How to make awareness days work for my brand

These days, there’s an awareness day for everything. From National Lima Bean day to No Socks Day, it can sometimes feel like the marketing calendar is saturated with a load of rubbish, but we know that awareness days can be some of the largest drivers of exposure a brand can have.

The problem is, that a lot of brands can’t seem to get it right. They either dip a toe by posting something at random with little connection to their brand, or the campaign launches with a bang – a flurry of activity that then quickly dissipates, and fades into the ethernet quicker than it came.

The key to a successful awareness campaign lives in three areas: planning, execution, and connection. By having a strong team in place that can lead on each of these points guarantees results, as we’ve seen with some of our most successful campaigns at The PHA Group.

The first step is identifying which awareness day is right for you. As mentioned, there are thousands to choose from, but that certainly doesn’t mean you just pluck one out of thin air. Find one that your brand identifies with, and one that will help you reach your target audience. What are your customers’ values and beliefs, and what days/weeks/months could you use as a brand to help you connect with them? Who could you engage, whether it’s celebrities, influencers, brand ambassadors or key spokespeople to help speak to your audience on this day, and maximise exposure?

Next you need to think about planning out your campaign. You can’t just make it up on the spot the week before the campaign begins. To maximise engagement and reach, awareness days are planned far in advance. With some of our clients, planning starts for the following year’s event the day after the previous one has finished! The longer your lead time, the better the results. That said, we’ve pulled off some pretty incredible campaigns with just a few weeks’ notice, but we do recommend at least two months of ideation and planning time before the big event.

We’re also strong believers in awareness days not being seen as a spike of activity in a 24-hour period. Each key awareness day deserves a build-up of excitement, followed by the big moment, and a phase of maintaining that buzz. Our team of social media and PR experts are well versed in executing exactly that, which has been the source of our success over the years.

It’s all well and good me talking you through our process, but what about the results? Just check out some of the campaigns we’ve run previously that we’re particularly proud of:

Smile Train & World Smile Day 

An integrated PR and social media campaign that focused on driving mass awareness of the fact that 540 babies are born with cleft every year.

Through the production of a celebrity-fronted video, emotive social media assets, and a user-generated content campaign, Smile Train’s #540today campaign registered a potential combined reach of over 127 million in just 24 hours.

Thrive & #BehindTheSmile 

To drive awareness of Thrive’s mental wellbeing platform on World Mental Health Day, we launched #BehindTheSmile, an integrated PR and social media campaign that was based around the idea that even when we can appear happy on the surface, often we’re going through our own struggles behind closed doors.

Thanks to our celebrity connections and key journalist and media relationships, we were able to secure incredible coverage in the likes of Grazia and OK! Magazine, while our social media campaign drove a 453% increase in followers in just 24 hours, and an influencer reach of over 8.5 million. The app also saw 800 downloads in just one day.

OPRO & Mouthguard Day

In order to place OPRO at the heart of conversation around oral protection, PHA launched the inaugural Mouthguard Day. Working with a number of OPRO ambassadors and partners, including England Hockey, England Rugby, Jordan Thomas, Wasps RFC, we shared a wide range of assets, from video to GIF and behind the scenes content across the social channels that aimed to raise awareness of the day and generate interest in OPRO.

The campaign saw huge spikes in performance, including a 6000% increase in Facebook reach, 100 individual social mentions from ambassadors and partners on Twitter, with the hashtag reaching a combined total of 4.4 million accounts, generating 5.2 impressions in total.

The bottom line is that it takes an army to pull off a truly successful awareness day campaign. From campaign strategy and planning, right through to execution and on-the-ground support, pulling it off and cutting through everyone else’s noise can be a challenge, which is why our team of experts are trained to take that hassle away from you, leading the entire project end-to-end, and reporting back on those all-important results.

Get in touch with the team