3 Digital Marketing Campaigns By UK Companies and What Made Them So Successful

In such a fast paced, technology obsessed world, digital marketing is now the most efficient and engaging way to connect with consumers. But even the original digital marketing methods that came with the technology boom are starting to lose their touch, with calls for fresh new concepts of communication to reach and engage customers. These three UK companies did just that, launching three digital marketing campaigns that took off thanks to creativity and forward thinking.

The Campaign: ‘Littlewoods Live’ Facebook Video Marketing

Littlewoods, a previously well-known UK high street and catalogue name, now operates online only from a large purpose built ecommerce website. Although they were still a household name, they found they were struggling to build/maintain relationships between the brand and the customer due to the lack of shop floor, sales representatives, etc. TV ads were high cost and limited in terms of measurement/feedback and viral stunts were often all too soon forgotten.

They called in Dot.Talent, and the solution they decided upon was to do what no other UK retailer had ever done before. They streamed a live hour-long show hosted by and endorsed by celebrities on Facebook. The social format, which was enabled by an application called OpenGraph, allowed Facebook viewers to interact by posting feedback and questions for the celebrities, which were answered in real-time as the show progressed. The viewer activity reached a large secondary audience as the viewers grew and the broadcast went on. The app was also mobile optimised, allowing people to view the show and interact from tablet and smart phone devices.

Here's a highlights video from various Littlewoods Live episodes:

Why Was It So Successful?

The campaign brought a new meaning to the phrase ‘video marketing’ and the exciting new format was one of the main reasons it was a success. People enjoyed the thrill of the live show, but the edited versions placed on YouTube and the Littlewoods website gained equal attention as people wanted to see what they missed or just relive the show.

It took on the format of a lifestyle show, and the live celebrity presence and opportunity for interaction was another draw for audiences, with 2,223 comments being posted in just 1 hour during the Christmas 2012 broadcast, which is around the average volume of interaction you would expect on Twitter during a prime-time lifestyle show. This demonstrated that with the right initiative, online shoppers can feel the same emotional involvement and loyalty with online brands as they would with high street brands. 

The first week sales of the collection featured in the first broadcast were increased by 292%, breaking the company’s own personal record. This success led to all episodes from number 2 onwards being entirely funded by sponsorship and advertising, allowing Littlewoods to become the broadcaster rather than the brand. They also gained £250,000 worth of ‘earned’ press thanks to the first show alone.

The Campaign: The Co-operative’s ‘Join the revolution’

The Co-operative were feeling a distinct lack of engagement with their audience, and tasked TBWA Manchester with creating a fresh, multi-platform campaign that could reach their diverse audience and encourage engagement with the brand across platforms.

The ‘Join The Revolution’ campaign was created, spanning TV, press and social media, positioning the brand as one of the most socially responsible companies in the UK, having first established themselves in 1844 and being owned and driven by their customers. The campaign involved a 60 second TV advertisement aimed at encouraging customers to be more conscious and create a more sustainable future, and the social media and press further backed up this call to action, with all aspects of the campaign directing people to the web portal on which they could do their bit to aid the revolution.

Here's the TV ad that featured as part of the multi-platform campaign:

 Why Was It So Successful?

The multi-platform campaign rightly won the Best Digital Marketing Campaign 2012 award, as it touched on current and emotional issues for consumers. Everyone is striving to do their bit to help create a better future, and the campaign offered a choice of ways to help, from individual and local community causes to larger causes such as Fairtrade.

The fact that the campaign was multi-platform helped them to reach a wider audience than if they had chosen to stick with just a TV ad or simply social media, and brought together people from all walks of life with one common goal; to ‘join the revolution’.

The campaign resulted in 365,000 visits to the web portal and 42,000 sign-ups. Their Facebook page saw a 400% increase in fans and there were also 310 new ‘revolutions’ created by individuals to compete for a £5,000 funding grant from the Co-op, which was voted for entirely by the UK public.  

The Campaign: Hive Bookstores – The World’s First Online-Local Book Shopping Experience

Creative agency Tangent Snowball designed and built the world’s first online network for local bookshops. The recent shift to online shopping and society’s new found reliance on technology has led to many local book shops struggling to get people through their doors. Yet as a society we are still very conscious of supporting local economy and want to shop local when possible.

Why Was It So Successful?

Hive launched as an Amazon-esque entertainment ecommerce site but with a difference, it brings together all the products stocked by shops in your local area, and offers a ‘browse and pay online, pick-up in store’ service that is a world first, giving us the best of both worlds. It is marketed as the place where you can ‘shop locally, online’, appealing to both our sense of gratification from giving custom to local sellers and our need for the fast paced convenience of buying online.

The success of its launch is not only put down to seamlessly marrying passion and convenience, but it was also down to the branding and how the word was spread digitally. The clever branding played on people’s passion for local products, and encouraged people to find that passion within them who may not have felt so strongly about it before. The sense of feeling you are giving something back to the community, much like with Co-op’s ‘Join The Revolution’ campaign, can be a powerful emotion to harness for marketing, and with the use of social media to spread the word on a global basis, the website was an early and continued success.

If you like this story, do share and tweet me @annmariehanlon, and share with me your own thoughts on these campaigns and others!

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