14 Digital Marketing Campaigns to Take a Leaf From (Learn from the Best)
According to a recent study conducted by Smart Insights, 45% of companies don’t have a digital strategy. They just wing it.
If your business falls in that group, then it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be seeing a high level of success from running your digital marketing campaign.
Your campaign needs a solid plan, one that considers your target audience, and includes the approach you’ll use, the actions you’ll take, and the campaign goals you have.
Above all, you want to make sure this strategy is realistic, practical, and achievable based on your marketing budget, as well as your business objectives and resources.
So, unless you’re lucky enough to work with a digital marketing agency that understands the undercurrents of this game, the best thing to do would be to take a few steps back and learn from the best that ever did it.
3 Basic Components of Digital Marketing
At the highest level, digital marketing can be broken down into three key components. You need to understand these three components to get a bird’s eye view of how the digital landscape operates.
1# Lead Generation
The first step of running an effective digital marketing campaign would be to devise a strategy for drawing the right audience to your brand. You need traffic or leads, or people that can at least visit your website.
From SEO to paid ads, there are so many ways to achieve this.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the simple practice of optimizing your website or blog to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs), especially Google.
A high search ranking generates more organic traffic. It also helps your brand gain more exposure.
SEO is impacted by so many factors. Core among them is how your website is coded and written. Also affecting it are elements such as page speed, backlinks, messaging, UX design, and mobile responsiveness.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is the process of paying to gain more visibility in the SERPs. If you’ve ever searched for anything online and seen a search result preceded by the term “ad,” then that’s what we call paid ads.
What happens is that marketers bid on keywords that they think are most lucrative for their businesses, thus allowing their websites and content to be displayed in the search engine results pages.
SEM results, unlike SEO, are not organic. Their results also show almost immediately, unless SEO where you have to wait for weeks or even months before the results show.
Paid social refers to the practice of running paid ads on social media. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn run power ad systems that allow you to target hyper-specific audiences with branded offers and content.
2# Lead Capture
Once you’ve attracted your target audience to your website or landing page, the next thing would be to figure out how to convert them into customers.
You need a lead capture strategy for this.
Otherwise, the traffic you generated in the first phase would all be for nought.
Think of your website as your first conversion point. Anybody who wants to find out more about your business or products will first land on your website’s landing page.
Impeccable messaging, strategic UX, flawless design, and strong code all work together to make your website a powerful conversion machine.
When users first land on your website, they should right away figure out what your business is involved with, as well as what you want them to do next.
In this way, your website will be operating as a marketing funnel, ushering users straight to conversion.
Landing pages are the extensions to your website. They’re the stand-alone pages that marketers leverage during their campaigns.
Their main purpose is to drive users to take specific actions, like downloading your eBook or claiming your offer.
They essentially help the user focus on the action at hand, without getting distracted or lost by the other pages on your website.
Forms are arguably one of the most important parts of any website or landing page.
They’re exactly as they sound – they’re the digital forms that users fill out with their personal information, particularly names, email addresses, and phone numbers.
In most cases, users don’t fill out this information because they want to. It’s because they’re getting something in return – a free offer, that is.
As a marketer, that’s how you convert your site’s visitors into leads.
3# Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is the last phase of your digital marketing campaign.
Your campaign should begin by you targeting the right group of people or audience. And after they land on your website or landing page, use forms to sort through the list and collect contact details from those interested in your offer.
Lead nurturing is the process of providing your leads with relevant and insightful content with the aim of driving them to buy your products or services.
MarTech Stack refers to the collection of marketing technologies and strategies you use to attract, convert, and nurture your leads.
It includes tools like your CRM, web analytics platform, email marketing platform, and marketing automation platforms.
All these platforms are supposed to work together in helping you nurture your leads across different digital channels.
Email Drip Campaigns
Email drip campaigns are a series of emails that are automatically sent to the users when they undertake a specific action or hit a predetermined milestone.
These email campaigns send relevant messages to your prospects and customers at the right time to engage them and drive them to make a purchase.
Personalization is the practice of using data to customize your digital experiences for individual customers.
A common and simplest way to go about it would be to include the lead’s names in your email. Almost all of the available email marketing software solutions can facilitate this.
For advanced users, you can customize the whole website experience based on users’ experience. Your MarTech stack should help you employ effective personalization by storing data and leveraging it where appropriate.
Who Needs a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Every business planning to run an effective digital marketing campaign should start by formulating a strategy if at all they want the campaign to be successful.
A practical strategy is vital in launching a high ROI digital marketing campaign.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business or Fortune 500 company, you must begin by drawing a meaningful digital marketing strategy before you commence any marketing activity.
Failure of which, you’ll be risking running a lacklustre campaign that doesn’t convert your audience or stand out from the crowd.
14 Examples of Digital Marketing Campaigns You Can Borrow a Leaf From
83% of businesses believe digital marketing works. However, nearly half of that have no strategy.
While they might still see results, it only goes on to show that they’ll never realize its full potential unless they go back to the drawing board and devise a plan.
Thankfully, in this article, we want to walk you through 14 of the very best digital marketing campaigns ever run.
We want to see what makes a great digital marketing campaign and see if you can borrow a thing or two from some of these campaigns to include in your own campaign.
Here we go:
Examples of Content Marketing Campaigns
1# Buffer’s Open Blog
Buffer is a popular social media tracking app. It enables you to schedule your social media posts and track your engagement and growth.
Now, let’s forget about the product for a minute and focus on how they succeeded to market it.
The company wanted to build their marketing foundation on three things: transparency, trust, and openness.
This may sound simple, but it’s a stroke of genius when you look at it carefully.
They decided to lead by example. Wondering about what they have been doing and why they’re so successful?
They don’t just show you what they have been doing; instead, they want you to know that you can do it too.
They focus on giving out incredible value with every new post that they publish. Reading their blog feels like you’ve been granted access to a special club, where you get to join thousands of other people and get their juicy information.
They’re using the velvet rope effect to push their brand and get people to buy their product, and it’s working like charm.
First, Buffer understands what stories their readers love to hear. They have also dedicated their lives to helping specific people find solutions to their problems.
What You Can Learn from Buffer’s Strategy
Just focus on offering value. Inform and educate your prospects. Remember to also give them behind-the-scenes solutions.
2# Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign
You’ve probably heard of this campaign.
Coca Cola’s share a drink gave people the opportunity to personalize their drink.
In Australia, they took about 150 popular names and branded them on the bottle, and people went ballistic crazy about it.
The word coke became the craze.
The best part, this campaign was conducted all over the world.
So, why was this campaign so successful?
Coke understood the impact of personalization. They knew it made people feel special. So, they started including people’s names in the bottles.
They made it feel like it was just you with your bottle of coke against the whole world.
Personalization still rules today. People want to be addressed by name. That personal touch may not mean that much to you, but it does to a customer who’s interacting with your brand.
Stats show that 74% of marketers are familiar with the term personalization. They’re well aware of the fact that it can boost customer engagement. But only 19% of them implement it in their marketing campaign.
Coke taught us how to leverage emotional connection with our customers and prospects by asking them to share our product.
What to Learn from this Coca Cola’s Campaign?
Your customers have emotions, just like every human.
So, while marketing to them, it’s important to think about how you want to make them feel.
Personalizing your marketing messages and targeting them from a place of emotion is the key to unlocking a long-lasting, personal relationship with your customers.
3# Hootsuite’s Game of Social Thrones
Hootsuite lets you manage all your social media accounts from one central place. Now imagine being given the job of marketing this tool – not exactly what we’d consider a fun thing to do.
But their marketing team thought of something more exciting, something you wouldn’t have thought of in a million years.
They started by creating this viral video.
Labelled as Game of Social Thrones, the video ended up being a huge hit.
It sparked attention.
Mind you, they released the video just about the same time everybody was harping about the “Games of Thrones.”
That meant every ardent follower of Games of Thrones would want to check them out and find out what it’s that they do.
What You Can Learn from this Content Marketing Campaign
Have fun with your campaign. By all means, try to think outside the box. Be innovative. Find out what’s new and exciting to your target audience and see if there’s any way you can ride on it and or blend it with your marketing message.
4# Microsoft Story Lab
Microsoft proved they’re one of the best storytellers. They even created a blog for this, and aptly names it “stories.”
A good story is in everyone’s DNA and Microsoft knows about this. Humans are hardwired to connect with it.
Storytelling has been found to release a feel-good hormone called oxytocin. And if you can manage to get your audience to feel emotional when they read your story, you’re halfway to getting them to trust you – and there’s a good chance that they might want to buy from you.
In fact, some well-established marketers such as Seth Godin base their whole marketing philosophy on this premise. The more you tell better stories, the more you’re likely to connect with your target audience.
What You Can Learn from this Digital Marketing Campaign
Be human first. That’s what’s common between you and your target audience.
5# McDonald’s “Our Food, Your Question” Campaign
McDonald’s decided to base their campaign around honesty. If you’ve ever eaten their beef party and wondered what ingredients they used, you can McDonald to tell you.
They just took a simple challenge of responding to their customers’ questions, and the campaign exploded. They also promised total honesty.
They were flooded with over 10, 000 customer questions that they answered. They cleared all the rumours people had about them by stating facts.
As McDonald’s chief marketing officer puts it, they had a good story to tell, and all they wanted is say it more authentically.
This helped them to restore trust in their brand and get even more people to start believing in them. They even managed to turn the worst reputation around by giving people something positive to harp about.
What You Can Learn from McDonald’s marketing strategy
You need superior customer service for this. Create a system that allows you to engage with your customers on their preferred platform — on their terms and level.
Examples of Social Media Marketing Campaigns
About the Company
Dacia is a subsidiary company of Renault. It’s one of the fastest-growing motor brands in Europe.
They have some of the best functional cars. But they’re best known for their uncontested price-to-value ratios.
In the last three years, the company managed to grow their customer market by over 60, 000 cars.
Their marketing goal: To create brand awareness and generate leads.
Their Marketing Strategy
The company used Facebook ads to create awareness around their Logan, Sandero, and Stepway models. They even started boosting all their posts.
Their target was both desktop and mobile users.
The company decided to utilize the data they had collected from their past activities. Using the data, they were able to conduct a series of ad tests, and essentially optimize their ad impact based on what stage of the buying cycle their customers were.
- They managed to reduce their cost per lead by 45%, compared to the price of using display ads
- A 27-point increase in ad recall
- A 6-point increase in brand favorability
- A 6-point increase in purchase intent
What to Learn
Facebook Ads are a minefield for ad recall and lead generation. When done correctly, direct response messaging can be the most effective way to boost brand favorability.
For nearly three decades, RedBull has been “giving wings” to its customers. In 2015, Forbes ranked them #76 as one of the world’s most powerful brands.
Their energy drink is distributed in more than 170 countries. Since they started, they have managed to sell way over 60 billons of their energy drink.
It goes without mentioning that they have four flavours to choose from.
Marketing Goal: Drive awareness of their new flavour
RedBull decided to run this campaign to boost awareness and increase sales for their newly launched tropical flavoured “Summer Edition” drink in Australia.
Their Marketing Strategy
RedBull focus was on simplicity and building their brand. They would start by launching a promotional teaser just before releasing the Summer Edition energy drink.
They wanted their audience to get familiar with their new can look. For this, they had to add yellow filters across their images and summer videos. They also made sure people were associating their brand with the #thissummer hashtag trend.
- They managed to gain a 10-point kick in top-of-the-mind awareness
- 9-point boost in favorability
- 7-points drop in unconvinced marketers
- Reach more than 1.2 million consumers
What to Learn
Social media boasts a massive market.
Also worth noting is the power that Instagram has in driving engaged users.
To leverage the full power of Instagram, you have to master consumers’ social path and position yourself accordingly, where you can easily be found.
RedBull used the #thissummer hashtag to achieve this.
About the Company
Glu Mobile is an internationally known smart-device game publisher. Created in 2001, their games are fashioned around the original IP games such as Deer Hunter, Gun Brow, and Zombie Defense.
They also run a long list of Freemium games that play on Android, iOS, MAC, and Windows.
Goal: To increase the number of app installations
Glu started launched this campaign to promote their new game at the time, Dinner Dash (2016). They had just released the game and wanted to increase the number of installs it was getting.
That meant they were to start targeting a wider market audience.
Their Instagram campaign was part of their test project to find out if Instagram was a viable option for marketing their product (game).
Glu Mobile decided to team up with ReFUEL4. This was to help them gain followers on Instagram.
They would then proceed to create smart photo ads. These photos featured a real chef and some food items from Diner Dash. The ad would be followed by a brilliant CTA, “Install Now.”
The result was an installation boom.
They also decided to take advantage of Facebook’s Ad Manager and Power Editor, targeting an audience of women between the age of 18 to 45.
- 39% increase in their number of app installs
- Gain 800, 000 impressions in the course of the campaign
What to Learn
Instagram is an amazing platform for targeting new audiences.
Including a clear and direct CTA on your ad or Instagram post is crucial in driving specific behaviours.
9# Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts is a non-profit organization that started in 1912. Its focus is on empowering the girlchild.
The first Girl Scout troop was organized in March 1912. Since then, the organization has grown and helped so many girls find their passion, strength, and talents.
But the first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about Girl Scouts is their amazing cookies – the cookies they have been using to collect funds from customers to support deserving girls from all over the world.
Goal: Drive app downloads
Girl Scout social media team started noticing that some of their customers were having a hard time tracing the nearest Girl Scout Representative for their cookies.
They wanted to boost the number of installs their Girl Scout Cookie Finder App was getting. The app would benefit the organization. At the same time, it would help the customers that wanted to buy the cookies but couldn’t find a Girl Scout representative.
@GirlScouts showcased their delicious products using an App Card in a Twitter App Install Campaign. This allowed users to download their mobile cookie finder app right from Twitter.
This resulted in a significant conversion boost.
They garnered 19, 500 app installation from the campaign alone
It turns out their customers were super-active on Twitter, using their phones 24/7 to access the app.
Twitter’s conversion reporting cannot be contested. They also have one of the simplest interfaces.
It only took @GirlScout one day to set this campaign after they came up with the idea.
What to Learn
Adding your images to Twitter’s App Card is a great way to give your potential customers a glimpse of what you’re offering. With Twitter’s App Card, customers don’t have to hop out of Twitter to access your app, not when everything can be accessed right from your Twitter account itself.
About the Company
Airbnb is short for Air, Bed, and Breakfast. It’s an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent out their houses or rooms to travellers looking for accommodations within their locality.
Airbnb had the most outlandish idea when they started. But they managed to spell it out to masses, and now it’s like half of the population knows what the platform is involved with.
What Airbnb has done is try to maintain a stellar organic presence across all social media platforms. And that’s not all, they have also been using creative, travel-bug inducing ads to encourage their prospects to convert.
By combining clever images and texts, displaying unique travel accommodation, the company leveraged social media ads to both engage and convert their target customers. They even use retargeting to reach prospects that earlier browsed through their site but didn’t make any booking or list their home.
What to Learn
Over 2.3 billion people are active on social media. This makes it a great platform for connecting with your target audience and developing meaningful relationships.
In addition to creating your business profile on some of the top social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can use paid social media ads to reach an even bigger audience.
Examples of PPC Campaigns
About the Company
Expedia is a well-known, international travel booking platform.
Now, if you’ve ever tried hunting for fun hotels and cheap flights on your search as you explore new cities, you must have noticed that Expedia appears in almost all paid search results (things might have changed in the recent years because they now rank organically for the same).
For years, Expedia dominated the paid ad space. They used PPC ads to maintain their presence in the SERPs for almost all the keywords they suspected their target customers were using to search for travel and tour companies.
People who search online for travel fare aggregator platforms such as Expedia value affordability. Expedia understood this so they decided to tout their budget-friendly options in the ads.
They also made sure their paid ads were connected to landing pages that snugly matched the searcher’s intent. The point was to make it easy for searchers to make a booking.
What to Learn
PPC ads are a great way to establish your presence online as you continue to work on your organic presence.
The best part, you only pay for the ads when someone clicks on them. This allows you to only connect with qualified leads, and not just anyone random.
Lyft was first introduced in 2012. It’s a ridesharing app for connecting multiple travelling parties with a common driver. The whole point the app was created was to help drivers maximize fuel and route efficiency.
Their Marketing Strategy
A great digital marketing campaign focuses on turning your customers or clients into active promoters of your brand.
It’s about using your current user base to find more leads or customers for your products or services.
This is exactly what Lyft has been using, and it’s worked for them.
Even competing with greater players on the market, Lyft managed to carve its space by offering free ride incentives to users that referred them to their friends and family.
The strategy worked, transforming the company into a lead generation powerhouse.
There’s nothing more convincing than someone you know and trust recommending something, and then having your expectations met. That’s what made Lyft so successful.
What to Learn
You too can turn your customers and clients into your loyal brand ambassadors and promoters. This can easily be achieved through a loyalty program. All you have to do is come up with a simple reward system for users that recommend your business to their friends and family.
It’s a great way to spread word of mouth and encourage users to help you promote your business.
About the Company
Sephora is a multinational retailer of beauty and personal care products. The company features over 3000 brands of beauty and personal care products, alongside their own private label, Sephora Collection.
Their Marketing Strategy
The marketing team at Sephora has mastered the intricacies of digital marketing. That’s not because of working with a specific marketing strategy, but because they have managed to maintain a huge online presence overall.
Their focus is on making sure they’re where their audience can be found. And what other better place could that be than on social media.
They created shoppable content, thus reducing the number of steps that a customer has to follow from content to purchase.
What’s more? The company decided to go all out on omnichannel. They would start selling on Instagram. At the same time, ensure their users were having a greater experience interacting with their website.
They even started exploring geolocated ads.
14# Mobile Monkey
Mobile Monkey is an all-inclusive Facebook messenger chatbot. With rising customer acquisition cost, the company had to use their own chatbot to increase its reach and reduce the cost of customer acquisition.
At the time, the company was paying between $150 and $250 per lead.
The problem with paying for a click is that if someone clicks on your and fails to convert, you lose your money just like that.
It’s worse considering 98 of people who visit your website will leave without buying, while 75% of those people will never visit your site again.
Likely, the clicks you get won’t necessarily translate to sales, unless you decide to remarket them.
It’s for this reason that Mobile Monkey decided to switch to optimizing their messages. In so doing, they were able to collect their customers’ information so they could start retargeting them.
They had to run drip messenger campaigns. This reduced their cost per lead by 97%. It also meant that they were able to reach an even bigger audience without overstretching their budget.
What to Learn
The best way to reduce your marketing cost is to think about how you’ll be reducing your cost per lead. One way to go about it is through an untapped channel such as Messenger.
Your focus shouldn’t be on just reaching more people with your ad, but on reaching more qualified leads.