While this isn’t exactly the typical case study you’d find here (yet), it’s timely and holds a good lesson for anyone managing a brand online.
Over this past weekend (March 23rd and 24th) a creative agency in India mocked up some ads featuring risque content and using Ford branding. The “rogue group” were attempting to have some fun and show off their creative talents. What they didn’t expect was the backlash. By using unauthorized Ford branding and putting these three ads online, the ad agency was opening themselves up to a full-on Global response from Ford. The ads went viral and began to spread across the web and controversy exploded.
Scott Monty, Ford’s Global Head of Social Media, saw the article on Business Week right before boarding a plane in Europe. Their Asia-Pacific office was tasked with handling the fallout and subsequent buyer comments.
Monty credits a well-integrated team and a globally coordinated effort paired with an excellent social media monitoring system for successfully staying in front of this potential crisis. For smaller companies, the lesson is to monitor your social media carefully and make sure you have a competent social media team involved before anything happens so you’re ready to handle it.
For more information about how this crisis was handled, check out PRDaily, Business Insider or the thousands of news articles that have appeared globally since Monday on Google.
The world stood still and watched with horror as 15 year old Pakistani education activist, Malaya Yousafzai, was rushed to a British hospital after an assassination attempt by the Taliban.
What does this have to do with social media?
Malaya’s experience was a shot heard ’round the world and was one of the catalysts for a documentary called Girl Rising. The 100-minute film showcases 9 girls’ stories, from 9 different countries and their struggles just to get an education. When the people behind Girl Rising started to look at ways in which to market the film, they went directly to the grass roots. There was no way they would be able to compete with the budgets Hollywood documentaries had at their disposal. Producers chose to circumvent the traditional route of theatre distribution and rely entirely on social media tools to build a community and spread their message. As of March 3, 2013, Girl Rising has more than 245,000 fans on Facebook, more than 32,000 tickets pre-reserved and 500 screenings have been requested nationwide.
This kind of distribution and promotion–the Hollywood 2.0 route–is ground-breaking for smaller projects.
London’s Summer 2012 Olympics embraced social media more so than any other Games before it (even Vancouver’s Winter Olympics which was where the social media movement surrounding the Olympic Games began). That meant that their advertisers and major sponsors had an additional channel to reach consumers.
Adidas was an official sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Nike sponsored many of the individual teams and athletes. Nike took to social media channels as well as developing heart-string-tugging television ads resulting in an increase of more than 11% for @Nike from opening to closing ceremonies and only 4% for @adidasoriginals. Nike used every inch of the Olympic experience it could to get people talking about their brand and they were wildly successful.
One of the largest airlines in the world, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is also considered one of the best in converting “Likes” into paying customers. Part of their marketing success is their willingness to take bold yet calculated risks. They are able to do this because they understand the customer buying journey. The touch points along the journey a lead or existing customer takes as they experience the KLM brand and then, how KLM works to improve each touch point along the path.
They began in social media the summer of 2009. Since then, they had a few failures along with great successes. One of their more controversial and successful campaigns is their Meet and Seat initiative. See below video. It’s a way for you to see who you may be sitting next to days before you board the plane.
Seven Social Media Campaigns Documented
To read the case studies of each campaign, go to their Facebook Page and click our social journey. They provide details about each campaign and insight into what made each one successful. They also did a 4 part series about their social media strategy. Part 3 of the series talks about some of the campaigns. Skip 1, 2, and 4. Weak on substance and depth. Not worth your time to read unless you are new to social media.
New Zealand fashion week, similar to New York’s fashion week, created a successful multi-platform social media strategy that helped grow attendance and revenue during the entire week of the event. Fashion weeks are a way to bring the top designers, retailers, socialites, and those just passionate about fashion together in one place to party and do business.
Yahoo! Movies, a division of Yahoo! wanted to get a bigger piece of the multi-billion dollar movie going pie by the summer of 2012 through their Facebook page. Their goal is to become the source for movie goers who love to research, be in the “know,” get VIP passes to early showings, and communicate with other movie aficionados.
They get 24 million visitors on their main website but lack that kind of traffic on Facebook where they see untapped potential to grow their brand.
Their campaign strategy was a joint effort with their offline partner, Regal Cinemas, who put up banners in theaters promoting the Yahoo! brand along with a QR code pointing to an offer most movie goers couldn’t refuse – free popcorn. People who did a social check-in via their Smart phones and liked the page got the popcorn. Offer applied online also. They would just redeem the popcorn when they arrived at the theater.
The Results From Campaign
1.2 million new Likes on their Facebook page
1.4 Million minutes spent on Yahoo! Movies Website
$1,000,000 of popcorn given away
Let’s Test Their Million Dollar Spend
They say their long-term goal is not about the “liking” it’s about building an audience of repeat visitors who will engage and make Yahoo! Movies their online source.
The great part about case studies like this is that you and I can take a peek behind the curtain and see if this is hype or really working. Below are the objectives/goals they hope to achieve now since the campaign began a few months ago. I encourage you to go to their Facebook page and see if the goals below are being lived out.
How Yahoo! Measured Success
Target a Season – focus on summer movie season
Hit Fans From All Angles – Reach fans online and offline
Relevant – Reward movie goers and capture “Likes” in return for continued activity on their Facebook page
Connect More – Interact with more movie fans via their website and Facebook page
Become The Movie Source – provide great content to keep fans coming back to their page regularly
I would question their last two goals – connecting and becoming the source. Out of the 2.15 million fans, they are not averaging the comments and interaction I would expect to consider this successful. It’s about amazing content and some of their biggest days of activity are based on movie blockbuster debuts or contests/giveaways they may be doing in a certain month. Their ratio of commenting back to people is very low and not that of a Sage archetype or the “in the know” type of a person I would expect running the page.
To view the full case study on SlideShare - go here. What do your think? Was it successful?
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.
ShipServ, a B2B e-commerce marketplace for the maritime shipping industry, sells to an industry that is not social media savvy and highly skeptical of, in their minds, an unproven way of doing business. ShipServ’s customer is a shipping supplier. To make money, those suppliers must pay ShipServ to list their offerings on the site.
The Video Campaign
They created a low tech animated video, “ShipServ Pages: The Movie” using Lego characters and even had a hero/star of the movie, Rex, depicting a typical owner operator of a shipping supply shop. Then posted it on their social channels, website and had their sales people send out emails to their leads with a link to the video. The goal was a low pressure approach to educate and entertain prospects and move them to try their online marketplace. Their CMO, John Watton reported that is was, “Highly successful. The innovation is really in how we’ve integrated it with our other social media and content marketing efforts.”
Kotex launched a creative, low cost, well executed advocacy/influencer campaign using Pinterest. Great video below expanding on how they did it and what the results were.
Kotex first looked through thousands of women’s pinboards in search of 50 power users with a large number of engaged followers on Pinterest who could be future Kotex customers. They then studied the 50 women’s boards to get a better understanding of some of the things they are passionate about. After the analysis, they created custom gift boxes for each woman filled with goodies they believed would resonate with them. I would estimate they invested between $50 and $100 per gift box.
Upon receiving the gifts, almost all 50 did as Kotex had hoped. They talked about Kotex online. Kotex then asked the women to reciprocate by opting in to the campaign to share their stories about the cool gifts they got.
At the time of the video below, there had been 2,000 interactions between the 50 women and their friends and almost 695,000 impressions.
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).