Your brand new product or service is finally ready! You’ve worked hard to craft it and now it’s time to promote it. Maybe you even have a vague idea for how you’ll promote it. But the actions you need to take to do so are unclear to you.
If the details of processes and strategies overwhelm you, that’s okay!
Some people are wired for coming up with big ideas, and others are gifted at executing them.
Of course, the product or service you’re offering is the crux of your business, but the processes and strategies used to advertise it are just as crucial. Properly executed processes are important if you want to implement a top-notch marketing campaign on time.
If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, you might be asking, “What’s a marketing campaign?”
Here’s a good definition from Hubspot (we’ve bolded some words and phrases for emphasis):
Marketing campaigns are organized, strategized efforts to promote a specific company goal, such as raising awareness of a new product or capturing customer feedback. They typically aim to reach consumers in a variety of ways and involve a combination of media, including but not limited to email, print advertising, television or radio advertising, pay-per-click, and social media.
If you’re wondering how to turn your big idea into a marketing campaign that’s delivered on time with excellence, we’re here to help. Today we’re sharing a step-by-step process your team can follow to make your top-notch marketing campaign happen.
1. Meet with your team (and have an agenda).
Who on your team will be involved in the campaign’s execution. Who’s in charge of the copy, design, photography, and other marketing assets?
Get everyone in a room to gather information and brainstorm ideas.
The company behind the project management tool Asana says a meeting for “ideation and information gathering” is the first step you should take to execute a marketing campaign: “By front-loading the project with ideation and information gathering, the team collects every piece of relevant information they need, ensuring they can create an effective campaign without disrupting their [work]flow.”
Let everyone throw out their ideas for the campaign – themes, hooks, design, etc. – and decide which platforms you’ll use to make it happen.
Create an agenda too so you stay focused and maximize your time together. You’ve likely been in a meeting that veered off course and into topics ranging from other projects to vacation plans. An agenda can guard against chasing unnecessary rabbit trails. Even during brainstorming sessions, make sure teammates stick to brainstorming about the marketing campaign.
2. Resource your marketing campaign.
Remember Asana’s advice: you want to ensure teammates can “create an effective campaign without disrupting their [work]flow.”
One way you minimize workflow disruption is by assigning the “right” people to the right tasks.
Who are the “right” people? They’re the teammates with the capacity, efficiency, and skillsets to execute the marketing campaign.
Resourcing a project is especially important if you’re a small business or don’t have a marketing team. Your teammates are often juggling multiple tasks at once, and marketing might not be in their job description.
Be sensitive to their schedules and make sure teammates have everything they need for the project. Then set realistic deadlines and expectations, which brings us to #3.
3. Create a content calendar.
A content calendar is your best friend for executing a marketing campaign on time.
After meeting with your team and resourcing the project, you should have a good idea of what marketing assets you’ll need for the campaign and a general timeline for each asset’s delivery.
With the help of your team, turn that timeline into a content calendar. Each date indicates when you’ll send an email, share a social media post, or launch a new email series or website.
For example, if your marketing campaign is a series of emails to promote a new product, you’ll create a content calendar with the dates you’ll deliver each email to your subscribers.
Your content calendar is your roadmap for your marketing campaign. Next, you’ll break your roadmap into phases and milestones.
4. Determine phases and milestones for content creation.
Think about a trip you’ve taken. Chances are you broke the trip into phases in your mind.
Getting on or off a major interstate, stopping for gas or a lunch break, finally making it to the “last stretch” – these were all phases of your “mental” roadmap.
Now, translate that metaphor to the roadmap for your marketing campaign.
A marketing campaign has phases, including research, copywriting, design, media assets, testing, review, and more.
Identify the phases needed to execute your marketing campaign. Then start working “backward” from the dates on your content calendar to identify deadlines for the completion of each phase.
You’re not finished creating deadlines yet. (We know – executing a marketing campaign requires a lot of deadlines!).
Next, you’ll want to identify “milestones.” Milestones are deadlines for when team members will finish their part within a given phase. Milestones give team members solid deadlines for their deliverables so they can manage their time accordingly.
We prefer the term “milestones” over deadlines because meeting milestones is no small feat, especially for small teams! It’s easy to criticize or micromanage and forget to praise your team. Find creative ways to celebrate your teammates when they accomplish a milestone along the way.
5. Use a good project management system.
You cannot execute a good marketing campaign – or multiple marketing campaigns at once – on time with excellence working from memory or scratchpads alone.
Your team needs a good project management system to document each phase and milestone and share information.
With a good project management system in place, your team will have a centralized location for viewing deadlines and progress, sharing information, and uploading assets for your marketing campaign!
6. Schedule your marketing content.
Your team has created all of the assets for your marketing campaign, and you’re ready to share it with the world!
You don’t want to fumble the ball within 10 yards of a touchdown, right? Well, that’s what happens when you don’t schedule your marketing content in advance. If you don’t, you’ll inevitably have things come up and forget to publish the assets your team has worked so hard to create and deliver on time.
Social media platforms and email service providers allow you to schedule your content. Then you’ll have more time to interact with your audience, pursue other business goals, or get started on your next marketing campaign!
A final word of caution: make sure you have at least two pairs of eyes to review the final product before you schedule your content! People might have edited or reviewed a marketing asset along the way, but it will look different in its final form. You might catch mistakes or notice ways to improve your marketing campaign before you share it with your target audience.
We know coming up with a marketing campaign is a project in itself. Creating a roadmap to execute one is even harder! We hope this step-by-step guide will help you deliver your next marketing campaign on time with excellence – and without stress!
If you’re busy running your business, did you know we create and execute marketing campaigns for brands like yours? Schedule a call today, and let our team plan and execute a digital marketing strategy for your business so you can focus on pursuing your passion.