How to plan an efficient digital marketing campaign – focusing on awareness?

Digital marketing campaigns assume setting up all kinds of beautifully designed paid branded messages on different types of screens. Making them effective would mean getting the maximum ROI for the invested budget. 

Having a brand to advertise on digital assumes a lot of prerequisites, the first among them is to have a responsive website – your own digital asset, a place for continuous dialogue between your brand and its loyal customers.

I know it seems quite strange to mention the necessity of website since it’s quite logical and clear for many of us, however it’s not only once that I heard how clients of some large digital media agencies don’t link their campaigns at all since they don’t have a website, or in the best case they link them to Facebook. The banner that displays in the vast space of Internet which isn’t linked anywhere means exactly that – the message is only displayed. However, it also means that there are so many missed opportunities out there: to interact with the brand, to get familiar with it, to start using it, purchase or even to become a loyal customer. Missed opportunities also mean the budgets wasted and then budget wasted mean inefficiency; however, we want completely opposite to happen for our efforts.

So, prior to planning any digital campaign make sure you have a place to direct your users to, to exploit all the opportunities of interaction – a website or a campaign landing page. 

Second thing important before you start planning a campaign is to think about the main objective of the digital campaign. What it is that you wish to achieve? Are you launching the product for the first time so you want people to be aware of it, or your product is already familiar on the market so you want more conversions, leads, or engagement with the users?

Answering these questions would give you the main direction and the objective of the online campaign. So, you would be able to tell if you want to focus on gaining the awareness for the new product launch or the objective is to have the highest possible performance of the existing product offer.


What does your audience want?

Brands often tend to forget that the story is not about them so their creatives communicate all kinds of product benefits or features. Markets are cluttered with messages like these and the messages that properly target the needs of the consumers grab the attention and stand out. People don’t buy coffee, people buy the emotion that coffee gives them, so understanding the needs and behaviours of your target audience, composing the message to address those needs will bring the most attention.


“Awareness” Digital Campaign

The main objective is to make people aware that your brand exists out there or that there is any kind of a novelty associated with your brand. Digital campaigns with “awareness” as the main objective use all kinds of display formats to reach as wider audience as possible. In that sense, the main metrics we would monitor to know if the digital campaign was successful or not – is reach and frequency.

Reach is all about the unique users who were exposed to the campaign message.

Frequency is the number of times people were exposed to the message.

In TV advertising, it is said that it is enough for a person to be exposed to a message for 3 times to remember it. In digital, 3 is already too much especially if a person closed the banner on the first exposure. And if the content is good, people remember it on a first exposure, even so, they would share it with their friends and spread the word, which is impossible in the offline media. So, in digital, the term “less is more” is used quite a lot. Less spam will bring quality, less annoyance will bring satisfaction among the target audience, optimum duration of the campaign will bring less annoyance and so on. Don’t forget how digital media (desktop computer, mobile phone, tablet) are 1-2-1 communication direct and personal so if we’re into the brand we’re quite likely to remember the message on the first exposure.


Digital media mix for “awareness” campaigns

How to grab the attention of as many people as possible (in within our TA)? Well, use all kinds of display formats in different channels. Check more on the provided links below to see what are those available formats and understand that video works best of all, networks would usually produce banners and microsites for you for free for the minimum media budget and native advertising becomes a first answer to ad blockers. Furthermore, no matter how good and successful is your online campaign it will tend to be less interesting after 2,5 weeks of being online, so don’t plan campaigns longer than 3 weeks’ maximum.


Digital media mix for “awareness” campaigns:

1.    Google Display Network 

2.    Google AdWords 

3.    YouTube 

4.    Facebook Ads

5.    Portal banners

6.    Networks – rich media formats

7.    Native advertising

In comparison to all listed, Google and Facebook are the most efficient channels, charging their media space on a CPC (cost per click) model and have a huge inventory for you to place messages smartly. Continuous analysis of digital campaigns throughout the years of my experience as a digital manager in various corporations tells that the efficient digital campaigns assume approximately 50-60% of total media spend for Google and Facebook (the first 4 points listed). Also, if your budget is quite limited to have a wide digital mix, focusing on Google only, or Facebook only will bring significant results.

Portals charge their media space still on buying the impressions model, which doesn’t really pay off for brands, however, to reach people nationwide and gain awareness, we would need to advertise on portals. Good thing is that it is possible to negotiate with any portal out there to provide you with free PR space for the media bought, and that is a nice add on. You can explain your novelty through content or advertorials, free of charge. To reach your target audience nationwide, plan 20% of the budget for portal advertising.

Networks provide all kinds of rich-media formats for the audience to engage with your brand. If engagement as an objective is not primary for the awareness campaigns (and usually is not), you could use these formats to share the main campaign video, to tell your branded story in a unique way like using 360 product display, articles, links to social media accounts, product photo gallery display, and why not in parallax technology? All of this can bring the attention you need. Check example.

The positive side of networks is that they join the numerous portals in within network and display this advanced advertising format to various portals. So, it can completely replace bullet number 5. on the list, or simply plan another 20% of the budget for networks.

This brings us to the last mentioned – native advertising. This is the advertising form that looks as the editorials of a media itself created it, it really blends in the content that media is providing so it is a possible solution to avoid ad blockers. The brands that create content for their website are in advantage because they already have a content to share. Think about native just as a content boost on Facebook. In the same way, you pay for your article here to be seen at various internet places. I would suggest you plan 10-15% for this type of advertising.

For being able to tell that this model works, you would need to monitor your campaigns on a regular basis. How many people you reached and with what frequency – you would be able to track the progress daily, and have a complete report at the end of a campaign.

In digital, things can be changed and influenced. If you notice something isn’t working, change it. Replace creatives or run two different creatives at the same time, direct your budget in the channel that works or in a case of some large crisis, you can even stop the campaign if necessary. There are different possibilities and opportunities out there, try them out to find out what works best for your brand.

Thank you so much for reading! If this article was relevant and useful to you than it fulfilled its purpose.

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