In October 2017, Parallel Wireless announced an innovative addition to their cellular solution by bringing cutting-edge technologies of modern networks to outdated 2G networks. The press release (10/31/2017) was distributed globally with a focus on emerging markets (India and African) and translated into common world languages to reach a global audience. The challenge of announcing new innovations in something as outdated as 2G (initially released 20 years ago) is that it encounters little interest or excitement. As a result, the audience we targeted was much smaller than our typical audience since the announcement was not as relevant to all markets. The challenge was to overcome this obstacle and convince our audience of why this is still so important (still a huge market opportunity) while also hitting comparable numbers to past campaigns. Despite this obstacle, we were able to spread significant awareness of this announcement and generated serious customer demand, having lined up several trials of the new 2G capabilities. We had 3 main objectives of (1) promoting the PR and increasing its visibility with hopes of generating additional business and/or news coverage, (2) to leverage the announcement to help build our follower base, and (3) to increase traffic and meetings at an industry event shortly following the announcement. As our campaigns had multiple objectives (generate awareness, increase follower base, encourage visitors/meetings), the results were measured in different metrics including impressions, engagement, number of followers that we gained, and number of qualified visitors to our booth at the event.
As part of the announcement strategy, we decided to run a suite of low-cost campaigns in parallel that included e-mail outreach, pre-briefings with press/analysts, employee communications, and an extensive social media plan that included seven paid campaigns across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and an organic campaign across all three platforms. By running these campaigns simultaneously, our plan was to increase exposure to our targeted audiences that Parallel Wireless is an innovative company capable of providing groundbreaking solutions. Over the course of 30 days, our low-cost campaigns utilized case studies, deployment pictures, and solutions videos in our campaign as a means to provide interesting content that would engage our audience and help validate these claims. Additionally, as we are still a growing company, we wanted to build our follower base so that we may gain additional visibility for future announcements.
By incorporating the more interesting mediums (pictures, videos) we were able to provide content that both engaged our audience while also educating them. We also ran an extensive organic campaign that highlighted new business or technical benefits each day with the goal of driving views to the announcement. This approach was very targeted and almost surgical as the entirety of the campaign was pieced together as a story, started by presenting the challenges and appealing to people's emotional connection, and slowly building into the technical aspects and explaining how we can solve these challenges. This enabled us to provide engaging content that also educated our audience without overwhelming them with an abundance of technical information. By having multiple campaigns working hand in hand, our announcement gained a significant amount of exposure, while the use of engaging materials and telling a story allowed us to retain the audience's attention throughout the one month campaign. The Parallel Wireless marketing team also engaged the company team members to post on their social media networks that helped drive additional visibility and promote company culture to potential new hires.In order to maximize efficacy, we analyzed what time of day was the best time for each post by researching social media trends and analyzing our past campaigns. We determined that the best times to post were early to mid-morning, early afternoon, and late afternoon; we also determined that Mondays and Wednesdays had the most visibility. By tailoring our schedule around these findings, we successfully reached a larger audience to maximize visibility. We also briefed with press/analysts in Africa (our main target region) to generate press coverage that we then utilized in our campaigns to further spread visibility. Another way we were able to boost our success was by encouraging team members in our US and India offices to help promote the PR. By producing guidelines and pre-written posts and encouraging others to share, we had extensive interactions from our team members which in turn extended our reach to a broader audience.
The paid campaigns designed to increase awareness were very successful; at an average of $0.001 per impression, we were able to generate over 660K impressions! While this was great for increasing PR visibility, the posts themselves were seen by 460K people! These campaigns also effectively engaged our audience as it referred almost 700 visitors to our website.
The paid campaign designed to increase followers also had an excellent success rate, having increased our follower base by over 7.2K! We also added to the PR visibility through this campaign as we reached an audience of 470K and generated almost 233K engagements.
We also strategically scheduled this PR to take place before a major industry event that we were attending a few days after the announcement. This helped increase our event presence and generate meetings while also allowing us to reach a broader audience by including the event's dedicated hashtag and linking to the event's account/handle. It played a significant role in our success as well as we generated over 70 qualified leads!
Our approach of paid and organic campaigns also helped generate additional press/analyst coverage (40+) as multiple media outlets in the African region reached out to Parallel Wireless as a result of these campaigns, which ultimately resulted in several executive interview spotlights in these regions.Another effective method we used when executing this plan was to incorporate our own hashtag, #InnovateWithAPurpose. This helped solidify in our audiences' minds that our innovation provides coverage to everyone everywhere.