Recent years have brought on some major shifts in the kind of content that is created — and how it's pushed out to the public. From posting on Instagram to sharing a Snapchat story or using emojis to convey an entire message, consumers are started communicating in pictures, not words. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing has always been about storytelling — but online outlets have made the barriers to entering the publishing arena much lower. Decades ago, only brands with enough money to print their own publications or sponsor a radio or television program could get into content marketing. As technology evolved and opened up platforms for blogging, photo sharing and video uploading, more companies in more industries could make their voices heard.
Content marketing: THEN and NOW
1. From text to visual
2. From strictly informative to multifaceted and relatable
3. From one-size-fits-all to personalized
4. From trial-and-error to data-driven
5. From quantity to quality
There are three main ways of distributing your content – via your own channels (owned), paying to distribute it (paid) and other people voluntarily distributing it for you (earned). Though there is a lot of overlaps between these three types, successful content distribution strategy always involves a mix of all three. This way, we can balance the pros and cons, allowing for maximum impact without excessive cost or loss of control.
These are the 5 brands who totally made their content work harder by utilizing multiple online platforms to engage with their customers and encouraging them to share their product experiences.
1. VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels is focused on sharing brand history with consumers, encouraging them to help on a search for a brand’s "best friend". Van Cleef & Arpels is reaching out to a qualified, well-heeled audience that could become future customers after immersing themselves in the brand’s history of iconic and original jewelry. The #FindingPreciousPuppy campaign provides an opportunity for Van Cleef & Arpels’ loyalists and fans to engage in a meaningful way with the brand" said Jim Gentleman,senior vice president of account management and strategy, SK+G, Las Vegas.
Van Cleef has launched several microsites that include a map showing where the "best friend" poster has been hidden and a link for users who suspect they are in possession of the brooch pooch to upload a picture (with the references to other products in the line). The microsites also contain another retelling of the story, with more emphasis on the collection, which readers can further explore the La Boutique animal clips under the “Family” tab. Other pieces include the “Impertinent Kitten,” “Curious Mouse” and “Playful Pony,” all of which have linked pages on the brand’s Web site. Distributing the context around the missing Precious Puppy helps consumers become more aware of the brand’s story, and links to the site create further interest around other pieces that can lead to future conversions. Furthermore, the microsites include a video featuring Mr. Voyatzis and Ms. Cariou, who explain the origins of the line, show other pieces and display the 1966 advert in which the puppy was last scene. It ends with a call to action, urging viewers to open the chests and safe that are tucked away and to share the poster using #MissingPreciousPuppy. (Luxury Daily)
Companies believing in the old myth that branding doesn’t matter in the B2B world are making a mistake. “Branding and brands certainly matter in the B2B space,” believes Russell Findlay, CMO of Hiscox, which markets liability insurance for small businesses. “The risk can be so high [to buyers that brand recognition is essential.” Hiscox looked at the competition and found there was an opportunity to think about creating more customer-centric communications, and talk about what customers want, rather than just talking about themselves.
Hiscox wanted to create the idea that buying insurance should be a liberating experience that would help alleviate fear and risk. Taglines in the accompanying campaigns that emphasized this empowerment included “I taught her how to ride a bike. I can teach her how to run my company", “My business runs on ideas. And a tiny budget,” and “I don’t worry about getting sued. I plan for it. The campaign includes print and banner ads, online videos, a new website and even a deck of cards and online posters. The cards and posters feature motivational sayings on one side and images of art from Hiscox' New York office on the other. (Marketing Week)
3. ELIZABETH ARDEN
The brand has recently unveiled its new multi-platform digital campaign paying homage to the entrepreneurial and inspirational voice of the brand's eponymous founder. The campaign, entitled "From the Desk" will provide a fresh, personalized, behind-the-scenes consumer experience, while showcasing the brand's rich and storied NY centric heritage. Through social media, Liz Arden is planning to become a relevant resource of aspiration and information for the brand's core demographic, active and professional women. The content will encourage women to "go out and make their mark" as she did by pioneering the beauty industry over a hundred years ago. Liz will also be featured across the all other digital touch points, including eCommerce and digital marketing programs. She'll lend her voice to consumer emails and provide content and advice on the brand's global websites, sharing not only her expertise but also that of her influential friends. (PR NewsWire)
Elizabeth Arden is a great example how marketing campaign can be supported with extensive new content, paid media, and ongoing influencer partnerships. Fans can get a sneak peak into the founder's daily life by following the campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using @ElizabethArden and #LizArden.
The Pepsi Generation has morphed into “The Emoji Generation.”Pepsi has designed hundreds of emojis that appear on its bottles and cans of soda as a marketing ploy to encourage purchase and viral share. Those who download the Pepsi Max app for iPhone and Android and scan emojis on the limited-edition cans and bottles are in with a chance of winning tickets, including to the quarter-finals. The augmented reality competition is already live on the app. (The Drum)
The new “Say it with Pepsi” campaign will spread to more than 100 countries this summer, including the U.S. The hashtags #PespiMoji and #SayItWithPepsi are already gaining traction. An accompanying app lets users download a keyboard app to share more than 50 Pepsi Emojis. (The Drum)
LVMH’s Sephora is continuing its efforts to tap into new ways of monetizing millennial-friendly mobile platforms, enabling its Snapchat followers to purchase products featured in live stories by taking a screenshot and downloading the ShopStyle application. Sephora always spends a lot of time responding to customers on Twitter seeking specifically tailored recommendations for beauty products and used this interaction as an opportunity to direct folks to their community forum, BeautyTalk. The forum is located on the Sephora website, allowing users to interact with one another and ask questions of Sephora beauty experts. It also gives Sephora the chance to monitor conversations directly and keep users just a click away from buying products. Sephora, in essence, is using Twitter to direct people already engaging with them on social media to a deeper, in-house engagement with the beauty megabrand.
Sephora is one of the premier major retailers taking advantage of this solution, proving its willingness to experiment and innovate within platforms frequented by its target customers. On its Snapchat account last week, Sephora posted a story informing followers that they can now shop all of its Snaps. The brand asked users to take a screenshot of any of the showcased products. (Simply Measured)