Don’t panic – What to do when a campaign doesn’t work

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Scott Tumilty

It’s the moment that every marketer dreads.

You’ve made great content, researched your audience and wrote the most compelling social media posts of your life, but the results are telling you that nobody was even slightly interested.

Don’t panic

While your first instinct will be to hyperventilate and desperately try to figure out why it’s definitely not your fault, don’t.

Nobody wants to throw time and money at a marketing campaign only to see it fall flat on its face, but it’s genuinely not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean your strategy is wrong.

With all the research and best practice in the world, sometimes there are things that you couldn’t know about that can result in a campaign performing poorly. Perhaps your campaign was overshadowed by a huge development in your particular industry, or perhaps a change in the stock market has affected your customers’ ability to spend any money.

To put it another way, one underwhelming campaign doesn’t amount to a pattern of utter failure.

Right, but what do I do?

The first thing to do is look at your analytics, whether that’s for PPC, social media, or your website.

In the first instance, a look at your analytics can give you a better idea of what part of the campaign didn’t engage. If you’re lucky, you’ll find something really obvious that you can quickly fix in time for the next campaign.

If you weren’t so lucky, don’t worry. The next step is to look for patterns in your campaign analytics that can shed some light on how to make things more effective in future.

At Elastic for example, we tend to iterate our larger social media campaigns on a weekly, or daily basis. This allows us to constantly monitor and measure our campaigns to identify what parts are working, and what parts aren’t.

This also means that we can easily identify patterns when it comes to language, images, and markets.

Why is this important? It means that rather than spend a month wedded to a certain approach, we can identify parts of the campaign that aren’t engaging with our audience, and make changes as the campaign progresses.

Getting the message out. Find out more about our social media marketing expertise.

In short, we can stop throwing good money after bad.

This also means that we can learn lessons from every single campaign we run, whether it’s what kind of language we use, or what kind of images work with our audience.

It’s a cliche, but keep calm and carry on

While the most natural reaction to an underwhelming campaign is to immediately try and fix it, or make the next campaign an absolute barnstormer, by focusing on short term fixes you’ll more than likely miss the patterns that will tell you why the campaign didn’t work out like you’d hoped.

By taking a deep breath, learning lessons from each campaign and thinking in the longer term, you should be able to avoid disastrous campaign, or in the worst case you’ll still learn a lot about your brand and your audience.

Fancy getting some new perspective on your own social media activity? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to have a chat.

 

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