This article was co-written by Ariel Hyatt and Jon Ostrow.
“80% of marketers begin with tactics instead of goals” – eMarketer Report.
One of the most difficult things that we, and really any digital marketer faces is the ability to effectively manage the expectations of our clients.
We primarily consider clients who pay us to represent them in the realm of new media and social media. 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 album in 3 months”
One potential client told us she expected 1,000,000 downloads…
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 work (and really anyone’s work who you may hire onto your team) 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 ways to manage your expectations of a digital PR or social media marketing campaign, so that it is worth your valuable time and money:
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.
Note that this is precisely the reason why we here at Cyber PR® wont work for less than a 3 month period. We don’t believe it is worth your time or our effort to execute a strategy for a shorter time period.
Understanding the Purpose of Digital PR & Social Media Marketing
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, 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’ into ‘customers’, and alone don’t have a direct correlation to sales.
Understanding the Industry to Frame Your Tangible Goals
As someone who is about to hire a team to run a digital PR or social media marketing campaign, it is important to understand your target industry as a whole so that you know what the realm of possibility, in a best case scenario, actually is. This will be an immense help in creating goals for yourself.
For example, knowing that with VERY few exception, in today’s music industry only the top 1% of musicians, with multi-million dollar ad budgets and a global influence and reach are capable of achieving 1 Million units sold for a SINGLE, let alone a full album. You need to be realistic about your expectations to sell your upcoming album, EP or single.
Understanding the Scope of Work
We 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, Cyber PR® very specifically focuses on long-tail and niche PR, and thought-leadership marketing, helping our 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 PR campaigns to support tour dates.
It is important that you understand this before you approach us for a campaign, and the same can be said for understanding this scope of ANY firm before you approach them as well.
Accepting 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 truthfully 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 media maker 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’T control such as demand for new stories within your specific niche, how much opportunity in that niche exists (i.e. the number of blog actively covering the niche) and how well your story resonates with the niche, that will ultimately be the deciding factors in how strong the results of your campaign will be.
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, you MUST understand that your involvement and ability to stay proactive throughout the process will be the KEY to your success.
From our personal experience, a client who checks in, who follows up and follows through, and develops a relationship with US, the people executing the strategy, the campaign is FAR more likely to succeed than someone who pays for the campaign, and then shows up at the end wondering what happened.