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How social campaigns can capture local consumers

How social campaigns can capture local consumers iMedia Editors

These days, you only have a few seconds to capture your audience's attention before it's too late. To tackle this challenge, many companies are using personalization to appeal to the consumer's ego.


During the PointRoll Spotlight presentation at the iMedia Brand Summit in Coronado, Calif., Natalie Strickler, sales director at PointRoll; Leslie Bursack, media planning supervisor at H&L Partners; and Chris Kilcullen, VP and digital director at H&L Partners shared insights on the power of social-local campaigns featuring dynamic creative. According to Strickler, the definition of dynamic is any creative that is personalized for the consumer, and dynamic creative often yields better results in terms of both engagement and purchase intent.



(Spotlight on: PointRoll from iMedia Connection on Vimeo)


Kilcullen demonstrated the power of dynamic creative with a case study of McDonald's #GoodMorningSTL campaign. The challenge: Breakfast sales for McDonald's in St. Louis were down compared to the regional sales numbers. This prompted a strategy of attempting to equate good mornings with McDonald's. To accomplish this, the campaign tapped into social media in the form of the Twitter hashtag #GoodMorningSTL.


The campaign included a variety of promotions and giveaways, often in conjunction with hidden cameras to capture genuine reactions from consumers. Tweeters were asked to share what a good morning was to them, and the chosen winner received free McDonald's breakfast food -- often for the winner's entire office. Video crews were present for the giveaways, and this video content, along with countless user-generated tweets, was aggregated on the microsite GoodMorningSTL.com. The plan was to create awareness, generate buzz, and then capture that buzz and put it back out in the mass media, Kilcullen explained.


Bursack then shared the team's media approach, highlighting a partnership with local website STLtoday.com, as well as local TV affiliates. In addition, she emphasized that the community element was key for this McDonald's campaign. During a flood in St. Louis that occurred during the campaign, free McDonald's breakfast food was sent to volunteer crews, as well as police and fire departments.


Kilcullen noted that the ability to change out creative -- and fast -- was extremely important in the campaign. PointRoll and H&L Partners worked together to implement a dynamic text field for ease of versioning to find the strongest call-to-action, "Click to tell us about your morning, STL!" This change was made in real-time on the back end and was easy to execute without interrupting the campaign and significantly improved overall results.


Strickler emphasized that real-time engagement is now more important than ever. As consumer behavior continues to evolve, now involving multiple devices and platforms, digital advertisements must be more relevant than ever before in order to rise above the background noise. "With Millennials, it's all about 'me,'" said Strickler. That's why personalized ads work, particularly for this demographic. And today, using the vast amounts of data available to marketers is more essential than ever to ad targeting.


Stickler reiterated that the ability to make quick changes to creative was at the heart of the McDonald's campaign's success. This allowed the creative to incorporate user-generated tweets soon after they were sent.


Quick swaps and tweaks could be the key to your next social local campaign, whether it happens through dynamic creative or by having many different versions of creative readily available for speedy switches. Stickler concluded with these best practices for real-time, dynamic campaigns:



  • Think big and start small.

  • Leverage first-party, publisher, and third-party data.

  • Don't constrain yourself creatively.

  • Choose dramatically different imagery.

  • Optimize based off of conversions and actions.

  • Nothing replaces what you know about your business. (In other words, you know your consumers best.)

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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