If you’re starting a digital marketing campaign for your company, there are four key questions to ask yourself before you begin:
- What is your budget?
- Who is your audience?
- What are their challenges?
- How will your message reach that audience?
Each of these factors will have a different influence on the campaign you finally create.
1. WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
“[Budgeting] is a bit like the chicken-and-the-egg dilemma.
People say, ‘Hey, how much do we have to spend?’
‘Well, I don’t know… how much is it worth to spend on this type of thing?’ “
When determining your campaign budget, you can use one of two approaches. Tell, or be told.
You might have a business where your CEO takes a look at your requests and says, “I’ll throw this much at it. You figure out where to spend it.” That’s not fun, but it is common.
The other approach involves convincing your organization that you should do more digital marketing. If you’re the one telling instead of being told, then you need to show how you’re measuring ROI and investing in different tools in order to meet certain financial goals.
In other words, you can predict your budget by starting with the end in mind. If you plan your campaign and its budget according to the theoretical ROI you want to get out of it, those numbers will look far more appetizing to your higher-ups.
Either way, you can’t do or plan much of anything in your campaign without knowing what you’re allowed to spend.
2. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
In some respects this question could almost come before that of your budget; it can help answer how much you need to spend before starting a digital marketing campaign.
If you’re going after a small group, that will affect your strategies quite a bit. You’ll need to employ more specialized (and ergo possibly more expensive) tools and tactics.
If you don’t know who your personas are, where they hang out online, or what their touch points are, you’re going to spend a lot more money to reach and resonate with them than if you had all those answers ahead of time.
It’s also important to be aware that sometimes buyers are buying for totally different reasons. You’ve got to be really careful to make sure that your marketing really speaks to each separate entity’s challenges.
You may have five different targets, and only one dart. It’s not a magic dart that’s going hit all five. You have to focus.
Let’s say you’re relevant in both the healthcare and automotive industries. You have one product, but two very different industries with totally separate needs and challenges. You can’t go in there and poof, be all things to everybody. That’s a big piece of marketing strategy that often gets missed.
People don’t want to do specialize their marketing because it’s… well, it’s work.
3. WHAT ARE THEIR CHALLENGES?
Once you’ve defined your persona and their market segment, the next question is, what keeps them up at night? What are they frustrated trying to figure out?
Now, most of the time industrial manufacturers sell through a distributor; and a distributor’s challenge – think about it – is that they’re repping multiple different (sometimes competing) products. How do you as a manufacturer stay in front of them?
You have to somehow make sure your distributor is incentivized, or that it’s very easy for them to be able to sell and push your product through.
Your content marketing – the marketing and the content that you create, that you put into your digital marketing campaign – needs to specifically address your persona’s challenges. That’s how it’s going to be relevant.
Even if you’re ahead of the curve and using digital banner ads instead of print ads in a magazine: supposing it says, “XYZ Company, The Best You Can Get.” I’m not going to click on that. Are you?
“I’m just thinking about one we just did, it was about dissolved oxygen – we won’t go into why that’s a bad thing in beverages. It’s a bad thing; so the ad was very simple. It was beverages in a can…so all the ad said was, ‘Is dissolved oxygen kicking you in the can?’ “
That addresses the problem. If someone that has that problem, they’re going to click on that long before they click on an ad that says, “Here’s our product: it’s awesome.”
4. HOW WILL YOUR MESSAGE REACH THAT AUDIENCE?
What specific tools and mediums are you going to use to release your marketing content?
How do you plan to get your name in front of your audience’s eyes, spoken in their ears, or sitting in their hands?
Taking a look at your competitors’ tactics is a good start. Try figure out what your peers are using (the ones that are doing well, anyway). Ask around in your network. It’s not about plagiarizing their content; it’s about learning their technique.
And if you want another easy, important strategy for release…look at your marketing material itself. Some content can work in almost any form– audio, video, print…but others just won’t.
Tests are critical when starting a digital marketing campaign. Making sure you have your campaign materials mapped out with proper tracking methods, so that you can do things like A/B testing. See what’s more effective versus other techniques, and then learn from that and go from there.
If you use technology platforms that other people near you are using, your ability to succeed with those platforms goes way up because you’ve got a built-in support system.
And don’t get all excited about the bells and whistles of martech software. Start with a tool that that you’ll actually use and that will work, so you can prove out the model and go from there. There’s a lot of companies that today can start with just an email platform and an Excel spreadsheet, and they gain traction and make it work. Then they move on to bigger fish like Hubspot and Salesforce.
These Factors Are Vital to Your Marketing.
You’re going to need to know your budget to spend anything on tactics and certainly on different technologies that you might need. Whichever you select, make sure they allow for measurability so you’ll know the actual return on investment once the campaign launches.
To whom you market will affect how you market, so create specific personas. Not just, “Okay we’re targeting this general job title.” Really drill into those verticals, including your distribution channel, and find out all sorts of habits and details and insights into the lifestyles you’re trying to target.
If you don’t identify your audience’s challenges, you can’t offer solutions to them. Knowing each persona’s pain points. will influence the content that you create in order to be relevant to them.
Without a release strategy, your content won’t go anywhere. Figure out what distribution methods and technologies you should employ to get “eyeballs on your content.”
Make sure you can clearly identify each of these four factors before starting a digital marketing campaign. Without any of them, you won’t find yourself managing a marketing campaign. You’ll only find yourself managing a mess.
Thanks for reading. If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you.