360 Campaigns: Maximizing the Effects of your Marketing Efforts
Imagine this… you’re watching a basketball game and only one of the five players on a team is actually playing, while the other four stand around and watch. Crazy, right? Speaking of March Madness, and with congratulations to the Tarheels: it goes without saying that it takes all five players, each bringing their own different skill sets and value, to have a shot at winning. Well, the same goes for campaigns you’re running; if you’re only leveraging one channel, you’re playing without a full squad and leaving a lot on the floor.
So what does this have to do with you? In terms of running campaigns, it means that you need to leverage every channel you can and every asset you have in order to put a full team on the court. At Spredfast (now Khoros), we call these omni-channel or 360 campaigns, and we'll discuss what they are and why your team needs to think big every chance you can.
Simply put, 360 and omni-channel describe a campaign that leverages all media channels as part of one holistic strategy. For our purposes today, these channels include broadcast, digital, social, and in-person. (There is also radio, outdoor, newspaper, etc. but we’re going to focus on the channels to where budgets are moving, not leaving. Blame the fact that I started on the digital side of advertising in ’03 and never left.) Each leveraged in its own way, and each supporting the others in its own way as well. The center rebounding and blocking shots, the guards organizing and passing, and the forwards shooting and defending. Each media channel with its own traits, performing on those and supporting the others however it can. All-around team effort. 360 degrees of coverage and support. Find your own mix of these elements and you’ve got a winner on your hands (read our Social Media Pocket Guide for additional strategic insight).
While every campaign has a different media mix to deliver on its objectives, the benefits of those channels remain the same. Let’s take a look at them:
Combining reach and richness of media, along with DVRs and streaming services, TV is still sitting on the throne of the media world. Brands should advertise through anything from commercials to product integration, while media networks should leverage their own shows and ad space to promote the campaign and to drive traffic to the other channels with clear CTAs.
Consider digital as your owned web properties, whether that means a website, an app, or display ads. These omnipresent platforms provide rich engagement opportunities on various types of devices (laptops, phones, etc.). While websites have a diminishing perceived value, they are still a crucial element in the media mix to which other channels can funnel users to complete any type of conversion you seek to achieve.
Whether at a concert or sporting event or bar/restaurant, there’s nothing like a live event to capture all five senses of your fans. Reach is much smaller at the actual event, but the other channels can help you amplify the experience being had by those on the ground. Get a jumbotron, promote a hashtag, let your fans create and amplify their own content, then highlight the best of that content on TV, digital, and social.
Outside of being there in person, social provides the most real-time chance to connect with consumers one-on-one. No longer seen as a fad, yet still far from fully understood, social channels aggregate the benefits of every other channel into one destination. Drive traffic to social to convert your objectives, target your ads on a granular level, amplify your brand assets, or drive traffic from them to targeted destinations. Because the channel is always on and completely dynamic, doing social well is a commitment, but can also provide efficiencies and value beyond any other channel.
The Turner Sports team highlighted fans’ top reactions in Snapchat each day from the NCAA tournament. They were able to leverage the visceral in-person experience on air by routing it through social channels. Doing this not only adds that human emotion to their broadcast and involves fans into the show, but it promotes fans to create even more social content, amplifying the event even further. This example employs great use of three of the four available channels supporting each other. They could have gone even further and redisplayed the social content on the website and in the app, fully rounding out the experience and making it even larger for a possible sponsorship integration.
Another great example of a 360 campaign is how ESPN promoted their 28-hour fantasy football marathon to drive registrations of their fantasy football game, and downloads of their app. While the marathon was running on air, social channels promoted the hashtag #FantasyMarathon and drove fans to a digital experience that informed them about ESPN’s fantasy football offerings, and provided an outlet to join the fun, along with a social experience to amplify fans’ actions out to their network. The result was over 1.75 million teams being drafted during the 28-hour marathon; true teamwork across all disciplines.
(A side note: I focus on media and sports here at Spredfast (now Khoros), hence these examples. Yet the same rings true for brands, sans having their own shows to leverage. As noted before, that’s where commercials and product integration come into play.)
So as you can see, each channel can support the others. And while these examples didn’t leverage every medium, they used the necessary mix to raise awareness and drive traffic to the appropriate channels.
Management of these channels usually lay in separate groups within a company, so 360 campaigns require each of those teams to work in unison, just like each media channel. And as we all know, departments can be siloed and don’t always communicate well, so it takes a commitment by all to break down those silos and work together towards one common goal.
Easier said than done, we know. If you’ve never given it a shot, here are some of the challenges you may encounter while executing a 360 campaign:
- Internal challenges
- Separate teams don’t communicate
- Separate teams have different objectives, KPIs between internal teams
- Lack of central management team
- Channel-specific content production is laborious and resource intensive
- Timing and resources between groups don’t always align
Now that we’ve got our media mix and team collaboration down, we need to make sure that we leverage all available assets at our disposal:
- Brand – logos, video, imagery
- People – company personalities, show talent, celebrity endorsers
- User Generated Content (UGC)
With today’s always-on media mix, each channel can be leveraged during all phases of the campaign. Whether it’s promoting before the campaign and building awareness of each touchpoint, executing the campaign and driving traffic between channels, or using data from each channel to build well-rounded analytics, the more outputs you support during a campaign, the more inputs you’ll have to fully understand your effectiveness.
And there you have it. So much goes into these 360 campaigns, yet so much more comes out of them. Just remember everything you have at your disposal and be sure to leverage them together for maximum effect. For more strategies on building a strong social media presence, read our Social Media Pocket Guide.