It's mission critical that marketers develop strategies that combine mobile and social: That's how they are going to maximize their campaigns' reach. If you're looking for some inspiration for your next mobile marketing initiative, check out how these four companies have gotten creative with their campaigns and they key lessons that you can learn.
Pepsi's Dance for a Chance
Do you think you've got moves like Beyonce? Now you can test your skills with Pepsi's Dance for a Chance campaign. Mobile users are invited to take a ten second video of their best Beyonce moves, upload it onto YouTube and submit it for a chance to win some generous prize packages, including a trip to NYC to see Beyonce in concert and the opportunity to work with her choreographer.
A quick Google search yields close to 20 million YouTube submissions, and the campaign started a week ago. Pepsi is using unique incentives to engage mobile customers with their brand via social media.
What they're doing right: Dance for a chance is a great example of using a co-branding for social leverage. Both Pepsi and Beyonce have socially engaged fans, so this contest is a natural fit for their audience. The approach is fun, and prizes are compelling enough to risk looking goofy on YouTube. When you're creating competitions, both the format and the prizes should resonate with your audience.
Lowe's Fix in Six
Earlier this spring when the home improvement bug was biting homeowners everywhere, Lowe's launched their Fix in Six campaign. The popular retailer used the Vine app to take 12 six-second videos of quick-fix home improvement projects, which they posted to their Twitter account.
The goal was to create valuable content that would be widely shared on social (and give people a little nudge on their Spring projects). Now if only all home improvements could be done in six seconds!
What they're doing right: What we love about this campaign is Lowe's innovative approach to a new technology. Vine is still the basis of a lot of experimentation, while brands try to master engagement in short video content. Lowe's approach - which focused on highly useful content that was also seasonally appropriate - is a good model for developing test campaigns for Vine.
Volkswagen teamed up with Google to develop their SmileDrive mobile app, which launches this month. Their goal with the application is to put the fun back in road trips for users. And it has many Volkswagen drivers chomping at the bit. The unique application syncs up with newer model Volkswagens to track your adventures on the road.
It's designed with social sharing in mind. SmileDrive lets users share the highlights of their trip and their route with their friends on Google+. And it's be remiss if we didn't mention the Punch feature. It's like a high-tech take on the traditional Volkswagen punch buggy game or slug bug you played in the car as a kid.
What they're doing right: This is a smart integration of real-life experiences and mobile technology, getting a boost from mobile sharing. If you create opportunities for users to share their own content with a connection to your brand, that's much more powerful than just asking them to share your sales and marketing materials.
BOS Tweet for Tea
One of the most innovative examples on the list is South Africa's BOS Ice Tea Tweet for Tea campaign. The company actually created a vending machine (called BEV) which mobile users could visit. But no worries if you forgot your wallet at home. BEV The Vending Machine doesn't take traditional currency.
For a limited time, if you wanted a refreshing ice tea, you simply had to stand close to BEV with your mobile device and post a tweet including the #BOSTWEET4T. BEV would then dispense a free ice tea with much fanfare. The machine provided customers with a unique display of light and sound to go along with their refreshing beverage.
What they're doing right: Increasing engagement for products - especially basic consumer products - can be a challenge. By using gamification and immediate rewards, this campaign garnered impressive results. It's not feasible for every brand to create high end electronics. But many brands have used similar concepts with simpler execution - one common approach being Tweet for discount codes for example.
If you are interested in combining mobile and social media marketing, there are a number of ways to do it. These four campaigns are great examples of how companies have thought outside the box to create unique and engaging experiences for their customers. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity to develop a truly effective marketing initiative. What's your favorite social sharing campaign?