We’ve compiled some of some of the best digital marketing campaigns from 2014 to demonstrate the key principals to developing effective content online. These lessons can be applied to any content medium to help increase engagement and exposure.

 Use Cross-Channel Promotions

Chipotle has done an excellent job of remaining active across various marketing mediums. They keep audiences engaged with a beautiful website, active social presence, multiple mobile applications, television commercials, and much more. In 2014 they released a series of commercials focused around the quality and value of their brand. Our favorite was the Scarecrow campaign that did a fantastic job of bringing users across multiple platforms by pairing the video with a mobile game. By giving away a free game that mirrored the messages of the advertisement, Chipotle was able to teach users about their brand and stay top of mind through entertainment and cross-channel promotions.

Lesson Learned: Keep users engaged across multiple platforms to develop strong relationships.

Express Your Values

Seemingly out of nowhere, Volvo emerged with one of the top viral ads of the year. A TV spot with Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two Volvo trucks was used to powerfully demonstrate the stability and precision of Volvo engineering. The ad made a big statement about the brands values, but delivered them in a way that captivated users and made this ad one of the most talked about and spoofed commercials of the year. Sharing your values and making powerful statements can help identify your brand and increase industry awareness.

Lesson Learned: Openly express the core principals of your brand to develop a unique voice.

Share A New Perspective

It’s hard for a brand to reinvent itself, but under president Barack Obama’s two terms in office, the White House has leveraged social media to showcase a never-before-seen side of the leader of the free world. Leveraging a variety of platforms, the White House shared a very personable and approachable side of a president that helped influence his public image. By leveraging new mediums and releasing unique content to showcase this new perspective, they were able to influence the perception of users far beyond their social followings.

Lesson Learned: Don’t be afraid to be transparent and show your brand’s personality to develop strong bonds with users.

Obama Pool

 

Educate Using Engaging Content

Finding new opportunities to offer value to your users is a great way to develop strong bonds. American Express took that lesson to heart with the further development of their OPEN Forums network this year. American Express has always looked for ways to help business owners through furthered support and education beyond their basic service offerings. The OPEN Forums have acted as a great way to bring users together and established American Express as a thought leader and education powerhouse. By giving away knowledge and contributing resources to help users, brands can build strong, valuable relationships with their consumers.

Lesson Learned: Offering knowledge helps establish your brand’s authority as a thought leader.

American Express OPEN Forum

 

Entertain to Captivate Target Audiences

One of the best ways to produce engaging content for your brand is to entertain your users. One of our favorite entertaining campaigns of the year came from Purina in their “Dear Kitten” ads. They developed a video where a wise, veteran cat shows a new kitten the ins and outs of their domesticated home jungle. It’s an adorable campaign that both showcases their products and makes us laugh. This resulted in over 18 million views since its launch in June and has led to a variety of spin-off videos. By developing entertaining content, the likelihood of users sharing and talking about your brand is increased, and subsequently, your brand gains more recognition.

Lesson Learned: Keeping users entertained offers value and increases your brand’s reach through shareable content.

Personalize Content

Content has played a big role in digital marketing strategies this year. While producing content consistently is good, developing personalized content that speaks to audience needs is better. Despite some poor brand management this year, Uber did an excellent job of developing specialized blogs for each of their worldwide markets that speak to unique promotions and events. By personalizing content, Uber can increase engagement and test new strategies in a variety of markets. This practice is essential in developing strong bonds within your different audience segments by addressing their individual expectations of your brand.

Lesson Learned: Addressing the individual needs of unique audience segments helps personalize your brand and develop stronger connections.

Uber Local Blogs

 

Drive Offline Engagement With Online Tactics

Every brand questions the true ROI of their digital efforts. While it is important to build relationships and stay active in your digital channels, the end goal is to drive sales. Old Navy pulled off one of our favorite examples of tying social media to physical products with the launch of their flip-flop vending machine. This promotion asked users to send a tweet from the machine using #FlipFlopHurray to earn a free pair of sandals. After more than 9,000 free flip-flops distributed, Old Navy saw a rise in sales across all products and a lot of great press. This is an excellent example of how to harness the power of user-generated digital content to drive offline sales.

Lesson Learned: Tie your digital marketing efforts with offline tactics to increase user engagement.

Old Navy Flip Flop Vending Machine

Conclusion

Any content you produce and distribute reflects your brand and has the opportunity to go viral. Therefore, it is important to carefully plan your content marketing strategy to align with your brand values and goals. Understand what your audience expects from your brand and exceed their expectations in creative ways. Leverage content to position your brand and expand it’s reach both on and offline.

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