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6 Creative and Engaging Marketing Projects We Can Learn From blo m /post /55178204461/6-creat ive-and-engaging-market ing-project swe-can-learn

Direct mail, insert s, and t o so me ext ent , even T V and magazine advert ising. What do all o f t hese t hings have in co mmo n? If you ans we re d, “The y’re large ly re lics of the pas t," you’ve won this round. While many olde r forms of adve rtis ing do s urvive in s ome form, the re al he art of conte mporary marke ting lie s in online conte nt s trate gie s , which have the pote ntial to de e ply e ngage followe rs and cre ate unique and loyal re lations hips with gre ate r rapidity and e ffe ctive ne s s than any othe r me dium. But a s ucce s s ful online marke ting campaign re quire s more than s pe e d typing a thre e line blogpos t. To re ce ive , you’ve got to give —notably, more than your compe titors both in your indus try and in the online s pace . The following 6 cre ative and e ngaging marke ting campaigns are gre at e xample s of how to do jus t that. Le t’s take a look for a little ins piration.

1. S imply Business’ S mall Business Guide t o YouT ube

Some time s , the be s t tool in your marke ting box is knowle dge . No, not knowle dge about your product, but knowle dge that fills any information and s kills gaps your cus tome rs may have . That’s jus t what s mall bus ine s s ins urance provide r, Simply Bus ine s s , doe s with its Knowle dge & Community Ce nte r, which fe ature s in-de pth re s ource s like this YouTube guide . He re , s mall bus ine s s owne rs can find guide s and tips to ans we r any numbe r of que s tions and arm the ms e lve s with s kills the y can active ly apply to the ir bus ine s s e s . The YouTube guide is large ly re pre s e ntative of the re s ource ce nte r, providing e xte ns ive re s ource s within this modular, flowchart guide , without s acrificing functionality or be coming too de ns e . This re s ource ce nte r is notable not jus t for the we alth of he lpful information it provide s , but als o be caus e it’s cons tructe d around what its cus tome r bas e wants , not what the company wants to impos e on its cus tome rs . This builds trus t and re s pe ct as we ll as an e xpe rtis e re putation, as it will make followe rs fe e l the company re ally knows what s mall bus ine s s e s ne e d. Lesson Learned: Provide your customers with helpful, in-depth resources, and they’ll reward you with loyalty, engagement, and evangelism. [Twe e t this ]

2. S harpie’s T wit t er Campaign

What do you do whe n you dis cove r an untappe d marke t of young us e rs , looking for cre ative s timulation? He ad to Twitte r, of cours e . Or at le as t, that’s what the e ve r dynamic and e ngaging brand, Sharpie , did with the ir re ce nt Twitte r campaign, which invite d us e rs to s hare the ir cre ative work as we ll as the ir conve rs ations about cre ativity by adding the has htags #s harpie and #uncapwhats ins ide . The company s pre ad the word firs t through promote d twe e ts and the n us e d the has htags to promote the ir e qually e ngaging “Ge t Ins pire d" YouTube playlis ts , which fe ature d inte rvie ws with artis ts us ing the brand. Be fore long, the company was gaining 1,000 followe rs pe r day, for a 6-fold incre as e by the e nd of the campaign. Lesson Learned: People want to create; be their excuse to do so [Twe e t this ], whether through a strategic hashtag or a contest calling for user submissions. And for the greatest benefits, don’t forget to fold these activities into your wider marketing campaigns, a la Sharpie’s YouTube videos.

3. S impliS af e’s Digit al S ecurit y Quiz Ofte ntime s , to ge t buye rs inte re s te d in your product, you ne e d to te ll the m why anything you s ay is of us e to the m. Try to do that through an ad, and pote ntial buye rs can fe e l like you’re that one child in the room dancing around and s houting, “Look at me , look at me e e e !" Do it, on the othe r hand, through a de vice that re ve als s ome thing about the cus tome r, and you’ll s us tain inte re s t for much gre ate r pe riods of time . That’s the logic be hind SimpliSafe ’s e ngaging digital s e curity quiz , which te lls us e rs about the ir company through the le ns of the ir individual digital habits . Ste p by s te p, que s tion by que s tion, quiz take rs e xamine the ir online habits and re ce ive e xpe rt ans we rs to fill in the blanks . In this way, the quiz is he lpful and it establishes the company as a knowledgeable industry expert. And who wouldn’t want to share this on social media? Lesson Learned: Provide customers with helpful and revealing information by focusing on them first [Twe e t this ], and by tapping into all of the intrinsic motivation associated with gamification. This way, customers will much more actively engage.

4. Et sy’s Guest Pinners While mos t bus ine s s e s know the y s hould have a pre s e nce on Pinte re s t, the y ofte n don’t know what the y s hould pin, e s pe cially if the y don’t fall in the life s tyle or food cate gory. Jus t follow the le ad of Ets y, the online marke tplace for s mall, inde pe nde nt crafts pe ople . The company pins both fe ature s of its own products and a wide range of pins from gue s t pinne rs . This ke e ps pins fre s h, e ngaging and unique , and fits with Ets y’s goal of us ing Pinte re s t not jus t for s ale s but for ins piration. That s aid, whe n the company is pinning products for s ale on the s ite , the y make s ure to include prope r attribution, s o the product cre ator will be more like ly to make a s ale . Lesson Learned: Sure, with their crafty focus, Etsy and Pinterest make a natural fit, but you can have just as much success with a guest pinning program, which is almost a visual form of guest blogging [Twe e t this ]. The more you develop relationships with guest pinners, the more they’ll promote your brand in turn, and you’ll have a proper Pinterest content strategy.

5. Columbia S port swear’s Great Moment s in T rying S t uf f Video Campaign The re ’s product te s ting, and the n the re ’s product te s ting. One is run of the mill, the one is s o hilarious and e pic, it’s got to be its own vide o campaign. The Columbia Gre at Mome nts campaign is firmly the latte r, fe aturing ridiculous product te s ts , like how we ll be ans drain through a s hoe . The te s ts are always re le vant to the product—the s hoe , for ins tance , is s pe cifically de s igne d to drain s we at—the y’re jus t te s te d in a cle arly s illy manne r. This de mons trate s the company’s down to e arth nature and willingne s s to poke fun at its e lf, the pe rfe ct formula for promoting brand loyalty and e vange lis m. Of cours e , the company promote d the s e vide os ve ry we ll on s ocial me dia us ing the has htags #gre atmome nts and #tryings tuff to furthe r e ngage us e rs . Lesson Learned: Don’t be afraid to poke fun at your own brand with silly product tests, or other creative approaches [Twe e t this ]. Just make sure whatever you produce is within your brand voice and style.

6. McDonald’s Canada’s Our Food. Your Quest ions

Social me dia is a gate way to your cus tome rs , but what lie s on the othe r e nd of that gate is n’t always a public re lations s pe cialis ts ’ dre am. No brand knows this be tte r than McDonald’s , whos e #McDStorie s Twitte r campaign was me t with wide s pre ad de ris ion online . The ne gative s torie s far outnumbe re d the pos itive one s , with cus tome rs re porting finding finge rnails in the ir food, s e e ing rats in the kitche n, and gaining we ight. That, howe ve r, didn’t s top McDonald’s Canada from launching a much s avvie r campaign calle d, “Our food. Your que s tions ." The conce pt was s imple : Cus tome rs we re allowe d to as k or s e arch for any que s tions , and the company would re s pond as frankly as pos s ible . The campaign was a mas s ive s ucce s s , with thous ands of que s tions s ubmitte d s o far, and a gre at boos t to the company’s image . Note that the ke y diffe re nce he re was that the company dire ctly as ke d for the ir cus tome rs ’ true e xpe rie nce s and re s ponde d in kind, rathe r than twe e ting ove rly nos talgic and cle arly comme rcial twe e ts like , “‘Whe n u make s ome thing w/pride , pe ople can tas te it,’ - McD potato s upplie r." Lesson Learned: While you may not be able to afford to hire a team of customer service representatives to answer a slew of questions, you can still take the message of transparency to heart. Why not hold an hour long, Reddit style AMA on social media? Alternatively, you could host a regular event on your company blog, like, “Your Questions Tuesdays" and tackle one important question at a time. The more you respond to all questions, good or bad, the greater the trust you’ll build [Twe e t this ].

T he T akeaway Today’s world of marketing brings with it countless new platforms and sources for inspiration. Embracing these tools will allow companies to get creative and reach formerly untappable markets, while also cementing customer loyalty. What will your next creative campaign entail? Let us know in the comments below.

About t he aut hor Luke is a Se attle bas e d write r and inte rne t marke te r who s pe cializ e s in conte nt s trate gy. Follow him on twitte r @luke clum

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