IKEA, the Swedish-based home furnishings retailer that operates about 38 stores in the U.S., launched a YouTube channel called “How to Build,” the latest in a series of new content marketing initiatives introduced by the company’s IKEAUSA division over the past year.
The channel currently has eight playlists with videos produced by the company on topics that include design tips, “How to” videos on putting together some of their well-known furniture pieces, and style ideas for various rooms, including kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms. One playlist also is home to all of IKEA’s ads.
The YouTube channel comes just six months after IKEA announced the official launch of a new community photo-sharing website called “Share Space,” which aims to give users a platform to upload photos of their own living spaces and share ideas with each other. At the time, IKEA said that it was introducing the photo-sharing site, www.theshare-space.com, in order to encourage consumers to dialogue on design and help them find ways to make the most of their own spaces.
These two content marketing initiatives illustrate a growing trend by companies to use visual tools and technology in their content marketing in order to engage audience members. Businesses are finding that visual content makes it easy to get people’s attention and compile even large amounts of information into digestible formats.
IKEA’s Own Pinterest
Such visual aids often need to integrate with more traditional forms of written content, and to that end, IKEA also introduced last summer a new blog called “Design by IKEA.” In it, the company’s design experts share tips, trends and ideas geared toward home and life improvement. The company also engages with customers through its Twitter handle, @DesignbyIKEA.
The variety of initiatives that IKEA launched illustrates the level of commitment it takes to build a following, said Tom Fishburne, a marketing consultant and founder of Marketoonist, which creates custom cartoon-based marketing campaigns for companies.
“It takes trial and error with content to see what sticks,” Fishburne said. “Companies need to think about creating valuable content over an extended period of time. They need to commit to trial and error. Virality will happen, but not necessarily on day one.”
IKEA has implemented several features on its Share Space site to encourage community-building.
For example, the company said that in addition to sharing photos, users have the ability to browse and comment on others’ spaces and save photos of rooms that they like best. They can tag IKEA products, save them in a personalized “wish list” and share photos with friends on social networks.
IKEA design experts also select one room each week as their “Pick of the Week,” displaying it on the Share Space homepage.
Calls to IKEA for comment on its YouTube channel weren’t immediately returned.