January 3, 2024

11 Digital Marketing Campaigns For Small Businesses in 2024

Digital marketing campaigns come in all types of flavors, but the thing most people care about is if the campaign is a something you pay for, or something free.In this article, I will present 11 different paid and unpaid campaigns your business can use next year to grow.

11 Digital Marketing Campaigns For Small Businesses in 2024

The new year is just around the corner and small businesses are already looking towards their next set of marketing campaigns.

Digital marketing campaigns come in all types of flavors, but the thing most people care about is if the campaign is a something you pay for, or something free.

In this article, I will present 11 different paid and unpaid campaigns your business can use next year to grow.

If you ever have any questions, always feel free to reach out at ian@optimize.marketing. I hope you enjoy!

Let's get started!

What makes a successful digital marketing campaign?

Before talking about the different kinds of dynamic digital marketing campaigns and strategies you could use, I think it makes sense to first talk about success metrics and how you know you are doing well.

To summarize it in one word, it would have to be data.

But let's go deeper than that. Data could mean so many different kinds of things.

In fact every platform nowadays has some sort of data in a dashboard. So how can someone with very little marketing experience quickly come to grips with all of these new metrics?

The two types of marketing metrics

  1. Vanity Metrics - Metrics that are correlated to how much you spend. The more you spend the more these numbers go up. Some examples are Impressions and Cost.
  2. Performance Metrics - Metrics that are correlated to how well you optimize your ads. The more optimized the ads, the higher these numbers. Some examples are Click Thru Rate (CTR) and Conversions.
Two types of marketing metrics.

Piecing Together Vanity and Performance Metrics

Both metrics serve a purpose in your marketing campaigns, however the clear favorite out of the bunch are the performance metrics. Here's why.

Disclaimer: I am going to introduce some foundational knowledge about advertising campaigns.

Please stick with me here because this could fundamentally change how you view online advertising forever.

Digital marketing campaigns are money making machines.

You could end the sentence right there and that's what 99% of marketing agencies tell their clients; but let's take it one step further.

Digital marketing campaigns are money making machines if properly optimized and setup to favor performance metrics over vanity metrics.

You see, having a campaign centered around performance metrics is like having a machine where you theoretically put $1 in and with optimization and proper setup, you get $3+ back. So when you advertise you are getting $2+ in profit.

Most people stop with vanity metrics when explaining campaign performance.

They mention how many times someone has seen the ad, which is usually a very large number, all while simultaneously ignoring the CTR and the overall conversions (form submissions).

These campaigns are centered around vanity metrics is that is like having a machine where you put in $1 and the machine gives you $1 back.

So when you advertise, you are usually not making anymore money than what you started with.

Putting metrics together.

When you setup Performance Centric Campaigns, you win

The best digital marketing campaigns have the following elements included:

  1. A well documented and efficiently targeted audience - More defined (smaller) audiences is usually the best place to start with small advertising budgets.
  2. A clear and simple ask for your prospects - Create a winning offer that people want to accept and is easy for them to do so.
  3. A feedback loop for adjustments - You marketing campaign isn't going to be perfect once you set up it for the first time so establish a weekly cadence to test new things and iterate.
  4. A dashboard that includes your performance metrics - The big numbers I care about are Clicks, Cost Per Click (CPC), CTR, Conversions, Average Cost Per Conversion (CPA), and Conversion Rate.

A note on Behavioral Metrics

Of course, you can't talk about performance without talking about behavior. These metrics would be bounce rate, average time on page, and new users.

These are probably the most overlooked type of metrics by marketers and small businesses and that's because almost every advertising platform doesn't show you them.

In order to find these kinds of metrics you have to go into Google Analytics and look in the acquisitions report.

So having another databoard to showcase this data in your dashboard is vital to understanding not only the top level performance metrics, but also the more granular feedback from your website and customer experience.

Behavioral Metrics are crucial to track and understand!

Introducing Digital Marketing Strategy

Now that we understand what it takes to know if you digital marketing campaign is successful, let's introduce the key elements of digital marketing strategies.

I like to mention this to clients from time to time, but a wise man once said:

Without a marketing strategy, you really are just spending money to spend it.

... Okay, no one actually said this, however it is true. This is essentially what we described above with the correlation between vanity metrics and their expected return.

$1 in is roughly $1 out (if you're lucky).

So why is this important?

Most small businesses view "running ads" as a strategy in and of itself, when in reality, running ads is a tactic to push your message to more people.

Great digital marketing campaigns must effectively speak to the target market or audience.

Target Audience - speak to them!

How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy

This will be an oversimplified attempt at explaining how I craft digital marketing strategies for the small businesses I work with.

  1. First, I will ask what the top selling product or service is.
  2. Next, I'll ask if there is currently any marketing pushing people to choose this top selling product. If there is, then I would challenge that the product is actually the top selling product because it is truly "the best" or if it is the most often discussed because of marketing, therefore it gets more sales. If the client has more information on customer feedback here, then we can move forward with choosing the top selling product or service - otherwise it's time to analyze data.
  3. Third, I get a readout or deeper understanding how many sales for each product or service have occurred, and estimate the emphasis the business places on each of these sales to help disqualify product's or services that have higher volume due to some outside element.
  4. After getting a solid understanding of what the top selling product or service is, it's now time to market it.
  5. I will ask for a list of individuals who have purchased this product or service. I will also ask if there are any demographic commonalities we can draw from these people.
  6. Sixth, I will work with the client to develop a great offer that calls out to these individuals and offers BIG, fast value.
  7. Lastly, I will ask the client where these people generally consume content.

That's it! With answers to these questions, we are well on our way to creating our first bulletproof digital marketing strategy that is effectively hitting our target audience.

Notice how I didn't ask how much money you wanted to spend?

The Most Common Pitfalls that Doom Campaigns From the Start

Unfortunately we live in a world where digital marketing strategy has evolved into the same two questions that 99% of marketing agencies ask.

  1. What platforms do you want to run ads on?
  2. How much money do you want to spend?

Yes, this makes onboarding and scoping incredibly easy, but these inputs provide you with the smallest possible amount of information to accurately piece together a living breathing, money making machine.

In fact, I would venture to say that 90% of advertising campaigns set up this way will be doomed from the start due to the simple fact that the marketer hasn't taken into consideration the top selling product, why it is the top selling product, who is buying this product, the offer to position this product favorably, and where exactly these people consume content.

If an agency only asks you for these two pieces of information, then please do yourself and your agency a favor and work with someone else.

Most campaigns are doomed from the start. You don't know what you don't know.

Different Kinds of Online Marketing Campaigns

There are so many different kinds of campaigns that you can run.

And spoiler alert, you shouldn't be limited by the money you spend.

All successful digital marketing campaigns have one thing in common, and that's one simple action we want the prospect to take. In marketing, we call this the call to action (CTA).

So if all it takes to call something an online marketing campaign is a CTA, then why do people get caught up with all the other questions like, "where do you want to spend your money", and "how much do you want to spend"...

The simple answer is that most marketing agencies are inexperienced and don't understand this.

11 Types of Digital Marketing Campaigns

  1. Organic Social Media Campaigns - Nonpaid campaigns with the objective to show content related to your core offer and make a CTA.
  2. Paid Social Campaigns - Paid campaigns that show content related to your core offer and make a CTA.
  3. Content Marketing Campaigns - The deliberate creation of blog posts and content pieces that talk about your core offer and make a CTA.
  4. Search Engine Optimization Campaigns - The optimization of your website listing in popular search engines. This affects how high up your website shows in Google which ultimately increases the number of people that visit your site over time.
  5. Pay per Click Campaigns - Paying for temporary positions in the top three spots on popular search engines. These ads also have a call to action.
  6. Email Marketing Campaigns - Sending emails to active customers asking them to act on your core offer.
  7. SMS Marketing Campaigns - Similar to email marketing campaigns, however the medium is using a text message.
  8. Direct Message Marketing Campaigns - Similar to organic social media campaigns, however with the objective to show content related to your core offer to one individual in a direct message setting.
  9. Referral Campaigns - Implementing a strategy to acquire new customers through customer referrals.
  10. Testimonial Campaigns - Implementing a strategy to indirectly acquire new customers by increasing the number of social proof points for your business.
  11. Case Study Campaigns - A strategy used to indirectly acquire new customers by increasing the number of example products or services that you have offered in the past that were successful.

The list goes on, but hopefully you can already start to see that the majority of these don't actually require money to get started.

There are numerous types of campaigns - but these cover the essentials.

Wrapping up digital campaign types

We are wrapping up the intro to digital marketing campaigns.

I hope you can already see that there are numerous ways to effectively target your ideal customers and up until the channel is discussed, this process should be meticulously followed.

In summary, to setup a digital marketing campaign, you must:

  1. Choose an actionable and realistic business objective
  2. Determine performance metrics you want to track
  3. Identify the top performing product
  4. Identify who buys this product, how they buy it, why they buy it, etc.
  5. Pick a channel you want to reach them on
  6. Develop your ad or content ... WAIT, we didn't talk about this one yet.

That's right. Next, we are going to dive into creating campaigns and ads for each of the 11 types of digital marketing campaigns listed above.

Quick disclaimer: The rest of the blog will be discussing comprehensive digital strategies that could be used for each of the 11 campaign types listed above.

Towards the end, we will discuss mixing and matching campaign types and the effect that can have on your business. Feel free to skip around based on which campaigns interest you most.

Take note of the digital environment and think about how your owned assets can help you!

Organic Social Media Campaigns

Arguably the most obvious, yet still underutilized kinds of campaigns has to be social media campaigns.

There is no better free way to effectively reach your target audience all at once, with 1 simple post.

By the way, organic just means free. People organically have come to your business. You didn't pay for them. You get the point.

In 2024, there are so many different social media platforms. We have Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, X (Twitter), YouTube, Tik Tok, and the list goes on.

I am not going to cover platform specific campaigns, but instead discuss a strategy that works for all organic channels. Sound good? Good.

Consistent posting on social media is one of the first campaigns I would recommend.

Getting Started with Social Media Campaigns

Before we dive into specifics, I will use this time to introduce brand identity. This term relates to the look and feel your business gives off to potential customers, or in this case, social media users.

Its the colors, the tone, the messaging. Everything your business does in person, and online is your business's brand identity.

Established brands like Coke and Apple have masterfully positioned themselves and their brands in particular ways.

Notice how Coke doesn't just discuss the nutrient facts associated with the drink? Instead they usually highlight the experience of drinking coke. The taste, the cultural impact the drink has.

Or with Apple, it's not about the processing speed or memory.

Instead it is about creativity, and how great work get's done on a MacBook.

When you are getting started to create social media posts and your overall social media campaign, it is pretty helpful to think about how your business can help solve a core, instinctual need that your prospect desires.

For Coke it is finding your group of people and fulfilling social interactions. For Apple it is feeling like your work is valuable, special, and makes a difference.

Coke masterfully positions their brand.

I think you get the point.

Next time you post about karaoke night, don't talk only about the singers and the times, and percent off their second drink.

Those are all good, but really highlight that your karaoke night is the place to be on Friday night. Think of the people you'll meet?

People's need for social interactions and sense of belonging is a huge driver in their decision making. So study up on these instinctual needs before launching your next campaign.

Increase Brand Awareness With Social Media

Your social media channels are one of the best ways to create more your brand loyalty and awareness. This is simply a fancy way of saying, the more you post, the more your followers will see your content.

Below is a great template of a social media campaign that you can use to raise awareness of your online or brick and mortar location.

I will break down the process from starting with nothing, to the tools you will need along the way, to finally ending with the posting cadence and analytics tools.

Let's get started!

Check out this social media activation plan!

Organic Social Media Campaign Activation Plan

  1. Get started by coming up with some post themes for the next quarter (or few months). Take note of these in your preferred notes app. Then once they are listed, try to come up with 8-10 relevant posts that could go along with each.
  2. Have no fear, here are a few post ideas that I like to target for each of our themes. Informational content on industry trends, educational content like How To's, brand trust with case studies or testimonials, entertaining posts with memes, and product/service posts on your most popular items.
  3. Once I have my post ideas, I fill out a social media calendar that can be used as a respository for all of this content. It will hold all of the copy and the images that go along with each of these posts. I can also plan what days I want each piece of content to go out. I like to use Airtable for this.
  4. I use an image creation tool like Canva to edit images for the post. This doesn't have to be super fancy. The most important thing to mention here is that your posts should feel like your brand. This means the colors, the images, the font are all the same or similar.
  5. I will rinse and repeat creating content for about 2 weeks at a time that way I have good content scheduled and staged in my calendar. Consistency of posting with social media campaigns is key.
  6. Now that the repository is filled, it's time to do stage these in a scheduler. There are a few tools that I use for this. I use Loomly or Publer to make sure these posts make it to the appropriate platforms at the right times.
  7. With scheduled content and a repository of content that will be continue to grow over time, all that is left to do is consistently post and monitor engagement.
  8. The key to developing a winning digital campaign on social media is to post once every three days with a new, helpful piece of content. Helpful means that it hits a different brand question that the prospect may be thinking of each time. Creating different kinds of content that speak to different core beliefs will elevate your performance.
  9. Track your analytics with Databox to conglomerate all your social media profile information into one dashboard for easy viewing.
  10. Play the long game. With organic, or free, campaigns being patient is key. When these kinds of campaigns go live, it takes a lot longer to start to see results solely from social media mostly because the sheer volume of users you are reaching is a lot lower than let's say if you were using paid social media ads. We will get to that strategy shortly.

Wrapping up organic social media campaigns

Although this may be one of the slowest campaigns to see results from, it certainly isn't unimportant.

I have found that clients that focus on social media posting see enhanced results from other paid channels all because they are compounding their growth with free additional content to their users.

The best client performance comes from adding multiple types of campaigns together that complement each other. More on this later.

Paid Social Campaigns (Social Media Marketing Campaigns)

Paid social is synonymous with social media marketing.

I love these kinds of campaigns for many reasons, but the main reason is because of the flexible you have creating these.

There are 10s of social media channels out there and each campaign usually has a different objective.

Paid advertising spots serve many purposes.

Types of Social Media Marketing Campaign Objectives

  1. Increase Brand Awareness
  2. Increase Website Visits
  3. Increase Website Conversions
  4. Increase On Platform Leads
  5. Increase Job Applications
  6. Increase Reviews

Each of these can be done on any platform, and because of this, I always find that I learn something new every time one of these campaigns are created.

The most common paid ads campaigns (and why most campaigns fail)

Almost everyone I work with is interested in leads and website conversions - and I don't blame them. At the end of the day, leads are what drive new business.

They are the first, last step in getting someone to talk to sales.

But what about all the steps in between?

What about the point in time in which someone that has no idea who you are?

The most successful digital marketing campaigns position relevant ads in an order that helps speak to the prospect's questions about the a brand's image.

Be sure to create a marketing funnel of content. Not everyone is ready to buy right now!

This means that they start with awareness level content like educational ads in the form of blogs or whitepaper, then work their way into trust and credibility ads like testimonials, then finish with a combination of their product/service ads with a call to action.

This is essentially what a marketing funnel is. This is how a campaign can be successful.

Failed campaigns only focus on the last step with a call to action that takes the user to the demo form or CTA. I have seen way too many companies do this, but the worst examples of digital marketing campaigns I have see do this are with software companies.

But I am not going to bash on them - how could they know that there is a digital marketing process. They wouldn't unless they work with a great agency.

Paid Social Media Activation Plan

Similar to organic social media, in paid, we must pick a few objectives we want to focus on with this campaign.

Generally speaking we will use a different objective for each of the three different campaigns within the activation plan.

  1. I would choose these three objectives brand awareness, website visits, and website conversions.
  2. Choose platforms. When starting out with a new brand, I like to test one platform at a time. Preferably it is the same platform that we are consistently posting organic social media on. For this example, we will choose LinkedIn.
  3. Third, it's time to pick the pieces of content we want to promote. For the awareness level campaign, I would choose 1-2 blogs that I know my audience has read, while also choosing a piece of content like an ebook or whitepaper that a user may be interested in reading, as well. For Website visits I will point users to my testimonials/case studies page, and last for website conversions I will point users to a custom landing page that follows the StoryBrand Framework for answering prospect questions while qualifying them on the page.
  4. Next, it's time to plan for the messages and images (creative) for these ads. I like to use a template for doing this inside of Google Sheets. It is super simple and just gives a new row for each new piece of creative. I will need introductory text, some direction on what the images should look like, and where the ad URL will go.
  5. Now, it's time to actually create these ads. I will ship these off to my designers and content writers, and within 3 days they will usually have it back to me with some great, eye catching visuals and a good message to tie it all together.
  6. Placement is next. We must create a new campaign group for each of the the campaigns. So a campaign group for top of funnel, one for middle of funnel, and finally one for bottom of funnel. Inside of each of these will be their associated campaigns. (Brand awareness goes in Top, Retargeting with Testimonials and Case Studies goes in middle, and Conversions goes through bottom).
  7. There are two crucial pieces left in this process that I want to cover more in depth. One is targeting, the other is retargeting. So I am going to create new sections for each.
  8. Once my targeting is situated for each campaign (see below for more information), the last step is picking a budget. Generally I like to choose daily budgets in multiples of $33 per day because they round to $1000 per month. But in the beginning, starting with a low budget of $16 is fine - just know that the lower the budget, the slower the results. So if speed is important then higher is going to bring you faster results.
  9. Launch and analyze. Once I have staged the ads, which should be simple since I have already worked with my designers, I then will launch the campaign and start tracking. I generally use a combination of Databox dashboards and the native platform analytics to get a sense of how the campaign is doing.
  10. Again, similar to organic social media posting, depending on the audience size and budget - you may see slower results. But overall, when I spend the time and the money to develop a great activation plan for my clients, I almost certainly see faster results than from organic social media plans. That should be expected. Money makes everything go faster.
Paid Social Campaigns are another great way to effectively hit your target market with your message.

How to effectively reach your target audience

Targeting is the biggest make or break component for your campaign. It doesn't matter how amazing your ads or offer are if you are hitting the wrong people with the message.

Remember, when we discussed finding the customer persona and the top selling service/product from the How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy section?

This is exactly what you do with that information.

Based on if you received a customer list and you received common demographic information, you can construct your audience for the campaign.

If you have a list, then great, upload that baby into the platform. However, if you don't use as much demographic, firmographic, and psycographic information to put together your campaign.

I love LinkedIn's targeting for a few reasons.

  1. It includes company information, job titles, industries, functions, etc. These are so crucial for most service based businesses.
  2. It also allows you to upload a list of contacts or companies to target, then also allows you to narrow that list even more with additional demographic information.
The narrower your audience, the better.

A note on narrowing audiences

I have found that starting out, having very narrow audiences (50,000 or less audience size) is a great way to have somewhat consistent results, while maintaining your target audience.

This audience size should drastically change based on what part of the funnel you are in.

As you go down the funnel, this number should get smaller and smaller because it is unreasonable to think that all 50,000 people are going to read your blog, then visit your testimonials page, then submit your form or buy your product in a short amount of time.

Over years, maybe depending on your budget, but within a year - absolutely not.

How to properly retarget with social media

Before starting your campaigns, it is crucial to setup your retargeting pixels. I have discussed this at length in prior blog posts, but I will expand briefly on the different kinds of audiences you should be creating.

  1. Create profile page retargeting audiences for the 30, 60, 90, 180 day time frames
  2. Create website visitor retargeting audiences for the 30, 60, 90, 180 day time frames
  3. Create ad interaction retargeting audiences for the 30, 60, 90, 180 day time frames
  4. Create specific website page retargeting audiences for the 30, 60, 90, 180 day time frames

If you don't set these up ahead of time, then they will not populate and thus you will not be able to retarget until they are populated.

Most platforms don't allow you to start advertising and retargeting until these audiences reach a minimum size of 300 people.

So as you can imagine, some of these will take significant amounts of time to populate depending on your ad budget.

Retargeting should be a cornerstone of your marketing funnel.

Wrapping up Paid Social Campaigns

These are one of my favorite digital campaigns because of the number of moving pieces. Successful marketing strategies incorporate at least some paid social advertising in the form of retargeting usually - so incorporating this kind of campaign into your marketing efforts could bring great success.

Content Marketing Campaigns

Getting into another free digital marketing campaign, content marketing is all about creating effective blog posts that position relevant content that people are searching for in front of them.

This campaign is closely tied to SEO, so there will be some overlap, however SEO will get it's own section later on.

What kind of companies are using content marketing?

In short, established companies trying to become thought leaders in their respective spaces are the ones who prioritize content marketing.

Does this mean that you small business can't? No, absolutely not.

The only reason those large companies focus on this is because it was neglected earlier on in the business's life.

There are certainly examples of small businesses dominating the search engines with relevant and amazing content that is far superior to the large company's content.

What does this mean for you?

Focus on this as often as you can.

Content marketing is a great feedback loop while in combination with your organic social media and paid social campaigns so that you can continually create exceptional posts and ads.

Content marketing is another exceptional digital marketing campaign.

How to Create a Content Marketing Campaign

  1. First, I choose a few themes I would like to show up for in the Google Search. Some examples could be "digital marketing campaigns" or "digital marketing agency".
  2. Next, I go to a tool like SEMrush or Surfer to help get an understanding of how to rank for these terms. These digital marketing tools will give you an outline of how to draft this content, as well as competitive metric scores on how difficult it is to rank for these keywords.
  3. I will choose one of the topics and I will begin writing. Generally speaking, this is where the hard part begins because like me, most people are not great writers. And let's face it, writing content is hard. However, the more you do it, the better you become.
  4. Once you have finished the article and have achieved a high article score, it is time to publish this content to your site. Simply copy and paste it into your website's CRM.
  5. From there, it's time to publish. Hit publish and celebrate! You should aim to publish 1-2 pieces of very high quality articles a week if this is your main digital marketing campaign, otherwise 1-2 a month is fine if this is complementary.
  6. Last, track your results in a free tool called Google Search Console. It will help show you who is searching for your content, and what their queries actually are!
Use Google Search Console to track your performance.

Wrapping up Content Marketing

I try to include content marketing in every digital marketing strategy I create.

Having consistently optimized blog posts on your website means that people will begin to find you through the Google Search more often.

You will know this is working when you start to get comments about your blog posts, or people begin to come to your site organically.

Search Engine Optimization Campaigns (SEO)

It makes sense to talk about SEO right after talking about content creation and marketing. In my opinion, good content marketing is the driver towards good SEO.

SEO is all about showing up higher in Google and other search engines.

It takes factors like website speed, website code, website content, and website authority into consideration.

I like to focus on the latter when conducting SEO campaigns and that is increasing authority.

Especially with the advent of AI, backlinking (getting others to link your article in theirs) has been one of the sure fire ways to ensure your content ranks higher in Google.

So getting others to write guest posts and/or write a blog post referencing your business's blog post is the ultimate end goal.

So SEO campaigns looks a lot like an email marketing sequence and less of technical optimizations.

Let's dive into how I would conduct this kind of SEO campaign for you.

Acquire more backlinks with this simple to follow strategy.

How to Acquire Backlinks for your Website in 2024

Disclaimer: I am assuming you already have optimized content - see the Content Marketing section for more details on inserting keywords, and ensuring your blog is the appropriate length.

  1. I like to use SEMrush to generate a list of prospect websites that are ranking for similar keywords. This can be done in the Backlink Analysis Tool.
  2. From there, I have the option to reach out to these people at the email address that SEMrush scraped off of their website. All I do is connect my email to the SEMrush account and then I am able to send an email to these people.
  3. This can be done in batches or in one off emails. I have found that the more personalized the email, the higher the chance that they will take me up on the offer.
  4. In the email copy, the offer is simple. We are asking if they are interested in doing a backlink-for-backlink strategy. Essentially, I will link some of their content on my blogs if they link some of mine. I am pretty particular with who I am asking and the overall makeup of their site. If it is of similar quality to my client's then I ask. If not, I move on to the next prospect.
  5. I do this 25-50 times a day, each day to ensure that I am sending 100s of new requests out for backlinks. I tend to acquire one for every 50-100 that I send which means you could expect about 10 new quality backlinks each month. Over time, this compounding growth will really start to make a difference in your website's rank in the search engines.
  6. Rinse and repeat! While I am repeating the process, I keep track of what articles are getting linked, and I track the quality of the backlinks. Bad, or toxic, backlinks can be harmful and I am quick to remove them in case we get them.
Show up higher in Google by acquiring backlinks.

Wrapping up SEO campaigns

As you can see, here is another example of a relatively free digital marketing campaign that you can do for your small business.

This marketing strategy ensures long term growth and is quite scalable.

The more SEO campaigns you do, the higher the chance you will get backlinks.

The more backlinks you receive will drastically improve your rank in Google.

Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns

You can't talk about Google Search and SEO without mentioning Google Ads (pay per click ads). These ads are called pay per click (PPC) because you pay each time your ad is clicked.

If your ad is showing in Google and it isn't clicked, then you don't have to pay.

It's a cool kind of advertising that helps keep your costs down, while also ensuring you show up in the top 3 spots on Google for specific terms.

I almost always recommend this kind of advertising to clients who want faster results.

The reason why is that you get to bypass all the steps you normally would have to take with SEO.

You don't have to acquire backlinks and write optimized content.

All that is needed, is an advertising account and a sound digital strategy to effectively show up in the search.

PPC campaigns get complex and for simplicity sake, I will explain the steps, however not go into depth on how each is done.

I recommend subscribing to our blog for more details on PPC campaigns because I will be writing more about them soon.

PPC campaigns are a foundational paid campaign for most software companies.

How to Create PPC Campaigns

  1. Setup your Google Ads account and complete your advertiser verification
  2. Conduct a Google Keyword Forecast using the Keyword Planner. Alternatively you can use SEMrush's keyword magic tool to find keywords you want to rank for as well.
  3. Once you have created your forecast, export the keywords and their details into a Google Sheet for later.
  4. Next, be sure to setup your campaigns conversion tracking by installing the Gtag on your website.
  5. While installing the Gtag, it makes sense to install Conversion Tracking codes for specific events on your website into your Google Tag Manager account (preferably already installed on your website).
  6. Once your conversions are debugged and firing correctly, it's time to setup the campaign. Create a campaign. When choosing locations, be sure to select the dropdown and click "Regularly Visit or Have Presence in Location". It is defaulted to "Shows Interest In" which get's people from all over the world clicking your ads. This means wasted money. This small change saves $100s each month.
  7. When placing the keywords, I recommend started out with all phrase match keywords. This means that the terms have quotations around them like this - "keyword". It is ultimately up to you, however I have found that I have recieved the highest ROI from phrase match keywords.
  8. Once keywords are placed, the last step is to create your ad. I recommend placing a "{" in the first headline and starting to type "keyword insertion". Click the auto populating tag and place your Brand Name in the space. This ninja trick ensures that the keyword searched shows up first in the Google Ads headline whenever it fits the character limit.
  9. Go about placing more keywords in the headlines and descriptions until the ad is "excellent".
  10. Review and launch the campaign. That's it! You have created your first PPC campaign. And with the conversion tracking you setup, you are well on your way to capturing new leads.
Show up higher in Google with Google Ads.

A note on spam

You may find that you are getting a lot of spam leads.

This happens.

Unfortunately a sizeable percentage of clicks on Google Ads result in bot traffic and form submissions.

If this starts to happen there are usually two ways to fix it.

  1. Fix your keyword targeting - ensure the keywords you are bidding on are exactly what a prospect would be searching for and not just what you think. It can help to do some competitive analysis using a tool like SEMrush to review your competitor's keywords.
  2. Use a tool like Clickcease - this software helps stop spam clicks and leads. It isn't 100% perfect and I would point you to fix your keyword targeting first, however this is a good quick fix while you go about fixing your keywords.

Wrapping up PPC campaigns

I hope you can start to see that for every free digital marketing campaign, there is a paid version of that campaign.

And for simplicity sake, free campaigns mean consistent long term growth, while paid means quick growth right now.

PPC ads lead to quick growth and are small business's best friend when they need more leads fast.

Email Marketing Campaigns

I hear a lot about email marketing nowadays. What's funny is that I hear the two extremes.

  • Email marketing is dead
  • Email marketing makes us so much money

I never hear anything in between. And perhaps there is reason for that.

Whichever way you slice it, I will tell you that email marketing is not dead.

If there are companies still making money off of a strategy then the strategy still works.

What's more likely is that what used to work in the past, doesn't work anymore, and thus this leads people to say the strategy is dead. But I assure you, this strategy has it's place in marketing strategy for 2024.

How I use email marketing campaigns

Before diving into how to create these kinds of campaigns, I want to explain how I use these.

In short, I use email marketing campaigns in tandem with organic social media campaigns.

I help amplify and spread my content out to my existing audience by sending email.

Email has survived the test of time, and while social media platforms have come and gone in the recent years, email has survived for decades.

So ensuring email is a part of my strategies is crucial to my client's long term digital marketing success.

Create email marketing campaigns that drive more engagement to your social posts!

How to Create Email Marketing Campaigns

There are two ways email marketing works. Automated emails and one off emails.

This breakdown is going to cover one off's but stay tuned for future blogs on automated email sequences.

  1. I just posted some content on your social media channels. For example this could have been a piece of educational content.
  2. I then will take this content and insert it into an email inside of your email service provider (ESP). A common ESP is MailChimp.
  3. Using a template that includes your brand colors and has a simple design, I will draft an email talking briefly about your content and link to it.
  4. I ensure the email is optimized and the subject and preview lines are catchy.
  5. Next, I choose an audience. I tend to lean towards sending these kinds of emails only to your most engaged contacts that way you see the highest open rate and click rates. I like to keep this audience primed with content, while saving the "really good emails" for my larger audience that way I can eventually get them to be in the highest engaged bucket.
  6. QA with a test email, then send when it checks all the boxes.

Wrapping up Email Marketing Campaigns

Depending on your industry, email marketing may play an even larger role.

For example, ecommerce companies rely heavily on email campaigns for quick surges in sales.

For small businesses, email marketing can be used to amplify your content's reach, keep your engaged contacts interested in your business, and help keep you top of mind on a platform that will last for years to come.

A well executed email marketing campaign can have massive returns for your small business.

SMS Digital Marketing Campaigns

SMS, or text message, campaigns are rising in popularity in the B2C space. Everyone is on their phones.

In fact, there was a recent study that revealed that the average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone daily.

So incorporating some sort of soft SMS advertising could work for your business. You never know until you try.

Disclaimer on SMS campaigns

I casually mentioned this above but this works primarily for B2C brands. I have yet to see this work effectively at scale for B2B brands.

I could hypothesize as to why, but I will leave that for a future blog post. Subscribe if you are enjoying this content.

Don't send unsolicited texts to customers. Give them an opportunity to opt out.

How to setup SMS Campaigns

  1. Choose a text message marketing provider.
  2. Import your contacts that have subscribed to your owned assets and consented to receiving marketing communications. Tag your audience accordingly. This means identify where the user subscribed and give those users an opportunity to opt in to these kinds of messages. Or vice versa, send them a heads up email asking them to opt out if they don't want the messages.
  3. Develop a short and sweet message that promotes your offer. Again, I recommend this primarily for B2C brands because they always have something to sell to the masses. In B2B, more personalization and specifics are required, which means it's usually better to just direct message people.
  4. Ensure your message has an opt out clause at the end. It's important to be compliant!
  5. Last, the link you provide for your message, be sure to track that link with a UTM so that you know how people are coming to your site. A UTM is a fancy way to say, add some characters to your link so that Google Analytics knows that the person came from a text message campaign.
  6. Send it and watch the data come on. Optimize as needed.

Wrapping up SMS Campaigns

As mentioned earlier, these kinds of campaigns are great for testing, but I think there is a time and place for them.

I generally don't recommend running these unless you are an ecommerce store. However you never really know how they will perform until you try.

Generally, don't use text messaging campaigns unless you are B2C.

Direct Message Campaigns

This may seem like an obvious one, but you'd be surprised at how few business's direct message prospects at scale.

Most small businesses don't want to come off as pushy and in your face with their brand, so they rely on word of mouth marketing.

Although this works, it is inconsistent. And inconsistent can sometimes mean really hard times.

So I always urge my clients to conduct some sort of direct message sequences.

This is traditionally something that people is sales or business development will do, but marketing can certainly help with.

How Marketing Helps with Direct Message Campaigns

The biggest thing that marketing can help with is you message. We can ensure that your message helps increase the prospect's understanding of what success looks like, all while decreasing the number of doubts the prospect has.

Simple updates to the pitch can have monumental effects on the success rate of your sales pitch when conducted at scale.

So here is how we can improve your outreach methods:

  1. I will first make sure that what you are offering to the prospect is something valuable. This means something that they would personally buy.
  2. Next, I make sure that you are painting a picture of what success looks like for the prospect. This is what marketers call the Dream Outcome.
  3. I then ensure you are increasing the ability for the prospect to trust you with case studies and testimonials. This is called Perceived Likelihood of Achievement.
  4. I help you minimize time and effort needed on from the prospect to get that dream outcome. This is called Time Delay and Effort & Sacrifice.
  5. Finally, I help you make a quick call to action to get your prospect's buy in.

That's it! With a condensed, simplified pitch, you are well on your way to priming your sales team with more leads.

Direct messaging is a consistent way to get more customers.

Wrapping up Direct Message Campaigns

A prospect won't know about you until your reach out to them.

If you trust in your business's solutions then you should want to share it with others.

The worst that can happen is the prospect doesn't respond. The best that can happen is you get a new sale.

When a successful marketing strategy cost's no money and just requires a little bit of effort - I encourage it every time.

Referral Digital Marketing Campaigns

I love referral campaigns. They are simple, yet effective.

If you are not using this kind of client acquisition method in your marketing strategy then I recommend you try it.

This is one way you can ensure you are doubling down on every new customer you get. And the best part is, if done correctly, then it is a win-win-win for everyone involved.

A great referral strategy goes so far with small businesses.

How to set up a Referral Campaign

The dream outcome of this kind of campaign is this.

One new customer signs up then after they have purchased or accepted your services, you ask if they know anyone else that would be interested in you product/services.

If they do, you incentivize them to refer them to your business.

If the new prospect accepts and buys your product/services, then the first customer and new customer get a reward.

Then you repeat the process with the new customer you just got!

The key to these kinds of campaigns is to choose a great reward.

Something that helps you close more deals and actually incentivize customers.

Incentives run in all shapes and sizes but the best kind of incentives are ones that everyone wants. The best kinds are:

  • Literal cash/ad spend/currency
  • A higher tier of your service
  • A higher product
  • A high end complementary product

Generally, people respond better to getting currency related to your business.

I tend to lean towards choosing a value that is close to the business's cost to acquire a new customer (CAC) because I know that this is a profitable value to acquire new customers and I only pay when I receive a new customer.

So everyone is winning in this case.

Wrapping up Referral Campaigns

When done at scale, this can have exponential impacts on your business.

I always encourage small businesses to incorporate some strategy like this to help get more organic leads and increase the number of happy customers they receive.

Try a referral campaign!

Testimonial and Case Study Campaigns

Two of the last kinds of digital marketing campaigns I will be discussing are testimonial and case study camaigns.

These kinds of campaigns are all about increasing the social proof your business has.

The ultimate goal of this free kind of campaign is to ask all of your current and old customers for testimonials and case studies.

This can be in the form of an email, phone call, or direct message.

Any platform that allows you to take notes or record their response.

It is simple and effective.

Giving a conservative response rate of 10-20%, then you can expect to get at least a couple testimonials and case studies each month.

Now, there are two ways of doing these kinds of campaigns:

  1. Emailing them and asking them to send kind words back.
  2. Sending them a link to fill out a verified review through a third party.

The key advantage to having them fill out the verified review is that it will help with your SEO, all while it helping to increase your social proof because an outside source is verifying you.

Some sites for this would be: TrustPilot, G2, Capterra, Clutch, and more.

Generally speaking, there are a lot of directories and review services out there. Pick one for your industry and stick with it.

Customer feedback that can be publicly displayed helps with social proof.

Wrapping up Case Studies and Reviews

I will always push for new clients to reach out to old clients with a targeted email sequence to get them to respond.

The best way to get them to respond is with incentives.

These can be in the form of promotions or bonuses. If you are feeling a little bit stingy, you can ask them to enter into a raffle by leaving a review, however I have noticed this doesn't always work for B2B companies.

Regardless, once we have the old testimonials and reviews, I ensure that there is a system in place to capture new reviews in the future.

Wrapping Up Online Marketing Campaigns

Well that's all the types of campaigns I wanted to cover.

Mixing and matching these campaigns is one of the best ways to stack results.

In a future blog, I will go into depth about which campaigns make sense to stack and why I would structure them that way.

Until then, I hope you are able to use this and any of our other blogs to accomplish your digital marketing goals and endeavors next year.

And last, checkout Optimize Your Marketing's services if any of the above campaigns interest you!

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