Where Were We Going?
Across the seven-state territory that defined the geo-target of this campaign was a diverse mix of communities, terrains, local weather patterns, vehicle types and attitudes. From Alaska to Arizona and from California to Utah, purchasing preferences and cultural norms across this footprint vary widely. But, in 2020, one challenging consistency stood out for us: It was no longer safe to travel to the far-away destinations that had formed the bedrock of our content in 2019.
To keep business moving forward, we needed to shift away from content featuring cruise imagery and exotic visuals to convey the power and relevance of the AAA brand, closer to home. We needed to remind consumers that a AAA Membership offers more than the travel discounts and legendary roadside assistance on which the brand was built. It encompasses a suite of Member benefits created to drive peace of mind - including insurance identity theft protection, time-saving DMV services, and hundreds of discounts on everyday items.
Our objective was three-pronged: Our three-part objective was to 1) raise awareness around AAA Insurance, Membership, auto repair, Member benefits and discounts, 2) to boost organic engagement, and to 3) grow our Instagram follower base for retention.
How Would We Get There?
To do it, we launched an organic, mobile-first campaign on Facebook and Instagram. Our messaging put the emphasis on taking the stress out of every journey, allowing AAA Members to focus on the road ahead.
It consisted of magazine-style social narratives weaving AAA product and benefits messaging with visuals focused on picturesque locations and lifestyles across the campaign’s footprint. The posts were bucketed by product, then merged with content themes and imagery designed to appeal to specific audience targets. Every caption captured some aspect of life in the Western United States. In every scenario, we showed viewers how AAA could help them outsmart life’s roadblocks.
Each call to action led viewers to mid-funnel product landing pages on our website. In some ways, this path felt risky, and tricky. It was a departure from our usual approach. Rather than leading viewers to upper-funnel owned magazine article content, we were now conducting ecommerce in every post. We had been focused on the stories around us. Now were were ultimately focused on the AAA story, and asking viewers to trust to provide a valuable service. We wondered if we might lose them once we changed course.
The posts were geo-targeted on Facebook, boosted on Instagram, and bucketed by content themes consistent with each demographic target. Here were a few:
In addition, we engaged them with story posts created as quizzes about the very kind of problems AAA helps its Members to solve. Each swiped up to a product landing page showing a different way to gain peace of mind from a AAA product or service.
When We Arrived
When we began this campaign, our northstar was the current AAA consumer's understandings around Membership. How much did they actually know about the power of those 2' x 3" plastic cards in their wallets bearing the AAA logo? And, by extension, how much did prospects know?
We wanted to raise awareness around AAA's full suite of offerings, and we hoped follower growth would result. We suspected that sharing new ways for Members to get value out of what they were already paying for might earn their loyalty. And we were right. As a result of our work, we saw a 132% increase in new followers on Instagram.
In addition, it was important to us to develop consistent organic social engagement in the markets we targeted. Keeping followers engaged would mean we were sharing information about AAA Membership to a receptive and loyal audience, good for both retention and acquisition.
As a result of our work on this front, we saw a 65% lift in Facebook engagement and a 44% lift in Instagram interactions attributable to the campaign. Not only had engagement not dipped as feared, but our fans and followers were clearly enjoying ride.
Despite having to make a dramatic shift in content focus, we met and surpassed our goals. Once again, organic social promotion empowered us to deliver on our promise to drive peace of mind.