Engaging content marketing for complex industries

Delivering integrated content marketing campaigns in complex industries such as legal or financial services can often be challenging. You want to produce content which is useful but also engages with the user. Content marketing has seen a drastic change over the last few years where the direct sell is being avoided whilst appealing to your user’s interests and behaviours is key.

We decided to focus our efforts on a campaign around legal myths for Co-op Legal Services. Working with our PR and Social Media teams from the start was essential to deliver a joined up campaign. From commissioning research for the Press, working with the practice areas to answer common questions to defining a target audience for Facebook, all were vital.

Quiz_Cover

We knew legal misconceptions often divided opinion therefore a quiz felt like the appropriate tool to adopt. Appealing to people’s competitive sides proved to strike a chord as they instantly started sharing their scores on Social Media. Over 5,500 users completed the quiz overall which surpassed previous campaigns. 143,000 impressions were delivered on Facebook with 5,000 users engaging with the post.

A leading Legal IT website featured the quiz on their site as well as bloggers. All of which delivered traffic to the website.

A PDF download of the questions from the quiz with additional examples also achieved strong engagement with 40,000 views on Slideshare.

96% of the traffic from all sources to the campaign were new to the website. Put another way, we were engaging with people who had never visited the website before and we couldn’t think of a better introduction.

This proves that if you do your research, get under the skin of your audience and work collaboratively, you can deliver a results driven campaign. In this instance, the business was also presented to a new audience.

Going Viral for Christmas: #DoorStepChallenge and The Co-op Food TV Ad

#doorstepchallenge

This Christmas we launched our TV advert campaign for Co-op Food to critical acclaim from customers, colleagues and journalists who warmed to the heartfelt message of the simple adto look out for those in need in your community.

As well as ensuring our TV advert was broadcast across the main video social channels – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – social media had a specific part to play in making the content of the TV advert resonate online. Customers across the nation were inspired by the sentiment of our ad and took to their local streets to partake in the so-called #doorstepchallenge, bringing our TV advert’s treatment to life, and to social, in a way we could have only dreamed of! From this, we spied an opportunity to help kickstart the #doorstepchallenge and to help to demonstrate our Group purpose of “championing a better way of doing business, for you and your communities.”

We agreed to fund a set-amount for each of our 850 Community Pioneers, (store colleagues with hours set-aside in their working week to benefit the local community in which their store is based) in Co-op Food products for them to donate to a customer in-need in their store’s local community. In keeping with the spirit of the #doorstepchallenge, Pioneers were asked to deliver the shopping bag (in a Co-op Bag For Life, of course!) to the customers’ doors and take a snap to share on social media, helping inspire others to do the same!

And inspire they did, many Pioneers taking it upon themselves to donate more than was funded, by raising funds in their local stores and by partnering with other community organisations like British Red Cross, British Legion and local community charities.

Doorstep challenge
A simple idea, paired with the incredible enthusiasm and effort of our store colleagues, made for a wonderful contribution to social media conversation this Christmas, and the best way to bridge the gap between our TV ad and social media communities. What’s more, national conversation about #doorstepchallenge was dominated by Co-op above any other grocer, helping us solidify our place as the community focussed retailer among the pack!

#doorstepchallenge
Top mentioned tweeters and hashtags for Dec 2015

Find me on Twitter @jordanjmcdowell

Or contact me by email

 

Surprising and Delighting Colleagues with #TasteAndTell Christmas Advent

Over the past four months we have been encouraging conversations among our social communities and in particular, with our Food store and depot colleagues through the #TasteAndTell campaign. Since launch, many of our colleagues have embraced social media and have advocated our products publicly, with pride.

As ’tis the season to be jolly, we decided to send an additional surprise Taste And Tell box to colleagues who had really embraced the Taste And Tell campaign over the past four months. We kicked off our Advent Taste and Tell on the 1st December and over the 25 days of advent, sent out 10 festive boxes to 10 different stores each day, that’s 250 Christmas surprises sent out to Food stores!

Advent Boxes

We packed the festive red boxes, each with a gold number on the front for the 25 days of advent, with Loved By Us Chocolate Santas, Loved By Us Chocolate Coins, Loved By Us Fruit Jellies and our Truly Irresistible Chocolate Truffles, (which are definitely my favourite!) To accompany our festive red boxes, we also hand wrote Christmas cards with a little thank you for chatting to us this year on social media, asking colleagues to let us know what they think of their surprise, and to share it amongst the team.

We notified our colleagues on Facebook that 250 surprise Advent boxes would be on their way to 250 lucky stores – which helped spark some excitement and helped contribute to 58% of the overall #tasteandtell campaign conversation for the month of December.

Over advent we’ve saw some fantastic snaps from our colleagues, who definitely got into the festive spirit in-store. It’s important to us to get our store colleagues chatting about the products we sell, as this helps improve our customers’ shopping experience. Our colleagues are able to genuinely recommend products that they’ve tasted, and speak about products with more confidence.

Christmas Advent 1


Scott Bennett – Social Media Community Manager – @Scott_Bennett1

Community Management over Christmas

christmas cmWhen I think back to when I first started my career in social media I don’t think I ever imagined a day when I would spend Christmas Day sat in my office engaging with our communities on social media; yet there I was just 2 days ago doing exactly that.

As I have only worked at the Co-op for 4 months I had no idea what to expect. Would it be busy? Would people be merry? Would people use social media to talk to brands on Christmas Day?

christmas cm 1

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a busy day in stores and on social media! My colleague Scott had many enquiries about opening hours, stock availability and last minute #DoorStepChallenges.

Christmas Daychristmas cm 2

Christmas Day morning was also busy. Most enquiries were about whether our stores would be open during the day… It appears as though many people forget at least one item for their Christmas dinner!

Conversation was mostly very positive, I engaged with many regular community members who wished our colleagues a Merry Christmas. There were unfortunately a few sad incidents where our produce had fallen short which are always tough to deal with on a regular day never mind Christmas Day – you really feel for the customer in these times. But thankfully we have a fantastic Customer Care team who do all they can to rectify incidents such as this.

Boxing Day

On Boxing Day the number one topic of conversation was store opening hours. There was a big debate among our community on whether any stores should be open on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day – people appear to sit on one side or the other regarding this.

Overall Christmas was a merry time to work. Our community showed great thanks to our colleagues who have been there throughout the Christmas period for those last minute dashes to the shop. There was also a fantastic show of support for local communities from our stores who have been out and about spreading a little joy with the #DoorStepChallenge.

Some of the highlights of my day were –

…. I did just that… at 6pm when my working day was over!


Catherine Storey, Social Media Community Manager – @CatJStorey

Christmas Blogger Event Wrap-up Video

In the run-up to Christmas last year, we held the Co-op’s first event to engage specifically with bloggers. Over the past year, we’ve built on from that first event, collaborating with the bloggers on campaigns and product reviews – working with them to build long-term relationships and turn them into partners and brand advocates.

The 2nd Christmas blogger event was held a few weeks ago. The invited bloggers took to social media to talk about the event, causing it to trend in Manchester. Watch the video to get behind the scenes…

Delivering social media support to Estate Services

Assisting, encouraging and enabling colleagues to use social media in their jobs at the Co-op is just one of the exciting roles that the Group Social Media team get to do.

Today, members of the Social Media Community Management team supported Estate Services in their departmental conference. This conference has been taking part for a number of years but this year they wanted to make it social!

Developing the social media side of the conference started a few months ago when the Social Media team and Estate Services team came together to agree on how we’d incorporate the use of social media into the event for the first time – From introducing the notion that attendees should tweet throughout the day to masterminding the event hashtag.

rsz_esoneteam_socila_media

Sophie and I supported the social media aspect of the day and set up our second Social Media Clinic for attendees so we were on hand for any social media questions –professional or personal. Support was also delivered on the event hashtag where we monitored conversations, gave insights and engaged with  those tweeting about the event. There was even a small prize for the best tweet from the day!

Working closely with and supporting departments across the Co-op is always interesting and it’s fantastic to see colleagues become more open to the opportunities that social media can present.


Catherine Storey, Social Media Community Manager – @catjstorey

 

Talking social metrics with MMU Marketing students

This week I was invited to speak to Marketing students at Manchester Metropolitan University as a guest lecturer for their Marketing Metrics course, in final year. I gave the students a whistle-stop tour of key social media marketing metrics and how we apply them here at the Co-op.

But, first thing’s first, I dispelled any misconceptions that ReTweets and Likes were the be all and end all of marketing metrics available to social marketeers. They’re a useful content KPI, yes, and certainly have their place, but there is a wealth of metrics available to us when analysing social as a marketing discipline.

Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 19.24.42

As a means of helping the students understand social marketing for corporate business, I demonstrated a framework those at the Co-op have heard me mention before, the 3 Cs of social media (read about this here), which succinctly outlines the way we segment varying social disciplines and subsequently measure success in those areas.

Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 19.25.01

So, what are these metrics?

  • Conversation volume
  • Conversation sentiment
  • Response rates and times – particularly key with our regulated businesses
  • Demographics analysis – gender, profession and age
  • Location – even when only 2% geo-tag their social, the macro view is still useful
  • Referral and CTR
  • Ad impressions
  • Engagements
  • Engagement rates – as well as industry benchmarks provided by the networks

As well as this, I did still mention social actions like ReTweets and shares. I also touched on Influencers, as a means of assessing the viability and opportunity within a community conversation, but stressed that influencer outreach can include a whole scope of other metrics like influencer score and those outside of social, such as domain authority – I could spend an hour on Influencers alone!

boolean

Before we closed, I introduced two gentlemen by way of their Google Doodle, Mr George Boole and Albert Einstein. Boole because he founded Boolean, a means by which social marketeers can source social intelligence. I urged the students to familiarize themselves with Boolean operators, as it could be their differentiator when applying for roles in social and digital marketing.

einstein

Einstein got the closing line because he (may have, the jury’s out) once said: “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts,” reminding us that it’s our job as marketeers to choose the right measurement metrics for our activity to help reiterate the power of social for delivering business benefit.


Find me on Twitter @jordanjmcdowell

Or contact me by email

Using WhatsApp to connect store managers.

Being able to instantly communicate and interact with each other within an organisation is something that is easy to take for granted – particularly when you all work under the same roof, but can be a challenge when you have over 2,800 food stores.  The short video below tells the story of how we use WhatsApp at the Co-op to connect all our store managers.

Let me know what you think, you can find me on Twitter @GailTwist or feel free to comment below.

Social Media Forums for Angel Square colleagues

Hi, I’m Rebecca, the Co-op’s Social Media Campaign Manager. My job is to reach people on social media channels using owned and paid media.

Sharing knowledge and best practice is one of the main focuses of our Social Media team. For the last three years we’ve been holding forums for colleagues who want to keep up with all things social, and it’s great to see that there’s still real interest in these events.

Image 1

All content for the forums is produced in-house and we use them to share what’s going on in the world of social at the Co-op as well as updating on new channels, new advertising options and user trends. At previous events we’ve also had guest speakers from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and have hosted a blogger discussion panel with two mummy bloggers.

Latest learnings

Last week we held a forum in our Manchester Support Centre, 1 Angel Square.

Image 2

Gail, our Social Media Lead, was up first. She talked about the reintroduction of Google+, Twitter testing new multi-answer polls and Snapchat launching Story Explorer.

Next it was my area, campaigns. Sometimes we focus on individual campaigns, but this time we played a short film, created by Campaign Executive Ben, to showcase the range of activity since the last forum. Check it out below:

We like to revisit previous forum topics to show progress or share results. This time we looked at community management to show what the new team, headed up by Jordan our Senior Community Manager, has been up to since they joined. It was great to be able to share real results and promote the reasons why it’s good to use social media as an engagement tool, not just for broadcast.

Last but not least we had Fiona, our Content and Planning Manager, up to talk about using social media for thought leadership. We like to share valuable skills with the forum attendees so that they can apply these in their own social world. You’ll be pleased to hear that blogging was a key part of this section.

We always try to leave time at the end for a lively questions and answers session. We get asked some interesting questions which shows that people have really listened. This time we had a question around the use of ad blockers and how we think this might affect social media advertising results. We know that Facebook and Twitter users already have the option to hide individual adverts or hide all adverts from brands and that this negative response can be tracked (on Facebook only). We believe that the introduction of ad blocking technology will drive more of a focus on native advertising (in the newsfeed/ timeline) and as advertisers we have to make sure even more than before that our adverts are targeted well and contain relevant content.

So, that concludes a sneaky peak into the work we do on social at the Co-op. The forum is currently only held in our Manchester Support Centre – our goal for 2016 will be to get more of our colleagues involved. So watch this space!

Blogger Engagement Event – Christmas Showcase

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust recommendations above all other forms of advertising. In the digital landscape that ‘word of mouth’ role is often played by online influencers.

The strategy to build a network of influencer advocates has been ongoing over the past year. Now, we have a community of highly engaged influencers, opted-in to help us share stories about our products and brand through their networks. During 2015, the Digital team have worked with this community to promote campaigns across Food, Funeralcare, Estore and Legal Services, ranging from large campaigns to smaller product reviews.

The 2nd annual Christmas blogger event – the highlight of the Co-op’s influencer engagement calendar – was held last Friday. Before our very eyes the restaurant in 1 Angel Square (our support centre) transformed into an elegant Winter Wonderland to host 75 bloggers who braved bad weather and worse traffic to attend.

Caption Setting the scene in the 8th floor restaurant
Caption Setting the scene in the 8th floor restaurant

The format was very different to last year. Our guests were seated in tables of 10 and treated to a 4-course tasting menu featuring Co-op own-brand products and award-winning wines. They were taken behind the scenes to gain exclusive insights from product developers, updates on campaigns, a blogger panel Q&A… all nicely rounded off with cheese and some very special cupcakes.

We engaged with the bloggers on a deeper level because, for us, the events provide a unique opportunity to really connect – to get to know the people behind the blogs and from there, decide how best to work together in 2016 and beyond.

Guests tuck in as the starters are served
Guests tuck in as the starters are served

And the bloggers responded – taking to social media before, during, and after the event, reaching over 200k accounts with close to 400k impressions. Over the next two weeks we’ll follow-up with the attendees and reach out to those who couldn’t make it to increase brand noise over the Christmas period.

rsz_1annette_-_image_32

blog - tweets 3

blog - tweets 2

I’m currently working on finalising the strategy for Influencer Engagement for 2016. I can’t yet reveal exactly what’s coming up, but expect to see our relationships with our blogger partners grow and become more intertwined – helping us to stay visible and relevant in the digital landscape.

Personalised cupcakes were a special treat
Personalised cupcakes were a special treat