This is the second blog post in a series on the secrets of good content marketing—what it’s all about, who’s best at it and where it’s headed.
Expanding on the first post, which laid out the three stages of good content marketing, this post hones in on the first stage and explores it further. Awareness, in content marketing, is all about spreading out the presence of your product or campaign. The idea is that once your presence is ubiquitous enough, your audience (and the media) is doing your advertising for you and you can focus on conversion (making sales).
This article uses examples of three social media and marketing campaigns by other companies, examining how they advertised their products and why their campaigns worked so well.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and #LastSelfie
Winner of the 2015 People’s Voice Webby award, WWF’s fundraising campaign raised awareness of endangered animals using a rather unique platform: Snap Chat. Launched in April 2014, WWF randomly sent images via snapchat to people all over the world, featuring a photo of an animal’s face and a caption: Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie. Users were encouraged to screenshot the image before it disappeared, which had details of where to make donations.
The project was retweeted 40,000 times in the first day and continued to garner huge attention from users and media outlets. It isn’t hard to see why it was such a massive success. WWF wanted to reach the millennial generation so they spread the message through a medium tremendously popular with that generation. Their campaign shows attention to a demographic, trust in its audience and innovative use of a platform.
GoPro and Didga the Skateboarding Cat
GoPro’s versatile camera was a marketing innovation in itself. Released in a world of people obsessed with capturing their lives in photos and videos, GoPro’s boasted that their camera could film under any circumstances.
Appearing on Instagram, the Didga the Australian Skateboarding Cat has a pretty simple premise: Videos of a cat skateboarding, captured on a GoPro. The videos received millions of views because they were entertaining, funny and they featured a cat.
With this campaign, GoPro demonstrated its technology at the same time as entertaining customers with content. An advertising campaign like this implants an idea in the mind of the viewer:
‘If I had a GoPro, I could do something like that’.
Seth MacFarlane and His Social Media-savvy Teddy Bear
Back in 2012, Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane had a good reputation but a difficult sell for a movie. Who would watch Ted, a movie for adults about a talking, animated Teddy Bear?
Hiring the two CEOs of Jetset studios, Macfarlane and co. created a Facebook profile and Twitter account for the titular character Ted, who soon garnered millions of likes and appeared on different channels. Jetset went further than this to create images of Ted partying with various people on the iPhone movie app, My Wild Night with Ted.
Instead of simply selling a movie, Macfarlane and his team were able to create product ubiquity. As a result, when the movie was released in cinemas, people knew who Ted was, what his personality was like and so audiences knew what to expect from the movie. They were going to see it because they knew they’d get what they wanted. This campaign also shows the tremendous versatility of online platforms and social media accounts to spread awareness of a product.