Many agencies are on social media and have started doing videos. In addition to social media, we also see many agents who have picked up blogging, podcasting, email marketing and have tried their hand at SEO.
If you are anywhere in this spectrum I want to ask you why are you doing what you're doing?
Does it seem right? Did someone tell you to? Are you just trying something new? Or was it part of a strategic marketing campaign?
What is a marketing campaign and why run one?
A marketing campaign is not just marketing. It is a targeted effort for a specific purpose or objective. If your marketing is well thought out, you likely are thinking that your marketing already has a specific purpose. This is probably true, but a marketing campaign would be a focused aspect of this.
For instance, marketing's goal may be to generate more leads for sales. A marketing campaign will be focused on attracting a specific set of leads such as independent truck drivers using specific organized efforts.
But it does not have to lead or niche specific. It could be an awareness building campaign, or a social media growth campaign. It does not even have to be for external business. You could have an inward focused marketing campaign to bring awareness of a service many of your clients may not be aware of or even a referral building campaign.
So, if you are posting various topics on social media, blogging, and creating videos you are probably not running an actual marketing campaign. That does not mean that what you are not doing will not work. By running a marketing campaign however, you will be able to better focus the intent of your marketing and measure the results of that push.
Aspects of a marketing campaign
Before we get into making an actual marketing campaign you should know the aspects that will allow you to make it successful. This will allow you to make sense of all the steps in creating a campaign and will keep you from getting stuck.
Here is what will go into your campaign:
Marketing Strategies - What methods are you going to use to meet your goals? Will you run targeted ads? Will you monitor/post in forums? Will you send marketing emails? Are you going to go on Instagram and use specific hashtags? Are you going to reach out to thought leaders in that area and produce content that will trickle down to the market? What strategies you use will be different based on the marketing campaign. Do not try to simply shove
Tracking tools - Do not run a campaign without a way to track what is going on. You should be able to see everything that is happening in real time. You want to know if people are following the ads. You want to know if people are doing the action you are requesting. You want to know if people are going all the way through the process or jumping off at some point. With most digital efforts there is tracking, but some are limited. And if you choose to run traditional methods where you can not track clicks then you need to use tracking links or phone numbers to know if it's working.
A system to follow up - This is a situation when a CRM or a more robust AMS is required over the standard management system most agents have. For all of the leads generated from your campaign that fell through the cracks you will want a system that will help you segment the "do not wants" from the "missed opportunities" to the "timing was not right" people. By doing this, you will be able to better follow up with the leads that fell through the cracks.
Doing so allows you to better track the true ROI of the campaign but also allows you to discover the true buying process from a marketing campaign. This way, you will know that when you run another one that X% will buy right away and X% will buy 6 months from the campaign and another X% need items XYZ before doing business with you but will buy 12 months from the campaign.
A system to track results - This may fall within your CRM or within whatever tool you use to track marketing actions (clicks, visits, requests, etc....). But if not, it is important to have a system that lets you see the overall picture of the campaign.
What worked. What did not work. Where were there holes in the campaign? Was there an area that fell short or a piece of content that worked wonders? By tracking the results you can increase the effectiveness of future campaigns meaning a higher ROI.
As we walk through how to run a marketing campaign you will see how each of these plays an important role.
Putting together a marketing campaign step by step
Once you are used to the process much of this will become second nature. But in case you have never ran a marketing campaign or you've run them and they were not as successful as you would like, I have made a step by step process below.
1) The first thing you want to do is map out your target buyer or niche. Who do you want this campaign to specifically target? Terms such as large commercial accounts are too general (unless you are talking about your own accounts and want to do an inward focused campaign). You want to say Small mom and pop restaurants in our area or police officers only a few years from retiring. Who specifically do you want to target?
2) Next identify that target's needs, pain points, reasons they buy your service, and experience they expect. Do not assume these. It is so important to KNOW the needs, pains and expected experiences, do not ASSUME that what you think is true. The message you create is going to be tailored to this, so if you assume and are wrong, then no one will respond to your marketing messages.
3) Now Identify where those people are and the type of messages they respond to. Again, do not assume. If you advertise in the weekly newspaper but all your clients are on Facebook then rethink the strategy. And even on the reverse side, if your niche gets together and has wine tastings every Saturday then sponsor the wine tasting or find a way to be where they are.
*Note: Steps 1-3 are done while creating buyer personas. If you have never created a buyer persona, then click on the button below to get started creating your ideal buyer persona.
4) Once you have completed your persona (identified your buyer, their needs and where they are) you will determine the efforts you will use to get in front of them. Will you join social media groups and connect with each member individually. Will you create a social campaign where you run ads and have your service sponsored on other business's marketing channels ultimately driving the persona to a valuable resource?
Use the information you gathered which identifies where the buyer is and the experience they expect from you to create the ideal placement for your marketing message.
5) Now you will create your marketing messages. I say messages because when creating campaign there is hardly often a one shot deal such as "get a quote." You may create a blog answering all your personas questions on a topic, then have Call to Actions driving them to download a valuable resource such as a checklist where you can then send marketing emails.
Your messaging should be consistent in its intent but each medium (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Blog, live events, etc...) are going to have a slightly different variation of how that intent is spelled out and plays out.
6) Before you go forward with your marketing campaign make sure to test it. Have a pair of outside eyes take a look at everything. Walk them through the process to make sure that the messaging makes sense, that the buttons all work and that everything will work the way you imagined it.
7) Now you can launch the campaign and watch. I say watch because the last thing you want to do is launch a campaign and burn through a few hundred dollars before you catch a big problem.
This is where those real-time analytics come in. You do not have to keep your eyes glued to the campaign. You have to let it run its course a bit. Keeping an eye on it however, will help you catch a problem if it begins steam rolling out of control in a negative way.
8) Tweak as necessary. I would not try and continually touch your campaign. Let it do its thing. However, if you find a large issue or things are not working then take time to identify why and tweak as necessary.
9)Analyze the results. When analyzing the data, do not simply look at whether it met your goals or did not meet goals. Find what worked well and what did not so you can find future opportunities.
Maybe marketing generated tons of leads but maybe there was a disconnect for the sale follow up. Maybe the leads generated were not sales ready because the marketing message was not on target. Maybe the timing was bad. Or maybe the persona you created was actually not on point with what you wanted to attract.
Marketing campaigns at a glance
I know we went into a lot of detail today. It may seem a little overwhelming but honestly it is not too incredibly complicated once you dive in.
At a glance, your marketing campaign should focus on a single persona. The marketing messages and mediums you use should all be in line with their buying behaviors. And of course you need a specific goal with tools to accurately measure the results.
Building specific campaigns is not something every agency needs to do. But it can be a great way to get into a market or to help meet the goals of the agency/producers in a specific area.
Why not give it a shot? See how well you can put together a marketing campaign and track the ROI to see if it was worth it!
Let me know if you have any questions!