How Top Brands Used Content Marketing in 2013

The following is a guest post.

Content marketing is always evolving and brands that can constantly revamp themselves are the ones that stay afloat and even thrive. Unlike other forms of traditional marketing, content marketing is more volatile thanks to constant changes in search engines, social media platforms and consumer tastes that can completely derail existing content marketing strategies and campaigns. Your brand must be able to change its content marketing strategies and campaigns to keep up with changes in the world of marketing and gain an edge over your competitors.

By failing to make necessary changes and to adopt new ideas and methodologies, once successful campaigns can go stale and can even become more of a burden than a boon. However, there are some brands that manage to become trendsetters in the field of content marketing by being able to predict trends early on and changing their content marketing campaigns accordingly. 2013 was no different. Although some predictions by experts turned out to be false, these brands were able to do very well with their content marketing campaigns last year. Here are the lessons that they taught:

Content should be able to evoke emotions

It is a well established fact that memories associated with emotions are not only retained better, but also recalled with more accuracy. So if your content can generate strong emotions in people, it will be remembered and recalled more. Sainsbury nailed it in their Christmas advertisement that was basically a long form video that told the stories of the various children surprised during Christmas. This video was heartfelt, sweet, emotional and a tear-jerker guaranteeing the brand a lot of success.

Aim for the shock factor

Another way to make your content more memorable and shareworthy is by making it shocking. We don’t mean in a negative way. Take for instance, the ads released by Volvo for their trucks. They had Jean Claude Van Damme perform a death-defying stunt with apparently no safety gear between two trucks. The video also had a stellar background score that gave it a very dramatic feel. The videos went viral even though most ordinary consumers don’t buy trucks.Screenshot 2014-02-07 22.49.38

Tell a story

A small brand that did very well in the year 2013 due to creative and effective content marketing was Zady. Zady is an ecommerce company that focuses on offering its customers ethnically made fashion apparel, accessories and home furnishings. It also aims to demystify the supply chain letting customers know exactly where its products came from. Every item listed on the website features the story of the artist or designer behind the product and often times, customers can peek into the studios of the makers too. Providing back-stories about the product and its creators allows the brand to create special connections and come across as more relatable.

Screenshot 2014-02-07 23.11.19Make employees champions for the brand

One brand that did this really well this year is Whole Foods. Their content marketing strategy was already successful as the brand was providing customers with a wealth of information on organic and healthy eating options and food items. What gave them the edge was the fact that they made their treasured employees their brand ambassadors. These brand ambassadors or chosen employees are allowed to share their unique experiences and stories about organic and healthy eating with customers and fans of the brand on the company’s content marketing channels. This is a great way of presenting the human faces behind a large brand and promoting a certain lifestyle that ultimately benefits the brand. The brand also used high-quality, beautifully shot images of their champion employees and their products.

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Create a uniform social media presence

Brands need a social media presence and not just an existence to do well these days. Most brands forget that social media is an integral part of content marketing. And with so many social media platforms, brands truly need to work hard to create an enviable presence across many platforms. One small company that became a social media powerhouse this year is Birchbox. It has constantly-updated and highly attractive pages on Pinterest, Facebook YouTube and Twitter that have all become very successful.

The brand also makes sure to publish content on their blog that is not only highly shareworthy, but also easy to share on various social media platforms. Their content consists of style guides, product reviews and high-profile interviews accompanied by stunning videos and images that always make their content very successful on social media.

Author bio:

Jessica Davis is a Content Strategy Specialist with Godot Media – a Content Management company. She has years of experience in working closely with online businesses, helping them refine their marketing strategy through optimum use of content. Her other interests, besides online content strategy, copywriting and search engine optimization, are technology, sports and fashion.