Any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers is defined as Content Marketing. What traditional advertising did with headlines and creative copy, marketers are striving to do in this ever-on social media age, leveraging the ever-growing variety of mediums for the ever-on consumer. But, what actually comprises a distinctive content marketing strategy.
Does it mean loads of advertising with witty copy or piles of money being thrown around all over in paid content distribution or an effective content plan that talks about your product, shares valuable insights with your consumer, without ever telling them to buy into your product/brand? The questions are endless, but the answer is only one. There is no right or wrong in your content marketing strategy, as long as you are able to trigger a desired action from your consumer.
Likes, shares, favourites give way to even stronger responses like subscribing to your channel or your enewsletter. Consumers cannot ignore your business if your content shouts out loud to them and makes sense from the clutter. It is a laborious task but it can be a richly rewarding experience for businesses that invest in it.
A B2C Content Marketing report by Content Marketing Institute points out the multiple organizational goals for content marketing in 2015, as shared by marketers. While Customer Retention/Loyalty and Engagement is at the top, Brand Awareness, Sales, Customer Evangelism, Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, and Cross-sell have also been listed in descending order.
Here, we take a look at some brilliant examples of content marketing in India, where organizational goals were met with creativity, faith in the medium and a fair amount of storytelling:
Philips Air Fryer
When Philips had introduced its innovative kitchen appliance named Air Fryer in 2012, little did the consumer know about its health benefits or its usage. The product allowed one to cook chicken wings, French fries, aloo tikkis and other deep fried foods with 80% less oil, but was faced with a low awareness level among cooking enthusiasts. Also, content on the internet especially YouTube focused only on international recipes that can be cooked with the Airfryer. The lack of Indian recipes with the Airfryer hindered its growth in India.
The brand with its digital agency Ogilvy One cooked up an influencer led awareness campaign to tackle relevant content, in tandem with paid media. Instead of launching and creating its own YouTube cookery channel from scratch, Philips leveraged and roped in India’s biggest YouTube influencer (in the cookery domain) named Sanjay Thumma. Thumma ran a cookery channel on YouTube titled VahChef with more than 330K subscribers then.
Through a six-month long branded show titled “Philips Superchef” on VahChef, Sanjay cooked a variety of Indian dishes on the Airfryer, thus creating a storehouse of useful information for the product. The recipe episodes were also weaved into the Facebook content strategy with Q&A posts, contests and chat sessions. The result: the search volume for Airfryer on Google jumped up noticeably post the launch of Superchef Show, large number of recipes appeared in Airfryer related recipes search results on YouTube, and the organic reach of Facebook posts shot up.
Here, content marketing played a significant role from battling low product awareness to creating an interested consumer set from the digitally equipped, health conscious, urban consumer.
Website Traffic is the top metric businesses use to assess their content marketing success. Marketers have also listed Sales, Higher conversion Rates, SEO Ranking, Time spent on Website, Qualitative Feedback from Customers and Subscriber Growth as other metrics they measure. The survey found higher conversion rates a new entry among metrics measured in 2015.
Woo ‘Find Magic. Find Love.’
One of India’s leading matchmaking app, Woo helps urban singles meet people who are similar to them in terms of lifestyle and interests, and are looking for meaningful relationships. Last August, the app had launched a revamped UI along with new features that helped one discover the right match. A massive content marketing route was adopted by the brand to take this to its relevant audience.
A segment of existing users were sent push notifications and in-app messages to check out the new Woo TVC and guess the city it was shot in to win merchandise. Engagement was driven on on Twitter with a long-form contest and posts around the TVC; these were promoted by influencers to increase participation. Besides, cross promotions were done with Gaana.com.
A full-fledged feature-centric messaging saw posts explaining the functional descriptions of each feature weaved around the TVC story. These were then brought alive with visuals depicting specific interests of the target audience in mind. User-generated content, a Dubsmash contest were mixed with a blend of minimalist illustrations on social media to all tie together with the central idea of the campaign – finding love with Woo.
Along with the likes, comments and shares, the content-driven campaign saw a 100% spurt in app downloads directly by social media, and conversion rates for downloads doubling from the previous average.
The BFSI sector is another area where marketers are looking to create awareness and engagement through content marketing. Social media content tops the list of content marketing tactics used by marketers, followed by enewsletters, articles, photos, videos, blogs, branded content, infographics, microsites and mobile apps. And with content there arises the need to tell stories. Better storytellers can lead to effective content marketing and optimized metrics.
DBS India Chilli Paneer 2
DBS bank has a strong brand across Asia, however, its presence in India has been quite limited and its awareness was quite low. In a bid to build brand awareness, the bank had created a film called Chilli Paneer based on the love story of a Mumbai girl Asha and a Singaporean boy Ken. The campaign led to a healthy engagement on social media.
And then it played on with the next instalment called Chilli Paneer 2,that brought in interactivity and more content channels. Now the story had 8 different endings and was hosted on a microsite. With the added layer of interactivity built in, the idea was to let the consumer control and co-create the story of Ken and Asha with DBS playing a key role in each of the eight possibilities.
In addition to the film communicating through social media channels, the chief protagonists – Ken & Asha were active on social media and people could interact with them. Ken’s food blog and Ken & Asha’s Twitter handles provided people an opportunity to interact with the protagonists.
Food bloggers and blogger meet ups further added to the brand awareness exercise. The strategy led to a healthy microsite traffic with time spent on video page averaging to 5.38 minutes. DBS bank also trended organically on Twitter.
Lenovo A6000 launch
Lenovo had been selling phones in India for a year-and-a-half before the A6000 came about. But it was yet to make a dent in the smartphone buyer’s mindset. While Indian consumers regarded Lenovo among the leading PC/tablet makers of the world, they were yet to feel the same for its smartphones. During the A6000 launch, the challenge was to ensure Lenovo was in the consideration set of young smartphone buyers.
The brand roped in Ranbir Kapoor, the Lenovo India brand ambassador and launched him on social media in a unique way. A presence was created on social media platforms frequented by millennials – Snapchat, Vine, Tumblr besides the usual suspects: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Ranbir became the creator and the A6000 his device of creation.
A host of real-time content was created on social media, that also incorporated the features of A6000. For instance, his first Facebook post was done using the “voice to text” feature on the phone. After that came a series of innovative Vines, cool Instagram selfies, fun tweets and little GIF-sets, all created, packaged and delivered in a jiffy through the A6000. The audience lapped it up; live engagement soared by the minute, while #RanbirHitsA6 on social became the talk of town, with a microsite on Tumblr curating everything of the activity.
Not only did Lenovo’s brand awareness levels went up from 15% to 26%, and brand consideration climbed from 11% to 18%, the company’s market share in smartphones went up to 4.4% from 1.5% a quarter ago.
Oreo, like all other cream biscuits, had been communicating only with kids because of which it had acquired a kiddy perception over the years. The brand wanted to shed its kiddy image and bring in new consumers to the category – Teens and Young adults. After an extensive research on the various interest areas of teens and young adults, the brand launched #PlaywithOreo, a platform that encouraged them to look beyond the dreariness of everyday life and inspired playfulness, imagination and participation to explore the many possibilities in the ordinary while making Oreo a token of Play.
Each interest area was mapped to the campaign aspects. For example, Music and Dance became #PopIt and #PlayIt, Photography became #ClickIt, Art became #DoodleIt, Travel and Adventure became: #FlyIt, and Dreamy and Imaginative became #ImagineIt.
#PlayWithOreo was introduced with a horde of visuals, gifs and videos for each of the play actions. Consumers were also encouraged through contests, while all the content was curated on the microsite with options for social sharing.
The content-driven campaign saw the average volume sales grow by 6% compared to pre-campaign period while also making Oreo appealing to teenagers and young adults.
Bajaj Allianz Life Tax Monster
Last year, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance sought to bridge the lack of awareness and education among consumers with regards to multiple financial instruments for saving income tax. The insurance brand leveraged content to inform, engage and interact with its target audience on social media, while also driving business benefits.
The central theme of the campaign was inspired by the quintessential Bollywood villain, a character called the ‘Tax Monster’, who is a personification of the much-hated taxes. This character communicated with the audience in a typical cinema lingo – peppered with a liberal mix of humor and the legendary dialogues of famous villains.
Then followed a series of content roll-outs that focused around issues related to investment and healthy investment options. The #TaxGiri series was used as a vital content bucket to communicate tax trivia and tips with the target audience. A micro-campaign #PictureAbhiBaakiHai encouraged users to come up with smart ideas to overcome real-life like situations put up by the brand. An informative video was created highlighting different ways of defeating the ‘Tax Monster’.
The brand also leveraged important days like the ICC World Cup, Holi, Women’s Day and more, to continue its content marketing spree. An interactive game ‘Defeat the Tax Monster’ added engagement for the campaign with 3.9K participants in 48 hours and up to 10% of them converted into leads.
Amazon Diwali Sale
This Diwali Amazon wanted to rise above the noise for its Diwali sale and engage consumers with a mixture of content centred on the festival and common symbols and festivities associated with it. The ecommerce brand sought to recreate Diwali for its followers and while at it create the maximum amount of engagement and noise.
The brand chose an interesting mix of content and engagement opportunities to do this, beginning with sharing festive looking replies in GIF form to all who were talking about the Amazon Diwali sale. It shared behind the scenes videos about the fulfillment centers set up for a busy Diwali.
Deals were highlighted through emoji based clues, while a game of housie was also recreated on Twitter. People were asked to match their cart value to the number thrown out by Amazon every half hour, driving visits to the website, and also getting visitors to look though the product catalogues.
The campaign not only created a massive reach, during the deals there was a 50% increase in social share of site visits.
A sound content marketing strategy backed with insights and relevancy to the target audience and driven consistently with help from influencers, or brand push, can work wonders.