Content marketing really works. Those prepared to invest in content and play the long game are hugely rewarded. Don’t just take our word for it, read how these 4 brands use content to raise brand awareness, engage with their customers and ultimately drive more sales.
Kraft Foods was an early pioneer in the online and content publishing space. Its Food & Family print magazine launched in 2001 and online recipe directory Kraftrecipes.com, which has a massive fan base in the US, came even early in 1992. Not only does Kraft charge for its print magazine it has 3.5 million people that are prepared to pay for (via subscription) to access to their online recipes website too. They’ve had a YouTube channel since 2005 and now expanded their content to mobile, social and apps too. They create original content as well as curate the best of the web but they also rely heavily on user generated content from their community. Only a third of the recipes they publish are created by Kraft Kitchen Experts, the rest comes from paying members. Director of content strategy, Julie Fleischer, says that its ROI on content marketing is among the highest of all Kraft’s marketing efforts. They use their own audience data to drive value for their business - from getting better research and feedback on products, tailoring ads through accurate segmentation to garnering greater insight about their customers’ preferences.
The UK’s second largest supermarket chain has been using content to drive awareness and increase in-store purchases for the last 20 years. Its magazine, Sainsbury’s Magazine, has become Britain’s best selling news stand food title on the market, rivalling others created by traditional publishers. Such is its commitment to content it’s just launched its new food website called Homemade in partnership with the Huffington Post, propelling it into a multi-platform food brand. But it uses very bottom line measures to analyse its content marketing ROI. It monitors copy sales and ad revenues but also tracks sales uplifts of products that are featured in the magazine. They measure soft targets like brand awareness and brand reputation too. The number of top chefs wanting to feature in the magazine or give an online interview is testament to how highly regarded this piece of content marketing is.
The four star international hotel group have embedded content marketing into their overall group strategy. This year they launched a digital magazine the Marriott Traveler. They’re investing in it as a real initiative, it’s not some side experiment, as it’s embedded into their main website. The magazine gives you in depth stories about different places, people and cultures from around the world. Yes they want you to book hotels in these countries but they are also aiming to teach potential customers about the world. It’s a great alternative to the traditional travel magazine. They’re also one of the first brands to experiment with virtual reality. They’ve married up with graphics studio Framestore to create a virtual travel experience within a Teleporter. They are experimenting with bringing people to new places – which is what they care about. They are clearly thinking of content in an innovative way.
The Content-Loop.com, from Cap Gemini, is a good example of how a B2B company is using thought leadership content to bring people closer to and to engage with their brand. They use licensed content from companies like Fast Company, New York Times and The Financial Times – publications they know C-Level executives are reading - and republish these on their branded content hub site. They use LinkedIn’s sponsored updates to target relevant executives. When those executives click on the articles they land on a Cap Gemini branded content hub. Once they’re there the executives are invited to connect with consultants and practice leaders from with Cap Gemini. It’s really a soft conversion. But it’s an amazing customer experience.