If you haven’t yet started a digital marketing campaign, one of the main reasons why might be a simple lack of knowledge in how to get started. Calling it a “campaign” doesn’t exactly help, especially when you associate the word with things like endless political campaigns which drag on for years. Relax, that’s not what you’re getting into!

The word “campaign” simply means a series of actions taken with a specific goal in mind. So a digital marketing campaign is just a series of actions you take for the purpose of marketing, using digital tools. It can be big or small, take a long time or a short time, can be focused on a subset of existing customers or can be aimed at a larger geographic area or a particular demographic.

To help you get started with your first digital marketing campaign, here are five ideas. If you have been creating marketing campaigns for a while, you can use this as a checklist for your next campaign to see if you can improve any areas.

1. Set your goal

Remember that a campaign is focused on the achievement of a goal. To have a great campaign, you need tofirst know what your goal is. Your goal will help you determine the best actions to take.

A marketing campaign goal is just like any other type of goal, in that the more specific you are in setting your goal the more specific your actions can be, and the better you will be able to determine your success. As an example, a personal goal to “lose weight” is not as good as “lose five pounds over the next six weeks.” The first goal is so nebulous, it’s hard to know where to start or whether or not you’ve succeeded. The second goal, by contrast, has the definition of success built right in, which gives more motivation. Being more specific also gives a better starting point to look for information on how to reach the goal.

A digital marketing campaign also needs clear goals. “Gain more customers” or “get more followers on Facebook” is too vague. Be more specific, as in setting a specific sales target or specific number of email subscribers or Facebook followers. Whatever your ultimate goal is, whether it’s bigger sales numbers or a larger audience or anything else, think about what actions will take you toward it and how you can tell if you are succeeding. Then build those things into your campaign goal.

2. Decide What to Offer

Offering something of value is a great way to get attention for your campaign. Your offer should support your goal. For example, if you want to drive more sales, try offering a coupon or discount. If you want people to help spread the word about your company or brand, offer them something they can share with a friend. If you want to get more people on your mailing list, offer a special download for people who sign up for your newsletter.

Being specific helps here too. Simply advertising “a sale” will garner less attention than offering a specific product for a specific discount. Provide details about what you are offering and demonstrate the value of it to get more attention for your campaign.

3. Use Great Tools

Part of what makes a digital marketing campaign daunting for many people is not knowing how to handle the technical aspects of assembling an email newsletter, maintaining a mailing list, or measuring results. These are indeed big tasks, and many business owners or volunteer coordinators don’t have the opportunity to develop the skills and experience necessary. This is where partnering with an expert source of great marketing tools comes in. Using a service to handle all of the technical details will enable you to focus on your message and your customers, making the process of setting up your campaign much faster and easier.

4. Measure Results

When you have a goal and you’ve set your campaign into motion, you need to know whether or not it works. This means having some specific measurement by which you can tell if your campaign is reaching people and engaging them in the way you want it to.

The way you will measure success will depend on your actual campaign. For example, if you want to have more sales, that’s clearly what you need to measure. But there are other things you can measure as well, outside of your primary goal. For example, do you have a way to tell how many people read your newsletter? Can you determine how many customers were prompted to make purchases based on your marketing campaign? Even if you don’t meet your primary goal, the more data you gather about your campaign, the more you can learn from it to improve future efforts.

5. Evaluate and Plan Ahead

Finally, when your campaign has run its course, evaluate the results. If you met your goal, that’s great! You have an example of what works and experience at setting up a first campaign. If your campaign fell short in some respect, that’s okay too. Celebrate whatever success you attained, and then analyze the total results. Decide what worked the best and what fell short. Use that information to plan for future marketing efforts, both via digital means and otherwise.

Setting up a digital marketing campaign can be a big step toward increased success in many areas of your business or organization. Even if you’ve never done it before, it doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. Give it a try with a small campaign to get your feet wet, as the saying goes, and before you know it you’ll be making great campaigns and reaching more people than ever.

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