Effective Digital Marketing Awards – The Winners (Part 6).

We continue our round-up of the Effective Digital Marketing Awards winners with a look at the winning campaigns in Most Effective Video Campaign; Most Effective AR/VR Campaign; and Most Effective Search Campaign categories.

Most Effective Video Campaign
Marks & Spencer and Mindshare – Marks & Spencer’s Christmas with Paddington
The main objective here was to increase the brand’s share of voice throughout the Christmas period. This would be challenging given that Christmas is an extremely competitive period, especially for retailers, but Mindshare’s plan was to use social, alongside TV, to deliver the hero ad to a mass audience, with a target of delivering over 85m impressions and 18m video views in total.

Mindshare secured a strong content partnership with Paddington Bear, and then built a video distribution strategy, the focus of which was to maximise reach in a competitive media landscape with tease, epic launch, sustain, re-launch and maintain phases. The majority of budget was allocated towards M&S brand activity, with the remaining budget set aside for Food and Clothing-Home (CH) business units.

The execution started with a short Christmas tease on 7 November, showcasing the 90-second Hero Ad through TV, VOD, Display, Twitter First View (a Twitter feature that serves the ad to everyone who logs into twitter, enabling it to be the first ad served), Facebook and a 60-second version on Instagram. The ad targeted 25+ year olds within the UK, aiming to reach 13m people on Facebook and Instagram alone in three days.

The launch was followed by the Sustain Phase, targeting M&S’ five core audiences and all channels at a lower reach. The ad went offline during the Black Friday period, re-launching on Cyber Monday, showcasing the 30-second cut down across Facebook and Instagram. This was backed by a Paddington Bear and M&S takeover on Twitter, which enabled people to tweet at M&S and hear back from Paddington Bear. Next, the Maintain phase promoted Food creatives to drive people into the store and additionally launched a cha bot that shared personalized recipe recommendations.

The campaign delivered fantastic results, reaching more than 23m people on social media, delivering 150m impressions – against a KPI of 85m – and serving 44m views, against a KPI of 18m.

The tease led to high view rates at low cost, and the Twitter activity was also extremely successful. The launch phase delivered the strongest results, reaching 15m people, and driving 5m views. The mobile-optimised creative delivered excellent results.

Most Effective AR/VR Campaign
Cadbury and Blippar – Cadbury Heroes Christmas Adventure
Last Christmas, Cadbury was looking to reinvent the advent calendar in order to target teenagers, compete with other luxury confectionery calendars, and drive repeat engagement and high rates of social sharing. The solution? Working with augmented reality firm Blippar, and brand design agency, Design Bridge, it launched and AR-enabled advent calendar. Customers could scan the calendar with the Blippar app to enter a winter wonderland house and unlock a festive augmented reality selfie filter for each day of advent. The use of selfie filters capitalised on the escalating trend of sharing selfies, which was key to engaging teens and providing them with “digital currency”.

The filters immersed customers in different festive scenes. For example, they could take photos in a Cadbury Fudge Christmas jumper or Wispa party glasses. Other fun festive experiences involved snowball fights, reindeer antlers and elf costumes.

Rather than a one-hit piece of engagement, the experience encouraged people to get involved daily over the 24-day period,. The gamification of daily unlockable filters proved powerful in increasing user engagement and retention. The use of AR also created scope for driving stronger engagement with the brand than traditional calendars, since as well as enjoying the chocolate, customers could engage with Cadbury-themed experiences.

The AR experiences also elevated the value of the calendar to justify its premium price. This made Cadbury’s target audience more likely to spend money on this calendar over cheaper alternatives on the market. The interactivity also strengthened the calendar as an ideal gift for parents to buy their children to entertain them and try out AR for themselves.

On the social sharing front, customers could create photos and videos with the AR features to share on their social channels or with friends using the dedicated hashtag #CADVENT. To drive high rates of social sharing, a streamlined user experience funneled users to the “share” button once they had created a photo or video. The new experiences for each day of advent created 24 daily opportunitiesfor social sharing and for Cadbury to engage. Blippar or Cadbury engaged with every post shared by customers to encourage this behaviour further.

The results of the campaign were confidential, but available to the judges, and demonstrated astounding levels of engagement with the calendar, including the social sharing Cadbury was so keen to encourage.

Most Effective Search Campaign
Telegraph Media Group and Responsible Life – Equity Release
Telegraph Financial Solutions is part of The Telegraph’s attempts to diversify its revenue streams. It includes a suite of 18 different financial products that are powered by carefully selected and trusted partners in order to provide readers with relevant solutions.

The star product in the division was Telegraph Equity Release, which re-launched on 14 February 2017 with a new partner (Responsible Life). The Equity Release market was tipped to increase 20 per cent year-on-year from £2.1bn to £2.7bn being released by mature homeowners in 2017. However, it was still somewhat plagued by a negative image from the past when financial protections were not yet in place, creating a need to educate The Telegraph’s audience and change perceptions.

Additional aims of the campaign were to increase organic traffic and leads to the emerging Telegraph Financial Solutions directory in 2017 by 42 per cent year-on-year; to achieve more than 3,250 organic leads in 2017 for Telegraph Equity Release, and aim to rank the product page in the Top 5 search result positions for the head term ‘equity release’. Finally, to contribute towards increasing Telegraph Equity Release’s market share from 1 per cent to 5 per cent.

With previously minimal internal investment in digital marketing and SEO, it was up to a newly recruited SEO & content manager to plan and implement an engaging, longtail content marketing strategy that would harness natural search – attracting high-intent traffic interested in buying mortgages (further into the funnel than reading top-funnel, quality journalism pieces the Telegraph is renowned for).

The campaign employed a content-led approach designed to perfectly meet search intent. Keyword selection was prioritised so that terms matched naturally with content. E.g. ‘how to buy a second home’ = ‘How to buy a second property using equity’. ‘Is equity release a good idea’ = ‘Is equity release safe?’ a primary article used to successfully change past perception among The Telegraph’s audience.

Both commercial and independently-written editorial articles targeted longtail keywords related to equity release to ensure that readers could find answers to their queries from a reputable source.

As a result, Google began to view Telegraph.co.uk as an authority in the equity release topic. High-ranking longtail keywords began securing Answer boxes (position zero), which simultaneously supported moving competitive head terms to the first page of Google in six months.

Campaign success would depend on suitable content from all stages of the customer journey existing on site. This included informational, product explainers; tools such as an equity release calculator; real-life trigger events to illustrate a need for the product, such as downsizing home or buying a second-property; independent editorial opinion pieces around the pros and cons of equity release; and topical content around equity release interest rates and consumer trends.

The Telegraph’s USP is being able to attract top funnel traffic who naturally read the editorial content and who may already be suitable for Equity Release. This encouraged forward journeys for users. From a search perspective, it improved internal linking for search engine spiders to better understand content relationship and pass PageAuthority around the site more evenly.

The campaign succeeded on many levels. It changed the negative perception of the past ‘equity release mortgages’ market. Financial services organic traffic increased by 96 per cent year-on-year, more than double the target. Organic traffic to Telegraph Equity Release increased by 678 per cent year-on-year. It moved the ‘equity release’ head term three pages forward on Google search results from number 36 to number5 in six months (number 7 at the time of entry) and ‘equity release calculator’ to position 2 from position 6. Finally, the campaign played a key role in helping to grow Telegraph Equity Release’s market share from 1 per cent to 6 per cent. 

This campaign also took the award for the Most Effective Financial Services Campaign.

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