Creating compelling content is one thing, but ensuring that content gets in front of the right audiences, in the right places and at the right time is quite another. Lots of brands are very adept at creating excellent content, but the distribution and promotion of that content is often neglected.
Content distribution isn’t just about sticking a link to your blog post on social media, putting it in your email newsletter and hoping that it flies. As our recent guide, The Content Distribution Playbook discussed, organic reach on social media continues to diminish. To overcome this, you need a strategic investment in ensuring that your message reaches the people that you need to reach the most.
Here’s how one brand, a leading global retailer, hit the sweet spot with a targeted pan-European campaign.
A compelling story
The ‘Back to School’ season is a key trading period for this office supplies and stationary retailer, and this meant that it had to get its strategy right.
It needed a compelling story and, by utilising the YouTube ‘Hero, hub and hygiene’ model, it was able to develop a diverse range of content assets that engaged with the brand’s target audiences at various different touch points, and at various stages of the user journey.
Starting at the foundations of any content strategy, the brand produced a range of compelling and essential advice guides and product content. But this alone wouldn’t be enough to help the brand achieve its ambitions in this key trading period.
To support this content, a series of engaging pieces were produced with the intention creating a buzz in both mainstream and social media. This included surveys that would fuel a strong PR campaign, as well as video content to really engage with core audience segments.
Understanding the audiences
Key to any content distribution strategy is understanding where an audience is active, how they engage with content, what they are most inclined to engage with and perhaps most importantly, what motivates them.
The brand already had a wealth of customer insight and first-party data, and Stickyeyes supplemented this with data and insight from our in-house proprietary tools to build a complete picture of the target audience segments.
With this insight, we identified two district groups that we would target with specific creative content in order to achieve the brand’s objectives.
The first audience segment consisted of parents, and this group were ultimately the purchasing decision makers for this product. This group generally looked for value, for reliability and for quality.
The second audience segment was the school children themselves, who valued ‘cool’ above all else. Whilst these would be the main user of the products and would at least influence the purchasing decision, they wouldn’t make the final decision. However, so-called ‘pester-power’ is a key influencer in retail, and therefore the content would need to reach those audiences in a way that highlighted the attributes of the product that parents would not necessarily look for.
And of course, timing would be everything. As a seasonal campaign, the groundwork for this started months in advance, with content distributed in a steady stream to ensure that at the key purchasing moment, the brand was prominent in all of the communications channels.
Finding the influencers
We knew that vloggers were important influencers for one of our key audience segments, so it was important for the brand to really engage with key vloggers across Europe.
In order to reach those audiences, the brand needed a strong creative concept and we worked with them to create the ‘Back to School Challenge’ - a series of challenges, tasks and puzzles that put the product at the heart of the content.
These videos would go on to reach huge audiences – more than 12.7m in the UK and 17m in Germany at an average CPM of just €0.51.
A targeted distribution strategy
All of this was supported by a strategy of paid content distribution and media outreach – putting content in front of key target demographics in the right places, rather than simply relying on organic coverage to spread the message.
Outreach activity generated quality referrals from high profile media publications, supporting the search marketing strategy and driving strong levels of traffic to key product pages, whilst paid activity enhanced reach across each market at CPMs that were well below forecast.
With those elements combined, and content that was produced specifically for owned, earned and paid channels, the brand really hit the sweet spot with their content distribution for this campaign.