Marketing Campaigns: Touch Your Audience in a Creative Way

Written by
Sandy Diao
min read

You’ve got a marketing strategy. You’ve got a plan to carry it out. You’ve got a bottle of whiskey in your desk. You’re ready to launch a marketing campaign. 

But what is a marketing campaign, how does it differ from your everyday marketing? 

In a nutshell, a marketing campaign is a strategic, focused effort where you apply your marketing apparatus to promote an individual product, service, or event. It ramps up people's attention very quickly, in hopes of turning short-term brand awareness into a sale. It wraps in a defined time period.

Marketing campaigns use various media, from print and television ads to social media and YouTube. Read on to learn more about the several different types of marketing initiatives and how they can benefit you.

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Types of marketing campaigns

You can implement several different marketing campaigns, all of which can work perfectly well in the digital marketing sphere.

1. Product marketing campaign

This type of marketing strategy promotes the launch of a new product. Success means robust sales during the product’s initial run.

2. Brand campaign

This kind of marketing strategy promotes a brand, often at its launch. Success is usually defined by some measure of brand awareness among the target audience.

3. Rebranding campaign

When your company goes through a significant overhaul, whether it’s in its visual identity (logos, colors, etc.), the products itself, or some kind of transaction, like a merger, you do a rebranding campaign.  The goal is usually to acquaint existing customers with the changes, and to attract whatever new customers the overhaul is intended to attract. Success could be measured in customer retention data, sales, or brand awareness metrics. 

4. Email marketing campaign

Email marketing campaigns can complement other types of marketing campaigns, or stand alone. They typically use a pre-assembled mailing list to deliver a message to an audience, usually with a call-to-action aimed at prompting things like purchases or account sign-ups. Think of political campaigns or requests for charitable support. Success could be measured by click-through rates, or by actions taken after clicking through. 

5. Content marketing campaign

As the name implies, a campaign driven by content — blog posts, SEO copy, published articles, and so on. It can also be complementary. It’s typically less focused on specific calls-to-action and more on brand awareness. But it could be designed to promote a specific event or promotion. Success could be measured by basic engagement metrics (views, time on site, etc.) or by something specific to whatever you’re promoting (e.g., event registrations).

6. User-generated content campaign

This type of campaign seeks to increase consumer engagement using content created by your audience themselves. It typically involves social media and offers some kind of prizes or simply exposure for consumers who create some kind of brand-related video, social posts, and the like. Success will likely be measured by participation and engagement rates. 

7. Public relations campaign

A public relations campaign intends to create and control a specific narrative about your company through the media. Success will likely be determined by media hits or appearances, by measuring reaction and by gauging brand sentiment. Often, these kind of campaigns are used when a company needs to rehabilitate its reputation for some reason.  

8. Social media marketing campaign

As the name suggests, this is a campaign carried out on social platforms, often with the intent to increase a brand’s profile, or to generate specific actions like new account sign-ups. Success could be measured by how many took that action, or simply by follower count. 

9. Paid marketing campaign

Advertising and paid content promotions on social media can run concurrently with other types of campaigns — and can be very effective in boosting their efficacy. Think of Google ads, Facebook ads, and Twitter sponsored posts. Success will likely be measured by engagement metrics provided by those platforms.

10. Seasonal push campaign

This is any campaign geared toward promoting a product, event, or service tied to a specific period of the year. Think “back to school” initiatives and holiday campaigns. Success will depend on the goals and they kind of seasonal push you’re making. 

Marketing campaign components

In addition to the different types of campaigns, you should know the various components of marketing campaigns. 

1. Goals and KPIs

Goals refer to what your company hopes to achieve through the marketing campaign. For example, is it a certain percentage of inventory sold or a specific increase in audience size? 

KPI refers to key performance indicators or the metrics you use to measure progress toward your goals.

2. Audience

Your audience is your target market or those most likely to buy into your product or service. You should gear all marketing efforts toward them and their needs, along with the channels and media they are most likely to frequent. Every decision should be made with your audience in mind. 

3. Channels

Here's where you'll distribute and promote your marketing content. Platforms for distribution can include social media giants like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. You should always prioritize the channels your audience is most likely to use.

4. Budget

Budget refers to the amount of money you have to spend on your marketing campaign; it determines your campaign parameters.

5. Content format

This is the content that you’ll be posting to your channels for the duration of your marketing campaign. Think emails, social media updates, created content like blog posts and video ads, all geared toward your target audience.

6. Design

Marketers always need to think about the design elements that go into their campaigns. They need to make sure the campaign components are visually appealing, easy to use, and cohesive in their branding across multiple channels. Examples of design elements for your campaign include website landing pages, digital ad banners, and product photos.

Want to know how to create a marketing campaign?

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Here’s a basic breakdown of the main steps to take.

1. Set your goals

Determining your goals and the KPIs to measure progress is crucial to laying the groundwork for your campaign using the SMART system. Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.

For example: Do you want to grow your follower count on social media to a specific number? How many weeks do you need to grow your current follower base to that number, taking into account the budget constraints of your marketing campaign?

2. Determine your budget

How much money do you have to spend on your campaign? You want to have at least a general idea going in, because it will inform decisions about everything from paid promotion to hiring outside creatives. Once you have a sense of it, plan for the budget you have, not the budget you want.

3. Perform market research

Research other products or services that are similar to yours. Understand how yours stacks up in terms of quality, price, and unique selling points. Examine distribution methods, market patterns that will affect the success of your product, industry trends, and benchmarks.

4. Determine your buyer persona

Examine your target audience to create a buyer persona. Your buyer persona lays out in detail what kind of person is most likely to benefit from your product or service, which will eventually and hopefully convert them into a sale. 

Give your persona a name. Then list their relevant characteristics: age, gender, location, interests, income, and whatever pain points are troubling them or problems that they need to have solved. Note which social channels they use and how they use them. Add any other details that are relevant to your product. 

Let that persona be your North Star: you’ll want to be confident that every part of your campaign is designed to move them to buy your product. 

5. Create a content schedule, then your content

After you finish your research, you need to plan out what type of content you’ll create. You should take at least three steps:

  • Keyword research
  • Determining format
  • Creating a content schedule

Remember, the channels you use and the format your audience is most likely to respond to will determine your content type.

6. Choose your metrics

As you publish and promote your content, you’ll also want to track its metrics. These depend on your campaign type and channels, but some of the most common are:

  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Total revenue
  • Opt-in rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Webpage traffic

4 tips for an effective marketing campaign

Lastly, a few more tips on how to make your marketing campaign effective:

1. Use social media to your advantage

Even if you’re not conducting a social media campaign, you still need social media to promote your content. That means both organic (free) posts and promoted (paid) posts. Never underestimate how effective it can be in spreading your message to your target audience in a relatively cost-effective way. 

2. Know your audience

Having the best product will mean nothing if you can’t identify your target audience and speak directly to their needs. Direct your marketing efforts to areas most likely to convince them to buy, and be very precise and deliberate about it.

3. Consider influencer marketing

Consider reaching out to influencers, if appropriate for the type of campaign you’re running. Influencers come with built-in audiences who trust their judgment, and positive word of mouth can be a potent, persuasive tool — even when you had to pay for it. 

4. Make sure to communicate with your team

Marketing campaigns often include a team of people working in collaboration with one another. By making sure you’re all on the same page regarding your goals, deliverables, and schedule, you run a lower risk of having a mix-up during your campaign launch.

For additional content creation tips that will help you with your marketing campaign, check out Descript’s article on leveraging the power of video to boost your business.

Written by
Written by
Sandy Diao

Director of Growth at Descript. Former growth, marketing, and strategy at Facebook, Pinterest, Indiegogo.

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Sandy Diao

Director of Growth at Descript. Former growth, marketing, and strategy at Facebook, Pinterest, Indiegogo.

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