How Top Brands Are Winning Customers through Content Marketing
“The key ingredient to a better content experience is relevance.” — Jason Miller
The Global Marketing Leader of LinkedIn, Mr. Miller emphasizes the importance of creating relevant content over anything else. When it comes to content marketing, even the sky is not the limit anymore. The industry has transpired into another universe where contemporary distribution channels (TV, print) have been surpassed by the web, people, comedians, activism, politics, and all the rest.
Analyzing the trends, one can fathom some common factors that separate successful content marketing practices from the rest.
1. Narration and Storytelling
“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” Roger C. Schank
Remember the Vicks commercial that went viral earlier this year? Well how can we forget the story of Gauri and Gayatri? The 2017 #TouchofCare campaign left an impact much deeper than it initially intended, through a heart warming real story of a mother- Gauri. While the brand managed to create a strong case for transgender in general, Vicks successfully went viral with the content marketing campaign thanks to its compassionate story telling on the hottest issue of present day India – Section 377.
Many other global brands like Clean & Clear, Nordstrom , Myntra , Close-Up have not been shy to capitalize on these bold trends through content marketing. Even HSBC came out in support of the LGBT community at the 2016 Pride parade across Philippines, Canada, the UK and the US, adding a feather to its cap with the campaign’s viral video. Tapping on social issues and marketing the voice of people to the people has proved to be a successful brand strategy
2. Tapping Emotion through Content
Many brands are selling an experience rather than a product.
Emotional engagement by brands invokes a personal customer-client bond. As a result ,by investing into emotions through their content, companies are creating a lasting relationship with their audience. Let’s look at Airbnb’s digital marketing strategy. Ranked among the top 8 US start-ups in the $10 Billion Club by the Business Insider, Airbnb has advanced tremendously through marketing its content. The Digital marketing team distributes content through multiple channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, AirbnbMag and Blog. **
The Local Lens section on Airbnb’s Blog is dedicated to individual narratives just like the Stories section on their website. Therefore, by selling a lifestyle through its Magazine, the brand has successfully put forth an experience, rather than a product. With its 2016 #Livethere campaign, Airbnb has topped the cake by becoming a people-community.
Other content marketing campaigns that instil an instant emotion in the audience, through their content whether happiness, sadness, fear or surprise, are more likely to go viral and become ‘shareable‘ in the social circles. Apple’s Earth-Shot on I phone highlighting Climate Change, Microsoft’s #MakeWhatsNext campaign video- Change the odds, Nike’s bold ad featuring female Arab athletes and #LikeaGirl campaign by Always are some of the best content marketing examples of the past year.
Therefore,by highlighting stereotypes, visualizing and marketing on relevant social issues and creating thought-provoking content, brands have understood the relationship between emotion and virality.
3. Meme Marketing
It’s a great time to be alive!
Let’s face it! We are the Meme generation and Meme Marketing is real. Memes are synonymous with our everyday conversations and they have become one of the content marketing trends of 2018.. You may run out of emotions but not memes to demonstrate exactly how you feel.Memes often lead to viral marketing campaigns. Another interesting observation involves brands successfully marketing to millennials . And, multiple brands are jumping on this burgeoning band-wagon to keep up with the trend.
Italian Fashion giant, Gucci couldn’t hold back on the meme magic and launched its TFWGucci campaign dropping bomb memes and amazing visuals for customers.
Even the Bangaluru Police couldn’t resist it.
Image Source: twitter.com
Brands consistently generating shareable content through innovative methods are bound to gain popularity.
4. Comedic + Episodic Brand Integration
One of the turning points in the Indian Content Industry was stimulated by AIB (AllIndiaBakchod) and its growing like wildfire.
Marketing intelligent content and packaging it with humor, wit, and satire, AIB has become the voice of Indian youth by targeting political and social trends. AIB’s formula for creating viral, shareable and relevant content has transformed it into an international sensation. Through each web-series, AIB has also successfully integrated top brands likes Snapdeal, Ola, Google Duo, Swiggy, Truly Madly, Hyundai, One Plus, Netflix, Hotstar, etc into its content strategy
It’s a win-win for everyone.
According to Arunabh Kumar, Founder & Group CEO, The Viral Fever (TVF), “Web Series” is not the future but the present of content marketing. TVF’s original web-series “Tripling” is the perfect example of content marketing, integrating a brand into storytelling and narration. The Tata Tiago, TVF and Maxus collaboration crossed 12 million views by the end of its last (5th) episode.
To conclude, brands have identified the soul of it’s audience and some of the most hard-hitting and thought provoking content have been the ones which tell a story, engage the audience and are relevant enough to go viral.
Most brands also use multiple channels and are winning customers one story and one meme at a time.