Organizing and executing a campaign can be a daunting prospect, especially if you\u2019ve never done it before. Fortunately, it doesn\u2019t have to be that way if you have a path you can stick to throughout the journey. In this article, we\u2019ve outlined the steps that our team takes to conduct digital marketing campaigns. Identify Goals In the early stages of planning a campaign, there\u2019s a lot of noise as you try to figure out the best starting point. To ensure you\u2019re starting off on the right foot, we recommend kicking off your campaign by taking time to identify your goals. There are two basic kinds of goals: Your company\u2019s \u201cbig picture\u201d strategic and revenue goals. An example of this type of goal would be \u201cwe want to double the number of sales we get within six months\u201d or \u201cwe want to establish our company as a thought leader in our industry.\u201d Your smaller scale tactical goals that help you achieve those \u201cbig picture\u201d goals. A few examples of this type of goal might be \u201cwe want our site visitors to fill out this contact form\u201d or \u201cwe want our site visitors to download one of our marketing assets.\u201d Is the end goal to have them fill out the contact form? Would you rather have the site visitors call you directly if they want to know more about your services\/products? Is the priority for the website just to be a resource that includes industry-related thought leadership content for visitors to download? The reason that defining the above and determining the goals for the website is so important is that it will then shape the campaigns and tactical components of the campaigns that help lead users to those goals (i.e., contact form, phone number, downloadable asset). Basically, you want to define the end of the user journey, so that you can then build the user story (campaign) for how your visitors (audiences, personas, etc.) will get to the end. Once you have your goals set, mapping out your campaign path suddenly becomes a lot more tangible and straightforward. Establish Benchmarks Once your goals are set, it\u2019s time to benchmark those goals. As we\u2019ve already discussed in a previous blog post about benchmarking your digital strategy, this research tactic \u201chelps you evaluate your business\u2019 current capabilities against competitors, and in turn, identify new opportunities or areas for improvement.\u201d Benchmarking allows you to track your return on investment, and most importantly, find the gaps between where your business is now and where you want it to be several years from now. To begin the benchmarking process, you must first evaluate where you currently stand with your newly established goals. For example, if one of your goals is to increase the number of users who fill out the contact form in the next six months, you must first measure how many people filled out the form in the previous six months. Another example: If one of your goals is to increase the number of downloaded assets in the next nine months, you must first determine how many assets were downloaded in the previous nine months. Of course, it\u2019s very challenging to benchmark these items if you don\u2019t have tracking set up for them yet. Don\u2019t worry \u2014 that just means you\u2019ll need to set up tracking for any new data moving forward. The most efficient and accessible way to begin monitoring your goals is through the use of marketing tools that allow you to track events, emails, keyword referrals, search engine rankings, technical site issues, or cross-domain user activity. A few of the most popular platforms that give you this capability include Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Search Console. Benchmarking is a step that must never be skipped. After all, the toughest part of marketing is proving the ROI of your efforts. That\u2019s why you should never move forward with an initiative without defining how to track its success. Define Audiences The next step in the campaign building process is to define the audience(s) that is meant to be targeted by the campaign. Each persona has certain characteristics that appeal to them differently than others, which is why we recommend creating personas \u2014 generalized representations of your ideal clients or customers. Creating personas allows you to hone in on specific audience characteristics with individualized tactics. Your audiences\u2019 characteristics could be buzzwords that they use (that you can leverage when optimizing content and ads), or they could be a particular medium they use the most (for example, some people prefer to be reached by social media while others prefer email). Once we have established our audiences\/personas and their respective characteristics, we are now better equipped to create content\/messaging that we know will appeal to them. Create the campaign With your goals set up, benchmarking parameters established, and your audiences identified, you can now get into the meat of executing your campaign \u2014 whether that involves pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, social media, or a combination. Whichever medium(s) you leverage, a major component of your campaign should be your landing page. A landing page is a page on your website that you want a user to \u201cland on\u201d after clicking an advertisement, search engine result, social media post, or through some other means of referral. Typically, you want to optimize your landing page carefully in order to maximize conversions. The most effective way to optimize the landing page is to think back to the audiences you defined earlier in the process. Who is this landing page for? Is it intended for a narrowly segmented persona, or is it suitable for a broader audience? You\u2019ll want to make sure it\u2019s tailored to that particular audience, so they aren\u2019t surprised or confused when they arrive at the landing page. That\u2019s why you must make sure your landing page is consistent. The same messaging that enticed your user to click your call-to-action (CTA) must also be present in the landing page content \u2014 but this time, accompanied by more detail. TIP: Use similar copy in the referring CTA and your landing page. This provides a quick visual queue to the user that they are in the right place (and they didn\u2019t fall in a trap). Typically, the CTA you find on a landing page will be one of the goals you set at the beginning of the campaign process. For example, you might have a contact form embedded directly on the page, or you might have a prominent button link that allows users to download an asset \u2014 filling out that form or downloading that asset means a goal has been achieved! Refine your campaign Even though attaining a goal technically brings the campaign process to an end, the work doesn\u2019t end there. After bringing your campaign efforts full circle and allowing the campaign to run its course, you must now take the time to review the benchmarking analytics that you set up previously. This allows you to assess the overall performance of the campaign so you can make data-driven decisions about how you will move forward with future campaigns \u2014 whether that means identifying new goals or defining new audiences. Kickstart your digital marketing strategy today. At Southern Web, our dedicated digital marketing experts use these same steps for developing and implementing client campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing services.