The time has come to prepare your superhero squad of marketing campaigns! This is no easy feat – combining different messages, channels, and media can be a tricky task. Before we send our caped crusaders out into the world to do good, we have to make sure they’re fully equipped.
One-off campaigns are OK, but in our over-saturated world of constant advertising, we sometimes need a secret weapon. In this case, it’s the idea of created integrated marketing campaigns! Sure, we may need to sometimes just send out a quick email message to donors, for example, but that’s not how we want to announce your new capital campaign.
That’s where an integrated campaign comes in. In this model of marketing, we’ll work to create a consistent messaging experience for our potential customers. We want them to see our message multiple times across multiple channels, and hopefully that message has been customized for them.
That’s the great thing about marketing these days. We don’t have to just light up the bat signal and hope the right people see it. We can craft custom messaging and target it to just the right audience.
So, before we jump into battle, let’s take a breath and think about our campaign before we head out. And before we put on our superhero marketing costumes, I’ll be digging into these in greater depth (along with many more superhero puns) at Nonprofit Day 2019, coming up on October 29th at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, PA.
Who is your audience?
Yes, this is a broad question, but it’s a critical one. Knowing who you want to target with your campaign will inform your content strategy (when, how and what you want your campaign to say) and how you are going to target that audience so they get that message.
In the past, we were able to put a billboard up on Upper Peach in Erie and hope that the right audience–our audience–would see it. Yes, methods like this can get a ton of exposure and daily views, but you’re paying to reach a lot of people that may not care about what you’re selling and ultimately won’t become your customers (or donors.)
These days, advertising technology has made it very easy to target a specific message at a specific audience based on geography, income level, demographics, and if you’re advertising on social media platforms, interests, family status, employer and more. It’s all information we’ve given to sites like Facebook. It’s amazing and scary how targeted we can get with advertising.
If you want to reach millennials with a photo-heavy campaign, perhaps Instagram is the place for your content with the addition of a paid component. Want to reach Gen Z and pre-teens? Think about generating content for new platforms like TikTok. Want to reach 35-year-old women who are parents, went to school in Ohio and may or may not moonlight as crime-fighters? Cool, Facebook can do that.
With this type of targeting, we are getting more bang for our buck. I am guessing that you're budget conscious and you don’t have a Tony Stark-type benefactor giving you tons of money to do marketing. We’ve got to be smart with our budgets!
Perfectly Balanced, As All Things Should Be
So far in this post, I’ve talked quite a bit about digital marketing, and rightfully so. Digital marketing can be cheaper and more effective than traditional outreach methods like outdoor, TV and radio, and print advertising.
That’s not saying that those methods aren’t important. They are!
Let’s think about print for second. I love print and there are a lot of really interesting advances in the use of print and direct mail these days to reach our audiences. Email marketing is great, but there’s something special about getting a piece in the mail, touching it, and interacting with it - direct mail can really help you tell your story and engage your audience. That’s also something you can’t do on Instagram or in a banner ad.
The takeaway here is this: as you plan your campaign, especially from an integrated perspective, think about not only the message but the medium.
Measuring your campaign’s effectiveness is critical. By using a tool like Google Analytics, you can add measurement tags to your call to action URLs so can see where and how users are interacting with your content. You can see what methods people are responding to, in near real-time, and adjust your campaign accordingly if you need to in order to be successful.
As an example, let’s say you are launching a fundraising campaign, and you will be driving users to your giving website via email, Twitter, a pay-per-click campaign on Google, and via a banner on your website.
The first step would be to give your campaign a name. Be descriptive – something like “Fund Drive” isn’t terribly helpful, but a campaign with a name like “Fall 2019 Integrated Fundraising Campaign” is good. If you are running multiple campaigns, having descriptive names can really help.
Second, we will want to know where those users are coming from. By tagging our CTA web addresses with different variables, we can easily measure where each user is coming from. As we said earlier, by tagging our URLs in this way, we can easily measure how many people clicked on our link via email or Twitter.
Google has an easy tool to create these special URLs, and all you need to do is update the “source” and “medium” parts of this form and you will receive a custom URL to use in your campaign.
I’ve always found it easy to create a bunch of these at once and keep track of them in a Google spreadsheet or a tool like Airtable. These addresses work perfectly for online use, but you may want to use a shortening service if you are going to use them on a printed piece. When we said we want to track effectiveness, we were talking about tracking ALL our mediums.
All that’s left to do is to review that activity in Google Analytics and see what outreach methods have worked and tweak your campaign accordingly.
This is just a start, and we’ll do a deeper dive at Nonprofit Day 2019 on October 29th.
In the meantime, follow us on Twitter at @gasmark8 for more great tips and tricks like these.
Learn more from Mike at Nonprofit Day 2019 on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 in Erie, PA! Registration closes October 18, 2019 - register today at www.NonprofitDay2019.org!