9 Simple Steps To Create a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign For Your Small Business

Thinking of launching a digital marketing campaign for your business but feeling lost because it seems complex and overwhelming?

Relax, you’re not alone. Running and managing online ads can seem complex, but don’t worry, this guide will simplify proven strategies on how to create winning digital marketing campaigns for your business. 

You’ll learn how to plan, prepare, launch, and optimize your campaigns like a pro, to maximize success and reach your business goals. 

Whether you’re aiming for brand recognition, boosting sales, or driving engagement, this guide will teach you to craft the most effective digital marketing strategy that converts clicks into loyal customers.

So let’s get started!

But What Is a Digital Marketing Campaign?

A digital marketing campaign is like a strategic plan that helps you and your business  to reach a bunch of new potential customers online. With a digital marketing campaign you can target and reach specific audiences related to your business on multiple online platforms.

Now, how exactly can it improve your business? Well, it depends on what the company goal is. It can be about making more people know about the brand, getting more people to check out your website, generating more sales, or even creating a stronger connection with customers for the long run.

When you are planning a digital marketing campaign, it’s something like making a roadmap. The first goal is to figure out who you are talking to, what are your business goals, and which strategies (like SEO, PPC, social media marketing, and content marketing) you want to use to reach your business goals.

How To Get Started With Creating a Digital Marketing Campaign

So now that you know what a digital marketing campaign is in a nutshell, the next step is learning how to get started with preparing and running a successful digital marketing campaign. 

There are a few major steps and strategies you need to take in order to craft successful digital marketing campaigns, so now we are going to break it down and learn everything you need step by step.

Step 1: Set Your Marketing Goals

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Alright, so let’s break it down step by step. The first thing to do when you start working on a digital marketing campaign is to clarify why you’re doing it in the first place. There are a ton of potential goals, but spreading yourself too thin, definitely won’t get you anywhere. 

So ask yourself: Are you aiming to boost conversions, grow an email list, enhance your website traffic, rank for more keywords, or maybe just gain more followers?

Now, when it comes to actual goals, there are a few types you should consider: brand awareness, increased sales, lead generation, and growing your social media following. 

Some goals are more simple and easier to measure than others. For example, tracking new email subscribers is much easier than figuring out how many people already know your business or brand. 

But here’s the key: You should always try to ground your goals with real data as much as you can.

Now let’s take a look at some examples of realistic goals to give yourself a clearer picture:

  • Boost brand awareness by snagging 5 mentions from major news outlets or websites.
  • Bump up search engine traffic by 5,000 visitors per month within 45 days.
  • Double your social media followers, hitting 10k by the year’s end.
  • Amp up sales by 50% by introducing an abandoned cart sequence to your eCommerce store.
  • Add 500 new qualified email subscribers within 30 days.

Each goal you set needs to have an action plan. If, for instance, you’re aiming for more organic traffic to your website, your plan should include checking your existing content, diving into keyword research, spicing up old content, crafting new posts, and even reaching out for backlinks and promoting your content on social media.

Here’s the cool part: You can run as many online marketing campaigns as you want. But, and it’s a big BUT, make sure each one has a clear, measurable outcome. 

This way, you can dive into your data afterward, figure out what’s working, and optimize your digital marketing strategy for the future. It’s just like a recipe for success: mix, taste, adjust, and repeat.

Step 2: Identify Your Audience

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Before you dive into your first digital marketing campaign, you’ve got to pinpoint exactly who you’re talking to.

Now, if you’re scratching your head wondering who these people are, it’s time to put on your detective hat. The most powerful tactic for this is creating a buyer or customer persona.

Basically, you need to come up with a detailed description of your best customer who would love to buy from you or do business with you. 

To do this, think about these things first:

  • Their Job: What do they do for a living?
  • Income: How much money are they raking in?
  • Family Situation: Are they juggling a big family or flying solo?
  • Age: How many candles are on their birthday cake?
  • Hobbies: Any after-work passions?

And when you’re crafting this perfect customer or buyer persona, don’t just stop there. You need to dig deeper into:

  • Online Habits: What other websites are they cruising?
  • Goals: Why are they checking out your site?
  • Fears and Desires: What keeps them up at night, and what gets them excited?

Now, if you’re new to this game and it seems overwhelming, don’t worry. You can pull goldmine info about your target market from your existing data. And for this Google Analytics is going to be your best friend here. 

The data you should look at this point is:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Website Navigation Habits
  • Favorite Content Types

Gather all this treasure data into a document or user profile. You can even add in some images to make this imaginary person seem to be real for everyone in your team working on this campaign.

And if you’ve got more than one type of audience, do this strategy multiple times for each audience. Create different buyer personas for each group you’re targeting. It’s like adjusting your message for each friend individually at a party for example, which will make everyone feel special.

Step 3: Topic and Keyword Research

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Now once your campaign goals are crystal clear, and you’ve got your target audience mapped out, it’s time for the next move, which is diving into the keywords and topics.

Whether you’re creating an SEO strategy, a PPC ad campaign, crafting emails, or a Facebook Ads strategy, keyword research is going to be your secret sauce.

So what’s the mission here? You need to literally step into your potential customer’s shoes and think about the words they’d type into Google search (or any other platform) when searching for your products or services.

Start by writing down your ideas, brainstorming keywords that your potential customers would most likely type. Take this brainstormed list and feed it to keyword tools. 

Look for keywords and phrases that not only have a decent search volume but also are not too competitive.

Now, beyond the classic Google search, here are some ninja moves for keyword brainstorming:

  • Reddit Dive: Plunge into Reddit, search for your market, and uncover discussions related to your niche.
  • Question Hunt: Swing by Answer the Public. It’s like a treasure trove for question-based keywords.
  • Google’s Tool Kit: Hit up Google Keyword Planner. It spills the beans on related keywords.

Once you’ve got your initial keyword list, take those bad boys and add them into a tool like Semrush. 

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This powerful keyword tool will give you a breakdown on each keyword, like search volume, competition, and other juicy details.

By the time you’re done, you should be sitting pretty with a kickass keyword list for SEO and PPC, ready to implement into your campaigns.

Step 4: Competitor Analysis

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Time to put on your detective hat again and do a spying session! 

Now that you’ve got your goals set, your target audience defined, and your keywords in hand, it’s time to peek into your competitor’s yard.

Here are a few things you need to keep an eye on when you’re spying on your competitors:

  • What are they running? Get a breakdown on the products, services they’re pushing.
  • What platforms do they use? Take notes on the platforms and channels they’re hitting up.
  • What content are they pushing? Try to understand their strategy, are they all about blogs, videos, or something else?
  • Analyze their ads. What ads are they running, and what creatives and angles are they using?
  • What’s their pricing strategy? Are they going high end, budget friendly, or somewhere in between?
  • What their customers are saying about their products and services?

Now, here’s the goldmine: learn from their moves. Figure out what’s working the best for them, copy the good stuff and make it your own. 

Always add your own twist, you don’t want to exactly copy them, you want to make your campaigns even better, and create your own strategies based on what you’ve learned from competitor analysis.

There are a bunch of awesome tools you can use to spy on your competitor’s campaigns, tools like the Facebook Ads Library and Google Ads Library are free and very powerful. 

These tools allow you to spill the beans on your competitor’s paid ads, and you can also pull off some ninja moves to snag their keywords.

Here are some additional tools for competitor analysis:

Step 5: Choose Your Digital Marketing Channels

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After setting your campaign goals and knowing your audience inside out, it’s time to pick the right platforms for your campaigns. Initially, stick to one or two platforms that sync up with your main goal and give you the best results right from the start.

Now, check out the options available. In the digital marketing field, you’ve got a bunch of channels to choose from. 

The A-listers aka the most popular and most effective ones are, SEO, PPC, social media marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and influencer marketing.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): It’s all about making your website a magnet for search engines so more people can find your business organically, by searching on Google for example.
  • PPC (Pay-Per-Click): This will give you the fastest results with targeted ads that bring in immediate traffic.
  • Social Media Marketing: Spreading the word and engaging directly with a massive audience on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and X(Twitter).
  • Email Marketing: Directly landing in your audience’s inbox with updates, promotions, and engaging content.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Partnering up with other digital marketers who will promote your products or services for a share of the profits.
  • Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with social media influencers to get your brand shouted out to their mass of followers.

So for example, if your primary goal is to get more people to know about your business, social media and influencer marketing are the best strategies for you. 

Social media platforms let you connect with a broad audience directly, and influencers who are relevant to your business can spread your message to their followers, who might be potential customers.

On the flip side, suppose you’re all about driving more traffic to your website. In that case, you should focus on SEO and PPC. 

SEO works in the background to boost your website’s visibility in search engine results, while PPC brings in immediate traffic through targeted ads.

As you can see, there are several channels you can tap into to achieve your goals. The trick is to choose the ones that align best with your objectives and target audience, to ensure your goals will be achieved.And here’s a pro-tip: You can always add more channels as your campaign grows to scale by broadening your reach.

Step 6: Set a Budget For Your Campaigns

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Alright, now let’s cut to the chase about setting a budget for your digital marketing campaigns. 

It’s not just about what you spend on ads, but also all the external costs for hiring people to create creative materials (ads, video, landing pages, etc.) or even to manage all the campaigns for you.

Getting a grip on the expected costs of your digital marketing campaigns is very important for planning a good strategy and actions. When you’re working out your budget, keep these tips in mind:

  • Allocate Smartly: Split your budget per channel based on your goals. If you want more people to know about your brand, set aside money for social media marketing, especially Facebook Ads.
  • Testing Budget: Keep some money aside for testing. Before launching the full campaign, run tests to make sure everything’s working and find your best creatives, audience, etc.
  • Tool Costs: It’s not just about ads and creative costs. You’ll need to pay for tools that will help with managing campaigns, as well as tracking tools.

Sorting out your budget early on is like having a financial roadmap. It keeps you on track and avoids unexpected expenses.

 Step 7: Create a Content Strategy

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Regardless of what campaign types you are working with, creating a good content strategy is crucial for your business.

Your content strategy spells out what kind of content to use, who’s in charge of creating that content, and how each piece of content fits into your digital marketing strategy.

Different campaigns require content types. Here are some examples:

  • Want more organic search traffic? Then you need to make a series of blog posts.
  • Running Facebook or Instagram ads? Then get ready to create ad images, videos and landing pages for visitors.
  • Video marketing campaign? It’s all about creating, editing, and putting out videos regularly.

And here’s the kicker: your content marketing campaign is a living thing. It evolves based on performance. Maybe one type of image clicks more than others, or a specific headline brings in 10% more conversions. 

Your audience targeting goal remains steady (chasing your perfect customer), but your content adapts to what your audience responds to best.

Creating, optimizing, and spicing up your content is an ongoing task in any digital marketing campaign.

Step 8: Launch Your Campaign

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The next step is finally launching your digital marketing campaigns.

Here’s a pro tip: When you’re starting out with your paid ad campaigns, don’t go in with a full budget before you run some tests. 

For example if your budget involves a daily $100 spend on Facebook Ads, consider starting with a lower budget, let’s say $50 per day, and gradually bump it up when you start seeing results.

Why? Well, for a couple of good reasons:

  • Safety: This way, if there is something wrong in the setup or funnel, you’re not burning through your entire budget. You can react in time and fix whatever is needed without losing too much money. Safety first!
  • Algorithm Time: Let those algorithms work and find the best potential audience. Starting with a lower budget gives them the room to gather data and optimize delivery for the best results.

Now, if you’re in the content marketing game, instant feedback might be challenging. But don’t worry! Keep an eye on how your audience is vibing with your content, watch for comments, social shares, conversions, and the time they spend on your content.

Once you’ve got the lay of the land and know which campaigns are winning, it’s time to double down. Analyze data on the ROI for each of your campaigns, and shift the budgets to the ones that perform well. Basically you need to put your money where it matters most.

Step 9: Analyze and Optimize Your Campaigns

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Digital marketing campaigns come with a ton of important and useful data. Each advertising platform has its own dashboard to track how things are going, and you can (and should) use extra tracking tools to dig even deeper.

Before you dive into analyzing data, take a step back and look at your goals. This helps you focus on the important KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Once you crunch those numbers, you can spot what shows potential and what not. It gives you the lowdown to make smart moves and get things on track.

If you aim for getting more search engine traffic, keep a close eye on things like rankings, CTR (click through rates), and Google visits. 

But, if your goal is all about getting leads or sales, focus on form submission metrics and conversion rates.

As you dig deeper into analyzing the data, look for aspects of your campaign that work well and also what doesn’t. For instance, a high click-through rate (CTR) but low conversion rates might be a warning that the landing page needs optimization.

Now, here’s the real talk, not each of your campaigns will hit the jackpot you should be aware of right in the beginning. It happens, for many reasons. But when it happens, you should not throw in the towel and give up. 

You need to figure out why things are not working, and kick off a new set of split tests. It’s a game of tweaking and testing until you hit the jackpot.

Here’s another pro tip: If you want to squeeze more ROI from your digital marketing campaign, try to run retargeting campaigns along with your other campaigns.

In most cases, retargeting ads are the secret sauce. They let you target people who checked out your campaigns but didn’t take the desired action. 

The most popular platforms  for retargeting are Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and email marketing.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, running a successful digital marketing campaign has many moving parts, as you can see.

It kicks off by setting smart campaign goals. After that, you plunge into the research phase, exploring your market, diving deep into the competition, and digging up those golden keywords for your campaigns. 

Once that groundwork is laid, you pick the digital channels that fit your goals and set the budget.

The final lap involves creating the content assets needed depending on your campaign types, making a good project plan, and hitting the launch button on your campaigns. It’s a step by step process where each move is crucial.

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