Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 | 10 min read
Stuck in a content rut? You’re not alone. The rise and proliferation of social media and digital channels have ushered in an era of infobesity, where more content is produced than ever before.
To put it in perspective, research from Google shows that every 48 hours consumers and companies combined produce the same amount of content that is equivalent to the volume created from the beginning of time to 2003.
Given the staggering amount of content out there, how can brands stand out and capture consumer attention? Often, it requires pushing the boundaries of run-of-the-mill content tactics in order to surprise and delight, whether it be with zany humor, outrageous performances, unique experiences, or brutal honesty.
But it’s not just about pushing boundaries; we can also look across borders to find inspiration. Here are four content marketing campaigns from around the globe that inspire new levels of creative, customer-centric content marketing.
Every company has assets that can be tapped to drive next-level content marketing. When was the last time that you took a step back to re-evaluate what your company has to offer and your key value propositions from your customer’s point of view?
MoneySuperMarket.com is the UK’s leading price comparison website for financial services, including car insurance, home insurance, credit cards, loans, and more. With the goal of celebrating their best asset—the great feeling its consumers get from saving money through their website—the company decided to create a video featuring the #EpicStrut, a savings victory dance like no other.
The #EpicStrut video was incredibly successful in raising awareness for MoneySuperMarket.com in the United Kingdom. Dave, the main actor in the video, found himself sashaying his way through numerous TV shows and news outlets, answering hard-hitting questions such as, “Is that your real backside?” People around the UK also took their best attempts at re-creating Dave’s #EpicStrut magic, including these gentlemen on a “stag do,” or what Americans refer to as known as a bachelor party.
For MoneySuperMarket.com, a more outrageous campaign aligned perfectly with consumer insights, plus the company’s brand voice and willingness to experiment with bold ideas. While this daring of a campaign will not work for all companies, focus instead on how leveraging customer insights can fuel great content marketing.
The campaign also offers an important reminder that when working your best assets, make sure to prioritize customer needs, interests, and entertainment.
Companies can take a page from Ikea Singapore’s playbook and consider every customer interaction an opportunity to drive a more personalized experience.
Ikea Singapore launched a campaign aimed to help its customers “improve their private lives.” By private lives, the company is actually referring to private spaces—bedrooms and bathrooms. To do bring thought leadership to this topic, the company introduced the “Shelf Help Guru,” a wise and all-knowing expert on private matters and spaces, in a comical video.
While the video is clever and full of fabulous furniture-related puns, the beauty of this campaign is how the company didn’t stop there. Ikea Singapore took to their Facebook page to host a contest offering fans a chance to win a $50 gift card for submitting a question to the Self Help Guru in the post comments on how to improve their private lives in their bedrooms or bathrooms.
Not surprising for a topic of this nature, Ikea Singapore started to see wacky questions and responses. The Ikea team responded to every comment with a funny meme starring the Shelf Help Guru. Each meme is different, personalized to the question or comment, and includes a link to the relevant Ikea product page.
While this example is somewhat similar to the viral Groupon Banana Bunker sensation, what differentiates Ikea Singapore’s campaign is the clever use of memes. A visual or video response feels more special and ultimately more shareable, showcasing that next-level content opportunities are not limited to a status update.
The campaign also speaks to how companies shouldn’t be afraid to get personal with their customers, even if it means poking a little fun at yourself. Succeeding in today’s social media environment calls for more than just campaigns—it also calls for creating positive experiences for your customers. Community managers do this each and every day, but this campaign is a good reminder of just how valuable their efforts are—and the details that go into executing them flawlessly.
As Sweden’s Barncancer Fonden discovered with a hair-raising cause marketing campaign, true stories move us and motivate us to take action.
The company was inspired by a campaign originally created by Apotek Hjärtat’s Apolosophy that featured digital billboards set up in a train station to showcase a model with gorgeous hair. As the train approached, the model’s hair started to blow in real-time, resulting in an unexpected and highly-engaging advertisement.
After getting permission from Apolosophy, Sweden’s Barncancer Fonden re-created the campaign, albeit with their own unique twist. While this could be perceived as a bold move, it’s actually pretty brilliant for a non-profit, indicating that pushing boundaries also means knowing when to try something new or develop a partnership that will take your content to the next level.
Watch how people reacted to the campaign, which features Linn, a 14-year old with cancer.
With over 11 million views and counting, the video’s mission was to showcase the reality that children battling cancer face every day. The power of storytelling through a compelling video is undeniable in bringing this campaign to life, indicating that the medium and message need to be aligned in order to drive optimal results. Videos are personal, draw attention, and resonate emotionally with viewers in a way other mediums cannot, making it perfect for this campaign.
The Barncancer Foden also proved that the element of surprise is more profound in unexpected environments. Every day, consumers are faced with more messages than they can absorb, making it a challenge for companies to capture their attention. The use of digital billboards in a train station offered an unexpected yet effective medium to drive the Barncancer Foden’s desired action—donations via text message.
While that campaign originated in a Swedish train station, the compelling video and word-of-mouth social sharing further propelled The Barncancer Foden’s fundraising goals, reminding us that great content marketing can—and should—be personalized for multiple mediums to drive maximum reach and efficiencies.
As Brastemp, Whirlpool’s brand extension in Brazil, shows us, the best marketing often doesn’t feel like marketing at all. The company put this notion to the test as part of a campaign to introduce its new slogan: “Inspiration changes everything and life becomes a Brastemp.”
The company partnered with 11 of São Paulo’s radio stations during the peak morning commute. The radio stations all played the same message at the same time encouraging commuters stuck in traffic to look at the drivers and passengers around them and complete one simple action—smile at one another.
The campaign was a marketers’ dream come true: it reached the right customer with the right message at the right moment. São Paulo is known for having some of the worst traffic in the world, with commuters stuck in their cars for long periods of time each day. By tapping into this knowledge and translating it into an inspiring, people-focused campaign, Brastemp was able to raise awareness about its new slogan and overall mission.
This campaign is another great example of how to blend traditional and digital media to take content marketing to the next level. Non-digital campaigns can still drive digital results, with the video generating over 2.7 million views on YouTube. Brastemp and #inspiracaomudatudo were also trending topics in São Paulo and Brazil during the launch period.
To set omnichannel campaigns up for success, strategic partnerships like Brastemp’s with 11 radio stations in São Paulo can help drive key content and messages further. Consumer insights are also critical—from knowledge of the local market to understanding that people would be open to disrupting an otherwise dull commute to participate and share smiles.
Brastemp reminds us that pushing content boundaries requires going beyond just launching campaigns. Instead, focus on starting movements and facilitating remarkable customer experiences.
As we enter our planning and strategy cycle for 2016, marketers and companies should challenge themselves to take a step back and identify opportunities to push both borders and boundaries when it comes to developing innovative, customer-centric content and storytelling campaigns.
About the Author: Jessica Gioglio is the Head of Content Lab at Sprinklr and co-author of, “The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.” Based in London, Jessica is a featured speaker at social media and tech conferences and was recently recognized as one of the UK’s rising stars in Media & Journalism by We Are The City.
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