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What Coca Cola Can Teach Us About Content Marketing

If you want to be successful in your content marketing endeavours, you will need to look at the brands that are utilising it effectively. I can’t think of a better example than Coca Cola. They are a globally-recognised brand, operating in over 200 countries, and bring in around $50 billion in revenue every year.

When it comes to Coca Cola and marketing, you will probably think of their famous television adverts during Christmas, and not their content marketing efforts. However, content marketing is actually at the core of their strategy. In fact, they recently set a goal: to double worldwide consumption of Coca Cola by the year 2020, and they plan on using content marketing to take them there.

In my experience of analysing content marketing efforts whilst working for an SEO agency, they are one of the very best. Join me as I analyse their approach and I’ll offer you advice that you can help with your own content strategies.

Why Listen To Coca Cola

Coca Cola is clearly a massive brand with a gigantic marketing budget, and it makes sense to learn from them in order to improve our own approach. They have consistently been at the forefront of new ideas and marketing techniques. They were the first to try sampling. They were among the first to offer coupons. And they were even among the first to represent woman in the workplace. They have been known to revolutionise approaches to marketing, causing businesses to mimic their tactics in an attempt to replicate their success.

Considering Coca Cola’s successful marketing techniques in the past, it would do us all good to take a look at what they are doing and adapt our own approaches in reflection. Amazingly, Coca Cola has actually released videos that go into detail about their new approach to content marketing. You can take a look at the videos here.

Jonathan Mildenhall, the vice president of global advertising and creative excellence for Coca Cola, said 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. Instead, they chose to release the information and benefit from the publicity.

 Insights Taken from Coca Cola’s Content Marketing Videos

1. Liquid and Linked

In the videos, Coca Cola’s marketing team often uses the phrase ‘liquid and linked’ when they talk about their new marketing plan: Content Marketing 2020. They are referring to two aspects of their content marketing approach when they say this:

Liquid- They plan on consistently creating content so remarkable that it goes viral and wanders endlessly around the web. They won’t waste time on ‘good’ or even ‘great’ content. They will push out only the very best- generating high levels of interest across social networks as well as direct links.

Linked- This outlines the importance of ensuring their content remains close to the heart of their underlying business goals. There is no point in watching content go viral if it offers little or no increase to sales of their products.

The Lesson: Offer Remarkable Content Relevant To Your Business Strategy

Average people like us might not necessarily have the resources to create content that consistently goes viral, but we can still learn a lot from the ‘liquid and linked’ phrase.

There is not a huge difference between average and good content, and there is not even much difference between good and great content. But there is a big difference between remarkable content and the rest. Remarkable content can go viral, and viral content will bring you amazing results. Put in that extra effort to really make something special. If some of your material goes viral, and it was created in a way that works alongside your company goals, you will be rewarded with social shares and links, which in turn will boost your visibility in the search engines, and potentially, sales.

2. The 70/20/10 Plan

Coca Cola’s plan also includes a framework for the type of content that they plan on creating. They call it the 70/20/10 content plan. To sum this concept up:

70%- They plan on 70% of their content to be low risk. By this they mean content that has consistently worked well and achieved results in the past. It doesn’t mean boring and definitely doesn’t mean low quality.

20%- 20% of the content that they produce will spin off from what has worked in the past. It basically means a more detailed, in depth and quality version of the content created for the 70%.

10%- The final 10% of content will be extremely high risk. Completely new ideas and concepts that will often end up being one of two things: Something that worked tremendously well and something that failed terrifically.

The Lesson: Be Creative and Experiment with New Ideas

I highly doubt that you have categorised your content efforts into different segments like Coca Cola has, and I am not suggesting that this is something you even need to do. However, their concept does provide insight into what you should be doing.

  • Analyse the effectiveness of your content. Find out what works well and what doesn’t, and keep producing the content that works well.
  • Keep experimenting with content that spins off of your successful content, then analyse the effectiveness of this. This might turn out to be effective enough to become the content that you produce on a constant basis.
  • Every once in a while, produce something completely out of the ordinary. It will keep it fun and it will keep you sane, and who knows, you might come across a winner.

Content marketing has been a hot topic since Google changed their algorithm, SEOs, PR agencies and social media marketers will need to get involved or at least learn the basics. Join me on twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn where I share the latest information surrounding content marketing and SEO.

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