If you work in communications or happen to be one of 2.5 billion to own a smartphone, you’ve probably noticed the shift to digital. digital. digital. As all forms of media are available on smartphones, smart TVs and streaming devices, the world of marketing and advertising has changed rapidly to keep up with this shift.
While traditional forms of advertising like out-of-home, billboard and street marketing are still crucial in achieving certain marketing goals, it’s hard to find a project today that isn’t a fit for digital marketing and advertising. Why? It’s where the audience truly lives.
Advertisers clearly understand this urgency — as digital ad spend is expected to represent the majority of all U.S. as spend by 2021. When developing a digital strategy, it’s crucial to consider several factors to assure success in a campaign.
Below are four tips to develop a slam-dunk digital strategy:
Consider business goals first
In a project kick-off or client discovery session, it’s easy to get so excited about achieving marketing goals that you forget to consider a client’s higher-level business goals. For example, if a client’s overall business goal is to increase sales by 10%, it’s wise to select marketing tactics that are most likely to convert users toward that goal and tactics that are easier to measure for that goal. So, billboard advertising may not be the most strategic choice as it’s difficult to quantify, measure and relate to larger business goals, especially if the chosen audience consumes mostly digital media. But for visibility across large geographic areas? Yes. Get those billboards.
Select tactics and KPIs thoughtfully
Once you’ve designated business and marketing goals, it’s time to get to work on a comprehensive digital strategy, including goals, timeline, tactics, KPIs and of course, budget. Strategy development is no place to skimp — putting in comprehensive work at the forefront of a campaign means you’ll always have this holy document to reference when assessing performance.
While selecting digital tactics might seem like the easiest part, it’s crucial to be thoughtful about these choices to ensure success toward campaign goals. For example, an SEO campaign that links directly to a client’s e-commerce page might be a wise choice for purchase-ready audience groups, and supplemental tactics like social media or display advertising might work best for any secondary audience groups where visibility or awareness are major goals.
Next, make sure to designate KPIs, or key performance indicators, that align well with the selected tactics and overall business goals. For most digital tactics, these include the majors like reach, impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate and average cost-per-click.
Monitor, optimize, repeat
With your strategy finalized, it’s time to launch! YES — your work is finally done. Right? Wrong.
Launching a digital campaign is just the start. Because of the fluid and real-time nature of much of digital advertising, it’s imperative to monitor your campaign results often and optimize as needed. Maybe your audience spends less time than you thought scanning online news outlets so your display campaign isn’t as visible as you anticipated, or maybe your ad creative is resonating with a different target group than you planned.
No matter the result, monitoring your digital campaign with a customizable and open-minded approach will foster out-of-the-box thinking and creative problem-solving to pivot your strategy if needed.
Always think forward
Finally, the first month of a campaign is a great time to start thinking ahead for future work. Sound hasty? It’s not.
Scanning and assessing results with a forward-thinking mindset will prepare you for any similar projects in the future and keep your mind sharp for any mid-project pivots or additions. Is the target audience swooning over a particular set of creatives? Maybe you’ll consider extending the life of a campaign or creating supplementary ads. Is your campaign killing it on all tactics but one? Maybe you drop that one next year.
No matter what, you’ll thank your past self for its future-thinking mindset when assessing performance and planning future campaigns.
Interested in learning more about running digital campaigns with us or just want to say hello? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.