How to plan an integrated digital marketing campaign

This guide will help you make sure you tailor your campaign to suit your audience and be consistent across multiple channels.
Audience written on whiteboard - a critical part of digital marketing

If you are planning a campaign of any sort, whether it’s a fundraising campaign, an awareness campaign, or a campaign to acquire more members, you will need a plan which considers multiple digital marketing channels – website, email, social media and paid advertising too (if possible). 

Integrating all aspects of the campaign will ensure it’s seamless for your audience. Instead of marketing efforts standing alone, they work together to usher your supporters to where you need them to be, and to advance the longer-term goals of your organisation. 

This guide will help you target your communications to specific audiences and tie your activities to your goals. 

Step 1 - create SMART objectives 

Measurable objectives are important. They mean you’ll be able to refine and adapt your efforts and know if you’re on track with where you need to be. One common way of doing this is by using the “SMART” system which stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely”. 

It’s important that your objectives are clear (specific), measurable, that you have the skills and time to achieve them, that they’re relevant to your goals and that you have a time by which you want to achieve them or a way to quantify success. 

Examples of SMART objectives: 

  • A 30% increase in new clients from surrounding suburbs within 3 months. 
  • Increase online donations by 20% compared to last year in our tax appeal fundraising campaign. 
  • Increase subscriptions to our newsletter by 15% within 6 months. 

Step 2 - understand your target audiences 

Using detailed data will help you target appropriate messages to the right people at the right time. Analyse data you have about your current audiences and find common characteristics of those who are most engaged.  

Data you can use to define your audience might include: 

  • Demographics of your donors or members. 
  • Past marketing data of recorded history of engagement with campaigns from EDMs and social media. 
  • Website analytics. 
  • Survey data or data from feedback or enquiry forms on your website. 
  • Customer service data (if relevant). 
  • Any qualitative research you have done such as interviews or user testing, even if it was for a different campaign or purpose, it may still yield good data about who your audiences are. 
  • Information from staff who work directly with your target audience. 

Once you have analysed it, it’s time to document the following: 

  • Are there one or many audiences that you want to target with this campaign? 
  • What problems are those in the target audience trying to solve? 
  • What are their likely mindsets and motivations? 
  • What medium/channels does your target audience typically use? 
  • What is the best and most efficient way to communicate with the target audience? 
  • What are the demographics (age, SES, gender) of the target audience, if relevant? 
  • Where along the customer journey are they?  
    • Awareness - they know about you but haven’t donated or joined yet
    • Consideration - they have engaged with content but haven’t donated or joined yet.
    • Active stakeholder 

 
If you have a few different audiences, with different needs, interests or behaviours, your SMART objectives for each audience might be different.  

Here’s an example of a disability service that offers a LEGO Club for children under 14. Their group recreation service offers one-hour sessions for up to six children with one staff member, and one of their main audiences will be the parents of the children. They may also have other audiences such as corporate sponsors, donors or other potential partners. For each of these audiences, a new row could be added. These would then be included in the plan below. 

Audience  Our goals  What we offer them that they want  Key message 
Parents of children  Have a full roster of children  Quality, small group play under NDIS  We understand your needs and your child's love of LEGO 

 

Step 3 – competitors and other considerations 

Do some desktop research to establish what similar organisations are doing in the space, or have done previously. You want to make sure you do something different, but at the same time perhaps there are things you can learn from their campaigns. 

  • The timing of your campaign – does it overlap with other major key events outside your organisation, for example school holidays or other significant dates like international children's day?
  • Consider what else is trending in the market or in the news? Is there a new topic your audience is interested in?  
  • Consider other planned communications across the organisation and how your campaign might overlap or compete for resources. 

Step 4 – decide your channel mix  

Your strategies are the different components, usually channels, needed to achieve your objective(s). You need to decide which channels you will use and for what. For example, an acquisition campaign might use frequent messaging across social media and SEM, whereas an appeal campaign for loyal donors might focus on EDM and lower frequency social media in conjunction with a direct mail pack. 

Paid 

Strategy  What it is  How you measure it 
Paid social media campaign  This involves using a platform like Chuffed to serve your ads to databases of social media followers other than your own. 
  • Click through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per click
Paid social influencers  Paying someone who aligns with your brand to promote your campaign on social media.   
SEM (Search Engine marketing)  Paying for ads on Google. See our guide to Google Ad Grants to see how not-for-profits can access these for free   
Display advertising  Paying for your ads to appear on other websites   
Remarketing  Showing the same, or follow-up ads to people who have already engaged with your original ones but not yet converted   

 

Owned/organic

Strategy  What it is  How you measure it 
Blogs and articles (content marketing)  Writing content on your blog or your website and then using that content on other websites to draw people into your own.  
  • Click through rate 
  • Bounce rate  
  • Average time on page  
  • Exits and entry points  
  • Traffic from organic search 
  • Page scroll and interactions  
  • Review in-page content – what and where is the key section of the page your audience most engages with? Is your copy too long or too short? Do you have clear headings and subheadings that articulate what the user intent is? 
Website and SEO   Making sure your website is well-managed and up to date and optimised well for search engines 
Newsletter  Having a regular EDM going out to your supporters. Always refresh and maintain an up-to-date list of your engaged subscribers 
  • Click through rate 
  • Bounce rate  
  • Conversion Rate  
  • Unsubscribes  
Email campaign   Creating a series of EDMs asking your supporters to take a particular action  
Owned social media  Regularly engaging your supporters via social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. 
  • Engagement 
  • Follows  
  • Click through rate  
  • Review copy to discover what resonates most 
  • Review any images, video, pdf, carousel to see which works the best 

 

A good campaign on a budget might be use the following mix (depending on audience and goals of course): 

Website, with good SEO 
Making sure your website is well-managed, and up to date with your latest compelling campaign messaging, is a great investment. It’s an “always-on” platform speaking to current audiences and attracting new ones too, if you can optimise it well

Email marketing 
Communicating directly with those who have explicitly asked for information from your organisation guarantees a more engaged audience  

Organic social media  
Leveraging your organisation’s existing followers with a compelling campaign will allow great reach within your own networks. 

Paid social
If you have any budget to spend, spend it on paid social to reach new audience groups and build larger brand awareness. See how the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter did this, using Chuffed to promote their ads across social media. 

Step 5 - develop your message, branding and visuals  

  • What is your message and unique proposition and why they will donate, join or sign the petition? Gather a few people together to brainstorm this if possible. 
  • How will you catch the attention of your audience? See our guide to creating multimedia on a budget
  • What is the call-to-action in each channel? For example, sign up for our newsletter, register for an event, sign a petition. 

Step 6 - create detailed plan 

The following framework assumes one target audience and shows how to map strategies and tasks to your objectives, and how to measure each.

Repeat this for each target audience and each smart goal. 

Target Audience: Parents of children under 14 interested in LEGO

SMART objectives  Strategies   Tasks  Measurement 
Add 100 new weekly clients to LEGO Club sessions within three months  Create referral program for friends of current clients  Create landing page on website for referral program 

Click through rate 

Bounce rate  

Conversion rate  

   

Send email to current clients 

Open rate
  Share LEGO related stories on Facebook once per week  Source Facebook links  Likes, comments and shares (engagement) 
  Review website with focus on sign up registrations  Work with designer to update website  Increased online registrations 
  Review website for search engine optimisation  Work with agency to update SEO 

More traffic from search engines measured through Google Analytics 

  Showcase great Lego creations on Instagram  Create weekly Instagram post with lego creations and call to action to register for session 

Click through rate 

Likes, comments and shares (engagement) 

  Offer discount for choosing weekly sessions  Update pricing on website with new deal  Conversion rate 
  Offer special deal to families who are not currently signed on as weekly attendees.  Email families  Conversion rate 

 

Step 7 - implement, analyse and optimise 

Integrated marketing plans should not be set in stone but should be flexible and leave room for optimisation. 

Tracking metrics and maintaining an open mind will help you utilise dynamic strategies that can be altered and optimised along the way, adjusting your campaign to achieve your goals. For example, you could try a few different Instagram posts and see which gets more clicks and then run with the more popular. Or for Google AdWords, adjust your bidding strategy, keywords or audience if your ads aren’t getting the clicks you hoped. 

And when they campaign is over, you can use data and your learnings to inform the next one. 

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