With the internet generally being the first source of information for society today, and social media permeating every aspect of our lives, is it any wonder that creative content marketing is fast gaining ground as the top marketing strategy in the online and digital sphere? The various content marketing guides easily available on the internet today all sing praises of the many digital content marketing strategies employed by corporate giants, and how the strategies have managed to boost company revenues and outreach by leaps and bounds.
Content marketing giants have made it because of the sheer fact that they are amazing at what they do. They know the best times to launch the best campaigns and they are always looking out for new and improved ideas that they can play around.
The pervasiveness of social media also means that online content marketing strategies have become key publicity tools to promote a company’s products or services.
In this article, we look to leading creative content marketing giants across varying industries that are evidently in their element when it comes to digital and online content marketing strategies. For these companies to be so wildly successful, they must be doing something right, and finding out how from real world companies definitely trumps reading about digital and online content marketing strategies from content marketing guides!
Putting Your Customers First
Mega fast-food empire McDonald’s has been on the receiving end of much brickbats and questions in these recent years, mostly pertaining to the quality of their food and how it affects consumers’ health. What didn’t help was the wave of healthy-eating campaigns that have continuously demonised the fast-food franchise by not only questioning the nutritional value of its offerings, but even the origins of its ingredients.
To put those questions to rest, McDonald’s Canada came up with a brilliant and creative content marketing campaign – the Our Food, Your Questions programme – which allows consumers to pose questions on McDonald’s food through Twitter or Facebook, with the answers to be provided fast-food giant themselves on those very platforms, simultaneously giving them social visibility. It succeeded in providing a detailed and clear explanation for each question they received, thereby effectively portraying themselves as an honest and transparent corporation that puts their customers first.
More importantly, this strategy successfully provided a lot of information for customers, educating them about the food served by McDonald’s and consequently making them more receptive to the brand and its offerings.
Social Media Power Acknowledgment
Still on the topic of McDonald’s creative content marketing strategy, let’s take a moment to think about the damage that social media inflicted on McDonald’s reputation. The company was well aware of the huge amount of chatter about their food across the various social media platforms, and could see that the outreach of social media was so vast that it could do irreversible damage to their reputation if they continued to do nothing.
So, in a brilliant display of digital and online content marketing ingenuity, the institution decided to use the very platforms on which much negative information was spread to engage with it customers and provide useful information about McDonald’s offerings, effectively assuaging their fears about the food. The company understood that social media, with its millions of users every hour of the day, is a great platform to increase outreach.
McDonald’s therefore effectively used it to their advantage to spread the good word about their food, and from the looks of it, the plan went swimmingly! To date, more than 16,000 questions have been asked – at a rate of 350 to 450 questions per day, no less – and nearly 10,000 questions have since been answered. If that’s not massive outreach, I don’t know what it is!
Focusing On The Important Things
The phrase above really sums up the essence of creative content marketing… no, really. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, believes that a great creative content marketing strategy focuses on the customers and their needs, instead of pushing for a sale. Take Dockers, for instance. The business casual clothing line of American denim company Levi Strauss & Co. created an interactive dress code index that not only engages customers with its interactive features, but also educates them on how to dress for different occasions, e.g. date night, interviews, etc.
Retailers have too often focused on making a sale, failing to realise that customers today are a discerning lot who won’t appreciate in-your-face sales tactics that are only intent on taking their money, without giving them something valuable in return. Dockers does just the opposite, giving its customers a fun style guide that teaches them how to dress right for various occasions with items from their clothing line, successfully imbuing subtlety into their digital and online content marketing strategy.
What also helps is the fact that the guide isn’t wordy – it uses simple graphics that don’t need a lot of time to digest and yet, is attractive enough to capture customers’ attention and get the message across efficiently. Most people are known to have short attention spans, especially in today’s modern society, so less text and more graphics is a sure-win combination!
Getting The Message Across Effectively
Dockers isn’t the only company to know a thing or two about efficiency. Betting site Bwin ditched the content marketing guides and instead, banked on their creative juices to design a simple yet effective infographic on the boxing competition between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao back in 2015. With some neat interactive elements thrown in, the simple yet attractive infographic effectively gave audiences a whole host of information about the fight as well as key stats and facts about each boxer.
It even managed to provide a review of past fights and fan sentiments without resorting to lengthy, sleep-inducing copy. This interesting digital and online content marketing strategy not only managed to capture the audience’s attention, it also effectively reinforced the subject matter, doing all that in a fun, engaging and interactive manner.
Make Data Your Best Friend
To create noteworthy and quality content, you need to do your research, and part of that research involves obtaining data: data on customer profiles, their habits, interests, demographics, etc. American entertainment company Netflix is a strong believer in the importance of data in bolstering your digital and online content marketing efforts, and from the looks of it, they may just be right.
According to a news source, Netflix reportedly approached Kevin Spacey with the idea for the wildly successful “House of Cards” series after doing extensive data mining, knowing from their research that the story-line would be a hit with audiences globally. The brand has such extensive knowledge on the profiles of their viewers – specifically their ages, genders and viewing preferences – that it readily makes big investments in original content, something that most content companies would find risky.
Such strong confidence in their business decisions is surely a result of having a store of useful data and detailed research, both which come in immensely handy when curating content that appeals to the target audience.
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