Content has emerged as a major tool for marketers trying to establish their brand as a thought leader in the category and develop an ongoing dialogue with their audiences. Still an evolving concept, marketers are yet to establish a formula on what works and what does not when it comes to engaging with audiences through long-form content rather than the usual 30-45 seconders specifically designed to ‘sell’ a product or service.
Given the fact that the main aim of using content is to gain long term benefits which would impact not only sales but also enhance the brand’s goodwill (brand equity), content marketing need not always be measured in monetary terms (at least not initially). In fact, in the early days, it should be judged in terms of the benefits that it provides consumers and whether it manages to fill an existing knowledge gap in general. To make it easy for both marketers and audience to determine what constitutes a good content marketing campaign they should essentially look for these three features – Innovative, Engaging and Informative.
Here’s our pick of the global content marketing campaigns of 2014 that measured up on all three counts.
Dove Real Beauty Sketches:
Dove, a personal care brand from FMCG giant Unilever, undertook a social experiment to prove to women – its main target customers, that they are more beautiful than they think. At a time when most personal care brands go out of their way to point out flaws in skin tone, body structure, hair texture, to create self-doubt, Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches project that promotes a positive self image is a novel idea.
Contrary to usual campaigns by personal care brands which suggest that to acquire a certain attitude or to achieve a particular look they must buy a certain product, this project is a definite addition to Dove’s brand equity.
The project is based on the concept of an artist creating a ‘blind’ sketch on only verbal descriptions of a woman. An artist is hired to create a portrait of a woman, first based on her own description and then on the basis of the description given by random strangers. The two portraits are then compared to find out which one of them is closer to the woman’s appearance. Surprisingly, the portrait created based on how random strangers described the woman is closer to the actual appearance and more positive.
Google’s Behind The Scenes Street View:
Google Map’s Street View which has met with controversy regarding privacy concerns in the past, launched its behind the scenes street view page to demonstrate how the system works and put forth a more positive image of the service.
Google, through this page, satiates users’ curiosity by showing how its team collects images, information and matches these images to their actual location to provide a user with a very real 360-degree view of the location. All in all, a perfect demo of its service… leaving no doubts for any concerns.
The page not only provides the necessary information but also acts as a requisition centre where mid and small business owners, venue owners and tourism boards can either request to be covered and or hire Google’s services to take pictures of remote locations. All you need to do is Google it!
Home depot’s #SpringMadeSimple Vine:
US-based Home Depot – one of the largest retailers of home improvement and construction products choose to use Vine – a video sharing social network owned by Twitter, to launch its #SpringMadeSimple project.
It uploaded various videos of gardening ideas, do-it-yourself craft projects and home improvement ideas to help viewers create their own personal green space in the comfort of their home. The videos are fun to watch and the ideas easy to implement.
Although one cannot be certain, there are suspicions that this campaign might have kept the cashiers at Home Depot busy – purely based on the fact that the theoretical knowledge it was sharing could be put in practice with the products it offers.
Burberry, a British luxury fashion house, launched its #BurberryGifts campaign on Twitter just before the start of the holiday season. Through the campaign, Burberry aims to guide users on choosing the right gift for their loved ones. It has appointed a dedicated team of customer service staff to respond to tweets seeking advice- after gathering basic information (age, gender,likes and dislikes) about the recipient. Apart from responding to users’ queries, Burberry is also tweeting gifting ideas with pictures to lure the less-enthusiastic. Seems like a sales campaign? Yes, it Probably is. But if this idea gains popularity it has the scope to become a great gifting ideas content platform for users looking for gifting ideas during the holiday season. A bit tedious to sift through, but then which archive isn’t? And, of course taking inspiration from tweets does not mean that you need to order from Burberry!
— Burberry Middle East (@BurberryME) December 22, 2014
If it gains popularity #BurberryGifts can go down as an example of a campaign that has it all – innovative, engaging, interactive, informative and profitable!
Metro Trains (Australia) – Dumb Ways To Die Video:
Launched in 2012, Australia’s Metro Trains’ Dumb Ways To Die video can be said to be an innovation in promoting rail safety. With its totally hummable song, the video is a fun and quirky way to educate viewers on what NOT to do if they want to preserve their life. Credited with reducing train accidents by almost 21% within three months of its launch, it also won most of the major awards in 2013.
Since the campaign’s launch, Metro Trains has regularly come up with themed videos around holidays or special days, the latest being for Halloween and Christmas. To further its safety agenda, in July 2014, Metro Trains also licensed its Dumb Ways To Die characters to Canadian insurer – Empire Life.
Apart from videos, the company has also launched two smartphone mobile games – Dumb To Die and Dumb Ways To Die 2: The Games. Leaving you with the original Dumb Ways To Die video: