Following on from my post last week where we discussed reactive marketing and the importance of being ‘on the ball’ with what’s trending so we can ‘market the moment’ in a blink of an eye, this week I want to discuss that other form of operation, which, by definition, can also not be planned for in advance – the emergency campaign.Reactive marketing and emergency campaigns are not one and the same thing. Whereas reactive marketing is all about piggy-backing a popular hashtag or current news event that is taking the internet by storm, an emergency campaign is all about you.
What’s The Emergency?
An emergency can strike at any time and indeed can come in many shapes and forms. Perhaps you’ve just scored a great deal on a new shipment of goods, but suddenly realise that you’ve got no room in the office, store or warehouse to store them – you need a campaign that is going to start shifting some stock and freeing up space, and quick!
Or maybe you’ve woke up one morning to find your PageRank or DA (domain authority) has plummeted overnight – you realise that you’ve dropped the ball over the past couple of months and need to go all out on a new content marketing campaign before there’s any lasting damage, and you know that there’s not a moment to lose.
Perhaps your website has suffered a slow-down in traffic flow over the past couple of weeks and your boss has noticed – your job could be on the line unless you start showing improvements as from yesterday!!
It’s also more than possible that, within the overworked and underpaid extremely busy life of a marketer, you’ve completely forgotten that you were supposed to be launching a new campaign first thing in the morning, and by-Jove you really will be dragged over the coals if you’re not ready for blast-off at 9am.
Whatever the emergency may be, you will be a very fortunate marketer indeed if you manage to go your whole career without experiencing the pressure cooker of such a circumstance. Crises happen – it’s all part and parcel of the job. But, when they do, unfortunately there’s no dedicated hotline that you can call that will send the blue lights flashing in your direction to come and put out the flames.
So, instead, you better have a battle plan ready that you can break open in case of emergency. And that’s exactly what we’ve put together for you here.
#1. Don’t Panic!!
Seriously. Don’t panic. This is an important first step. Panicking will get you nowhere. I’m a human being, and so I know what it feels like to be panicked about something – you sweat, you can’t think straight, you consider just jacking it all in rather than having to face the situation that you find yourself in front of, you don’t know where to look, who to turn to, or what you should start doing first.
All of this is natural, of course. So, indulge this feeling for 5 minutes if you have to, but then you need to dig deep, have a serious word with yourself, and calm yourself down. Tell yourself that you’re not going to be feeling like this forever because you’re not going to be in this situation forever. And the reason you’re not going to be in this situation forever is because you’re good at your job, you know exactly what you have to do, and the only difference now is that the clock’s ticking – so let’s move on to step 2.
#2. Write A List Detailing Your Action Plan
Embarking on step 2 will start to bring you meaningfully away from step 1. By setting to work, you will be distracting yourself from those panicky feelings of doubt and fear of failure. You remember all those assignments at college that you never got started on until the night before the deadline? You managed to get them all done and handed in on time, didn’t you. This is no different. You’ll get it done.
So, write a list of what you’ll need to accomplish over the next few hours. This will probably include:
- The launch blog post and email
- Other content, including a series of tweets and other social media posts
- Landing page
- Thank you page and email
- A schedule for post-launch
Note that included here is nothing more than would be included in any other content campaign. Again, the only difference is that you’ve got less time to organise it all in case of emergency. So, don’t panic!! You can do all of this, but you’ve got to get a move on…
#3. Pool Your Resources
It’s unlikely that, since you find yourself in such an emergency situation, that you will be one of those super-organised people who has a whole cache of unused content that’s ready to roll-out for a rainy day. I’m not one of these people, I must admit – though there have been times when I wish I had been.
However, emergencies can strike even the best prepared of people, so, if you’ve got some usable content that can be tweaked to fit your emergency campaign, then locate it, and get ready to edit and update it ready.
The same goes for images. If you’ve got a file somewhere that’s loaded up with product photos, then locate that, too. See what you’ve got, and what more you’ll need. Any video, landing pages and emails that you’ve got that can be used – even as templates – need to be found.
#4. Update Your List
Once you know what you’ve already got, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you need. No content? Right, that needs to go top of the list. No images? That’s next. Whatever you’re missing, you need to create from scratch. And that might well mean that you need to…
#5. Reach Out To Colleagues
They say a problem shared is a problem halved – though the more cynical might view a problem shared as a problem doubled. Whatever your outlook, once you’ve updated your list and you know what you’re missing, then you can work out who you can turn to for help. Who’s the quickest blogger on your team? Who comes up with best one-liners for tweets? Who’s got the most powerful camera on their smartphone? Who’s good with Photoshop?
Hopefully there will be someone around – perhaps even a devoted partner at home – who will be willing to bear some of the loud in this time of emergency. Put them to work (and, if need be, buy them a pizza to keep them sweet).
#6. Create Your Content – The Launch Blog and Email
There’s nothing left for it now but to start creating your content. To begin, you will need to get a launch email written for your subscribers. This needn’t be long, and in fact it will be better if it’s not. Since you’re pressed for time, you need to just get to the point:
- What’s the campaign?
- What’s the offer?
- What’s the CTA?
Get the email copy written as simply as this, and you’ll have a much clearer idea of what you’ll need to include in your launch blog.
Indeed, copy and paste it into your blog. Again, your launch blog needn’t be more than 300 or 400 hundred words. Just keep it to the point. This isn’t going to be one of your highly-researched, thought-leadership posts. This is a sales pitch. Just get it written and ready.
#7. Create Promotional Images
These can be photographs, stock images, or original vector images and illustrations. Whatever you use, now is the time to start creating them (or getting someone else to do it for you).
You will need an image for the following:
- Your blog post
- Your emails
- Your landing page
- Your thank you page
- Your Facebook
- Your Twitter
- Your Pinterest
- Your Instagram
- Any other social media
I know that seems a lot, but once more I implore you – don’t panic!! There’s no need to create an entirely separate image for each of your outlets. This is ONE campaign, so ONE image might well suffice. The only thing that you will need to consider is that you will have to adjust the size of the images to fit each platform. Once the first image is done, it will just take you a matter of minutes to resize it to fit all of your platforms.
Handily, SocialMedia Examiner put together an extensive list of pixel dimensions for the following to help you:
- Twitter post image: 1024 x 512 pixels
- Twitter cover image: 1500 x 500 pixels
- Facebook link sharing image: 1200 x 628 pixels
- Facebook cover image: 850 x 315 pixels
- LinkedIn post image: 800 x 400 pixels
- LinkedIn cover image: 646 x 220 pixels
To this I will add:
- Instagram post image: 1080 x 1080 pixels
#8. Create Your Landing Page
Next up is your landing page. Again, no need for too much copy here – in fact with landing pages less is most definitely more. You will need to create fields for capturing email and other personal information (keep it short – name, and email will normally suffice), include your campaign image, and your CTA.
#9. Create Your Thank You Page and Thank You Email
This is the penultimate task, and will be one of the easiest. After filling out your landing page, users should be directed to your thank you page, and a thank you email should be pinged automatically to their inbox. Now, it’s quite permissible to include the very same content in both.
Your users should be able to access the goods from the thank you page and/or thank you email. If it’s a free download, then create the button that will allow them to do that, if you need them to navigate to your sales’ page, then provide the link clearly in a CTA button. And also make sure that you include social sharing buttons as well, so that these lucky people can start spreading the word.
#10. Test And Schedule
Congratulations!! All of your content is now ready for launch – and I’m pretty sure that feeling of panic will have subsided now if you’ve made it this far, and in its place will be relief, and possibly triumph. See? I knew you could do it.
But, don’t completely relax, for now it’s time to get testing. Make sure all the links on all the content are working correctly. Make sure you’ve got the right images lined up to match the various campaign outlets. Indeed, do a silent launch of your landing page, and then go and fill it out to make sure that you’re directed to the right places.
Done that? Great.
Now you can schedule your posts and hit the launch button!!
Once your emergency campaign is underway, you will of course have a chance to tweak and adjust things, and set up a much longer schedule. But the important thing is you’re rolling, your traffic has started to increase once more, your DA will be creeping back up, and you’ve managed to keep your job (even though you may feel like quitting!).
How have your emergency campaigns gone down? Let us know below. And good luck!!