How To Build a successful Online Campaign


Reading Time: 5’37”. How To Build A Successful Online Campaign.

“Content is KIng and Storytelling is the Emperor.”

The Black Writer

Contrary to popular belief, strong competition exists in the content creation and creative industry. Believe it or not, we all have access to the same tools so perfecting your craft and creating an advantage for your brand is necessary.

At Social Media Week I attended a class hosted by Anakle. The main focus was teaching creatives and content creators how to build successful online campaigns as well as know what a viral campaign is. As a creative with hopes of being a professional brand and visual storyteller, I found this class particularly interesting. This is going to be a long post as there’s a lot of information to dish out. It is just a guide and will not automatically make you an awesome ad guy/girl.

What is a Successful Online Campaign and a Viral Online Campaign?

A successful online campaign is one that meets the objectives of the brand. It meets the intended goal, it is sticky, memorable and may or may not be viral.

A viral campaign, on the other hand, is one that becomes popular. It is not necessarily a successful campaign as it might not meet the objects and goals of the brand. Although sometimes the goal is to go viral; in such cases, a viral campaign can be called successful.

As content creators, understand that success is not always virality. A brand or campaign can be viral for all the wrong reasons.

Virality is very subjective. For instance, the sample size can be a key defining factor. If city A has 10,000 people and the campaign reaches 5,000 we can call that viral. If city B has 2,000 people and it reaches 1,000 it is viral as well.

The Secret Ingredient of a Successful Online Campaign

They say content is king but dear creative, Storytelling is the emperor. If you want a successful online campaign you need to tell a story. The best ads and campaigns have the best resounding and memorable stories.

What to consider when telling the story

A. Target audience.

Any story you choose to tell should be targeted at a particular audience and it should resonate with them; speak their language. Think of your favourite ads, why do you love them so much? Probably because you could relate and understand the message.

When targeting a particular audience, it’s important to get people in that niche to review it as they are the group you want it to stick with. Let’s take an instance, the popular Nairabet ad. For the average educated, internet/tech savvy creative it is a bad ad. Too many colours and poor acting. But to the man on the street playing “baba ijebu” with the hopes of getting “babes” that ad gets him excited. According to Editi Effiong, CEO Anakle, it is one of the best ads in Nigeria based on conversations.

The Guaranty Trust Bank *737# ad was also very memorable. The song was literally on the lips of all the youths.

Let’s look at the Heritage bank Poetry ad by Titi Sonuga. The average hustler on the street cannot relate but the target audience relates. I believe the target was the young “woke” generation.

One thing all these ads have in common is that they made their story to fit the target audience.

B. The Platforms

The sharing platform is just as important as the target audience. Looking at the Heritage bank ad again, you’ll notice it was released on youtube, twitter, BigBrother channel and snippets on Instagram. That is where their target audience spends the bulk of their time.

You simply just have to choose the platform where they are. Also, bear in mind, Nigerians are complicated. Sometimes there are variations and mix-ups as regards where to find our Target audience.

Would it surprise you to know that a large percentage of the older generation are even interested in Big Brother more than some youths? Especially the females. Or that some older businessmen would spend their free time watching Africa Magic stations. Interests change so as a content creator, always do your research and never assume.

C. Attention Span

Would you watch a 30 mins ad? I seriously doubt that, I won’t either.  Especially if I even have to use my hard earned data or my phone that is barely charged. Want a successful online campaign? pay attention to the attention span of the users, viewers or customers. Generally, the human attention span is reducing so anything not very catchy, entertaining, precise or educating gets the “next” button.

Here’s how to make it longer for your brand.

Ask the question, what need can I tap into when I put out that particular content? A good example is the new access bank ad where the customer care agent had to go beyond his job roles to ensure the fisherman’s needs could be solved. They tapped into the need for a better customer care service from banks. Everyone I’ve spoken to said the same thing. When the ad started they kept on watching because they actually wanted to see how the character would solve the problem.

Tap into the emotions and feelings of the user. People will always remember how you made them feel. This is why campaigns that are based on passion points usually trend and get the attention of a large number of users/customers.

How to Build a successful online campaign

Now, for those who want to go viral.

Virality is not necessarily success but if your main goal is brand awareness and virality then this is what you should know.

  • The content must be relatable.
  • The content must be shareable. Place them on platforms that make sharing easy.
  • The content should be trendy.
  • Use influencer marketing; influencers are a major virality factor. Imagine a celebrity or a known brand tweeting about your brand.
  • Gamify your campaign. Not only apps can be gamified even adds can too.

Gamification is literally creating subtle questions. As the customer watching, before you realize it, you are already asking questions, following a trail and anticipating the next move. Just to add, for the sake of apps, questionnaires etc when gamifying, ask questions that are interesting and short. Show the clearer picture even if it means stating things like “step 1 of 5” The human mind works better when they can see the final destination. Also, break things down for the users.

  • Content can be controversial. People talk and make think pieces when there’s an argument. Create a philosophy that leads to an argument.
  • Put in consideration that attention span is short.
  • Write on either passion points or trends.

How to build a successful online campaign

I hope with these few points of mine I’ve helped you become a better brand storyteller. I honestly wish I could give you real-life steps on how to build these campaigns but the thing is I doubt that can be taught. It should come naturally. One thing I’ll say is don’t sweat it, just tell a story you would like to hear, be relatable and original. Think of problem points and attack them; use stories to solve the problem. I would definitely try to work on these steps and share but in the meantime, feel free to contact me for your campaigns, I’m a bag of ideas.


*Anakle: A digital marketing agency in Nigeria

*Naira Bet: A Nigerian based sports betting app.

*Baba Ijebu: A local betting scheme predominant in Nigeria.

*Guaranty Trust Bank: This is a commercial bank in Nigeria, commonly referred to as GTB

*Editi Effiong: He is the CEO of Anakle, a digital marketing agency in Nigeria.

*Heritage Bank: This is a commercial bank in Nigeria.

*Titi Sonuga: She is a poet and spoken word artist based in Lagos Nigeria.

*Big Brother: A reality show where contestants live isolated in a house for 3 months. They entertain, perform tasks and basically just have fun while competing for the prize money.

*Africa Magic: This is a series of cable tv network stations in Nigeria hosted by the company called DSTV. It airs Nollywood movies in English and some other native Nigerian languages.

*Access Bank: This is a commercial bank in Nigeria.

Ps. My shoes are from Zurigozi. They make quality handmade shoes and other leather accessories. Find them on Instagram HERE

*Disclaimer: The thoughts in this post are not entirely mine. The post is a recap of a class attended at Social Media Week. I believe with this knowledge creatives and storytellers can build successful campaigns. It doesn’t automatically make you good but it guides you.

Read this article on Balance, it sort of has more actionable steps

Catch Up on some of my old posts. 

I Took A Blog Break – Here’s Why

Taking Stock|| Myself Lately VII

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