We are living in a content economy where it is easier than ever to create and share content. Smartphones, like the Guttenberg press which democratised publishing in the 1800s, have revolutionised content creation. All of a sudden everyone is now a media company.
Add social media, and then it begins to feel like publishing on steroids. Once regarded as a fad, whose shine would wear off with time, social media is now a utility. It has changed how people communicate and interact including how marketers reach out to their audience and sell their products.
Content is the new currency.
It is no longer about who has the biggest budget but rather the one with the most creative contagious content that is eminently shareable and entertaining wins.
The case for Content Marketing
In the past marketers relied almost exclusively on interrupting us at every opportunity in the hopes of selling their products and services. From billboards to ads during your favourite television show marketers perfected the art of interruption marketing. Yet, with the proliferation of media it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture and sustain that attention as we have so much choice and there is more competition for our attention.
But, there is a better way. Instead of interrupting customers with adverts and product pitches marketers can create interesting information customers are passionate about that, so passionate they want to pay attention. A practise called Content Marketing.
But why should you engage in Content Marketing
#1 No Gatekeepers
In the past publishing would cost an arm and a leg, it was about the size of your budget, not the novelty of your idea. Today, content can be produced in a wide variety of media an format. All you need is a smartphone to create a YouTube video or a 140 character tweet.
#2 Social Media
“Look at the world around you. With the slightest push – in the right place – it can be tipped.” Malcom Gladwell
Sharing content with social media is like adding gasoline to fire. It is now easy to share your content without going through traditional media houses, the gatekeepers. Social Media has freed us from their tyranny.
#3 SEO benefits
Getting found on Google or any major search engine depends on having relevant and fresh content. Google places a lot of importance on content that has been shared by credible sources which is another reason why Content Marketing is key.
Case Study: DHL Africa
DHL is the leading global brand in the logistics industry and the official logistics partner of Rugby World Cup 2015.
Campaign: Africa as one
DHL’s campaign involves passing a single rugby ball from hand to hand, across 45 countries in 11 months, coupled with activations, rugby clinics and CSR activities in each country along the way culminating in London where they will hand over the ball from Africa, and in essence, deliver a little bit of Africa to Rugby World Cup 2015
The campaign seeks to marry their experience and knowledge across the African continent with the concept of this ambitious journey – one that requires careful co-ordination and intricate logistics as well as significant investment. Through their partnership with Mercy Ships they are distributing over half a million units of stationary along the way, as well as providing eye tests and glasses.
Content Marketing Types
DHL Africa publishes extensively content in a variety of formats, media and channels for their Africa as One campaign. The content includes videos, spectacular images and candid blog posts, to share and celebrate Africa.
A major part of their campaign resolves around creating videos. Usually they stay in each country for a week and produce 1 video per week.
Episode 9: Sudan the land of the Mighty Black Pharaohs with 960,485 views
#2 Pictures/ Images
“Nobody knows Africa as we do”
DHL Africa does not stop at creating videos, they also take picturesque and spectacular images that captures the true beauty of Africa.
#3 Blog Posts
They share candid blog articles even though incredible pictures and videos are the draw card.
#4 Website (Hub)
DHL Africa has created a separate website specifically for the campaign, found at www.africaasone.com , The Africa as One website is used as a central point to house all the campaign’s journey information, from photos, videos, blogs, route and team bios.
Publicity and Awareness
The publicity and brand awareness created by the #AfricaAsOne campaign provides some deep insights into how effective content marketing is. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics.
Since campaign inception in October 2014:
YouTube views – over 8,3million views
YouTube channel subscriber growth: + 2210%
Twitter: #AfricaAsOne reach – 198million; Retweets – 98k
Facebook: #AfricaAsOne – Post likes: 84k, Post comments: 11k, Post shares: 3,7k 3 646, Post reach: 5,8million
Telling Your Story
Content Marketing is one of the best ways to creating unparalleled community engagement. Creating epic content should be the goal for every marketer. It differentiates you and makes you unique. No one is the same and no one can tell your story better than you.
As you can see, through powerful story telling DHL Africa has had amazing results. How can you tell your story and experience similar success.
- Develop and refine your content marketing strategy
- Define and develop your Persona for your target audience
- Develop a series of stories for your brand or industry that has never been shared before.
- Share via Social Media
- Measure and Review
- Rinse, Lather and Repeat
Over to you
What do you like most about the #AfricaAsOne campaign? Do you think it was a good idea? What other campaigns interest you? I look forward to reading your stories and feedback in the comments section.