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Updated: October 05, 2022

The Ideal Online Marketing Campaign Timeline

Creating effective online marketing campaigns is easier said than done. It takes a team of digital marketing campaign experts to achieve key performance indicators within a marketing plan timeline.
If you've never executed a marketing campaign before, you probably won't know exactly when to implement certain tactics and how long you need to achieve specific campaign goals.
To give you a better idea, we've broken down a 5-8 week process into four easy-to-follow steps to illustrate what goes into launching a complete, effective online marketing campaign.

What Is a Marketing Campaign Timeline?

Marketing campaign

A marketing campaign timeline is a visual organizational tool that lets you view the chronology of your marketing strategy over time. This includes campaigns, events, projects, and sales planned for the year.

Marketing is critical to all business success; however, it’s also a sizeable investment for most. Understandably, productivity and subsequent ROI become a key concern for business owners. Hence, the need for a marketing campaign timeline (a strategic roadmap) to organize, execute, and track marketing strategies.

The components of your marketing timeline will depend on your business goals and the scope of your overall marketing strategy. Generally, it offers a high-level view of the who, what, where, and how of a marketing campaign.

It’s a handy framework for future planning and reviewing the success of your marketing activities. The more thorough your marketing campaign timeline, the more likely you are to achieve your campaign goals.

Why Is a Campaign Timeline Important?

Beyond creativity, marketing teams require systems, processes, and tools to execute successful marketing campaigns. A marketing campaign timeline allows you to see your marketing plan over time and organize your projects according to schedule.

Most marketing departments have multiple team members with different roles and responsibilities. Thus, a campaign timeline can be really useful to plan work and communicate goals and deadlines, especially since they are likely working on more than one campaign.

A marketing timeline typically communicates:

  1. Which projects are coming;
  2. Which tasks are a priority; and
  3. When campaign deadlines are.

For example, let’s say you’re a new eCommerce store owner that wants to map out an annual marketing timeline. Implementing a timeline can help you and your team visualize your marketing strategy and break down each project into specific steps with clear deadlines.

Having a marketing timeline keeps your marketing efforts on track by aligning marketing objectives with your business strategy. It helps keep you, and your team, stay focused on clear objectives, i.e., what tasks need to be done, who is responsible for each task, and what date they must be completed by.

What Does a Digital Campaign Include?

Digital campaign

We can summarize a digital campaign as follows: An online marketing effort made by a company to drive engagement, conversions, traffic, or revenue. A marketing campaign ties in with overarching business goals and includes one or more digital channels.

It’s common for companies to implement multiple campaigns throughout the year. Some campaigns invest heavily in search engine optimization to generate organic traffic, whereas others utilize pay-per-click marketing to quickly boost sales.

Therefore, each digital marketing campaign will include slightly different tactics. However, all entail:

  • Keyword research
  • Content creation
  • Distributing content on a company’s website or via email or social media or search engines
  • Monitoring and analyzing results
  • Optimization based on real-time analytics feedback

While most digital marketing campaigns are ultimately geared towards the bigger picture of improving revenue, they don’t all have the same goals. Varied objectives may include increasing conversions, boosting organic traffic, customer acquisition and brand awareness.

Digital Marketing Plan Stage 1: Preparation — 1-2 Weeks

During this stage, you’ll brainstorm the campaign offer and create a strategy. It’s important to conduct market research to determine who your target audience is, how best to outperform your competition and exactly what type of messaging and marketing content will appeal most to customers.

To create an effective strategy, you must identify the following:

Set the Goal/Objective of the Campaign

Usually, campaign goals are one of the following:

  • Increase sales
  • Improve brand recognition
  • Acquire more social media followers

Identify Buyer Personas/Target Audience

A lot of work goes into developing buyer personas. These are semi-fictional profiles of your ideal target audience. Because digital marketing campaigns are laser-targeted, it’s essential to have detailed personas. If you don’t, you’ll want to spend time creating them.

  • Who are you trying to reach with your message?

Different campaigns may be aimed at different buyer personas. It’s normal for businesses to have a few personas that make up their target audience.

Specifics of the Offer

Every campaign should offer something unique that’s of value to customers.

  • What are you offering?
  • How do people claim this offer?
  • How long is the offer available?

Identify Distribution Channels and Necessary Content

The distribution channel selected will depend on campaign objectives and may include one or more of the following:

  • Landing page
  • Blogs
  • Press Release
  • Email(s)
  • Social Media Ads
  • Social Media Banners
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Digital Marketing Plan Stage 2: Creation — 2-3 Weeks

Once you know what needs to be created for your campaign, your copywriters, designers, and developers will get to work creating attractive marketing assets.

Write Content

The time it takes for an experienced copywriter to write all the landing pages, blogs, PR materials, emails, etc. depends on a couple of key factors.

  1. How quickly and comprehensively the client provides the copywriter with valuable insight and key information. (Like the specifics of the offer, goal, target audience, and necessary brand information/legal claims)
  2. How quickly the client moves during the approval process. Usually, any edits made by a client are quick fixes that take less than a day to incorporate by a copywriter. However, if the client is unavailable to approve right away, they can hinder marketing timelines.

Having dealt with hundreds of clients, we strongly recommend creating clear briefs for your content creators and if possible, providing clients or your superiors or team members with a specific timeframe for feedback. For example, you might send them the first draft and provide a week for them to get back to you.

Such accommodations make the whole process easier, and can even be factored into your marketing timeline. It also gives people enough time to give meaningful feedback that elevates your marketing efforts.

Design Content

Similar to the copywriting process, the time it takes for an experienced designer to complete the campaign materials depends upon:

  1. How quickly the client can supply necessary high-resolution images (logos, product shots, etc.) and how complex the client wants the design to be.
  2. How fast the client moves during the approval process. Just like with content, design cannot move forward without the client’s desired edits or approval.

Another tip: Some clients know exactly what they want, while others only know what they don’t want, but aren’t too sure about the details. To save endless and frustrating back-and-forth, we recommend providing one or two design options to avoid over-complicating the process.

Development

Development is where things tend to slow down a bit. Depending on the complexity of the content (the design, custom forms, interaction with an existing site, etc.) the development of a campaign can be a tricky, time-consuming process. But that’s ok.

An experienced marketing manager knows how to work with developers and assign projects according to a clear schedule, so they’ll get done in a timely manner. A marketing manager is also in charge of quality assurance, making sure everything looks and behaves like it’s supposed to.

This is where having a marketing timeline helps to keep content creation on track!

How to Speed Up the Development Process

Proper planning and sticking to a marketing calendar is the best way to keep the development process on track. It’s never advisable to rush the process if you want good results.

If there’s something you’re unhappy about, speak up as soon as possible, so your team can rectify it immediately. You also shouldn’t give the go-ahead on designs or campaign messaging unless you are 100% happy.

As they say: “If you want to succeed, go slow to go fast.”

  1. Don’t make any significant changes: Changing the phrasing of a piece of content to include keywords or just sound better is one thing, changing the offer of the campaign or the design is an entirely different matter. To avoid making the team start from square one, don’t demand large changes to the campaign this late in the game.
  2. Give the developers access: To connect the campaign to your existing site, the developers may need access to your domain or other brand accounts including all social media accounts. Failure to provide this information means that the developers are unable to move forward.

Digital Marketing Plan Stage 3: Distribution — 1-2 Weeks

Digital marketing elements

Now that the content is complete, it’s time to launch your campaign. You’ll need to:

  • Launch the campaign landing page
  • Deploy an email blast
  • Distribute any PR materials
  • Publish and schedule blog distribution
  • Publish and schedule social media posts
  • Update social media headers

During the launch of your campaign, it’s imperative you or another company representative is present to answer any last-minute questions or provide last-minute approvals. Sometimes complications arise that can’t be predicted, and your availability may mean the difference between launching on time or postponing.

As with all digital marketing campaigns, it’s imperative to measure success. You should use these insights to improve the campaign where possible and inform future ones.

Google Analytics is an effective tool to help measure your digital marketing ROI. With it, you can identify trends and patterns in how people engaged with your marketing material.

Some things to take note of:

  • Look for any trends regarding who accepts the offer, when they accept the offer, which channels get the most traffic, etc.
  • Identify what is working with your target audience and what is not. Is there an aspect of the campaign that is a turn-off for your audience?
  • Adjust the campaign according to your findings to achieve optimal results.
  • Determine if there are any assumptions you made about your target audience that were wrong.

Future Marketing Campaign Recommendation

Once your campaign is complete, you should write up a report highlighting the main recommendations for future campaigns:

  • Review results vs. the plan: The most valuable insight will come from the part of your campaign that performed the worst. Did your marketing timeline template work? Was enough time allocated for each step of the campaign? What were the common elements that didn’t work? Were your social media campaigns profitable?
  • Analyze step-change learnings: Sometimes tweaking a step or methodology within a marketing campaign’s process can make a big difference. Do you need to review the social channels used? Did you create content in the right format?
  • Include lessons and recommendations: Note down important insights and recommendations. Perhaps you noticed a consumer trend you should leverage more next time or your campaign revenue was lower than expected because the timing was slightly off. All these observances play an indispensable role in optimizing future campaigns. Remember, digital marketing is never ‘done,’ it’s an ongoing and organic process that requires continuous optimization.
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Get Marketing Strategy Experts to Handle Your Marketing Campaigns’

While it seems simple enough, there is a lot of work that goes into developing successful marketing campaigns. That’s why most businesses outsource their marketing to specialists like us to save time and maximize ROI.

Are you looking to expand your online marketing in Denver? Comrade Digital Marketing offers high-quality digital marketing strategy development services based on a holistic inbound marketing approach that will yield the business results you desire.

Book a call to discuss your marketing goals with us!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does your digital marketing firm operate?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in Columbus or San Diego. You can even find our internet marketing experts in Dallas! If you want to know more about our Malwaukee digital marketing agency or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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