he competition for audience attention is fierce. In a free-form world, a thorough, multimedia approach allows you to attract customers using different mediums to develop unwavering loyalty.
For content marketers, it is time to think outside of title tags, subheaders, bullet points, and meaningful prose. As much as your audience loves your blog, a well-scripted podcast, carefully crafted video or interactive platform can easily get your fans thinking about your brand in an entirely different light.
As digital media and consumption habits evolve, content marketers, en masse, will look beyond text. Though most of the world can wait until the market forces mass adoption of a multimedia content marketing approach, we can collaborate to develop playbooks that insist on the use of multiple mediums. First, let us recognize brands which are already ahead of the curve so we may learn from their winning strategies.
Here are 6 examples of next generation content marketing:
1. Bulletproof Radio (The Bulletproof Exec)
Silicon Valley investor Dave Asprey, also known as The Bulletproof Executive, helped popularize biohacking to promote smarter eating habits that optimize a person’s overall mental, physical and emotional performance. For Bulletproof Radio, Asprey invites expert guests for hourlong discussions on ways to “upgrade your performance, health, and life.” Although each podcast is also video recorded, the core value lies in the vocal dialogue between Asprey and his guests.
The brilliance in this tactic is the audience’s ability to truly devour the content on-the-go. With 700+ 5-star reviews on iTunes, Asprey capitalizes on an underutilized medium for communicating with his audience.
2. A Series Spoofing Big Agriculture (Chipotle)
In a million dollar gamble, Chipotle partnered with Hulu to produce a web-only mini-series called Farmed and Dangerous. Over four short-but-sweet episodes, the restaurant chain took heavy shots at Big Agriculture to develop greater support for better farming practices and better food.
Matthew Yglesias for Slate wrote, “It’s a sort of fascinating business proposition. Rather than directly marketing Chipotle, the idea is to stigmatize conventional farming, which, if it happens, will benefit Chipotle through the back door. A clever idea for an extremely innovative company.”
Wouldn’t you agree?
3. Child’s Play On The Big Screen (LEGO)
Recognized as “native advertising on the grandest scale ever attempted,” The Lego Movie was a feature film meant for audiences of all ages. With a stacked cast of A-list actors, The Lego Movie featured LEGO products front-and-center in an obvious, yet tactful manner.
Worldwide, box office sales have totaled nearly half a billion dollars and the film has been rated a coveted 8.1 on IMDB. Though only select companies can currently scrape together the funds to finance a big motion picture, The Lego Movie’s demonstrated blockbuster potential should encourage other brands to underwrite Hollywood films worth watching.
4. How-To’s For Everything In Your Home (The Home Depot)
On a modest scale and with an even more modest budget, The Home Depot manages a YouTube channel with over 59,000 subscribers. The house and hardware store regularly produces informative DIY videos that enable viewers to, “find everything you need to take your next project from to-do to done.” The Home Depot’s straightforward approach to content marketing focuses on developing its audience’s abilities and skills, while helping its customers discover more of how The Home Depot can add value to their lives (and homes).
5. Your Questions, Answered (McDonald’s)
It is one thing to anticipate your audience’s needs and to produce content you think they want. It is another to actually open up the floor so they may disclose exactly what they want to know and then for you to be accountable in sharing an answer. McDonald’s made itself vulnerable when it first launched the Your Questions campaign.
In a bold move, the notorious hamburger restaurant created a portal which diners could use to discover information about McDonald’s food practices or ask management their own questions. The often criticized fast food brand honored customers with personalized responses in text, picture and video form. It created a hub for consumers who wanted to learn more about what goes into the food McDonald’s serves, earning greater trust by providing open ears and unexpected transparency.
6. The Footprint Chronicles (Patagonia)
As negative sentiment around offshore manufacturing grows, brands by the dozen tout made-in-America labels and proudly note the number of local jobs they’ve created. Rather than follow the trend of uprooting its established foreign facilities and jobs, Patagonia managed public opinion by educating shoppers about its diverse supply chain and its commitment to reducing “adverse social and environmental impacts – and on an industrial scale.” Using an interactive map and supporting articles and videos, the outdoor apparel and gear brand chose to build integrity and openness into its manufacturing practices, providing its consumers with something, dare I say it, authentic.