A few months back I mentioned it was inevitable for most brands in most industries to be aggressively pursuing content marketing. The arms race has begun to heat up in some industries more than others, and I see the contenders categorised into three divisions: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Just this week I read how Appliances Online UK reached one million fans on Facebook in only two years. The truth is that there’s no hidden secret to how they achieved this. It came down to a well-planned strategy and patience. Facebook advertising was used, of course, but it worked in conjunction with the great content they were providing their fans – if it wasn’t relevant, it wasn’t posted!
CommBank – being the total opposite to Appliances Online – is a great example of a massive corporation where content marketing is at the forefront of their marketing plan. They have a host of platforms and tools where customers and potential customers can access and engage, with some of these including the CommBank blog, their Facebook page and MyWealth. Content marketing is something the bank has heavily invested in and they will no doubt do even more in future – they are a fantastic example of how a blue-chip corporation has changed its thinking and become a publisher at the same time.
Sorry to name names, but consider this as positive criticism. Interflora, being one of the biggest companies in flower retail, has such a massive opportunity to create great content that customers and potential customers will find fun and interesting – not to mention help build their own community and SEO. Yet they don’t have anything of the sort. All I could find were a few articles written around certain topics that some would say were for SEO purposes. For a company of this size and stature, it’s disappointing they only have just over 16000 followers on Facebook – and the engagement level is below par too. There are some local online flower retailers that are putting them to shame!
This time I’m not going to name names other than singling out the pharmaceutical industry. In my experience they are by far the most regulated (understandable, yet so many others are as well) bureaucratic industry that has not fully embraced online marketing, let alone content marketing. Without starting another war, the list of outdated, old and ugly websites that multinational pharmas expect customers to browse through are endless. The problem is not the lack of know-how and quality content, but rather a fear of the so-called “new and unknown world of social media”.
If you think about it, pharma has been one of the industries that has always created great content and distributed it through mainstream media such as TV and print. But those are both very one-way conversations. The biggest challenge for most marketers is to produce great content, but pharmas don’t have this issue – they’ve done it for years and done it well thanks to large budgets and resources. However, they appear to have this inherent fear that if they create a social outlet – let’s say a blog or Facebook page – they will be creating a platform for trolls. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of the smaller pharma companies who have embraced social have seen communities embrace their brands and engage like no other. It seems that most large pharma brands are just afraid to share their content in a two-way manner.
Unfortunately, the majority of these companies don’t even get such discussions past legal or the boardroom walls. Yet every day people watch less TV and read fewer newspapers and magazines. Instead, they spend more time on social channels and search for health information online – yet only for a handful of brands can be found, and even fewer offer up valuable content.
Ask yourself, which category do you want to fall into?
Elmo Stoop – Key Account Manager