3 min read

An Engaging Year-in-Review Campaign: A Step-by-Step Guide

An Engaging Year-in-Review Campaign: A Step-by-Step Guide

As the Thanksgiving feast settles, marketers are already gearing up for the new year.

One impactful way to connect with both customers and employees is through a year-in-review campaign.

Have you considered running one but are uncertain about how to execute it effectively?

We're here to guide you through the process of creating a captivating year-in-review campaign, complete with step-by-step instructions and real-world examples from successful brands.

What Exactly Is a Year-in-Review Campaign?

A year-in-review campaign is a marketing endeavor that celebrates your brand and audience by commemorating various milestones or achievements from the past year.

A successful campaign should make customers feel like an integral part of your journey and can employ various formats such as infographics, videos, letters, multi-page PDFs, articles, or a combination of these.

While these campaigns are typically focused on brand building, they can also serve to re-engage former customers or move prospects further down the sales funnel with the right call-to-action (CTA).

What Does a Year-in-Review Campaign Look Like?

The most engaging year-in-review campaigns narrate a personalized story to your audience, often utilizing customer data.

However, it's crucial to strike a balance in this strategy, as going too far can come across as invasive.

When executed correctly, it's one of the most effective ways to make your audience feel understood by your brand.

For instance, Spotify's Wrapped playlists are a well-known example of this strategy. They curate custom playlists for users at the end of the year based on their unique music preferences.

These playlists showcase each user's top songs, artists, tracks, podcasts, episodes, and more.

Google took a different approach by aggregating global search trends and crafting an end-of-year video celebrating themes related to people's willingness to make positive changes in their lives and the world. This campaign, #YearInSearch, resonated deeply with audiences.

Some brands opt to share data about their own achievements as a way to express gratitude to their customers. Campaign Monitor, for instance, published an infographic and blog post covering milestones such as the number of emails sent, products launched, support tickets resolved, and the countries they expanded to.

Additionally, a year-in-review campaign is an excellent opportunity to celebrate your employees' accomplishments.

You can share data on metrics like the number of offices opened, employees hired, diversity statistics, meetings, or emails. Adding some fun statistics, such as cups of coffee consumed or books read, can add a personal touch.

How to Launch a Successful Year-in-Review Campaign

To execute a year-in-review campaign effectively, you'll need to start early and maintain a systematic approach throughout the planning, research, creation, and measurement phases.

Plan: Begin your year-in-review campaign at least two months before your desired launch date, or even a full quarter in advance for larger organizations. Your planning phase should yield:

  • A list of stakeholders with clear roles (responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed).
  • Agreement on the format of your campaign assets.
  • A brainstormed list of potential data or anecdotes.
  • An approved storyboard or outline for each asset.
  • Agreement on campaign goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), and CTAs for each asset.

Ensure alignment among stakeholders regarding potential data or anecdotes during the planning stage to avoid frustrating changes later in the process.

Research: Gathering the necessary data for your campaign will require input from various teams, including engineering or data science, HR or IT, finance, executives, and marketing. Create a comprehensive outline of potential data and anecdotes for approval by all stakeholders, including legal and compliance, if necessary.

Create Assets: Consider your in-house creative resources and the need to outsource specific tasks. Depending on your chosen format, you may require writers, editors, analysts, graphic designers, video producers, or audio producers. Plan ahead and establish workflows to keep the creative process organized.

Set Up Analytics: Ensure your technical infrastructure supports the tracking of KPIs identified during the planning phase. This may involve tracking pixels on landing pages, custom links with UTM codes for Google Analytics, and integration between marketing automation systems and CRM tools for revenue measurement.

Launch: After meticulous preparation, writing, design, testing, editing, and further testing, you're ready to launch your year-in-review campaign. Given the campaign's short lifecycle, review progress regularly for optimizations. Consider conducting a month-end recap to assess the campaign's impact on your overall goals.

A Year-in-Review Campaign Is a Celebration

A year-in-review campaign should be driven by the emotional desire to connect with your audience, both customers and employees, and to celebrate together at the end of the year.

Inject this enthusiasm into every phase of your campaign, from planning to measurement. If you can entertain, delight, and express gratitude to your audience, you've established a genuine emotional connection, making your year-in-review a resounding success.

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