Coca-Cola has been an integral part of popular culture for more than 100 years. The way that it communicates with its target audience is also vastly different from its competitors. Its objective is not to sell as many cans of Coke as possible, but to initiate real, positive change and make this world a better place for everyone, as can be seen from its mission statement:
- To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit
- To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions
- To create value and make a difference
And although Coca-Cola’s sales and marketing strategy has been really effective for the past decade, they decided that they needed a change of direction in 2012. Hence, their 2020 vision plan documented a change from ‘Creative Excellence’ to one of ‘Content Excellence’. Its new advertising strategy aims to help its portfolio of brands gain a ‘disproportional share of popular culture’. And this, it said, means relying on consumer feedback such as fans on Facebook and Twitter, and working with artists and the music and film industry to create content through story-telling, instead of working directly with traditional ad agencies. Let’s take a look at whether the message from this Coca-Cola ad synergises with its new direction:
Creative excellence has always been at the centre of Coca-Cola’s ad, but now they have decided that content is what drives its audience in this 21st century of social media craze. Content is now considered a natural brand engagement method for the company.
What then can we learn from Coca-Cola’s latest direction? Jeff Bullas documented five important content marketing strategies in this article.
Coca-Cola’s Content Marketing Strategies
(1) Create Fluid Content That Spreads Like Wildfire
Content excellence’s objective is to create ideas so contagious that they cannot be contained – and will spread like wildfire once it starts. It is now very easy to share ideas and articles across social media, so marketing in this new age means creating an image, a video, an idea or something so clever that your target audience would want to share to their circle too.
(2) Ensures the Correlation of Your Content
Then ensure that your ideas and content are relevant to the business objectives of your company, your brand and of course, your customers and target audience. This means that each part of your equation has to be correlated and they can each communicate a message that is in line with your mission and vision statement.
(3) Create Conversations
Coca-Cola realised that the stories and ideas that its customers create are much more than what it can create itself. Hence another objective of content selling is to start a conversation with and among your audience, and act and response accordingly to them across social media.
(4) From One-Way to Dynamic Story-Telling
Traditional media such as television, radio or outdoor ads only allow one-way interaction – all they did was communicating to you their message, and they have no means of allowing you to communicate back. This is not the same with social media nowadays. You can create stories with your customers, converse with them, and engage them actively. New age storytelling has evolved from a one-way loner to one that is multifaceted and engaging.
(5) Create Bold and Creative Conversation with Your Content
Coca-Cola, in its latest content strategy, applies the 70-20-10 investment principle to creating liquid content for its customers.
- 70% – low risk content that is easy to execute and only takes up 50% of your time.
- 20% – this part of your content should ride on innovations that work.
- 10% – includes high-risk ideas that will be the future 70% or 20% and failure rates are high.
Coca-Cola knows that we have moved on from the age of the 30-second TV commercial, and more and more brands and companies worldwide had already realised this and are moving on to creating a genuine conversation with their audience, and building a customer following that is engaging and genuinely help their business create the buzz it needs.
This is the best way to move forward and a vital part of marketing in the 21st century.
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