In 2011, Coca cola had the goal of doubling worldwide consumption of coke by the year 2020. They had a major challenge in the way consumers access and share information. They recognized that traditional creative media's effectiveness and relevance is facing out. Therefore, the company decided to create a content-based marketing strategy to help drive consumer conversations, inspire purchases and enhance their brand value.
They coined the strategy as "Liquid and Linked Content Strategy".
What is Liquid and Linked Content?
As we all know that Liquid content is what is inside a bottle, be it Coke, soda pop or other drinks. The liquid content in this context is the kind of content that has the capability to encourage sharing and engagement and educates the reader. The 'linked' refers to the content been linked to your business interests and customers. It is a totally balanced approach that is beneficial to every business that wants to make profit.
Coca cola designed different kinds of contents that are both liquid and linked. They created a blogger contributor network that is like Linkedin's Influencer programme, but focusing on new talent instead of the "big names". They called it "The Opener". The result of this strategy brought Coca Cola increased global unit case volume, boosted stock prices and recognition through international marketing and advertising awards.
So, how can you profit from this strategy? Below are 3 ways you can use liquid and linked content to boost your own small business.
1. Create compelling and captivating contents
A compelling and captivating content has the following qualities:
Most content you come across on the internet are predictable and some of them are even boring. Liquid contents need to be surprising, catch your readers off
guard by challenging theirs assumptions and proving them wrong. You can write something controversial, argue against normal opinion etc.
Writing contents with an element of surprise takes time, but when you listen to little ideas that pops up in your mind from time to time, it becomes easier.
Your content must have universal appeal. It must be something your audience wants to read. Does it address their problem? Does it educate them? If it does not appeal to them, they have no business reading it.
There is no need of wasting your precious time when what you are writing does not interest your readers. You need to determine what your readers wants to knowing the kind of contents they viewed the most, shared the most etc and then write more of those stuffs to keep them coming back for more.
2. Create relevant contents that connects with people.
Coca cola launched a campaign in India and Pakistan sometimes ago, to unite the people together as they were divided by conflict. They designed coke dispensers with real time cameras that enable people to see each other and draw peace signs and dance together. This campaign had tremendous results - 8,000 social shares, 2 million video views and over 48,000 visits in the first week of the launch. This is a great example of how to connect with people (remember content must be linked).
3. Connect your channels together
Most small business uses only one channel to connect with their target audience. You gain more traction when you use different channels to disseminate information. For example, Coca cola created a mobile app in order to engage with teens and create buzz around a new TV ad. The teens could use their phones to catch the tumbling bottle caps from the TV ad at 10pm every night and win instant prizes. This campaign was also run in cinemas and outdoor spaces. The result? After the first day, the app got the number one download spot on the local app store and after the first month, it had been downloaded for more than 380,000 times.
You may not be able to develop a mobile app like the coca cola company, but you can produce video contents, infographics, slides, white papers of great quality, to help your readers connect with you. A liquid and linked content should make your consumer engage with your brand and should be linked to
your business goals and interest.
A good liquid and linked content is not complete until it is measured to determine its return on investment. Coca cola uses an Expression of interest (EI) score. It looks at different KPIs to evaluate and rank stories based on their popularity. Coca cola in one of their campaigns - launch of journey discovered that the number one search term on the website was 'coca cola cake' and so they included a food filter that became the most popular category. So, you can see the effect of measuring your contents metrics.
The ingredients of a liquid and linked content are: It must be compelling and captivating, relevant and connect with your readers and it must be connected by different channels. It is time to create viral content with your business interest in mind. Why not start today?