Even small businesses and communication teams – especially those – need content campaigns. Plan a content campaign that makes clients line up behind your door.

Content campaign. Sounds good, but do I really need one? 

These words, more or less, were the reaction I got when I brought up the topic of planning content campaigns.

Content campaign is technically speaking a “goal-focused content initiative”, according to ClearVoice. Practically speaking, it is a promotional initiative that is built with a specific business goal in mind around a well-defined topic, question, event or launch. 

There are three things that make content campaigns really great for small teams and businesses:

  1. They help focus content creation, which means saving time and money. (Who doesn’t want to save those?)
  2. Since everything revolves around content, a campaign can be set up organically without extra budget. All you need is your own time.
  3. Since they are so condensed, content campaigns give a boost to brand recognition and client engagement. Focus and time limitation also makes campaigns easy to measure. 

To make matters even simpler for you, I collated this 12-step Content Campaign Checklist. Just cross the items off one by one and get ready to welcome your new dream clients. 

✓ Define the goal

Everything starts from your business goals. What is the main marketing goal you’re trying to support with the campaign? It can be improving name recognition, boosting sales or retention, or improving customer satisfaction, for example.

✓ Pick a topic

Choose one topic for your content campaign. It can be a theme day such as International Women’s Day or a business birthday. A campaign can also revolve around a cool prize, for example, free access to your membership platform for a year. Launches, new products and amended versions of existing products naturally deserve their own campaigns, too. However, pick only one at a time. 

✓ Create a timeline

Be specific from the get-go and draft a detailed timeline. One of the most common pitfalls of content campaigns is too tight a schedule, which leads to high stress, low quality and unconvincing results. As a rule of thumb, count at least two weeks for preparation and six weeks for the campaign itself.

✓ Define key message

Once the topic is clear, clarify your key message, too. Are you and your team crystal clear on what you want to say? A clarification workshop – even for 30 minutes – saves you from time-consuming misunderstandings and confusion that could come up later on in the process. 

✓ Choose content types

Which content formats or types support the goal and the message the best? Pick only a few (ideally 2-4) and rotate those to make the campaign memorable.

✓ Review client persona

You know who your client is and how you can help them. Before tackling the content creation work, review the persona and make sure the message is aligned with their needs. 

✓ Polish your channels

Which channels are going to be involved with the campaign? All campaigns don’t necessarily have to be visible on all the platforms – pick the ones that work the best for this type of audience. Pick 1-3 and do a quick tidy-up on those before getting started. Update profile photos, links, and make sure the message is consistent across platforms. 

✓ Determine the call-to-action

Last quick look at the business goal: which call-to-action (CTA) supports it the best? Whichever it is, remember you need one – and only one. 

✓ Set up an editorial calendar

Time to get to the details! Assign tasks, deadlines, and set up your editorial calendar to keep all the strings in your fingertips.

✓ Schedule time to engage

Your campaign is on! Enjoy the roll-out phase, too, and remember to set aside enough time to engage with followers, answer to messages and support the sales process. Once you get the attention of your audience, you don’t want them to fall through the cracks.

✓ Iterate as you go

The first week or two of the campaign are usually the most hectic ones. You’re probably still working on content creation, and at the same time you need to keep an eye on how the campaign is going. These are, however, the crucial ones because you still have a chance to iterate the message, content types and execution to make sure to bring the ball home. 

✓ Analyse the results

At the end of the campaign, make sure to summarise the results, good and bad. Pay attention to engagement, conversion and ROI, but also on how you and your team felt. What went well and felt effortless? What felt unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming? Those indications will help you draft a better campaign the next time!

“Let’s repeat this soon” or “Never again”?

While campaign planning and execution are a lot of fun and a very creative part of marketing, they can also get exhausting. Especially the first rounds can leave your team feeling they’ve given their everything. 

Leave enough time between the campaigns to let your team – and audience – breathe. Then start over from phase one!

I’m wishing you enjoyable campaign planning!

P.S.

If getting your ideas organised is causing you gray hair, grab my editorial calendar template below. It helps with campaign planning, too!

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