Digital marketing campaigns can do wonders for your SME's overall brand image and for conversion, but getting campaigns spot on can be a fine art. It can be especially stressful if you're new to the world of digital marketing, or if you run a growing startup and are juggling managing your digital marketing campaigns in-house. To help you focus on how to drive your campaign towards success, Heather Baker, CEO of TopLine Comms and TopLine Film shares five tips to avoid stressful pitfalls, and help ensure your digital marketing campaigns are fruitful:
1. Set out a clear plan
It can be tempting to forge ahead with a new campaign without a plan. However, this often involves rushing headlong into dead ends and causes more stress than it’s worth. Everyone wants instant results, but digital marketing takes time.
Not knowing how you’re going to get from step one to the finish line can feel like an insurmountable task. It’s far less stressful when you have a plan which breaks the job into bite-sized pieces that you can conquer one by one. If you can picture the specific steps you’ll be taking tomorrow, in a week, and in a month, you’ll be able to stay focused on your overall goal and will be more likely to reach it.
2. Set realistic goals and metrics
Getting results for you and your clients can be stressful. Setting a couple of clear, achievable goals can reduce stress by keeping you focused, and also because you have something against which to measure success. Taking the time to define your audience, goals, budget, and desired results pays off in the long term. Not only does it set expectations for you and your team, it also removes uncertainty.
Taking on too much at once can also cause unnecessary stress, so it’s important to strike a balance. This can be hard to gauge in absolute terms, but if you find that you consistently have too much on your plate then it might be worth paring down the number of metrics you target.
3. Carefully consider your budget
Money can be a massive cause of stress when it comes to digital marketing, from not adequately keeping track to not having enough to work with. Add the all too frequent combination of low-to-no budget and extra-high-expectations, and you have a recipe for stress.
It’s simply a fact that not every business has large or ‘experimental’ budgets to spend on marketing. The key to keeping stress in check when it comes to budgets is setting realistic expectations. Making sure everyone at the table knows what can actually be achieved with a given budget saves disappointment and stress later on.
4. Keep up with Google
For better or worse, the digital marketing industry runs on Google. They’re constantly changing and updating their algorithms, often without advance warning, and this can be a significant source of stress. It’s a real source of anxiety that at any moment, Google could instantaneously change how websites are ranked.
If this is a concern for you, you’re not alone. The world of SEO changes quickly and can leave even the best marketers scrambling to keep up. While nobody outside of Google knows what they’re going to do next, there are a few steps that savvy marketers take to stay prepared for incoming changes. Specifically, keeping up to date on industry news.
Google changes aren’t random, and they don’t happen in a vacuum. It’s possible to predict, at least broadly, the sorts of changes that Google will implement by paying attention to media coverage of adjacent issues. Pay attention to user behaviour, cybersecurity, bugs, spam, and other issues, and Google’s sudden lurches won’t seem quite so unpredictable.
5. Don't take on too much
It’s not unusual for digital marketers to juggle SEO, UX design, social media, PPC and website content, so it’s no wonder that many feel overwhelmed. This varied workload can leave marketers feeling like they’re being pulled in half a dozen different directions, and it can lead to a lot of stress.
For people who love being a jack of all trades, there’s plenty of work to do, but if it’s causing you stress, there are options. The solution is to specialize in what you’re really passionate about, and see if you can outsource the rest to a freelancer or agency, or take on another member of staff to help even out the load.
About the Author
Heather Baker is the CEO of TopLine Comms, a leading digital communications, PR and video consultancy that delivers integrated marketing and customer acquisition strategies for tech companies. Specifically, the business designs and executes digital PR and SEO strategies, that draw on their long-established expertise in PR, content, social media and SEO. These strategies help their clients build awareness, generate leads and convert those leads into customers.