Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. – Albert Einstein
Although Albert Einstein wasn’t talking about digital marketing in this quote, it is most certainly applicable to the subject. The ultimate success of a digital marketing campaign should not be solely measured by the number of people engaged or how many “likes” received – but instead by return on investment and other valuable key performance indicators related to business goals. A marketing campaign that is both successful and valuable should be anchored in business objectives and executed with strategy and creativity. So, how do you develop a truly effective digital marketing campaign?
Outline Your Goals
Objectives are the most fundamental component of any marketing campaign, digital or not. Goals will determine the direction for the entire campaign, from the general strategy to specific tactics. Campaign goals should not only be specific, measurable and realistic, but they should be purposeful and align with real business objectives. Getting more “likes” is great, but to be truly valuable it must deliver more meaningful results.
Determine a Strategy
Your digital campaign strategy should take into consideration every aspect of the campaign – from the target audience and messaging approach, to the channels of execution and budget. Developing an effective strategy requires a deep understanding of the various online channels and how they work together, as well as best practices to achieve maximum results. Once finalized, these strategic decisions should materialize into a comprehensive plan that directs/governs the entire campaign.
In order for a campaign to be impactful, it must be relevant to your target audience. Plain, broad messaging isn’t going to deliver valuable results. The true essence of marketing is to take pure business goals and make them into something your audience can relate to. Take a position. Incite an emotional response. Establish common ground. This kind of approach will help your company form a link between your messaging and your audience that will strengthen the effectiveness of your campaign.
Reach Your Audience
It’s pivotal that you actually reach your audience. You can’t assume that simply adding a promotion or page to your site will automatically attract your target audience. Reaching your target audience requires the application of strategic tactics such as emails, blog articles, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, social media, personalization and retargeting. Furthermore, today’s online and social advertising functionality offer advanced targeting capabilities that are incredibly effective in helping businesses reach the right audience. For example, Facebook enables businesses to specify the target audience based on very specific criteria such as geographic location, age, interests, connections, education, and career among many other things. Such targeting provides control over a campaign that will help make it both successful and valuable.
We are visual beings. Social media platforms are becoming more image-based. Website trends feature larger, prominent imagery. And it’s because that saying, a picture is worth a thousand words, is true. Research indicates that using quality, branded visuals in a campaign can significantly strengthen its effectiveness, while simultaneously creating brand awareness and familiarity. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text– allowing you to send a message to your audience clearly and quickly (sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco). Additionally, visuals are more likely to have an emotional connotation, helping you achieve relevance and increasing the chances that your audience will feel a real connection to your message – subsequently contributing to the achievement of your goals.
Integrate With All Channels
If there is anything we know about digital marketing, it’s that it doesn’t thrive in a silo. Because there are so many elements that compose a successful digital presence, it’s essential that you consider all of them when planning a campaign. Promoting your campaign among various online channels, while connecting with appropriate offline efforts, will increase the reach of your campaign and enhance its impact. Additionally, it would be a real miss if a well-produced social media post linked to a page on your website that was inconsistent in terms of messaging and branding.
Continuity throughout your channel integration brings me to my next point. Consistency within a campaign is absolutely critical. While consistency will affect your credibility and authority – there is also a big difference between seeing a message, and actually receiving it. Streamlining your campaign elements across all channels will support awareness, as well as ensure that your audience gets the message. Achieving this level of cognizance among your audience is essential to the effectiveness of your campaign, as it will help move your audience to take the desired action.
Create Successful AND Valuable Campaigns
Developing a truly effective digital marketing campaign involves much more than achieving arbitrary metrics and engagement stats. It requires strategy and creativity to turn business objectives into audience action that delivers real results. The combination of outcomes is what makes a successful campaign valuable. It’s a formula for digital marketing success that even the great Albert Einstein might appreciate.