Heineken is winning the digital war for eyeballs, engaged consumers and sales, according to think tank L2.
Social media is evolving, and in order to keep up, brands must work to stay one step ahead of their competition. Heineken has done this so successfully, their biggest competition on YouTube has less than one half of Heineken’s numbers. In addition to a thriving YouTube community, the brand has also claimed the most Facebook fans with the most engagement and the most Twitter followers. Heineken also controls 60% of the organic searches on Google.
Part of their success has to do with a massively upgraded website, allowing the brand to capture data and tailor user accounts based on personal preference. This is big data management and manipulation at it’s finest. Brands have to choose their social media channels carefully, and Heineken has done an amazing job.
Find the rest of the case study and details about Heineken’s standing among other beer brands at L2.
Ben and Jerry’s, headquartered in Vermont, is the best among their competitors at integrating their social marketing into the fiber of their operations. It’s not a bolt on to the marketing department but at the core of their strategy and embedded into their operational and CRM software. The secret ingredient – they have a well thought out editorial calendar and experienced community managers creating and curating their digital content.
Quick-serve restaurant chain, Dairy Queen, wanted to increase sales for the month of July by launching a targeted campaign to their existing Blizzard Fan Club members. The primary goals were to increase in-restaurant sales while growing their online fan base by 300,000 using social sharing tactics. They crushed the member sign-up goal by 700,000.
Dairy Queen currently has a 4.1 million member fan club they’ve built over the years on their in-house platform. The secret to their success are the people behind it. They have highly skilled content curators who study what members like and dislike to give them what they want, not what a marketing agency or department thinks will work. Another ingredient to that success is that corporate believes in the club and backs their beliefs with an adequate budget. The curators are given great coupon offers for all members, they do frequent member stories (they feature a member’s family, not just that person), let them vote on new menu ideas, provide members only breaking news, and more.
They sent out targeted emails to select members encouraging them to post a buy-one-get-one-free coupon on their Facebook wall using a Share-to-Social tool. The tool tracked how many friends of the person who posted the coupon signed up as new members. To help the campaign go viral they made a competition out of it by offering free ice-cream for a year to the winner along with other smaller incentives.
This case study features 4 examples of long form branded video content that drove millions of additional dollars and tens of millions of views using long-form copy in place of the typical 30-90 second spots.
What these videos prove is that people will make the time for well crafted stories that intersect with the narrative of their personal story. It is true that consumers are getting more savvy about the “noise” online by deleting, skipping, or unsubscribing from your site faster than ever but for valid reasons.
Most of the content online is not worth their time. Studies show that if you can capture their imagination and interest within the first 15 seconds of a video they will stay as long as you keep enriching them throughout the video.
Three of the four videos (HBO, Nike, KONY) in this case study are long. The forth, featured below, Chipotle, is just over two minutes but considered long because it’s a TV commercial. It was originally to air at the 2012 Super Bowl. Risking it would have to be shortened to 30 seconds due to budget concerns, Chipotle opted to preserve the full story and air it during the 2012 Grammy Awards. It ended up being so impactful it upstaged some of the Grammy performances that night.
In Wisconsin, cheese has been a big part of their economy for 160 years. Recently, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board got together to create a massive new media campaign to strengthen the brand position of Wisconsin cheese.
At the core of this campaign was a mandate they put forth to their story tellers involved, that whatever content was created, it must add true value to people’s lives who visit the sites or receive content generated from this campaign. Yes, we are talking about cheese.
The campaign is composed of 5 interactive websites, liquid content, a number of social channels and social sharing tactics. Each site has a different purpose but all have subtle messaging to help you feel good about how Wisconsin cheese may just be better than some of the finest cheeses from other parts of the world. They are on a similar journey the California wine industry took a few years back and succeeded in, to help people understand and feel that many California wines are as good or better than wines from around the world.
To see the list of the 5 great websites and to read the entire case study, go here.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is betting the kitchen on their biggest product launch in years, the Chunky Chicken Pot Pie. In support of the multi-million dollar TV, billboard, and print ad campaign, they started a lower cost social campaign with interactive mobile ads inside the popular Pandora iPhone app. Their target – 16-28 yr olds.
KFC is running mobile banner and audio ads within Pandora’s iPhone app. While you’re listening to your custom Pandora radio station, you are bound to get hungry and as a KFC ad pops up you’ll see the Pot Pie, get a discount coupon, check nutritional facts if you’d like, and then find a location so you can buy some pies.
Read rest of case study here. It includes links to other KFC social media campaigns.
Recently, Coke was so bold, they shared their marketing plan with the world on how they will own a disproportionate share of the conversations of popular culture by the year 2020. The mastermind behind this new direction is Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence at Coca-Cola.
The videos below are a profound look into the future of digital marketing. It will not be about the creative twist or angle or brilliant call to action to move you to buy a product. Soon, to succeed companies must think like inventors willing to invest in the cost of generating great content (blog posts, white papers, eBooks, videos, marketing campaigns). It’s the willingness for your CEO to create an R&D department in your company just for content creation. See 70/20/10 below. Think about Shakespeare’s masterpieces. They are inventions that came about after a heavy intellectual investment in “R&D like” practices and systems to create those works. To become relevant in the ever increasing noise of sales pitches and reused copy online, companies who adopt Coke’s goal to produce compelling content will succeed.
Future In Coke’s Eyes – Become Dynamic Storytellers
Dynamic storytelling is the process of identifying incremental elements of the brand’s core story and then dispersing those elements systematically/consistently across multiple channels of conversation for purpose of creating a unified brand experience. Your core story is the essence of what made you, including the ups and downs, the ugly and pretty. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s something all your employees can tell easily and is not memorized. It’s a unifying cry to all and a story new hires want to be part of unless you are a losy brand/company run by a selfish boss who is out to take and not serve. In that case, don’t read any further. You are doomed.
Five Types Of Dynamic Storytelling
Immersion and discovery storytelling
Engagement through storytelling
Keys To Success To Win The Content Wars
Behave like a ruthless editor to stop noise from getting through. Don’t extend conversations on your Facebook page that leave your core brand story. Let your tribe carry it forward but be focused. Every day, there is more and more noise online. Put a “Brita” filter on your content faucet.
Build system wide capabilities as in new processes, people, compensation plans, and technology to allow for dynamic storytelling.
Evolution From Content To “Liquid Content”
What is content – Coke holds a higher standard when defining content. They see it as stories expressed through every possible connection and channel that (1) add value and (2) add significance to people’s lives. Content is the “matter” or “substance” of brand engagement and conversation.
What is liquid – elements of content that move freely amongst themselves but do not become separate stories.
The 70/20/10 Liquid Content Investment Principle
Pay special attention around 3:30 into the second video and pause and take notes for you to fully understand this principle. It is a primary key to their vision over the next 10 years.
70% of your content and investment of time and money – Low risk content
Should take less than 50% of our time to produce these blog posts, stories, testimonials, campaigns… This pays the bills and gets the word out.
20% of content – this is where we innovate from what worked from the 70%. What took hold there we carry forward to this area.
Engages more deeply with a specific audience
We should invest 25% of our time and resources here but with higher paid writers and creative types.
This content still has the ability for broad scale and appeal.
10% of content – brand new ideas. Becomes next year’s 70% and 20%. This is high risk – this goes viral over night or fails as quickly. This is where you spend your R&D budget in content. The invention of great content is just that, an invention of something new to the world that you develop. You need to be investing in your future stories. This is where that is done. This is where a lot of A/B testing can happen.
This should take up 25% of our time and resources.
Paradigm Shifts To Consider
Going from design excellence to CONTENT excellence.
Move from one-way storytelling to dynamic story telling.
You need to produce sharable ideas/stories/concepts that earn a disproportionate share of popular culture (Own a Topic).
Constant iterations of your content, not replication of your production content.
Stop thinking in 30 second commercial bites and elevator pitches and website home pages. Think in story and evolving conversations.
Don’t stop campaigns too early. Keep the conversation fueled and going.
Pre-testing and approving content before campaigns begin can kill the campaign in this new world of evolving stories on and offline of a brand.
Plan your budgets (pad them a bit to be ready) that initiatives will evolve as they are being rolled out and allow for real-time testing during campaign so you can adapt as needed
Think in forms of tent poles (quickly setup shop like the Circus city to city) and tent pegs (hold the tent “core story” in place).
Activia launched a Facebook campaign targeting women aged between 20 and 50 in April 2010. The main goal was to bring the brand closer to the consumers and develop brand awareness, focusing on the product Activia drink. This was possible by asking consumers to compete in five different challenges through different stages. The campaign was mostly online, while one final challenge extended to a small offline event. Promotions were supported by television and POS terminals and created a big buzz around.
Users posted pictures with Activia products and spread the word. The main winner went to an organized trekking trip to Indonesia climbing a volcano 3726 m high. She reported back by writing blog posts every few days, so others could follow and see the whole great experience. With the right engagement the brand become more searched, more sheared, developing a 52 % increase in branded search and a 620 % increase in referring page views, not to mention the mouth-to-mouth communication. The campaign was one of 20 of the most innovative Facebook campaigns.
Although Einstein Bros. Bagels had maintained a Facebook page throughout 2009, they saw that their number of new visitors had become stagnant with a total at a fan-base of around 5,000. Their campaign approach was designed to determine if direct marketing through Facebook could increase their overall sales, with a secondary goal of increasing feedback from consumers.
Campaign contacted previous Facebook fans with exclusive free bagel offer
Afterwards, a block ad was sent replicating offer to new fans
Promotion lasted 24 hours and sent to all Facebook members
During the first week of the campaign in January of 2010, Einstein Bros. Bagels saw a 1000% increase in fans on their website. On January 25th of the same year, their fan membership jumped from 50,000 to 300,000 in a single day. Those 300,000 members were then used to create a profile of their typical fan. A second campaign was launched to reach those within their most prominent demographic and the fan base doubled again to 600,000. For the mere cost of a bagel, Einstein Bros. Bagels became the 54th most popular business on Facebook. To view the actual study, click here.
In November of 2009, Cheerios began a Facebook campaign that primarily targeted mothers with young children. In order to entice this demographic to become a fan, they offered a free children’s book to charity for each new member that made contact through Facebook. The campaign launch was scheduled in a 24 hour block format where all Facebook members meeting the criteria would see the ad. The overall goal was to increase the company’s image as a responsible, caring business that relates to their customers.
Facebook campaign aimed at mothers with small children
Free book donated to organization First Book for each fan
Goal was to enhance company image with mothers
On November 5th, 2009, Cheerios has 133,129 visitors to their Facebook page, which is a 1500% increase from the previous day. The overall engagement rate (.19 percent) was a record for the company and Cheerios eventually had over 84.5 million total impressions. Over 200,000 people have become fans of the page since the campaign launch with 124,000 books given away. You can view the actual case study here.