As an Inbound Strategist here at Revenue River, I spend a lot of time putting (you guessed it!) strategy together for my clients on their different inbound marketing campaigns.
I enjoy the time spent in front of a whiteboard mapping out the different elements and tasks needed in order to bring an idea together from start to finish, so much so that I have come up with a checklist of items that are key to the successful planning of any one campaign. Just like any good heist, success hinges on the plan.
Especially when trying to sort through a number of ideas for different types of campaigns, the best thing to do before all else is to understand what the main goal will be for any new campaign. Are you looking to generate more buzz around your company’s new blog by driving traffic to it? Are you looking to attract and convert more leads for your sales team to target moving forward? Do you need to increase sales or customer generation during a holiday season? Whatever your reason for the campaign may be, you need to be able to point to a specific, attainable goal that will give everything else you’re about to cover in your planning session more direction.
Now comes the fun part! Once you have direction from your goals, you will have a better understanding of what you will need to map out to ensure that your campaign will cover all of the bases. If you do not have a fully formed idea just yet, ask yourself questions like these to better figure out the main parts:
- What are you doing?
o Is it an offer? A contest? An informative series?
- Who are you targeting?
o Current database? New leads? Specific Industries? Specific job titles? Personas?
- When will it go live?
o Do you have enough time between planning and go live to get all of your assets created?
- How long will it last?
o Do you have a definite end date? Will you have planned for enough promotion and assets to go throughout the entire campaign timeline?
At the end of this exercise, you should have the most detailed view of what your campaign will look like both in its set up as well as in its targeted goals. From here, you’ll want to figure out just how you plan to show the world your great work!
Once you’re thoughts are straightened out into a clear plan of attack for your campaign, it’s time to start putting together a list of promotional ideas in order to maximize the visibility of your campaign. Instead of going through the motions by throwing a few posts on social media, sending an email and writing a few blog posts, why not try this planning method instead:
- Website Promotion
o CTA’s on site pages promoting the campaign
o Smart content promoting the campaign to specific target personas
o Blog articles promoting campaign
- Off-Site Promotion
o Email marketing campaign
o Social media campaign
o Paid Advertising (Search & Social)
o Guest blogging
o Forum postings
- Offline Promotion (all “traditional” marketing items below would be used to promote a visit back to the website for the campaign)
Once you’ve figured out what mediums you will want to target, you will want to plan out when you will go live with each one and what content/design you will need throughout it. If this campaign is a long one, you may also want to consider changing tones or designs as it progresses so that you stay relevant in the eyes of your audience. Once you’ve done this, you will have already set the stage for the final part of the planning process; the timeline.
The Timeline/Game Plan
You’ve set your goals, you’ve mapped out your campaign and you know your promotion strategy. Now it’s time to put together a game plan to help you get from your whiteboard scribbles to campaign go-live and beyond! Here’s what you need to do with all 3 elements already created:
o Map out the goals you set across the timeline you put together for the campaign. Establish checkpoints throughout the timeline to see if you are on pace to hitting goal or need to kick it in the ass moving forward.
- Campaign Details
o Take all of the campaign details and strategy and map out the deliverables that you will need to create and when they need to be finalized. Consider items like:
o Web development
o Design element creation
o Content creation
- Promotion Strategy
o You have a lot of different mediums that you are going use to take your campaign live with, you better have your ducks in a row for when, how and with what you will be doing it with. Map out the following for each medium:
o When will you go live on this medium? What will you say/use?How often will you post/resubmit to this medium with this initial message?
o Will you change your message during the campaign? If so, when? What will the new message be and what will it utilize?
o Will you announce the completion of the campaign (if a contest)? If so, how and when?
When it comes to strategy, there are plenty of ways that you can put together a campaign but few that will lead to quantifiable success. The more you know about your future campaign, the better off you will be both during and after its promotion. Want to learn more about how we put together strategy for our campaigns? Think we missed something in our list? Reach out in the comments below and let’s start a conversation!