2021 Award Winners: Influencer, B2B, Performance, Branded Content, Integrated and Social Purpose Categories

David Murphy

We continue our look at the winners of the 2021 Effective Digital Marketing Awards with a look at the winners in the Most Effective Influencer, B2B, Performance, Branded Content, Integrated and Social Purpose Campaign Categories.

Most Effective Influencer Campaign
Sky – I Hate Suzie YouTube Series
This YouTube series was created to raise awareness for Sky’s ‘I Hate Suzie’ drama, focusing on the eight stages of trauma as seen through Billie Piper’s character Suzie. In the drama, Suzie sees her whole life upended when her phone is hacked, and compromising photos are leaked online. The YouTube shows were hosted by Leila Farzad (who plays talent manager Naomi in the series). She interviewed four influencers to unpack the eight emotional themes covered in the drama, including guilt, shame, fear, shock, bargaining, anger, acceptance, and denial. Relevant clips from the show were inserted into the YouTube episodes.

The series achieved a total of 758,000 video views across the four pieces of video content, resulting in a paid social cost of only £0.02 per video view. The influencers were contracted to share 16 pieces of content but instead shared a total of 29.
Judges’ View: “Outstanding and displayed incredible preparation and a well thought-through concept; good (and rewarding) selection of influencers, and smart integration of influencers, owned and paid media.”

Most Effective B2B Campaign
Pure Property Finance and Liberty Marketing – Unlocking Search Innovation During a Lockdown
When COVID hit, Pure Property Finance, a broker that mainly funds business premises, investment properties and property development projects quickly witnessed its once-broad range of lenders and loans available disappear. All of a sudden, there was a limited supply of finance options which would hinder applications, upset clients, and, consequently, impact the value of traffic that Liberty was delivering through its ongoing PPC strategy.

To counter the problem, Liberty adjusted the strategy so that ads were only shown when it was certain that Pure Property Finance could source that particular finance. Tight location targeting was deployed to avoid advertising in parts of the UK where lenders were no longer lending. And a Conversion Rate Optimisation project was put in place to improve conversions and lower the cost per acquisition. And everything was constantly monitored via a newly-created dashboard that shared with Pure Property Finance what was being advertised in real-time.

The nett result of all this was that, despite the paid search budget being slashed, Liberty still generated enough leads to keep the team going, and Pure Property Finance still turned a profit in 2020, despite the pandemic.

Judges’ View: “A fantastic example of using existing budgets in a smarter way – making them work harder…rather than turning them off through an extremely turbulent time for the sector.”

Most Effective Performance Marketing Campaign
Lane Crawford and ForwardPMX – Thriving Through Adversity: A Shift to Smarter Audience Targeting
The challenge for luxury retailer Lane Crawford and its agency here was to shift focus from in store to online, and drive prospects straight to the bottom of the purchase funnel. They also wanted to use retargeting to reactivate lapsed customers, improve website engagement and use their existing data to build new audience pools to drive online conversions.

Once new audience pools were created, the team was able to build out look-alike audiences to drive more new customers to the brand. Audiences were profiled and segmented using attributes including, income, interests, internet usage and purchase frequency. These groups were targeted with customized messaging and ad copy to drive engagement with the ad.

The retargeting campaign drove a 1400 per cent increase in transactions within 30 days. Website engagement improved by 65 per cent within 30 days, while session duration increased by 956 per cent. The audience-based strategy now underpins all Lane Crawford Campaigns.

Judges’ View: “Great use of first-party data to create lookalike audiences, and had hugely impressive results in terms of website engagement and sales.”

Most Effective Branded Content Campaign
Specsavers and Curated Digital – COVID-19 Care Online Content Hub
In March 2020, with the UK going into lockdown, Specsavers wanted to let people know that they were still open, and also offer advice on eye and hearing conditions. So the retailer developed a  COVID-19 Care Online Hub to answer key customer search trends and queries related to COVID-19 within the eye and hearing care space. All the while keeping up with fast-changing developments to ensure thee advice it was offering was fit for purpose.

As just one example, Specsavers and Curated Key noted the rapid rise in searches for ‘How to stop glasses fogging up with a face mask’ (13,400 per cent YoY search increase), and ‘Blue light glasses’ (812 per cent YoY search increase in May) due to the rise in people working from home, spending more time using digital screens. The jury was still out on the effectiveness of the latter, with scientific research finding no proven benefit for your eye health. So Specsavers produced a myth-busting article on blue light glasses, collaborating with experts from the College of Optometrists to debunk the claims, and help customers to make informed decisions about their eye health.  

At the time of entry, the Content Hub had generated over 43,000 appointment bookings and requests, and over 3.5m unique page views of COVID-19 care content.

Judges’ View:“Really good use of forward thinking and planning to engage people in the short-term, and encourage their custom in the long-term. By providing answers in their field of expertise during a time of uncertainty, they positioned themselves to be a companion to people through these tough times.”

Most Effective Integrated Campaign
The Royal British Legion and Croud – Poppy Appeal 2020
This is another campaign that showed a strong response to the pandemic. As the nation was urged to stay home, there were far fewer opportunities for face-to-face fundraising to take place. So the  brief was to deliver an integrated campaign, building an emotional connection with the Armed Forces community and the work of the Legion. The aims were to recruit 20,800 donors between October and November 2020 from digital channels; drive £813,000 of donation revenue from the campaign; and keep cost-per-acquisition (CPA) below £15.

Paid social and programmatic were used to achieve scale, while an AR Instagram filter was designed to appeal to younger donors, allowing them to wear a virtual poppy. The core messaging for the campaign across all channels centred around ‘Every poppy counts’, highlighting the positive impact that every single donation can have on the Armed Forces community. Croud tapped into this powerful message across all channels, with Facebook’s full-screen ads on mobile, known as Instant Experiences, proving particularly successful at building an emotional connection with users.

The campaign smashed its KPIs, generating 86,722 donations worth £3.3m, at a CPA of £4.02.

Judges’ View: “A tremendous campaign. Growing revenues during a period where traditional methods were not possible is some achievement and I liked the Instagram filter that was used to appeal to a younger audience.”

Most Effective Social Purpose Campaign
Starlight Children’s Foundation and TIPi Group – Joy Delivered
This was another campaign in which a charity needed to look beyond its usual donor base and was limited in how they could go about this in a physical sense. Starlight and Tipi noted, however, that people were spending more time online and donating money to charity that they were struggling to spend elsewhere. The campaign used paid search, paid social and display and focused on a video of Dr. Chris Evans, offering an insight into the world of a children’s ward from the perspective of a health specialist.

The paid digital activity combined with mailing enabled Starlight to deliver 11,000 Isolation Packs to seriously ill children in hospital, and TIPi Group’s full-funnel digital approach brought the Starlight brand and mission to millions of consumers at a time when charity was front-of-mind for many, generating over 6m impressions and 25,000 clicks.