How To Build A Campaign That Delivers Measurable Results
Want to look beyond your existing communication channels to expand your reach? Discover new ways of engaging with your audience? Need some focus in your campaigns to get to your desired results?
I have written up some guidelines to help you challenge your existing plans and improve your media campaigns by staying focused.
Setting Clear and Measurable Objectives
What is it you are trying to achieve? Having clear, measurable objectives and KPIs is the key to a focused campaign and will help you measure if your campaign has been successful. And measurable results will also help shape any future campaigns of yours.
Make sure you focus on one clear objective. Think about if you need to build up awareness or if you need to drive consideration or sales? If you are wondering which one to go with, look at your overall business objective. Do you need to expand your audience to drive business growth? Or do you want to convert potential consumers into actual consumers?
Depending on which one you need to focus on to serve your overall business objective, stick with it and build a dedicated plan to follow this objective.
I appreciate that it can be tempting to say, ‘of course I need sales and want to focus on sales only’. However, it is worth remembering that brands need to build up reach and awareness to grow. Most products and services require to have a level of awareness among their target audience for them to consider buying from you. The only way to grow is by building up reach consistently within your category. This reach then translates into consideration and consecutively into sales, (not 1:1 mind).
If you focus on sales only, you can achieve short peaks of sales spikes, but over the long-term you are not growing your business sustainably.
Hence, a mix of brand and product/service communication is relevant to drive growth and sales. However, be mindful on how to set up your campaigns. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to serve all objectives at the same time. It will murk the set up and not serve any of these objectives in the end.
Define your objective for the campaign to help you build a campaign that serves this objective. And if you want to serve both, consider running several campaigns across a period with distinct plans set up, that have, however, the same brand feels and language to allow for recognition and easy identification.
Define Your Target Audience
To build awareness, consideration or to drive sales you need to define your target audience. Who is it you need to talk to? Where do they live (nationally vs locally), what are their attitudes or pain points for products or services in your category?
Having a clear definition of who they are will help you analyse which media channels they are using. Look at which channels they consume frequently. But also look at how they are using the channels. Are they consuming a channel actively, or passively in the background?
Answers to these questions will help you short-list the media channel mix before moving on to the next step.
Learning from Previous Campaigns
Before start setting up your new campaign, look at the learning and insights from your previous campaigns. As each campaign for each brand is so individual your very own insights are the most valuable to allow for optimising your communication.
Which are the channels, and which are the formats that have performed best? Which target options have worked out well? And which have not done so well and need tweaking? Look at what has performed well to build upon.
But more importantly, look at what has not worked well. Do not ignore any negative results and brush them aside. They are just as important and valuable as the positive results. They help you expand and push your next campaign forward.
Do not dismiss a channel entirely because it has not worked once. Have there been formats that have not delivered as expected? Look back at the objectives and the setup of the format if they matched each other. Or could the targeting setup in the channel need some tweaking? Maybe it was too narrow, maybe it was too broad?
Also look at the creative you have used. Are there creatives that have performed better than others? If they have not, what is the reason? Think about how a consumer uses the channel. What kind of content are they used to, what kind of content do they expect, do they actively lean in or is it used passively?
All these factors should be taken into consideration when building your creatives/ad for each platform. It needs to fit the platform. Not the other way around. And this can mean that for every channel used you need to create respective ads. Of course, they need to be connected and consistent but the tone, copy and look & feel need to be relevant to the platform and the objective.
Build Your Media Plan and Keep Measuring
Now that you have set a clear objective, a defined target audience and collected your learning, you can start setting up your next campaign for your set budget. Continue what has worked for you but set aside some budget to test new platforms or formats. Be brave and open to take a bit of a risk. Only trying new things will help you push your campaigns forward. And by new things I mean things that are new to you, not necessarily the next shiny thing that comes along in the media world.
Look at the channels defined when analysing your target audience and set them against your objectives. Which channels serve these objectives best? Can they deliver sufficient reach/views/clicks with your given budget? Make sure you have set clear and measurable KPI's by platform and format. This will help you measure your success and allows for insights to optimizes during the campaign and get learning for future campaigns.
Do not spread yourself too thin, pick the most relevant channels first and do them well. If it means you stick to existing channels, then optimize your new campaign with a set of new formats, maybe a new and optimised set of creatives, or a redefined targeting approach within this channel.
If you have sufficient budget left, explore a new channel. Allow enough time and a few formats and targeting options to test. Factor in sufficient time to give you the opportunity to collect enough data points to allow for insights and optimisation. Allow for flexibility in your plans. Media is dynamic, and external factors can have sudden and significant impacts on your campaign’s performance. This requires continuous observation of the performance, action to optimise or even the flexibility to pull and shift media spends among channels if that is possible.
Measure continuously against your set media objectives to evaluate if the campaign is on track, needs some tweaking and, in the end, if it has been successful.
Comms requires continuity and adaptation. Have patience and be brave!
If you are looking for support to optimise your campaign or setting up a new campaign please get in touch.
Bryon Sharp ‘How brands grow’
Peter Field ‘Short-Termism is Killing Effectiveness’ / Wiemer Snijders ‘Eat Your Greens'