4 Ways Brands Are Using Creativity to Drive Sales Online

Opinion: While creativity gives edge to online advertising, how it’s applied is what matters the most

The core function of any business is to make money as it provides solutions to existing problems. And for a business to make money, its sales department must be on its toes at all times.

With the rise of the internet and fast technology advancement, digital advertising has proven more effective in driving sales than traditional advertising ever did.

More and more people are online, and business have made efforts to reach the consumers. As technology continues to advance at a high speed, giving way to new avenues like artificial intelligence and augmented reality, brands have to be creative if they are to stay competitive.

While creativity gives edge to online advertising, how it’s applied is what matters the most. A study by Harvard Business Review found that businesses realize higher sales when they use these creativity techniques: originality, elaboration and artistic value. A combination of the three gives better results as the audience is more intrigued and, hence, the message and the brand in general stays on their mind for longer.

Take Coca-Cola: When the brand started its “Share a Coke” campaign, it became a top trending topic on social media globally and increased sales by 2 percent in the U.S. alone. To date, the campaign remains memorable, and this year’s “Share an Ice Cold Coke” is expected to win more sales, especially with the new addition of last names making it more personal.

While Coca-Cola reigns when it comes to its online campaigns and driving sales with one creative ad after another, there are other brands taking creativity a notch higher.

The following are examples of how brands are using creativity to drive sales online:

Use of gaming

Gaming platforms are currently being used by brands as a marketing platform to help increase awareness and sales. This is commonly done through ad pop-ups and banners, but this has proved annoying to most users.

In a 2016 study, it emerged that at least 16 percent of the world’s smartphone users are blocking ads when browsing on their devices, with downloads for in-application ad-blocking apps increasing significantly.

So, how can brands leverage the large number of people who love games?

They create their own games. Brandlift is one such company. Tired of pitching the same company presentations over and over, the digital agency decided to use creativity as part of its strategy.

It created an arcade game featuring its own personal characters and telling its company history. The game uncovers the company’s portfolio and shares information on colleagues and key clients, as well as important projects the company has worked on. These are uncovered through unlocking secrets as you play the game.

Below is a screenshot demonstrating one of Brandlift’s projects in the game.

Brandlift is just one example. More and more brands are embracing this effective technique to increase customer loyalty, improve on consumer engagement and, ultimately, drive sales.

Virtual experiential marketing

Experiential marketing remains a great strategy for driving sales for any business. The act of face-to-face experiences between a brand and its customers creates an enriching bond that lasts long after the event. This helps create an attachment, leading the customer into freely promoting and recommending the brand’s products and services.

According to a study conducted on this particular technique and its impact on improving online sales, 65 percent of brands that use experiential marketing said it positively correlates with sales. Like any other strategy existing in the digital era, the trend is now changing to accommodate technology.

Brands are slowly moving from traditional onsite events to virtual places thanks to the rise of AI and virtual reality. By incorporating VR in marketing campaigns and involving users in the process, brands are making sure they remain memorable.