Marketing campaigns can make or break your company, a fact proven by giants like Uber, Pinterest, and Dropbox that have become household names all over the world as a result of their strategic marketing campaigns.
But like all things “make or break”, marketing campaigns can be tricky because the long haul of putting them together might still end up going to waste, despite hours of effort, money, and manpower. That is why we’ve made this super tactical guide on how to create successful marketing campaigns that will help you deploy your efforts based on market research and expert knowledge.
In this guide, we’ll address ‘what is a marketing campaign?’, the various components of marketing campaigns, some essential tried, tested, and proven marketing campaign strategies, as well as some fantastic marketing campaign examples from the industry. For easy navigation, click on any one of the links below to jump to that section:
Pro Tip: According to the Content Marketing Institute, videos will be the top marketing investment for B2B brands in 2023 and might even prove to be your best marketing campaign asset. If you’re not already investing in video marketing, you should consider signing up for a free account on InVideo to get started.
Now let’s dive in and explore the big question ‘what is a marketing campaign?’
Before answering the question ‘what is a marketing campaign?’, let us tell you a story: the year 2002 was a challenging one for the global fast-food chain Mcdonald's. It was facing a serious decline, stock prices were plummeting and employee morale was at an all-time low. How did McDonald’s turn things around? A strategic marketing campaign (which to date remains the company’s slogan): I’m lovin it!
Taking a multi-dimensional, multi-segmented approach, McDonald’s Global CMO Larry Light decided on running a marketing campaign through which they’d reach out and connect to a very specific audience that he knew would prove invaluable in revitalizing the brand. Sure enough, things turned right around for the franchise, all thanks to great communication targeted in the right way to the right people.
Now let’s explore what exactly is a marketing campaign, and why does it hold so much potential to turn things around for your company?
At its core, a marketing campaign is rooted in storytelling. It is made up of a strong identity, an audience, strategy, an expert team, communication, and promotion. Think one big idea held up by messaging pillars: broad, research-driven strategic communications which you’ll execute over a period of time.
Given that we’re in 2023, the scope, purpose, and venues of marketing campaigns have gotten wider and far more complex, including digital marketing campaigns alongside traditional print and television ones.
What does a marketing campaign look like?
Simply put, instead of one email or social media post promoting your new product/service, a marketing campaign will include a bunch of verticals: advertisements, videos, social media posts, blog posts, print articles, goodie bags, polls, emails, online ads, and so on. Have a look at the infographic below for a clearer understanding:
Source: Column Five Media
What is the goal of having a marketing campaign?
A company typically runs a marketing campaign when it wants to achieve one of the following goals:
- Make sales
- Boost revenue
- Increase audience engagement
- Launch or promote a product/service
- Improve people’s awareness of your brand
- Generate more leads
- Counter negative publicity/criticism
- Find out what people want
Pro tip: While the information above is enough as a ready reckoner on marketing campaigns, we’ve got lots more explainers and guides to help you gain a deeper understanding of marketing campaigns, such as this list of marketing tools to expand your business, this expert dive into a marketing strategy.
Now that you have a better understanding of what a marketing campaign is, let’s have a look at the various types of marketing campaigns.
Marketing campaigns help you achieve the goals you have set out for your brand. For this reason, they are designed keeping in mind your sales funnel. A sales funnel is the journey that your customers go through on their way to making a purchase. It is divided into three tiers: top, middle, and bottom.
- People at the top of the funnel are those who are your potential audience and are not necessarily aware of the brand or product.
- Those in the middle of the funnel are people who are aware of your product but are not making active attempts at making a purchase.
- Those at the bottom of the funnel are the people who are most likely to convert into paying customers — these are people who are interacting with your brand and are seriously considering making a purchase.
Let’s take a look at the different marketing campaigns and what stage of the funnel they can help you at:
#1 - Video Marketing Campaigns
The biggest shift in marketing campaigns in this past decade has been the one from static advertising to video content, with video reportedly being the number one format marketers used in their digital marketing strategy in 2021.
So what is a video marketing campaign? A video marketing campaign involves using videos to achieve your brand goals. You can use videos for all levels of the sales funnel, but the way they’re made and where they’re posted will differ depending on the kind of customer you want to reach.
A video marketing campaign can be in the form of video ads, social media videos, tutorials, website videos, and so on. You can run your video campaigns and advertisements on television, social media like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc., or even host them on your website pages.
Video marketing campaigns typically fall into the following sub-categories:
1) Lifestyle video campaign: helps a viewer visualize how your product or service fits into their lifestyle, with visual elements that lend the campaign an aspirational quality
2) Mini documentaries: this kind of a video campaign is less about spotlighting a product, and more about promoting a company’s ethos, core value, or mission statement, typically accomplished through interviews with key company representatives, like founders, employees, or satisfied customers in documentary style
3) Narrative video campaign: using classic storytelling elements, including character building, conflict, and resolution, such a campaign tells your brand story entertainingly and engagingly, something your viewer can easily follow and relate to
4) Animated video campaign: this kind of campaign is distinct in that it uses animation to simplify and convey concepts that are otherwise difficult to understand.
Before designing video marketing campaigns you should have one key question figured out: “how do I bring awareness to my brand using video and then convert the awareness into sales?” Next, your guiding mantra should be: attract, capture, close, and delight. Watch this helpful tutorial below to understand what exactly this means, and how you can start using it for your company:
Pro-tip: To get started with your video marketing journey and start creating videos for your brand’s ads and social media platforms, look no further than InVideo. The easy-to-use video editor has thousands of free templates, stock assets, and music to help you create stunning videos in minutes.
#2 - Content Marketing Campaigns
As per The Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent knowledge to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
A content marketing campaign involves creating and consistently putting out “knowledge” designed to inform the buyer and make them take action. Think tutorial videos, blogs, podcasts, newsletters, or informative social media posts.
For one of the best examples of content marketing from the industry, look no further than e-commerce giant Shopify, who routinely reinforces its image as the “go-to” shopping destination through its blog, YouTube channel, Instagram page and podcast.
Ideally, when you’re creating your content marketing plan, you want to work with multiple types or formats instead of using just one. This helps you diversify and repurpose your content to ensure you reach a wider audience and thereby have a better chance of getting higher conversions.
The four main types of content formats that are used in content marketing are:
1) Video: 87% of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website, and 80% of video marketers claim that video has directly increased sales.
To create videos that help you drive sales, consider signing up for a free account on InVideo to get started.
2) Images: images communicate fast, and are the dominant language used on social media platforms
3) Audio: 80% of marketers who leverage audio content and podcasts plan to invest the same amount or more budget in 2023. This shows that this content format is growing in popularity and can act as a great marketing channel.
4) Written content: Written content includes everything from blogs to website copy and it continues to be one of the most powerful ways to drive conversions via content. 56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it's effective and 10% say it generates the biggest return on investment.
The logic behind content marketing is that when a business routinely and consistently supplies buyers with information in tandem with traditional marketing, a buyer is likely to reward the business with their loyalty.
#3 - Social Media Marketing Campaign
What is a social media marketing campaign? It is a business’s way of reinforcing information about itself, the brand, product, or service, on one or multiple social media channels to generate more leads on those platforms.
According to a study, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter lead the pack as the most common social media platforms used by marketers to run their campaigns. Think Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, YouTube videos, and so on. In recent times, social media campaigns have shown tremendous promise, with about 73% of marketers claiming that running campaigns on social media has helped increase the acquisition of new customers.
Again, there are various kinds of social media campaigns that you can run. Some of these include:
1) Influencer Outreach: incentivizing popular social media users to endorse your brand
2) User-Generated Content: structuring a contest built on contributions by participants in return for rewards
3) Brand Utilities: instead of advertising to the consumer, build their trust by giving them a utility application that provides actual value
4) Podcasting: celebrity interviews or discussions about your product or brand
5) Sponsored Conversations: sponsored content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram
These campaigns are designed to elicit a certain response or feeling about the brand in social media users and are especially focused on targeting and measurability. But this list is not exhaustive. We have a detailed guide on generating leads via social media marketing that you should check out.
While creating your social media campaign, you want to start with one core platform and then branch out to other platforms to create a presence across the board. Similar to content marketing, you want to create content across multiple formats instead of just sticking to one type. Make sure you pay attention to creating video content because that can help drive conversions like nothing else. You can create social media videos quickly and easily using a platform like InVideo.
For a deeper understanding of how you can go about creating a social media marketing campaign, check out this detailed video on the subject:
#4 - Paid Marketing/Advertising Campaigns
An advertising campaign is defined as a specifically designed strategy that is carried out across different mediums to achieve desired results such as increased brand awareness, increased sales, and improved communication within a specific market. All of this is accomplished through advertising.
This essentially means that you pay for digital or print real estate to promote your campaign. Think newspaper ads, commercials, billboards, and online ads. Paid advertising is a great way to increase traffic, and in turn conversions, quickly. In comparison, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tactics take longer and you’ll usually see results months after you’ve made changes to your site. Here are some scenarios when you should consider paid advertising campaigns:
1) When you’re starting off: when you’re just setting up, it makes sense to use paid ads in order to get discovered online and offline. In the meantime you can work on your organic content to build a stronger presence for your brand.
2) When you want to expanding your reach: by using targeting options, you can reach new audiences that might not have heard about you otherwise
3) When you want to retarget existing visitors: paid ads are a great way to move people down the sales funnel by showing them ads that correspond to what they need. You can retarget people who visited your site, engaged with an ad without clicking on it, etc.
To simplify an otherwise complex marketing campaign strategy, here’s a unique example of paid advertising strategy: in 2009, Alec Brownstein, a senior copywriter looking for a new job, presumed that because most people like to search their name on Google regularly, New York’s top creative directors would too. He picked 5 to target with this idea, and bid on their names on Google AdWords; since he was the only one bidding he got clicks for just 13 cents each. His ads linked straight to his website. The result? 4 of the 5 directors invited him to an interview and 2 of those 4 offered him a job (and his entire campaign cost him a total of just $6)!
Digital paid advertising can be chiefly subdivided into Pay Per Click, Search Ads, and Display Ads while offline paid advertising can take many forms including newspaper ads, tv ads, billboard ads, and other print ads.
Watch this super helpful video tutorial on Paid Advertising below to understand each type of digital advertising better:
#5 - Product Marketing Campaigns
According to Hubspot, product marketing is the process of bringing a product to market, promoting it, and selling it to a customer. Product marketing involves understanding the product’s target audience and using strategic positioning and messaging to boost revenue and demand for the product.
A product marketing campaign generally entails creating awareness and generating demand for a particular product among existing customers or a new market. Prominent among both B2B and B2C markets, Product Marketing Campaigns touch on three key aspects: product, marketing, and sales. Such campaigns are conducted over four stages:
1. Product Positioning
2. Product Launching
3. Product Communication (to salespeople and customers)
4. Demand Generation
The chief aim of this type of marketing campaign, as the name suggests, is to drive demand and usage of the product. So how does this type of marketing campaign work? There are a few steps to a launching a product marketing campaign:
- Identifying your product market
- Creating a buyer persona
- Establishing unique positioning and messaging
- Setting product goals
- Determining product price
- And finally launching a product to market
For a more detailed look into what all a product marketing campaign entails, have a look at this helpful video:
#6 - Email Marketing Campaign
An email marketing campaign is defined as a set of individual email messages that are deployed across a specific period with one specific purpose, which is fulfilled using CTAs or calls-to-action.
Nurturing leads, keeping customers engaged, data collection about subscribers, conversions, and business growth — are some of the main purposes of email marketing campaigns. Most importantly, a successful email marketing campaign will get recipients to recipients to take action, engage with your business, and help you to get more leads and sales.
Setting up an email marketing campaign requires you to create an email list, which can be used to let your customers know about your new products, upcoming discounts, change in management, etc, and also to add value: sharing information and solutions your audience can effectively use in their day-to-day life. There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when creating your emailing list for your email marketing campaign, and they are as follows:
1) Have a twofold end goal: serving your business objective, and adding value to your users
2) Landing page: make sure you’re prepared for when your subscribers click on your email and are led to your landing page – create a way for them to see promotional content, early bird discounts, etc.
3) Use a good email service provider: this will allow you to customize emails to thousands of contacts, thereby saving you a whole lot of time
Pro tip: The word ‘video’ alone in a subject line can increase open rates by 6%; so you should consider providing emails with videos, and one way to easily create stunning videos is by using InVideo’s super intuitive and free online video editor.
To understand email marketing better, have a look at this in-depth video:
#7 - Direct Mail Marketing Campaign
A direct mail marketing campaign is a strategy marketers use to engage prospects and customers offline; this is done via printed mailers, packages, perishable items, corporate freebies, or other physical items which go straight into the audience’s mailbox. It can be used during each stage of the sales funnel.
Reportedly, nearly three-quarters of consumers feel overwhelmed by digital advertising, and one-quarter report use ad-blocking software to improve their digital experience. Direct mail marketing campaigns, on the other hand, go straight to the audience’s mailbox where their digital overwhelm will not interfere with the marketing message.
The key things you need to ensure to be successful at this type of marketing campaign style are:
1) Be interactive: adding in a promotional offer or CTA that requires the customer to do something with the mail, like bringing it over to your store, makes the customer much more likely to keep it and remember you
2) Be memorable: mail itself is a nostalgic medium these days, so cash in on the opportunity to truly stand out
3) Be personal: take advantage of this style of marketing, and try to address the mail to the person by name or add your own signature at the end
There’s truly a lot of room to get creative with this type of a marketing campaign, as is apparent from the image below.
Like Nestlé, you too could come up with a super creative, memorable and on-brand direct marketing campaign. To understand how to go about it better, have a look at this helpful explainer video.
#8 - Affiliate Marketing Campaign
“Affiliate marketing is an advertising model in which a company compensates third-party publishers to generate traffic or leads to the company’s products and services. The third-party publishers are affiliates, and the commission fee incentivizes them to find ways to promote the company” — Investopedia
Take for example Amazon Associates, Amazon’s very own affiliate marketing program wherein website hosts like bloggers who recommend Amazon products and link to them on their website earn a commission on sales which go through them. To understand this better, have a look at their model below.
Source: Amazon Associates
Known as the earliest version of influencer marketing, affiliate marketing campaigns are very much like reviews; owing to this, they come across as personal and honest, fostering trust in your brand among the readers.
How can you set up an affiliate marketing campaign? You need to do four main things: buy a domain name, build a website, create some content, and sign up for an affiliate marketing campaign. If you want to collaborate with website hosts to be your affiliate marketers, you need to first send them your products and ask them to review it on their page – but for this, you need to ensure that they are trusted sources for the audience.
For a deeper understanding of affiliate marketing campaigns, have a look at this helpful video:
#9 - Acquisition Marketing Campaign
Acquisition marketing campaigns are ways to promote products to warm audiences who will potentially convert to new customers — specifically those prospects who are in the ‘interest’ or ‘consideration’ phase of the conversion funnel. Acquisition marketing, therefore, isn’t so much concerned with brand awareness, as much as it’s about creating tactics and strategies to target consumers who are researching or considering the purchase of a product already. Generally speaking, there are four key channels marketers use to run their acquisition marketing campaigns. They are:
The most straightforward example of this type of marketing campaign? Free trial or ‘freemiums’. The logic behind this is that once you’ve invited a potential customer to interact with your product, they’re more likely to experience feelings of ownership and continue to remain loyal to your brand.
In 2020 following the Covid outbreak, for example, Down Dog, the highest-rated app for practicing yoga at home, announced free and total access to all its health and fitness apps to students and teachers until July 1, 2020, resulting in 300,000 people claiming membership.
Pro tip: To run this kind of a campaign for your own brand you will first need to spread awareness; once you have a sizable chunk of people aware of your brand, then you can remarketing ads to reach them and get them to make a purchase.
To know more about acquisition marketing, refer to this in-depth guide:
Now that you have a basic understanding of the different types of marketing campaigns you can run, it is important to understand that you rarely run any campaign in isolation. Usually, when brands run campaigns, they will focus on at least one for each tier of their sales funnel. This helps them target a larger pool of customers and move those customers from the top to the bottom of the funnel.
For instance, you will run a brand awareness campaign alongside an acquisition marketing campaign. So once people become aware of your brands through the way of content marketing or video marketing. Here’s an infographic that shows the different campaigns you can use for different tiers of the sales funnel:
Now that you’re all apprised with ‘what is a marketing campaign’ and the various types of marketing campaigns there are, let’s learn “how to create a marketing campaign”.
Although creating an entire campaign can sound intimidating, the process itself is quite easy to follow. Just remember the golden rule: begin with your end goal in mind. In this section, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to create a successful marketing campaign. We’ve categorized the guide into four stages as follows: the Planning Stage, Distribution Stage, Conversion Stage, and Assessment Stage.
Stage 1: The Planning Stage
Like most beginnings, the Planning Stage is the most fundamental stage of your campaign; the stronger this foundation is, the more hygiene you can maintain throughout the rest of your campaign. The Planning Stage is subdivided into its steps, let’s have a look at them:
Step 1: Answer the question “Why?”
Articulating the goal and purpose of your campaign before embarking upon the rest of the journey is the most crucial step.
Both questions will allow you to dig deep and define your purpose, which will guide the rest of the campaign. An easy way to brainstorm this aspect of the marketing campaign is to figure out which one from the list below aligns best with what you have in mind for your business:
1. Increase brand awareness
2. Promote a new product or service
3. Advertise an upcoming event
4. Drive or nurture leads
5. Boost user engagement
6. Gather customer feedback
7. Generate revenue
Instinctively, it might seem like you’d want to score each of these goals for your business at the same time, but you must pick one at a time to create a super streamlined and organized marketing campaign.
In this step, you could use what marketers call the SMART methodology, i.e. a Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant, and Timely goal setting. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable based on this methodology, each goal should be evaluated against its various criteria. Check out the infographic below to understand exactly how to assess your marketing campaign goals based on the SMART Methodology:
Source: Hydrate Marketing
Step 2: Decide how you’ll measure your campaign
Depending on your type of marketing campaign and the channel you plan to execute it on, you’ll have to come up with a tangible way to measure its performance and outcomes.
There’s a qualitative way to do this too: What does "success" look like for your company? Sure, it’s exciting to reach a predetermined goal, but that’s not always possible. What (outside of your goal) would constitute success for you (or serve as a milestone)?
Step 3: Determine your Target Audience
Envisioning your target audience is a key step in getting your marketing campaign right, and for that, there are some simple questions you need to be on top of:
1) What stage of the buyer’s journey are you targeting?
2) Are you bringing in new customers or are they existing clients?
3) What are the audience’s interests and pain points?
4) What kind of social media do they engage with?
5) When do they engage with their social media?
Finally, when you take yourself through this journey of identifying your audience, you’ll be able to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a fictional character which represents your audience as a person with all this baggage — think about their unique and varying lifestyles, occupations, hobbies, families, communities, education, and so on.
How does this help? When you sit down to craft your marketing campaign, you’ll do so thinking of it from the perspective of the persona/audience you are trying to attract.
Step 4: Set a Budget
Now that you know the goals of your campaign, you’re ready to determine a budget. If you are advertising a product or service, it will be helpful to know the purchasing power of your audience so you can estimate a return for your marketing investment. This will help you determine how much you can spend on the campaign while still making a profit.
It is important to set a realistic budget that is both big enough to effectively communicate your message to your audience and small enough to maintain your profit margins. You should also ensure that you can cover the cost of the campaign being planned.
Stage 2: The Distribution Stage
Here comes the exciting part of your campaign, the one where you decide on communication. How and where will your audiences see your marketing materials? Let’s have a look at the steps you ought to take in this stage.
Step 1: Choose your channels
Based on your audience preferences, brand engagement levels, your budget, and other factors like your current media channels and their performances, you will have to decide where you’d like to run your marketing campaign. The logical thing would be to combine where your content performs best, and where your audiences tend to spend most of their time.
One methodology that helps with this step is the PESO methodology, i.e. Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned. PESO is a means of segmenting all of the marketing channels at your disposal into discrete groups. This allows one to look at their efforts through any one of the four lenses (paid, earned, shared, owned), and see if there are opportunities to integrate additional channels into their new or existing programs. The PESO model also allows marketers to understand and organize the channels in which they are currently investing.
Let’s break down each aspect of the methodology further:
- Paid: Exchanging money for distribution, whether an ad or content
- Earned: Trading valuable content for an established authority’s audience
- Shared: Amplifying content through your own audience
- Owned: Aggregating an audience that seeks you out for content and then distributing your content to that audience
Pro tip: The real success of the PESO model lies in combining the four outlined channels, so make sure you benefit from the PESO model by taking a big step back and posing the question: “How could I accomplish my objectives using the other components of the PESO model?”
Step 2: Set a Campaign Timeline
Marketing campaigns and the hundreds of details that go into them can easily slip into chaos, if not bound by a systematic and well organized timeline, or what is popularly known as a campaign calendar. So how do you go about it? Build a general campaign timeline, mark your campaign start date and deadline, take a look at your marketing assets and chosen promotional marketing channels and work backward from the campaign launch date. Based on your resources, how often can you afford to post and promote your campaign content? With this information, create a promotional calendar for each marketing channel.
Good marketing calendars come in different shapes and sizes, like:
- Spreadsheets: spreadsheets are universal and generally super accessible, customizable, clean and simple, and are therefore a great way to keep your marketing calendar digital without specialized marketing tools
- Print calendars: if you’re a marketing specialist who needs a print version of everything (to annotate, scratch out, etc) print calendars are a great way to chart the timeline of your marketing campaign. As your team expands, however, you’ll likely want a digital version to share the calendar and make changes more easily
- Google Calendar: you can build super organized, color-coded editorial calendars in Google Calendar for different campaigns, recurring slots, weekly content, etc.
- Marketing/Content calendar tools: dedicated marketing calendar tools are incredibly efficient ways to organize and stay on top of high-performing marketing campaigns; this is because they are intuitively built to make planning easier.
Visually mapping your marketing campaign, like in the example above, will help you evenly disperse your campaign promotions and publish equally on each medium. It’ll also give you an idea of where your time and energy are going so that you can look back when assessing the effectiveness of your campaign.
Step 3: Start executing consistently
The execution is the most important part of your distribution. You can plan all you like but unless you’re putting the content out, there is very little that you’ll gain from your efforts. For this, you will need to create a process that allows you to create, post, and measure consistently.
Stage 3: The Conversion Stage
Step 1: Make sure you include a solid call to action
This step is all about calibrating your marketing efforts and channels to lead your customers to complete your desired goal such as a website, a freebie, a landing page, or a lead form. By directing them, you can measure the efficacy of your marketing effort as well as gather more information about your audience so you can further target your efforts. For instance, a call to action can take up different forms:
- Text hyperlink
- Plain text with no link
For instance in this email example below, you have the purple button with the call to action to download the image pack. It is clearly visible and grabs the reader’s attention instantly.
Source: Black Illustrations
Step 2: Convince you buyer and make their purchase easy
Two things are extremely important at this stage: convincing your lead that your product is solving their problem, and removing any potential obstacles that might prevent them from making a purchase.
So firstly, make sure your campaign answers these fundamental questions: What can your product do that others in the same price bracket cannot? What support and benefits does your company offer its customers?
Secondly, don’t make it difficult for people to check out (especially with the precondition of creating an account on your site); offer one-click signup to users through their social media accounts instead. For instance, on Myntra’s website, you can directly sign up by just providing your mobile number and getting an OTP:
Pro tip: The best thing you can do once your buyer clicks Check Out is to make your payment gateway form as quick, comfortable, and painless as you possibly can. This means not asking for too much information, providing multiple options for common as well as alternative payment preferences.
Step 3: Selling and post sale behavior
Once your campaign has led to the end goal, what post sale behavior would work best for your company moving forward? Logically, you’d want to keep in touch and build loyalty with your audience. Towards both these ends, mailing lists, social media connections, and recommendations go a long way.
Mailing list: make sure you get customers to sign up to be on your emailing list and incentivize it for them by sending out discount coupons, content, etc. (but make sure you’re not bombarding them too much)
Social Media Connections: make sure your customer knows what benefits they’ll gain by following your social media channels and give them the extra content on these channels they wouldn’t get elsewhere
Recommendations: customers who have just spent money on your product are more likely to buy again, so take advantage of this, and show them recommendations for similar products post-purchase to “upsell” your customers on another add-on, plug-in, or accompanying product
Stage 4: The Assessment Stage
The post-campaign stage determines your success just as much as the planning stage. Measuring and analyzing your campaign data can provide unique insight into your audience, marketing channels, and budget. It will also inform future campaigns.
The campaign effectiveness metrics you’ll monitor will depend on what type of marketing campaign you’re running and what channels you’ve chosen. This section merely serves as a baseline list to give you an idea of what to watch.
Also, it’s tempting to focus on vanity metrics like generated traffic, click-through rate, and impressions. A bump in these areas is a good thing, but since they don’t necessarily indicate a bump in revenue, they can’t be the only metrics used to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
Step 1: Quantify your outcomes
Always remember, there are two types of successes too: a campaign that works and a campaign that’s worthwhile. A worthwhile campaign gives you an ROI that’s proportionate to the time and energy you put into it. So for instance, if you got a 50k increase in traffic on the blog but you had to spend way more time on it that you couldn’t look at other aspects of your business, it was not a worthwhile campaign. Find the most efficient way of getting to your goals.
The easy way to figure this out is to understand whether or not your campaign met the initial SMART goals you outlined in step one. If it did, great! If it didn’t, you can explore the data you’ve gathered to assess why. You can use a tool like Ahrefs to determine blog traffic. It showcases the metrics clearly:
If your goal was to increase your organic blog views by 50K, you should determine your success by how close you were able to get to that goal. Increasing the goals little by little, say 25k, is a move in the right direction, but this tells you that you need to go that extra mile and tweak the strategy to make it to the 50k goal mark. If on the other hand, you end up surpassing the 100k mark, congratulations — you know you’re moving in the right direction and should continue to do what you’re doing!
Step 2: Analyze the data you’ve gathered
When you analyze and apply your data, its value increases tenfold — not only will it help you measure and assess your campaign results, but it’ll also give you direction and clarity on your audiences, marketing methods, creative abilities, and more. Collectively, this data can equip you to not only meet your campaign goal but also expand your marketing efforts as a whole.
Step 3: If necessary, compare with the competition
Not all campaigns will skyrocket you to success. If your campaign did not have as much success as you hoped or expected, go over your actions in detail and simultaneously start looking at the marketing strategies of your competitors who were successful.
After collecting your data, spend time with your team in a retrospective meeting and try to learn from whatever might have gone wrong.
This concludes the end of the how to create a marketing campaign question. Next up, we’ll look at some great industry examples of a variety of successful marketing campaigns.
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on everything to do with marketing campaigns, from the question ‘what is a marketing campaign’ to how can you create a marketing campaign, it’s time to learn from some real-life examples. In this section, we’ll show you our top 10 marketing campaigns that elaborate on why they’ve been effective in their goals, and their outcomes.
As a bonus, we’re also adding ready-to-edit video templates and tools for you to emulate some of these marketing campaigns. So let’s dive right in!
Remember the McDonald’s story we started this blog with? Here’s a deeper dive into their stellar marketing campaign “I’m lovin’ it!”
According to this in-depth article by then CMO Larry Light, the McDonald’s campaign was all about two goals: to restore brand relevance and rebuild trust.
Towards that end, they dug deep and realized that three target groups would help them reach these goals, namely moms, kids, and young adults. McDonald’s went beyond Happy Meals and Play Places, and adopted a new identity at the center of their brand — “forever young”. All of this planning culminated in the phrase “I’m lovin it!”, and an aural dimension, the five notes “ba da ba pa pa”, which have endured ever since!
To cut across borders, true to its international identity, restaurant designs were developed in France, McCafé came from Australia, packaging from England, and the foundational theme of “I’m lovin it” came from a small agency in Unterhaching, Germany.
Check out some of McDonald’s TV commercials from the time below!
Along with their commercials, franchisees the world over initiated a variety of marketing programs as a part of the larger marketing campaign, like the “Open Doors” program in France, where McDonald’s opened their doors to children, teachers, and parents so they could visit for a behind the scenes view, learn about the food, how it was delivered, prepared and served. This program was expanded to other countries too.
The results? Attitudes turned around, declining sales trends reversed, and employee morale turned positive. Three years after the launch of “I’m lovin’ it” the share price went from a low of $13 to $45. Today, the stock is trading around $175, down from a high of over $215 before the Covid crisis.
Pro tip: Back in the early 2000s, creating video commercials was a tedious process. But today you can create TV-quality ads for your brand within minutes using a tool like InVideo that offers thousands of templates and millions of stock assets, making it easier than ever for you to produce top-notch content.
2. Snickers’ You’re Not You When You’re Hungry (2010-2016)
Similar to McDonald’s, from 2007 to 2009, the chocolate giant Snickers lagged behind other global chocolate brands, losing market share. To keep its position as the world’s leading chocolate bar, Snickers launched its popular social media marketing campaign “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” with the hashtag #EatASnickers
Depicting people lashing out, losing their minds, and even turning into different people because they were “hangry” (angry because of hunger), Snickers presented a solution: #EatASnickers, satisfy your hunger and return to your normal selves.
The company decided to launch their commercial in a quintessentially American way: at the Superbowl 2010, featuring US actress, comedian, TV personality and author Betty White. With its massive audience and live-viewing experience, the Super Bowl is an environment that rewards populist work and generates huge amounts of conversation on social media.
This straightforward and action-oriented social media marketing campaign won awards at every major creative gathering, including the Emmys, but more importantly fulfilled the campaign’s main goals: local fame, penetrations, and sales. Look at their goals breakdown below to understand how they organized their story branched into their main goals:
Source: Campaign US
Their local campaign was such a huge hit, that international partners took up their own offshoots. In the UK, Snickers used Twitter to launch the campaign — Five celebrities sent four out-of-character tweets, before revealing in a fifth tweet that they had been hungry and needed a Snickers.
The results? The ad worked its way into popular culture, appearing in political satire, memes, and tweets, and generated 400 million incremental and unpaid media impressions with a media value equal to $28.6 million—11.4 times our initial investment.
Pro-tip: When you run larger marketing campaigns, as the one Snickers did, you also need to keep the buzz on by keeping the conversation alive on social media and other online content channels. Short, snappy videos are a great way to do this and for making these videos you can sign up for a free account with InVideo and get access to thousands of customizable templates that can help reduce the amount of time you need to invest in creating video content.
3. The Robert F. Kennedy School For Visual Arts and Humanities – Mission Campaign
As we’ve seen in the types of marketing campaigns section, marketing campaigns aren’t always about selling products; in fact, they’re often about expressing your company’s core values or increasing brand awareness. When the RFK School for Visual Arts and Humanities (SVAH) decided to up their marketing game, they went far beyond the usual campus souvenirs and commissioned Lemonlight to create promotional videos, who in turn came up with a promotional miniseries video marketing campaign for the school. Have a look at it below.
The miniseries keeps it short, sweet, and engaging, highlighting sound bites that tell viewers exactly what the school stands for, all while maintaining their attention. The campaign quickly answers the questions: what, why, and how; helping the viewer get key pieces of information in a fun and interesting way. Most importantly, the school wanted this series to showcase its “vision”, which is what the campaign does.
Pro-tip: Videos that reflect the brand ethos, vibe, and spirit can go a long way in establishing the flavor of your campaign, creating resonance, and helping in brand awareness. If you’re an educational organization looking for a quick way to create this kind of a video, use this video impression below for your brand on International Students Day as it touches the right chord of propagating the spirit of education.:
Source: Really Good Emails
Asana is a case study in successful email marketing campaigns. Web and mobile work management platform, Asana works with a core set of goals: to empower teams to do great things together, deliver value, and get results. They realize these goals via their email campaigns.
Asana sends three types of emails:
- Transactional: Think updates on tasks and projects
- Marketing Campaigns: Onboarding, drip, newsletters
- Blog Subscriptions: Updates
According to their vice president, this helps them deliver value effectively. For new users, this involves communicating how product features can help them track their work better and get more done. For customers who already love Asana, they use email to help them collaborate better across teams and their company. When more people at a company use Asana, the more value each individual gets from the tool.
Source: Really Good Emails
Key Takeaway: Don’t overwhelm your subscribers by emailing too often, but stick to the schedule you’ve promised them. Don’t be afraid to ask for subscriber input on email scheduling via a poll or survey. You can also offer an “opt down” option for those who love your emails but don’t want to get them as often.
Emails with videos tend to perform twice as well as emails without videos. So if you want to improve the reach and impact of your email marketing campaigns, consider using videos. You can easily create these using templates from InVideo. Simply sign up for a free account and get access to thousands of templates and millions of stock assets.
5. Hubspot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report
Hubspot churns out some incredible acquisition marketing campaigns; one of them is their report-based acquisition marketing one. By figuring out that their target audience comprises mostly marketing managers, they knew they could use reports to market their Marketing Hub Enterprise product relaunch. Thus was born “Not Another State of Marketing Report”.
In exchange for market stats and insights, Hubspot asked for user info, in a move commonly used for “gated content” where leads have to enter their emails in exchange for access to the content.
How did they promote this campaign?
1. They zeroed in on the perfect tone: confidence
2. They got the visual language to be beautiful, coherent and cohesive across platforms (webpage to PDF)
3. They used and optimized the PESO methodology
So always remember, when thinking about the question ‘what is a marketing campaign’, know that the possibilities are endless and come in all shapes and sizes.
6. The Dove Real Beauty Sketches
For obvious reasons, this emotional roller coaster of a marketing campaign remains one of Dove’s most popular campaigns. Launched on YouTube in 2013, this marketing campaign was designed to come across as a conversation, according to Anselmo Ramos of Ogilvy Brazil.
The chief goal behind the campaign, Dove had stated, was to “make women feel better about themselves”, which in turn is in line with their inclusive marketing mantra “every body is beautiful”.
The results? More than 50 million people viewed the Dove video within 12 days of its release, and to date, Real Beauty Sketches has been viewed almost 180 million times.
If you’re looking for an easy, time-saving way to create a thoughtful, beautiful video campaign spotlighting women and inclusivity like Dove’s, try this free video template; you can edit it to your liking by choosing music and changing the copy to fit your campaign goals.
7. Canva Design Challenge
Canva is one of the flag bearers of user-generated content campaigns. They have an ongoing Canva Design Challenge that helps them execute this to perfection.
This collective, inclusive, fun, and creative campaign finds roots in the company’s core vision of helping everyone create amazing designs in just a few clicks. The campaign is straightforward, consistent, and exciting; executed on Instagram and Twitter, the rules of the challenge are easy:
1. Participants have to create a design in Canva inspired by the proposed theme
2. Share the design and tag it with #canvadesignchallenge
3. Canva will showcase their favorite designs on their feed
Every week there is a new theme, and winners receive a one-year subscription to Canva Pro and a $50 Canva print voucher. By running this campaign, Canva not only became widely popular and loved, but it also found out a couple of important things, including the fact that #canvadesignchallenge performed better on Instagram than Twitter, with an average engagement rate per post of 0.236%, even though there were fewer Instagram posts than tweets.
To facilitate the influx of user-generated content for your own brand, you need to find a way for a mass audience to interact with your product. This can be in the form of challenges like Canva has done or the way Instagram used to do with the Weekend Hashtag Challenge. Alternatively, you can also facilitate interaction through creating interactive content and having great CTAs that compel people to act on them. Creating videos is a great way of facilitating interaction. You can take the help of tools like InVideo to make interactive videos for your social channels using templates and stock media.
8. Metro Trains - Dumb Ways to Die
Remember animated marketing campaigns? Complex topics explained in simple terms? ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ is a fine example of such campaigns and how far ideas can go. At 151 million views on YouTube, ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ has a simple animation style but a pretty profound message: practice Metro safety.
The idea behind this Australian public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains received an array of awards in Cannes, widespread positive press, and global recognition due to its hummable, oddly soothing tune.
This just proves that you don’t necessarily have to go to Superbowl to have your marketing campaign succeed. As long as you have a solid idea, you can bring your campaigns to life using social media platforms.
And if you’re looking to emulate animated videos as created by Metro Trains Australia, look no further than InVideo, which allows you to create videos with animated elements quickly and easily. In fact, here is an intro template that can help you get started.
9. Share a Coke
Where marketing campaigns go, this one’s a great example of a multichannel rollout. Originally introduced in the Australian market in 2011, this campaign had a simple goal: to get people talking about Coke, which would hopefully lead to increased consumption.
Source: Coca Cola
Coke began “Share a Coke” through newspapers and TV commercials. But it was through its social media campaigns, particularly Facebook, that the campaign really started gaining traction. According to y MarketingMag.com, “Participation and mass sharing was achieved through Facebook, which provided consumers with the tools to connect. Consumers were invited to SMS a friend’s name, which was projected live onto the iconic Coca-Cola sign at Sydney’s King’s Cross. They then received an MMS enabling them to share their friend’s name up in lights, via Facebook and email.”
Source: Coca Cola
Results? Coca Cola consumption increased significantly during the campaign, up by 7%, making 2011 the most successful summer for the brand. The campaign earned a total of more than 18,300,000 media impressions. Traffic on the Coke Facebook site increased by 870% too, and the Facebook page following grew by 39%.
This campaign is a testament to the power of Facebook when it comes to rolling out marketing campaigns, but of course if your specific campaign goals fall within the ambit of all that is possible on the social network. To leverage the platform for your own brand campaigns, check out this detailed guide on using Facebook. And to create stellar videos for your campaigns, sign up for a free account on InVideo to get started.
10. The Theatre Academy: Macbeth
Source: WDM Online
Print isn’t dead, and when executed perfectly it can give make your marketing campaigns memorable. Imagine receiving a piece of popular art in your mailbox one morning, inviting you to watch a literary masterpiece.
The British Theatre Academy made that happen; it used a fantastic direct mail marketing campaign to achieve one simple goal: promote their Macbeth show.
How did they do this? Having printed a big red M in the style of McDonald’s signature arches on paper bags, The Academy sent the bags out filled with goodies to an array of customers. By doing so, they quite literally got the show to everybody’s lips! As far as talking points go, they very much fulfilled their campaign goal.
Having looked at all these great examples, you should realize and be able to fully appreciate that there are so many answers to the question what is a marketing campaign — the variety of marketing campaigns we’ve seen from the world of marketing are endless, but it's always possible to find one that you need if you know exactly what you want!
As you’ve probably gauged by now, marketing campaigns require a great deal of effort, ideas, budgets, and time; but if done right, they yield huge rewards. With this blog we’ve not only helped you with a detailed answer to the question’ what is a marketing campaign’, but also the different types of marketing campaigns and the best industry examples to inspire your journey.
Feel free to keep coming back to these stories to understand them better, and if you’d like to continue reading more on the topic of marketing, check out this blog for some more super effective tips on marketing strategy.
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