Content marketing has become the word of the game in the world of internet marketing, and the facts which back it up are:
- Brands using content marketing save an average of $14 per new customer acquired.
- Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads on average than traditional outbound marketing
- 67% of surveyed B2B companies reported marketing content as a top 3 priority in their 2015 marketing strategy.
- 76% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing.
Content marketing campaigns are more focused on the product or service and the content is usually more lucid and informative. You can find a content marketing strategy from design, management to the multi-channel implementation used by successful brands is overwhelming.
“Today, I see my business as a content marketing company. In other words, my entire goal is to give more valuable, helpful, and remarkable content to consumers than anyone else in my field, which will in turn lead to more sales.”Ann Handley , Content expert and Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
Here’s a look at three companies who made the leap. And, as you plan content marketing campaigns for 2017, consider imitating the spirit of these brands who already do it well.
#1 Red Bull: ‘Gives You Wings’
Red Bull, an energy drink, was born in the early ’80s. “Red Bull is a media company that happens to sell energy drinks” credited to Red Bull’s Austrian founder Dietrich Mateschitz. Red Bull was one of the first brands to create content that its customers actually sought out.
The idea to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return.
On Red Bull TV, the brand shows extreme sports videos, culture and lifestyle content, and live events across the world.
The brand also created the Red Bull Media House in 2007 to earn revenue from third-party brands by selling them Red Bull’s original content.
Some facts about Red Bull Media House:
- They launched the online and print magazine The Red Bulletin, which now has a distribution of over 5 million.
- They spent $2 Million making a movie called The Art of Flight.
- Sponsored Felix Baumgartner’s famous freefall from space.
Red Bull has invested in their content from the inside out and it brings nearly 3X the worldwide sales that its nearest competitor makes. They have made content marketing the key avenue for connection and communication with their brand.
“A lifestyle brand with the number-one energy drink and a media company that cuts across demographics and psychographics, that produces and distributes content.”Marshall Nord , Senior Vice President of programming at Halogen
Key Takeaway: Find your Branded Content
Your content strategy doesn’t need to be focused only on your industry. Consumers want more out of their brands, so find out how to give them what they want. Be bold, be smart, launch branded content.
#2 McDonald’s: ‘I’m Lovin’ It’
McDonald’s is probably the world’s biggest fast food brand. As the largest restaurant chain in the world, McDonald’s is no stranger to the effects that content marketing strategy has had on customers.
McDonald’s Canada and its agency Tribal DDB Toronto started “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign encouraged customers to submit their own questions about McDonald’s food quality and processes straight to the company.
As long as they were clear and related they were answered, no matter how pointed or critical the query. To ask a question, contestants must connect with either Twitter or Facebook, providing social status and a flow in the pool viral effect.
Answering approx. 10,000 customer questions has a way of helping you build strong relationships. McDonald’s paced out from behind the brand and shared the truth. And, audience loved their transparency.
“If you have a good story to tell, tell it. But you have to do it in a way that’s authentic, and you have to have that conversation with the customer. You can’t just preach to the consumer these things that you know are true. You have to engage them so that they can come to learn it and believe it and build that trust with you.”Joel Yashinksy, CMO of McDonald’s Canada
Key Takeaway: Changing public perceptions through honesty
Have superior customer service. Engage with the customer on their terms, at their level. Be honest and open. Brands that are trying to be honest with their audience should also utilize these strategies.
Disney: ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’
The Walt Disney Company hardly needs an introduction. Disney is already pretty expert at building a brand.
Walt knew that the story was the real reason people enjoyed his attractions. Disney has so many great stories, but it’s not averse to running campaigns with a message.
‘Healthily Ever After’ uses Disney characters to inspire families and children to eat healthy and exercise regularly.
Disney is helping to build excitement. It works, and it’s wonderful.
Disney Parks blog, another content marketing effort from Disney, and another that offers for superfans. Each post has a handful of comments, showing just how busy regular park visitors are.
Again, this kind of activity is about making sure that Disney’s most valuable customers feel central to the action and keep coming back.
Key Takeaway: Build Excitement and Storytelling
Your content strategy will be much more successful if you tell a story that relates with your audience and builds excitement for your campaigns.
Content marketing will only increase in value as time continues. It is quite often a long game. It is an effective way for brands to engage with audiences.
You can’t launch an effort and expect instant results. It takes a time asset, a resource asset and a financial investment.
The best content marketing campaigns are always a mixture of proven methods and innovation. Identify how you can resonate exceptionally with your unique audience and then deliver.
This is the new marketing game. If you are doing content marketing for your brand, understanding your audience is very important and should be the backbone of all content marketing strategies.
Learn from real practitioners not just trainers.