12.07.2023 - News & Insights

How to Create a Marketing Campaign [with Template]

Before you go ahead putting the meat on your marketing campaign’s bones, you have to create the skeleton that’ll keep everything supported. Slightly gross analogy aside, marketing campaigns don’t just come alive. They need research, planning, time and, yep, patience before they begin to take shape.

It sounds like a big task, and it definitely is, but knowing the ins and outs of what you want to do so that everything goes right is well worth getting a handle on. So before you put your designers, copywriters, paid team and whoever else you need to work, we’ll talk you through how you can set yourself up for digital marketing campaign success below…

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Define your marketing campaign objectives

What is the purpose of your marketing campaign?

It’s tempting to start with the what of your campaign, especially if you’re itching to get the ideas going. But before you dream big, try starting with the why instead. Ask yourself what you want this campaign to accomplish. This can be as broad as you need it to be – you’ll whittle things down at the next stage – so don’t worry about specifics just yet.

Here’s a couple of ideas to help you out:

  • Promoting a new product or service
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Collect customer feedback or user-generated content
  • Drive leads
  • Generate more revenue
  • Increase user engagement
  • Promote a company event such as a product launch or a sale

Of course, this is just a starting point. The purpose of your campaign will largely be dictated by the business’ wider goals; familiarising yourself with what these are will help you align the two.

What is the main goal for your campaign?

Now you can start to fine tune things. And it’s here that SMART goals come into the picture. The SMART approach provides you with goals that are specific, measurable, easily achievable, are relevant to the business and have a timely deadline.

So when you’re planning out your goal, you might word it something like the following:

“The main goal of this campaign is to increase user engagement by sending out targeted emails informing them of the latest products by March 31”.

Of course, yours will look different, but the above touches on all five elements that make up a SMART goal.

Who is your target audience?

Increasing the reach and radius of your campaign might sound like the best approach. But in the attempt to spread your word far and wide, trying to target anyone might result in alienating everyone.

Again, specificity matters here. To make your campaign more effective, you need to know who you want to reach with your activity – as well as which stage of the buying journey they’re at. Are you wanting to hook new customers in, or are you attempting to incentivise repeat customers and increasing brand loyalty? Knowing these things will help to form the shape your messaging takes.

You’ll also want to think about other things that will help you understand your audience further. Things like:

  • Their hobbies, interests and ways they spend their free time
  • The sites they visit online and whether or not they engage or simply browse
  • The problems they have your business could solve
  • The kind of content they’ll respond to the most

What channels will you be using?

With the foundations laid, you’ll now need to decide on the platforms you’ll use to build on the progress you’ve already made.

Which teams and team members need to be involved?

Once you’ve chosen the right channels, you’ll then need to cherry pick the team members with the relevant expertise who can realise your campaign plans. If you can keep it in-house, then that’s great, but it may be the case that you’ll need to hire a freelance or a contractor to take care of certain parts of the campaign.

What’s your campaign budget?

Whatever your goals are, you’ll need a budget to carry out all your activities with. Of course, this amount will depend on your industry, how big the business is and how long you’ve been around for, but there are a few other ways you can determine your marketing budgeting, such as:

  • Setting your budget by task
  • Estimating how much competitors are budgeting
  • Knowing your percentage of sales to estimate a return on your investment

This will help with knowing whether you can cover the cost of your planned campaign.

Research and ideation tips for your campaign

The most creative marketing campaigns don’t just happen by accident. They’re usually the result of research and techniques that let creative ideas form and flourish. Struggling with that lightbulb moment? Try these tips next time you need to spark that creativity.  

Use marketing tools

If you aren’t using the bevy of marketing tools out there, then you’re missing out on some incredible opportunities to make the most of your campaigns. Tools like SEMRush, Ahrefs and Buzzsumo can all help get ideas going, cluing you into the keywords and content ideas that are speaking to your audience the most. When you ground your ideas in actual data like this, you’ll take out a lot of the guesswork, which will in turn increase your chances of success.

Carry out competitor analysis

Those who have a market share can also make for fertile ground when it comes to ideas. Obviously, we aren’t saying you should copy them wholesale, but a peep at what the competition is doing is something everyone should start doing if they haven’t already. Why’s that? Because competitor analysis highlights how different your product and services are, shows what your competitors are doing right (and wrong), lets you identify gaps your service can plug and gives you a benchmark you can measure growth with.  

Know your audience

Here’s where identifying your target audience earlier comes in handy once more. The research you carried out at that stage will have helped you unearth the online channels they use, their interests and the issues they want sorting. This is the sort of insight you can now use to find an emotional angle that speaks to them – the kind of campaign content which will have them opening that email/clicking add to cart/signing up to your newsletter in no time at all.

Look at industry campaigns

Still struggling? Turn to your sector or industry to see what’s gone down well lately. This might not be direct competition, but the success of others is always a great source of inspiration whether you’re motivated to one up them or just need a push in the right direction.

Research successful campaigns

Likewise, you can always take a look at campaigns from other sectors for a little inspiration. Again, you’re not copying ideas directly here, but using your research to see what moves the needle of their customers in ways that could get your own ideas flowing. And there are so many different types of marketing campaigns out there, you’re bound to find something. From email marketing and Digital PR to social media campaigns to rebrands, touching on even the smallest part of a successful campaign can let your own ideas to germinate. 

Get others involved

Two (or more) heads are better than one. If you can’t come up with anything on your own, then you can always rely on a team of experts to help you out too. Send out an email or a Slack message inviting colleagues to an ideation session to give your campaign a starting point. Ask them to come prepared with two or three ideas of their own. Not only does this mean fresh ideas and perspectives from the get-go, but by bouncing them off each other, you can fine tune things so you can wring the maximum amount of effectiveness from them.

Download your free Marketing Campaign Planner template

We think that just about covers it! Of course, all of the info and research you gather up before putting your campaign into action has to go somewhere.

That’s why we’ve created this downloadable Marketing Campaign Planner for you to make use of. From goals, research, audience info and ideas to your media plan, budget requirements and project plan, you can fill it in with all of the key elements that you need to make your campaign stay on the track towards success.

Need to give your digital marketing an extra steer? We’ll put you back in control whatever your goals are. Head to our homepage or give us a call on 0345 459 0558 to see how our digital experts can get you on track.