Sometimes it’s ok to just post on social media. Other times, you might want to send an email to reach people. But if you really want to create an impact for your business, you need a coordinated effort on multiple fronts.
A multichannel marketing campaign uses different marketing channels—like social media, email, landing pages, and yes, direct mail—to reach potential customers. To build an effective campaign, there are several key components you need to consider.
What is it that you want to achieve with this campaign? Never go into a campaign without a clear, specific goal in mind! If possible, choose only one main goal. If you are trying to achieve too much with a single campaign, it can be increasingly difficult succeed.
Your goals will define some of the other aspects of your campaign. If you want to generate new leads, you’ll have a different set of priorities than if you’re trying to increase brand awareness. Campaigns can also aim to boost sales, introduce new products or services to existing customers, or encourage customer engagement.
We’ve discussed target audience before—this is your ideal customer. You want to market to a group who share similar characteristics, interests, behaviors, and pain points. Depending on your campaign goals, you might want to segment your list into smaller groups so that you can speak to them even more specifically.
For most companies, you will either build your own prospect list or obtain a list from a data broker. To build your own list, you can collect information from cart abandonments, social media, trade shows or other events, and of course, from previous customers. One issue with building your own list is collecting accurate data that includes email and mailing addresses. If you choose to rent or purchase a list, you’ll incur extra costs but receive a vetted list with accurate information.
First, you should analyze the channels you have available to use. If you have a website, you should have the ability to build landing pages to capture leads. If your website has a blog, you can use content marketing to weave campaign-related information into your posts. Most businesses have some existing social media channels, but maybe this campaign is the chance to start on a new platform to further your reach.
Outside of your own resources, paid advertising is available on most digital channels. You can buy ad space on other websites, social media, email newsletters, etc. as well as streaming services. Depending on your budget and goals, you could also consider buying space in physical locations like magazines, billboards, and newspapers. Event sponsorship is yet another avenue to get the word out about your campaign. And of course, we all have the U.S. Postal Service as a resource to send direct mail.
Speaking of money, your budget is the other main constraint on your campaign possibilities. If you only have $200 to spend, you’re not going to include advertising on subway trains in your campaign. Fortunately, the digital age has facilitated a wide variety of free marketing channels for small businesses.
Don’t be afraid to spend money to achieve your goals, though. So many businesses are reluctant to pay for direct mail, for example. But you always need to consider the return on your investment! For $900, I can print and mail 600 oversized postcards. Direct mail has an average response rate of 9%, which would be 54 people in this example. If I get interest from 54 people, depending on my offer and price point, I can easily make back my $900 and then some! Once you consider the lifetime value of a customer, direct mail can have a major payout in terms of ROI.
Messaging and Content
Your message, which should be aligned with your campaign goals, absolutely must be consistent throughout the campaign. This doesn’t mean you have to use exactly the same words, but the tone, aesthetic, and impact of each touchpoint should remain consistent. All content that is created, whether graphics or copy, should be engaging and aim to resonate with your audience.
When it comes to content, use the differences between channels to your advantage! What works on Instagram (vibrant photos with helpful captions) isn’t going to work on your blog. As long as you’re keeping the message consistent, you can try new things on new channels.
Call to Action
What exactly do you want your audience to do next? We’re humans, which means that most of us dislike having to make decisions. At each touchpoint, you need to provide obvious next steps.
You can direct people to your website or landing with a link or a QR code. You can invite them to follow you on social media and post with a specific hashtag. You can tell them to spend all their money on your latest product line. Whatever you do, make sure they know what they are “supposed” to do next.
You need to develop a timeline that contains specific dates (and when applicable, times) for each touchpoint of your campaign. You should also build a content calendar that outlines content creation, publishing, and promotion.
It’s also helpful to include details in your timeline around aspects you can’t control. For example, if you have a direct mail piece mailing on a specific date, estimate how long it will take for the piece to land in mailboxes. You can then plan your follow-up email to reach your audience after they’ve seen the direct mail piece.
Your campaign is almost pointless if you can’t measure its success. I say almost because if you made money, then yay! But did you achieve your goal or just break even? Your campaign needs to be tracked so that you know what you do or don’t want to repeat in the future. If your campaign is long enough, you can also course correct in the middle if it is really tanking. If you need to make changes, you can adjust the audience segments, the content, the channels you’re using, or the message (your offer, your call to action, etc.).
My suggestion is to measure as much as relates to your campaign goals. If your goal is brand awareness, measure how many followers you’ve gained and how many views your website gets. If your goal is to increase sales, that’s an easy one to track. So is tracking new leads. But don’t forget to also track some of the behind-the-scenes analytics too.
For example, you’d still want to see how many hits your landing page got if you’re trying to obtain new leads. What if you have 750 hits to your landing page, but only 7 new leads? A 0.9% conversion rate doesn’t sound right to me, so I’d wonder if you need to make your offer more enticing. There’s interest from your audience, but something is holding them back from giving you their information. Next time, go even further and offer them something they feel is worth giving out their email address!
Putting It All Together
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts when you’re planning a campaign. Not to mention the time, skill, and resources it takes to launch and monitor a successful campaign. If you need help with any or all of these parts, get in touch! I’m always happy to help, even if you just have a question about something. 🙂