Over the past years, more and more brands have been using content marketing to produce highly successful marketing campaigns. Yet, despite the concept’s popularity, the term still holds many mysteries for those trying to jump on the bandwagon.
The idea behind content marketing is to promote a brand through engaging content that will appeal to potential customers, rather than selling a product or service directly. A classic example is Red Bull. Through its digital channels and worldwide sports events, Red Bull has established itself as the go-to for anyone in search of an adrenaline rush - a much more exciting experience for potential customers rather than the simple taste of an energy drink. Content marketing often taps into enhancing customers’ lifestyle with content that will attend to their wants, rather than needs. But above all, to achieve success, content marketing campaigns rely on storytelling.
A few months ago, an interesting challenge arrived at Nucco Brain’s door:
Innovate UK, the national agency that supports science and technology innovations, asked our studio to help them in reaching out to a wider audience. The main task revolved around the development of a content marketing strategy for Innovate UK’s digital and social media channels, followed by the production and distribution of the content itself. Through this project, we experienced the benefits of empowering a brand in becoming a content publisher firsthand. Here are some of the results we achieved in terms of numbers (views, subscribers, etc.)
Here is why we believe brands should adopt content marketing as an advertising strategy:
1. Brands no longer compete against each other, but the entire media landscape.
With the massive amount of content uploaded daily on the Internet, people are used to having a wide choice of different media to consume. As this article is being written, the Internet Live Stats indicate that there are 3,658,133,031 Internet users in the world, 3,588,547 blog articles have been written, and 4,393,865,056 videos have been viewed on YouTube in just one day. To survive in this fierce environment, brands should no longer ask themselves “how can I make customers buy my product through media?” but instead “what unique experiences can media provide for my customers?” - and in the process, take control of their own brand storytelling through content marketing.
It is crucial for brands embarking on the content marketing journey to develop a strategy: the content should be both consistent in its style and of high quality. What do we want our audiences to do and what type of content do they crave are important questions to consider.
Nucco Brain’s approach with Innovate UK was to use our visual storytelling expertise to create the right tools for the organisation to use as content publishers. To do so, we developed different extensions of the Innovate UK brand, each with a distinct visual style. These included animated guidelines, format structure documents and visual designs that have been used by all Innovate UK’s content service providers to generate consistent productions - click here to view the results.
2. People are selective about the content they watch…
… thus brands should be selective about who they create content for. Yes, the Internet has become marketeers’ favourite playground, but time is precious, and people are extremely selective about where they spend it online. This is where content marketing benefits brands, a targeted audience is more likely to be interested and follow engaging content rather than direct advertising.
At Nucco Brain we believe the content should ideally be both informative and entertaining.
As part of our collaboration with Innovate UK, we were responsible for rebranding their YouTube Channel. Our studio created four different video formats and pilots episodes, effectively sub-brands of Innovate UK, focused on engaging with different segments of the organisation’s target audience:
Predictions: Aimed for the general public and informed millennials, a series of short episodes predicting what the future will look like in twenty to thirty years time.
Game Changers: A series showcasing stories of extraordinary entrepreneurs who are part of a minority or are discriminated; highlighting the challenges and successes of their journey.
Essential Selection: This format presents animated infographics of top tips and useful insights from aspiring and young entrepreneurs.
Success Stories: revolves around companies that Innovate UK has invested in and details how the organisation has supported their growth.
Fifteen months after the campaign’s implementation, Innovate UK has seen an 8% increase in awareness amongst its target audience due to the new strategy. Meanwhile, the YouTube Channel has registered an 650% increase in subscriptions and an 875% increase in content views. Also, Innovate UK has gained 125% boost in organic placements with external, relevant publishers and sector influencers.
As Pete Wilson, digital communications manager at Innovate UK, said: “ The insights fed into our content strategy contributed significantly to us reinventing our approach to content; this coupled with distribution expertise has massively increased our visibility”.
Keep an eye out for our next article on producing successful branded content for YouTube.
Stefano Marrone & Alizée Musson
Managing Director & Marketing Executive