You’ll see this piece of industry jargon floated around a lot. We just used it above! What on earth is a ‘marketing campaign’, however? Isn’t all marketing about selling everything then selling some more?

Let’s get a little dramatic. If we look at the history of every long war, we have individual ‘campaigns’ that furthered one goal or another. Each is a focused push to achieve a specific goal, under the wider banner of the overall cause. In World War 2, for example, perhaps the most famous campaign of all was the attack on Pearl Harbour. This military history is, in fact, exactly where the marketing use of ‘campaign’ comes from! If you view your marketing efforts as a ‘war’ to reach your goals, ‘campaigns’ are the smaller, tightly focused ‘goals’ you’ll set along the way.

Putting it more formally, however, each campaign is a targeted, specific marketing effort by your brand, intended to drive a tangible goal. Those goals are typically either engagement (building your community), conversions (turning leads into customers), traffic (getting your brand visible and your website/social media more popular) or revenue (generating a target amount of money).

It’s a small part of the whole marketing effort, designed to tie-in with your overall brand goals. In digital marketing, of course, you’re using digital channels to achieve this. It may be focused on only one specific channel- like an Instagram campaign to showcase your new makeup line. Or it could be a larger, multi-channel effort. From the perspective of a fashion house, for example, this could mean you have a campaign across all your marketing platforms to drive your new winter clothing. Your overall brand goal (the ‘war’) is generating revenue from your clothes sales, while your campaign is focusing on the niche clothes people need in the cold weather.

What goes into a great digital marketing campaign?

There’s a few stages of planning, development and management needed to create a great marketing campaign:

Planning: Here you outline the large and small goals, target the right customers, and decide how long this campaign will be your focus (winter, in our clothing example).

Development: Now you will determine a strategy to reach those goals. This includes your ‘voice’ (lighthearted, serious, fun, edgy etc). Also the underlying ‘message’ you’re sending (how your brand identity/purpose and the voice intersect). You’ll then produce target keywords (how people would ‘find’ your campaign, and what the most important issues within it are) and make a strategy using these. How will you reach the audience? Is it location dependent? What channels will you use and how do you integrate the tailored channel content into a cohesive whole? This consistency is key. If your ‘winter wardrobe’ campaign looks entirely different depending on where the customer views it, how are you establishing your brand in the customer’s eye? They may not even realise they’re all the same company!

Management: Now you’ve got a cohesive, targeted campaign to launch, it needs to be steered and monitored. Adjustments can be made if necessary. Then you will determine the success and value of the campaign. What went great? What needs to do better next time?