tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/strategy Latest Strategy content from Econsultancy 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69113 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 2017-05-25T14:42:14+01:00 Delivering data-driven content marketing for the travel industry Ray Jenkin <p dir="ltr">Paid media opportunities for content marketing are now truly scalable with programmatic delivery of content through existing ad formats and native placements. As marketers shift from talking at customers to speaking with them, the time is ripe to use data and content to add value to the consumer's purchase journey by finding them at the most relevant time and tailoring the content to them so it is informative and engaging.</p> <p dir="ltr">It is exciting to see the likes of <a href="http://www.thomson.co.uk/blog/">Thomson</a> and <a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2015/11/05/were-a-media-company-now-inside-marriotts-incredible-money-making-content-studio/">Marriott</a> who are executing this across paid, owned and earned channels. This article will focus specifically on how brands can better activate their content utilising data across paid media channels. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Understand your audience, then shape your content and targeting</h3> <p dir="ltr">With the abundance of data available from social and paid media channels, the opportunity to uncover strong insights about your audience, in near real time, has never been greater. By understanding the primary travel-led concerns and motivations of your audiences you can quickly develop and adjust content to address these concerns.</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to tackling your audience's questions effectively, you should also use this information to shape audience targeting strategies and paid media activation of that content, finding defining moments in the consumer journey and matching the most relevant content to these audience behaviours.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Data allows you to listen and act: don’t just broadcast</h3> <p dir="ltr">Balance the message you would like to share with the needs and wants of your audience. Travel brands run the risk of using the content channel as another broadcast tactic, pushing use of their app or overly touting their offers. Be cautious not to alienate your audience.</p> <p dir="ltr">Utilise the data-driven insights you uncover to create a balanced editorial strategy that weaves your key commercial messages with useful and valuable content that addresses consumer needs.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6375/thomson_blog.png" alt="" width="700" height="487"></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Thomson's blog</em></p> <h3 dir="ltr">Be relevant at all the stages of the consumer’s journey</h3> <p dir="ltr">Using data enables you to really match content with the consumer at pivotal touch points. Much like over-broadcasting, mismatching content at the wrong times will lead to consumers ignoring you.</p> <p dir="ltr">For example, if you are building out content that elevates travel inspiration be sure you can activate those audiences at that stage of their journey, by looking at some of the behavioural triggers such as browsing travel photos, writing travel blogs or search terms around broader travel-related terms.    </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, make sure the shape, structure and features of your content reflect the relevant point in the consumer’s journey. For example, consider travel inspiration as a period where consumers are looking for validation and affirmation of the travel desires. With that in mind is your content shareable? Is it rich in visual elements to capture the imagination? Paid media activation now allows for far more variety in content than in recent previous years so leverage these opportunities to make the content more relevant.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Go beyond where your audiences are to find what your audiences are doing</h3> <p dir="ltr">Naturally, context is a valuable part of your content strategy. Make sure you are aligning your paid content with relevant contextual environments such as travel comparison, OTA’s, and travel magazines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Granular data access for audience targeting can help you reach those relevant consumers at other pivotal touch points. For example those sharing content with friends and family on social channels, those searching with specific search terms or consumers browsing hard to reach travel inspiration environments can be identified through more sophisticated audience targeting solutions and also found programmatically in other non-travel environments where the opportunity to deliver them paid content is available.   </p> <h3 dir="ltr">Harness the power of the crowd</h3> <p dir="ltr">According to research undertaken by Edelman, 70% of global consumers say <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/">online consumer reviews</a> are the second-most trusted form of advertising, and Trip Barometer uncovered that 93% of travellers said their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/">User-generated content</a> can be powerful. Consider how this impacts both content production and also existing traditional paid media strategies. Look at how you can marry this content with audiences engaging with review-led content to create stronger resonance with your brand.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">Go further than the written word - 66% of all travellers watch videos online when researching </h3> <p dir="ltr">The plethora of paid media options available programmatically has increased significantly in the last few months. Leverage these to get a range of content in front of relevant audiences.</p> <p dir="ltr">From video placements of various lengths and <a href="https://vimeo.com/155542137">f</a><a href="https://vimeo.com/155542137">ormats</a>, to <a href="https://flixel.com/cinemagraph/51r5jmmylwommtwzwt12/">cinemagraph native formats</a> to get engaging imagery in front of audiences, the possibilities to make the right content fit at the right stage have never been greater. With programmatic access to these formats now reaching meaningful scale, you can combine data and placement to truly get the most relevant content in front of the most relevant audiences.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong><em>For more on this topic see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67766-10-examples-of-great-travel-marketing-campaigns/"><em>10 examples of great travel marketing campaigns</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend/"><em>How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68678-the-impact-of-artificial-intelligence-on-the-travel-industry/"><em>The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69109 2017-05-24T14:10:53+01:00 2017-05-24T14:10:53+01:00 Why Visit Sweden and other tourism boards are teaming up with Airbnb Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why are tourism boards showing increased interest in the sharing economy? Here’s a bit of elaboration on the topic.</p> <h3>Increasing awareness rather than bookings</h3> <p>It’s unusual for tourism boards to endorse the sharing economy, with most being government-backed and therefore aligned to <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2017)595897" target="_blank">criticism that it can negatively affect</a> local communities and businesses. </p> <p>However, Visit Sweden’s partnership is based on building awareness rather than driving actual bookings. In fact, there are no additional listings for Swedish accommodation since the campaign launched. It is merely a marketing campaign that involves Airbnb posting fictional listings from nine areas of Sweden, including locations like the mountains of Sarek and Skuleskogen National Park.</p> <p>It is based on the 'Allemansrätten' principle, which is a protected law that says people are free to roam in nature. Essentially, it means anyone has the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land, apart from private gardens, near a private residence or on land under cultivation.</p> <p>The content is located on a separate microsite, which is mainly promoted on Visit Sweden's homepage and social media, also meaning there is little endorsement of the Airbnb product itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C6671CL5fFg?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>I’ll scratch your back…</h3> <p>So what’s <em>actually</em> in it for Airbnb?</p> <p>Since the brand expanded into the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68749-why-online-travel-sites-are-focusing-on-tours-and-activities/" target="_blank">tours and activities</a> sector with last year's launch of Trips, it appears to be another way for the brand to market itself as a destination resource rather than a straightforward booking site. </p> <p>As the campaign is fundamentally based on travel ‘experiences’ rather than accommodation, it nicely aligns with this new area of focus.</p> <p>In a more general sense, Visit Sweden’s ethos also matches Airbnb’s branding, with the tagline of ‘belong anywhere’ echoing the ‘free to roam’ principle. Of course, while it's mostly designed to offer inspiration, the campaign does promote real accommodation (in the rest of Sweden) too, allowing users to click through, search, and book if they like.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sweden's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/freedomtoroam?src=hash">#freedomtoroam</a> lets you sleep under the stars, indulge in the fish from the lakes or camp on the beach - <a href="https://t.co/LI2GXZmgeI">https://t.co/LI2GXZmgeI</a> <a href="https://t.co/VZiqgbTQ1L">pic.twitter.com/VZiqgbTQ1L</a></p> — Visit Sweden US (@VisitSwedenUS) <a href="https://twitter.com/VisitSwedenUS/status/867002269233033216">May 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Attracting open-minded travellers</h3> <p>For Visit Sweden, which perhaps doesn't have a huge budget, the partnership is an opportunity to make use of Airbnb’s influence and indeed its large customer base. </p> <p>The country has a reputation for progressive and creative marketing campaigns. Its ‘Swedish Number’ campaign, which involved setting up a national phone number so that anyone could call up and talk to a random Swede, reportedly generated the equivalent of $147m in international media coverage.</p> <p>By promoting its country as free to stay in, Visit Sweden is clearly banking on creating on yet another PR splash, using Airbnb to increase reach and general visibility of the campaign.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6301/Swedish_number.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="489"></p> <h3>Educating local communities</h3> <p>The campaign is being described as a ‘first of its kind collaboration’ – and while it is in marketing terms - it’s not the first time a tourism board has partnered with Airbnb.</p> <p>The Anguilla Tourist Board recently partnered with the company to promote the Caribbean destination on a global level. It was described as a way for Airbnb to work with the Anguilla government to attract a greater number of visitors, as well as increase levels of employment on the island.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the brand has also partnered with city-based tourism boards, such as the San Francisco Travel Association. The main reason being the opportunity to expand tourism in lesser-known areas, shining a light on small businesses as well as promoting the experience of ‘living like a local’.</p> <p>As well as increasing its positive impact, these partnerships also reflect a desire to educate communities about the sharing economy, reducing any negative perception about brands like Airbnb and instead to capitalise on their growth. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body/" target="_blank">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68971-does-airbnb-stand-a-chance-in-china/" target="_blank">Does Airbnb stand a chance in China?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative/" target="_blank">10 examples of great Airbnb marketing creative</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69096 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 2017-05-19T11:08:00+01:00 Four reasons luxury brands are embracing influencers Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence/">‘New Face of Luxury’</a> report – published by <a href="http://www.fashionmonitor.com/#/">Fashion &amp; Beauty Monitor</a> in association with Econsultancy – delves into this topic, exploring why luxury is embracing this growing trend. To whet your appetite, here's just four reasons.</p> <h3>1. Social media makes luxury accessible</h3> <p>There’s no doubt that social media has made luxury more accessible and appealing to everyday consumers. Now, shoppers aren’t required to enter a store to browse, meaning they can interact with and experience high-end brands on an entirely new level. </p> <p>Of course, the open and large-scale nature of social means that brands runs the risk of appearing less exclusive – perhaps a reason why the industry has been reluctant to forge relationships with social influencers up until more recently.</p> <p>Despite almost two-thirds of luxury brands being active within influencer marketing, 46% admit their influencer programme is a year or less than a year-old. Meanwhile, a further 28% say they have only used influencer marketing for two years or so.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you currently use influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy?</em></strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6188/do_you_use_influencer_marketing.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="668"></p> <p>That being said, many luxury brands are recognising that, if they are able to find the right balance, channels like Instagram and YouTube can be used to create content that reflects the lifestyle and interests of the core consumer. Which in turn, is also promoted by influencers. </p> <h3>2. Mid-tier influencers offer authenticity</h3> <p>Alongside a growing cynicism over celebrity endorsements, there’s been the realisation that the biggest social influence does not yield the best results. In fact, <a href="http://markerly.com/blog/instagram-marketing-does-influencer-size-matter/" target="_blank">research</a> suggests that as an influencer’s follower count increases, the rate of engagement with their followers decreases.</p> <p>As a result, luxury brands have begun to embrace mid-tier or micro-influencers, with 40% of respondents saying that mid-tier influencers hold the most appeal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6189/Mid-tier_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="432"></p> <p>This is because mid-tier influencers are dedicated to building active and engaged communities of followers who value their voice and trust their judgements on brands and products. In contrast, much like celebrities, top-tier influencers or those with mass audiences might have less control or come across as less authentic.</p> <h3>3. Enthusiasm for content-focused campaigns</h3> <p>So, how exactly are luxury brands collaborating with influencers?</p> <p>Interestingly, it appears that a growing focus on content promotion and distribution is informing campaigns – over and above product launches. While 74% of luxury brands say that influencers play a “critical” or “very important” role in product launches, 71% say the same for content creation and promotion.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6190/role_of_influencers.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="542"></p> <p>This shows that the real value of influencer marketing does not necessarily come in big brand campaigns – but subtle and original content. This tends to align with the opinions of influencers themselves, who typically feel that creative freedom and involvement is needed for the partnership to be worthwhile and successful for both parties.</p> <h3>4. Greater focus on ROI</h3> <p>With increasing investment, it’s naturally important for luxury brands to want to measure return. Unfortunately, this remains one of the biggest challenges, with the sheer amount of social and online data making it difficult to drill down to a single influencer, product or campaign.</p> <p>That being said, it is an area of growing focus. 62% of luxury brands say that revenue generation is an important measure of success, while just 44% of non-luxury brands place such value on conversion figures. 79% of luxury brands also measure the success of influencer collaborations through web traffic generated, closely followed by the number of times content was shared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6191/ROI.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="479"></p> <p>Another positive is that social media channels are becoming increasingly trackable, with the use of affiliate programmes and conversion pixels, and with Instagram in particular introducing shoppable links.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>So, will luxury brands continue to invest in influencer marketing in future? With 66% of luxury brands saying that they expect their budget to increase "moderately" or "significantly" over the next 12 months, it appears so.</p> <p>Despite some existing reservations about retaining exclusivity and aspiration, the bravest brands are proving this is possible to uphold, providing the collaboration is a good fit.</p> <p><em><strong>For more, download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-new-face-of-luxury-maintaining-exclusivity-in-the-world-of-social-influence/">New Face of Luxury Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69092 2017-05-18T11:10:20+01:00 2017-05-18T11:10:20+01:00 Skoda uses real-time traffic data as part of digital OOH campaign Nikki Gilliland <h3>Targeting travellers in the moment</h3> <p>Part of the brand’s ‘Driven by Something Different’ push, Skoda’s campaign involves digital billboards that highlight the natural beauty of four different locations in the UK, including Rye, Wales, the Lakes and Norfolk.</p> <p>The campaign is designed to encourage drivers to veer away from their day-to-day journeys and reconnect with things that are important in life – in this case nature. So, alongside stunning landscapes, each billboard displays how long it will take to drive from that exact spot to the location in the ad. It also uses Google’s API traffic statistics to update journey estimations in real-time.</p> <p>It’s certainly clever. But do passers-by really take notice of digital ads?</p> <p>According to <a href="http://kineticww.com/us/document/nielsen-2016-ooh-advertising-study/" target="_blank">Nielsen</a>, 91% of US residents who have travelled in a vehicle in the past month have noticed some form of out-of-home advertising. What’s more, 71% of people found these ads to be more noticeable than those seen online.</p> <p>The beauty of digital OOH advertising is that it is far less jarring than online, which automatically makes it more appealing to consumers. Instead of an online ad, which interrupts the user experience to deliver a marketing message, a digital billboard complements a real world experience – with passers-by viewing ads in a highly targeted and specific context. </p> <p>The result is a much more seamless experience, with a guaranteed high level of visibility.</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/214814384" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>Providing more than just inspiration</h3> <p>Alongside its clever use of contextual data, another reason this campaign works is that it taps into the consumer’s real-time emotional needs and desires. While many automotive brands use travel-based imagery to engage consumers - as well as highlight a vehicle’s various features – this is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69053-how-maserati-uses-influencers-to-drive-its-instagram-strategy/" target="_blank">often on Instagram</a> or other online channels. </p> <p>Consequently, the separation between the consumer and the actual location feels huge – with the user response often being a passive sense of wanderlust. And naturally, brands hope that this feeling will be enough to prompt consumers to take action.</p> <p>However, Skoda’s campaign not only evokes this response but offers the solution.</p> <p>By delivering inspirational travel imagery to people in busy cities or on motorways, and then informing them exactly how long it would take to get from A to B, the campaign taps into and helps to solve a relatable frustration. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">In the ŠKODA Kodiaq, you'll enjoy the journey. Reconnect with the important people in your life along the way.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DrivenBySomethingDifferent?src=hash">#DrivenBySomethingDifferent</a> <a href="https://t.co/FAcrs2IH6k">pic.twitter.com/FAcrs2IH6k</a></p> — ŠKODA UK (@SKODAUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/SKODAUK/status/849169685656461313">April 4, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>A lifestyle-led campaign</h3> <p>For Skoda, the decision to launch a DOOH campaign aligns with a shift in its general marketing strategy. Instead of focusing on the functional or technical aspects of the car, it is now positioning itself in terms of the lifestyle of the consumer.</p> <p>As a seven-seater the Kodiaq SUV is a family car, which is reflected in the family-friendly locations of Rye and the Lake District. Similarly, by placing billboards in locations such as shopping centres Skoda is able to target a very specific demographic. </p> <p>Along with the theme of focusing on the things that matter most in life, it's a nicely executed campaign all-round.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6094/Skoda_shopping.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="377"></p> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing/" target="_blank">Six case studies that show how digital out-of-home advertising is changing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68122-skoda-uses-data-to-power-tour-de-france-content-marketing/">Skoda uses data to power Tour de France content marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69078 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 2017-05-18T10:55:05+01:00 How brands are tapping into the transformation economy Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what brands are taking this approach? Here are just a few examples. </p> <h3>Nike</h3> <p>While <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63129-10-awesome-digital-marketing-campaigns-from-nike/">Nike’s branding</a> has always evoked notions of self improvement and positivity, this has been in more of an inspirational sense rather than in terms of the actual product offering. Of course, sports gear can be a key tool when it comes to physical transformation, but examples like the Nike+ app offer a much more tangible way of achieving it.</p> <p>Through the Nike+ app users can join local running clubs, track and monitor progress, and even set goals based on personal ability. By offering data in return, customers are essentially able to use the Nike brand to help make getting and keeping fit a much richer personal experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5979/Nike_.JPG" alt="" width="752" height="633"></p> <h3>Selfridges</h3> <p>According to the 2014 Boston Consulting Group report, of the $1.8trn spent on ‘luxuries’ in 2013, nearly 55% was spent on luxury experiences. More often than not, these experiences tend to be rooted in a quest for health or wellness – which is also the idea behind retail initiatives like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68034-how-selfridges-s-body-studio-blurs-the-lines-between-digital-in-store/" target="_blank">Selfridges’ Body Studio</a>.</p> <p>Located in the London Oxford Street store, the space includes a clean-eating café and a hair studio. It also holds regular fitness events and motivational talks.</p> <p>You could argue that the Body Studio is more of a marketing exercise, simply a selection of products packaged up and sold under the umbrella of ‘wellness’. After all, shoppers aren’t going to feel all <em>that</em> different after a visit. Having said that, I think it still demonstrates how brands and retailers are using the power of transformation and related experiences to drive the sales of products.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uObtsABLuhY?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>District Vision</h3> <p>While District Vision is largely an ecommerce brand – selling eyewear for runners – it also sees its events and experiences as part of its product offering.</p> <p>The company, which began in New York, is based on the idea that ‘mental wellbeing is the foundation of every form of physical exercise’. As a result, it also offers a meditation and running program that helps runners to – you guessed it – run and meditate at the same time.  </p> <p>So, as both a wellness company and an ecommerce business, District Vision is one of the first real examples of a brand set up to be transformative - rather than as a by-product of a marketing strategy. By using its values as the very basis of its product research and development – as well as the paid-for events it offers on top – it is able to offer consumers a way to better themselves both physically and mentally.</p> <p>It’s a tall order, of course, but it’s certainly a bit more enticing than just paying for a designer logo.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5978/District_Vision.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="462"></p> <h3>Headspace</h3> <p>Headspace, the mindfulness app, proves that meditation can be the basis of a viable business model. In fact, it has used a subscription-based service – which offers unlimited access to sessions for £7.96 a month – to generate a reported annual revenue of over $50m.</p> <p>Naturally, this would not be possible if there was not the demand from consumers. And with the increase in technology and social media, issues relating to anxiety, mental health, self-esteem, and exhaustion are also on the up.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">What are you trying to cram into your day that could wait until tomorrow? <a href="https://t.co/vNsT7zoaIi">pic.twitter.com/vNsT7zoaIi</a></p> — Headspace (@Headspace) <a href="https://twitter.com/Headspace/status/861279481318617088">May 7, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>While the transformative aspect of Headspace is clear – with the aim of reducing the stresses and strains of everyday life – it could also be seen as revolutionary in a wider sense. By helping to bring awareness to mental health issues, it has also helped to change common perceptions, while making meditation a widely accepted part of modern life. </p> <p><em><strong>Related article:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68701-the-impact-of-the-sharing-economy-on-retail/" target="_blank">The impact of the sharing economy on retail</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69091 2017-05-17T14:19:02+01:00 2017-05-17T14:19:02+01:00 How Mr & Mrs Smith differentiates itself from digital competitors Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently heard Tamara Lohan, the CTO and co-founder of Mr &amp; Mrs Smith, speak at Abode Summit on the subject. Here are a few key points from her session.</p> <h3>Carefully curated hotels</h3> <p>Mr &amp; Mrs Smith originally began after a disastrous hotel stay, whereby Tamara and her then-boyfriend (now husband and business partner) were met with a decidedly different experience than the one they’d imagined. </p> <p>Realising that most travel agencies skip over what actually makes a holiday special - i.e. the little but memorable details – they set out to create a company which has the customer’s needs and desires in mind.</p> <p>With the core aim of inspiring people to travel to extraordinary places, it researches the best and most overlooked boutique hotels, which are often unique in terms of design and architecture. The company also values hotels that are environmentally-friendly or dedicated to local issues. Its selection of hotels in the Maldives is a clear example of this. With waste management becoming an increasing issue on the island, Mr &amp; Mrs Smith only chooses eco-friendly and sustainable hotels that aim to counteract the problem. </p> <p>Alongside this, one aspect that also sets Mr &amp; Mrs Smith apart is the fact that its hotels go through a rigorous testing and review process, with employees visiting each one to ensure it delivers a truly memorable experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6074/MR___MRS_Smith_Insta.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="568"></p> <h3>Creating loyalty</h3> <p>So, while its value proposition is clear, how does Mr &amp; Mrs Smith capture clicks – crucially even before customers turn to search? Instead of serving intent, the brand aims to create it by fostering loyalty.</p> <p>It differentiates itself from competitors like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68505-a-closer-look-at-booking-com-s-customer-focused-strategy/" target="_blank">Booking.com</a> and On The Beach by being a ‘travel club’ rather than an online booking platform. This idea builds on customer’s long-term interest in travel as well as their desire to forge relationships with like-minded people.</p> <p>While membership to Mr &amp; Mrs Smith only means booking through the website (there is no cost or fee to become a ‘member’), this idea aligns with the brand’s promise of offering something extra special. Booking with the brand means customers can enjoy perks such as being met with champagne on arrival, as well as exclusive offers and experiences throughout the year. </p> <p>Not only does this evoke a sense of exclusivity – making members feel recognised and inspired – but the included benefits mean consumers are much more likely to return again in future.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bye <a href="https://twitter.com/FoxhillManor">@FoxhillManor</a>, it's been epic! <a href="https://twitter.com/smithhotels">@smithhotels</a> <a href="https://t.co/tp1GTjGuwt">pic.twitter.com/tp1GTjGuwt</a></p> — Olivia von Halle (@OliviavonHalle) <a href="https://twitter.com/OliviavonHalle/status/819945671620968449">January 13, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Delivering unique content</h3> <p>‘Does everything have to be digital?’ was the title of Tamara’s talk. The answer is pretty obvious, of course, with Mr &amp; Mrs Smith typically partaking in both online and offline marketing activity to ensure it reaches customers in multiple ways.</p> <p>But while not everything has to be digital, it <em>does</em> have to be unique – which is a philosophy reflected in branded events like the ‘Smith Boutique Hotel Awards’. </p> <p>The annual awards ceremony honours the best hotels in the industry, with voters being made up of tastemakers, specialists and industry insiders. Unlike typically stuffy or corporate award ceremonies, it is consumer-facing, inviting customers and influencers to also attend. </p> <p>As well as forging one-to-one relationships with consumers, the awards are also a great way to create valuable content. Two weeks before this year's event, the company sent photographer Polly Brown on a whistle-stop tour of the winning hotels, documenting the results on both Instagram and a printed newspaper that was sent to a few select and loyal customers. </p> <p>Just like the travel experiences found in its hotels, it is special and meaningful touches like this that truly sets Mr &amp; Mrs Smith apart. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6075/Punch_Room.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="369"></p> <p><em><strong>Recent travel articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69052-how-visitscotland-is-transforming-the-traditional-tourist-body/" target="_blank">How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69018-how-airline-brands-are-improving-customer-experience-in-flight/" target="_blank">How airline brands are improving customer experience in-flight</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68989-three-ways-language-can-affect-conversion-rates-on-travel-sites/" target="_blank">Three ways language can affect conversion rates on travel sites</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69094 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 2017-05-17T10:36:26+01:00 Five examples of brands using interactive video Nikki Gilliland <p>This is where interactive video comes in. Instead of a passive user experience, interactive video requires the person watching to take action – e.g. answer a question or make a decision – usually to inform how the rest of the video unfolds.</p> <p>There are many benefits, including longer viewing times, greater engagement, and even data capture.</p> <p>While the technology is certainly nothing new, there appears to have been a surge in brands experimenting with it lately. Here are a few examples and the reasons why it works.</p> <h3>Mended Little Hearts</h3> <p>Mended Little Hearts is a charity for children with congenital heart disease. Its recent campaign, ‘Give a Fuller Life’, uses interactive video to show how donating money can transform the lives of those affected.</p> <p>The animated video depicts a day in the life of 11-year-old Max, who we first see wandering along the street looking lost and lonely. Viewers are prompted to pledge a donation, which results in Max’s life becoming a little brighter each time. Gradually, the street becomes sunnier, and family, animals, and toys also start to appear. </p> <p>The video is simple but surprisingly emotive, effectively highlighting how a small act (which often involves just a few clicks online) can dramatically transform a child’s life.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/T88vbtCsuEw?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Warner Bros.</h3> <p>Focus is a 2015 movie starring Will Smith as a veteran conman. Alongside the standard trailer Warner Bros. released an interactive video to promote the movie before it hit cinemas.</p> <p>It allows viewers to test their own skills as a con artist by making a series of decisions as they go. The potential 'marks' include an internet mogul, an investment banker, and an art dealer, with each one presenting a different challenge for participating viewers.</p> <p>While Focus turned out to be fairly predictable as a film, its interactive video is far more innovative. Combining gamification and movie marketing – it’s a great example of how to pique interest and engage consumers in the run up to a release.</p> <p><a href="http://www.raptmedia.com/customers/warner-bros-focus/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6108/Focus.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="444"></a></p> <h3>Deloitte</h3> <p>Most recruitment videos tend to be quite dry, however Deloitte chose a more light-hearted tack for its New Zealand graduate recruitment program.</p> <p>Filmed as a ‘day in the life’ of a Deloitte employee, the gamified video allows users to choose how they’d react to a number of different work-based scenarios. From telling a co-worker about spilt coffee on their jacket, to what to do if a printer breaks – each one highlights the various skills and attributes valued by the company.</p> <p>The result is a highly engaging and immersive video experience, which effectively educates viewers about Deloitte while simultaneously prompting them to think about whether they’d be a good fit. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EUw0vzyN9ZM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Honda</h3> <p>To promote its Civic Type R, Honda wanted to create a video that showcased another side of the typically reliable automotive brand.</p> <p>The result was an interactive, dual-narrative video that allowed viewers to switch between two storylines. The first involved a father picking up his daughter from school and taking her to a party. However, when viewers pressed the ‘R’ key on their keyboard or tablet, the other side of the story was revealed, with the father becoming an undercover cop by night. </p> <p>By controlling exactly how the video can be watched, the user experience immedately changes from a passive to an active one, becoming far more engaging as a result.</p> <p>What’s more, the video is also an example of how to engage a wider audience, with all kinds of people likely to enjoy it, regardless of whether they have an interest in the brand or product itself.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/FU5CLg2LAmg?wmode=transparent" width="780" height="439"></iframe></p> <h3>Maybelline New York</h3> <p>While a lot of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67884-seven-ways-social-media-is-shaping-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">beauty-related videos</a> are more interactive than other industries (in that they offer tutorials or advice), Maybelline takes this one step further with its interactive tutorial video for Big Eyes Mascara.</p> <p>For the video, Maybelline teamed up with Kelly Framel, a popular fashion blogger, to create a tutorial of four different looks based around a single core product.  </p> <p>The video allows viewers to navigate different beauty tutorials, choosing the style and context of each one, such as ‘day’ or ‘night’ and ‘club tropicana’ and ‘rebel chic’. While the video isn’t exactly ground-breaking, it shows how interactive video can potentially be used to increase conversion. </p> <p>Unlike buying a car, for example, the nature of shopping for beauty products is much more instinctive and spontaneous, meaning that interactive video can prompt an immediate response from viewers. </p> <p><a href="https://www.raptmedia.com/customers/maybelline-new-york-engagement-conversions/" target="_blank"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6109/Maybelline_video.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="434"></a></p> <p><em><strong>Further reading: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67932-the-future-of-video-is-vertical-texted-emotional/" target="_blank">The future of video is vertical, texted &amp; emotional</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68640-why-live-video-was-the-biggest-social-trend-of-2016/" target="_blank">Why live video was the biggest social trend of 2016</a></em></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>For more, you can also check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/video-marketing-strategies" target="_blank">Video Marketing Strategy Training</a> course.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69077 2017-05-11T09:50:00+01:00 2017-05-11T09:50:00+01:00 Three reasons fast food brands use secret menus Nikki Gilliland <p>So, (sugar-aside) why are consumers such suckers for a secret menu? Here are just a few reasons why it tends to work.</p> <h3>1. Inherently shareable nature</h3> <p>It appears social media users cannot keep anything a secret these days. It’s been just a few weeks since <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67085-starbucks-new-london-digital-concept-store-puts-focus-on-customer-experience/" target="_blank">Starbucks</a> released its Unicorn Frappucino in the US, and there are now over 150,000 images using the related hashtag on Instagram.</p> <p>This was the aim, of course, with Starbucks deliberately creating a drink that they knew users would love. Regardless of whether or not it actually tasted nice (or could induce diabetes), consumers bought the item purely for the chance to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">post a selfie with it</a>. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5967/Unicorn_Frappucino.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="635"></p> <p>Other brands have also seen secret menu items go viral in this way – but it’s not always on purpose. </p> <p>Arby’s, the US fast-food chain, found that customers were requesting its ‘meat mountain’ special in restaurants – a stack of meat that was originally featured in a promotional image. The restaurant began making it for those who asked, leading to customers spreading the word on social and ultimately creating Arby’s first ever secret menu item. </p> <p>Unsurprisingly, as more and more brands have introduced secret items, consumers have also become extra savvy when it comes to sharing them. In fact, hashtags and websites, such as Hack the Menu, are dedicated to promoting the most recent items as well as offer reviews and opinions.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">About to conquer the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MeatMountain?src=hash">#MeatMountain</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/Arbys">@Arbys</a> <a href="https://t.co/cSzxPFuKMX">pic.twitter.com/cSzxPFuKMX</a></p> — Sigmon (@sigmonwrestling) <a href="https://twitter.com/sigmonwrestling/status/853774822878433280">April 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>2. Allows brands to experiment</h3> <p>While a secret menu is a great way for brands to generate buzz, it can also be used in a more functional capacity. </p> <p>This means that instead of adding a new item to the main menu - which comes with the risk of customers not liking it or bemoaning the loss of an item it could have replaced – brands can still introduce it without the pressure or commitment.</p> <p>With less investment on marketing spend to promote new items, consumer response can be gauged to establish whether or not it’s worth introducing long-term. Often, items will find their way onto the main menu eventually. Take Starbucks again, for instance, whose 'pink drink' (now known as the Strawberry Acai Refresher) first made the rounds on Instagram last year.</p> <p>Brands like Panera and In-N-Out Burger also do this on a regular basis, even creating a permanent ‘not-so-secret’ menu for items that prove continuously popular.</p> <p>So, why don’t they just create a bigger menu overall? Ultimately, the sort-of-hidden element is all about customer service, offering people increased flexibility and opportunities to customise orders, without overwhelming or saturating the main menu. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5968/In-N-Out.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="700"></p> <p><em>In-N-Out Burger's 'not-so-secret' menu</em></p> <h3>3. Builds customer loyalty </h3> <p>Lastly, one of the biggest reasons brands use secret menus is that it instills a sense of importance in customers. </p> <p>People feel like they are getting their hands on something rare, or as if they are part of an exclusive club. As a result, they are more likely to forge a memorable or more meaningful connection with the brand, meaning they are also more likely to return again in future. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/JuniperandIvy">@JuniperandIvy</a> slays the California classic <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/InNOut?src=hash">#InNOut</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/burger?src=hash">#burger</a>brioche and homemade animal fries <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/secretmenu?src=hash">#secretmenu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/foodie?src=hash">#foodie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cheeseburger?src=hash">#cheeseburger</a> <a href="https://t.co/ERysWppZ0u">pic.twitter.com/ERysWppZ0u</a></p> — Laura Taylor Namey (@LauraTNamey) <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraTNamey/status/858165997932470272">April 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Does it always work?</h3> <p>Of course, the strategy does not come without its downsides. As the Unicorn Frappucino demonstrates, brands run the risk of veering into gimmicky territory, resulting in the view that secret menus are purely a money-making scheme rather than something for the benefit or thrill of customers. </p> <p>Meanwhile, brands must also consider that staff will have to manage orders of customised items in stores and restaurants – as well as avoid potential waste.</p> <p>On the other hand, with huge opportunity for brand awareness and increased sales, it's little wonder so many restaurants can't wait for us to shout about their so-called 'secrets'. Consequently, it doesn’t look like the trend will disappear anytime soon. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/">Four delicious examples of food &amp; drink brands on Instagram</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank"><em>A day in the life of... a food &amp; drink startup entreprene</em>ur</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69052 2017-05-09T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-09T10:00:00+01:00 How VisitScotland is transforming the traditional tourist body Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a summary of what he said along with some further insight into the topic in general.</p> <h3>Promoting the bigger picture</h3> <p>VisitScotland’s aim is to become more than just a traditional tourism website. While it is still very much focused on attracting new people into the country, as well as providing sufficient information during their visit, its strategy is also to sell Scotland as part of the global marketplace.</p> <p>Its core aim is to build equity within the nation based on factors like heritage and history. Its second is to demonstrate other attributes – such as innovation or an inclusive society – that people outside of Scotland might not know about. </p> <p>Luckily, one facilitates the other, with Scotland’s biggest assets – i.e. its people and place – providing a natural halo effect for other sectors and products, such as academia or trade and investment.</p> <h3>Forging strategic partnerships</h3> <p>Alongside marketing via its own channels, a big part of VisitScotland's strategy is to increase visibility through strategic partnerships.</p> <p>It has recently signed a deal with TripAdvisor to work on a joint marketing campaign, designed to target potential travellers who aren’t necessarily considering Scotland as a destination. For example, if a user is researching other places associated with golf or hiking, they'll be served ads promoting similar activities in Scotland.</p> <p>By capitalising on TripAdvisor’s large and loyal customer-base – those who typically visit the site to seek advice – it will be able to reach a new and untapped audience. </p> <blockquote> <p>At this point, we're less concerned how people come across Scotland (in terms of channel) - only that at the point of research or booking they’re getting the very best experience possible. </p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5849/TripAdvisor.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="492"></p> <h3>Getting social users to take action</h3> <p>While partnerships provide a platform, VisitScotland also heavily relies on word of mouth as the ultimate marketing tool. After all, 92% of consumers are said to trust a recommendation from a friend rather than an ad. When it comes to the inspiring nature of travel, nothing beats hearing about someone else’s first-hand experience.</p> <p>With the aim of nurturing the existing goodwill that exists for the country, VisitScotland increasingly invests in channels that enable people to spread the word. However, it also recognises that being active on social media is not enough. The key is in mastering the technical aspects of social that prompt people to take action.</p> <p>So what exactly turns a passive social user into an actual consumer?</p> <p>Charlie suggests that it is never one great campaign or a single viral video, but an accumulative experience people have over time. This also falls into the mind-set of the millennial audience – a traveller who is much more interested in experiencing a culture from a local's perspective than that of a holiday-maker or tourist. Channels like Instagram, where users can upload and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68604-why-ugc-is-the-future-of-social-media-in-travel-and-tourism-marketing/" target="_blank">share their own authentic experiences</a>, are highly effective for driving advocacy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5850/Instagram_VS.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="517"></p> <h3>Using the political climate to its advantage</h3> <p>So, what about marketing a country in the midst of political upheaval?</p> <p>Charlie says that, instead of being a negative, politics can actually make people more engaged in a country or the conversation that surrounds it. This is because modern travellers are also increasingly interested in finding out about socio-economic or political factors – e.g. a sense of fairness or opportunity – as an integral part of travel. To ignore this would result in a less authentic experience. </p> <blockquote> <p>Any negative sentiment that exists could provide the ideal opportunity for us to talk about Scotland and what is has to offer in a positive way. </p> </blockquote> <h3>Creating an emotional pull</h3> <p>When it comes to attracting consumers, the problem for most national tourism bodies is direct competition from travel providers such as Skyscanner or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68330-an-in-depth-analysis-of-how-expedia-converts-visitors-into-customers-part-one/" target="_blank">Expedia</a> and indeed sites like TripAdvisor. </p> <p>One reason people might naturally turn to these instead is likely to be a perceived lack of digital innovation. In the past year or so, VisitScotland has been working hard to dispel this notion, combining new technology with emotive or story-focused content to engage potential consumers. Its VR app, which allows users to explore iconic locations in 360-degrees, is just one example of this.</p> <p>Lastly, instead of fighting against the competition, the brand also recognises that greater opportunity arises from working together. By creating and providing quality content to consumers, regardless of where they come across it, VisitScotland ensures it is able to spread its message to as many people as possible.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Caught on camera, one of the sweetest moments <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/spring?src=hash">#spring</a> brings! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WildAboutArgyll?src=hash">#WildAboutArgyll</a> IG/jonathanwillb <a href="https://t.co/V8yYLqwncD">pic.twitter.com/V8yYLqwncD</a></p> — VisitScotland (@VisitScotland) <a href="https://twitter.com/VisitScotland/status/858243210384211969">April 29, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p><em><strong>Related articles:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68849-three-reasons-to-appreciate-visitscotland-s-tourism-website/" target="_blank">Three reasons to appreciate VisitScotland’s tourism website</a></em></li> <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> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69060 2017-05-08T10:00:00+01:00 2017-05-08T10:00:00+01:00 Why brands can’t resist partnering with Buzzfeed Tasty on Facebook Nikki Gilliland <p>So, why can’t users get enough of Buzzfeed’s take on food? More importantly, why are other brands (even in industries other than FMCG) falling over themselves to get involved?</p> <p>I recently heard Ashley McCollum, general manager at Buzzfeed Tasty, speak about this topic at Millennial 20/20. Here are a few key takeaways.</p> <h3>Adapting to the changing nature of food and social</h3> <p>When Buzzfeed Tasty first began, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67856-four-delicious-examples-of-food-drink-brands-on-instagram/" target="_blank">food content</a> on the internet was vastly different, being more about food porn and Pinterest-style imagery than everyday recipe videos. Since then, consumer interest has shifted towards fast and simple how-to's, prioritising the contrasting verticals of comfort and health.</p> <p>Content relating to these trends tend to be the most relatable and easy to replicate at home. In fact, according to Ashley, 50% of the audience has at some point made a Tasty recipe themselves. The most common type of comment is also a user tagging family or friends and saying ‘we should make this at the weekend’.</p> <p>This accessibility has undoubtedly been a huge factor in Buzzfeed’s success. And be it pizza cones or grow-your-own herbs – it is the publisher’s ability to tap into current trends and user interests that has helped audience figures to sky-rocket.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1852979081581430%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <h3>Accidentally global</h3> <p>The relatable nature of food also links back to why Tasty started, first being launched as an experiment to crack Facebook video.</p> <p>The fact that it has generated international interest is a happy accident. But that's the beauty of it, of course, with videos resonating regardless of language or location. The content disrupts the inaccessiblity of restaurants and high-end chefs, with videos that are short, relatable and easy-to-follow being watched in home kitchens around the world.</p> <p>So while they might have started out as part of an experiment, Buzzfeed’s spin-off channels have gone on contribute to the brand’s global audience growth. Proper Tasty might be a local channel, but content created for the platform has been replicated in other European markets. Meanwhile, Proper Tasty itself has also seen an increase in views for videos that celebrate global cuisine.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1889978077881530%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <h3>Loyalty in a crowded marketplace</h3> <p>More brands are now working on sponsored content with Buzzfeed on the basis of its growth – even choosing Tasty over other established industry publishers like the Food Network. Reach and scale is just one reason, of course. Engagement is perhaps the biggest driver. </p> <p>With content that's tailor-made for Facebook - where features like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67442-how-to-create-facebook-video-ads-that-cater-for-silent-autoplay/" target="_blank">auto-play and subtitles</a> enable users to watch directly from their feed – comments and views are typically high.</p> <p>Take the below video of a cheese fondue bowl, for example, which has had 12m views and over 43,000 shares since it was published.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1905931132952891%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p>As Ashley pointed out, it is also Buzzfeed’s existing brand reputation that has generated such a large and loyal audience. Users can spot a Buzzfeed copycat a mile off, with similar formats coming across as unoriginal as a result. </p> <h3>Connection between food and lifestyle</h3> <p>While access to Tasty’s audience undoubtedly holds appeal, it's easy to assume that only FMCG brands would naturally align with the theme and style of its content. This is not the case. In fact, auto, finance and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67786-10-great-sports-digital-marketing-campaigns/" target="_blank">sports</a> are growing categories for Tasty and Proper Tasty, with brands across all industries showing interest in producing partnered content related to the core topic.</p> <p>Again, this boils down to the fact that food is an intrinsic part of all aspects of life, extending out of the kitchen and into other areas such as travel, home, and even fashion (demonstrated by the below image from ASOS).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5894/ASOS_burger.JPG" alt="" width="460" height="598"></p> <h3>Proof is in the pudding</h3> <p>So, what kind of success are brands seeing with Buzzfeed Tasty? Ashley highlighted the example of Oster Grill, whose minute-long video featuring a jalapeño and cheese-stuffed hamburger generated 20m views over the course of a single weekend.</p> <p>As a result of this, the brand requested that Buzzfeed pull the plug on its planned follow-up videos. The reason being that they had completely sold out of stock and were unable to meet customer demand.</p> <p>Success stories aside, it is also clear that Buzzfeed does not rest on its laurels. As a data-driven company it continuously uses data science to drive and inform decision-making. </p> <p>It recently partnered with Quaker Oats on a campaign that had already launched in the US. However, from looking at metrics from across the pond, it recognised that users were switching off during beauty shots – i.e. moments with zero context or information about how to actually make the oats.</p> <p>By making the video more utility-driven, the UK version ended up performing 20 times better than the US campaign, proving that even the biggest brands can benefit from a test and learn approach.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbuzzfeedpropertasty%2Fvideos%2F1823070134572325%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=400" width="400" height="400"></iframe></p> <p><em><strong>More on Buzzfeed:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67150-buzzfeed-the-art-and-science-of-social-video/" target="_blank">Buzzfeed: The art and science of social video</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68426-a-brand-that-loves-you-how-buzzfeed-uses-empathy-to-connect-with-its-audience/" target="_blank">A brand that loves you: How Buzzfeed uses empathy to connect with its audience</a></em></li> </ul>