I usually end my work day around 8:00 p.m. and go through a very specific ritual to unwind--a ritual that usually involves having a glass of wine and reading the "Life" section of Buzzfeed.
Last week, I was reading "19 Delicious Reminders to Eat Cake for Breakfast" and all the tasty looking pictures got me thinking that maybe I should be the type of person who makes bundt cakes and takes them places--you know, as a friendly surprise for whoever I'm meeting. Two minutes later, I was on Amazon Prime buying new bundt cake pans and all the ingredients I'd need to create "Chai-Spiced Monkey Bread." Let's be clear that I have never made a bundt cake in my life--I don't even know if I've ever even eaten one. But those pictures made it look so easy!
OK, I'm not saying that drinking and looking at cakes is a good idea. But my story is very telling about how powerful the right content can be. Neil Ackerman, global e-commerce director at Mondelez, recently shared a wonderful case study on this very subject about its brand, BelVita.
The marketing team at Mondelez garnered content about BelVita from social influencers, including images and written content and created a gorgeous content page on Amazon.com. Just by putting this engaging content where the eyeballs are, it apparently made more people hungry for biscuits, and likely to buy BelVita biscuits.
"Our sales just from that one change (we didn't change anything else) has double digit increased conversion and sales are up over 100% in 60 days," Ackerman reports. "We just launched new content for Oreo and expect similar results."
Many companies are still left in the dark ages with respect to their content marketing. They continue to post self-congratulatory content or company news on their blogs, instead of doing what Mondelez is known for doing, which is opening a dialog with their fans about subjects they really care about. They are never hard-core selling.
Yes, the future of marketing is becoming more about entertaining and less about selling. Going back to my initial example, I (like most people) read Buzzfeed to get inspired and to read its hilarious content. The side effect is that I (like most people) am persuaded by a great narrative. If you tried to "sell" me a bundt cake pan by telling me that it's only $9.99, it's best in class, and it's won a bunch of awards, I'd say, "Hell no! I don't need a bundt cake pan. I've never made a bundt cake in my life!" But showing me everything I can make with a bundt cake pan is a completely different story--and the Amazon box on my front porch is testament to that.