When developing content for a new campaign, it’s easy to want to jump into the juicy stuff right away—writing headlines that reach out and grab and picking graphics that delight and pop. But it’s best to step back and consider the big picture. Who’s your audience? What are your goals for the campaign? What messaging will you use to carry it through? What calls to action will you make to measure your success? This may sound like basic good sense, but it’s something those of us who have been in marketing for a while can forget to formally do.
It is a little like mountain biking, something I love to do. Sure, I can hop on my bike and lose myself in the immediate—dodging rocks and taking curves that lay right in front of me—but I’m a better biker when I look ahead and see where the trail is going and figure out how to maneuver not just the first hurdle but the next and the next after that. That way when I get there, it’s a smoother ride.
Imagine what I can do when I pull out a map of the entire trail. When I do that, I know when to save my energy for an upcoming big climb, or where I can expect to get wet crossing a stream. Knowing the challenges of the ride are like identifying the components of a marketing campaign—what tools will you use to make it a smooth ride? Will print ads, web banners, social media posts, lobby posters, testimonials, billboards or radio and television ads be a part of the campaign, and to what capacity? How will you tie them all together to support your client’s brand message? Finally, how can you best repurpose content to save your client money?
Now that the plan is figured, and my boss makes it official by putting it all in SmartSheets and sharing it with the client, I’m ready to ride. Give me that blank screen and let me gaze off into the distance. I’m about to write some copy that will hopefully make my clients feel like they are riding an epic single-track downhill—complete with yips and shouts and a little bit of air.
Lynn came to CSU for a Master’s in Fine Arts 20 years ago and never left. Access to great mountain biking trails is one reason why.