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Digital marketing is constantly evolving. That makes it more difficult for marketers to determine how best to distinguish themselves when planning their digital marketing campaigns.
What channels will work best? Should I be funny or serious? Is it really all about video? The questions are endless, but the answers can sometimes be simple – if you know where to look. Here are six of the most successful digital marketing campaigns and the lessons you can learn from them.
1. Tell a Story with Emotional Triggers - Heineken
Heineken chose an interesting way to tell a story. Instead of focusing on a single person or narrative, the brand used political conflicts trending in the news to bring people from very different lives together.
Heineken reps first had individuals state their point of view on common items in the news including transgenderism, feminism, and global warming. Then, those with opposing views were paired together and had to complete a number of tasks. It was not until all of the tasks had been completed that they were shown the interviews given by their opposite. After they worked together and watched the interviews, the pairs were told they could stay and discuss their differences over a beer, or they could leave.
The video received more than 17.7 million views and had over 138,000 shares and 324,000 engagements on Facebook. Of 22,000 tweets about the ad, 85% were positive. Heineken also received tons of publicity and appeared in over 625 magazine articles, adding legs to the already successful digital campaign.
Storytelling, especially stories that can inspire an emotional response, can easily go viral. You don’t have to focus on your brand to get brand attention. In fact, often using a completely roundabout way to introduce your brand allows more time for people to become engaged, so you can finally get your message out in the end. With 17.7 million views and growing, this video had an emotional approach that encouraged people to consider Heineken as their beer of choice.
2. Create a Safe Space for Less Glamorous Brands - Tena
Not every brand has a socially comfortable stance to take during a digital campaign. In fact, that discomfort can cause many brands to shy away from social media. However, Tena, an adult incontinence brand, decided to embrace its product by creating a safe place where people who share the same challenges can meet.
Incontinence is not charming and is something most people don’t talk about. It is for this very reason that Tena decided to showcase the condition so that those with it can see they are not alone. The company’s YouTube channel features helpful videos with tips, and if you venture onto the UK site by accident, humorous ads can also be found.
Tena took sharing helpful tips one step further with the launch of its app: My Pelvic Floor Fitness (pff) app. The brand used social media with videos and a contest to get the message out about the app. Tena’s audience is offered a place where incontinence is normal, providing them with a community who feels comfortable to share their experiences. The addition of a contest encouraged engagement by asking entrants to share a selfie using the app and doing the exercises.
Social media can work for any brand because your audience shares the same pain points and challenges. It’s the great equalizer bringing people together to share their experiences. Even if those experiences are embarrassing or difficult, social media provides a place where people do not feel alone. An app that addresses issues your product does not can raise brand awareness. Contests that go beyond an email entry encourage engagement.
3. Multi-Channel Strategy – Single Grain and Eric Siu
It is never enough to have one forum to share your content. It takes multiple channels and platforms to build brand awareness. Single Grain uses the inherent knowledge of CEO Eric Siu to generate content that works across a number of platforms. That includes a marketing podcast, which he co-hosts with another digital marketing wizard, Neil Patel. “Growth Everywhere” is a series of interviews with various entrepreneurs and thought leaders. Single Grain also has a strong hold on YouTube where it has introduced a new series “Leveling Up,” sharing tactical ideas with marketers and business owners.
Single Grain publishes fresh content on a blog four times per week, offering in-depth information in 2,000-word articles. And of course, the brand is also active on social media leveraging relationships through strategic collaborations and showing live webinars or hosting speaker events.
Customers use different platforms, so you have to do the same if you want to reach them. People also respond differently to each platform, and by spreading yourself across multiple channels, you can reach them in a manner that they prefer. Repurposing your topics across all channels provides the most value from the content you create while saving you time and money.
4. User-Generated & Influencer Content - ASOS
ASOS created a #AsSeenOnMe campaign on Instagram that encouraged customers to post images of themselves wearing ASOS outfits. It worked not only to show off products but was also an excellent way to encourage user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) is genius as it is self-perpetuating, free, and also showcases a brand through the appreciation of its own customers. Using the hashtag allowed ASOS to share those posts on the ASOS Instagram feed. The company took it two steps further by a) adding product descriptions and numbers to the posts and b) providing a special #AsSeenOnMe section on its website so people could click it and find the product to purchase.
ASOS also uses influencer marketing to promote its latest products and styles. That is an excellent strategy allowing the company to create “fashion insiders” who can promote the brand. Insiders created a community where they engage with each other as well as tag each other in their posts.
User-generated content is an excellent way to have access to exceptional posts that will, in turn, generate sales. Always use a branded hashtag in order to track these types of campaigns. Combine your UGC efforts with an influencer marketing strategy to forge strong relationships and build a community that will promote your product organically. Strong influencer relationships nurture your brand with authentic partnerships that promote and share.
5. Leverage Your Customers’ Interests - Wholesome Culture
Using your customers’ common interests to generate content for your digital campaigns allows you to stand out in competitive industries. That is the approach used by Wholesome Culture, a fashion brand that specializes in cruelty-free clothing. It uses a plant-based eating and environmentally friendly message in content, as it is something Wholesome Culture share with its customers.
Wholesome Culture approaches content with a few strategies that work well, including pop culture references and viral memes. The memes help the brand gain momentum, so it can then introduce content about its products. All of the messages, including memes, are always animal-friendly to help leverage customers’ concerns and interests.
One of those interests is vegan diets. Wholesome Culture caters to this interest by posting vegan recipes with video instructions on Instagram. That is far from fashion content, but it does tie into the brand’s philosophy and the philosophy of its customers. Helpful recipes support the plant-based diet and make life easier for customers while also encouraging them to follow the brand. It boosts engagement by speaking the same language as the audience.
Instagram hashtags also lead to discovery such as #veganlife, which draws the right audience to the Wholesome Culture channels. The brand, of course, also has a blog that is rich with vegan tips and more.
Using your audience’s interests in your digital marketing efforts allows you to build a community. Pop culture items create interest, allowing you to showcase more brand-related content once you gain followers. Creating content that ties in not only with your audience's philosophy but also your core values will work well across social channels.
6. Add a Touch of Experiential Marketing - Uniqlo
Taking your digital marketing beyond the confines of a handheld device can encourage brand engagement in a completely different way. Uniqlo, a Japanese casual apparel company, launched an interesting digital campaign to get people to see the company in a different light.
The brand developed a unique global image campaign that worked in hand with 100 physical locations. Customers were told to take photos of a series of billboards with moving images to capture product codes. The five-digit code was then uploaded to the campaign website where customers could redeem a clothing sample.
The billboards added an experiential marketing element that was almost event based. People were also encouraged to share their photos on social media to enlist their followers to participate in the promotion. Over 4 million people were reached with the campaign, creating 35,000 new customers for Uniqlo.
Digital marketing can be used to get people out there, wherever “there” might be. You choose where you want to send them, whether it is to an event, a pop-up store or, in this case, a series of billboards that eventually direct them to your website. The key is to use a new approach and reward with experiential marketing to engage customers in an unexpected way.
These lessons are designed to help raise the bar in your digital marketing strategy. Finding new ways to engage your audience through effective digital marketing tactics will help you build your customer base.