In our last post, we looked at the arrival of content marketing onto the scene along with the proliferation of content that has come with that concept. From individuals to organisations, from small businesses to big brands, everyone is getting in on the act in the constant drive to stay relevant in the digital age.
Today, when you’re trying to attract new customers and get your message across, you’re not just contending with your traditional competitors within your own industry. You’re competing for attention against a whole array of marketing and other messages with which consumers are being bombarded on a daily basis.
So who are the winners in this world of information overload? Here are some of the brands that are managing to get their message through…
1. Dove: a mission that matters
One of our favourites, the Real Beauty campaign from Dove, has gone through several iterations in its ten years, from Evolution in 2006 to Real Beauty Sketches last year and the most recent and on-trend Selfie. The message is consistent and one that resonates with many women around the world. The Real Beauty Sketches video had more than 60 million views, but engagement goes beyond YouTube to use the hashtag #wearebeautiful across Facebook, Twitter, and various blog posts and forums. The Dove brand now has a clear mission and a powerful emotional benefit for women, that of feeling beautiful and confident in their own skin.
2. Red Bull: beyond the product
It’s impossible to talk about content marketing without mentioning Red Bull. From selling an energy drink with a funny cartoon ad to building a media empire, Red Bull has taken its brand far beyond the sugary water that is its actual product. Today, the brand stands for extreme sports and adventure, a rich and varied subject matter that can hold an adrenaline junkie’s attention far longer than a product-centric website about a caffeine drink. Instead of trying to market its product to consumers, Red Bull creates and broadcasts content that its target audience will love. Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space broke not just the record for the highest free fall but also viewing figures for live streaming of the event. As well as the website and YouTube channel, Red Bull has a magazine, an app, and even a record company.
3. GoPro: created by customers
Speaking of Felix Baumgartner, GoPro (who had seven HERO2 cameras documenting the jump) is another adrenaline junkie brand that wins on engaging content. In GoPro’s case, the product is at the centre of its marketing plan, which is built largely out of content from its users using the camera itself. Fans are inspired by other users, and become even greater advocates for their brand as their own content is curated.
4. Louis Vuitton: selling a lifestyle
In the luxury world, LVMH’s editorially independent Nowness has found a way to recreate the exclusive brand experience online, immersing consumers in a world of not just fashion and beauty but also culture, music, sports, travel… Here, the brand is almost entirely absent. Most of the content is curated from other sources, with an occasion film created in partnership with Louis Vuitton. The site has won awards and has played a key part in building aspiration and establishing the brand’s positioning in Asia. The platform, which also spans across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, is a community of fans who will happily share its content, all the while maintaining the cachet of the luxury brand.
5. Marks & Spencer’s: content for commerce
M&S is taking a more commercial approach with its new content-focused website that includes a prominent lifestyle section called Style & Living. This content gives consumers a reason to come back to the site, but also has a direct link to sales. The head of online and digital marketing explains that “Content is like a shop assistant sitting at your site and guiding you through the shopping experience. We know that 24 per cent of customers are more likely to shop when they’ve been through content.”
What are your favourite examples of content marketing? Which brands do you engage with regularly as a consumer and why?
Next time, we’ll look at how we can learn from these examples and how we can compete on content with smaller teams and smaller budgets.