A few years ago, I completed my master’s degree in Digital Media. As part of my research, I created a model organization can use when crafting a social media campaign.
The model rests on five pillars: Campaign Architecture, Narratives, Platforms and Delivery, Third-Party Resources, and Media Awareness. Below is a representation of the model.
Original Campaign Model Created
Over the past few years, I have been using this same model to design and launch different social and digital communication campaigns. I soon realized, however, after running several campaigns that my model could do with a little bit of an upgrade. For instance, under the campaign architecture, there is a need to add “KPI’s” Key Performance Indicators, and there is a need to add a new pillar. This new pillar is content, and it is based on the customer journey and the stage they are at in their Customer Journey.
The Pillars of the Updated Campaign Model are as follows
- Campaign Architecture
- Distribution Channels
- Third-Party Resources
New Campaign Model
A Further breakdown of the pillars of the campaign model is as follows
1- Campaign Architecture
- Start and End Date- Knowing when our campaign starts and when it ends
- Objective- What are you trying t achieve with this campaign?
- Target Audience- Whom are you targeting?
- Call to action- What action do you want your target audience to take?
- Campaign Message- What do you want people to know? What are you communicating to your target audience?
- Key Performance Indicator- How you will measure whether you have achieved your objectives
- Hashtag- A trademark for the campaign that sometimes transcends the campaign
One of the most effective ways to get a message across from one person to another is to tell a story. Stories are the currencies of conversations; research has shown that we remember things more when they are wrapped up in a story instead of someone spewing a bunch of facts to us. Therefore, when looking at your campaign message, the question then becomes, what kind of story do we need to tell to get the message across.
We can create a big impact story, or we can do personal experience narratives. The big impact story is a story that has an effect or impact on something bigger than us. There are many structures for telling big impact stories; my favourite is the hero’s journey developed by Joseph Campbell and presented in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” There have been many adaptions of this structure in business. Nevertheless, a simple google search will provide some great resources for this storytelling structure.
Personal experience narratives are persons using their journey, their personal experience to help bring the campaign message across. When my team and I launched the “Grenada Rocks” campaign at the Grenada Tourism Authority. We used Personal Experience Narratives where we elicit the help of locals to tell their story of Grenada from their point of view. My favourite one that we did was the story of Soca Star’ V’ghn” which can be found here. Some of the elements of a story include
- An effective character– A compelling character that appeals to your target audience
- Plot- A story needs to chronicle something that happens
- Authenticity- The story should show the transformation of the character
- Emotions- The story needs to convey emotions that move people to action. In his book Contagious, Jonah Berger speaks about Action-Oriented emotions such as Happiness, excitement, anger, all of which push people to action.
- Hook- The story needs to capture people’s attention as quickly as possible.
Content is the next pillar of the model, deciding how to package the story in a format easily consumed by the target audience on the platforms they are on now. This will depend on what stage in their buyer’s journey the customer is on. The different stages in the customer journey are
- Awareness- This is where your target audience is researching options and may become aware of your brand based on the type of content you are putting out. The kind of content you can produce at this stage is static and animated social media images, other social media posts such as videos, website banners, blogs, google my business, guides, and HTML Emails.
- Consideration- They are aware of your brand and what you have to offer, and now they are educating themselves more on your specific products and services. The content that can be produced is reviews, comparison content, webinars, whitepapers, thought leadership pieces, how-to guides, FAQs, or even behind-the-scenes content.
- Conversion- This is where the sale happens; at this stage, the content you can create is longer sales copy, live chat or chatbots, email follow-up sequence, case studies, demos and pricing content, specific offers through coupons etc.
- Loyalty- At this stage, they are your customer and will buy from you over and over. At this stage, the content that can be created are educational, social posts, blogs, cross-sell and upsell copies and emails, podcast series, blog and social media posts
- Advocacy- They are recommending your business and your products and services to others at this stage. You can produce social media posts, direct emails, webinars, and live streaming events
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4- Distribution Channels
The next stage in the model is to determine which channels will be used to distribute the content. The channels to be focused on are the ones that the target audience is on. You do not need to be on all social media channels. Additionally, different channels may be used based on the stage in the customer journey. Some of the platforms that can be used are
- Digital Ads platforms and more
5- Third-Party Resources
When I did the original study and reviewed the case study campaigns, a key theme of all campaigns analyzed was the use of third-party resources, which helped play a crucial role in the overall success of the campaigns. These can be broken down into.
Business and Other Organizations– A common theme throughout the case studies and data collected was the involvement of partner organizations. These partner organizations used their online and offline influences to help support the campaigns.
Service Providers– Service providers such as photographers, in many cases, take to Instagram and other platforms to share their contribution to the campaigns, such as photos they would have taken. While this may not always be a requirement for every campaign, it can be an integral-added advantage. When designing the Grenada Tourism Authority campaigns, some of the service providers shared some of what they were doing, generating more awareness for the campaign.
Third-Party Applications– Different third-party applications were used throughout the campaigns I analyzed. These ranged from social media scheduling tools, social monitoring tools, and crowdfunding of social media profiles.
After a Social Media Campaign is launched, raising awareness about its existence to motivate people to take action is the final step in this social media campaign model. This step is closely related to the step above, and however, it can be further broken down into.
Paid Media– Paid media refers to the use of advertising online; all three campaigns analyzed made use of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter advertising. That means when preparing to launch a social media campaign, it is recommended that every organization have a budget to help them amplify their message. Paying to promote a campaign can help get the initial word out and raise much-needed initial awareness.
Owned Media– Owned media refers to the organization’s web platforms and social media profiles. The more owned media an organization has the more chances of getting the word out about the cause. The organizations can even create a web page or microsite for their campaign, such as this one we made for the Grenada Rocks campaign.
Earned Media– Earned is word of mouth online, usually retweets, shares, mentions, likes, recommendations, and different content curated by third-party sites. Throughout my research, earned media was prevalent, especially retweets, which showed that stakeholders were able to connect with a story and validate it. The type of content shared helped determine how successful an earned media strategy is.
Influencers- The use of social media influencers and celebrities in social media campaigns has become a common practice for many organizations. These influencers can reach and activate their communities to act about a cause they care about, which makes them an integral part of any social media campaign, whether for a non-profit or a for-profit organization.
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