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How to Create a Successful Marketing Campaign

Khalipha Ntloko

Apr 12, 2021

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From Coca-Cola's "Open Happiness" and Dove's "Real Beauty", to non-profit organisations like Stop the Money Pipeline, successful marketing campaigns have a way of sticking with us long after an impression or purchase. 

The reason is that effective campaigns make companies personable, relatable, and memorable. And the best ones do even more than achieve quantitative results and increase sales — they have the power to change consumer perceptions, drive change, and impact societies. 

However, the question is: how do you create a successful marketing campaign, one that is innovative enough to leave a lasting impression and attract so many of your customers, and remarkable enough to drive sales long after the ad has aired?

While there is no one-size-fits-all method, there are a couple of criteria that the most successful marketing campaigns have in common. Here, we break it down.

Table of Contents

What is a Marketing Campaign?

Essentially, marketing campaigns promote products or services through different types of media, like television, radio, print, and digital platforms. Marketing campaigns don't just rely on advertising but can also include live demonstrations, video conferencing, and other methods where you'll be able to reach your target audience.

Marketing campaigns will often be crafted with different goals in mind, such as building brand awareness and a brand image, introducing a new product to the market, increasing sales of a product or service, or reducing the impact of negative news. How you define a marketing campaign's goal will usually determine the strategy you need to execute the campaign effectively, and what media channels you'll need to get the campaign in front of your audience's eyes.

Planning Your Marketing Campaign

Naturally, planning your marketing campaign is the first step to creating an effective one. Planning correctly will ensure you know how to measure marketing campaign success, have a clear understanding of what you're getting out of the campaign, and will guide your marketing team to do more of what's working, and get back on track when it's not. 

people sitting around a white table in a boardroom looking at a computer screen

What is the main goal of your marketing campaign?

If you’re having trouble defining your campaign's purpose, start broad. Take a look at the marketing goals below and see which ones make sense for your own brand. Which one is most aligned with your own? This is hardly a definitive list, but it gives you an idea of some general business goals that a successful marketing campaign could help reach.

  • Promote a new product or service
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Gather customer feedback or content
  • Generate revenue
  • Boost user engagement on social media
  • Advertise an upcoming event
  • Generate leads

Now, take your broad goal and turn it into a SMART goal: one that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. An example of a broad goal is "The goal of my marketing campaign is to gather customer feedback or content on our brand."

To make that goal SMART, would sound something like, "The goal of my marketing campaign is to gather user-generated content from 100 customers from a branded hashtag on Instagram featuring our new product line by the 30th of June." 

How can you measure successful marketing campaigns?

Depending on the goal you've set out to achieve, your marketing campaign might be measured by the number of leads generated, the amount of sales revenue in a given month, or new followers you gain on a particular social media platform, for example. 

Decide what milestones will be important to your brand on your path to success — this is useful for gaining momentum and keeping up the morale within your team. If your goal is to have 100,000 followers on Instagram before the end of the year, you can still celebrate 20,000, 30,000, and 40,000. It'll keep everyone motivated and, once you have successfully reached your main goal, you'll be reminded of how much time and effort went into achieving it. 

fingers pointing at a computer screen

Who is your campaign targeting?

The first step to answering this question is figuring out what stage of the buyer’s journey your marketing campaign is targeting. Are you trying to bring in new customers, or are you attempting to gather feedback from existing clients? Are you marketing your brand to those who recognise it, or are you introducing a new brand identity altogether?

Your marketing message will vary depending on whether your campaign audience is in the Awareness, Consideration, or Decision stage of the marketing funnel. It’s important to note that a marketing campaign can include content for people in various stages of their journey. For example, while your campaign might target current customers, it might also bring brand awareness to new consumers.

Distributing Your Marketing Campaign

Reaching Your Audience

This is where you start considering what, and when, your consumers and audience will see your marketing campaign. As a marketer, you should have a pretty good understanding of which channels you use to promote your products and which of these channels work best. 

One thing we wouldn't advise is advertising your marketing campaign on a brand new social media channel or medium, where your brand has no existing presence. Stick to the marketing channels that you already use and have seen some success on before.

person holding an iphone in hand with a cup of coffee and open laptop on desk in front of her

If finding your ideal marketing channel is new to you, try using the PESO model as a guide, where the distribution channels are divided into Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned. Start by selecting two or three marketing channels for your campaign. For example, you might want to promote your UGC Instagram campaign on Instagram, through an email newsletter, and on your website. You could also use your budget to pay for your social media campaign posts to get boosted and receive more views from your audience. 

However, remember that certain distribution channels won't make sense for certain marketing campaign goals. For example, if you have a UGC campaign on Instagram, investing in print or broadcast channels won't yield the results you're looking for because both your audience and marketing campaign are digital. You want to make sure that you use the channels where your audience can be found if you want to better your chances of success. 

Choose How and When You Will Publish Your Marketing Campaign

Remember the SMART goal we've attached to your marketing campaign? Well, this section speaks to the timing of your campaign, and how putting a deadline on your campaign will give you a better sense of how to create a strategy around ensuring how and when you will publish and promote your marketing campaign.

It is a good idea to create a general timeline of your campaign; use a calendar to mark the start date of your campaign, and when it ends. Then look at your marketing campaign assets and choose the distribution channels you want to use to market your campaign. Depending on the number of people in your team and the budget you have, how often you post and create ads for your campaign will be completely up to you. However, make sure that you have some kind of promotional calendar for each marketing channel that you'll be using to keep track of how the campaign performs.

If you need some inspiration, take a look at our guide on how to create a social media calendar; it has insights and tips on how you can plan out your content successfully.

Converting Customers Through Your Marketing Campaign 

How Will Your Marketing Drive Conversions?

Successful marketing campaigns are usually a connected series of operations designed to have a particular end result, which in this case is driving conversions. 

Your marketing campaign might be effective in driving traffic to your website or social media platform but there needs to be some kind of call to action (CTA) that you want your audience to engage with. CTAs are a direct ask of your audience that usually prompts visitors, leads, or consumers to take action, and you need to have this in your campaign if you want to see success. 

screenshot of the cambridge university instagram post

CTAs give your audience a clear directive and cut through the noise of today’s marketing and advertising landscape. However, CTAs need to be personalised and made to fit your marketing campaigns instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach. In the same breath, your CTA also needs to be of benefit in order to compel your audience to take action. 

In the example of wanting to use UGC content to increase your Instagram, your CTA should outline the direct ask ("Share a photo of yourself using our product") and include the benefit for the user if they chose to engage ("and you might win a voucher"). Whatever CTA you choose to use in your marketing campaign, make sure that your audience understands the benefit for them if they click on your CTA. 

Another way that you can drive conversions around your campaigns is through landing pages. Landing pages are a dedicated online space for your audience to learn more about what your campaign is all about, and generally help set your marketing campaign apart from all the other content on your website.

Your landing page includes the benefits for your audience in taking part in your campaign, so highlight these and repeat your CTA so that your audience knows exactly what to do. Remember, if you want your audience to complete a form, don't ask them to complete too many sections. Include a variety of marketing assets, like images or videos, to increase the conversion rate.

What Marketing Metrics Can You Monitor?

The marketing metrics you’ll want to monitor depend on what type of campaign you are running and what distribution channels you have chosen. While you may want to keep an eye on vanity metrics like generated traffic, click-through rate, and impressions, these won't show you your campaign's impact on sales revenue. So here are some metrics that you can monitor for a holistic view: 

Email Marketing Metrics

  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per click
  • Cost per-conversion

Organic Media Metrics

  • Likes, shares, and retweets
  • Comments and quoted tweets
  • Follows

Lead Generation Metrics:

  • Opt-in rate
  • Cost per opt-in
  • Follow-up email open rate
  • Opt-in conversion rate

Not all of these metrics will be applicable to your campaign but it is worth monitoring the quantitative values to better assess the success of your campaign. 

What Makes Your Marketing Campaign Successful?

So, how will you know that your marketing campaign was a success? That will depend on whether or not your campaign was able to meet its initial SMART goal. If it did, you have success! This is one of the reasons why you set a campaign goal to begin with — so that you can ensure that the strategy you put in place helps you attain your goal. 

Whether you wanted to increase your Twitter or Instagram followers by a certain number, grow your email subscriber base or have 1,000 downloads of your ebook, when you meet these personal marketing goals that you set for your campaign, that is what makes it successful. 

Dice with happy and sad faces on

Successful Marketing Campaign Examples

Budweiser – Whassup Quarantine Version

When Budweiser brought back its infamous ‘Whassup’ catchphrase earlier in 2020, it was a remix of the original, only this time, it was the ‘Quarantine Version’ to coincide with what the world was experiencing. dated tech).

The marketing campaign was shared on social media platforms, with the hashtag "#Togetheratadistance" and the "#SavePubLife initiative" to help pubs that were forced to close due to social distancing regulations.

Burger King’s mouldy Whopper

In 2020, Burger King announced that they had removed artificial preservatives, colours, and flavours from their famous Whopper burger. To promote this, Burger King released their mouldy Whopper marketing campaign. Shared in both photo and video formats, Burger King documented how much mould grew on one of their Whoppers over a 34-day period.

This marketing campaign, despite coming across as a rather unconventional method of marketing fast food, was a great example of how brands can capture the attention of their audience, as well as increase conversations around their brand.

Facebook’s Super Bowl commercial

For the first time, Facebook aired a commercial during the 2020 Super Bowl. The 60-second advert, called "Ready to Rock" promoted Facebook Groups and featured celebrity appearances such as actor Sylvester Stallone and comedian Chris Rock, as well as highlighting several “rock” themed Facebook Groups.

Not only did the advert receive positive responses for its play on words and including real members of the featured Facebook Groups, but it's a great example of ad targeting and using new platforms to help your brand reach a wider audience.

While marketing campaigns may involve a lot of information, strategizing, ideas, and monitoring, hopefully, this has given you a deeper look into how you can find success in running your own marketing campaigns. For some added inspiration, see some of India's best marketing campaigns to learn a few tips on what it takes to be the best.

If you want more help, why not fill in the form below and let Meltwater help you create a successful marketing campaign today.