Successful content marketing isn’t about getting leads or generating buzz; it’s about establishing a relationship with your customers. And this can’t be done simply by throwing content at them. Millennials are prioritizing experiences over everything else. 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things. Same is the case with advertisements. The increasing number of ad blocker installs is not a problem but a symptom.
Consumers are looking for non-intrusive, interactive experiences that add value. And they’d do anything to maintain that including ad blocking, personalizing their social feeds, ignoring popups, and installing spam filters. As marketers we must learn to empathize with them, understand their problems, and offer experiences to address them.
Empathy and interactive marketing are two forces that drive content marketing in the millennial world. 4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it. What’s more? 71 per cent of consumers share information about their experience with their peers and family members. The modern-day marketer, thus, must utilize these forces to take effective brand promotion to the next level.
Source – Hubspot
However, with content fatigue at its peak, how do you create unique experiences that help your brand stand out? Learn from the forerunners. We bring you examples of brands who have cracked the code.
Empathy Marketing in Action
Empathy becomes the heart and soul of a marketing strategy when marketers put themselves in the consumers’ shoes. You understand their pain points and deliver tailored solutions. Empathy-driven marketing is fueled with emotions and customer insights, and that is what makes it so powerful. You educate your customers, don’t sell to them. This makes the whole process more involving. It’s all about establishing deeper connections with the prospects and crafting messages focused on their concerns.
Reaching your audience at an emotional level and leveraging empathy and compassion in your interactions will inspire engagement that truly matters – shares, word-of-mouth recommendations, and repeat purchases. Let’s look at some brands who made empathy central to their marketing and reaped returns.
The real beauty campaign that started off with Dove’s Evolution video brought the brand to the forefront of positive advertising. The campaign aimed at helping women disregard the societal definition of beauty and accept the paradigms of real-beauty. The video got 18,850,663 views and counting. This was 10 years ago, and since then the brand has been holding on to the emotion it stands for – positive self affirmations.
Even today, Dove’s posts on various social channels and its many advertisements offer customers regular reminders of their worth, as well as ways to actively recognize themselves and other women. Positive self-affirmations have proven to help people perform better under stress. This has helped the brand developed a relationship with their audience by adding positivity in their lives.
The gum brand built an interactive site that encourages consumers to submit of life’s little moments using #giveextragetextra, which are then turned into art sketches. Some chosen images then appear inside the Extra packaging. Gum being a product that enhances intimacy, this campaign helps people recognize and celebrate small moments in life. And by honoring these moments Extra helps its customers live a more present and full life.
When JetBlue thought of extending its marketing campaign beyond the services they provide, nothing made more sense than focusing on the flying experiences of their customers. And thus came out the Flight Etiquette videos.The funny videos highlighted the troublesome encounters we all face while travelling – chatty seatmates, rushed flight attendants etc. The sarcastic undertone of the videos brings out the emotion the brand stands for – humor. At one point or the other we all have bad flying experiences. These videos help customers solve these issues by educating the public, thus making an emotional connect.
Interactive Marketing in Action
Millennials are turning away from ads. They don’t want to be sold to anymore. Instead, they’re looking for engaging and valuable experiences. They’re looking for instant gratification. And this is what makes interactive marketing so exciting.
Interactive marketing makes the whole experience more personal for the consumers. It lets you tell your brand’s story in a more creative way, resulting in better engagement and improved customer experience. 93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating its buyers.There are different interactive content types that marketers can use to keep consumers hooked. You can take a cue from the following brands that have effectively used interactive content to take their marketing efforts to the next level.
When SaaS firm VenturePact was looking at ways to generate more leads and improve customer engagement, inbound didn’t prove to be a superhero. Thus, they worked with Outgrow to build a mobile app cost calculator that helped prospects get a cost estimate for their app by answering 8 simple questions. The interactive tool captured attention, provided instant gratification, was less competitive in search and extremely share-worthy. Within weeks it went viral. Within 2 weeks of launching, the calculator boosted traffic by 15% and increased conversion rate by 28%.
Coca-Cola created an interactive robot that let teenagers experience the fun of staying at a summer camp without leaving their homes. These Social Robots were equipped with webcams and microphones and could be controlled by users even from a distance. They were an instant hit among the teenagers because they could walk them around, dance with the, sunbathe with them, surprise them and thus be a part of the experience. This marketing campaign became a success overnight. It got ample media attention but above all became a hit among the consumers because they could feel and share the experience.
In 2016 Mercedes engaged outdoor stuntman Kelly Lund and his Wolfdog, Loki (a YouTube and Instagram sensation), to create a special #MBphotopass and 360-degree VR video of their trip to the snowy mountains of Colorado. The film featured Mercedes’ upcoming 2017 GLS sport utility vehicle. The 2D and 3D videos earned more than 4 million views across platforms and nearly 80 thousand social media engagements. As a result of the campaign, MBUSA’s Instagram followers grew by 57,000, and today, slightly more than 40% of visitors to MBUSA’s site are between 18 and 34.
In the millennial world, it’s important for marketers to connect with consumers at a humane level. It’s time to move past advertisements and create experiences that engage and intrigue the audiences. Is your brand ready to embrace this shift in the marketing ideology?