Step-by-step walkthrough of how we go about executing digital campaigns at CSU. I hate the title I gave, so I’ve changed it. This is not perfect, at all. But this is what we do, given constraints that I’m going to assume are common to most of us; of limited budget, time, resources, co-operation between Divisions, miscommunications etc etc. Hopefully I will raise some new ideas for you, or for those of you who are already experts in this area, at least validate what you do as being consistent with us. We are going to keep things simple – practical, realistic, and honest.
Really briefly, some context. CSU in it’s current form is 23 years old as a University. Our history goes back to late 19 th century when you consider the history of some of the entities that have merged and changed and combined to become CSU. Now, in terms of our brand, we consider ourselves to be outcome based. We are interested in the best possible outcome for all our students and all with whom we interact. We are interested in strategic partnerships with whoever we need to partner with, be it individuals, communities, industry, government, in order to achieve the best outcomes. And we can sum this up in our tagline ‘You + CSU’
CSU is a regional university – our regionality is important in who we are, what we offer, and how we operate as a Marketing Division.
As a Marketing Division, we are centralised. I am Online Marketing Manager – the online area is one of about 8 areas within our Division, comprising around 55 people, spread across all our campuses. My team – our core role is about using the online channel for recruitment. Supporting all marketing activity online including website, social, analytics, email, landing pages, advertising and multimedia, video content. We work closely with Advertising, MarComms in particular. When I say ‘we’, I mean myself and another 3/5 of a person. But we do have a position available. So if you like the look of what we do, hit me up at arvo tea.
Big idea: Executing a digital marketing campaign is all about doing all the little things right, asking all the right questions, getting all the pieces of the puzzle together. The hard bits are not the technology, not about getting the money, not even about having a brilliant idea. Step-by-step walkthrough of executing the digital component of a marketing campaign
To keep it realistic, practical and interesting, we will be working through a realistic but made-up example. The details are different, but indicative of real budgets, real timeframes, collateral, reporting etc. Our example will be a Faculty-driven course-based campaign. Same principles and activities would apply if we were working on larger centralised marketing campaign.
Monday morning, about this time of year, mid-August, I get a phone call from our Marketing Officer in the Faculty of Arts. We have a new course, we would like to promote heavily – most of discretionary Faculty marketing budget for the year. We need enrolments into session 1 next year. I say “great, should me through your campaign brief, and I’ll take a look and we’ll take it from there” WAIT TWO WEEKS…
A good campaign brief will look something like this:
This is the made up bit. I never see this, until I ask for it, and usually then only after the fact. This is a realistic budget for one of the bigger course-based campaigns we would run.
More detailed than normal, cause I’ve fleshed it out already based on where I know this presentation is going. Normally, it would just be a single amount of money squeezed out for online.
The initial challenge for the past 5 years has been getting the organisation to realise the importance of online. Let’s say we are basically there now. Now the challenge is managing people’s expectations that the online channel is the great new cheap and easy solution for our recruitment needs. We have to work hard to manage people’s expectations. We also have to be diligent in not over promising, not setting high expectations, and challenging expectations. So I would respond to these kind of expectations by asking. Why do you need a facebook page Search ranking is easy if you are willing to pay And blogging also is easy, but sometimes what you say isn’t what you mean.
We have a brief, we have a budget, we have a vague idea and some wild expectations, but how do we turn this into reality?
Most important section, so it gets 4 slides full of bullet points Test concepts - internal, external partners, focus groups with current students, JPG usability review
Match this against initial campaign brief and stated objectives
Competition site – main hub of campaign. We can do this Video – not budgeted for, but we can pull something together for this Advertising – we use an agency here to manage this activity Social we can do ourselves as well Emails we can do, to existing contact lists – it’s free to do, but time intensive to do well
Animoto - $250 for 12mths on PRO Strutta - $2,000 for 3mth long social media contest
So we brief the designers, they put all the data in their magic computer machine, and presto.
So, we have a clear campaign, deliverables, creative, and an idea of the digital components. What we need to do is establish an overall understanding of how the whole campaign fits together i.e. including offline. For this campaign, they are doing F2F events at Sydney Writers Festival, they are distributing posters to Writing Workshops. As well as our advertising spend in press and radio. Simplest way to keep all this together is a simple Excel document to serve as communications schedule . I’m not going to tell you how to use Excel to map out a comms schedule. If you are a marketing professional and you don’t love excel, then you can just leave right now as far as I’m concerned. I married into a family of ‘plumbers’… We use this to see: What is happening, when, and by who External factors Timeframes realistic Does everything fit Are timeframes realistic Track impact of offline in online Overall – ease of reporting
We don’t get the chance everyday to bag out IT, but given a digital MARKETING conference, however I have a sympathetic audience to have a bit of a whinge. Marketing and IT don’t’ get on well, we will never get on well, so rather than let that defeat you, I like to try to kill them with over communication. It can be precious, they can be very concerned about you telling them everytime you publish a new page or go to the bathroom. But they can be very forgetful when it comes to them actually telling you that ‘oh, the website will be done for 3hrs tonight’, or ‘hey our server proxy settings means that internal users will get a security pop-up everytime they visit the site if you embed a Facebook feed on it’, or whatever
Cause or job is mostly just to make stuff pretty? Isn’t it?
We haven’t even fired photoshop up yet, we are still in the setup configuration work – In some cases, we will use a different short URL for every different piece of marketing collateral. In a straightforward campaign like this, it might mean have a dozen different short URLs and just as many QR codes. A lot of effort, what’s the pay-off? Glad you asked
Divide campaign not only by overall visit and quality, and by conversion rate, but break down each specific traffic source, by medium (email, mobile (QR code) or print (short URL published in press ad) and by the specific instance of that medium, which is the source. For example, we distinguish between a press ad placed in Good Weekend magazine vs. SMH. And distinguish between the QR and the printed short URL. We distinguish between each link in an email.
Campaign competition page Content – continuing conversation from advertising. Think ‘conversation’ rather than campaign. What have we told them already Design – also about continuing conversation in terms of visual, but imp - focused on conversion i.e. lead generation i.e. submitting entry Build – responsive (i.e. mobile friendly), validated, accessible, cross browser etc. Strutta – limited, but improving. Tracking – event based tracking in Google analytics – entries, watches of video, votes, shares – all events. URL click throughs/traffic sources
Answers: Yes. Our best template is the last one we did. IT hate this. 36 in 2011 40% higher conversion rate
Advertising links through to custom page
Free to existing leads (higher conversion rate) Banners – 2-3,000 p/mth social once p/mth as mentioned
Look at how we measure results, broken down by each of our deliverables
Strutta analytics dashboard Looks all very useful, but unless you’ve done it in the past to establish a benchmark, and/or setup some clear goals as to what you hope the campaign will achieve, these are all just numbers. Even big numbers may not tell you much nor be clear indicators of campaign success. To have numbers at all, for some people, is a big win.
Custom metrics Traffic source interesting when looking at quality social media is generally lower quality direct type-ins of short URLs is usually very high quality cf QR codes Bing is generally higher quality than Google Traffic that comes via a landing page or campaign has 40% higher conversion rate than organic traffic in through homepage
30% growth during 3mth campaign period Driven the growth of our social media profiles through monitoring, maintenance, enhancement and promotion 174% increase in Twitter followers 107% increase in Facebook fans 28% increase in YouTube views 81% increase in LinkedIn members
Best results from search advertising
36 campaign emails in 2011 Varies so much based on quality of list. When they are warm leads, with an incentive i.e. win money, we should expect results of 40% open, CTR up to 30% and conversion rates (of entering the competition) might be 3 or 4 if we are lucky.
Other things to look for - e.g. search keywords around campaign “Google CSU 2012”, related call centre enquiries, pageviews of related courses, traffic from other sites, google alerts Big points – a lot easier to build on an existing campaign, rather than start from scratch. Even, or especially if the campaign was initially unsuccessful. To that end, build a time capsule i.e. good reporting, lessons learnt.
Particularly if you have mad skillz and would consider relocating to one of our thriving regional communities.
CSU Digital Marketing 2012
CSU Digital Marketing 2012 DIVISION OF MARKETING
A campaign briefCourse Master of Creative WritingObjectives • Awareness • Enrolments • Anticipation • Collateral • LeadsTarget markets • Primary: Journalists, editors, aspiring creative writers • Their social networkTimeframe In market by late August, September, JanuaryStrategy A creative writing competition **Activity Paid online advertising Press/radio Face-to-face events Social/web organic DIVISION OF MARKETING
A budget!!!!!Item CostCreative concepts (internal) - Poster, bookmarks $1000Printing and distribution - 250 of each $400Online – Hosting ($2000) Landing page ($420), $3000display banners ($500), EDM ($50)AdvertisingPress – regional footprint, 10 insertions $10,000Radio – regional footprint, 30sec, 150 spots $5,000Industry magazine package deal – Half page ad (x $5,0003 issues) + online banner + link in EDMSEM – Google Adwords, Display network, Youtube $5,000 TOTAL $27,000 DIVISION OF MARKETING
A budget!!!!!Item CostCreative concepts (internal) - Poster, bookmarks $1000Printing and distribution - 250 of each $400Online – Hosting ($2,000), Landing page ($420), $3000display banners ($500), EDM ($50)AdvertisingPress – regional footprint, 10 insertions $10,000Radio – regional footprint, 30sec, 150 spots $5,000Industry magazine package deal – Half page ad (x $5,0003 issues) + online banner + link in EDMSEM – Google Adwords, Display network, $5,000Youtube DIVISION OF MARKETING
To make it more realistic, I need to includesome unrealistic expectations:For this campaign, the school would really like tohave:1. A Facebook page (We can do, but why?)2. Rank #1 for ‘creative writing’ (If you are willing to pay)3. A blog where people can post their entries andvote (Do you really mean something else?) DIVISION OF MARKETING
Define and refine campaign 1/4Test concepts • Focus groups • Usability reviews • Expert advice • Internal review DIVISION OF MARKETING
Define and refine campaign 2/4Finalise campaign • Social media user generated content competition • Pitch us your script or story synopsis. • And you could win one of two $5,000 scholarships towards the cost of completing your MCW at CSU • Two prizes – judging panel and people’s choice (most votes) • Vote for your favourite entry DIVISION OF MARKETING
Define and refine campaign 3/4Lock down deliverables 1. Competition website 2. Promotional video 3. Search and display advertising 4. Social advertising and page 5. EDM – promotion and during competition DIVISION OF MARKETING
Define and refine campaign 4/4Set expectations • Turn around times • What we can track e.g. traffic, engagement, conversions (competition entries) and what we can’t track e.g. whether the competition was a success or not • Review budget • Ongoing role i.e. not set and forget DIVISION OF MARKETING