Don’t start a marketing campaign without doing these 6 things

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In 2015, being effective at deploying content marketing campaigns was difficult for marketers. The Content Marketing Institute reported that effectiveness among content marketers dropped from 42% to 34%.  Now at the start of 2016, we want to ensure that those efforts aren’t wasted!

So what if there were just six small steps that you could integrate into your existing campaigns, to ensure 2016 starts out more effective than 2015?  

We asked our team of experts, what should marketers be doing in 2016 to increase the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns? While these steps alone are not enough to create a perfect campaign adding these extra elements to your campaign might be the difference between a good campaign and a great one.

Step 1 - Start at the top

Meet with decision makers to discuss goals and expectations to ensure your marketing goals are in line with their business goals for the year. Look to then break this bigger goal out into stepped campaign goals (typically three month periods) which you could work towards achieving with your marketing efforts.

Typically business goals focus purely around conversion. Most marketers know that conversion is a great goal to aim for but there are steps along that path to attract, engage and convince potential customers before you get them to convert. If needed, try educating your decision makers on the key stages of the buyer cycle (Awareness, Interest, Action, Advocacy) and explain the goals and KPIs that are impacted at those stages, and subsequently the many steps involved in the conversion process.

Step 2 - Give me what I want!

It’s easy for marketers to feel their budget and resources are stretched too thin and suddenly a decent-sized budget is diluted to fit with everyone else’s priorities. If you have a few product offerings, these managers may not be aware of how stretched you are trying to accommodate everyone.

Get all your stakeholders in one room and demonstrate your budget and resource limitations. Allow them, with your supervision, to decide what takes priority and what can be done within your means.

If everything is a priority, keep in mind that often budget is allocated across teams that do similar functions. For example, there may be a development, graphics or SEO budget that isn’t going to be fully utilised during your campaign period from which you can draw from. Be sure to check with these teams and see where the crossover lies and what additional resource you could get.

Step 3 - How are you going to get there?

If you don’t know where to start with your marketing strategy we have a whole ebook on that to help you get started. But even if you’re a strategy expert ensure you are setting clear goals for your campaign that adhere to the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based). Defining KPIs will help you when it comes time to look back at your strategy and measure if you have hit the goals you were aiming for.

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If you are still not sure where to start, start with understanding who you want to target and what you want them to know about you. Focus on defining your ‘why’ so that it is clear in your marketing communications how you can help them (ie. what is the benefit of them using your services - learn more about starting with why). Knowing who you are targeting and why will form the skeleton of your strategy.

Step 4 - Figure out what you need

Don’t wait til your campaign is live to figure out the supporting content it needs! Throughout the planning process of your campaign ensure you have a cohesive calendar of supporting content to go live both before, during and after your campaign launch. This is also a good time to establish which other teams would need to be involved throughout the process so you can schedule in the appropriate time with them, for example legal teams for compliance or graphics team for an ebook.

Step 5 - Set up your goals

Once you define your goals it is important that you set up the necessary tracking measurement to find out if you have actually hit them or not. There is a lot you can do in Google Analytics and Tag Manager to help with this step.

Similarly, you should look to set up a Dashboard in your Analytics so that you can monitor it regularly to look for spikes, patterns or warning signs. We always recommend that unless you see something alarming, you don’t look to dramatically change your strategy for at least 3 months.

Step 6 - Get social

LinkedIn is not Facebook and Twitter is not Instagram. Ensure before your campaign goes live that you have a strategy in place for posting content around your campaign for each of the social networks that you use. Each social network has a different audience and a different purpose and it’s important that you target your content to each one. Social listening is the buzzword of 2016 as it helps you not only identify where you audience is online but also what their pain points are, which can help with content production.

There is no quick solution to making your marketing efforts instantly more effective but there are a lot of great resources out there that can help you learn how to impact your efforts over time.

These 6 points are further developed in our ebook “Marketing that gets results: How to be effective in 2016”. Download for free now.

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