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8 companies that use social media marketing effectively

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There are many emerging social media platforms that marketers would be wise to take note of. These new platforms enable digital marketers to better connect with their target audiences. For example, TikTok gains eight new users per second and claims the top spot in the global app download charts.

Other emerging platforms — like Twitch and Discord — are becoming increasingly popular, making them ideal tools to include in your marketing strategy. While these networks may have a comparatively smaller user base, they focus on different niches and are helpful for targeted advertising. For instance, these two platforms have large communities of online gamers.

Regardless of which platform you choose, you must engage your audience and capture their attention. This article will discuss eight modern campaigns that you can use for inspiration when marketing your brand.

TikTok’s Re: Make campaign

In July 2021, TikTok challenged its community to think about the most memorable advertisements in recent history and create their versions of the ads for its Re: Make campaign. The idea was to turn iconic commercials into TikTok shorts.

people taking part in Tik Tok's re:make campaign

The first brands to participate in the Re: Make initiative were Skittles, Snickers, and Old Spice. It was a great way for TikTok to stay in contact with big companies like these and get them to participate in future Re: Make campaigns. It also boosted engagement tenfold and led to tons of user-generated content. TikTok launched the campaign and let its users do the rest.

The brilliance behind Re: Make was that TikTok, despite being a platform for new-age content, had now briefly become a creative hub to reimagine the ’90s and 2000s nostalgia.

This campaign was a success because it combined the familiarity of growing up with an increasingly popular application like TikTok. This shows that content can be recycled and still have a massive impact.


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Anhueser-Busch’s “Let’s Grab A Beer” by Wieden+Kennedy

In 2021, American brewing company Anheuser-Busch came together with Academy Award-winning director David Fincher and musician Atticus Ross to create the excellent “Let’s Grab A Beer” campaign.

This ad creates an escapist reality wherein consumers associate the product with positive emotions.

The ad aired at the 2021 Super Bowl, and Anheuser-Busch continued to build on the initial success of its campaign by adding a call to action through its collaboration with the White House, giving out free beers to those who got vaccinated. This also enabled them to share user-generated content from social media at the same time.

This campaign combines the shared and common experience, the festive vibe of the Super Bowl, famous actors, and user-generated content. This creation of a collective and optimistic future using the free distribution of its product and user-generated content made this campaign an instant success.

LEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETC

LEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETCLEGO’s Rebuild the World campaign by BETC

The 2021 iteration of the company’s Rebuild the World campaign, named “The Damp Knight,” focuses on creativity in children – it celebrates children as experts in creative problem-solving. The commercial demonstrates what can be accomplished when individuals come together to solve problems and overcome challenges.

The ad follows a classic template: make the audience sympathize with the protagonist (the Damp Knight), trying to cross the river to see his friend, the bear. However, the conflict is eventually resolved when people of different occupations come together, using their varied skills to help the knight.

Although this campaign uses a rather traditional story, it shows that it can still be effective, depending on the context of your product. As a result, LEGO was able to market to both children and adults on social media and boost its overall revenue by 27%.

Starbucks’ in-store augmented reality experience

A Starbucks outlet in Shanghai became the first Starbucks to offer an augmented reality (AR) experience in its outlet. Customers have to download an app that enables them to unlock this experience. They can point their phones at key features around the roaster, like the cask, which will display new information, acting as a tour guide. Customers can explore the space and collect virtual badges. Once they order all, the customers receive a custom roastery social media filter to share.

Emily Chang, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Starbucks China, said, “We wanted to create a completely new brand experience for our customers. Coffee is already such a deeply sensorial experience, even before the first sip: from hearing the unmistakable sound of beans being freshly ground to inhaling that rich aroma and sipping your perfect blend, brewed just right. We wanted to take that customer experience even further.”

This campaign transforms a seemingly everyday experience into a unique and immersive experience. By leveraging trendy technology and the authenticity of your product, you can create an effective campaign that helps your business grow.

Coca-Cola’s metaverse campaign

The metaverse is a digital space where people can interact, play, work, and socialize. Many companies, such as Meta (formerly known as Facebook), invest heavily in developing the metaverse.

Coca-Cola has leveraged this exponential interest in the metaverse, especially by its younger customers, to launch a “Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte,” which will “bring the flavor of pixels to life.” This drink will be launched in the metaverse before being available in stores.

The innovative marketing approach is proving to be effective as revenue per launch has increased by 30% and gross profit per launch by 25%, compared to previous years. 

Coca-Cola’s campaign demonstrates that tech will invariably play a significant role in innovative marketing techniques. By using disruptive technology and catering to the desires of its millennial customers, Coca-Cola has effectively combined tech, creativity, marketing, and product development to improve the returns on its campaigns.

Hershey’s Twitch campaign

Twitch is an interactive live streaming service for content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and more. Hershey’s started its campaign on Twitch in 2019. They advertised through video ads on Twitch itself, participated in TwitchCon, and sponsored two Twitch streamers, Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar, Ben, and “DrLupo” Lupo.

More recently, Hershey’s has continued its partnership with Twitch to promote its brand Oh Henry! They want to improve the brand’s relevance and become the go-to snack for gamers. With every purchase of the Oh Henry! Level up bar, customers receive “Bits” – an online currency that Twitch viewers can use to support streamers and get access to special features on the platform.

Kaetlyn Graham, senior marketing manager at The Hershey Company, noted, “Since Twitch reaches a highly engaged target and enables on-pack branding and video advertising, the partnership just made sense.”

Hershey’s figured out precisely what consumer segment they want to target and has effectively found the right platform to reach a highly engaged consumer base. Platforms like Twitch often have a sense of community, which can prove to be a highly lucrative source for promoting and developing your brand.

The ASICS NFT campaign

ASICS became one of the first sportswear brands to launch an NFT campaign. In July 2021, ASICS announced the ASICS SUNRISE RED™ NFT COLLECTION – a footwear release available via a digital auction.

NFTs – non-fungible tokens – allow owners exclusive ownership rights for a particular digital asset. Given that NFTs are non-duplicable and unique, brands can use them to further enhance their brand exclusivity and positioning on social media.

“At ASICS, we strive to be at the forefront of innovation in the sporting goods sector,” said Joe Pace, Head of Business Development, ASICS Running Apps. “So, while we are excited to drop the world’s first digital shoe release from a major sporting goods company, this is only the beginning. In coming together with some of the most creative and forward-thinking digital artists in the world through our new Artist-in-Residence program, our long-term vision is to push the boundaries of digital goods to inspire physical activity.”

Oscar Mayer’s Bologna Face Mask

Oscar Mayer is an American meat production company that has ventured into the skincare industry with its iconic “Bologna Face Mask.” Earlier this year, the meat company, a subsidiary of Kraft Heinz, released its unique product, which sold out within a few hours on Amazon.

The product’s branding and packaging were impeccable. The packaging mimics an Oscar Mayer deli meat box, except for a message written in giant red letters on the back that says “DO NOT EAT BOLOGNA MASKS.” Of course, the masks are not made of real bologna.

The goal of this social campaign was to evoke quirky childhood memories of nostalgia wherein kids in school would take bites out of their bologna slices to make eyes and mouths and stick them on their faces during lunchtime. It even encouraged customers to take selfies wearing the masks to foster engagement on social channels.

The eccentricity of the product, combined with the targeted social media marketing through YouTubers and beauty influencers, made this campaign an instant hit.

The key to learning from this campaign is that you can use your product or brand’s eccentricity to your advantage if you combine it with effective marketing. In this case, the quirky product worked well with the audience as it was marketed in a targeted manner through trendy influencers.

Brands should pay attention to social media

As the lines between real-life and virtual ownership continue to blur, brands can use social media to their advantage by launching technologically advanced products and keeping up with digital evolutions. It enhances the ability of a company to stay relevant and connect with customers who have already engaged with these new trends.


About The Author

Akshat Biyani is a Contributing Editor to MarTech, a former analyst who has a strong interest in writing about technology and its effect on marketing.

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State of Content Marketing in 2023

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State of Content Marketing in 2023

I just pressed send on the manuscript for my book to be released in September. It’s called Content Marketing Strategy (snappy, eh?), and Kogan Page will publish it.

Last week, marketing professor Philip Kotler wrote the foreword. I won’t spoil it, but he mentioned the need for a strategic approach to owned media.

He writes, “(T)he company doesn’t carry an account of showing these marketing assets and their value. As a result, the company cannot show the CEO and company board members a return on owned assets or content.”

Luckily, my upcoming book shows exactly how to do that. Funny how that works out.

In any event, all this struck me that now is an opportune time to look at where the beloved practice of content marketing stands today.

First, let’s go back to 1999 when Kotler published Kotler On Marketing, one of his more than 70 books. The latter 1990s – a time of tumultuous change – fueled most of the thinking for the book. But he knew that it was merely the beginning.

Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing.”  In the next decade, he wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”

Well, it’s taken over two decades, but it’s finally happening.

Consumers have changed, but marketing operations are just starting to

In case you didn’t notice, almost every marketing conference these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides:

  • Digital technologies, such as search and social media, empower consumers today.
  • Consumers research, engage, buy, and stay loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed.
  • First-party data and privacy are of the utmost importance.
  • Artificial intelligence begins to threaten the idea of the usefulness of search and pressure companies to deliver better and more personalized experiences.

You get it. Consumer expectations in the age of the social, mobile, and AI-driven web are different than they were.

However, the continuing challenge in 2023 is that content and/or marketing operations in enterprise companies are only beginning to evolve. Most marketing departments have remained as they were when Kotler wrote his book — they still work from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.

Most marketing departments still work with mid- to late-20th-century hierarchies, strategies, and processes, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Content marketing isn’t new, but a content marketing strategy is

For hundreds of years, businesses have used content to affect some kind of profitable outcome. But the reality is this: Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s, Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, or even Hasbro’s GI-Joe partnership with Marvel in the 1980s, content was not — and is not for the most part now — a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. In short, companies almost always treat content marketing as a project, not a process.

That fundamental change will finally take hold in 2023. It could happen because of the digital disruption and ease by which you can now publish and distribute content to aggregate your own audiences. It could happen through the natural evolution that the ultimate outcome – more than the marketing – matters more.

As we roll through 2023 and beyond, content — and the exponentially increasing quantities of it produced by every organization — deeply affects not just your marketing strategy, but your business strategy. Content in marketing is now bigger than simply content marketing, and it should be dealt with as a component of that business strategy throughout the enterprise.

#Content in marketing is bigger than #ContentMarketing. Treat it as a component of the business strategy, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

In 2023, the No. 1 focus of my consulting and advisory practice these days: help companies transform content into a repeatable, scalable, and measurable function that drives value through a multi-channel strategy. It’s bigger than publishing a blog, creating a lead-generating resource center, or sending an email newsletter. Today’s content marketing team is being absorbed into marketing because marketing and its various operations are fundamentally transforming into a content-producing machine.

It is not good enough to produce content “like a media company would.” The goal must be to operate as a media company does. Your job is not to change content to fit new marketing goals. Rather, your job in 2023 is to change marketing to fit the new business content goals.

Your job in 2023 is to change #marketing to fit the new business #content goals, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

The unaware builds a case for the aware

The term “content marketing” continues to evolve. Even today, I run across those who still call it “brand publishing,” “custom content,” or “inbound marketing.”

My take matches with what Kotler described in 1999. I always thought the term “content marketing” would become part of “marketing” more broadly. In 2023, that happened. So, returning to the lexiconic debates of 2013, 2014, or 2015 doesn’t seem terribly productive. Content marketing is just good marketing, and marketing is just good content marketing.

That said, two kinds of companies do well at the broader view of content marketing. Some of them, such as Cleveland Clinic, Red Bull, Arrow Electronics, HubSpot, and REI, have purposely devised content marketing strategies as differentiating approaches to their marketing. They are succeeding.

Others, like Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and Peloton, backed into a smart content marketing strategy. But executives at those companies probably don’t recognize it as such. If asked (and some have been), they would say acquiring or launching a media company operation was just a smart business strategy to diversify their ability to reach their consumers consistently.

They’re right, of course. Many have yet to read books about content marketing, been influenced by the Content Marketing Institute, or even recognize content marketing as a separate approach (as far as I know). And they are also succeeding.

Consider this proof: As I write this article, six companies have a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Four of the six wholly or partially use the business model of media creation to further marketing and business strategies. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are all, in part, media companies that also sell products and services.

Why would you not avail yourself of that same model?

The future looks cloudy and bright

As for the overall state of enterprise content marketing, it’s in transition, as all marketing is. As a focused project-based approach, working in ad-hoc ways across a business, content marketing appears to have proven its worth. Hundreds of entries every year to the Content Marketing Awards feature myriad case studies using content marketing techniques in strategic ways to profitably affect business results.

And yet, it remains to be seen whether you can make content marketing a scalable, repeatable, measurable function within marketing.

As to what the discipline’s future holds? At last year’s Content Marketing World, one of my favorite events, the Executive Forum gathered senior leaders from brands succeeding with content marketing. As we talked about the future, one participant said: “The only certainty is change. I can’t tell you where or when, but I do know there will be change, and this is the principle we build on now.”

As for my take, Kotler’s idea of transforming the marketing function seems to have gotten lost along the digital road traveled by marketers. In so many cases, marketing – and especially content – remains just an on-demand service function within the business. Its sole job is to produce ever more voluminous amounts of content that describe the value of the brand (or its products or services) so that sales can sell more efficiently, customer support can serve more effectively, and all manner of customer interfaces are more beneficial to both sides.

However, and maybe because I need to rationalize now that my book is finished, I passionately believe it’s finally time for marketing to reclaim its ability to create value — not just reflect it in the polished shine of your traditional products and services.

Almost 27 years ago today, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an essay called Content is King. In it, he said that “(C)ontent is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”

It certainly was one of his more prescient moments. Nearly three decades later, his words have proven true. The essay title has become the rallying cry for thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs who now make their living on creating, managing, optimizing, and measuring content on the internet. (A Google search for “content is king” nets more than 1.7 million results.)

But it’s the last line of his essay that I find the most visionary: “(T)hose who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”

That’s what content marketing is for me in 2023. It’s just marketing – optimizing the value of ideas, experiences, and products in a marketplace of content.

Time to get to work.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just five minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

Watch previous episodes or read the lightly edited transcripts.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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27 Best About Us and About Me Page Examples [+Templates]

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Your about page summarizes your history, values, and mission — all in one place. That’s a tall order for just a few paragraphs. If you’re feeling stuck, turn to these about-page examples for inspiration. 

about us page example: laptop held in palm of hand

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MARKETING

MarTech’s marketing operations experts to follow

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MarTech's marketing operations experts to follow

Marketing operations is what makes the magic happen. These are the folks who see that your martech stack doesn’t get stuck. They are the maestros, modelers and makers who make sure the trains run, the data is digestible and that you have the programs you need. Where would we be without them? That’s too scary to think about. Here’s our list of MOps experts who have the ear of the profession.

Darrell Alfonso

Darrell is director of marketing strategy & operations at Indeed and the former global marketing ops leader for AWS. He’s the author of “The Martech Handbook: Build a Technology Stack to Acquire and Retain Customers.” In addition to speaking at many conferences, Darrell was named one of the Top Marketers in the US by Propolis 2022 and among the “Top Martech Marketers to Follow” in 2020 by Martech Alliance. He’s a regular and popular contributor both to MarTech and the MarTech conference; you can find all of his articles at this link.


Eddie Reynolds

Eddie has been in business a long time, starting his first company when he was 14. “A pretty minimal enterprise,” he told one interviewer. “I had a tax ID number, a legal entity, and a company name. I even had the IRS coming after my dad for sales tax that I failed to report properly.” Today he is CEO and revenue operations strategy consultant of Union Square Consulting. He publishes The RevOps Weekly Newsletter and the podcast RevOps Corner. Eddie’s large LinkedIn following attests to the quality of the insights he shares there on  sales, marketing, service, and admin roles. 


Sara McNamara

Sara is an award-winning marketing and sales operations professional whose work has been recognized by awards from the likes of Salesforce (Pardot), Adobe (Marketo), Drift, and LeanData. She is a Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Slack and a martech stack (+ strategy) solution architect. That and her passion for leveraging technology and processes to improve the experiences of marketers, sales professionals, and prospects, explains why she’s a regular guest on MOps podcasts.


Ali Schwanke

Ali is the CEO and founder of Simple Strat. The firm specializes in helping companies get the most out of HubSpot — from CRM strategy and setup to marketing automation and content creation. She is also host of HubSpot Hacks, “the #1 Unofficial YouTube show for HubSpot Tutorials” and has been a guest speaker at the MarTech conference.


Mike Rizzo

Mike’s career in marketing operations showed him that there is a real and significant MOps community. That’s why he founded MO Pros/MarketingOps.com, the fast-growing online community for people in marketing operations. He is also co-host of Ops Cast, a weekly podcast. 


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About the author

Constantine von Hoffman

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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