creative marketing campaign ideas

Every marketing campaign shares a few key elements: goals, assets, calls-to-action, promotion channels, etc.

But great marketing campaigns also have personality. Emotion. Pizazz.

Campaigns that look just like every other don’t cut through the noise of the modern B2B content landscape. In order to capture attention and keep prospects coming back for more, modern marketers must make their content stand out.

Take this example from SunGard. In 2013, SunGard won a Killer Content Award for their zombie apocalypse-themed white paper and infographic. The infographic paired up preparing for a zombie apocalypse with preparing to move an enterprise into the cloud. Might seem like an unlikely matchup, but it turns out the steps are pretty aligned!


This campaign has a clear personality and reflects that sentiment back on SunGard’s brand identity. And it worked – this campaign didn’t win a Killer Content Award just for looking pretty. It generated 3x more downloads than expected and saw a 200 percent higher click-to-open rate than other campaigns.

The message is clear: people like personality. And if you’re marketing to people (B2B, B2C; it’s all just human-to-human), your marketing will benefit from a dose of personality.

So how do you get there? Once you’ve laid out the core components of your campaign (goals, objectives, metrics, and logistics), the next step is to identify how you want your campaign to feel – from imagery to word choice.

For most companies, personality comes in when the assets and creative are being produced. To keep your whole production team on the same page, it’s helpful to write down the words, images, and audience emotions you want your campaign to evoke.

1. Adjectives & Tone

What adjectives describe your campaign? Is it silly, fresh, surprising, upsetting, inspirational, or educational?

Once you identify an adjective, give it some context and explanation to keep your team on the same page. For example, a SnapApp campaign’s adjective might be “Clever” and our explanation could be “Marketers should think: ‘what a good idea, I should do this’ or ‘why didn’t think of that before!’

Aligning on the adjectives you want to use ties right into the tone of your campaign. Describe the overall tone and feeling you want your campaign and assets to evoke. In our SnapApp example, we might say “It should feel like you’re brainstorming with your best marketing friend/mentor.”

2. Evocative Images

What kinds of images will you use in your campaign? Should it be sleek and modern or colorful and goofy? Getting clarity on the imagery in your campaign will ensure a consistent mood and brand identity across the many assets in your campaign.

Thinking about imagery is an opportunity for you to get creative as a marketer, too. You can create a collage, paint a picture, experiment with color palettes, or draw cartoons. Stretching your imagination will help you come up with creative imagery you might otherwise not have considered.

3. Audience Emotions

What emotions do you want this campaign to evoke for your audience? Should they feel happy, frustrated, inspired, motivated?

Connecting with your audience at this emotional level will propel the success of your creative marketing campaign. In his book Contagious, viral marketing expert Jonah Berger cites emotion as one of the key drivers of social sharing and virality online. “Quite simply,” he says, “If you care, you share.”

Berger studied The New York Times’ most-shared lists for years and determined the most shared articles evoked a “high arousal” emotion like anger, anxiety, joy, or awe. Low-arousal emotions, like sadness or contentedness, were less likely to trigger social shares.

So fill your campaign with emotion and watch the social shares pour in!

Organize Your Creative Marketing Campaign With An Inspiration Board

Now that you have all these elements of personality outlined, how do you pull them all together? We recommend creating an Inspiration Board.

use an inspiration board for creative marketing campaigns

Look familiar? If you’ve seen Pinterest, you’ve seen an inspiration board – it’s a place to collect images, thoughts, ideas, and feelings to inform an art or design project. We’ve taken this concept and applied it to marketing campaign planning, giving you an at-a-glance overview of the working parts of a campaign and how they connect to key thoughts, emotions, and concepts.

An inspiration board combines high-level campaign information like goals and audience with intangible elements, like tone of voice and imagery elements, to keep your campaign aligned from copy through design and promotion. Print it out and keep it on your desk as a daily reminder of the core concepts of your campaign and the goals you’re working toward. Share it with your team, your boss, your graphic designers, and your copywriters to keep everyone on the same page.

Ready to start building a campaign full of charisma? Download our Inspiration Board Worksheet to create your most creative marketing campaign yet!

Photo Credit: Mari Pi via Stocksnap

This post originally appeared on the SnapApp blog and has been republished with permission.