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8 companies that use social media marketing effectively

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There are many emerging social media platforms that marketers would be wise to take note of. These new platforms enable digital marketers to better connect with their target audiences. For example, TikTok gains eight new users per second and claims the top spot in the global app download charts.

Other emerging platforms — like Twitch and Discord — are becoming increasingly popular, making them ideal tools to include in your marketing strategy. While these networks may have a comparatively smaller user base, they focus on different niches and are helpful for targeted advertising. For instance, these two platforms have large communities of online gamers.

Regardless of which platform you choose, you must engage your audience and capture their attention. This article will discuss eight modern campaigns that you can use for inspiration when marketing your brand.

TikTok’s Re: Make campaign

In July 2021, TikTok challenged its community to think about the most memorable advertisements in recent history and create their versions of the ads for its Re: Make campaign. The idea was to turn iconic commercials into TikTok shorts.

people taking part in Tik Tok's re:make campaign

The first brands to participate in the Re: Make initiative were Skittles, Snickers, and Old Spice. It was a great way for TikTok to stay in contact with big companies like these and get them to participate in future Re: Make campaigns. It also boosted engagement tenfold and led to tons of user-generated content. TikTok launched the campaign and let its users do the rest.

The brilliance behind Re: Make was that TikTok, despite being a platform for new-age content, had now briefly become a creative hub to reimagine the ’90s and 2000s nostalgia.

This campaign was a success because it combined the familiarity of growing up with an increasingly popular application like TikTok. This shows that content can be recycled and still have a massive impact.


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Anhueser-Busch’s “Let’s Grab A Beer” by Wieden+Kennedy

In 2021, American brewing company Anheuser-Busch came together with Academy Award-winning director David Fincher and musician Atticus Ross to create the excellent “Let’s Grab A Beer” campaign.

This ad creates an escapist reality wherein consumers associate the product with positive emotions.

The ad aired at the 2021 Super Bowl, and Anheuser-Busch continued to build on the initial success of its campaign by adding a call to action through its collaboration with the White House, giving out free beers to those who got vaccinated. This also enabled them to share user-generated content from social media at the same time.

This campaign combines the shared and common experience, the festive vibe of the Super Bowl, famous actors, and user-generated content. This creation of a collective and optimistic future using the free distribution of its product and user-generated content made this campaign an instant success.

LEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETC

LEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETCLEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETC

The 2021 iteration of the company’s Rebuild the World campaign, named “The Damp Knight,” focuses on creativity in children – it celebrates children as experts in creative problem-solving. The commercial demonstrates what can be accomplished when individuals come together to solve problems and overcome challenges.

The ad follows a classic template: make the audience sympathize with the protagonist (the Damp Knight), trying to cross the river to see his friend, the bear. However, the conflict is eventually resolved when people of different occupations come together, using their varied skills to help the knight.

Although this campaign uses a rather traditional story, it shows that it can still be effective, depending on the context of your product. As a result, LEGO was able to market to both children and adults on social media and boost its overall revenue by 27%.

Starbucks’ in-store augmented reality experience

A Starbucks outlet in Shanghai became the first Starbucks to offer an augmented reality (AR) experience in its outlet. Customers have to download an app that enables them to unlock this experience. They can point their phones at key features around the roaster, like the cask, which will display new information, acting as a tour guide. Customers can explore the space and collect virtual badges. Once they order all, the customers receive a custom roastery social media filter to share.

Emily Chang, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Starbucks China, said, “We wanted to create a completely new brand experience for our customers. Coffee is already such a deeply sensorial experience, even before the first sip: from hearing the unmistakable sound of beans being freshly ground to inhaling that rich aroma and sipping your perfect blend, brewed just right. We wanted to take that customer experience even further.”

This campaign transforms a seemingly everyday experience into a unique and immersive experience. By leveraging trendy technology and the authenticity of your product, you can create an effective campaign that helps your business grow.

Coca-Cola’s metaverse campaign

The metaverse is a digital space where people can interact, play, work, and socialize. Many companies, such as Meta (formerly known as Facebook), invest heavily in developing the metaverse.

Coca-Cola has leveraged this exponential interest in the metaverse, especially by its younger customers, to launch a “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte,” which will “bring the flavor of pixels to life.” This drink will be launched in the metaverse before being available in stores.

The innovative marketing approach is proving to be effective as revenue per launch has increased by 30% and gross profit per launch by 25%, compared to previous years. 

Coca-Cola’s campaign demonstrates that tech will invariably play a significant role in innovative marketing techniques. By using disruptive technology and catering to the desires of its millennial customers, Coca-Cola has effectively combined tech, creativity, marketing, and product development to improve the returns on its campaigns.

Hershey’s Twitch campaign

Twitch is an interactive live streaming service for content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and more. Hershey’s started its campaign on Twitch in 2019. They advertised through video ads on Twitch itself, participated in TwitchCon, and sponsored two Twitch streamers, Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar, Ben, and “DrLupo” Lupo.

More recently, Hershey’s has continued its partnership with Twitch to promote its brand Oh Henry! They want to improve the brand’s relevance and become the go-to snack for gamers. With every purchase of the Oh Henry! Level up bar, customers receive “Bits” – an online currency that Twitch viewers can use to support streamers and get access to special features on the platform.

Kaetlyn Graham, senior marketing manager at The Hershey Company, noted, “Since Twitch reaches a highly engaged target and enables on-pack branding and video advertising, the partnership just made sense.”

Hershey’s figured out precisely what consumer segment they want to target and has effectively found the right platform to reach a highly engaged consumer base. Platforms like Twitch often have a sense of community, which can prove to be a highly lucrative source for promoting and developing your brand.

The ASICS NFT campaign

ASICS became one of the first sportswear brands to launch an NFT campaign. In July 2021, ASICS announced the ASICS SUNRISE RED™ NFT COLLECTION – a footwear release available via a digital auction.

NFTs – non-fungible tokens – allow owners exclusive ownership rights for a particular digital asset. Given that NFTs are non-duplicable and unique, brands can use them to further enhance their brand exclusivity and positioning on social media.

“At ASICS, we strive to be at the forefront of innovation in the sporting goods sector,” said Joe Pace, Head of Business Development, ASICS Running Apps. “So, while we are excited to drop the world’s first digital shoe release from a major sporting goods company, this is only the beginning. In coming together with some of the most creative and forward-thinking digital artists in the world through our new Artist-in-Residence program, our long-term vision is to push the boundaries of digital goods to inspire physical activity.”

Oscar Mayer’s Bologna Face Mask

Oscar Mayer is an American meat production company that has ventured into the skincare industry with its iconic “Bologna Face Mask.” Earlier this year, the meat company, a subsidiary of Kraft Heinz, released its unique product, which sold out within a few hours on Amazon.

The product’s branding and packaging were impeccable. The packaging mimics an Oscar Mayer deli meat box, except for a message written in giant red letters on the back that says “DO NOT EAT BOLOGNA MASKS.” Of course, the masks are not made of real bologna.

The goal of this social campaign was to evoke quirky childhood memories of nostalgia wherein kids in school would take bites out of their bologna slices to make eyes and mouths and stick them on their faces during lunchtime. It even encouraged customers to take selfies wearing the masks to foster engagement on social channels.

The eccentricity of the product, combined with the targeted social media marketing through YouTubers and beauty influencers, made this campaign an instant hit.

The key to learning from this campaign is that you can use your product or brand’s eccentricity to your advantage if you combine it with effective marketing. In this case, the quirky product worked well with the audience as it was marketed in a targeted manner through trendy influencers.

Brands should pay attention to social media

As the lines between real-life and virtual ownership continue to blur, brands can use social media to their advantage by launching technologically advanced products and keeping up with digital evolutions. It enhances the ability of a company to stay relevant and connect with customers who have already engaged with these new trends.


About The Author

Why we care about social media marketing A guide forWhy we care about social media marketing A guide for
Akshat Biyani is a Contributing Editor to MarTech, a former analyst who has a strong interest in writing about technology and its effect on marketing.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

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Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

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So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

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So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

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The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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