tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy Latest Content marketing content from Econsultancy 2017-02-23T11:48:06+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68831 2017-02-23T11:48:06+00:00 2017-02-23T11:48:06+00:00 How brands are tapping into the trend for a digital detox Nikki Gilliland <p>Now, we are able to use mobile technology to encourage creativity and enhance entertainment – but arguably at the expense of our productivity and general well-being.</p> <p>This topic was recently highlighted in Mindshare’s 2017 <a href="http://www.mindshareworld.com/uk" target="_blank">Trends report</a>, which also cited how certain companies are tapping into the consumer’s desire to switch off.</p> <p>Here’s a bit of elaboration on the subject, and a few more examples of how brands are (ironically) using technology to combat technology overload.</p> <h3>Dolmio Pepper Hacker</h3> <p>Last year, Dolmio used the notion of ‘too much tech’ as the basis of its own marketing campaign. It was built around the idea that technology has hijacked dinner time, with children becoming so absorbed in tablets and smartphones that they are completely unaware of everything going on around them. </p> <p>So, it created the ‘pepper hacker’ - a device that automatically disables surrounding Wi-Fi - to help families reclaim dinner time. </p> <p>It was a well-executed campaign, incorporating an amusing advert, a competition and a related creative – all hosted on a dedicated website. As well as using a relatable topic to target its core demographic of families, the brand was also able to show care and concern for the people who typically buy its products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dN04OO67_do?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Apple</h3> <p>Apple included a whole host of sleep-related features in its iOS 10 update, recognising the growing problem of users being able to switch off from their phones at night. Putting ‘Bedtime’ into its own dedicated tab, it now allows users to configure alarms to remind them when to go to bed and when to wake up, emphasising that a regular pattern can help aid restful sleep. </p> <p>More recently, there’s been talk that Apple is to introduce new apps for the Apple Watch, including similar sleep and fitness trackers. If it does, this demonstrates the brand's greater intent to infiltrate the health industry, as well as perhaps recognition that it is intrinsically linked to users’ increasing sleep troubles.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4100/Apple_bedtime.jpg" alt="" width="625" height="539"></p> <h3>GE</h3> <p>Another brand to tap into sleep-related issues is GE, with its range of C-Sleep light bulbs.</p> <p>Designed to prevent harsh light from interrupting natural rhythms in the brain, the lightbulbs can be toggled between three settings – one for night, one for morning and one for any time in-between. By changing the light intensity, people will be able to prevent melatonin levels from being disrupted, as well as create a more calming and sleep-inducing bedtime environment.</p> <p>This is a good example of a brand demonstrating that it’s not always about a reaction against technology itself – but finding ways to use technology in smart ways in order to facilitate a modern lifestyle. The fact that the lightbulbs can be controlled via an app proves that balance is key.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4101/GE.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="416"></p> <h3>Meantime Brewing Company</h3> <p>Another content marketing campaign, this time from Meantime Brewing Company, based on the idea that technology is disrupting socialising and our ability to enjoy down-time. As part of its 'Make Time For It' campaign, it challenged six talented craftsmen from six cities to each create one element of a pop up bar. The premise being that it takes time to both create and enjoy a good beer.</p> <p>Meantime’s London bar, also the smallest ever pop-bar, opened last October with one stipulation – everyone entering had to hand over their mobile phone so that they could enjoy a pint, technology-free. </p> <p>It’s not unusual for beer brands to use ideas of patience and calm – Guinness’s famous tagline is course “good things come to those who wait”. However, Meantime’s strict no-smartphone rule proved that more brands are cottoning on to the idea (as well as how it can be used to drum up a good bit of PR).</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jIn0N2mpbKw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Headspace</h3> <p>Lastly, just one example of a brand that would not exist if there wasn’t a desire to switch off.</p> <p>Headspace is one of the most successful mindfulness apps, designed to help users take a break from the treadmill of life and instead take a well-earned breather. Now reported to be worth £25m, there has been some suggestion that Headspace goes against the traditional, spiritual premise of true mindfulness. After all, not all of its features are free.</p> <p>This is a pretty cynical view, however, and perhaps one that is beside the point here. What Headspace shows us is that mindfulness is now mainstream. Brands, whether they are already established or not, are merely finding more ways to capitalise on it.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Life is easier with technology. But is it happier? <a href="https://t.co/sEEs4t62jI">https://t.co/sEEs4t62jI</a> <a href="https://t.co/6FHyxFG9eW">pic.twitter.com/6FHyxFG9eW</a></p> — Headspace (@Headspace) <a href="https://twitter.com/Headspace/status/833858035336425473">February 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68827 2017-02-22T14:11:00+00:00 2017-02-22T14:11:00+00:00 19 words and phrases to weed out of your marketing copy Dan Brotzel <p>'More than not, marketers are abuzz about social media and video without comprehending that most of our communication is still text- and story-based. And frankly, most marketers are really bad at writing.’</p> <p>Good writing is about vigilance, among other things. And as marketers, one easy way to improve our writing is to try and weed out some of those bits of boilerplated guff and clichéd collateralese that are always hanging about ready to sneak their way back into our copy the moment we turn our backs. (I’m sure you’ll find some in my copy; but one can but try.)</p> <p>So here’s a dirty near-score of marketing phrases that refuse to die – together with some extra ammunition as to why it’s time to let them go for good…</p> <h3><strong>‘We understand that x’ </strong></h3> <p>As in ‘we understand that getting a mortgage for the first time can be a daunting experience’. Or ‘we understand that your pet is important to you’. Or ‘we understand that your time is valuable.’</p> <p>When you think about it, is there anything good one can say about this time-honoured marketing construction, which comes over as redundant (why would you tell me things you don’t understand?), patronising, questionable (what do you, a bank, really know or remember about the experience of getting a first-time mortgage?) or bland – and often all at once.</p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Often you can just remove the wording and immediately improve the sentence. But if you really want to make this point about empathy, find a way to show or prove that you understand x, not just state or tell it, for instance through proof points, testimonial quotes or other credible content that showcases your expertise in the area.</p> <h3><strong>‘Tailored to your specific/individual requirements/your unique circumstances’</strong></h3> <p>...And the whole bundle of messages about bespoke/customised solutions. These time-battered phrases promise much but deliver little, and tend to fall apart on closer inspection.</p> <p>There’s the tautology – why would you tailor things to my <em>non-specific</em> requirements? There’s the lazy promise – is your ‘solution’ really as unique as my circumstances? How do you know my circumstances are unique, come to that? (They aren’t always.) Above all, there is the weary sense that this is just what you say to everyone... which delivers exactly the opposite cookie-cutter effect to what you were apparently shooting for.</p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Try and find something fresh to say. Be specific. Demonstrate that you really do ‘bespoke’ your ‘solutions’ (without using either of these words). Or if you don’t really, maybe you don’t need to pretend that you do?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4066/Siemens.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="203"></p> <h3><strong>‘X will soon be upon us’ (and other tired seasonal hooks)</strong></h3> <p>As in ‘winter will soon be upon us and car safety is essential to avoid emergency situations’ (so you need our executive driving winter kit). Or ‘the picnic season will soon be upon us so why not stock up on some al fresco essentials?’ (which we sell, by the way). Or ‘the festive season will soon be upon us, but don’t worry, we’ve got Christmas all wrapped up’.</p> <p>That last one manages to combine two seasonal clichés in one, of course: ‘all wrapped up’ is for my money right up there with ‘new year, new you’ and the assumption that people (especially men) do nothing but DIY on bank holidays.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4067/National-home-buyers.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="412"></p> <p>Does it matter? Aren’t these messages just conventions that we expect at certain times of the year? Well, they often feel very tired, and that can’t be good for our sales prospects. Plus, endless repetition of the same phrases tends to make readers blind/deaf to their meaning (a phenomenon that can affect the writers of such marketing copy too). </p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Say something else. Address the season in an unexpected way. What about single people and divorcees at Valentine’s? What about making a resolution at the start of the Chinese New Year or the tax year?</p> <p>On the other hand, if you have an unexpected event coming up, the use of the mundane cliché actually adds to the impact:  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4064/Zombie-apocalypse-Zazzles.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="388"></p> <h3><strong>‘Looking for/to do x?’ ‘Need x for your y?’ </strong></h3> <p>As in: ‘Looking to review your postage franking solution in 2017?’ Or: ‘Looking for a new flooring solution for your home?’ Or: ‘Looking to drive business growth?’ Or: ‘Need a new UK hospitality purchase decision-maker database provider?’</p> <p>You get this sort of approach in coldish emails a lot. What they tend to have in common is an absence of sizzle, or benefit, or USP. Such marketing simply states what’s on offer, in the most internally focused and unvarnished way possible, and asks you if you want it. Or else it states the bleeding obvious: What business isn’t interested in growth? (And when are you going to get round to telling me what you do?)</p> <p>Sometimes this may be a sensible way of qualifying out people. If I really have no possible need of a new UK hospitality purchase decision-maker database, no amount of fancy copy can change this. But then again, if there is a chance I might be interested, why would I go for the provider who can’t be bothered to do more than list what they do?</p> <p>What this approach also overlooks is that people often don’t know what they want or need, and it’s the job of the marketing copy to get people feeling otherwise. We get engaged with marketing messages because they chime with something we didn't know we were already thinking, because they show how something might fit into our world, because they work hard to create a little feelgood sensation at the thought of having them in our lives. ‘Looking for a new flooring solution?’ doesn’t quite do it for me.</p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Be creative. Think about why someone might care about what you have to offer. Think about scenarios and use cases they might relate to. Tell us stories of other people who’ve benefited from your product or service. Anything but this really.</p> <h3><strong>‘Today’s fast-moving world’ </strong></h3> <p>As in: ‘In today's fast-moving world, any business that fails to keep up with the latest technological trends and developments will be swiftly left behind.’ Or: ‘In today’s fast moving world with its rapid technological advancement, the ability to constantly pivot and see oneself in relation to the larger ecosystem is essential in order to remain relevant.’</p> <p>On Google, a search for ‘today’s fast-moving world’ yields 61,100 results. It’s the sort of phrase that’s especially favoured by consultancies, software providers and personal development outfits. It seems to be a sort of shorthand for our contemporary sense that the world keeps changing in complex ways, what with all the new gadgets and the social media stuff and those disruptive brands and that Donald Trump and drones and AI and loads of the jobs of tomorrow haven’t even been invented yet and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation</a> and oh God, I don’t know, everything’s just really complicated, it won’t stay still and now I’ve got a headache.</p> <p>Something like that. But because everyone uses the same phrase and you show no signs of having any special insights to bring to bear on this complexity, we sort of just assume that you can’t really get your head round it either. Or maybe you can’t be bothered to say anything more meaningful because the world will probably change again, making your comments obsolete before you’ve even published them. But that’s today’s fast-moving world for you all over, alas.</p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Avoid. Be specific instead. Choose a specific topic or issue that your users and prospects might relate to, and that you have something interesting to say about.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4068/Open-genius-website.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="656"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4065/Aldermore-webpage.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="412"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4069/Angel-webpage.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="525"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4070/Key-personnel-webpage.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="412"></p> <h3><strong>'Today, more than ever…'</strong></h3> <p>As in: ‘Today more than ever, you need an effective way to help support a healthy balance of microbes in your gut’ (provider of probiotic supplements). Or: ‘Today, more than ever, we continue to be an industry leader in innovation’ (tool maker). Or: ‘Today more than ever before, our pets have become part of the family […] without asking for anything in return’ (pet urns supplier).</p> <p>Copywriters often invoke this breathless phrase to signal that the thought that comes next is really important. It has to be, because it’s usually the reason they want you to invest in their product or service. Unfortunately, they often don’t have anything of sufficient weight to insert here, and so it all rings a bit hollow. 'Today, more than ever, I need you to buy my product.'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4071/Google-pets.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="235"></p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Go for a proof point that’s provable and specific, rather than a general statement that’s as sweeping as it is unconvincing. Or think of a topical reference or a story people will be familiar with, to illustrate your point.</p> <h3><strong>'State of the art'</strong></h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4072/State-of-the-art.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="406"></p> <p>As in ‘state-of-the-art conference facilities’, ‘state-of-the-art accounting software’, or (even) ‘state-of-the-art pooper scooper’. I’m sure I’ve used this one in my time, but now that I look at in the cold light of day (cliché), I’m not sure I want to any more.</p> <p>Pretty much everyone claims that what they do or sell is ‘state of the art’. This makes the claim meaningless. Another problem is that the phrase is really just a fancy synonym for ‘up to the minute’ or ‘latest’. So you’re basically claiming that your offering isn’t out of date (duh), or else it looks like you’re trying too hard to pretend that you’re still with it.</p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Back to specifics, to showing not telling. Focus on one or a few aspects that genuinely illustrate your state-of-the-artness.</p> <h3><strong>‘Solutions’, ‘global solutions’, ‘global solutions provider’</strong></h3> <p>As in: ‘UK cloud solutions provider’, ‘hotel bookings solutions provider’ or ‘business event solutions provider’. The word ‘solutions’ has been derided so often that satirical magazine <em>Private Eye</em> even ran a regular column in which readers sent in their worst examples of the phrase in action. Someone found a description of cardboard boxes as ‘Christmas Ornament Storage Solutions’. Then there was ‘Lockwoods Mushy Pea Fritters: the frozen versatile meal solution.’</p> <p>But though civilians laughed at the phrase and moved on, in marketing – and especially in B2B and IT – it has refused to die. Google searches show it’s still everywhere. Yet it adds little in terms of meaning or impact, and is often totally redundant.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4061/Ryoden_network_solutions.png" alt="" width="728" height="557"></p> <p><strong>The fix:</strong> Try saying the same thing without mentioning the word ‘solution’ or ‘provider’. It’ll probably read better.</p> <h3><strong>Quick-fire round</strong></h3> <p>Here for your consideration are a few more pet hates from my colleagues, with their comments...</p> <p><strong><em>‘We’ve teamed up with…’ </em></strong>You’re not a superhero!</p> <p><strong><em>‘Meeting the needs of today’s [businesses/global traveller/etc]…’ </em></strong>Bland and meaningless.</p> <p><strong><em>‘It’s up to you…’ </em></strong>As in, ‘Choose x widget, or choose y widget – it’s up to you’. Who else would it be up to??</p> <p><strong><em>‘Whatever you’re looking for/planning etc, we can help/we’ve got you covered’ </em></strong>Really? Anything? Now you’ve just got me thinking of exceptions.</p> <p><strong><em>‘As a [insert audience], you need to [insert product benefit] and that’s why we now offer [insert product feature]’ </em></strong>Formulaic and unimaginative. This is just the brief served up as the execution.</p> <p><strong><em>‘Created by experts’, ‘We're experts in…’ ‘We have the expertise’ etc </em></strong>I hate the 'expert' tag. If you’re really experts, do you have to say it?</p> <p><strong><em>‘[Our event] is fast approaching and it’s going to be the best [thing of its kind] ever’ </em></strong>Don’t believe you.</p> <p><strong><em>‘110%!’ </em></strong>This is simply, mathematically inaccurate.</p> <p><strong><em>‘Something for everyone’ </em></strong>Don't do it. You'll be 'ticking every box' next...</p> <p><strong><em>Unbeatable prices </em></strong>Unless you really do have a price promise.</p> <p><strong><em>‘Your dream x (e.g. your dream kitchen)’ </em></strong>I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt about my ideal kitchen!</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, book yourself onto one of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/copywriting">Econsultancy’s copywriting courses</a>, or check out these other posts:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68583-10-common-traits-of-bad-copywriters/"><em>10 common traits of bad copywriters</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66631-20-banned-words-from-the-econsultancy-blog-and-their-alternatives/"><em>20 banned words from the Econsultancy blog and their alternatives</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68826 2017-02-22T14:06:00+00:00 2017-02-22T14:06:00+00:00 Three things to appreciate about Discover LA’s latest video campaign Nikki Gilliland <p>It’s an interesting approach, and one that I think works quite well. Here are a few reasons why.</p> <h3>Movie inspiration</h3> <p>There are a lot of movies about cities, but there aren’t many that celebrate a location quite like La La Land. Unsurprisingly, Discover LA has jumped on the bandwagon, taking inspiration from the movie and mimicking its celebration of the city’s sweeping skyline.</p> <p>The first video from the campaign, ‘Magic’, is so far the most reminiscent of La La Land. It features a dance troupe performing against the backdrop of a twinkling, dusky Downtown skyline, complete with a view from Griffith Observatory.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7kRl2IWg9qY?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>Arguably then, the best thing about Discover LA’s campaign is its timing – cleverly coinciding with the film’s release and subsequent 14 Oscar nominations. </p> <p>However, whether you’ve seen the movie or not, the campaign’s cinematic (and rose-tinted) view of LA is bound to leave you feeling a little captivated – or nonplussed at your own less-than-glamorous surroundings at the very least. I particularly like the fact that the videos feature no talking or background narration. </p> <p>In contrast to a previous tourism campaign from Visit California, which featured a host of people humble-bragging about their laid-back lifestyle, the videos are far more enjoyable to watch.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Iey7_N_mEx4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Based on consumer opinion</h3> <p>Discover LA has traditionally used the real-life experiences of local residents to inform its marketing campaigns, incorporating insight about what makes life in Los Angeles so special.</p> <p>This latest campaign is no different, however this time it uses the opinions of people from elsewhere. The brand reportedly undertook in-depth focus groups in nine key global markets, including the UK, in order to find out why travellers are drawn to the city. From this, it discovered that most people cited the feeling or the lifestyle of LA as the most intriguing part. </p> <p>This is another reason why the campaign feels so refreshing. Instead of promoting the city in a stereotypically ‘Hollywood’ fashion – or the ‘millennials want experiences’ angle - it focuses on the overarching (and sometimes unexplainable) atmosphere.</p> <p>In turn, it recognises that the city is a genuine travel destination for Brits based on a wide range of reasons – not just its recent movie incarnation. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Dh2pHJVIeAo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Social media integration</h3> <p>Lastly, Discover LA’s use of social is particularly impressive – specifically how its uses Instagram to provide extra value for users.</p> <p>By choosing to post its ‘Discover LA’ videos directly within Instagram, it manages to ensure greater reach.</p> <p>Meanwhile, not only are the posts beautiful to look at, but the brand often includes detailed descriptions too. This helps to counteract the feeling that the campaign (and Instagram as a channel) is more shallow than informative – one which merely emphasises what’s on the surface.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4051/Discover_LA_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="497"></p> <p>By including content in this context, Discover LA manages to strike a good balance, both informing the user as well as visually capturing their attention. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67952-five-tourism-websites-guaranteed-to-give-you-wanderlust/" target="_blank">Five tourism websites guaranteed to give you wanderlust</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67996-what-travel-tourism-marketers-can-learn-from-discover-la/" target="_blank">What travel &amp; tourism marketers can learn from Discover LA</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68604-why-ugc-is-the-future-of-social-media-in-travel-and-tourism-marketing/" target="_blank">Why UGC is the future of social media in travel and tourism marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68828 2017-02-21T14:06:31+00:00 2017-02-21T14:06:31+00:00 After years of apathy, football clubs are embracing digital transformation David Moth <p>However, it turns out my research for that article was no better than the scouting performed by Southampton when <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/nov/22/ali-dia-story-20-years-on-southampton-souness">they signed Ali Dia</a> back in 1996. While I maintain that <a href="https://southamptonfc.com/">Southampton’s website</a> is still the best the Premier League has to offer, it’s been brought to my attention that other clubs are also doing some excellent digital work. </p> <p>Much has been written about Manchester City’s digital strategy, which includes a strong emphasis on social media, experiments with VR, and hackathons focusing on digital fan engagement.</p> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FcSnHBZcC4w?ecver=2&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe> <p>And while it’s easy to suggest that City’s digital success is inevitable due to the club’s vast resources, one need only <a href="http://www.manutd.com/Splash-Page.aspx">glance at their local rival’s site</a> to see that having lots of cash doesn’t guarantee that some of it will be invested in digital platforms.</p> <p>But it’s wrong to focus only on what’s happening at the top of the league. Robbie Blackburn, client partner at digital agency <a href="http://www.aqueduct.co.uk/">Aqueduct</a>, said that although Man City are known for being digital innovators, other teams are quietly developing their own digital capabilities as well.</p> <p>“It’s been a big play for City to be seen as leaders in digital. They recently launched their own robot partner, which suggests that some of it is for PR value. But a lot of other clubs are really seeing the value in innovating in digital.”</p> <p>Cast your eye lower down the league table, down to the very bottom in fact. <a href="https://www.safc.com/">Sunderland AFC</a> who, at the time of writing, are in last place, have had a strong focus on digital for many years. This approach is fairly unique for a club with a history of yo-yoing between the Premier League and Championship. </p> <p>Most clubs in the Football League (i.e. the Championship down to League Two) outsource their websites to Football League Interactive (FLI). This is a centralised web platform offered for free to Football League clubs that want to outsource their website in return for giving up the right to any ad revenue. While it’s a useful service for lower league clubs looking to reduce their overheads, the UX of FLI sites is poor and customisation options are limited.</p> <p>Sunderland have never used FLI and during the 2012/13 season launched what was then the first responsive Premier League site built in HTML5. Working with Aqueduct, Sunderland unveiled another new site at the beginning of the current 2016/17 season, with the aim of offering fans a more app-like experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4075/sunderland_homepage.png" alt="" width="700" height="416"></p> <p><em>Sunderland's content feed</em></p> <p>Visually the site has a similar layout to Southampton’s, with a content feed that’s frequently updated, as well as a dedicated match day experience. While the range of content and site navigation isn’t quite on par with Southampton’s, plans are afoot to further develop the site in the near future.</p> <p>Despite being a relatively small club compared to some of its Premier League peers, Sunderland is ahead of most teams in terms of its digital capabilities thanks to years of investment by the club’s owners. According to Stuart Vose, Sunderland AFC’s head of digital: “There’s no hard and fast way of getting digital right. What works for one club might not work for another. </p> <p>“The senior management of this club are very ambitious for digital, they realise that it should be at the centre of any modern business, and particularly a sports club where it connects with so many fans around the world plus partners and sponsors.”</p> <p>A common theme among Premier League teams is the desire to use digital both to engage with existing and new fans, and also to open up new sponsorship opportunities. </p> <p>Stuart currently has seven people within his digital team who broadly cover content and digital marketing for the club and the Stadium of Light’s event facilities. One recent example of the club’s in-house capabilities is this #keepthefaith video, which aims to rally support as the club battles relegation.</p> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lm7tvIP3ndQ?ecver=2&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe> <p>Historically Sunderland’s digital team has acted almost as a service function for other departments, responding to requests and helping with specific projects, but plans are now underway to embed the digital team across the entire club.</p> <p>According to Stuart: “We want digital to sit across everything and be able to proactively offer digital products and services into other departments to help drive them forward rather than just reacting to things. Not just ‘can we have a tweet’, but how can we innovate and offer products and services to them.”</p> <p>It’s these new products and services – such as new content hubs or digital platforms – that can provide value to both fans and sponsors alike. As Stuart puts it: “Digital is a virtuous circle. The more you invest in it, the better our digital platforms become, which hopefully helps to attract better sponsors, which gives us more money to invest, and so on. It all builds up.”</p> <p>Sunderland is currently working to create a single sign-on for the club’s digital platforms (ticketing, merchandising, content, etc), which will allow for better management of user data and enable personalisation of content using Sitecore. A previous project saw the club work with Sports Alliance to pull together its data from various sources (ticketing, merchandise, hospitality), which doubled the size of the club’s user database. </p> <h3>Digital in the Championship</h3> <p>And it’s not just in the Premier League where clubs are striving to improve their digital platforms. <a href="http://www.wolves.co.uk/">Wolverhampton Wanderers</a>, currently 19th in the Championship, are also in the middle of a website revamp that aims to create a far better user experience for fans.</p> <p>After 17 years of outsourcing its site to FLI, Wolves has decided to bring control of its website back in-house at the end of this season. Head of marketing, Laura Gabbidon, explained that the club is working to create the kind of digital experience that fans want and expect.</p> <p>Laura said: “We’re not looking at our website like a traditional business would, like a brochure, we want it to be an interactive digital experience, a media centre for fans, the first port of call for all things Wolves.</p> <p>“From our perspective that will hopefully improve the on-site engagement but also our relationship with the fans, or their relationship with the club. It’ll provide us commercial support by collecting behavioural and contact data, and also give us more opportunity to commercialize through sponsors.”</p> <p>Wolves have already had some success with increasing revenues thanks to improvements with digital platforms. After redesigning the ticketing part of the website earlier this year, online sales of home tickets increased by 10%.</p> <p>The overall site redesign, which is being worked on with Aqueduct and aims to go live in June, is the first stage of a bigger <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">digital transformation project</a>. Laura said that football “isn’t anywhere near up to speed” with digital compared to other industries, and that clubs now have no choice but to play catch up.</p> <p>Wolves haven’t got a clear transformation roadmap in place, and are instead waiting for the website to be complete before deciding what to tackle next. "We want to build the website, get it as good as it can be, and then identify any gaps where we’re not delivering. We don’t want to rush into doing everything at once then end up duplicating things or wasting our efforts,” said Laura.</p> <p>If the site achieves it goals, it will enable the club to make better use of social media and video content, which in turn has required new hires with the right digital content skills. The digital transformation journey is a familiar one, regardless of which league a club plays in.</p> <h3>Luring fans away from fan forums</h3> <p>Will an official club site ever be able to attract fans away from the likes of the BBC, Twitter and Sky? Southampton FC’s research into user behaviour showed that football fans tend to constantly graze on short-form content during the week, skipping between different social networks and publisher sites.</p> <p>Laura admits that it’s a big challenge to insert an official club site into this mix, but hopes that a combination of an improved UX and unique, high quality content will be enough to win fans over. “A lot of our fans like to engage with us using Twitter on match days, and at the same time they’re probably going off to get live scores and updates from other games from the BBC," she explained.</p> <p>“We don’t want to take away any of those experiences, so we’ll look to integrate all of it, offering the same type of experience that you get on Twitter but on the website, as well as giving people similar content that they’d get from the BBC and elsewhere. So you’ll get it all in one place.”</p> <p>More broadly, there has been a concerted effort by the Premier League and top clubs to play catch up with other sports publishers.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.premierleague.com/">a flashy new website</a> and the launch of a new app, the Premier League itself is aiming to compete with the likes of Opta Sports and the BBC by providing official access to stats, video content and fantasy football leagues.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4076/premier_league_homepage.png" alt="" width="700" height="309"></p> <p><em>The Premier League's new website</em></p> <p>Another noteworthy development is the launch of a new social network called ‘<a href="https://dugout.com/">Dugout</a>’ that enables fans to access exclusive content by following their favourite teams and players. 10 Premier League teams have signed up to the platform, alongside the likes of Juventus, PSG, Barcelona and SC Corinthians Paulista.</p> <p>While it will be difficult to lure fans away from their existing content grazing routine, these new official channels might succeed if they are able to provide unique content and a genuine forum for debate and conversation among fans.</p> <p>Ultimately the user experience will also play a large part. If official club sites, the league’s new app, or Dugout can offer fans a quick, usable, mobile platform then there’s no reason they won’t be able to insert themselves into that mix.</p> <p>And with site traffic comes those new opportunities for lucrative sponsorship deals. As Stuart Vose puts it, investment in digital is a virtuous circle.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68445-can-southampton-fc-break-the-hegemony-of-crap-football-websites/"><em>Can Southampton FC break the hegemony of crap football websites?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63300-why-manchester-city-s-emails-are-premier-league-quality/"><em>Why Manchester City's emails are premier league quality</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67786-10-great-sports-digital-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 great sports digital marketing campaigns</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68819 2017-02-17T11:03:14+00:00 2017-02-17T11:03:14+00:00 10 outstanding digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go...</p> <h3>73% of retailers fear cybercrime will negatively impact them in 2017</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.mimecast.com/resources/white-papers/Dates/2017/2/email-security-risk-assessment" target="_blank">new research</a> from Mimecast, retailers are hyper-aware of cyber-crime, with 73% believing that an attack will negatively impact their business in the year ahead.</p> <p>65% also believe a malicious email is the most likely way they’ll be infected by ransomware, making retail the most fearful industry overall.</p> <p>This news comes on the back of Mimecast’s security risk report which – from analysis of 26m emails – found 3.5m pieces of spam and 6,681 dangerous files.</p> <h3>Lingerie more popular than chocolate this Valentine’s Day</h3> <p>Criteo has revealed the most-searched for items this Valentine’s Day. Coming in at number one was ‘earrings’, followed by ‘men’s watches’ and ‘engagement ring’.</p> <p>Interestingly, searches for lingerie increased a massive 366% in the lead up to the day itself, somewhat justifying many online retailer’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68767-how-retailers-are-targeting-mobile-shoppers-this-valentine-s-day/" target="_blank">heavy promotion</a> of the category.</p> <p>More traditional items were also in demand, with searches for perfume and diamonds up 141% and 130% respectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3973/valentines.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Millennials drive traffic to luxury online retailers</h3> <p>Ahead of London Fashion Week, Hitwise has revealed how a new generation of affluent millennials are increasingly seeking out luxury brands.</p> <p>According to data, 50% of website traffic to Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci is driven by this demographic. Consequently, brands are expected to continue investing in digital efforts to engage with them.</p> <p>Overall, there has been a 45% increase in website traffic to luxury fashion retailers over the past three years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3972/Luxury_Millennials.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="328"></p> <h3>66% of marketers struggle to understand their audience</h3> <p>In the wake of Brexit and the US Presidential election, two-thirds of digital marketers are now questioning whether they truly know their audience.</p> <p>This is according to a new survey from Greenlight, which also found that, as a result, 94% now intend to better understand what their customers are looking for.</p> <p>37% plan to target subsets of their audience to ensure their brand is tapping into the conversations that suit their business. Typically, 57% rely on customer surveys and 59% use online forms to collect insight.</p> <h3>18-24 year olds dominate Snapchat usage</h3> <p>Data from Verto has revealed that, despite 18-24 year olds accounting for just 35% of Snapchat's UK users, they account for 70% of the overall time spent on the platform.</p> <p>In contrast, while 40% of Snapchat's audience is aged over 35, this age group accounts for just 5% of usage time.</p> <p>Other data shows that the average user spends 4hrs 22mins on Snapchat a month - a figure down from 5hrs 30mins just six months ago. </p> <p>However, this is still much lower than Facebook, which has an average user time of 12hrs 43mins per month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3971/Verto.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="420"></p> <h3>Proflowers.com leads in Valentine’s Day paid search ad spend</h3> <p>Adgooroo has revealed that ahead of the holiday, Proflowers.com generated a 7.3% share of total clicks on Valentine’s Day-related keywords.</p> <p>This means the site beat out the likes of Hallmark, whose e-card website Hallmarkecards.com generated a 7.1% click share.</p> <p>There was heavy competition in the greetings cards category, too, with Tinyprints.com generating a 3.4% click share, edging out American Greetings and Blue Mountain, which both saw a share of 2.5%.</p> <h3>26% of marketers feel unprepared for GDPR</h3> <p>New research from the <a href="https://dma.org.uk/article/the-gdpr-and-you-chapter-two" target="_blank">DMA</a> suggests that one in four businesses are still unprepared for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with just over half reporting that they feel prepared, and 5% believing it’s not their responsibility to do anything about it.</p> <p>It’s not all bad news, however, as awareness of the GDPR <em>has</em> risen from 53% to 66% since June, while marketers’ personal feelings of readiness increased from 49% to 71%. </p> <p>Despite this, there is still a clear need for urgency, with many marketers not believing their businesses will be compliant before the new rules come into place.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3969/DMA.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="295"></p> <h3>Almost 6m UK households have no savings </h3> <p>A five-year study from Experian has found that people in their 20s and 30s are far less well off than the previous generation, with nearly 1m households having received a loan or financial gift from other family members. </p> <p>Experian found that almost 6m households in Britain have no savings, with 423,000 Britons relying on unauthorised overdrafts or payday loans to make ends meet.</p> <p>Lastly, the report also highlights how over 35m people in Britain may be paying more than they should for inappropriate financial products and utility plans, with most <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68789-how-smart-switching-energy-apps-are-tapping-into-customer-need/" target="_blank">failing to switch</a> to a better deal.</p> <h3>66% of marketers no longer use mobile apps in campaigns</h3> <p>The State of Digital Commerce report by Episerver has revealed that two-thirds of marketing professionals are no longer using mobile apps in their marketing campaigns, choosing a responsive mobile presence instead.</p> <p>The report also states that 32% of top retailers do not provide a mobile application across either iPhone or Android devices, and eight out of 10 top UK retailers have adopted a responsive ecommerce site.</p> <p>The shift is said to be due to the surge in mobile search as well as the introduction of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68490-google-s-accelerated-mobile-pages-12-pros-and-cons/">Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3970/Episerver.JPG" alt="" width="482" height="206"></p> <h3>Changing attitudes to brand loyalty</h3> <p>The new Accenture Strategy report has highlighted how consumers’ allegiances towards brands are frequently changing. </p> <p>In a survey of the attitudes of 25,426 consumers, Accenture found that 54% of US consumers have switched a provider in the past year, while 18% report that their own expectations about brand loyalty have changed.</p> <p>Alongside personalisation, greater loyalty could be driven by an experiential approach – with 44% saying they are loyal to a brand that encourages the design or co-creation of products or services.</p> <p>Lastly, 42% of US respondents are also loyal to brands that their family and friends do business with, while 37% are loyal to brands that actively support shared causes, such as charities or public campaigns.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68817 2017-02-16T14:59:16+00:00 2017-02-16T14:59:16+00:00 How brands are targeting business travellers Nikki Gilliland <p>According to a <a href="http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/booking.com_survey_reveals_top_causes_of_business_travel_stress" target="_blank">survey from Booking.com</a>, 93% of business travellers feel stressed at some point during their journey - unsurprising given the amount of logistics involved. From planning to managing expenses, and even without taking into account the actual work that needs to done, there’s a whole heap of hassle that goes along with corporate travel.</p> <p>For brands, this traveller presents a unique opportunity. </p> <p>Not only is there less need to dazzle and delight with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">inspirational marketing</a>, but thanks to the deep pockets of corporate companies, the budget can often be sizeable. Meanwhile, with a positive experience likely to result in repeat trips, business travel could prove to be a lucrative market.</p> <p>Here’s how a few brands are setting their sights on it.</p> <h3>Airbnb</h3> <p>The ‘Airbnb for business’ program launched in 2015, signalling the brand’s intent to capture interest from corporate travellers, all the while proving how popular alternative accommodation has become.</p> <p>The service allows companies to integrate their business travel itineraries, giving them a full run-down of where employees are staying and how much they’re spending. More recently, Airbnb has introduced a feature that allows employees to book on behalf of colleagues, making the service even more streamlined.</p> <p>Since it launched, the program has enjoyed a period of growth, however <a href="https://skift.com/2016/11/04/small-companies-have-embraced-airbnb-for-business-travel/" target="_blank">recent data</a> suggests that this could be slowing – mainly due to the companies choosing Airbnb spending as little as possible on short trips. Similarly, Airbnb for business is only seeing real success in cities where the hotel prices are notoriously high.</p> <p>Airbnb is naturally trying to combat this by promoting longer stays and group trips, even offering £40 in travel credit, in order to encourage higher spend.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3951/Airbnb.jpg" alt="" width="760" height="320"></p> <h3>Booking.com</h3> <p>With a reported one in five customers using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/" target="_blank">Booking.com</a> for business travel, it’s no surprise the brand decided to launch its own business travel platform.</p> <p>Designed to make the research and planning stage as easy as possible, it places a big focus on peer-to-peer reviews, sorting through the data to find accommodation that is ‘business traveller tested and approved’.  </p> <p>This customer-centric approach is continued across the board, and reflected in the online UX.</p> <p>After completing a simple registration, users can filter the search by ‘business interest’ like fitness centre or free cancellation. Arguably, the platform doesn't offer anything that much different to the main Booking.com platform, however the ability for company managers or administrators to coordinate plans for others is a key differentiator.</p> <p>Since its launch, there have been suggestions that the brand will expand its business offering into flights - though there's been no sign of this so far.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3952/Booking.jpg" alt="" width="750" height="364"></p> <h3>STA</h3> <p>With millennials forecast to make up half of the workforce by 2020, the stereotype of the middle-aged business traveller no longer applies.</p> <p>STA is tapping into this notion, launching a business travel brand to target young people with a desire to combine both business and pleasure.</p> <p>Alongside young people starting their own business, students travelling for internships or first jobs, it also targets people who want to tag on a holiday at the end of a work trip.</p> <p>With <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/05/05/millennials-are-prioritizing-experiences-over-stuff.html" target="_blank">78% of millennials</a> choosing worthwhile experiences over possessions, it’s no surprise that this demand exists. It also bodes well for STA, with the move helping the brand to stay relevant to young people as they move into the workplace.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Need a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/visa?src=hash">#visa</a>?. We can help you find out if you need one! Speak to our experts to find out more businesstravel@statravel.co.uk <a href="https://t.co/sbH3xH0RzE">pic.twitter.com/sbH3xH0RzE</a></p> — STA Travel Business (@STABusiness) <a href="https://twitter.com/STABusiness/status/825335372343308289">January 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Marriot</h3> <p>STA isn’t the only travel brand to target business travellers with the promise of an experience.</p> <p>Marriot’s Renaissance Hotels brand recently launched a new campaign to do just that. Called ‘The Navigator’s Table’, the video series features TV chef Andrew Zimmern from “Bizarre Foods”, and involves chefs and entrepreneurs offering insight and opinions on regional dishes. </p> <p>Essentially, it is designed to appeal to the modern business traveller – someone who is curious, and who wants to get as much out of a business trip as possible.</p> <p>The frequency with which business travellers travel is largely the reason behind this marketing push. For a large hotel chain like Marriot, a single ‘authentic experience’ could result in multiple and repeat bookings in future – reason enough to pay them more attention.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7UUT15kQG1A?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68809 2017-02-15T11:44:00+00:00 2017-02-15T11:44:00+00:00 The Outnet is using satirical humour for ‘Pretty Influential’ Fashion Week series Nikki Gilliland <p>The online video series is a satirical look at the world of influencer marketing, depicting what life is like <em>without</em> an Instagram filter.</p> <p>Here is a bit more info on the series and a few reasons why I think it works.</p> <h3>The Foster sisters</h3> <p>Pretty Influential is essentially a mock documentary, portraying a pair of aspiring influencers as they attempt to sneak behind the scenes at fashion week.</p> <p>Before we go on, it’s important to point out that the Foster sisters are <em>not</em> social influencers in real life.</p> <p>Despite stemming from a Hollywood background (and looking rather model-esque), they are in fact comedy writers and actors, best known for the VH1 show, Barely Famous, which pokes fun at the world of reality television.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D_Iod9kOg1o?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>A refreshing approach</h3> <p>So why has the Outnet – a fairly high-end ecommerce fashion site – chosen to satirise the world of influencer marketing instead of harnessing its power?</p> <p>Perhaps the decision stems from last year’s controversial Vogue article, which saw a number of editors harshly criticise bloggers for supposedly “preening for the cameras in borrowed clothes”. </p> <p>The feature was a scathing take-down of the influx of influencers within the fashion industry, but instead of being met with agreement, the criticism was labelled as petty and unnecessary by many other media companies as well as influencers themselves.</p> <p>Regardless of the Outnet’s opinion on the topic, Pretty Influential is a rather clever nod to the fact that – as a result of the controversy – influencer marketing is now ripe for parody. </p> <p>Taking the opportunity to do just that, the Outnet manages to come across as both refreshing and self-aware. Likewise, it also makes fun of both sides of the coin, laughing at influencer clichés as well as the highfalutin nature of fashion designers.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/99N-ZXXJ6qw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Short-form content</h3> <p>As well as the humorous concept, Pretty Influential is also another example of a brand using short-form video content to engage consumers.</p> <p>Following a six-video series, with a new video being released every day, it aims to give the audience a reason to invest, and in turn, to continuously interact with the company.</p> <p>We’ve already seen brands using storytelling in this way, with one of the most high-profile being Nike’s YouTube series, Margo vs Lily. While the series itself was not particularly well-received, it still shows that video content is becoming the medium of choice for many big brands.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">2 sisters. 1 bet. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nikewomen?src=hash">#nikewomen</a> presents Margot vs Lily, an original show series. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/betterforit?src=hash">#betterforit</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ev6gnP6NHf">https://t.co/Ev6gnP6NHf</a><a href="https://t.co/Qn1RU03Yw3">https://t.co/Qn1RU03Yw3</a></p> — NikeWomen (@nikewomen) <a href="https://twitter.com/nikewomen/status/691662259693563904">January 25, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Ecommerce tie-in</h3> <p>As well as entertaining its audience, Pretty Influential is also designed to point consumers in the direction of products on the Outnet website. </p> <p>Beside each video, there is the call-to-action of ‘Like what you see? Shop their look here’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3903/Foster_Sisters.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="576"></p> <p>It’s a simple touch, but means that viewers might be inclined to check out the fashion after they watch the video, as well as offering extra value and the incentive to check back for another daily episode.</p> <p>It’s also good to remember that, although the site sells luxury clothes, it is fundamentally a discount designer e-tailer.</p> <p>Consequently, the series cleverly aligns with the desires of its demographic, with consumers likely to respond to the self-deprecating and humorous take on high fashion.</p> <h3>Could it alienate influencers?</h3> <p>Lastly, while Pretty Influential is likely to be met with appreciation from consumers, there is the question of whether influencers will feel the same way.</p> <p>For the Outnet, this might not be too much of an issue. The company has a reputation for capturing the attention of everyday consumers through fun and quirky content rather than the aspirational.  </p> <p>Its ‘Shoe Hunter’ campaign, which saw Sergio the dachshund provide a dog’s eye view of London Fashion Week, is a prime example.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just a tiny bit in love with <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sergioshoehunter?src=hash">#sergioshoehunter</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/THEOUTNET">@THEOUTNET</a> - off to buy cam for my dachshund <a href="http://t.co/JblyyQ69qQ">pic.twitter.com/JblyyQ69qQ</a></p> — Katie Iggulden Exon (@katievi) <a href="https://twitter.com/katievi/status/641251677379670016">September 8, 2015</a> </blockquote> <p>Also, with the series using gentle ribbing rather than scathing humour, here’s hoping most influencers have to ability to laugh at themselves.</p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68409-four-key-trends-within-the-world-of-influencer-marketing/" target="_blank">Four key trends within the world of influencer marketing</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67443-eight-influencer-marketing-stats-for-fashion-beauty-brands/"><em>Eight influencer marketing stats for fashion &amp; beauty brands</em></a></li> </ul> <p><em>For even more on this topic, you can also download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/" target="_blank">Rise of the Influencers</a> report.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68802 2017-02-14T10:41:36+00:00 2017-02-14T10:41:36+00:00 Five content marketing examples from dating sites and apps Nikki Gilliland <p>As online dating services become increasingly popular – with <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/02/11/15-percent-of-american-adults-have-used-online-dating-sites-or-mobile-dating-apps/" target="_blank">15% of all American adults</a> reportedly having used one – these sites are cleverly tapping into customer demand.</p> <p>While some larger dating sites rely on television or PPC advertising, good old fashioned content marketing remains a great way to attract a clientele.</p> <p>Here’s a look at just a few examples. And to learn more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">Content Marketing Training Courses</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-content-marketing/">The Future of Content Marketing Report</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/implementing-content-strategy-digital-best-practice/">Implementing Content Strategy: Digital Best Practice</a></li> </ul> <h3>OKCupid</h3> <p>OKCupid was one of the first online dating websites to use content to drive its overall strategy.</p> <p>The original incarnation – OKTrends – was run by the company's co-founder, Christian Rudder, who used his mathematical background to set the tone of the blog. </p> <p>Essentially, he turned statistics and user data into fascinating articles, generating huge interest from online readers in general - not just those using its main dating service.</p> <p>Since being acquired by Match.com the blog has changed, however data and insight from the dating community remains at the heart of its content.</p> <p>It also regularly posts larger features, designed to poke fun at the perils of modern dating. One recent example is the amusing ‘Dictionary for the Modern Dater’, found on its Medium blog. Managing to steer clear of the clichés of online dating, it uses relatable humour to engage and entertain readers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3867/OKCupid.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="422"></p> <h3>Match.com</h3> <p>Match.com is another site that uses data to inform its content, largely for its annual ‘Singles in America’ study, which surveys over 5,000 US singletons to create informative and in-depth infographics and blog posts.</p> <p>Last year, the ‘Clooney Effect’ was one of the most successful pieces of content to arise, subsequently being picked up by a number of high profile publishers such as Glamour and Business Insider. </p> <p>Stemming from the statistic that 87% of men would date a woman who made ‘considerably more money’ than them (like Clooney and his highly successful wife, Amal Alamuddin) – it built on themes of positivity and empowerment to generate interest. With a reported 38% increase in traffic around the period the study was published, the results speak for themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3868/Match_survey.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="428"></p> <h3>eHarmony</h3> <p>Unlike the aforementioned examples, eHarmony relies on emotive storytelling rather than statistics.</p> <p>With a helpful and thoughtful tone of voice, it aims to stem the fears and general stigmas that surround online dating, using advice-based articles to drive registration on the main site. </p> <p>While some have labelled its style of content as patronising, one area where eHarmony undeniably succeeds is in user-generated content. The 'success stories' page of its website is littered with positive reinforcement, cleverly breaking down content into various categories to target a wide range of demographics and backgrounds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3870/eharmony.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="720"></p> <h3>Tinder</h3> <p>In just two short years, Tinder acquired more than 50m users – a feat that can perhaps be put down to its shrewd use of third-party integration. </p> <p>By enabling users to sign up with their Facebook login, it cleverly cuts through the frustrations of traditional dating websites, encouraging a younger audience to download and use the app.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, Tinder is also one of the best examples of how to use social media to engage users. Not only does it integrate social on its app (now allowing users to cherry-pick the Instagram photos that they would like to show on their profile) it also populates its own social media with interesting, humorous and decidedly tongue-in-cheek content.</p> <p>For example, its Facebook page continuously drives interest. Last year, a Valentine’s Day post generated over 58,000 likes, 9,600 shares, and 2,900 comments – coming out on top in terms of engagement for online dating sites.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftinder%2Fphotos%2Fa.378789085524216.87768.353659601370498%2F914594031943716%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="589"></iframe></p> <h3>Hinge</h3> <p>Dating app, Hinge, has turned its back on ‘swipe culture’, recently introducing a subscription-based model to help users cultivate meaningful connections. Features of the app, unlike Tinder, are also designed to resonate on a deeper level. For example, users are required to ‘heart’ specific parts of another’s profile such as the book they’re currently reading or their go-to karaoke song.</p> <p>Hinge also builds on its positioning as a ‘relationship app’ rather than a dating app to inform its wider content marketing. </p> <p>A recent email campaign, launched in time for Thanksgiving, asked users what they were thankful for.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3874/Hinge.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="787"></p> <p>Using a seasonal theme alongside a message of gratitude – it was a clever example of how to use content to reinforce brand values and reignite user interest. </p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64270-five-dating-tips-you-can-apply-to-your-email-marketing/" target="_blank">Five dating tips you can apply to your email marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68068-four-ways-brands-are-marketing-through-dating-services/" target="_blank">Four ways brands are marketing through dating services</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67563-how-tinder-has-changed-ecommerce/" target="_blank">How Tinder has changed ecommerce</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68790 2017-02-13T15:08:00+00:00 2017-02-13T15:08:00+00:00 Pros and cons of creating multiple brand Facebook pages Nikki Gilliland <p>Of course, it’s not always appropriate or realistic to do this, with some arguing that it can dilute quality and even damage brand perception.</p> <p>So what’s the answer? Here are a few pros and cons to help weigh up the argument.</p> <h3>Pros</h3> <h4>Greater impact</h4> <p>While Facebook pages used to be a destination – the place users went to be able to consume content – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66378-facebook-s-algorithm-update-what-it-means-for-marketers/" target="_blank">changes to the algorithm</a> means that these pages now act as publishers, with users being fed content directly in their News Feed. </p> <p>Meanwhile, as the algorithm rewards the most engaging content with greater reach, brands and publishers are taking advantage of this by separating out into multiple verticals or incredibly niche topics.</p> <p>One of the most successful examples of this is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68426-a-brand-that-loves-you-how-buzzfeed-uses-empathy-to-connect-with-its-audience/" target="_blank">Buzzfeed</a>, which has an impressive 90 different pages in total. With the likes of Buzzfeed BFF and Buzzfeed Weddings, it can hone in on the audience’s super specific interests, essentially hoping that the more focused a page is, the better its content will perform.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBuzzFeedWeddings%2Fposts%2F585014391694477&amp;width=500" width="500" height="480"></iframe></p> <p>With around 79 pages, Huffington Post has also demonstrated this approach – and proved it can work. For instance, a video about feminism generated 1.5m views when it was posted on the main HuffPost Facebook page, however, when it was posted on the HuffPost Women, it received 3.7m. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHuffPostWomen%2Fvideos%2F929651497102904%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>This goes to show that putting relevant content in front of a small but highly engaged audience can generate more success than merely posting content to a large pool of people roughly interested in a similar theme.</p> <h4>Promotes localisation</h4> <p>Another reason for creating multiple Facebook pages is to promote localised content or products, where the strategy is aligned to growing a community based on geography rather than interest.</p> <p>A good example is Lululemon, the women’s sportswear brand, which has multiple Facebook pages for its various store locations around the world. Whether it's Lululemon Edinburgh or Lululemon Toronto, each page is dedicated to promoting specific in-store events (which in this case is often yoga classes) and store-specific offers. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FlululemonLondon%2Fposts%2F1319697514719040&amp;width=500" width="500" height="546"></iframe></p> <p>By doing this, the brand is able foster a real sense of community, as well as aid customer service, as most pages are run by the people who also work in the store location.</p> <h3>Cons</h3> <h4>A lack of resources</h4> <p>So, while it can clearly be beneficial, having multiple Facebook pages is not always so easy or effective. </p> <p>One of the biggest drawbacks, often for smaller brands or publishers, is simply a matter of resources. Requiring constant monitoring and attention, it is naturally easier and less time-consuming to focus on just the one page. </p> <p>Revenue can also be a big issue. Again, for bigger brands like Buzzfeed, it might be feasible to duplicate advertising across multiple pages – yet this could be a very costly and unrealistic notion for others.</p> <h4>Duplicated content</h4> <p>One of the biggest cons is keeping a steady stream of original, relevant and engaging content across the board. It is quite likely that users will like multiple pages from the same brand, which in turn means that duplicated or similar content will be less effective, not to mention off-putting for users.</p> <p>Finally, there is the suggestion that creating multiple pages for segmentation purposes is not only more hassle than its worth, but unnecessary due to the Facebook Targeting feature. This allows brands to post tailored content that can only be seen by a specific audience, meaning that you can already deliver the most relevant content to the right people.</p> <p>All in all, perhaps it depends how much effort a brand is willing to put into its Facebook presence, alongside how ready and willing the audience is to embrace it.</p> <p><em><strong>More on Facebook:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67691-content-creators-it-s-time-to-abandon-yourself-to-facebook/" target="_blank">Content creators, it's time to abandon yourself to Facebook</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67603-what-marketers-need-to-know-about-facebook-s-livestreaming-push/" target="_blank">What marketers need to know about Facebook's livestreaming push</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68415-the-low-down-on-facebook-marketplace-is-it-any-good/" target="_blank">The low-down on Facebook Marketplace: Is it any good?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68785 2017-02-08T14:44:21+00:00 2017-02-08T14:44:21+00:00 How Adidas Originals uses social media to drive sales Nikki Gilliland <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What a trend <a href="https://t.co/Vp78zN8nfL">pic.twitter.com/Vp78zN8nfL</a></p> — meredith faust (@mere_faust) <a href="https://twitter.com/mere_faust/status/822921744512065538">January 21, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The brand has come a long way since the term ‘Adidad’ was coined. Maybe this was something that only occurred in my school, but it was used to denote somebody who typically wore unfashionable sportswear or offensively white trainers. Kids can be so cruel.</p> <p>But what’s made the brand cool again? </p> <p>Interestingly, Adidas Originals now has more followers on Twitter than the main Adidas account, cementing its position as a truly cult lifestyle brand. On the flip side, this also proves that it is definitely doing something right on social.</p> <p>Here are a few ways it has made its mark.</p> <h3>Creating hype</h3> <p>Social media is a natural extension of Adidas’s wider approach to marketing, especially when it comes to creating hype around its high-profile collaborations.</p> <p>Since the brand famously snatched Kanye West from Nike in 2014, it has carefully crafted a series of product launches, cleverly building on the rapper's wider (and fanatical) fan base.</p> <p>Tweeting and posting on Instagram in the run-up to shoe releases, the brand creates massive excitement and interest from followers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The V2’s Primeknit upper features SPLY-350 in mirrored text on both feet, engineered as part of the knit. Coming February 11th. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YEEZYBOOST?src=hash">#YEEZYBOOST</a> <a href="https://t.co/Bb5H09LLwO">pic.twitter.com/Bb5H09LLwO</a></p> — adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasoriginals/status/828630759548317696">February 6, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, from Pharrell Williams to Stella McCartney, Adidas Originals is also shrewd in terms of how it collaborates with high profile personalities. Unlike other brands, who might merely use celebrities to front campaigns, Adidas put a huge focus on the personal and direct involvement of influencers in the actual designing process.</p> <p>In doing so, it ensures its collaborations feel entirely authentic rather than purely sales-driven.</p> <p>Again, this is reflected in how it posts on social, continuously reinforcing the core topic of originality and creative and artistic expression.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Strikingly similar. Completely unique. Nothing is original except your true self. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SUPERSTAR?src=hash">#SUPERSTAR</a> <a href="https://t.co/5TyKfEbN4H">pic.twitter.com/5TyKfEbN4H</a></p> — adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasoriginals/status/827435119375941632">February 3, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Giving control to consumers</h3> <p>Adidas’s resurgence truly began with the relaunch of its iconic Stan Smith shoe. Not only did this draw on feelings of nostalgia, but by emphasising its heritage, it also helped to reinforce the brand’s influence on streetwear and subcultures such as Brit pop and hip-hop.</p> <p>The social media campaign surrounding its release cleverly made consumers feel part of the story.</p> <p>The ‘Stan Yourself’ initiative involved asking users to tweet a photo of themselves for the chance to win a personalised pair of shoes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Stan yourself! Send us a selfie using <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/stansmith?src=hash">#stansmith</a> - the best will get their own personalised Stan Smith tongue logo! <a href="http://t.co/csFEvnVb6k">pic.twitter.com/csFEvnVb6k</a></p> — adidas UK (@adidasUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/adidasUK/status/422704045229219840">January 13, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>This customer focus has been integral to the success of Adidas Originals in recent years, with the brand aiming to create conversation about youth and street culture rather than simply promoting its products.</p> <p>One example of this is the brand’s recent series of live events called TLKS. Featuring high profile influencers within fashion and music, each one was <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68075-who-will-win-the-live-streaming-battle-facebook-live-or-periscope/" target="_blank">streamed live on Facebook</a>, while giving fans a unique opportunity to relate to Adidas on an experiential level.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FadidasOriginalsUK%2Fvideos%2F1838108906404925%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Organic content</h3> <p>Lastly, we can see how social media is not simply a one-way marketing tool for Adidas Originals, but also a way for fans and consumers to show their appreciation. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">User-generated content</a> is particularly widespread on Instagram, with fans posting their love for the brand as well as excitement about product launches and exclusive events.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3713/Adidas_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="670" height="656"></p> <p>Likewise, the Adidas Originals Instagram feed (also with more followers than the main account) typically makes use of imagery from musicians, fashion designers and models to reinforce its tagline of ‘We Are Originals’ – including the consumer in the collective ‘we’.</p> <p>Using influence and artistic expression, Adidas Originals has managed to make its brand relevant again.</p> <p>By delivering its message on social media in a natural and authentic way, it has truly connected with a new and highly engaged young audience.</p>