Updated December 2023.
Digital marketing campaigns are one of the most successful ways to reach potential customers at scale – but producing a campaign is costly and time-consuming, and there’s no guarantee that it will net you a positive ROI.
The best way to improve or learn how to reach, connect with and convert potential customers is by looking at those brands that are already successful and analyze what they’re doing.
We put together this list of 17 of the most dynamic digital marketing campaigns that increased company ROI and added value to their customers – and explain why they work.
Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business
What Is a Digital Marketing Campaign?
A digital marketing campaign is an online strategy using various digital platforms and tools with the goal of promoting a business’ product or service by increasing engagement, traffic and conversions.
Basically, a marketing campaign is any effort to connect your brand with potential prospects. That could be a billboard informing drivers about a hotel nearby or it could be a YouTube channel with an influencer discussing a product that’s relevant to the audience.
Some marketing campaigns are more focused on conversions (such as a blog post about “best video editing tools”) whereas others are more focused on driving brand awareness (such as a TV commercial).
So that leads us to the next question….
What Makes a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign?
We’ll dive into the 21 marketing campaign examples below to show you that each one has a unique structure and purpose. But in a more general way, what should a digital marketing campaign include?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re launching your own marketing campaign:
- Establish Your Goal – All successful digital marketing campaigns begin with a clear goal, whether that’s increasing conversions, driving traffic or generating more leads.
- Pick a Format that Aligns with Your Goal – Think about the kind of content that best works for your product and your goal. For example, if your product is an alternative to SurferSEO, consider writing a post like “SurferSEO Alternative,” since people searching for this term are already aware of the problem and solution. They are literally ready to buy your solution.
- Effective Targeting – Define your target audience clearly and understand their demographics, interests and online behavior.
- Compelling Messaging – Create a message that resonates with your target audience, speaks to their needs and desires, and offers a clear solution.
- Strong Call to Action – Throughout your campaign, use well-defined CTAs to make it clear to your audience what you want them to do as a result of consuming your content.
- Execute Swiftly – One mistake that a lot of marketers make is spending too much time making it perfect rather than just getting something out. This slows down production significantly and will sacrifice growth. Shoot your first few videos on an iPhone and then upgrade to better equipment when you know that it works.
- Track Your Campaign – After executing your campaign, measure your results and look at what worked best. This will give you an excellent idea of the campaigns that you should abandon and the campaigns that you should double down on (tweak and improve).
If you need help executing your marketing campaign, you can always hire a reputable and experienced digital marketing agency!
17 Best Digital Marketing Campaigns You Can Swipe
And now, without further ado, let’s dive into some examples of successful digital marketing campaigns that you can learn from.
1) Single Grain
When it comes to learning from the best, we think that our digital marketing agency is a masterclass in omnichannel domination and data-driven growth. We walk the walk, not just talk the talk, regularly achieving impressive results for our clients and ourselves.
The power of consistent, high-quality content across multiple platforms is key. That’s why we make an omnichannel content strategy a huge priority:
- Blog: We have a well-known marketing blog that is a goldmine of insights and how-to’s to educate the reader. It attracts some high-profile guest writers like Backlinko’s Brian Dean to continue to build our brand authority.
- Podcast: Eric Siu, our fearless leader, has a daily bite-size (5-10-minute episodes) marketing podcast (co-hosted with Neil Patel) called Marketing School.
- YouTube Channel: Eric also has a weekly Leveling Up podcast where he interviews world-class entrepreneurs and a YouTube channel where he expands to give tactical tips and strategies for fellow marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners:
- Social Media: Single Grain and especially Eric Siu has an active social media presence where he engages with his audience on platforms like Twitter/X and LinkedIn. He offers thought leadership on cutting-edge and other important topics:
In addition, we also do Facebook Lives, masterminds, content collabs with other brands, interviews, and speaker events.
And Single Grain continuously incorporates additional elements into their digital marketing campaigns, such as:
- Early adoption of new channels and technologies: From TikTok to Web3 to AI-powered marketing, our agency stays ahead of the curve, experimenting and sharing our learnings with the community.
- Emphasis on data-driven marketing strategies: We base our strategies on data. We meticulously track results, A/B test everything, and continuously refine our approach for ourselves and our clients.
- Offer resources and tools: We offer valuable free and paid guides, templates, webinars/livestreams and speaker events, democratizing access to marketing knowledge.
- Behind-the-scenes insights: We don’t shy away from sharing our own successes and failures, or what we learned from other successful businesses that bounced back from failures, because we think they can be valuable lessons for others to learn from.
Some of our campaign highlights include:
- Nextiva: Reducing cost per click by 41.37% while increasing leads through targeted Google Ads campaigns.
- Twenty20: Slashing cost per MQL by a whopping 72.49% thanks to data-driven lead nurturing strategies.
- Harris Teeter: Boosting social media engagement by 400% with creative and interactive content.
The Lesson: Create a multimedia strategy using multiple digital channels. The best part is that you don’t have to come up with separate topics for each channel. Take the topics that performed well on one channel and repurpose them into a piece of content for another segment of your audience.
2) Burger King – You Rule
There was no escaping Burger King’s catchy “Whopper Whopper” jingle no matter where you turned in 2023:
The ads ran on both TV and social media platforms, but it was the way the company tied the jingle’s “you rule” message into a successful digital marketing strategy that earns it a place in this guide.
Burger King used their social platforms to celebrate their audience, curating and sharing user-generated content from the very customers who made the jingle go viral.
The Lesson: Other than the power of user-generated content, the key takeaway from Burger King’s “You Rule” campaign is that digital marketing campaigns don’t (perhaps, shouldn’t) exist in a silo. By consistently incorporating a central theme or message across various marketing channels, brands can maintain a unified identity and resonate more deeply with their audience.
Mr. Beast is an American YouTuber who has amassed a startling following of roughly 219 million subscribers:
He is known for doing extreme challenges, such as being buried alive for 50 hours, as well as giving away a million dollars, and giving away houses to pizza delivery men.
While these shocking digital campaigns may seem rather strange and outrageous, they have earned him a remarkable following and he now has a massive brand as an influencer.
Eric did an interview with Mr. Beast’s manager, Reed Dushscher, who mentions that many of these campaigns aren’t immediately profitable, but the attention does go along way to increase brand awareness:
The Lesson: Even if you don’t make an immediate ROI from your marketing campaigns, brand awareness is very powerful. So think about what you can do that no other brand has done and invest in creating content that is both entertaining to watch and attention-grabbing within your industry.
Dive Deeper: 18 Brands with the Best Content Marketing Campaigns
Cadbury, renowned for its delectable chocolates, has been revolutionizing Easter celebrations since 2021 with its innovative “Annual Easter Egg Hunt.”
Partnering with Google Maps, Cadbury transformed the traditional egg hunt into a global Easter egg hunt in which users can hide virtual eggs for their friends and family to find. Once the digital eggs have been found, the “hider” can then choose to send a real egg directly to the “finder.”
They use a combination of innovative technology, creative storytelling and emotional connection helped the brand engage their audience, raise their brand visibility and bolster sales of Cadbury chocolate throughout the Easter period:
- Innovative Use of Technology: The campaign leveraged Google Maps’ expansive platform, allowing users globally to hide and seek virtual Easter eggs. This clever integration of technology not only attracted a tech-savvy audience but also provided a unique, interactive experience.
- Creative Storytelling: Cadbury’s campaign was infused with creative storytelling. Each virtual egg contained a delightful story or message, turning each discovery into a memorable moment. This approach fostered a deeper emotional connection with the brand.
- Emotional Engagement: The campaign tapped into the nostalgic joy of Easter egg hunts, evoking childhood memories. By enabling users to hide eggs for friends and family, Cadbury fostered a sense of community and togetherness, even for those separated by distance.
This digital adventure significantly raised Cadbury’s brand visibility and boosted sales.
The Lesson: By creating an engaging experience that directly tied the virtual Easter egg hunt to the purchase of real Cadbury eggs, the campaign demonstrated the effectiveness of gamified marketing in driving tangible sales results.
5) The Barbie Movie
Did anything generate a buzz in 2023 bigger than the movie Barbie? Based on the globally successful doll product line, the blockbuster movie was everywhere, especially on TikTok:
Recognizing the app’s value in targeting a younger demographic, the movie’s marketing team partnered with Nikki Minaj and Ice Spice to create a viral song about Barbie, helping them generate over 1.5 million followers who would then see clips, trailers and exclusive content in the build-up to the movie’s premier.
The Lesson: The success of the Barbie TikTok campaign reveals the importance of building hype for a product, service or event before launch, meeting your target demographic on the platforms they use the most. Warner Bros. did this with Barbie, and the movie went on to make $1.441 billion USD.
The average American spends about $4,000 on convenience per year and the leading share of it goes towards ridesharing. Realizing this, the rideshare company Lyft saw that because people already love their service, they just needed their current customers to spread the word.
So they implemented a referral program – and the company grew almost entirely through word-of-mouth marketing, which is a very high-converting channel.
Lyft offers incentives for riders to act as advocates for the business by providing referral codes for their friends in exchange for free or discounted rides:
Combining Lyft’s amazing and convenient product with a powerful referral system is making the startup grow like wildfire.
The Lesson: Start by offering a great service and then build a referral program for word-of-mouth marketing. It’s often more cost effective than buying ads and is much more fruitful since friends love to give each other recommendations.
Dive Deeper: Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks: Lyft
Dove produces some of the best marketing campaigns with their touching commercials that go against the grain by changing beauty standards.
They started their Real Beauty campaign with an ad focused on a forensic artist who created two blind sketches of several women – one from her description of herself (he couldn’t see her) and one from a description of her given by another person. The sketches of the women describing themselves were all much less flattering than when someone else described them:
Since beginning this campaign, the company has nearly doubled its worth to a $4.5 billion valuation, proving the importance of joining a movement and listening to what your customers really want.
The Lesson: Understand the underlying pain of your customers, because they’re probably just using your product as a tool to accomplish a larger goal. The women in this campaign were buying a self-care product, but they didn’t just want soap, they wanted to feel more beautiful in their own skin. Dove did this in a big way. Consider the bigger solution that your company can provide.
Airbnb has changed the way we travel and look for accommodations. Launched when its founders couldn’t afford their own rent, the site now boasts:
- Airbnb users have booked over 1.5 billion stays worldwide.
- Over 4 million hosts have 7 million global listings on Airbnb.
- The company has a total valuation of $35 billion.
Their digital marketing strategy relies primarily on:
- User-generated images and videos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter/X (highlighting the cities and properties in its stable)
- How-to videos and posts geared towards owners
- Popular city guides
They are known for their social media influencer collaborations. Mariah Carey was the first celebrity to use Airbnb back in 2015, and when the company’s marketing team saw that her post got 45K likes, they jumped on the opportunity to collaborate with her – the first of many influencer campaigns:
Airbnb went on to host Lady Gaga for her Super Bowl performance, as well as Drake, Martin Garrix, Wiz Khalifa and Stefanie Giesinger at their Coachella performances.
The Lesson: Create demand around your product or service by finding a topic related to your business that’s interesting. For example, Airbnb is ultimately a crowdsourced hotel business, so interesting content for them is related to travel sites around the world. Generate interest with content, and the dollars will follow.
Dive Deeper: Analysis of 1 Million Backlinks: Airbnb
10) Spotify Wrapped
Every December, Spotify delivers a special gift to its users in the form of “Wrapped,” an annual campaign that provides a personalized, data-driven snapshot of each user’s listening habits for the past year:
This strategy demonstrates the power of personalization and the ability to tap into an audience’s fear of missing out. Making Wrapped available for a limited time only creates a sense of urgency and encourages users to engage before it disappears.
What’s more, Wrapped is designed to be sharable, with pre-built stories and captions that make it easy and fun to show off your listening habits.
The result? A 21% increase in Spotify app downloads in the first week of December (when Wrapped is released), and millions of organic social media engagements. People even make videos about their Spotify Wrapped playlist:
The Lesson: Spotify Wrapped’s success teaches marketers the power of personalized data and social sharing. By tailoring messages to individual users and creating content that is inherently shareable, it’s possible to create a successful digital marketing campaign, build deeper connections, encourage engagement, and spark organic conversations.
11) Coca Cola
Given the runaway success of tools like ChatGPT over the past year, it’s no surprise that many brands have found ways to incorporate AI into their digital marketing campaigns.
Yet few did this better than Coca Cola, whose “Create Real Magic” platform allowed fans to create and share digital holiday greeting cards using iconic brand imagery like Santa Claus, Coca-Cola Caravan trucks, and polar bears.
These brand-focused user-experiences not only demonstrated the effectiveness of harnessing emerging popular technology, but also helped to foster a deeper sense of brand loyalty by giving users a sense of ownership via user-generated content.
The Lesson: Capitalizing on emerging trends can be a great way to capture public attention, especially if it can be combined with interactive experiences.
Online course platform Skillshare boasts over 13 million registered users and over 500K paid subscribers, a number it earned on the back of an attractive affiliate program designed to entice influencers:
The strategy worked. Here’s why Skillshare’s digital marketing deserves a place on our “swipe-worthy” list:
Forget cookie-cutter affiliate programs. Skillshare recognized the power of targeted influencer partnerships:
- High Commissions: They offer a generous 40% commission on every new paying member, not just paid subscriptions. This incentivizes influencers to go the extra mile, knowing that any nudge towards a free trial can turn into significant earnings.
- Curated Content Connections: Instead of one-size-fits-all banners, Skillshare lets influencers promote specific classes relevant to their audience. This fosters trust and authenticity, leading to higher conversion rates.
By combining high commissions, even on free trial sign-ups, and the ability to share courses that aligned with the interests of affiliates’ audiences, Skillshare not only incentivized high-profile YouTubers and Instagramers to share their affiliate links, but also generated a loyal community of learners and creators. This community, in turn, fueled the platform’s growth.
The Lesson: Affiliate programs are typically one of the most overlooked digital marketing strategies, but here, Skillshare demonstrates just how effective they can be. Give creators enough incentive and the right tools, and you’ll be able to tap into new audiences that may be off your radar, driving sign-ups and sales in the process.
13) Heineken: Beer Matchmaking
Capitalizing on the continued rise of social gaming, Dutch brewers Heineken launched their Beer Matchmaking marketing campaign that matched gamers in Brazil with their ideal gaming partner.
Users created profiles based on their favorite games, skill levels and availability, and the platform matched them with compatible opponents or teammates.
This gamified experience cleverly integrated Heineken branding while catering to a specific pain point within the gaming community: finding compatible teammates or opponents with the same skill level. The campaign’s success highlights the importance of several key points:
- Identify niche passions within your target audience.
- Create interactive experiences that go beyond traditional advertising.
- Subtly integrate your brand message into the experience.
- Build a community around your brand to foster loyalty.
- Track data and continuously improve your campaign.
The Lesson: Heineken’s campaign shows a forward-thinking approach to targeting new audiences. While the gaming community may not have always been on Heineken’s radar, the Beer Matchmaking app was successful because, despite it’s innovative nature, it stuck to what matters most – understanding your audience and providing experiences that truly resonate with them.
While many brick-and-mortar businesses have been struggling, Sephora has managed to maintain strong growth by expertly merging the digital experience with offline retail.
They launched an app that uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence to let users try different makeup products they find online or in the store.
When the Coronavirus hit, people were banned from trying on makeup in the store and eventually were banned from entering the stores altogether. This led to an opportunity for Sephora as they already had a way for people to try on their cosmetics virtually.
The app gives people tips and recommendations along the way and is connected to their e-commerce store so that customers can add items directly to their cart for purchase.
The Lesson: Some brands are struggling today as the economy shifts more and more to “on-demand.” It’s especially challenging for brands that sell products that consumers want to test and experiment with before purchasing. But technology is advancing to keep pace with consumer tastes and there are ways you can use tech to easily allow your customers to sample your different products both online and in-store.
Trello—the productivity app that lets you get work done anywhere and everywhere. 🏖️🚠🚕
— Trello by Atlassian (@trello) October 17, 2023
The challenge is to “Post a pic of Trello on your desk, farm, rug, wherever you work and tell us your Trello story using the hashtag #WhereITrello for a chance to win limited edition swag every week!”
The campaign was successful because it targeted their ideal customers (SMBs and solopreneurs) who are proud to be remote. Therefore, it wasn’t that difficult to encourage them to post about where they work.
Remember: 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand’s social media are more likely to recommend it to a friend, which helps brands increase their referral opportunities.
The Lesson: Before running a social media campaign, think about what your customers are proud of and how you can tap into that. If you give customers a reason to share what they are proud of, your campaign will be a success. Plus, UGC also provides social proof to prospective customers.
Related Content: 8 Ways to Encourage More User-Generated Content (UGC)
L’Oreal unveiled a campaign called “This Is for Men.” A brand known for empowering women, L’Oreal wanted to draw attention to a statistic that their research uncovered: 91.4% of Germany’s management and governing boards are comprised of men.
They also found that although there were less women in management and board roles, those that are in those roles significantly outperform their male peers:
When women occupy 30% of management positions, profitability was found to increase by 15%.
Their social media campaign addressed this issue boldly by creating “a series of gender stereotype reversal print ads to convey their findings to men in tongue-in-cheek fashion” with banners featuring lipstick, mascara and other makeup products and the words “This Is for Men” emblazoned across the banner:
The advertisements themselves were created in collaboration with McCann Worldgroup who reported that the advertisements were blowing up on social media: The first post generated over 1,500 shares and even more interactions and likes.
The Lesson: The lighthearted approach by L’Oreal made a potentially divisive topic more approachable, inviting diverse opinions and sparking dialogue. Often times marketing outside of the box and using bold or unexpected humor combined with data-driven messaging can spark viral engagement and drive awareness beyond the initial target audience.
Digital Marketing Campaign Templates
If you feel overwhelmed by all of the marketing campaigns above, here are some templates that can help you get started:
- General Marketing Campaign Template: This template from Atlassian will help you create the blueprint of your project early on so there’s no risk of confusing things like campaign goals, what deadlines are coming up, or how the budget is being allocated.
- Video Content Marketing Template. Jumping in front of the camera without a clear plan is intimidating. Or maybe you have some footage, but don’t know how you should you put it together. These video marketing templates can help you out.
- Email Marketing Template. Email marketing is still one of the best marketing campaign channels as it can produce a huge ROI at low cost. While there are virtually endless ways to structure your email marketing campaigns, these are a few of our favorite templates.
- Social Media Marketing Template. If you’re working with influencers or focusing heavily on brand awareness, you’ll probably do some social media marketing. Fortunately, Hootsuite has provided a selection of virtually every social media marketing template you could possibly think of.
- Blogging Marketing Template. If you’re looking to build your brand and further explain your product or service (particularly B2B companies), blogging is an excellent way to do so. These blogging templates will get you off to a great start.
Last Word on Digital Marketing Campaigns
Almost all the brands discussed in this list are well established and these campaigns were certainly not their first ones, so don’t be discouraged if your first campaign doesn’t immediately trend on Twitter! Start by getting a firm understanding of your audience’s needs, desires and pain points.
Once you have a deep understanding of your audience, A/B test various campaign messages and draw inspiration from the above-mentioned digital marketing campaigns.
If you create an amazing product and offer amazing support, it’s only a matter of time before your campaign will be listed here!