“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” This comical yet irrefutable logic attributed to baseball great Yogi Berra is especially true when it comes to marketing. Your creative strategy is the road map you’ll use to guide your brand to where it needs to be, drive sales and keep customers engaged.
Every creative strategy should begin with an exploration of your goals. You can follow these five steps to stay on track, including meeting budgets and timelines for creating the content. \
1. Set Realistic, Measurable Goals
What’s most important to your company right now? Your creative strategy could aim to boost anything from lead generation to brand visibility to sales — or even all three at different times. A multifaceted creative strategy can achieve multiple objectives, but it’s important to be clear about them and approach each one independently while looking for ways they can complement each other.
Follow the acronym “SMART” when establishing goals. Remember, goals should be:
If you establish goals following this framework, you will see the components of your creative strategy fall in line with your objectives.
2. Establish Your Key Performance Indicators
One element of setting specific, measurable goals is establishing key performance indicators (KPIs). How will you gauge the success of your campaigns?
Your KPIs will look different depending on your objectives, and may include any of the following:
- Click-through rates
- Email addresses collected
- New customer sales
- Revenue generated
3. Get Clear on the Creative Elements
Once you’ve got your goals established and determined how you’ll measure them, it’s time to get down to the creative aspects of your creative strategy. After all, the messaging is what matters. You’ll need to determine the unique selling proposition (USP) and determine how you’ll convey that to your target market.
4. Determine Your Marketing Channels
You may have heard the expression “the medium is the message,” coined by Marshall McLuhan in 1964’s Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. This is more true than ever in the digital age, when brands have virtually limitless channels to deliver their message, and where it’s delivered is almost more important than the message itself.
As you devise your creative strategy, consider ways you can repurpose your most effective content to save time and money and reduce strain on your content-creation team. For instance, a blog post can be broken into bite-size social media posts or even an infographic. A white paper can be sectioned out into multiple blog posts. You can create email messaging around any or all of this content.
Learn more about channelization strategies and media plans here!
5. Set Your Budget
Once you’ve developed your channelization strategy and wish list of content — the heart of your creative strategy — you’ll need to set a budget for development. You’ll want to factor in costs for any or all of these elements if they are part of your strategy:
- Paid advertising
- Content creation
- Software or apps (such as email marketing programs or social media scheduling)
- Campaign management
Whether you decide to outsource or rely on in-house talent, you’ll need to include these costs in your budget.
Execute Your Strategy
With all the elements in place, it’s time to get to work creating content that will drive results. Remember to evaluate your campaign at various stages and make modifications as necessary. Marketing strategy often requires trial and error or A/B testing to achieve the best results.
If you don’t meet your goals right out of the gate, don’t be disheartened. Revisit the weak links in the chain to determine how you can create better content that reaches your customers and provokes them into action and engagement.
Sometimes, relying on an outside strategic marketing agency can help you by delivering an outsider’s view of your company and a unique perspective. Let Hawke Media help you devise your creative strategy and execute deliverables to lead to success. Reach out for a free consultation today to learn more!
RisingTideCapital.org – Get Real SMART: Setting Goals – Well
MIT.edu – The Medium Is the Message