Over the last few months, the VM team have been working with a variety of different clients all of which work in completely different industries. A big part of my role has been to research, create/manage and report on Digital Campaigns on the client’s behalf.
There are a lot of blog posts, YouTube videos and posts on Social Media that outline detailed steps to take when creating a campaign for specific channels, just search ‘How to run Facebook Ads into Google’. So I thought it would be a fun idea to keep this blog as a high-level overview of the steps that we feel are most important and follow with our clients when creating digital campaigns for them.
In case you are bored reading this already and won’t make it to the end the 5 steps that we follow are;
- 1.Identify Goals
- 2.Create Buyer Personas
- 3.Decide Channels/Platforms
- 4.Create a Content Calendar
Not everyone will agree that these are the correct steps and that’s ok, These are the guidelines that we keep front of mind but aren’t set in stone. It’s easy to lose sight of what is actually important and get caught up in deciding what software we should use to post or spending days designing landing pages when in fact we find it is more important to test and measure and then go all in on what’s working best.
1. Identify Goals
Identifying Goals can seem like a mundane task but it is extremely important. It’s mind-blowing to me how many people I talk to who are running different campaigns and burning through their budget but don’t even know what they are trying to achieve, or the other side is when someone says “I tried advertising on Social Media but it didn’t work” when in fact what they did was Boost a picture on their Instagram page of the office dog…
Your goals can be extremely specific, outlining exactly what conversion path you would like consumers to take or a little more generic but ensure your team at least outlines what they want to achieve with each campaign running. Some simple examples are;
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Lead Form Submissions
- Increase Engagement
- Increase Sales
- Newsletter Sign Ups
2. Create Buyer Personas
The definition of a Buyer Persona according to HubSpot is ‘A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on data and research”.
It’s important to identify who your ideal customer is because even if you have the greatest content in the world, if you’re not targeting the right audience the campaign will more than likely fail. In an extreme example, try to think if a company that sells hunting rifles ran a campaign to sell their new Gun but didn’t identify who their target audience is and most of the people who saw their Ads were members of Animal rights groups…
The more specific the better, some details to keep in mind to include in your buyer persona could be;
Going back to HubSpot, They offer a great tool to help you create your buyer persona and you can check that out here
3. Decide Channels/Platforms
Throughout this article, I have kept referring to running ‘Digital Campaigns’ instead of being more specific and saying Search or Email for example. The reason being that one channel may not always be right for your goals and what you are trying to achieve.
In my experience a lot of companies default to running campaigns on Instagram and Facebook regardless of their goals and might neglect their email list of loyal customers, If they are trying to promote a new product or service it could be a good idea to send it directly to people who have been a fan of your brand and getting direct feedback before pushing to wider audiences and spending budget.
Depending on what your company goals are and the strengths of your team you might consider trying different channels. Has your business tried advertising on Podcasts, Reddit, Linkedin, Snapchat or TikTok?
A great example of a DTC brand that pivoted to advertising on TikTok and grew to $500k dollars in sales is NerdyNuts Handmade Peanut Butter… They found that up and coming TikTok influencers are still new to the advertising game whereas influencers on Instagram and YouTube all have agencies, contracts and are just more difficult to deal with. I’ll link the whole story over on The Hustle here in case you wanted to read more.
I’ve been rambling, My point is to have a look at all available channels before boosting that post of the office dog!
4. Create a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar can sometimes seem tedious or overwhelming trying to plan out your content in advance, but I can’t stress enough how useful it can be!
In particular, when running campaigns it is a good idea to try and plan out exactly when each campaign is going live and how long it will be running for. Then based on that you can add in what organic posting on a weekly basis can complement the running Ads. Towards the end of the week when you are tired and not feeling creative it definitely helps to already know what needs to be posted on what channel and at what time.
Again there are a number of pre-built tools out there that you can use as a calendar or you can opt to use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to create, manage and schedule posts if that works for you. Personally, I use a pre-built template in Notion.
Lastly and possibly the most important yet overlooked step when running digital campaigns is reporting on your campaigns. Without seeing how each campaign performed and which Ads performed best then there is no way of knowing where you should double down and where the correct place to allocate your budget is.
The main steps that I recommend taking to ensure you are set up for reporting is;
- 1.Have a CRM to capture data
- 2.Check all tracking codes are firing
- 3.Use software to manage from on Dashboard (VM uses DashThis)
If you’ve made it this far then thanks for reading. Again this was meant to be a high-level overview of steps that I keep front of mind, hopefully, you got some value from it and let me know if you disagree with any of my thoughts or feel that I missed any elements that you consider important.