Debut Digital Campaigns Faster With These 6 Tips
Digital advertising is a big deal in today's economy. Whether you're looking to boost conversions, promote a client, or brand yourself, you need to be seen online.
The trouble is, digital marketing campaigns almost always take longer than anticipated. Going from ideation to research to design to debut can take months.
And relevance is key. Because trends change quickly, campaigns need to be ready in weeks.
To create and debut your campaign on time -- without sacrificing quality -- check out these six tips:
1. Meet Your Users at Scale
The first step in your campaign is both the most important to its success and the best place to save time: getting to know your audience.
Consumers don't buy from brands that don't "get" them. Don't default to stereotypes, but don't waste time with consulting firms or one-on-one interviews, either.
Online focus groups give you a chance to not just connect efficiently with many customers, but also to see how they interact with each other.
In Twitter's early days, its co-founders convened a focus group to find out what Facebook users didn't like about it. Their takeaway? The news feed was too cluttered -- leading Twitter to take a bite-sized, trends-based approach.
2. Set a Single Goal
A lot of digital marketing campaigns try to have everything. Thanks to pressure from above, they try to build brand awareness, increase web traffic, increase their share of voice, and more.
One of the best things you can do for your campaign's development timeline and results is to set a single goal.
Worry about just one metric at a time. You might want to:
- Increase total site traffic
- Reduce bounce rate
- Generate impressions
- Boost share of voice
- Increase proportion of return visitors
- Raise clickthrough rate
- Improve brand sentiment
With that single goal, be specific. For example, do you want to improve conversion rates? Okay, by how much do you want to increase them? Five percent in the first quarter? Ten percent? If you're to hit it, you need a clear target.
3. Play the Long Game, but Take Shortcuts
High-quality content is the bedrock of every digital campaign. It can net you more web traffic, social media followers, and authority in your space.
Creating better content takes more time. But there are shortcuts, and in the long run, it's worth it.
A great example is Gary Vaynerchuk. Despite starting out in wine, "GaryVee" is known worldwide for his work in branding and digital media.
Vaynerchuk's secret? "Micro content," which he creates by carving up his #AskGaryVee and DailyVee podcasts. He posts these snippets to his social media profiles, using them to direct traffic to the main show.
Vaynerchuk doesn't skimp on the main fare. But by deriving most of his content from a few big pieces, he can roll out cross-platform campaigns much more quickly.
4. Track the Team's Progress
Any writer can tell you: It's easy to waste an hour perfecting a paragraph. Designers are artists who want their work to be beautiful.
No doubt: Digital campaigns benefit from better design and content. But you have to find the sweet spot.
The difference between "great" and "outstanding" may be days and thousands of dollars worth of work. Budget your team's time with project management software like Teamwork.
For each phase of the campaign, set a time budget. Teamwork lets you do this by individual contributor, team, and project.
Say you need social media support for a YouTube series you're developing. You might give the social team six hours -- to be spread across as many or as few people as they please -- to deliver a dozen posts to each target demographic.
5. Be Choosy With Channels.
Not every campaign needs to be on every channel. The reason is, not every audience uses every channel.
Take social media. Social media is the marketing channel for reaching younger audiences: 90.4% of Millennials are active social media users, compared to 48.2% of Baby Boomers.
Social media can be an inexpensive, speedy way to reach an audience online. But with some audiences, it's a big waste of time.
Approach platforms the same way. Buffer, a social media scheduling tool, learned this lesson the hard way.
Why? Snapchat users weren't the tool's target audience. After Instagram introduced its Stories feature, Buffer struggled to justify using Snapchat.
Balance experimentation with commitment. You shouldn't continue to use a channel that isn't performing. But at the same time, nothing will perform without adequate investment.
On social, you shouldn't be going months between posts on the platforms you deem valuable. Two meaningful posts per week is more likely to pay off than multiple mindless retweets per day.
6. Be Boldly Relatable
Authenticity gets attention. Rather than making meaningless claims about being "the best value" or "the No. 1 choice," be bold in your tone and style.
A good example is Dollar Shave Club. Remember its launch video -- the "our blades are f**cking great" one?
The content might've been low budget, but it resonated with viewers. Less than five years after Dollar Shave Club's launch, it was bought by Unilever for $1 billion.
Remember, attention spans are short online. You may just get a few seconds before someone clicks away, so make sure they get the message.
What about once your campaign is live? Keep tight tabs on its progress. Assign someone to the role: Performance checks shouldn't be an ad hoc activity.
Until that time, know your audience, be clear about what you want to achieve, and be boldly yourself. You'll be on to your next campaign soon, so don't stress about perfecting this one.
Digital advertising cycles are shorter than ever, and far shorter than those in traditional media. Especially in times of uncertainty, it's important to get campaigns to market quickly.
To do so:
- Meet your users at scale
- Set a single goal
- Be realistic with your budget
- Play the long game, but take shortcuts
- Track the team's progress
- Be choosy with channels
- Be boldly relatable
Digital advertising is all about experimentation. If one experiment doesn't work, move on. There are always new tactics, channels, and tools to try.