Coca-Cola: Learning About Content Marketing From the ‘Master’
“I’d like to teach the world to sing;
In perfect harmony.
I’d like to buy the world a Coke,
And keep it company.
That’s the ‘Real Thing!’
Oh, yes…that IS the ‘real thing.’ They don’t show this particular commercial anymore because their marketing and advertising campaigns have transformed over the decades to ‘fit’ Coca-Cola’s needs just perfectly. But that is the song that everyone in the world began to sing, and was a large piece in making Coca-Cola the ‘King’ of soft drinks – a spot they’ve continued to hold for years and years and years.
Well, for any business out there who wishes to be more than successful when it comes to their content marketing endeavors, Coca-Cola is certainly one brand that shows how to utilize it effectively. Being a globally-recognized brand that operates and is distributed in over 200 countries across the globe and brings in around $50 billion dollars in revenue each and every year, certainly shows that they know what they’re doing!
When it comes to Coca Cola and marketing that song, among others, will be what you think of almost immediately. We are a visual society, as you all know, so the famous Coca-Cola television advertisements are at the forefront of their efforts – especially those cute polar bears that everyone is STILL head over heels for even though they’ve been a part of our ‘Christmas’ cheer for years.
However, it is content marketing that’s actually at the core of the Coca-Cola strategy. In fact, the company recently set a goal to double worldwide consumption of Coca Cola by the year 2020 – and they are planning on using content marketing to take them there.
With my long experience of analyzing content marketing efforts while working for an SEO agency, I would like to share the analysis of the Coca-Cola approach, and offer advice that can help with your own content strategies.
So, why listen to Coca-Cola? Besides the fact that they are a massive brand with a gigantic marketing budget, their marketing team has also consistently been at the forefront of new ideas and techniques. They were the first to try ‘sampling;’ the first to offer consumer coupons; and they were even among the first to represent women in the workplace. Their approaches to marketing have been innovative, causing businesses to mimic their tactics in an attempt to replicate their huge success.
Taking a look at what Coca-Cola is doing, thereby adapting our own approaches, is a must. In fact, Coca-Cola has actually released videos that go into detail about their new approach to ‘content marketing.’ Jonathan Mildenhall, V.P. Global Advertising and Creative Excellence for Coca-Cola, recently stated in an interview that they “chose to release the information because it would require too much effort to keep their new marketing plan away from public knowledge.” Therefore, they have released the information in order to reap the extra benefits from the publicity.
There are insights to be taken from Coca-Cola’s ‘Content Marketing’ videos, beginning with their “Liquid and Linked” phrase. In the videos, the marketing team often uses the phrase ‘liquid and linked’ when they talk about their new marketing plan: Content Marketing 2020. Two aspects of their approach include “Liquid,” which is a plan to consistently create content so unique that it goes viral and is found all over the Web. They won’t waste any time on what they know to be ‘good,’ or even ‘great’ content, they will only offer the very best that generates high interest levels across social networks. Step two of the plan is “Linked,” which outlines the importance of ensuring that their content remains completely connected with their underlying business goals. In other words, what’s the point of going viral with content that offers no increase in sales?
What should we all take as the lesson here? Simple, really. Offering remarkable content that is absolutely and completely relevant to your business strategy and goals is a must. Yes, the average ‘Joe’ like you and me most likely do not have the resources to create content that consistently goes viral, but we can still do our best with the assets at our disposal. ‘Remarkable’ content certainly has the ability to go viral, and viral content will bring you amazing results. Add in the extra effort that is needed, and you will really find that with hard work and remarkable content – your company can become something truly special. And if the content works alongside your company’s specific goals, then you’ll be rewarded with social shares and links which, in turn, will boost your visibility in the search engines.
The “70/20/10 Plan” is what Coca-Cola also speaks about. Broken down, this means that 70% of their content will be low risk – content that has already proved itself to work consistently across the board. 20% will focus on ‘spin-offs’ from the ‘good, old material’ that consumers know and love, while the final 10% will be high risk. With this, you are looking at brand new ideas that will end up falling into one category or the other – hugely successful or a hideous failure.
In the end, being highly creative and having the ability and courage to experiment with new concepts and ideas is a must. Always analyze how effective your content is, and use what truly works over and over again. Begin experimenting with content that’s a ‘spin-off’ of that successful content, then analyze its effectiveness. Then, create and distribute brand new ideas that are incredibly interesting and literally keeps your material ‘fresh’ and far away from the ‘normal, boring’ category that will make customers walk away and move on to something more fun.
Since Google changed their algorithm, SEOs, PR agencies and social media marketers have seen content marketing as a ‘hot topic.’ But in order to get more involved with this new path, they will need to learn the absolute basics. Join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, where I share the latest information surrounding content marketing – and let’s see who the next ‘Coca-Cola’ giant will be!
For more information on Content Marketing, Brand Monitoring and Creating a Social Foot Print: Be First Media Group