Business Tips: 5 Simple Tips for a Successful Marketing Campaign

I’ve been bombarding you with tips, from Pricing for Profit to Driving Traffic to Your Shop to Keeping Your Customers and Getting New Ones; but there’s two questions  that keep coming up -  How do you make it all work? and How the heck do you know what’s working?

Here are 5 simple tips to help you:

#1. Budget, Budget, Budget

Yes I said thrice – budget. You need to figure out a monthly or yearly marketing budget.  Setting a budget doesn’t mean that you have to have all the money on hand right now; it just means that you are setting a dollar amount that you are willing to spend each month or yearly on marketing your shop.

You don’t have to spend 100′s of dollars each month, work within your own means – no one is going to come audit you and reprimand you for only being able to afford a tiny budget.  Your budget can be as small or as large as you can afford (notice I avoided saying “want”, because we all would like to  have more money to grow our businesses).

The key is to spend smart, make your dollars work hard for you and not the other way around.

To help you set your budget, download this handy Marketing Budget Template by Brandeo

#2. Start a Marketing Calendar

In my opinion, a marketing calendar is an essential tool.  It helps you schedule your marketing and promotion activities,  stay on budget and make sure you don’t sit there scratching your head in October trying to remember that “killer marketing stunt” you pulled in February. Your marketing calendar can be something as simple as a printed calendar page where you write down, the activity name including any sites or apps  you used, cost, how long did you run it and your comments.

Think K.I.S.S (keep it simple sista)  when deciding on marketing campaigns you will test.  Remember your friend called, “Ms. Budget“, she wants you to stick to your agreed upon monthly spend amount – so make every dollar count. You don’t want to run 10 marketing campaigns at once because they may:  #1 put you way over budget, #2 be hard to track (yes, you must track), and #3 take up all your time managing them.

Work smart. Schedule 1-3 activities for the month and stick to them. You need to  be able to measure the impact each campaign has on your overall goal. For example, for the month of March you set a budget of $100 so, you plan to run a Project Wonderful ad campaign spending $2 a day for a total of $64.  You may also host a giveaway using the Facebook Promotion app running it for 3 days starting the 2nd weekend in March for a total of $8. You also decide to place a button ad on Craftopolis for two weeks running the 3rd and 4th week of the month for a total of $28.  Your total spending $100 right on budget.

Here are some handy marketing calendars you can download and use: Marketing Calendar Template, by Brandeo, Simple Marketing Calendar Template by About.com.

#3. Run Your Campaign

With your marketing calendar handy, it’s time to run your “scheduled” marketing campaign. Keep a journal for your campaigns, write down:  What did you do? How did you do it? How much time did it take you to setup? Include any collateral materials. The more detail the better, it will help you duplicate or reuse successful campaigns in the future.

I personally use http://www.dropbox.com to store all my marketing campaign journals and collateral. I have one main folder labeled, Marketing 2011 in that folder I have sub-folders for each month – Jan 2011, Feb 2011, etc.  I store campaign info in the corresponding month folder, this way, if my computer decides to kick the bucket I won’t lose any of my information.

#4. View Your Results

There are lots of tools to help, but you need to understand what you are looking at and what you need to understand. Google Analytics is a great free tool, not only should you use it to install your Etsy Web Analytics, it should be used to track your marketing campaigns. (To better understand Google Analytics, Check out this short video by Google)

Since we are interested in tracking our marketing campaigns, you will want to check out your “Traffic Sources” in Google Analytics (it’s a link in your dashboard).   There you will be able to see where are your visitors coming from – are they finding you as a result of a normal Google search or are they being referred by an ad from one of your campaigns?

Google Analytics  has a neat feature called, URL Builder.  You can create a custom URL that you can then attach to any banner or button ads you use in your campaign. You can also add it to your Facebook Fan Page.  By creating a custom url using Google Analytics’ URL Builder you can get a better track your marketing campaigns.

Here’s a short video to help you get started with  URL Builder:

#5. Weed Out the Riff Raff

Now that you have followed Steps #1 – #3, it’s time to do some housekeeping. This whole exercise would be pointless if you are going to continue running the same campaigns even-though they were a waste of time and/or money.

The object of the game is to figure out what works well and what doesn’t, then weeding out the riffraff – the campaigns that bombed and produced no real traffic.

HOWEVER, before you put a campaign in the bomb file, try to figure out it bombed. Was it due to poor placement, or it didn’t run long enough, or was it just a ‘sucky’ campaign.

If you find yourself searching for a positive justification for why a campaign went bad because you are just so proud of the ingenuity of your campaign – suck it up and put it in the bomb file.

We’d love to here your comments. How do you figure out your budget? Do you use a marketing calendar? How do you track the effectiveness of your ads?

Just for fun, here are some examples of bad ad placement:

This post was written by

Myra @ HerbanLuxe – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

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About Myra @ HerbanLuxe

Myra is an Etsian with an MBA. The art of business and technology are her two obsessions. She has been writing EcoEtsy Business Tips since 2010. Myra grew up in Puerto Rico with grandparents who were a head of their time and didn't know it - living what we would call today, "a simple green life." Her love of learning and teaching are the key drivers in almost everything she does.

Comments

  1. Thanks so much for all the info. Very timely, I have been trying to get more organized as my business is growing fast and it is so important to have a plan and stick to it! I have heard many Marketing Business owners speak and none of them have given me as much useful info as you have!
    Nikki
    NikkiDesigns – custom, crafted, home decor

  2. Another great business article! Thanks for sharing these resources. The templates look excellent, and I can’t wait to start implementing your recommendations.

  3. Anne, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I tested various marketing budget templates and the Brandeo sheet had the features I thought would work best in our setting. Thanks for sharing it on your site.

  4. Anne, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I tested various marketing budget templates and the Brandeo sheet had the features I thought would work best in our setting. Thanks for sharing it on your site.

  5. Hi there—great article – it demonstrates that smart marketing doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.

    There are so many great, free marketing resources online, I’m pleased that you decided to include our marketing budget and calendar templates. I hope your readers benefit from using them.

    Thanks for mentioning Brandeo.

    Anne

  6. Although I’m still cracking up at the “bad ad placement” graphics (seriously, perfect selections!) this information is going to be uber useful to me in short order. Aside from just my Etsy shop that needs major love and realistic budgeting to ensure its running efficiently, I’m trying to build my Faux Finishing / Decorative Treatment business as well and really need to hammer down some marketing tools. I’m especially excited to dive into Google Analytics as I’ve heard great things about them…didn’t know it was free though, score!

    Thanks for always sharing amazing, relevant and timeless content. You will help all of us expand our businesses yet! :-)

  7. Mary Ellen, seems like I’ve accomplished my mission. If I can help at least one person – that’s good enough for me.

  8. Gosh – I was just thinking I need to get on the stick and do this, but how overwhelming it seemed. Thanks for the help and the tools – they are timed just right for me!