Marketing

How to Reach More Customers With a Digital Marketing Campaign

Apr 5, 2022

Crafting a digital marketing campaign and need some help? We’ve got you covered with a 6 step guide to develop the perfect plan for your small business.

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Gary FroniewskiContent Writer at GetApp
How to Reach More Customers With a Digital Marketing Campaign

These days there’s no question that digital marketing is an effective way to gain brand recognition, reach your target audience, and attract potential customers.

As a marketing professional with the goal of growing a small business, you likely know this already. But what about putting all the pieces together into a strategic, successful plan of action? Well, that’s another question entirely, and we aim to answer it here.

With so many different types of digital marketing to choose from, strategies to engage in, and tactics to employ, it can be overwhelming trying to come up with digital marketing campaigns that drive toward your specific goals.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be.

If you’re a marketing manager or the leader of a small business that’s looking to up your marketing game, this article will serve as your step-by-step guide to developing a successful campaign of your own. In it we’ll define what a digital marketing campaign is then walk through 6 steps you can take to make sure it’s a winner.

What is a digital marketing campaign?

A digital marketing campaign, also referred to as online marketing, is a plan designed to execute a company’s marketing strategy across key digital channels. Channels include things like email, social media, and the brand’s website among others.

The strategy a digital campaign follows is predetermined based on a business’s goals, target audience, budget, and other factors. You can learn more about how to devise a digital marketing strategy for your small business in our guide here.

6 steps to a successful digital marketing campaign

When starting the task of creating a digital marketing plan of your own, there are a variety of factors that must be considered, especially for a small business on a limited budget.

In the steps below, we’ll cover everything from defining your goals and choosing key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring success to how you’ll go about determining the right channels to utilize and the best way to iterate on the campaign’s results.

Step 1: Define your goals

The first step in developing an effective campaign is defining what you hope to accomplish with it. And be as specific as possible! Successful digital marketing campaigns always (read: always) have a well-defined goal.

Clear goals will help you accurately track progress and also allow you to make more granular decisions when tweaking the campaign’s parameters. Not to mention, A/B testing removes some of the ambiguity you might face along the way.

Questions to consider: Are we adjusting the right parameters? Will this affect metrics other than the KPIs we’re focused on? What effect will this have on our overall budget?

Some examples of specific campaign goals include:

  • Growing followers on a targeted social media platform by 20%

  • Earning 1,000 visits to a website or landing page

  • Increasing email list subscribers by 15%

  • Securing 50 new conversions from click throughs on campaign content

Always start with your goal and ladder the rest of your decisions up to that goal. Planning these aspects ahead of time and constantly mapping adjustments back to your original objective will lead to a smoother process and ultimately, better results.

Step 2: Outline how you’ll measure success

Once you’ve determined your goals, now it’s time to decide how you'll measure the success of your efforts to reach them. We’ve given a sneak peek at some of the key performance indicators you can choose in the above examples, so let’s dive into those now and outline some other options available to you.

Key Performance Indicators

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a quantifiable metric by which you can measure the success of a person, initiative, organization, etc.

KPIs are important digital marketing metrics because they are specific and measurable ways to ensure you’re meeting or exceeding your objectives. And if you aren’t, they act as a trusted barometer to help you improve.

Some examples of popular KPIs include:

  • Direct sales

  • Lead to conversion rate

  • Website traffic

  • Social engagements

  • Form fills

  • Link clicks

  • Email open and clickthrough rates

If brand awareness is your main objective, website traffic and social engagements are a good place to start. If your goal is to garner more sales, direct sales and lead to conversion rate may be the best options for you.

And if you’re taking a more holistic approach across a number of digital channels, a combination of email clickthrough, website traffic, social engagements, and link clicks may help you make progress at various points in your customer journey. Be careful not to go too broad, however, especially if you have a limited budget.

Strive to have one primary KPI along with any secondary ones you choose. In the context of a campaign vs. an overall strategy, staying focused can mean the difference between exceeding your target and observing suboptimal results.

Step 3: Identify your target audience

Now that you’ve identified your goal and selected some KPIs to track your progress, it’s time to identify who you’ll be marketing to.

Whether or not you’ve created your own buyer personas, you likely have an idea of your business’s target audience based on demographic information like age, location, interests, etc.

Some digital channels like social media platforms have audience information built into their native marketing functions, and you can utilize campaign management tools like retargeting software to select audiences based on past behavior when interacting with your content.

Utilizing tools like this to gain insights beyond basic demographic information is an excellent way to ensure your campaign outperforms in reaching actual potential customers. Marketing Evolution found that campaigns that leverage data-driven personalization report 5-8x ROI for their campaign spend.

This is a big deal considering most small businesses have a limited marketing budget to work with. Stretching every dollar to reach the right people (and more of them) is critical.

Start with readily available demographic information, utilize what you know about your existing customers, and take advantage of marketing software to connect the dots.

Step 4: Determine your budget and channels

Perhaps the most tangible part of any campaign is the budget. Most digital marketing methods require money to activate, and knowing how much you have to work with informs everything from the aggressiveness of your goals to the tactics and channels you choose.

As a marketer for a small business, you may be working with less, so it’s even more important to stretch every dollar and be strategic about how you’re spending.

A good place to start is prioritizing free or low-cost tactics like organic social media, email marketing, and search engine marketing (SEM). One example of this is leveraging user-generated content (UGC) to both engage your audience and get free content to fuel your efforts. You can read more about effectively utilizing UGC and other digital marketing tactics here.

With a solid organic foundation, you can now add in the paid tactics that will best complement those—always making sure to ladder them back up to your primary goal. For example, if your goal is to grow your following by 20% on a social media platform, consider a community-driven campaign with calls to action to engage with your social media accounts.

A combination of organic messaging and pay-per-click ads driving to your target accounts can combine to have a powerful effect for relatively little ad spend. This effect is compounded further when you use the learnings from your initial digital marketing campaigns to inform the strategy of subsequent ones.

For subsequent campaigns, tweak your targeting to further hone in on your audience, take advantage of ad formats and channels that have less competition, and be mindful of a campaign’s runtime to maximize its effects for your budget. All of these things will compound to save you money and get better results in the long run.

Step 5: Run your campaign and measure the results

Now that you’ve determined your campaign’s primary goal, outlined the KPIs you’ll use to measure success, and honed in on your target audience, budget, and channels, you’re ready to launch your campaign!

Depending on the breadth and scope of your campaign strategy, this may be the time to consider adopting campaign management software to help you execute (now and in the future).

If this first campaign is isolated to select channels, you can also conduct the campaign natively on those platforms until you’ve identified the need for a software solution. For example, social media platforms in particular will have their own advertising and audience targeting functionality for you to take advantage of.

In the case of email and website marketing, utilizing a data management system to keep track of campaign information: content, run time, budgetary information, etc. may work for you.

Whatever method you choose, the most important thing to ensure you do is track the campaign information and results. This will allow you to more effectively tackle our next and final step which is iterating on your methods based on the initial campaign’s outcome.

Step 6: Iterate on the outcome

Congratulations! You’ve run your first digital marketing campaign, and hopefully you’ve seen some impressive results from your marketing effort. Whether you’ve shot far past your goals or you need to return to the drawing board, conducting an after action assessment so you can improve future performance is critical.

Compare the campaign’s performance against your goals and note potential areas for improvement. If you far exceeded your target, what allowed you to do so? If you missed the mark, where did you get hung up? Tweaking parameters like audience targeting, run time, channels, and even your creative assets can all have an impact.

This step is where software solutions like marketing analytics and marketing automation software can really come in handy. Analytics software can help you make sense of campaign data to improve future efforts, and marketing automation software is especially useful for automating parts of the process to become more efficient over time. Visit our software directory and look under Marketing to get a better idea of the other types of tools available.

Now go forth and conquer your marketing goals

In this article, we’ve shared a step-by-step guide along with some tips to help you formulate a digital marketing campaign for your small business.

We’ve walked through defining goals, outlining KPIs, identifying your target audience, determining your budget and channels, and launching your initiative. Armed with these steps, you should be more than ready to tackle your goals head on with a well-planned and executed campaign.

As your business grows, so will your marketing strategy

When working towards the goal of growing your business and improving your overall marketing efforts, there are things to consider that can help you maintain an edge every step of the way.

Below you’ll find additional content from the GetApp blog that will teach you to utilize the right types of digital marketing, to engage in effective tactics, and to do it all with a solid game plan in mind.

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About the author

Gary Froniewski

Content Writer at GetApp
Hey there, I’m Gary 👋. I’m a Content Writer at GetApp. I bring you insights about digital marketing trends and best practices for small businesses. I studied Communications at The University of Texas at Austin. Home base: Austin, TX.; Things about me: I love home cooking, I play tennis nearly every day, and I like meeting new dogs more than new people.; The tech trends I think you should keep an eye on 👀: immersive experiences like experiential marketing and the metaverse.
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