It's time to finally say goodbye to 2020 — a year fraught with uncertainties, transitions, and transformations. With businesses forced to reframe the way they operate, the year has also thrown open the doors to new opportunities, new ways of thinking, and new avenues for growth. 

Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking has never been more important, and a majority of brands have realized this while jostling for space in the crowded marketplace. One of the clear winners of 2020 has been digital marketing. It emerged as the go-to-approach for brands to market themselves amidst the pandemic-induced cutbacks and rising online competition.

As a result, we've seen some interesting and innovative digital marketing campaigns in 2020 that have won eyeballs, hearts, and businesses. With 2021 right around the corner, let's take a moment to go through some of the best digital marketing campaigns that made a mark in the last 12 months and the lessons from them that you can carry into the coming year. 

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Social Media Campaigns That Hit The Spot 

With 42% of people around the world spending longer hours on social media since the start of the pandemic, there's no better platform to connect with customers than social media. So, it wasn't surprising to see the global social media ad spend jump to 56.4% in Q3 2020.  

Here are some digital marketing campaigns that leveraged the massive potential of social media to connect with audiences and were able to resonate with the current situation and customer sentiments.     

Netflix - Wanna Talk About It?

Today, Netflix is synonymous with entertainment, but the brand never shies away from pushing a relevant social commentary through its campaigns. 

Their Instagram live series, "Wanna Talk About It?" puts the spotlight on the mental health struggles of people in the ongoing crisis. It's a tough time for everyone, including viewers and consumers of Netflix's services. By featuring helpful Q&A's with mental health experts, the brand showed they understand their audience and their problems. But most importantly, it shows they care. Studies have found that brands that treat customers with empathy and care get loyalty and revenue in return. So, it is likely that people who have received some help from this campaign have more reasons to be loyal Netflix users long after the pandemic has passed.   

Meaningful conversations and extending help in innovative ways are great ingredients for creating memorable digital marketing campaigns, not just for Netflix but any business that wants to connect with people in a more personal way. If your campaign can boost customer loyalty and brand image while solving people's problems, it's a win-win!

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Hello BC - #ExploreBCLater

The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit this year, with social distancing and lockdowns confining people to their homes and travel plans going south. In the face of such adversity, brands have often been known to get aggressive with their marketing. Hello BC, a provincial tourism authority from Canada showed us how to remain relevant and on top of customers' mind despite a rough season.  

Their #ExploreBCLater campaign joins the spirit of social responsibility in the face of a global pandemic, encouraging people to put a pause on their travel plans and stay safe at home. And with that, it managed to push a responsible message while also keeping audiences interested in BC as a travel destination. 

The #ExploreBCLater campaign was also a spin on the brand's popular hashtag, #ExploreBC, which helped them build on their existing brand recognition. A brilliant way to capitalize on the success of an older campaign. 

Influencer Marketing Campaigns That Influenced the Most 

With consumers finding themselves struggling with the complexities and uncertainties of the pandemic, this year offered brands a huge opportunity to showcase their human side, helping them connect with their audiences on a more personal and authentic level. Though many dialed back their marketing initiatives, including influencer partnerships, nearly 80% influencers reported higher engagement rates.  

We've picked these inspiring influencer campaigns that allowed organizations to leverage familiar faces and relatable personalities to put forth positive and hopeful messaging.  

WHO - #SafeHandsChallenge

Right in the initial days of the pandemic, WHO launched a campaign to promote the importance of hand hygiene against COVID-19. To spread the message far and wide, the organization partnered with some of the biggest celebs, politicians, and well-known personalities from around the world. DG Ghebreyesus, the Director-General, WHO, kickstarted the campaign on Twitter, nominating sports stars Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Virat Kohli. The campaign hearkens back to 2014's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which turned out to be one of the most successful social campaigns of all time. 

The key lesson to learn here is: simplicity wins. The message was clear, while the low-barrier approach in both of these digital marketing campaigns contributed to their success. Plus, making those who impact your audience's everyday life a part of the campaign, makes it easier to connect with them. 

Proctor and Gamble - #DistanceDance

In March 2020, the consumer goods giant partnered with TikTok sensation Charli D'Amelio to inspire people to stay at home and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Through the hashtag #DistanceDance on D'Amelio's channel, the brand urged TikTok users to film their own dance videos with the campaign hashtag, as P&G, the government of Ohio, and TikTok donated to the cause of Feeding America and Matthew25 for each of the first 3 million videos. 

To say that the campaign took off would be a massive understatement as the campaign garnered over 8 billion views and 1.7 million iterations in the first week itself, with major celebrities, sports teams, and influencers becoming a part of it.

If there's one thing that the success of #DistanceDance shows; it is the importance of knowing where your audience is and utilizing the platform to drive your messaging. 

Learn the Ways to Build Winning Digital Marketing Campaigns Today! 

With digital marketing initiatives getting pushed to the frontlines, we'll see more investments into campaigns that rake in bigger views, sales, and traffic. As the competition steams up, businesses will need to apply their best skills. If you're looking to build a successful digital marketing career and wish to devote your skills to creating enriching and enjoyable experiences for consumers, now is the time to prepare yourself with the Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing.   

Become a complete digital marketer with Simplilearn's Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program or the Digital Marketing Associate Master's Program. Learn the tips, tricks, and insights to conceptualize, craft, and market effective campaigns in 2021 and beyond. 

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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