More companies are investing heavily in their digital marketing efforts. Digital ad spending is projected to reach $517 billion worldwide by 2023, up from $283 billion in 2018.
That figure is only expected to grow as companies shift more of their marketing budget online. That increased investment means you’re up against some serious competition.
So how can you distinguish your marketing campaigns? By getting creative and delivering engaging experiences that captivate your audience.
In this article, we’ll look at a selection of unique marketing campaigns you can emulate and how you can apply them to your own business.
1. Coca-Cola: Share a Coke
Coca-Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign as part of an initiative to boost sales.
One side of the label is printed with the phrase “Share a Coke with” and a name. The campaign encouraged people to share a Coke with someone who has the same name.
The campaign initially launched in Australia in 2011, but soon spread to over 80 countries. This simple, yet novel idea is credited with increasing sales in the US by more than 2%.
What made the Share a Coke campaign so successful?
It’s an example of user-generated content or UGC — any kind of content that users create and share about a brand. Examples can include images, videos, text, etc.
What makes UGC effective is it promotes authenticity. Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to rate UGC as more authentic than content posted by brands.
The #shareacoke hashtag has over 650,000 posts to date on Instagram and counting.
Coca-Cola is already a well-recognized brand, but this campaign has helped the company increase its market share.
UGC is effective because it lends authenticity to your brand. You can even feature UGC on your own social media platforms to show your products in action. Use a tool like Sprout Social to find mentions of your products online.
Create a branded hashtag that followers can add to their posts. You can even run a competition on social media to encourage more people to participate.
Here’s how Vans reached out to one customer on Instagram to ask permission to repost their picture.
2. Preply Online Tutoring: Make the world your comfort zone
Preply is an online language education platform with online tutors and experts that help you learn anywhere, anytime.
Uniquely, Preply has turned the model of language and learning upside down. Rather than focusing on in person education, Preply seeks to connect people from all over the world to learn new languages and skills.
Their main motto and goal is to make the world your comfort zone:
To do this, they partner with small, targeted micro-influencers on platforms like YouTube and Instagram:
This helps them further their goal of connecting the world together online to learn new languages and cultures.
Unique marketing campaigns don’t require offline elements or brick and mortar stores. Many can be executed solely online using the right promotion strategies, like influencers.
Try to create marketing campaigns that emulate your brand goals and visions, rather than what promotional channel is hot at the time. This ensures you are actually connecting with your target audience. Lastly, utilize influencers who can write reviews and create videos explaining your brand.
For more on influencer marketing here are some guides and tips:
- How to Write the Perfect Influencer Outreach Email Template
- 7 Reasons to Use Micro-Influencers to Boost E-Commerce Sales
- 9 Surprising Ways You Can Use YouTube for Influencer Marketing
3. DollarShaveClub: Our Blades Are F*ing Great
Dollar Shave Club is an eCommerce subscription business that sends a range of male grooming products to their customers by mail on a monthly basis.
Michael Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, produced a short and amusing promotional video explaining how their business worked. The video quickly went viral, helping the company bring in 12,000 new subscribers the next day.
Dollar Shave Club took an arguably boring topic (razors) and turned it into something more entertaining. The video has been viewed over 26 million times to date.
Videos are a powerful marketing tool. Even if you’re in a “boring” niche, the promotional video from Dollar Shave Club is proof that you can make any topic fun and engaging.
More people increasingly prefer video over text for purchasing decisions. 66% of consumers say they prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service.
If you aren’t utilizing videos in your marketing, you’re missing out on opportunities to engage with your audience.
The use of video can prove massively successful for your business when done right. Around 81% of people perform online research before making a large purchase. Don’t it is for granted that the people who find your business know that you have the solution to their problem?
You consider working with a video production company to create quality videos that showcase your products. Add them to your product pages or even your YouTube channel to spread the word.
4. American Express: OPEN Forum
American Express is a multinational corporation that offers a range of financial products, such as personal loans, credit cards, insurance policies, and more.
The company launched OPEN Forum, an educational resource that provides financial news and marketing tips to help small businesses succeed.
American Express could’ve simply had their employees publish content to their blog. Instead, they invited industry professionals to contribute.
The example from American Express proves that content marketing is still an effective digital marketing tactic. It’s how they were able to build an authoritative resource.
It’s important to understand your target audience first before publishing any content. Start by creating a buyer persona — a profile that details your ideal customer.
Use keyword research tools to uncover questions your audience is asking. This post from Sleep Junkie on the best mattress for back pain offers a good example of content that’s relevant to their audience.
Similar to what American Express has done, you can also reach out to industry leaders to contribute content. And once the work is complete, send an invoice or consider hiring them to produce more articles.
Content you create is a marketing asset that can drive targeted traffic and improve your overall SEO. Publishing quality content can also help establish your site as a go-to resource. Consider working with industry experts as you can leverage their credibility to build your own.
One way to make content for your business is to produce comprehensive guides. Our ecommerce guide outlines the exact steps that business owners can follow to drive traffic to their stores. And at the top, we’ve included a CTA to prompt visitors to start a free trial with Wishpond.
5. Google: Pop Up Doughnut Shops
Doughnuts are probably not the first thing you associate with Google. Yet that’s exactly how Google decided to promote its Home Mini, a smart speaker about the size and shape of a donut.
The tech giant launched a series of pop-doughnut shops. Visitors could walk into a store and ask a Home Mini a question, triggering a box to slide down a chute.
The package contained either a doughnut or a Mini.
The campaign above is an example of experiential marketing — a strategy that involves inviting consumers to engage directly with a brand.
Emulating this marketing campaign from Google isn’t exactly cheap. But it can help you form positive connections with your audience and even lead to more sales when done right.
Around 85% of consumers are likely to purchase after participating in an event and 91% feel more positively about a brand after attending great experiences.
Creating an experiential marketing campaign for your business can also boost your social media efforts as participants will want to share their experience.
If your experiential event involves any kind of physical activity, be sure to have refreshments available. Offering electrolyte drinks is a good choice as visitors can replenish any nutrients lost.
Experiential marketing is effective because it offers immersive experiences, which can elicit positive emotions. To be honest putting together an experiential event is by no mean easy. But it can help raise brand awareness and generate more sales for your business.
Use an app like Attendify to plan an experiential marketing event and build lasting connections with your audience.
6. Domino’s Pizza: Piece of the Pie Rewards
Domino’s Pizza launched a rewards campaign that utilized artificial intelligence. Visitors could scan pizza with their phones and earn points.
The campaign wasn’t just limited to pizza from Domino’s though. Users could scan any pizza (even those from competitors) with the Domino’s app and earn 10 points.
After receiving 60 points, customers could redeem them for a free medium pizza.
The campaign was launched to coincide with the Super Bowl, one of the biggest days of the year for the company.
One way to emulate this campaign is by offering a rewards program. For example, a company like Spruce CBD can reward customers with points for each purchase and allow them to be redeemed for a free item.
Rewards programs are powerful motivators as they can encourage customers to come back. If you use Shopify, you can easily add a loyalty program to your online store with the Smile plugin and give customers access to exclusive perks.
Another way to use this plugin is to give existing customers a referral code and encourage them to refer a friend.
- 6 Steps to Successfully Launch a Pre-Order Campaign to Build Product Hype
- How to Create a Marketing Campaign (That Actually Drives Sales)
- How to Create a Polished Facebook Marketing Campaign Step-by-Step
- 5 Tips to Keep your Marketing Campaign on Track
- How to Run a Black Friday Marketing Campaign That Drives Serious Sales
The digital landscape is more crowded than ever. You’ll need to get creative with your marketing campaigns to stand out and stay ahead of the curve.
If you’re stuck on ideas for your next campaign, you can learn a lot from what other companies are doing. The examples above offer excellent starting points.
About the Author
Bethany Santos is a former HR Officer who later found her specialty in digital marketing. With a keen interest in content optimization and market behavior, she’s become a walking database for industry news.