In my role as Senior Content Marketer here at Advantec, one of my key responsibilities is to ensure creativity is at the heart of the strategies I am implementing. If the audience isn’t engaging with what I’m writing, then I’m obviously doing something wrong, right?
In this piece, I want to take a look at one of my favourite brands and how they get it so damn right, every damn time!
If you’re not aware of Innocent by now, then where have you been? Innocent started out in 1999, selling smoothies at festivals and asking festival-goers if they should quit their full time jobs to sell smoothies. Answers were popped in a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ bin, and well the rest is history…
But how have they taken a simple, everyday product and made it extraordinary? From the labels on the bottles, to their social media accounts and their unashamedly blatant advertising strategies – night marketing anyone? Their ethos is pretty simple, they make tasty but healthy drinks that help people to live healthy and die old.
Innocent have been successful in their approach to pretty much everything, with the odd near-miss PR disaster along the way. But who hasn’t had one of those? Here, I want to take a look at how their success can be analysed and how their smooth(ie) approach to content marketing has worked so well.
*Reads article saying most people go on Twitter at night*
*Logs on to Twitter*
*Tweets* HEY EVERYONE, BUY SMOOTHIES
*Retires to Bahamas*
— innocent drinks (@innocent) January 31, 2017
How Do They Do It?
Innocent have 269k followers on Twitter, over 570k likes on Facebook and 73.2k likes on Instagram*, but how do they keep their loyal fan base engaged and informed, as well as ensuring sales are kept high? Having a quick look over their social media, website and articles across the Internet – it’s not hard to see how what they do has become effective. Their approach is focused on identifying a tone of voice, which is conversational, and at the heart of everything is fun. If the team doesn’t think something is interesting and engaging, it will never see the light of day.
It’s Easter. Chicks are hatching. Rabbits are hopping. Satsumas are turning into snails. Springtime in all its glory pic.twitter.com/aLN6xtqCWj
— innocent drinks (@innocent) April 15, 2017
They’re responsive to the latest trends, conscious about their impact on the environment and they do a lot for charity. So much so in their first few years they nearly went bankrupt due to sending so much of their profit to help others.
The last thing I want to do here is tell you to go away and copy their marketing strategy and everything they do, that’s never going to work. But there is a lot that can be taken away from their approach to content marketing, and this is just a few ways in which they work.
* at the time of writing, who knows a scandal could have hit them and they could have lost all of their fans (unlikely though)…
Social Listening Tools
As any brand will know, it’s important to understand what is being said about your company out there, a positive online presence is a must have for any company wanting to make a content marketing strategy work for them. For Innocent, this means using social listening tools to help them find and engage with people making comments about the company. Luckily for them, this has evolved so much that they now have the strength in numbers of fans that they now take to their defence over certain issues.
In Innocent’s case, often the misconceptions people may have about the sugar content in smoothies has become an issue. Most of the time you can head over to one of their social media accounts and there will be someone asking a question about it, but luckily for them, their audience understand the company, and know they’re trying to do good – even before the people who are paid to be a ‘brand advocate’ for Innocent, their customers (unknowingly) do the hard work for them!
Finding these comments can be difficult sometimes, but the use of ‘social listening tools’ including HootSuite and Buffer have become prevalent in digital marketing to maintain a positive online presence.
Tone of Voice & Aligned Strategy
Any successful content marketing strategy has to be aligned across platforms, this means integrating campaigns to run side by side, and promoting content in the right way. Innocent use influencer marketing, including blogger and vlogger outreach and it works, as well as traditional print and digital paid advertisements and organic growth.
It’s obvious that as a company their design, PR, social media is all aligned to ensure their content marketing strategy works towards the same end goal. They work with like-minded people who work hard on their campaigns, including #SowAndGrow and #TheBigKnit, but they never let this get in the way of promoting their products and placing relevant, interesting and engaging content.
Brands should remember to never forget where they started, and that is true of Innocent. Innocent are after all a drinks company, but they have fun with what they do and always look to their customers for feedback on if what they are doing is right, and more importantly, if it is working.
Looking for some key takeaways?
- Don’t be afraid to break the rules
- Take small ideas and make them big
- Identify influencers in your market, build relationships
- Identify your tone of voice and objective
- And finally, align your strategy.