Friday Inspiration Station

August 29th, 2014 by

Lacking marketing inspiration at the end of the week? Pep yourself up by taking a look at what these guys are doing…

When it comes to marketing your brand, it’s easy to feel dwarfed by those big brands with the flashy, funky ad campaigns and their big-budget-branding. Don’t be discouraged! A bit of creative flare can take even the most mundane business offering into the realms of viral stardom.

This week, the Content Marketing Institute released their shortlist for Content Marketer of the Year, and you might find yourself a little surprised by some of the finalists…

1. Brad Walters of Lowe’s Home Improvement

Brad and his team hit the social media bullseye this year, for simply “getting” vine when most of us were still wondering just how six-second videos could possibly be engaging. Lowe’s’ #lowesfixinsix series of vine videos, which showcased quick 6 second DIY tips, landed them firmly in the spotlight.

By focusing on the helpful content, rather than the products themselves, Lowe’s were able to connect to their audience by easing the products into their hands, as opposed to the force-feed methods of some of their rivals.

Brad’s team of social media gurus haven’t stopped there. Their innovative use of Pinterest as a platform for social engagement has earnt them nearly 3.5 million followers, and their current Instagram activities are continuing their social media conquest into the future.

2. Jesse Desjardins of Tourism Australia


In an industry such as tourism, it’s easy to get lost in the swathes of wanderlust-inspiring content marketing on offer to the masses out there. Jesse Desjardins won his place in this list by commandeering the tourism marketing sector, creating a campaign built to withstand and grow.

User-generated content powers Tourism Australia’s content marketing; their Facebook and Instagram pages receive 900 fan pics daily. Put simply by the man himself: “Consumers take us places much faster than we can go on our own.”

The spirit of interaction and involvement created through interaction with their target market has placed Tourism Australia top of the global tourism board worldwide, a feat achieved through simple creativity.

3. Renee Richardson of Caterpillar

B2B marketing can be boring, and it can be tough. Renee Richardson, head of global brand marketing at traditional industry-focused brand Caterpillar, took a leap in the right direction with the ‘Built For It’ campaign. The video campaign sees Caterpillar machinery maneuvering 600-pound blocks into a giant game of Jenga.

This use of storytelling as a content marketing strategy has earned the company two million hits online, a big feat for a functional, industry-based firm.

Having fun with content marketing can be of a great advantage to any brand considered to be practical or, for want of a better word, boring. Employee engagement with content marketing can also never go amiss – Renee told how the campaign was spread far and wide by her colleagues and Caterpillar staff. A little brand cohesion can go a long way.

4. Susan Helstab of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

While luxury hotel groups may have a little head-start in the desirability-to-customers stakes, Susan Helstab’s content marketing ingenuity has landed her a well-earnt place in the Content Marketing Awards shortlist.

Helstab sought to integrate the content marketing of the Four Seasons group through guest-engagement. Their Pin.Pack.Go program on Pinterest is the first of it’s kind, inviting guests to co-curate their own custom travel itinerary for their upcoming Four Seasons holiday.

Again, this takes the leg-work away from the brand, allowing guests the freedom to produce content and engage with the Four Seasons personally.

5. Karen Girty of New York City Ballet

Ballet has seen a decline in audience numbers and engagement in recent years. With this in mind, Karen Girty set out to build a campaign to bring people back to ballet through collaboration with visual artists.

In January, the New York City Ballet invited French artist JR to install a huge photo mural that spanned an entire floor of the Koch Theater’s Grand Center Hall. This prompted great customer interaction, as people posed for and shared images of themselves with the mural over social media.

If one lesson can be taken from the creative jealousy we’re feeling right now, it’s that it’s not what you’re selling, it’s how you do it… Anyone else hearing some Fun Boy Three and Bananarama vibes?


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