36415 Bus Ads, Twitter, and Google Banner Ads: Taking the Best Multiplatform Approach to Social Marketing

Elaine Myada, Bachelor of Arts, Octane Public Relations and Advertising, Washington, DC

Background: Whether your goal is to reach a diverse group of audiences or as many people as you can in your target audience, using a multiplatform approach is key. In the digital age, avenues for social marketing and advertising have expanded to include a growing list of digital and social platforms, such as: Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, YouTube and more. 

Program background: The District of Columbia Department of Health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration (HAHSTA) has taken this challenge head-on with their HIV prevention social marketing campaign, DC Takes on HIV. In addition to print ads and event sponsorships, DC Takes on HIV is present on 6 digital platforms and uses various digital advertising methods.

Evaluation Methods and Results: Using a multiplatform approach for the DC Takes on HIV campaign has increased the in ways in which DC residents have become aware of the DC’s free condom distribution program and increase brand awareness for Rubber Revolution. In a report conducted in 2014 by Octane Public Relations, “DC Takes on HIV: Public Engagement, Resident Awareness and A Call to Action” 71% of respondents were aware of DC’s Free Condom Program and 17% recalled seeing the Rubber Revolution DC brand. Of those surveyed both where they saw the ads and where they picked up condoms varied greatly. 

Conclusions: HAHSTA found success with multiplatform campaigns by determining two things early on; 1) what the right platforms are for a target audience and 2) how to make these platforms work together. However, efficiently answering these questions has been no easy task. Some of the most common roadblocks include, the rapid pace at which data evolves for digital platforms, the stark differences between traditional and digital platforms, and the unique ways in which different audience engage with various platforms. 

Implications for research and/or practice: As the ways we communicate and continue to change, the need to effectively select modes of communication and pair them together successfully has grown. The health communications and prevention community must stay on trend by: 1)     Staying up to date on digital trends. 2)     Experimenting with communications messages for various platforms. 3)     Learning more about targeting capabilities for various platforms. 4)     Adopting tools that streamline multiplatform integration.