Nescafé has consistently been ahead of the game in terms of content marketing and positioning, so what can their move to Tumblr teach us about content marketing best practice?
How to get A. Head in advertising
Any of the *ahem* more experienced members of our blog audience will remember the Nescafé Gold Blend adverts of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s which positioned the Nescafé brand as a market leader and increased sales in the UK by 50%, spawning a novel, newspaper headlines and two compilation music CD’s.
In one series of advertisements Nescafé managed to embody SEO best practice regarding content – they made it interesting, relatable, and shareable. Now, in an interview with Marketing Week, Nescafé’s head of Global Integrated Marketing, Michael Chrisment, announced that they will be moving all global and local websites to Tumblr as it ‘is traditionally a blog platform […] very much tied to co-creation and user-generated content’. It may seem surprising, at a time when there are a number of blogs appearing which promise the demise of content marketing due to a glut of content, that a brand as large as Nescafé would move their entire online presence to a blogging platform, but the key thing to remember is that these ‘we’re all doomed’ prophecies – based, in part, on studies such as the joint endeavour by Moz and BuzzSumo which indicated that the vast majority of online content receives little or no engagement – neglect the fact that pertinent content will always generate engagement and, in this regard, user generated content is even better. By endeavouring to generate consumer interaction with the brand and encourage consumer generated content they will not only be able to create a buzz, but may also be able to make headway with the extremely competitive non-branded ‘coffee’ and coffee related keywords whilst reaching a new generation – the Millennials who are content generators by nature.
Bigger, Faster, Louder Better
This does not mean brands always need to go the bigger, brasher, bolder Red Bull direction – as Contently explored in August, not all content will need to be generated to reflect company sponsorship of men and women who like to jump off stuff, or on to other stuff, or go really fast around things in or on various forms of motorised and non-motorised transport. The key to the future of content is not the budget behind it or the volume of it but, as JSTOR’s recent blog success indicates, it’s primary, secondary and tertiary relevance, its quality and usefulness.
Writing for readers, not robots
As Google proceeds to make changes to their algorithm seemingly driven by improving UX, the above quote can only increase in its relevance to a good content marketing strategy. The output for a blog should not be driven by a desire to display consistent freshness to Google’s site crawlers or to generate links; it should be seen as a first point of interaction with a brand’s consumers. Millennials, as Nescafé found themselves, comprise a difficult but growing demographic to target – with a recent study finding that 84% do not trust traditional advertising, it is, therefore, important for content to provide genuine opportunities for engagement, useful answers to questions, content which is written for your blog’s consumers and not for the Google algorithm. As discussed in our brand ambassador piece, your employees should be your brand’s biggest fans. The chances are these employees will share a lot in common with your ideal customer, so ask for advice on topics of interest to them – these do not need to be product or sales-driven, but should appeal to the interests, however tangentially, of your target audience. This is one area in which brands can certainly take their lead from Red Bull – which would not, perhaps have been served so well by blog coverage of people trying to stay awake during Monday board meetings or late night stocktakes. You can look to write, film or record content which will be of interest not only to your present customers but to potential customers and even their friends, even if it does not immediately seem obvious how it will drive sales.
Open all hours
The internet is slowly bringing about a kind of electronically supercharged ‘word of mouth’ – an echo of an era in which the reputation of a brand amongst its consumers was paramount. 88% of respondents to a 2014 BrightLocal survey stated that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and this is only going to increase. Your content is your chat over the bar or shop counter, it should be enjoyable for both parties, it should be an exchange of ideas and information which is of mutual interest to both brand and consumer – there is very little that skill in writing can do as a substitute for enthusiasm. Nescafé’s move to Tumblr will allow it to harness consumer-generated content and, more even than this, the natural enthusiasm of a coffee drinking audience for their hot beverage of choice. Let your brand become a hub for like-minded people and remember that a good content marketing strategy is all about the long-term, it’s about winning the trust of your consumers and proving you’re worthy of keeping it.
Are you SURE?
Here at Click we always try to be SURE about our content and you should too:
1. Is it Substantial? Does it answer, in full and in detail the question or search query it answers?
2. Is it Unique? Google does not like duplicate content – but nor will your consumers, why come to you for answers they can find elsewhere?
3. Is it Relevant? Is the piece specific to the query posed or to that which the title suggests?
4. Is it Engaging? Is the piece likely to make your consumer want to pass on your advice/ideas/picture of kittens to their friends, or talk about it on their own blog?
Your content marketing strategy is about more than just your brand’s bottom line, it’s about your brand’s future. The relationships your brand seeks to build at this time will serve you well as engagement, already important to Millennials, becomes vital. As Coca-Cola’s research states, Millennials expect their brands to be ‘Transparent, Authentic, Organic and Sustainable’, they want brand relationships and connections, not advertorials or sales pitches. Make sure you’re looking for the same thing.