Create a Social Media Marketing Plan using Digital Badges (no ads)

How you can promote on social media using digital certificates as your ally and tackle the modern ad world without running any ads

Jul 28, 2021
4 min
|      by
Giovanna Pergher
digital badges education


The planning steps (competitive analysis, benchmarking, building a brand persona, etc.) are always your starting point to set up a social media strategy, but they are not enough to make you stand out from billions of ads.  

The only way to fight the already dead advertising world is to do it with organic content. And digital badges are all about that.

Digital certificates come with endless possibilities to create brand awareness, brand love, and top-of-mind-awareness. So, when you’re planning your marketing strategy, these characteristics make them your strongest ally.  

But how should you use Virtual Badges to create a social media marketing plan?


With the option to recognize anyone with unique badges, comes the opportunity to explore tons of creative strategies that go outside of the obvious planning.

Here’s our list of the best non-obvious tips to help you create a strong online community to promote your brand, event, and educational program:

  1. Get creative with Virtual Badges and run a contest on social media
  1. Create a Badge Campaign to promote your speakers and teachers
  1. Create powerful and meaningful partnerships with startups

Let’s dive into them.

1. Get creative with Virtual Badges

At, we offer you the option to create a badge campaign via email.  

But what if you organized your own social media campaign?

For online events, you can create a contest and offer a free pass to the first 10 participants that share their event badge and have their first interaction on social media (like, comment, share). You will be building up their excitement towards the event date and creating awareness at the same time. The chances of other potential participants hearing about your event using this strategy is higher than if they would be targeted by an online ad.

(If you are looking for new ways to motivate your participants and make sure you got their attention, check out our tips to boost engagement during the event.)

For online courses, you can also run a contest where your students get to choose the best digital badge design that you will use in future courses. However, the most innovative solution remains to offer personalization on your badges. When your users are co-creators and become a part of the brand, there’s higher engagement and trust.

At, you have a feature that lets you add a text field or dropdown menu, that your students will later interact with. Essentially, they will get the badge design you set up, but you can set up a dropdown menu with options for them to select, such as in which industry they work at, or what their current role is. The text field can also be used to let them write a quote on the badge that resonates with your course and with them, or a thought they want to share with their network.

2. Use Virtual Badges to create a badge campaign featuring your speakers/coaches

Besides getting your participants to share their badges, you can also create a badge campaign to introduce the speakers of your online event or the coaches from your online course. Simply create a new badge and send it out so they can share it on social media.  

You are going to reach more people on social media, attract potential participants, and build up curiosity around your event or course.  

When creating the design of the digital badges, here’s two tips to follow:

  1. Choose a design that matches not only your brand’s outlines and tone of voice but also one that resonates with your speakers’/coaches’ brand.  
  1. Plan ahead to make sure that this badge will look different from the participants’ badges. It’s important to make a clear distinction between both.

You will have everyone sharing the event/course and doing all the marketing for you in the form of fully organic content.

3. Create powerful and meaningful partnerships with new startups

The good part of going without ads is having all the possibilities that comes with it. As your goal is to engage with as many people as you can while also creating value for your participants and followers, exploring new territories is key.

A great place to start is by running a full analysis on new and upcoming startups and make them your partner. LinkedIn allows you to discover people, search by hashtags, and posts, all features that you can use to find possible prospects.  

Here’s what you need to pay attention to:

  1. Filter through the companies that have a service that would complement yours.

Even if you don’t have a clear idea of what you need, run your research on new startups and decide which ones are a good fit for you, and for which ones you would be a good fit too. Besides looking on LinkedIn, there are tons of websites that can give you a list of companies to help you get started, such as Cloudways,, Startups List, and TechCrunch.

  1. Set up a good partnership proposal with clear benefits for both of you

Before approaching your potential partner and asking for their help, dedicate some time to read through their company’s history, core values, and vision. More than looking for exposure, you should also focus on the possible synergies you can form with new companies. Think about this strategy as something that will help you in the long run too.

  1. Consider establishing a connection with the founder first

To get the attention of startups, a good strategy is to connect with its founder and be honest from the start. Creating a deeper connection is the secret, but it’s always a good idea to introduce yourself and what your goals are, so the other person knows what to expect from you.

When these partnerships are formed, you can also run a Virtual Badge campaign for them too to introduce your new business partners. Like the previous strategy (on point 2), this will also help you bring more prospects, explore new markets, and create more brand awareness.


As between 70% to 80% of people choose to ignore online ads and pay more attention to organic  content, it’s only right that we start paying more attention to the importance of creating brand ambassadors to promote your brand.

Digital badges can help you conquer new markets and disrupt the current marketing strategy for social media, which heavily relies on paid media.  

By adopting badges, you are developing a network of brand advocates made up of your participants, students, and partners. These credentials replace the need for reviews as they already are the most honest review you could get. Participants will be promoting your brand freely and because they want to. This means that you’re getting people to create organic content about you.

As the end of cookies is coming up in 2023, and the only way to be prepared for it is to start creating your own social media marketing plans outside of the ads’ world.

* You can find the organisation ID in the URL when you access your LinkedIn Company page as an admin.

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