7 Brands With The Best Digital Marketing Strategies

brands with the best digital marketing strategies

While the initial wave of COVID-related lockdowns is a distant memory, the pandemic forcing us into our homes and away from physical businesses is a lingering result that doesn't seem to be going away for quite some time. This has turned digital marketing from a possible afterthought into a must-have for any business.

Your digital marketing strategy involves using different marketing channels to achieve your business goals, whether that's through social media, website adverts, or email marketing. The channel you choose, the angle you take, and the type of content you produce are all part of your digital marketing strategy. 

Below, we’ll share with you some inspiration-worthy marketing campaigns from well-known brands, and explain how your business can emulate their strategies in order to grab the world's attention and grow.

In the meantime, if you're looking for ways to up your business's game, you might be surprised how affordable digital marketing support can be.

We've created a free-to-use quote-finding tool that lets you tailor digital marketing pricing information to what your business needs. By taking two minutes to answer some questions about your business, you'll be able to see exactly how much various digital marketing support would cost you — it's what we'd recommend to help your business keep up with the ‘big fry' brand below!

1. ASOS

UGC (user generated content)

asos digital marketing

Founded in 2000, ASOS has since become one of the trendiest names in online retail, shifting over 300,000 dresses and 85,000 men’s shirts every week, to 18.4 million active customers from around the world.

How has this British brand become such a pioneer for online fashion? It comes down to its digital marketing strategy – compared to its competitors, ASOS is cut from a different cloth when it comes to attracting visitors, sales, and brand awareness.

ASOS has been so successful because it knows its audience: millennials. And ASOS knows that 90.4% of millennials use social media, and that the average person spends just under two and a half hours per day browsing social channels.

One of the brand’s best social media campaigns involved UGC (user generated content). ASOS asked its Instagram followers to share their favourite ASOS outfits online with the hashtag ‘#AsSeenOnMe’, with the opportunity of being featured on the ASOS social media channels in return.

#asseenonme instagram page

ASOS created an interactive campaign which created a huge brand buzz

This strategy ticked all the boxes – there are currently 1.84 million posts with the #AsSeenOnMe hashtag –  showing that small businesses should think about using UGC. Encouraging your audience to share content not only fosters brand engagement, but also results in free advertising – two of the biggest reasons why the #AsSeenOnMe campaign got such positive results.


2. Netflix

Personalisation marketing

netflix logo

There’s no chill when it comes to Netflix’s marketing strategy – this brand is always on the ball when it comes to the latest shows, trends, and memes. Netflix, with its ever growing audience of 140 million worldwide subscribers, is the leader of customer retention.

How does Netflix keep customers interested? It gets personal.

Personalisation marketing is an effective way of cutting through the noise. In fact, 91% of consumers say that they're more willing to engage with businesses that provide offers directly to them. Not only does Netflix personalise to perfection, it doesn’t pressure its customers too much, either.

By this, we mean Netflix doesn’t bombard subscribers with suggestions. It knows that online consumers are more likely to respond to one, relatable email rather than a bucket-load of non-specific content. As a digital marketer, you should always stagger your emails to get staggering results.

Netflix sends highly personalised emails and push notifications that are easy to read, with a clear CTA (call to action) button – which usually just says ‘Play’. For example, as a Netflix customer, you’ll receive an email that recommends a film based on your previous choices, while addressing you by your first name. 

Just remember, personalisation is key when it comes to successfully communicating and connecting with your customers.

netflix push notifications on smartphone

Netflix sends simple, but personalised, push notifications to get the best results


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3. Nike

Chatbots

 

nike digital marketing

Do the sportswear giants just do it when it comes to marketing? Definitely not – Nike takes great care and thought over its digital campaigns. It’s produced some brilliant adverts over the years, but one of our recent favourites involved an AI (artificial intelligence) bot.

In 2018, Nike partnered with Facebook Messenger’s chatbot platform, Snaps, in order to promote its Jordan brand. The bot’s purpose was to deliver content from the latest Jordan blog, newsletter, and website, to Nike’s Facebook followers via Messenger.

Users could interact with the Jordan bot about the latest releases, and they could even customise the times they received notifications. This strategy was a huge success, with the brand claiming it saw open rates of 87%, which is enormous compared to the usual measly 21.33% open rate for emails for all industries. 

Why are chatbots effective? It turns out that consumers just love them. A recent study by Convince and Convert found that ‘24-hour service’ is the number one benefit of chatbots. This means consumers want instant responses, which is something chatbots can deliver. Perhaps it’s time your business had a chat with an AI developer, too?

nike jordan chatbot on a smartphone

Nike Jordan teamed up with Facebook Messenger's chatbot to give users a unique shopping experience


4. Airbnb

Social influencer marketing

airbnb logo

Having built a huge community of renters and hosters – approximately 150 million active users – Airbnb is now one of the highest flying names in the travel industry. The key to Airbnb’s success has been through building trust, which has primarily be achieved through social influencer marketing.

With 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram, this social media platform is ideal for influencer marketing given the amount of celebrities that use the platform themselves.

Airbnb has partnered with many famous names in order to generate a buzz and brand awareness. In 2015, Mariah Carey shared an Instagram post of herself in an Airbnb property which gained over 45,000 likes, which was the travel brand’s first of many influencer posts. 

More recently, Airbnb announced 600,000 new dog-friendly properties in celebration of national dog week in the US. To announce this, Airbnb partnered with Marnie the Dog – a four-legged Instagram celebrity with over 1.3 million followers – and posted a video of her staying in a luxurious mansion.

By aligning itself with famous celebrities, Airbnb will always been associated with the luxurious lifestyle, and therefore with high quality. When it comes to brand success – or indeed failure – celebrity association can be a real driver.

Cute dog in front of a lavish house

Airbnb used an ‘Instagram famous' dog to create awareness for its new dog-friendly properties

Does your brand need more success online? You should consider starting, or revamping your current digital marketing strategy – that’s where a digital marketing agency help. We can match your business with some of the smartest digital marketing brains in the country to suit your unique needs. Keen to get involved? Simply tell us a little bit about your business, it only takes a minute.


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5. Tesco

Segmentation

Tesco logo

For this supermarket giant, every little bit of customer data helps with its digital marketing strategy. In 1994, Tesco introduced the Clubcard, which revolutionised the loyalty programme industry. There are now 16 million active Clubcard members, and Tesco uses the data collected by these loyalty cards to send segmented, or ‘targetted’, emails.

Segmentation in marketing involves separating your audience into different groups, based on things like demographics, buying behaviour, and geographic location, allowing you to send personalised content to that specific group.

Recently, Tesco has been using Clubcard purchasing history information to identify families, in order to send healthier recipe suggestions – based on what the family has bought previously – and other targeted content like deals and discounts. 

Why should your business bother with this? Like many successful brands, Tesco takes advantage of the fact that segmented emails increase open rates by 39%. Email marketing software company Mailchimp also found that segmented emails saw 65% higher click rates than non-segmented emails.

Tesco clubcard expiration email

Tesco sends targeted emails to ensure its customers receive personalised information

In order to build a brilliant email campaign, it’s vital that you make the most of your customer data. You can segment your audience in many ways: you could send tailored content to customers with different interests, locations, or recent activity.


6. Innocent

Digital content marketing

innocent digital marketing strategy

Digital content marketing isn’t always smooth sailing, but Innocent has seen some fruitful results from its clever digital marketing strategies. Acquired by Coca Cola in 2013, the smoothie brand has become well known for its highly interactive, quirky, and current content.

Innocent uses interactive media including quizzes, questions and competitions to build awareness and foster customer engagement. One of our favourite examples is this ‘blue-o-meter’ from 2019 – it cleverly turned January’s Blue Monday phenomenon into a funny, shareable piece of content. Check it out below.

Innocent smoothies content marketing twitter post

Innocent consistently creates clever content on social media

Using a human voice – that is, a non-corporate tone – Innocent has been able to consistently create relatable and relevant content across social media. It’s always on the ball with seasonal events and current affairs, which gives the impression that the brand is contemporary, fresh, and up to date – everything you’d want from a smoothie!

When developing a digital marketing strategy, it’s important that your business stays ahead of the latest trends, which should mean that you’ll stay ahead of your competitors. 


7. Starbucks

Time-sensitive marketing

Starbucks Logo

No one likes having FOMO (fear of missing out), so if you can instil a sense of urgency into your customers, it's a great way of making sure people act on opportunities that they might otherwise leave and then forget about.

It's very rare for a business to not have time-based elements to its business model. Whether it's sales, limited stock, or a special offer, most businesses will be able to think of something that will light a fire under potential customers. Look below for an example from Starbucks, advertising a limited-time offer on a seasonal drink.

Starbucks Marketing

Starbucks pushes time-sensitive information onto its customers

You don't want to push this too far though. Imagine if every marketing email you received felt like a ticking time bomb – when everything is urgent, nothing is. However, it's a great way of making an occasional email come with an added bit of urgency.

If you're offering a special deal, or having a sale, then being slightly aggressive with your “don't miss out!” messaging is a great way to make your emails a bit more enticing.


Next steps

The pandemic has turned an online presence from a benefit into a necessity for any business. Screen time has skyrocketed, and this means you need to compete for this screen time with hundreds of other businesses.

There is a benefit to this though. Businesses all have the same footing when it comes to digital marketing. Not every business can afford a billboard, but every email or social media post carries the same amount of weight and potential.

If you spend some time thinking about what your audience would like to see, which channels will help you cut through the noise, and what message you’d like to put across, then maybe your business will make it on this list in a few years’ time.

Don’t have the time or energy to do all that yourself? That’s understandable. A professional digital marketing agency can do all the legwork for you, while delivering high quality marketing results. To get onboard, all you have to do is tell us about your business requirements, wants, and needs, and you’ll receive tailored quotes from top agencies. And it’s free!

Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.