Some of the most successful brands today – think Innocent, ASOS and L’Oreal – recognise that the best way to attract customers is to produce high-quality engaging content and build lasting and valuable online communities.
The shift towards social media and online communities and away from faceless advertising strategies is undeniable. Brands are acknowledging the need to grow organic followers, and what better way to do so than by creating a ‘brand personality’ by utilising the social channels and networks available to them.
This has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of distributing content and gaining engagement – therefore building a community of loyal customers that will return time-and-time-again.
Food and drink aficionado, Innocent, was last year named the most ‘social’ brand in the Social Brands 100 ranking of consumer brands and their use of social media.
It was measured by different markers, including but not limited to brand post engagement on Facebook, a comment to post ratio on the brand blog, all brand mentions on Twitter and average views per video on YouTube.
Innocent’s desire to engage with their community rather than broadcast marketing messages has shown that by focusing on both community and content – and utilising all social media channels – you can achieve immense success.
The rise of ASOS, the online clothing shop, is in part down to the great content created around the brand. With a customer glossy print magazine and a Facebook page with over 2.2 million ‘likes’, the brand embraced the publisher role with gusto.
The decision to mail magazines to the homes of ASOS’s customers made the brand an essential part of their lives – and also added much-needed fashion credibility to a relatively new fashion brand.
Over the past two years, L’Oreal’s Garnier Fructis brand has partnered with music magazine Rolling Stone to create content around the discovery of new, emerging musicians.
In 2011 they made history by searching new unsigned artists and asking consumers to vote and decide who would be the first ever unsigned artist to grace the cover of Rolling Stone.
This is another example of great content being produced by brands who are acting also as publishers.