integral and regular part of your lead and retention marketing month-to-month and depending on your industry or market as well as your overall business goals, your execution may need to be more or less intensive!
The channels you use as well as the frequency and topic will depend on your strategy and planning. So, whether you are looking to increase revenue, promote new products or services, deliver new offers or build your email list, having a campaign plan for each month is your essential to success.
As with everything, having a focus on what you want to achieve will help you to run a well organised and targeted campaign that reaches your audience and fills your pipeline. The following 5 steps are key to every campaign:
Planning Ahead – Month-to-Month
Time is the biggest factor in campaign planning. Having a campaign calendar in place which outlines what you are going to promote and when can be the biggest help in keeping you moving forward and not getting stuck for ideas – relieving the pressure of creating rushed and irrelevant content!
You should aim to plan your campaign content at least a month in advance – more if possible because you will need the time to;
assess your strategy and tactics;
decide on your channels;
create the content;
proof check your content;
implement processes such as setting up landing pages, testing emails, creating webpages; designing adverts etc.;
ensuring everything works before you hit ‘go’;
review your KPIs and ROI before you start the next campaign so that you can make any necessary adjustments.
Religious and Seasonal Campaigns:
These annual events allow you to create regular campaigns each month to generate new sales. Whether you are marketing locally or internationally, consider the typical religious or holiday calendar events that happen throughout year, particularly those specific to your country and/or the countries that buy from you (Chinese New Year; Easter; Christmas; School Holidays; Mothers Day; Fathers Day; St Patricks Day; Independence; Black Friday etc). All of these types of events will help you create relevant and regular content for your target market.
Industry and Sponsorship Campaigns:
In addition, are there any typical events that happen every year or in certain months for your industry, such as tax season or the annual budget announcement for the finance industry? Are there any sponsorship opportunities with local charities; awards; sports events etc, coming up that will help you raise your profile and promote your services in a more targeted way? This is one of the most highly visible ways of building awareness of your business because of the level of exposure you receive from the organisers.
If you are a new business or you are launching a new product/service, you may consider doing this in a phased approach. As a new business you should think about running a soft launch campaign by sharing it with a limited network of consumers (which could be your friends and family) to get feedback before you go for a full launch. Same goes with existing businesses who are upgrading services or bringing a new product to market, test it out with your best customers or influencers and give them something in return for their feedback. This allows you to enhance the product or service based on their recommendations before your full launch.
Sales and Special Offer Campaigns:
With every season comes a sale…actually with businesses fighting for their share of the market, they are almost every month nowadays! So, how can you use these opportunities to make your mark and increase revenues? Consider focusing on specific products or mix and match services for time limited periods at a knock down price. Create a countdown and maximise the ‘fear of missing out’ strategy to maximise sales…you may want to add in a ‘last minute’ bonus for subscribers or purchasers to ensure they click your link and buy!
Be Ready to Change
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. As noted in point five of the of the 5 Step Campaign Strategy above, reviewing and adjusting is a necessary part of the campaign process. This is particularly relevant if there is a financial investment. If you are outsourcing your marketing to an agency, be aware that some will have a 2 or 3-month tie in contract (sometimes with a months’ notice on top) that you have to pay regardless of how well the campaign works, so do your due diligence before you take on that level of spend!
In addition, even if you have planned out your campaigns for the year, there may also be changes within your industry, new innovations or regulations that could prompt an unexpected campaign that you hadn’t planned for, but need to take advantage of whilst the news is fresh. This is something else you need to be prepared for.
Overall, campaigns serve as a fantastic way of promoting your business when they are planned well. Make the most of 2018 by getting your campaigns off to a great start!