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Why Longer Marketing Campaigns Will Always Be More Successful

Everyone who has ever been involved in this business we call show marketing will have certainly heard the word “campaign” a good handful of times. A campaign is when you spend time advertising and marketing a certain brand, product, service or piece of content etc through print or through online channels such as social media.

A campaign can last however long the client wants, which can range from anything from 1 month to a whole year. Choosing a time frame isn’t something you can just pick, you mostly have to base it on their goals for the campaign as a whole. If the goals are easily achievable you can go for a shorter campaign of up to around 3 months, but is 3 months really enough time to make a significant difference?

Many marketers will argue that 3 months, even for smaller goals, is simply not enough for an idea to get off the ground. It’s not simply marketing an idea, it’s coming up with that idea in the first place that takes up a lot of time. Below is what you should be doing and why longer campaigns, as a whole, tend to be more successful.

Do All The Research

Most of us wonderful marketers know just how much time is taken up by simply doing research. The research isn’t something that just happens once for one aspect of a campaign, we have to first research and fully understand the client and what their overall goals are for their business.

We must do keyword research to make sure we’re targeting the right terms in the right places, but we must also research the kind of content that should/needs to be produced in order to push that campaign forward. Above all else you need to research your target audience, perhaps even creating surveys.

It can take weeks if not months to do enough research to really get good results from your campaign, the more research you have at your disposal the better you will understand the campaign and the more successful it will be.

Even small pieces of content, such as the Old Spice advert, will have been fully researched before anything was even created. How else would they manage to reach over 51 million views on YouTube over the last 5 years? They will have researched their target audience and built up a profile of the kind of customer they received.

From the advert it seems as if their target audience is actually the wives and girlfriends of the men who use the product. They have tapped into the fact that, more often than not, it will be the ladies who buy the bathroom products rather than the men themselves. This campaign also didn’t happen overnight, it was a campaign that spanned several months. Without the all important research they would never have known to target their advert at the women in relationships.

Planning, Planning, Planning

Once you’ve got a hold of your research you can start planning what kind of campaign you actually want to create. A campaign doesn’t have to start and end with one piece of content, it should be made up of various marketing and visual aspects. So, for example, let’s say you want to create an interactive infographic all about the new Apple Watch.

You’re not just going to stop at creating and posting/sharing that, right? No. You’re going to create all kinds of supplementary content to go alongside this interactive graphic. So for this example we’d want to also create a static version of the infographic for people to share, a blog post about the facts within the infographic for people to read, small bite sized images such as flyers for sharing on social media and you could perhaps even make a slideshow of the facts you include.

A good example of a campaign with lots of supplementary content came in the form of Monty The Penguin. Not only did they create the advert, but before it even aired they sent out Monty toys to journalists around the world to spark interest.

The planning never ends. You have to be 100% sure of your idea by this point but you also have to make sure that the client is happy for you to do all of this for them. You need to work their budget around what you can create for them, don’t spend all of their budget simply making 1 thing.

Doing this limits you when it comes to actually marketing it, if you’ve only got one piece of content to rely on you’ll have no backup for when people politely decline to post or share the initial piece. Giving yourself more time for the campaign allows you to create and share that supplementary content and spark interest in what you’re offering.

Slow & Steady Implementation

With Monty The Penguin, it wasn’t just a case of creating the content and throwing it out there. The video itself was actually released by John Lewis on 6th November, more than a month before Christmas struck. This might seem quite last minute, but many didn’t see the planning and supplementary content that came before it. John Lewis spent months coming up with the campaign, researching it and planning what they would do before and after Christmas.

It’s because of the research that they decided to release the video on the date they did, they saw that many of us will wait until this time to even start buying presents. It tapped into the minds of many without anyone realizing it. How many of you saw that advert and said “I should really start doing my Christmas shopping”? Quite a few, I can guarantee.

It didn’t even end there, the campaign ended up being such a success that John Lewis decided to actually start selling their Monty toys to the general public (as well as other Monty merchandise), creating yet another stream of income. If this campaign had of only been 3 months long they wouldn’t have reached the audience they did.

Longer campaigns give you more time to get your name out there but also gives more time for organic traffic to start kicking in. Not all campaigns start as successfully as this one, many will see several weeks of little engagement before really kicking off. You must remember to have faith in your campaign, if you do the appropriate research and plan absolutely everything then you can only go up.

Seeing Better Results Long Term

Shorter campaigns tend to have 1 of 2 outcomes: your piece doesn’t get enough exposure and therefore isn’t overly successful or your piece becomes a “viral” piece of content that is popular, but only for a very short amount of time. Many see viral content as a great way to gain traffic, without realizing that it won’t help your company at all in the long run.

Websites such as BuzzFeed rely on viral content, why? Because your website’s traffic must remain steady to be successful. If your website see’s a huge spike in traffic one month (but goes right back down again the next month), Google will not then see it as a great website, but it would if you always had viral content.

The best kind of campaign is one that slowly progresses and sees positive outcomes every month. It’s better to have a longer campaign where you only have good things to report on for 6 months rather than have a 3 month campaign where you start losing traffic etc in month 3.

Good long term results are going to only have positive effects on your brand and your website over time. Many campaigns these days will last for a year or more, such as the well known BT adverts. Ongoing campaigns, even ones that last for years, tap into the audience captured in the first instance but also gains new audiences in the process.

We’re a sucker for stories, if an advert has a character in it that we can relate to we want to know what their life if is going to be like later on. BT have only just recently changed their adverts to star actor Ewan McGregor, but prior to this BT kept the same student story line for 3 years (which is funnily enough how long an average university course is).

So there we have it, longer campaigns may take up a lot more time with research and planning but this ends up in a far better and more successful marketing campaign!

If you liked this blog post then perhaps you’d like to read “Viral Content – A Closer Look Into Popular Media“?

Feature Image Credit: Flickr


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