What happens after the “likes”?-A guide to successful digital marketing

When pitching for business, one of the questions I usually get from clients is “how many likes can you get us on Facebook? In trying to explain that the effectiveness of a campaign/promotion can be measured in various ways, most clients tend to assume that if you cannot assure them of a reasonable number of likes, the campaign is not successful.

One of the elements of digital marketing which makes it difficult for business people to understand is the difficulty with measuring ROI or defining what the KPIs may be. I have seen campaigns where there were millions of impressions but less than 2% of leads. If the clients in this case defined the effectiveness by the number of impressions, then the campaign was successful. But if the real need was leads, then the campaign has failed woefully.

In many cases, digital marketers have been able to get a desired number of likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter for their clients/companies and this can be a great opportunity for brand marketing. However, in many cases, very few clients are ready to consider the question “what happens after they like us?-or follow us?”

There are some questions to also be considered such as: are they liking the brand page because they like the brand, they use the brand or just because the “like” button is just one touch away? (You know there are professional ‘likers’ who tend to ‘like’ anything out there) How do you know those people that really care about your brand? Is it possible your real customers/consumers/brand users are not even liking your page or following you on Twitter?

Some of these questions should be considered even before starting the campaign and so to get the most results out of your campaign, allowing the client and agency work from the same page, it is important to go through some steps (this is not locked in but just a basic guide)

Steps to a successful digital campaign

  1. Understand the brand: Do a SWOT analysis of the brand together with the client and use it to understand the position of the brand. Research is at the core of an effective digital campaign as working without information is like shooting in the dark-the wrong person may get shot
  2. Understand the goals: Sometimes the client may not be able to articulate his goals and there are some cases where the client may not have a specific goal. Find a way to guide them towards goals while referring to the results of the analysis mentioned above. Make sure you agree on the goals before moving on as this may pose issues later
  3. Draw up a strategy then translate the strategy to digital form- The peculiarities of digital media will mean that many materials from traditional media will need some form of adaptation. E.g. an idea for a radio jingle may be expressed differently online
  4. Agree on the Key Performance Indicators for the campaign. These KPIs should be related to the goals outlined in step 2. E.g. if you want to increase brand awareness, you would want to increase your presence, your number of fans, your followers, your content etc. Agree on a range within a certain time frame and outline how you hope to achieve that.
  5. Agree on what happens after the campaign: who maintains the various accounts?
  6. Agree on the scope and various roles; E.g. who creates the content? Who provides the artwork? Who buys the photographs? Who buys the domain name?
  7. Agree on pricing; Retainer or contract? 70% deposit? Etc
  8. Present the strategy execution for approval and any revisions
  9. Implement the campaign
  10. Design scorecard and draw up reports at intervals

For every brand, it is important to treat your online fans not as a digit but as people who you have a relationship with. Do not create a campaign and disconnect from them after the campaign passes. Engage, engage, and engage! Publish tips; be available for Q&As; send out trivia; write educational stories etc. Let them keep talking about your brand and transfer their love for your brand from digital to real!

*Image culled from futurechallenges.org

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