It’s hard to beat that feeling of watching a well-oiled digital campaign running at full pace.
However, from time to time, roadblocks enter and cause delays and pause in digital marketing programs, which result in a loss of billable hours, commissions, and most importantly, campaign progress.
A great program builds on the enthusiasm of the person or team running it and a stop in efforts can really slam the mental momentum that helped to drive passion and innovation toward future success.
Preparation can go a long way in the continuity of digital marketing programs – both paid and organic.
Whether you are up against a global crisis or a contract renewal, here are a few tips to keep your campaigns running.
1. Contract Renewal
Every contract renewal period should be approached with a 90-day conversation before the contract end date.
It takes time to collaborate within your team, plan and propose with your clients and even longer to find agreement through your client’s management structure.
Even with this approach, there are times when you’ve reached a contract end without a new agreement.
It always helps to have a Plan B.
Consider an Interim Statement of Work
Agree to provide an interim statement of work to continue with digital campaigns while a full agreement is considered.
Determine Potential Roadblocks
Collaborate internally with team members to potential roadblocks that could be presented at renewal.
You may be privy to upcoming organizational changes at the client company or other issues that may affect renewal.
Plan a yearly results meeting well ahead of the contract end date.
This allows your client contact enough time to circulate within their organization.
2. Marketing Budget Decrease
Budget decreases in marketing and advertising are not only a product of a bad economy.
This issue can also become present with new decision-makers within a client organization.
Having real-time analytics and a great understanding of recent campaign performance are priceless in the short amount of time to rebuttal a budget decrease.
Your ability to challenge a prospective decrease with campaign goal successes, almost off-the-cuff, is persuasive and almost often impressive.
You have a short amount of time to convince your client that you and your services are making a difference.
Track Your ‘Wins’
Possess an on-going list of “wins” to be able to pull out of your back pocket when needed.
These may be ecommerce gains, lead conversions, user behavior metrics, or even traffic in general.
Assess Your Campaign Performance
Think past the direct success metrics of your campaign to outlier performance.
For example, has your organic and paid search or even social media efforts helped to lift brand demand and presence in general?
Review keyword research tools for brand queries or even Google My Business activity to see possible lifts in directions and website clicks if it is a local client.
You may be able to show that your services are more valuable than once thought.
3. Crisis or Global Emergency
This topic hits close to home right now for almost all of us.
In a time of confusion and uncertainty, rash decisions can be made on the client’s side where often marketing and advertising become a back-burner effort in favor of public relations efforts.
Have a ‘Bare-Bones’ Marketing Plan
It doesn’t hurt to have a “bare-bones” marketing plan in the event of a crisis event happening.
In this, consider all marketing channels, what can be paused in driving new visibility and what is still needed to hold up the brand.
For example, new content marketing pieces can be held but monitoring of the website for uptime, indexability and user behavior still show that your eye is valuable in monitoring the brand digitally.
Become a Valuable Resource
This can be a time to become a more valuable resource.
In being of service to your clients, can you assist in digital PR, etc.?
If not, might you have a partner to help in facilitating and serving the need?
Don’t Forget About Your Staff
While we cater to be good stewards to our clients, we cannot forget about our staff.
It is of great importance that you create a plan on campaign continuity in the event of an emergency that may close your office down.
- Does your campaign resources have everything they need to work from home?
- Do you have an online web conferencing solution planned for sharing between team members or clients?
4. Loss of Resources
We hope it never happens, but it eventually does from time to time.
The loss of an awesome employee leaves a painful void that must be filled quickly.
While most managers keep a stack of resumes on hand for that dreadful day, success in new placement often means someone not arriving for two weeks as well as a lengthy ramp up.
Know Trustworthy Freelancers
Always have a shortlist of trustworthy freelancers with expertise in needed areas.
Don’t let that list get dusty.
Reach out to your network of freelancers from time to time to understand if they are still working within their craft or if they have moved to another area of work or a full-time commitment.
Continual communication with this “lifeline” is essential.
It also doesn’t hurt to bring smaller projects to these resources occasionally.
It helps to build your relationship with them, their devotion to you and for your to gauge their quality of work over time.
Gauge Campaign Sentiment
Always have a gauge on campaign sentiment.
Talk to your team or other resources working on digital projects.
Are they still excited and passionate about success?
If not, you may be close to losing this person and not know it.
Think Outside of Your Resource Capacity
How is your client contact feeling about their job?
Any queues of dissent or unhappiness should be a red flag that you may have a trusted resource on the client side that may be leaving soon.
This should be heavily considered as a new client contact could lead into other areas that we have talked about including budget decreases and delays in contract renewal.
Maintaining the ‘Always On’ Approach
We are all busy digital marketers in one sense or another.
We work to keep the machine running until, unfortunately, a campaign breaks down.
Taking time to simply think about the what-ifs and how you combat those situations can provide you the answers to keep digital campaigns running.
Right now, many of us are getting a crash course in all the questions of continuity presented to us.
Have patience, take time to answer the needs in front of us as well as all of those discussed so that the future sees us more prepared.
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Featured Image: Created by author, March 2020