Have you been going steady with your marketing efforts? Never missed a day of posting your high-quality SEO content? Your ads are running smoothly, and your socials are up-to-date?
That’s great, but every so often you want a little boost in between. Make the most of the brains in your marketing team, and let them craft creative marketing campaigns. Let’s take a look at the why, what and how.
Why should you launch marketing campaigns?
It’s important to understand how campaigns are different from your overall marketing strategy and tactics. SEO, SEA, content marketing: those are all things you do daily. They are the foundation for your marketing, so to speak.
Then, you can build on that with marketing campaigns. These are short-term promotions, ads, or messages that revolve around a single idea or theme.
They don’t have to be product-focused, however. An ad or campaigns can be used for many things, such as:
- Increasing brand awareness. This is less focused on your individual products, but more on the quality of you as a brand. It’s important to know how to measure brand awareness: it’s not necessarily in sales, or even followers. Brand awareness is all about your share in search or share in voice. How many people are talking or thinking about you when they think about your product category?
- Fixing a negative image: If you’ve recently had some negative publicity, it could be helpful to not only solve the problem, but also communicate about that in a marketing campaign. Authenticity and transparency are two important things consumers are looking for nowadays.
- Generating new leads: If you are trying to fill your email list, your standard marketing practices might not be specific or fast enough. With targeted marketing campaigns, you can give your sales funnel a little boost.
- Introducing a new product: before a product launch, many brands opt for a marketing campaign to highlight their new addition.
Examples of marketing campaigns that did the job
A marketing campaign could be big or small, online or offline. It can be hard to start from scratch and find the type of campaign that helps you reach your goals. To help you generate some ideas, here are six types of campaigns with real-life examples that will surely spark your inspiration.
1. Get savvy with lead generation campaigns
Building an email list of people who are really interested in your content and product can be hard. Often, the only way to get someone’s email address is by offering them some sort of discount. After they purchase, they hit unsubscribe again. Ouch.
Professional speaker Grant Baldwin decided to do things differently. He built a lead generation campaign around one of the questions he got asked the most by fellow speakers: how much can I charge for a speaking gig?
He built a calculator, and aspiring speakers could leave their email address to find out how much they should be charging according to this successful speaker. That gave him a hyper-relevant list of leads that he could market his other speaker-focused services to, such as coaching. Smart move, Grant.
2. Create co-branded campaigns with partnerships
Always wanted to grow your brand awareness and reach more people—but is the growth of your audience slowing down? Make use of the audience from other brands! Partnering up with brands that have a big overlap in target audience is a smart way to (re)introduce your brand to new people.
Take a look at how Uber and Spotify partnered up. They have two completely different services, but their target market is largely the same. Plus, who doesn’t want to listen to a dramatic song while staring out of their cab, pretending they’re in a music video?
They launched a co-branded campaign together: Soundtrack for Your Ride. Users who don’t like talking to their cab drivers or listen to a stranger’s taste in music, get to choose music when they book a trip, to make their rides even more comfortable. A great boost in use for people who are going to a party, the airport, or a date and need a soundtrack to get themselves in the mood.
3. Launch a smart influencer marketing campaign
Influencer marketing is alive and kicking. Yes, there are more and more aspiring influencers online, but that’s not a bad thing for brands at all. On the contrary, all these micro influencers have their own specific, loyal audience. Plus, they are cheaper to work with than the big names. Why put all your eggs in one basket anyway?
One brand that has really worked out how to make the most use of all those micro influencers is ASOS. With ASOS insiders, they created sponsored accounts for individual influencers, all dressed in ASOS, of course. They offer styling tips, behind-the-scenes and lifestyle content that people like to see on their feeds—sponsored or not.
This is more authentic content than most sponsored influencer posts, and ASOS is able to reach a much larger audience in a more organic way.
4. Make use of user-generated content
Let’s say you’re booking a holiday. You’re almost convinced by all the pictures the hotel has on their website, but you’re one of those skeptical travelers. Of course, it looks great on their own website, you think. So, what do you do?
People no longer only have to rely on Google Images to find more pictures. They found a new source, Instagram. The platform shows them content shot by real people, with iPhones—not fisheye lenses. While they’re at it, they can also see what other things those people did during their stay in a certain hotel.
76% of people trust this type of user-generated content more than what brands are putting out. If you as a business know how to work with UGC, you will also notice how much cheaper it is.
So, how does it work? Let’s say you have a beautiful hotel. You want to attract more of those millennials to your hotel. 32-39% of them won’t book a hotel or travel experience that doesn’t use UGC marketing.
The simplest thing you can do is encourage people to share content they’ve shot at your hotel with a specific hashtag. The more, the better. Hotel 1898 in Barcelona takes it even a step further by reposting this UGC on their own timeline. They even have a special feed for it in their stories. Simple, yet effective.
5. Use your email list for an email marketing campaign
Who hasn’t signed up for a loyalty program with one of those stamp cards and completely forgot about it—until they bought something again? Annoying, yes.
Luckily, more and more brands are starting to realize that the average bag or purse is an absolute mess and their loyalty cards are often tossed in the trash with the monthly clean-up. Now, you can be a loyal customer and get rewarded for it, by using an app, your phone number or email address.
That doesn’t just benefit messy and forgetful customers. It also gives those brands more opportunities to push offers and make people buy more. A big player who does this in a smart way is Starbucks.
They regularly send their loyal customers beautiful emails to push sales a little harder. With discounts and new products, they lure you back into their stores to get a venti-sized cup of anything.
If you have a loyalty program in place, don’t miss out on the opportunity to do something with the email addresses or app users you have in your database (if they consent, that is).
6. Stand out from the online crowd with offline marketing campaigns
Last but not least: we can’t forget about offline marketing. We’re looking at screens all day, and it’s hard to grab the consumer’s attention. But if you want to catch the ones who look up from their phones every once in a while, try an offline marketing campaign. Yup, good old billboards and posters.
A great example of a campaign like this is by Heimat Wien. This Austrian company makes incredible knives, but commercials about that on social media or TV can be rather boring.
So, they took their creativity to the streets. Their promise is rust free knives. They placed a billboard that started out completely silver, but over time turned rusty—except for the shape of a knife in the middle of it. Impressive, right?
How to create a campaign that is effective for you
Inspired much? If you want to launch a campaign like these, it’s important that you go through a few steps first to determine what you should be doing, and what not.
- Start with defining a goal, or rather, look at the goals you’ve established for the long term. Short-term campaigns should contribute to that.
- Define who to target and where to target them, In some cases, it can be helpful to step away from the traditional, over flooded channels and go for more specific campaigns.
- Get creative. A good campaign is daring, different and sticks to your brain. Always look at it and ask yourself: would this impress me if it were done by another brand?
- Keep your eyes on the metrics. Measure the impact of your campaign by keeping a close eye on the relevant metrics that you’re trying to work on.
Last but not least: have fun with it
Marketing campaigns are what can set your brand apart in the noise of today’s commercials. Don’t shy away from creativity—modern-day consumers will thank you for it.