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Innovative Digital Marketing Campaign Strategy: 4 Brands to Learn From

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Every year we come across many marketing campaigns that catch our collective fancy and pull at the strings of our hearts. In this article, we dive deep into digital marketing strategy through recently successful campaigns pulled off by four world class brands, and learn how they do what they do. This is a trip to the best of digital marketing in recent times.

  • Why some campaigns fail and some catch on like a wildfire?
  • How can I make my digital marketing campaign go viral?
  • How do some brands manage to run such effective digital marketing campaigns?

As a practicing Marketer-turned-Digital Marketer, these are some of the questions that are always on my mind whenever I’m working on a digital marketing campaign strategy. It always feels like there is some secret sauce to innovative digital marketing. If only I could lay my hands on that, may be my campaigns could also end up in the rare club of top digital marketing campaigns in the world, may be.

Wishful thinking at its best. But the question lingers on. Is there really a secret sauce to best digital marketing campaign ideas? Is there really a digital marketing campaign template or some magical digital marketing tools that we could use?

Someone wise once said that the best way to find out is to spy on, closely observe, take notes and learn from the best-in-business, in this case, world’s best digital marketing campaigns. Well, no one said that, but spy and learn, we must.

This article is a sleek compilation of notes and learning from the most effective Digital Marketing campaigns as the legend has it lately. Without further ado, let’s dive straight into what’s going to be a crash course on running effective digital marketing campaigns from the best players in the business.

Drum rolls please…

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Innovative Digital Marketing Campaign Strategy: 4 Brand Case Studies

1.) WorldWide Breast Cancer: #KnowYourLemons

  • How do you go about an awareness raising campaign without being preachy or fearful or teary-eyed?
  • How do you create and share attractive communication about a condition like breast cancer?
  • How do you beat the censorship and showcase different symptoms related to breasts without raising eyebrows?

Learn from #KnowYourLemons by Worldwide Breast Cancer.

The Insight

Conditions like breast cancer are treatable if detected in early stages in most cases. What makes early detection and the treatment difficult and disposes life-loss for millions of women across the world are social factors like ignorance, lack of awareness and social stigma attached to private parts of women’s body, in this case breasts.

How do you go about talking about breasts without showing them and bypass the censoring?

The answer lies in using clever semiotics. The marketing team of Worldwide Breast Cancer chose lemons to represent women’s breasts and converted a sensitive issue into tasteful humor and visually gripping communication.

The Message and Communication Strategy

digital marketing campaign

Visuals from #KnowYourLemons campaign from Worldwide Breast Cancer

Women needed to be made aware that lumps are not the only signs of breast cancer that they need to lookout for. Using the quirky hashtag #KnowYourLemons, the campaign created visual showing various signs of breast cancer using lemons as visual metaphor for breasts.

By using lemons the campaign presented 12 different signs of breast cancer to look out for and inspired women about checking and feeling their breasts, through humor instead of fear.  

Facebook was chosen as the campaign’s primary communication platform owing to its widest reach and native capability to share engaging visual communication with its audience. The communication pieces led audience back to a specialized microsite with more information. The lemon posts acted more as a gateway to a full-fledged digital campaign including a quiz for audience to see how much they were at risk.

The Results

By February 2017, the campaign had already crossed a staggering reach of approximately 7.3 million people by launching just three Facebook posts. The campaign helped the organization in not only spreading brand awareness but also in securing substantial increase in public donations for the cause.

2.) ASOS: Instagram Influencer Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Instagram Generation

Influencer Marketing

Buzz Creation…

From the onset, it looks like digital marketers are spoilt for choices when it comes to innovative methods to get their message across to their targeted audience. But ask a digital marketer and he/ she would tell you how overwhelming and confusing having so many choices can get.

  • Is there a way to get around the onslaught of digital marketing channels and yet stand out in your strategy?
  • How to use a channel like Instagram with its ever-changing features and everyone following the same strategy to communicate with their audience?

Enter ASOS..

The Insight

Native features of a dynamic and hugely engaging social media platform like Instagram are not utilized to its full potential. Most of the times herd mentality sets in and marketers follow the same path and all campaigns start looking the same, eventually blinding the users.

Instagram is a popular Influencer Marketing platform. But can there be a different and better way to rope in influencers and make a real impact beyond the sponsored posts and in-you-face sales-y communication?

The quest to answer that question is what led marketing team of ASOS into unchartered territory of Instagram’s Influencer Marketing potential. And the simplicity of it all trumps all marketing gimmicks hands down, any day.

The Message and Communication Strategy

ASOS turns influencer marketing on Instagram on its head and looks beyond typical sponsored content by influencers. It goes many steps further and creates Sponsored Influencer Accounts e.g. @asos_ashley. Once set up, the accounts are then handed over to be run by the influencers, who of course have their own individual popular accounts.

digital marketing campaign

Image: A peek into one of ASOS’ Influencer Instagram Account

The difference here is that the influencer primarily feature in ASOS clothing in their posts on these accounts, creating a huge brand push and sealing long lasting recall amongst of legions of their fans. 

The Results

This strategy helps to rope in the huge following of the influencers even when they might not be directly aware of or interested in the brand. This is one hell of an innovative way to massively widen a brand’s reach with relevant content riding on influencer marketing.

This is the best of many worlds of social media, influencers and pull marketing efforts. ASOS’s Instagram Marketing strategy demonstrates how intuitive it is to be able to run hugely successful innovative marketing campaigns.

3.) Execdrin : #DebateHeadache on Twitter

  • What do you associate most with a US presidential election?
  • How do you see the presidential candidates’ faceoff in its most raw form?
  • Which part of the election campaign generates maximum conversations?

The answer to all these questions is: US Presidential Debates.

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The Insight

US Presidential Debates are amongst the most watched live news content across the world. The latest presidential elections in 2016 between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were saw the most heated arguments and debates as part of this one of the most talked about and followed events across the channels.

The marketing team at OTC headache drug Execdrin knew it well that catching this conversation and doing it right would be a sureshot way of having a great digital marketing campaign for their brand.

The Message and Communication Strategy

While all communication channels were abuzz with update on the proceedings of the election, Execdrin focused on Twitter. The reason is simple, Twitter is the best platform for conversations on a newsworthy event like this. Besides, both the candidates, their supporters and their haters were totally slaying it at Twitter. It was almost like an alternative election was being held at Twitter.

Adapting the strategy of NewsJacking was just the right move to get Twitter on with their campaign.

Newsjacking on the day of the final presidential debate, the brand posted a very simple message along with a witty and matter-of-fact hashtag, that struck a chord with everyone tuned into the event, not just headache sufferers.

This is what the brand posted on their Twitter handle:

The Result

The results exceeded all expectation. The brand hashtag #DebateHeadache was shared over 100,000 times and resulted in taking on a life of its own.

In its attempt at implementing NewsJacking, the campaign itself became a headlining news. It got so talked about that it got featured in the New York Times and Adweek among others.

This was digital marketing at its best. Well-timed, simple, focused, quirky and straightforward.

4.) The Hunger Project: A Table to End Hunger 

Valentine’s Day, Romance, Food, Hunger, Charity, ECommerce, Digital Marketing

Find the odd one out. Or may be find a common theme.

What could possibly be common between all these?

Everything, if you’ve an eye for innovation and simplicity. And that’s what marketing folks at social enterprise The Hunger Project have nailed in their extremely out-of-the-box digital marketing campaign “A Table to End Hunger” rolled out in 2016.

The Insight

Australia is a place of food lovers and it’s extremely difficult to find a table in good restaurants especially on occasions like Valentine’s day.

The Message and Communication Strategy

digital marketing campaign

Image: The Hunger Project’s Digital Marketing Campaign A Table to End Hunger

A great concept comes out of a true and simple insight. Marketing team at The Hunger Project developed a simple concept of inspiring charity and making a large audience part of their initiative and social vision of feeding people across the globe.

The simple idea of booking tables for Valentine’s Day, across participating restaurants and then auctioning those table on eBay for highest bidders, is the testimony that innovation and execution go hand in hand to achieve great marketing results.

The strategy to create an engaging video to promote the campaign across digital media also worked very well. The video is a result of crisp execution, devoid of any gimmicky and stays true to its message. The subtle contrast between the abundance and scarcity by juxtaposing fine-dining experience imagery to people struggling to make two square meals, gets the message across without being over imposing.

The video also refrains from the regular traps of guilt-ridden charity, instead it actually aims for light-hearted and inspirational communication with an engaging and directly impactful campaign concept at its heart. Take a look at the promotional video:

What can inspire charity than knowing that the proceeds of your indulgence are directly going to help secure meals for the hungry? 

The microsite for the campaign is precise, informational, has the right influencer showcase and invokes a simple Call-to-Action, making it a well-rounded digital marketing campaign. 

The innovative digital marketing campaign ticks all the right and required boxes and even goes beyond to win our love on all fronts.

The Results

For this campaign, instead of discussing the analytics of digital marketing platforms, I suggest that you take a look at the campaign’s achievement section for year 2016 on its microsite.

Conclusion:

“Mediocre marketers think in terms of campaigns. Great marketers think in terms of growth frameworks.“    – Neil Patel, Founder – Quick Sprout

As a marketer, how do you think about your campaigns?

If your goal is to create successful digital marketing campaigns like these, then a good place to start would be here.

Leave your answers in comments section and let us know about a killer digital marketing campaign that you might have come across and feel that it deserves a place on this elite list.

Image Courtesy:  WordStream, The Hunger Project

About the Author Ritu Jhajharia Founder – Rolling Circle Pvt Ltd | Communications Consultant | Aspiring Writer Ritu has dabbled into various roles across functions in marketing, brand management, communication, public relations, content management, consulting, technology & entrepreneurship for over a decade. She is currently working as a full-time entrepreneur heading her venture Rolling Circle Pvt Ltd, an Integrated Marketing Communications firm. She likes to help growing start-ups with marketing strategy and thought leadership via content. She likes to write on various topics, is a successful blogger and is an avid traveler.
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