Doing business during a global pandemic requires constant monitoring of what is happening in your industry and reacting accordingly – preferably proactively. Part of having an effective marketing strategy is planning in advance, which is directly at odds with how fast things are moving right now. But planning out a strategy for your campaigns in advance can help you execute quickly if something happens that you need to act on. 

  • Determine what content will be required

People who are not marketers, such as business owners and sales managers, think that one piece of content can be written and other needs can then be fulfilled from that piece of content. While this is true to some extent, each platform and medium will require some kind of modification, and in some cases may require its own original content.

Let’s use a campaign for a seasonal sale as an example, with the sale lasting two weeks. If you are putting together content requirements for this kind of campaign, you will be able to determine what you need in advance, even if the final content can’t be written or designed yet.  

A typical sales campaign of this duration may require:

  • 1 landing page for your website
  • 1 banner/hero graphic and description for the homepage of your website 
  • 1 blog announcing the campaign 
  • 2-4 status updates for each social network, with statuses and graphics tailored to each network where required (e.g. square graphic for Instagram feed, vertical graphic for Instagram Story, and hashtags properly researched for both Instagram and Twitter). 
  • 3 email campaigns, one launching the sale, one in the middle of the campaign period, and one just before it ends
  • In-app notifications and messages if your company has an app
  • 1-4 digital ads for Google Ads & Facebook Ads, with corresponding content & properly sized graphics 

Deciding which platforms you use and when will help you determine the type of content required, from graphics sizes to character length and word count. You may also want to build templates for each medium, such as an email newsletter. 

  • Draw up a sample campaign 

Go through the exercise of creating a sample campaign with sample graphics, text, and more – maybe not for all of the platforms, but for a few. Determine what language you want to use for your company as “boilerplate”, which is the messaging you want present in all of your campaigns, and what is a variable. It will also show you which assets you need to create, such as higher-resolution versions of logos or product images. 

  • Go to stakeholders for approval as you would with a “real” campaign

Part of the campaign creation process is getting approval from various stakeholders. Working with them on a “mock” campaign will showcase their preferences, feedback style, and how much of a bottleneck they will be to the process. This will allow you to build sufficient review time into a campaign. If, for example, your campaign needs to flow through two different stakeholders, and one of them takes a long time to get back to you, you can then set deadlines that count in review time with this particular stakeholder. You will also learn through this process if you need to develop new stock graphic assets or content pieces. 

  • If you have no brief, use your sample campaign to create one 

A “brand brief” or “brand book” is a simple document which shows colours and messaging related to your company’s brand. If you are with a small company, you may not have this document. Work on your sample campaign will help you create one that will save you time when you need to execute on a campaign quickly – and not get hung up on which shade of green best represents your business. 

  • Organize your content assets in a content library 

You probably have a stock of logos, images, graphic templates, and other assets that are just sitting in a folder somewhere or spread across various apps. If you are using Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), add these items to a Team Drive for your marketing team so that everyone can access them. This Team Drive can also be linked in various applications, such as Slack, to quickly communicate with a link where assets are located. 

  • Set yourself up for success with the right tools is an excellent content and marketing planning tool for any size of business, and organizing your campaign with it or a similar planning tool is recommended. If you are a Zoho One subscriber, you have access to Zoho Marketing Hub to measure results, Zoho CRM for your leads database, and Zoho Campaigns for campaign emails. It is essential for reporting that you have an all-in-one tool like Marketing Hub rather than logging into each platform to obtain results. You want to spend your time interpreting reports and pivoting with the information they give you, not logging into each tool individually to gather results. 

If you want to get set up with Zoho One to measure and execute your campaigns, or have access to content planning and marketing specialists, contact ion8 today. We can manage your campaign from conception to execution and deliver actionable results and transparent reporting.