One of the most difficult things all digital marketers face is the ability to effectively manage the expectations of our clients.
For us, it means properly identifying your goals as a client (be it an artist, author, entrepreneur or well-established brand) and often times, educating you as to why certain expectations and goals may need to be re-considered.
So many times we’ve had potential clients come to us complaining about how their previous digital PR or social media marketing campaign didn’t garner the results they had hoped for…
And you know what the first thing we ask is?
“Well… what were your goals?”
Here are some sample responses:
“to get 20,000 Youtube views in 2 months” or “to sell 50,000 copies of my book in 3 months”
One potential client (a brand new indie artist) told us she expected 1,000,000 downloads of her new single.
These goals are unrealistic. Plain and simple.
It is our job as your marketing and PR team to manage your expectations properly, so that you can understand the relevance and importance of our contribution towards the overall growth of your brand. Without taking the time to do this, no one will be happy with the results, including us.
The following are 6 critical things to keep in mind that will help you to manage your expectations of a digital PR or social media marketing campaign. If you have a command of these 6 things you can decide if it’s worth your valuable time and money:
TIP 1. This is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
As cliche as this sounds, it couldn’t be more true. The idea of going ‘viral’ has poisoned the general understanding of how social media works. While a video here and there may go viral, meaning it garners massive visibility in a very short time, social media is NOT a quick solution for success. A consistent, compelling content strategy must be put into place over the long term in order for you to see any significant results.
TIP 2. Understand the Purpose of Digital PR & Social Media Marketing Before You Start
Any time a potential client approaches us and says ‘I’m hoping to gain an additional X number of sales from this campaign’, or even asks ‘What sort of sales should I expect to see from this campaign?’, we immediately understand that there is a disconnect between what the client thinks PR / Social Media Marketing does, and what it actually does.
It is incredibly important to understand the following:
The sole purpose of digital PR is to expand visibility and brand awareness, and to spark new conversations about you that can lead to new fans funneling back to your social media accounts or website.
The sole purpose of social media marketing is to engage in conversations with existing and new fans and potential customers, to build increased loyalty which can ultimately be converted to mailing list sign ups (aka long-term super fans).
Digital PR and social media marketing are only part of the funnel that will convert ‘fans’ or ‘likes’ into ‘customers’, and alone will not have a direct correlation to sales.
TIP 3. Know Your Targets, So You Can Frame Tangible Goals
It is important to understand your target industry as a whole so that you know what the the best case scenario, actually is. This will be an immense help in creating goals.
TIP 4. Understand the Scope of Work
I can’t stress enough how critical it is to understand the scope of work of any digital PR or social media marketing team that you hire.
Not all digital PR and social media marketing is the same, and in fact there are several ways that it can be executed with a wide variety of focuses.
For example, my firm Cyber PR very specifically focuses on niche PR, and influencer marketing, helping clients to tell unique stories that weave their passions and their backgrounds that reach into other markets (such as yoga, entrepreneurship, parenting, etc.).
It is not our specialty to only run location specific or event PR campaigns. Many other firms do this well. So, understand what type of firm you are speaking to before you approach for a campaign.
TIP 5. Accept That Digital PR / Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Have ‘Typical’ Results
This must be the most common question we get asked when approached by any type of new client…
“What are the typical results that I can expect from a digital PR campaign?”
There is no way to answer this, because every client and every campaign is different.
There are a lot of factors that a digital marketer or publicist can control, such as how well the pitch is developed, how good of a target blogger list is and how strong the relationship with media makers within a given niche are, that can really determine the effectiveness of a campaign.
However, there are a lot of outside factors that digital marketers can not control such as demand for new stories within your specific niche, how much opportunity in that niche exists (i.e. the number of blogs actively covering the niche) and how well your story resonates, that will ultimately be the deciding factors.
TIP 6. Maintain an Open Dialog with Your Team
In order to make sure your goals are on point, and to further make sure that we are working effectively to achieve these goals, we need to be communicating!
If you come to the table with a goal, and then disappear for a month, it becomes incredibly difficult for us to manage your goal as we continue to work on your behalf. If you are going to run a digital PR or social media marketing campaign, understand that your involvement and ability to stay proactive throughout the process will be instrumental to your success.
A client who checks in, follows through, and develops a relationship with my team, is FAR more likely to succeed than someone who pays for the campaign, and then shows up at the end wondering what happened.
I hope these 6 tips help you along your journey.