What We Teach: How to Campaign Online

Success and Failure

We know what you're going through. It's a hard knock life when you come up with a promotions campaign and it doesn't succeed. I mean, you worked hard on it, right? You made sure it aligned with your brand, connected with your clientele, and that you were seeking new clientele effectively? You really thought this one through, before you put it online, I'm sure.

Actually, I'm not sure any of that is true. In a recent SYNC poll held on LinkedIn of 250 professionals across various industries, we found some startling and scary statistics.

The Online Marketing Statistics Poll

  • 80% said their campaigns online are a single graphic posted.
  • 65% said they posted that same graphic multiple times.
  • 74% said they had no idea why their campaign wouldn't boost on Facebook.
  • 99% had no video support.
  • 63% were simply titles, and had no marketing message.
  • 81% had no real world marketing component to the campaign.
  • 86% said there was "just a few days" between conception to date of promotion.
  • 7% considered their online campaigning in 2016 successful. 7%!

The Info Behind the Numbers

Now, let's dig deep into why these numbers are the way they are, then after that, I'll give you an ideal campaign for a new product launch. For our purposes, we'll use a $100 steak and lobster dinner promo.

  • First, a single graphic for a campaign spread out over multiple days is not enough. It's not even close to enough. The average promotional campaign online should last about 6 weeks. Depending on the level of promotion, that means you should have 12 - 18 graphics created for the campaign in various formats.
  • Posting the same graphic multiple times on your feed is a pretty lazy practice to get into. We get why you're doing it, though. It's because no one is taking the initiative to create enough graphics for you. You need to take the bull by the horns, and start making your feed more interesting. Promote to your customers with the language and taste that they relate to.
  • Of those that had problems boosting on Facebook, we were able to attribute over 80% of the answers to not understanding the text guidelines set out by Facebook itself.
  • Without video for a major launch, you might as well be advertising in the Yellow Pages (yes, they still print that book) at this point. My advice is to get on it. In our training course, we teach the quickest, most efficient, and financially responsible ways to produce video.
  • Without a marketing message, you might as well just start handing out money to random people on a street corner. You must either solve a problem for your customer, or inspire them to take action. These are the only 2 purposes of advertising. Think about that next time you're trying to come up with the next campaign.
  • Advertising online is a fantastic way to market your business. BUT, it's not the only way. If you rely solely on your brand pushing out marketing messages online, you won't be around for very long. Tie in real world promos, and get real people involved online. Quickly, you'll go viral.
  • "Just a few days," is not enough time to actually push a promotion. You're better off not doing something, than rushing to make it happen. Honestly, you'd have to be offering something amazing to pull of a promotion within a few days. Free pizza by the box would work in a few days. A new pizza flavour, would not. Even with the free pizza, you'll struggle without a huge ad spend.
  • 7%! That's a staggering number, and there's good reason for that. It's because all of the stats you just read up on. While businesses know they have to be online, they're not taking their campaigning seriously, and that ultimately means failure to launch.

What a Campaign Looks Like

Now, I don't want to leave you hanging with bad news, so let's go through that launch of the $100 steak and lobster combo at a high-end restaurant. Note, we're not giving away our secret sauce here. These are the broad stokes of the basics you would need.

  • Plan to launch the actual promotion 6-weeks before the product launch. Really look into whether you're just doing this because you feel like you need something to ramp up sales, or because your customers want it. Giving your customers what they want is important. Poll. We do it all the time, and it really helps shape ideas in a big way.
  • Do a photo and video shoot with the steak and lobster. Catch the plate in all it's glory. Sell the sizzle AND the steak.
  • Put together 16 graphics, with catchy phrases over them, "The finest cuts, because a real man knows his steaks," or, "The Good Life Question #40: Do you want Lobster with that?"
  • Launch with a video, and a contest, where you can. For this promotion, because you're a classier joint, with a high ticket price, I'd make the contest something catered to those with incomes over $50,000/year, and go after those celebrating an anniversary in the first 4 weeks of your promo.
  • Start teasing with single posts and ads for the first 2 weeks. Then ramp it up, and create anticipation, and desire in the final week. Really pump it out there, and spend some dollars. You want to spend roughly 5% of your anticipated revenue on your online campaign. So figure out that number, and make it happen.
  • Get your staff and friends involved with sharing the posts. Someone has to go first, and sharing is contagious.
  • Once your product is launched, get endorsements. Or, during launch, invite out food bloggers to try the new offering. You want authentic reviews. Peer rating is the new wave of quality control.

That is just a few tips, but please everyone, stop launching poor campaigns. It's not helping you, or any of your customers. Many times, the difference between success and failure is simply the choice to put in the work.

What's the last successful campaign you had online?

Written by:
Jay Hall - Chief Strategist