Irrespective of the medium you opt for, it is essential to frame your campaign in such a way that it does not appear self-congratulatory and purely sales-oriented in nature. Your marketing approach should reflect sincerity and sensitivity when it comes to understanding genuine concerns of the people you want to reach than meeting your own goals. That’s a far effective way of communicating your brand values so that the prospects get interested in them at some point of time than brandishing your own achievements.
Nuances of branded content strategy
A known fashion brand, Burberry, has taken an offbeat approach to strike a fine balance within the realm of user-generated content (UGC) through its ‘Art of Trench’ interface. People can upload there images of themselves wearing the branded coats (obviously, by the label). The popular co-creation campaign has been well received in the fashion and marketing circles for its success in building and sustaining a community of fans.
However, if your brand happens to be in a low-interest or low-profile sector, you cannot really aim to emulate Burberry, Nike, BMW or other biggies by enticing all of your target audience into the process of co-creation. That may not always work! For instance, some packaged grocery businesses have failed in their attempt to follow the branded content strategy on an ambitious scale.
‘Confessions’ campaign of Kingsmill in 2009, conceived by M&C Saatchi, sought visitors to go online and then own up to stealing ‘delicious’ sandwiches that belonged to others. The online campaign was supported by a television advertisement about a lady who stole one from her husband with a tagline: ‘He’s convinced that he is going cuckoo.’ But the idea did not find an echo amongst the brand’s followers as not even a dozen ‘Confessions’ videos were hosted on YouTube.
The campaign was finally wound up. Similar such attempts included OXO’s plan to prompt users to upload on YouTube home-made, raw productions of the brand’s ads. Another campaign was run by Dolmio asking people to prepare their own ‘Papa Dolmio’ ad versions and upload them.
ROI parameters to define success of your campaign
Brands ideally should resist the temptation of measuring everything in terms of pure Return On Investment, when it comes to gauging the success of their content marketing plan in the digital realm.
Knowing whether people are motivated by an online campaign to buy a product, leading to higher sales is something that cannot or should not be done isolation. You need to consider the manner in which they tend to use different channels to increasing their awareness of a product – both offline and online media.
They won’t just visit a site, read a blog, check the Facebook profile, watch a television ad before going out and buying one. It’s a well-considered move, and a not a random decision – rather a chain reaction that intertwines different avenues and media channels. People would go online, gather relevant content, analyze information, as well as grasp user feedback on social sites and forums. So brands need to be patient and persistent.