Timing is Everything

In Cross Channel Marketing, Digital Campaigns, Digital Strategy by Marius Badenhorst

Implement Your Campaign Through This 6 Month Strategy

Campaign timingIf you’re in marketing, you would have learnt (many of us the hard way!) that sound planning leads to agility in your marketing strategy. Without constant strategising, you may miss out on valuable opportunities that are associated with shopping seasons and events such as summer, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas, to name a few.

In SEO, you would want to rank for a keyword, search phrase or theme before the Christmas period, because magic doesn’t happen overnight. In order to achieve this, you have to start your SEO planning and implementation two to three months in advance of the actual campaign period, and if you’re not doing this, your competitors certainly are.

Why is this advance planning required? Consumers search for gifts months before Christmas and New Year’s sales kick in. You don’t need to be a marketing guru to understand this aspect of human nature – we are all consumers ourselves!

Jodie Harris, Head of Social at MediaVision, supports this view and urges the following: “Don’t forget to use quieter months to plan and produce content, and brief external agencies such as PR. Make sure you have identified the key products that will be pushed, and finalise your overarching campaign filters for both offline and online marketing efforts”.

Now, if you are responsible for working on a range of clients, it is understandable that your resources are limited. We’ve put together a six month digital marketing campaign plan that will ensure you don’t fall behind your competitors and have the strategic edge to hone in on opportunities.

Digital Marketing Campaign

Month 1

  • Identify what keywords to target (Do in-depth keyword research and check search trends online for the seasonality changes)
  • Target and continuously monitor competitors (keyword rankings, onsite content, social media & PR campaigns)
  • Define campaign target and landing pages
  • Consider mobile shopping apps
  • Ensure that you have Google Analytics set up for your website and that goals are defined properly
  • Do market research to identify consumer trends
  • Tidy up social media pages and make sure everything is current and consistent across all platforms.
  • Keep your social media audience engaged
  • Brainstorm future PR campaigns

Marius Badenhorst, Digital Strategist at MediaVision offers some further insight on what actions to complete on Google analytics:

Speech Bubble

Month 2

  • Define the high-value pages you’ll be targeting during the campaign
  • Evaluate your keyword ranking successes from the previous year and allocate budget to improve rankings accordingly
  • Continue monitoring competitors
  • Add fresh and relevant content to campaign pages on your website
  • Plan and start promoting media in support of new content on social media
  • Include your business in local search if you have a physical business address – make sure you have a Google Local Business account to assist local search
  • Analyse social media and PR performance and make changes where needed

Month 3

Spyglass

  • Optimise campaign targets
  • Continue to budget SEO campaigns
  • Monitor SEO progress and adjust campaign where necessary
  • Deeply analyse competitor campaigns: What are they doing? How are they getting the word out?
  • Utilise social listening tools to monitor market activity
  • Continue to add fresh content to campaign pages
  • Start planning pre-campaign buzz that will be implemented via social and PR

Month 4

  • Finalise press leases and PR outreach
  • Approve social teaser campaigns to generate excitement
  • Monitor consumer behaviour through Google Analytics
  • Analyse bounce rate and engagement time and make improvements where needed
  • If traffic is low, consider paid search
  • Ensure that enough links are pointing to your targeted pages and cross link where possible

Month 5

Megaphone

  • Prepare campaign press release and start PR outreach
  • Implement social arm of teaser campaign
  • Monitor and tweak SEO

 

 

 

Month 6

  • Boost your paid search budget to compensate for the rise in competition
  • Keep an eye on search query reports and be wary of competitors moving into rankings on the last minute
  • Release digital PR just before the campaign peak
  • Boost engagement on social media and keep refreshing content
  • Track progress

At the end of the campaign, set up a report from measured statistics. Highlight successes and failures that will be helpful to future campaigns. As Henry Ford said: “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing”.

Henry Ford

By following the plan outlined above you will be sure to stand a greater chance in meeting your digital marketing objectives. Is it too late already? Consider this plan your New Year’s resolution.

Final word: If you are struggling to get the creativity flowing, take a look at the best Christmas ads of 2013, or if you are unsure on what channels to push your content through, and require some further information on the do’s and don’ts on festive campaigning, take a look at Hannah Atkins’ blog (our Assistant Head of Content at MediaVision).

About the Author

Marius Badenhorst

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