There comes a time in every business owner’s life when you have to launch your first-ever marketing campaign. Realistically, this will be right at the start of your company’s lifespan. Most first campaigns will happen as the business is launching, generating interest around the company so people are lining up ready to see what’s on offer when you open.
Naturally, you have never created a marketing campaign before, and you might not have the money in your budget to hire marketing experts or outsource the duties to an agency. Although, to be honest, even if you are outsourcing these duties, you still need to learn how to make the campaign to provide proper instructions to the marketing team.
With all of this in mind, how do you launch the first marketing campaign for your small business? You’ll find plenty of tips below, but we’ll begin by understanding precisely what is meant by a marketing campaign:
What is a marketing campaign?
It’s important to establish this because there is a lot of confusion between marketing campaigns and strategies. Your strategy is the overall idea of how you are going to market your business. It includes things like brand archetypes and cultivating your image, deciding on your tone of voice, and so on.
A marketing campaign is something that you have specifically designed for a certain task or goal. It exists alongside your marketing strategy and can be put into action while you continue to market your business in other ways. For example, a lot of companies have new marketing campaigns when promoting specific or new products, or they set campaigns in motion to relate to certain times of the year. Most companies will have Q4 marketing campaigns that are dedicated to being festive-themed, for example.
With this in mind, let’s look at how you devise your first marketing campaign:
Set your primary goal
What is the purpose of this campaign? It is the first one you’ve ever done, but what are you hoping to gain from it? The chances are your main objective is to gain a set amount of customers or inquiries, possibly even with a sales target attached. If the campaign is launching just before or as your business opens, the goals will be all about getting as much attention as possible to help you hit the ground running.
You need to set objectives and goals as a way of measuring how successful the campaign is. Also, it creates the framework for the campaign; when you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s much easier to put the marketing ideas in place that help you get over the line.
Set a budget
A key aspect of marketing campaigns is that they have a specific budget. You dedicate a set amount of money towards this campaign, and you shouldn’t spend more than this. It’s important to set your budget before you come up with your campaign as you can then build the ideas around the budget. Many small businesses make the mistake of creating a campaign, then realizing it costs a lot of money. This leads to two things happening; either you proceed with the campaign and take a big financial risk or you have to start over again and create one that suits your budget.
Instead, figure out what you can conceivably afford to set aside for your marketing campaign budget. From here, you can conjure up a plan with this figure in mind. It will help you develop a campaign that’s more realistically suited to what your business can afford, preventing the need for financial risks, and saving a lot of time.
Find who you are targeting
Thirdly, you can’t start designing your campaign until you figure out who you’re targeting. Now, this is where a marketing strategy is handy, as you should already have a clear idea as to who your target audience is. They should align with your brand image, so you already have a rough idea of who this campaign will be aimed at.
Of course, you might want to dive a bit deeper into this, based on your objectives and goals. If you want to hit a sales target with your first campaign, you will need to find members of your target audience that help you do this. In essence, you need to find people that will be interested in making a purchase pretty soon. They should be on their way through the buyer’s journey already, looking for solutions to a particular problem. Your business solves their problem, so you need to ensure that they find you and seek out your solution.
Finding out who you are targeting is critical as you move through the planning process, and you’re about to see why.
Select your main marketing channels
Where are you going to base this campaign? There are endless marketing channels you can look at and choose to run this campaign via. Some common ones include:
- Social media
- Online ads
- Print ads
- Tv ads
- Trade shows
Your target audience dictates which channels you are going to use. As an obvious example, let’s say your main audience is people aged 18-24. Already, this limits the channels that will be effective for you. What’s the point in attending trade shows? Should you bother spending your budget on radio or print ads? Your target demographic will most likely be on social media and the internet, so a range of digital channels works best for you. Now, it’s a case of deciding what social media to focus on over others, and so on.
After selecting your main marketing channels, you can devote sections of your budget to each one. Some businesses prefer to only use one channel during the first campaign, simply as it saves money.
Create your marketing material
At this stage, you have goals in place, you know your budget, who you’re targeting, and which channels to use. All that’s really left to do is create your marketing material. Everything you create should align with your brand image, and it needs to be consistent throughout. You can’t have a very relaxed demeanour and tone via your social media content, then suddenly become serious in your online ads or blog posts.
You need to convey a consistent image for people to identify with and relate to. Make your content as engaging as possible, targeting certain things you know about your audience. For instance, know the problem points and biggest challenges of your target market, then build content that targets these things by showing you offer solutions.
Launch your campaign and track it
When all of the above is complete, your campaign is ready to launch. Now, you need to sit back and watch everything unfold, monitoring the campaign at all times. Remember to look at your main objectives and see if you are hitting the targets you hoped to hit. At the end of the campaign, you will hopefully tick off all your goals and can see that you generated a good ROI. This means that the gains you made from the campaign outweigh what you spent on it.
Just like that, you’ve got a rough plan to help you develop and launch your first marketing campaign. Honestly, it’s all about setting your goals and creating your budget. Finding your target audience should be easy as you should already have prior knowledge of this when starting your business. When you have all of this, it’s simply a case of choosing the right channels and developing great marketing content.
The pandemic and stay-at-home orders have resulted in many professionals rethinking their careers. Working from home has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Are you unsure whether going...
The office environment is not the same as it once was. Now the modern office has to be able to accommodate workers remotely, and also have a cohesive component to make sure the business is...