Building brand affinity through a coherent marketing strategy is something that all companies hope to achieve. Many are turning to the online world of content marketing – the use of infographics, videos, microsites, webinars and other forms of content to engage with, attract and secure their target audience. The question we must ask then is: who is doing it well? And why are they succeeding? Here are three of the brands I think are embracing content marketing with optimum effect:
Burberry has established itself as an international retail powerhouse and its popularity cannot be questioned with 12 million Facebook likes and a wealth of Twitter followers as well. So how does it maintain this momentum and keep engaging users? The answer lies partially in successful content marketing and connection with a modern audience through digital media.
Let us take one example: the brand is particularly renowned for trench coats, which were invented by founder Thomas Burberry. This resulted in the launch of a social networking microsite – Art of the Trench – showcasing images from professional fashion photographers, Magnum photographers and the public, with specific focus upon Scott Schuman – otherwise known as The Sartorialist. Between November 2009 and the middle of 2010, the site gained more than seven million visits, a figure that certainly speaks for itself. Ultimately what made this project fly was Burberry’s ability to attract users with a story before allowing them to add to it themselves. People submitted their own photographs, creating a visual ‘history’ of the trench coat, as well as being able to comment on individual pictures and share them with others. Overall the brand constructed a beautifully designed site targeted at those who love looking at fashion online, linking it with the experience of wearing it offline.
Throughout the last year IKEA have focused on increasing their content marketing presence, for example launching a YouTube channel with original videos including ‘how to’ options and style tips. Another facet of their strategy has been described as a special version of Pinterest, a community photo-sharing website called Share Space where consumers can upload pictures of rooms they have redecorated, giving other users inspirational ideas and encouraging them to share content. This is supported by traditional written content on the IKEA blog, also accessible through the microsite.
IKEA are using appealing visual tools to connect with their customers, creating easily digestible chunks of information and, like Burberry, encouraging internet users to take pride in and share their own content. People like to feel valued, and this is precisely what IKEA have achieved, carrying out extensive research to extract precisely what the people in their shops actually want.
Coca-Cola have such faith in content marketing that they believe it can double global consumption of the fizzy drink by 2020. They released two internal videos with this strategy in mind, giving an insider’s view into their mindset (these videos are essential for all digital marketers). The videos outline how Coke will deliver ‘content excellence’, using storytelling, starting conversations and earning a disproportionate share of popular culture. Recent interactive examples include some neat and playful toys such as the Sticky Hand, the Coke Spinner, an experience drawing on images from Coke’s history, and Blowing Bubbles in the Sky. Generating a massive volume of social noise, this is just the start of what can only be described as a revolution in content marketing, and they are certainly not trying to hide it. We like to call them: ‘windows into happiness.’
Have you seen an amazing piece of content marketing lately? Share it in the comments.