If you're reading this post, you or your team have identified that you need to develop a marketing campaign plan to turn your innovative ideas into realities. Now, you're looking for that perfect marketing campaign template that will simplify the planning process so you can breeze through it.
We'll share such a template in this post, as well as cover:
What a marketing campaign is
How to nail your marketing campaign planning
What to include in your marketing campaign template
Sounds good? Let's dive into it!
Download Your Free Marketing Campaign Template (PDF, Word, Excel)
We're about to jump head first into marketing campaigns, but first, we'd like to share a downloadable marketing campaign template. It's available as a PDF, Word, and Excel document.
This template will help you get the most from this blog post and set you on the right track for a successful marketing campaign.
What Is A Marketing Campaign?
A marketing campaign is a collection of events, pieces of content, or marketing activities that share a unified theme and a goal. Marketing campaigns have clear start and end dates that separate them from your other marketing efforts.
You might be familiar with the term "integrated marketing campaign" — these marketing campaigns encompass marketing activities on several different platforms (like social media, in-person events, virtual events, content marketing, etc.).
Planning your marketing campaign in advance has many benefits, including that:
It helps you break down which tasks you need to do (and when)
It helps you stay within budget
It helps you keep track of key details you might otherwise forget
It helps you increase your efficiency and work smarter
6 Steps To Create And Plan A Marketing Campaign
Now that you know what a marketing campaign is, you might wonder, "how on earth do I plan one?"
Here's how to create and plan a marketing campaign seamlessly.
1. Determine What You're Promoting
Every marketing campaign promotes something. It could be:
A new service, product, or feature
A piece of content (a blog post, video, webinar)
An event (either virtual or in-person)
Determining what you're promoting is relatively easy. Ask yourself: "why are we doing this?" or "what action do I want my audience to take after reading my marketing materials?"
Knowing your "why" before you begin will help you stay on track and ensure that everything you do pushes you towards your goal.
2. Develop A Campaign Theme Or Concept
Your campaign theme or concept is the thing that ties all the marketing activities in your campaign together. It's what David Ogilvy called having "big ideas."
David Ogilvy's definition of "big ideas."
Here's how to develop a theme or concept in three steps:
Identify what your campaign will promote.
Consider your audience's interests and pain points.
Find overlap between what you are promoting and your audience's interests and pain points.
There you go!
Your campaign theme or concept doesn't need to be extravagant, fancy, or ground-breaking. Sometimes, simple ideas work best (like in some of these campaigns, for example).
You don't want to start your marketing campaign plan without a theme or concept. If you do, you'll find that your marketing activities are missing something that makes them more effective and cohesive.
3. Establish Marketing Channels
Your marketing channels are the mediums you will use throughout your marketing campaign. Think social media, email marketing, content marketing, events, webinars, mail marketing, TV, radio, newspapers, etc.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine what marketing channels to use:
What channels do we traditionally do well?
Are there time and resource constraints that limit the channels we can use?
Which channels have larger audiences?
Which channels fit with our campaign theme or concept? Which don't?
It might help to list every possible platform you could use and tick/cross them off one-by-one.
Don't progress in your marketing plan without identifying your channels — if you don't know where you're promoting something, the what, why, who, and how become ten times harder.
4. Set Campaign Goals
Your campaign goals are what you want to achieve by the end of the campaign.
It's wise to set one overarching goal, like "increase the number of leads testing our tool with a free trial," and several Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics that help track your progress towards that goal. For example, you could track click-throughs from content promoting the free trial, free trial sign-ups, and your free-trial-user-to-customer conversion rate.
If you don't know where you want to be, you won't know when you get there. For that reason, well-thought-out goals are a must.
5. Plan What You'll Need To Create For Each Channel
You already know which channels you're using, what you're promoting, and what you are aiming for. Now, it's time to tie these ideas together and plan how much content you'll need to create for each channel.
For example, you might identify that you need the following things for a one-month campaign:
Twitter — five text-only tweets
Facebook — three Facebook ads, two long-form text posts, and four video posts
Instagram — ten story posts and two grid posts
Website — three blog posts and one landing page
Identifying your deliverables well in advance gives you plenty of time to work on them and produce good quality work, so you don't want to skip this step.
6. Map Out the Execution Of Your Campaign On A Marketing Calendar
A marketing calendar is exactly what it sounds like: a handy digital calendar that helps you map out your campaign daily.
CoSchedule's Marketing Calendar can help you to:
Assign tasks to each team member
Break big tasks into smaller ones
Log the status of each task
CoSchedule's Marketing Calendar.
What To Include In Your Marketing Campaign Template
We've already covered creating a marketing plan, but what does a marketing campaign template include? Here are seven things you don't want to miss on yours.
Marketing Campaign Idea
Your marketing campaign idea is a short description (usually only a few sentences or a paragraph long) that summarizes your campaign. It's similar to an elevator pitch but for your campaign rather than your product.
Your idea needs to include who you're targeting, what you're promoting, why your campaign will help this audience, and your goals.
For example, CoSchedule's Marketing Strategy Certification Course project description reads:
"Whether you’re a new marketer or a seasoned pro, this course will give you the knowledge & tools you need to create and execute a marketing strategy that drives proven results."
A screenshot of CoSchedule's Marketing Strategy Certification Course.
Your campaign audience is the group of leads and customers you intend to reach. It's not practical to categorize this audience with terms like "the general public" or "product users." Instead, you'll want to get specific about characteristics like:
Gender and sex
Age and generation
Knowledge and education level
Language and ethnicity
For example: "we want to reach marketing professionals at the start of their career who want to automate social media posting" or "we want to reach newly-wed couples honeymooning in Spain."
If you want to flesh out your campaign audience, follow this guide and create a marketing persona.
Resources & Budget
Your campaign budget and the resources available to you influence the scope of your campaign heavily — if paid social media ads are out of budget, you won't be able to invest in them, will you?
You'll need to define what's available to you in your template. Think of things like:
People. What expertise does your team have?
Tools. What kinds of software and hardware do you have access to?
Time. How long can you spend on this campaign? How many hours can you spend each week?
Budget. How much can you afford to invest in ads, hiring freelancers, getting access to software, etc.?
Goals & Measurements
Your goal is where you want to be, and your measurements help you track how you're doing in getting there.
Goals can be pretty general ("the goal of our campaign is to influence…"), but measurements are best defined with KPIs or SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound — objectives. For example: "by (date), we will reach (metric) from (platform)."
Here are a few questions you should also answer in this section:
What results will this campaign produce?
How will you measure success?
How will you measure failure?
Your talking points are key things that your content will cover. Talking points answer the questions "why will your audience care?" and "what's in it for them?"
Think use cases, statistics, case studies, product features, etc. And think creatively — try brainstorming as a team to flesh out your ideas!
Your channel selection is the marketing channels you will use to reach your audience. Here's a list of potential channels you can draw from:
Your marketing campaign timeline defines when you will publish each piece of content. You'll want to include critical information like the date, time, and who will press "publish" — if you don't define these things, it's easy to miss deadlines.
Use CoSchedule's Marketing Calendar if you want to present this information visually.
Elise Dopson is a B2B content marketing expert who writes for SaaS and eCommerce companies. She’s written for sites like Content Marketing Institute, HubSpot and Social Media Examiner, and loves nothing more than a good cuppa tea. (She is British, after all.) Follow her, and her tea obsession, on Twitter @elisedopson.