I had a perfect Saturday the other week. You know the kind – the sun was shining, the birds were singing, I had zilch on the to-do list and by the stroke of midday I was in my pants playing Grand Theft Auto V.
I can understand if this might seem trite to you, but it’s not often that my housemates are out AND my long-suffering girlfriend is busy all at the same time. The fact that GTA V was released back in September and I’ve only just caught up should tell you that I have to jump on these fleeting moments of bliss when I can. And forget going outside to do anything wholesome; the sun may have been shining, but it was still February in London and I was still in my pants.
There was one thing that irritatingly threatened to elude my cocooned heaven: that human necessity to eat. Which is why god invented takeaway pizza.
Great pizza strategy
Now, here at Southerly we like to analyse interesting case studies of great content marketing, and today it’s the turn of everyone’s favourite excuse to remain exclusively in their underwear – Domino’s Pizza.
Domino’s has been doing something a little bit clever of late, and we like it. The strategy, I mean, not the pizza. Not that I don’t like the pizza, but that’s not really the point of…never mind.
Domino’s took refreshingly simple steps to maximising its SEO whilst also engaging people with its brand in a wholly new way.
How? It built a business blog.
What is particularly ingenious is that this blog is much more than a collection of articles on the history of pizza. Rather, Domino’s has made the blog its content hub, collecting articles, downloads, competitions and special offers, videos and infographics all in one place.
Built from a good base
This builds on Domino’s previous content marketing efforts. Domino’s has enjoyed a more-than-healthy social media presence up until now; for example, its UK Facebook page will soon hit a stonking 1 million likes, and the company is known to engage very well and very consistently with its followers. It is also part of the Pizza Box Office, a genius idea that pairs pizza ordering with streamed online movie rentals (a partnership with Lionsgate Films).
With this in mind, creating a central content hub is a logical way to retain its loyal followers in one handy place. But what the blog does so very, very well is speak to its audience in the quirky, lazy tone they might recognise from the TV adverts. And who is that audience? Well, one of them will be a youthfully fresh-faced hunk of a man with a 40-second attention span, sitting in his pants in the living room.
The men-in-pants market
On its surface, the Domino’s blog looks a lot like Buzzfeed, which panders well to the aforementioned, wholesomely-challenged persona. There’s a hoard of gif-laden, listicle-style posts, many of which are not-so-subtly marketing-driven like “Ten Great Reasons to Get a Domino’s in Tonight”, or “Ten Signs You’ve Got a Domi-ddiction”.
Then you notice the content starts to meld into slightly less marketing-y fodder. There are stories like “Morning-After Miracle Workers”, which talk about the hangover benefits of pizza as much as the fry-up and a nice bit of toast, or “Five Of The World’s Most Unusual Pizza Toppings” and “Five Ingredients For a Truly Great Night In”. These might not be subtle per se, but they’re still easy digestible and, more to the point, shareable – which is where Buzzfeed wins out. We then see a run-down of the best video games of 2013, the top “10 Cheesy Chat-Up Lines from the Movies”, the “Food Quiz” and “Menu Bloopers From Around the World”.
You can see a pattern emerging. Cross Buzzfeed with FHM and sprinkle with a little Man Vs Food, couple that with some exclusive voucher codes, as well as Domino’s native advertising campaigns which sponsor popular TV shows like The X-Factor and The Simpsons, and it’s clear the brand has taken over Saturday’s men-in-pants market in one fell swoop. It’s all under one convenient roof, waiting to be shared across social media, which the company says continues to drive a significant number of sales.
With that mind, Domino’s made the clever move of exclusively sponsoring YouTube hit sitcom The Support Group. The online show from Bwark Productions, makers of The Inbetweeners, and essentially The Office for football fans, breaks new ground in its topical format. Its four main characters – white collar boys trying to get through a day at the office with typical bloke banter – discuss the footballing news and sweet FA shenanigans of that week. The initial episodes (watch the first episode below) are currently averaging around 200,000 views and Domino’s branding is plastered all over it. It’s a bit of marketing brilliance that sees Domino’s apparently supporting new artistic talent while appealing to the traditional online pizza orderer. And who would that be? I see a few hands up, and it ain’t the single ladies.
Domino’s knows its customers, which is why its social media has done so well and it’s why its new business blog is geared at people like me who spend their Saturdays clicking buttons in various capacities.
We love it because, despite the unsubtlety, it’s a perfect example of a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Its interlinked cogs whirr together to speak directly to Domino’s target audience. The blog boosts its SEO for all sorts of terms related to fast food, sitting around doing sweet nothing, watching movies or playing games; it projects the company tone and retains its loyal customers under one lovely cocoon.
All it needs now is a range of underwear.