Planning Your Brand Building Campaign
If there’s one thing we’ve learned through the years it’s that a plan is golden. And while there are times when hiring a pro to handle your planning is essential, there’s a fair amount you can do on your own.
We plan the yearly campaigns of many of our clients, including our multi-year social and environmental programs. These plans are an essential piece of what we do because they not only help us allocate resources and budgets, but they force us to step back and look at all of the channels we can and should use. We pick apart the key communication points and make sure to sprinkle them throughout the campaign. By doing so we make sure we’re saying what needs to be said but we’re not becoming white noise by repeating the same thing over and over. And over and over.
The term ‘marketing plan’ can be daunting for a lot of people, especially those not formally trained in marketing. But like everything these days, marketing plans have changed as channels and accessibility to those channels have changed. And there are ways to tackle a marketing plan on your own if your budget requires you to do so. Just google “how to write a marketing plan” and there are thousands of templates, guides and how-tos. Is this the right approach for your organization? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But if nothing else, the process of planning your marketing for the foreseeable future is a fantastic exercise in looking at the big picture.
The majority of the planning we do for organizations takes the form of a calendar. I’m a calendar guy in general. I manage my projects using a calendar because I love to see not only what’s due today but what’s due later that I need to begin working on or thinking about. A marketing calendar does the same for our clients. Again, we’re separating out our key communication points and shooting for the ideal cadence and we’re planning ahead so each touchpoint can be done well, not quickly at the last minute.
Depending on how granular you want to get, you should be able to set up an easy to view and edit calendar (don’t tell the other designers, but I use excel) that covers whatever your key communication channels are and how they interact. When’s the ideal time to send an email? And how does it work in unison with a social post or google ads? How does this change seasonally? You can see it all using your handy marketing calendar.
Consistency is Key
Above all, you have to plan to be consistent. Have you noticed we send out our TIV Branding emails every two weeks? That’s because we’ve looked at the stats and every two weeks gets us the best open rates. We’re consistent not only in our approach, but our look and feel and the tone of our emails. That’s just good branding, but it also establishes us as a resource and puts us top of mind if anyone needs help on a project.
That said, there’s such a thing as too consistent. If you’re becoming white noise because everything looks the same and says the same thing then you need to get back into your calendar and figure out how to mix things up a bit without messing up your cadence. Experimentation is okay, just keep an eye on the stats.
There you go. Plan away, folks. There’s something really powerful about getting out of the weeds and looking at the big picture. Zooming out a bit is going to highlight issues and bring your approach into focus. If you need help, you know where to find us.