Imagine you’re about to take a road trip with your best friend.
Your itinerary is set, your bags are packed, and you’re ready to hit the road for an adventure.
As your friend starts the car, you smile and ask them, “Hey, want me to pull up my GPS?”
They smile back. “Oh no. I don’t need directions.”
You furrow your brow in confusion. “But we don’t know how to get there!”
“Yeah,” they say, rubbing their chin. “I figured I’d just drive around ’til we find the place.”
Ten hours later, you’re still driving around, nowhere closer to your endpoint.
Does leaving for your destination without a roadmap in mind sound like lunacy? It’s certainly no way to plan a road trip. But that’s exactly how you’d sound if you attempted to execute a marketing campaign without a plan.
Every marketer knows that a good marketing campaign starts with a plan. And every good plan starts with a comprehensive, well-thought-out template. Here’s how to build that template, along with how Welcome can help you do so.
Getting Started: Build a Template or Use an Existing One
The first thing you’ll need is a marketing campaign plan template to use as a foundation. This can either be one you’ve built yourself, or one an expert has helped you build.
Your template will include multiple sections, each of which covers a different aspect of your marketing campaign plan. It’s invaluable as a project management tool, helping to keep your entire team organized and on task.
A word of warning: resist the urge to make your template too long or involved. Your plan should be functional with checklists and actionable tasks – avoid making it so dense that it reads like a high school history report.
Your goal is not to write a comprehensive bible of all things marketing. You want something your team is going to actually read, find valuable, and use.
A Marketing Campaign Plan Template: The Building Blocks of Your Marketing Plan
Once you have your template in place, you should be able to apply it in multiple instances, whenever you’re developing a new marketing campaign plan. Your campaign plans may vary, but generally speaking, they will involve all the following pieces:
- Marketing Goals
- Target Audience
- Marketing Strategy
Let’s break down each piece, shall we?
What’s the purpose of your campaign? State that here.
This will set the tone for your entire campaign, establishing the overarching reason for your integrated marketing campaign. This section should be short and sweet, but don’t half-ass it. You want to get started on the right foot.
Aligned with your mission, your business goals should be the desired end-state for the campaign. What exactly do you want to achieve?
Don’t be too vague here, but also don’t list too many. Too few goals can leave you unfocused while too many goals can be overwhelming.
Your campaign goals should be specific and measurable (more on that in the metrics section below).
Who is your campaign meant to appeal to? Do more than state your demographic here – your target audience section should include research about that demographic showing you understand them.
You can also include information here on your ideal buyer persona. This is a big part of how you’ll bring in new customers – nailing your target market.
When you know your audience, you’ll have a better idea of their various pain points. That knowledge will help you develop refined, on-target messaging that’s more likely to speak to your desired audience.
If you don’t understand the audience you’re going for, you’re going to have a hard time putting the right marketing activities in place for the campaign.
The next two pieces appear similar, but there’s a crucial distinction. At a high level, your marketing strategy is the sum of the methods you’ll use to execute your campaign.
For example, if you’re looking to target Generation Z customers, one strategy you may have is to engage with them on social media platforms they’re more likely to use, such as TikTok or Instagram.
You don’t have to get super specific at this stage – think of it as an outline of how you’re going to build your campaign.
Whereas strategy describes how you plan to pull off your campaign on a macro level, tactics are the specific actions (both online and offline) you intend to take at a micro level to make that strategy work. An example of a tactic would be developing an infographic intended to support your campaign with statistics and data.
There are many types of tactics you can cover here, including:
- Email marketing
- Content marketing to bolster your SEO efforts
- Market research (case studies, white papers, etc.)
- Ideas for lead generation
- Development and enhancement of your various marketing channels such as your social media campaign, social media marketing, or landing page
It’s unlikely that you’ll run your campaign forever, so you’ll need a timeline as well. This will include your schedule for getting things done, major milestones, and when you’ll finish all the great tasks you wrote about in your tactics section.
Think of a timeline as an easily referenced time frame, guiding your team members’ workflow. Whenever there’s confusion over what to do next, they’ll have this section of your marketing campaign plan as a reference guide.
Finally, you’ll need to know how well you’re doing. Your metrics section is where you’ll define how to measure the success of the campaign.
Here, you’ll insert valuable KPI, so you can gauge your campaign’s impact. One example of a metric: if you’re launching a marketing campaign to build your email list, the number of new sign-ups would be a great way to measure that.
Other Marketing Campaign Planning Topics
There may be other sections you add depending on the type of work you’re doing, including:
- Stakeholder outreach
- Media plan
- Building brand awareness
Have a chat with your team before you build the template. Get on the same page about how they plan best and what their campaigns will look like.
There’s nothing worse than giving your team a plan they don’t need or can’t use. Having the wrong template is about as effective as giving a power drill to a five-star chef – it sure is a nice tool, but it’s hardly helping them whip up an omelet.
The Role of Social Media in Your Marketing Campaign Plan Template
If you’re putting together a digital marketing campaign plan template, you can’t not include social media. It will play SOME kind of role in your campaign, and therefore your template – the only question is how much and what kind of information you’ll want to include.
For each campaign, it’s a great idea to specify the platforms you plan to use. Not every campaign will use the same platforms.
If your audience is business-minded professionals, thought leadership content on LinkedIn is a great choice. When you’re looking to develop more emotional, personal content, Facebook and Twitter may be the way to go.
For your template, you’ll want to include a section on social media, no matter what kind of platforms or tactics you plan to use for the individual campaigns you create using the template.
How Marketers Can Develop an Effective Template
Looking to develop your own marketing campaign plan template? There are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Are there repeatable processes I can capture and summarize?
- Have I told my team to expect this, so they’ll know how and when to use this as a tool?
- How much time do I have to dedicate to building this template, or should I look into co-opting an existing tool?
While a marketing campaign template is necessary for your marketing efforts, developing one isn’t necessarily quick or easy. That’s why partnering with a marketing software team such as Welcome, a provider that has successfully developed templates in the past, can make this process a lot easier for you.
Again, this is where it’s helpful to consult your team. Schedule a brainstorming session about exactly what they need from their marketing campaign planning templates.
Working backward – with the goal in mind – is always easier than starting from nothing. Listen to your colleagues and give them something they can use consistently.
Using the right marketing Campaign Plan template for your team
Ultimately, the marketing campaign plan template you choose or create will depend on the plan you want to put into action and the team you have to do it with. When it comes time to launch a campaign, you won’t have to think about how to map it out – your template will serve as a blueprint you can re-use over and over.
You don’t want to get lost like your proverbial friend that refused the help of GPS. A template keeps your marketing team’s eyes on the prize, spelling out every step of the process.
Not only will your marketing team thank you for an easy-to-use template, but you’ll be glad you have one as well. It makes campaign planning much more efficient.
Looking for help building your own marketing campaign plan template? Welcome offers a free template you can use for your own planning purposes.
We also offer a whole host of other marketing solutions, no matter what sector or industry you’re in. For more on how we can help, contact us today to get started for free.