In 50-ish Words


Yesterday a few of us attended WARC’s ‘Seriously Social 2016’ event where Peter Field (yes, Peter Field!) took us through his reseach into which social strategies lead to positive business results.

He was able to provide some practical advice based on his analysis of WARC’s prize winning Social Media campaigns:

Here are some of the best bits:

  • If we want social success we need to use video. It’s the way consumers want to receive messages and helps to engage them in a way that makes them what to share
  • The school of thought a few years ago was that marketing is about losing control - this isn’t the case. Most of the successful social campaigns took a top-down approach, creating content and using paid social to amplify it. The sell and tell videos are winning!
  • This isn’t to say bottom-up strategies don’t work. Wilkinson Sword were able to harness the power of earned media through targeting 1,000 influencers. The campaign particularly succeeded due to the amplification of that content through paid media.
  • Organic reach is the ultimate goal, as this is a measure of how ‘sticky’ your content is – it’s also free. That said, content needs paid support in order to encourage organic reach.
  • Longer term campaigns (+ 6 months) are more successful. Brands need to build a residual relationship with its customers rather than having fleeting moments of fame. This helps to build longer-term business effects (such as market share movements or new customer acquisition)
  • Tight targeting is associated with stronger business success over the short term but weaker business success over the long term. Long term buisness effects are more profitable for brands
  • Originality is more important at a low budget as creativity in communications is associated with making budgets work harder
  • Incentives in the way of discounts and offers erode profit and can damage brand health. That said, it’s an effective activation tool for social success in the short term
  • The combination of social with traditional broad-reach channels often leads to powerful organic effects. There aren’t any rules about how much of a campaigns budget should be focused on social. The focus should be on the messaging