If You Promote It, They Will Come: Putting A Spotlight On Your Digital Campaigns
It's not enough to simply launch a great campaign -- contributor Andy Lombard explains how to build momentum for your digital promotions.
So, you’ve created a great campaign. Maybe you’re running a sweepstakes, promoting a new product launch or co-branding with another business to cross-pollinate audiences.
Whatever your goal, you’re confident that the campaign content, format and strategy all work together to present a highly compelling message. You’re ready to launch across every channel.
The only question now is: How do you make sure everyone notices?
We’ve all heard the quote, “If you build it, they will come,” from the baseball movie Field of Dreams. But while that might have worked in Hollywood, it’s certainly not true in marketing.
Sure, some brands stumble on lucky breaks and find themselves with a windfall of attention. But most of us need to promote ourselves — even when it means promoting our promotions. Fail to do so, and you might as well throw a party and not send out invitations.
To get your campaign noticed, consider these strategic ways to claim the spotlight.
Advertise On Your Sites. Give your campaign some good real estate on your website with a strong call-to-action, image and link. Don’t forget about your microsites; today’s consumer spends nearly 60 percent of their time online on their smartphone.
Socialize It. Add your campaign to your Facebook page as a featured app and keep it prominently displayed. Post links and create special hashtags to spur conversation around the campaign.
Remember that different platforms will demand different messages; Facebook would be the right place for a brief post with some background on the campaign, while Twitter would be good for announcing quick updates, reminders and contest winners.
Connect Offline & Online. Don’t forget about your offline promotions. Print and TV ads can include hashtags and calls-to-action, while QR codes and unique tracking URLs can also drive leads out of your stores and into your online world.
Get People Talking. Bloggers and influencers are in a position to spread the word. In fact, 42 percent of consumers look to blogs for brand and purchase information. So, if you’re running a major, months-long sweepstake with a great prize or launching a big new product, see if you can get a mention on high-traffic blogs or news sites.
Keep In Touch. Before you launch your campaign, set up a retargeting service. Plenty of the visitors dropping by your campaign won’t have the time or motivation to follow through right then; retargeting keeps you uppermost in their minds and increases the likelihood of later action. One study found that retargeting can boost response up to 400 percent.
Find Out What’s Working. Watch your analytics to see which outreach is most effective. Don’t assume one channel is outperforming another. You might find that Facebook posts inspired few click-throughs, but your Twitter links drove more visits.
Make A YouTube Video. Even a quick video about your campaign can help gain traction. Studies have shown that YouTube drives the most engaged traffic. That includes the lowest average bounce rate at 43 percent, the highest pages per visit at almost 3 percent, and the longest visit duration.
Promotion In Action
So, let’s say you’ve co-branded with a local sports team for a sweepstakes promotion. By taking and posting photos of themselves with your product, contestants are eligible to win a grand prize of playoff tickets; weekly winners receive other game tickets and team merchandise. But while the incentive to participate is obvious, you still need to spread the word.
Your first move: stoking interest before the campaign launch. You start by dropping hints on your social accounts and websites that an incredible new sweepstakes is on the way. Then you post an image of a player from the sports team holding your product without any explanation on social media — and your fans and followers start guessing what it could mean.
Because there’s a fair amount of interest in both your brand and the sports team, you share news of the promotion with sports bloggers, local news outlets and other influencers. When the campaign launches, some of those outlets mention the sweepstake while you and the other brand both email your fanbase and pepper Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms with details.
You unleash a quick but irresistible promotion for your microsite and apps, along with a short YouTube video, and feature the campaign prominently on your websites. To keep interest running at fever pitch, you continue to stoke the fire by tweeting reminders about prizes, announcing weekly winners and sharing the photo entries across social media.
All the while, the sports team marketers are mirroring all of these actions, so that you’re driving traffic to each other’s sites and social accounts. This continues even after the sweepstakes ends, when you announce the grand prize winners and hint at upcoming promotions to loop your new fans into another cycle of engagement.
None of this is incredibly complicated. It’s just a matter of reaching out as widely as possible. In the sea of noise that is the digital landscape, even a clever and visually beautiful campaign can go ignored — so once you build it, make sure the whole world knows about it.